Mad Minute stories from Friday, April 28th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, April 28th

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ARLINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- A 6-year-old Massachusetts boy who turned in $2,000 in cash he found in a bank bag lost by a restaurant employee has received an Outstanding Citizen Award.
Arlington resident Jasper Dopman was walking with his father, Erik Dopman, on April 18 when he spotted a cloth bag on the ground near a school. The bag contained cash and deposit slips.
Erik Dopman called the Arlington police and turned in the bag. An investigation determined the money belonged to Tenoch Mexican Food Corp. Police located an employee at the company's Medford restaurant who said she had lost the bag earlier.
The money was returned to the family-owned restaurant.
Father and son each received an Outstanding Citizen Award from police and gifts from the Mexican food company.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- In a park amid skyscrapers, a gem has emerged: a posh public bathroom that cost nearly $300,000, complete with freshly delivered flowers, imported tiles, classical music and artwork.
The free-of-charge, air-conditioned splendor, inspired by visits to the city's priciest hotels, is open to everyone. More than 1 million people a year are expected to use the facility, park officials said.
On Thursday, two bathroom attendants held toilet tissue that a park official cut as the inaugural ribbon for the high-tech facility housed in a landmarked Beaux Arts building behind the New York Public Library in Manhattan. The toilets, in 310 square feet divided between the women's and men's sides, are reopening after a three-month renovation.
The eye-popping, LED-illuminated elegance is unusual in a city where public toilets are scarce and generally grungy.
"It's very clean, and the flowers are alive," said Irena Marentic, a tourist from Slovenia, as she left the space, whose walls and floors are lined with tiles from Spain and Italy and adorned with art created by Bryant Park's painters-in-residence.
The women's side has three toilet stalls, while the men's side has two stalls and three urinals, the same number as before the renovation. The facility can't be expanded because the space surrounding it is considered a scenic landmark.
The public luxury was funded privately by the Bryant Park Corp., a not-for-profit that manages the city-owned park and works to improve business in the neighborhood, which includes Fifth Avenue.
"We strive for perfection and only settle for excellence," declared Dan Biederman, the executive director of the Bryant Park Corp.
The team behind the new posh public bathroom visited the Waldorf Astoria and other luxury hotels for inspiration.
A few out-of-town companies provided donations not included in the facility's $280,000 cost. The Japanese luxury brand Toto contributed self-flushing, energy-saving toilets and hands-free faucets and wash basins. Brill Hygienic Products Inc., of Delray Beach, Florida, supplied sanitary, electronic seat covers that rotate with each use.
Attendants with mops keep everything clean from 7 a.m. until midnight during the warm months and until 10 p.m. the rest of the year. By park rules, no tips are allowed.
The bathroom is most often used by visitors to the leafy, grassy refuge of Bryant Park, which draws them with its seasonal attractions including a skating rink in winter, holiday shops, outdoor movies on summer nights and tables and chairs.
The park went through a makeover some years ago after decades of urban decay and crime that spilled into the bathroom, which was closed for years and reopened only in the 1990s.
With the improvement of the park, the number of visitors has increased. So, too, has the daily use of the toilets, from an average of 1,800 in 2013 to 3,300 last year, or 1.2 million a year, park officials said. On the women's side, the wait could be as long as 20 minutes.
On Thursday, with the line growing, park workers directed people to the massive library building and more public toilets, though not quite as fancy.

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) -- Why would someone go around shaving other people's cats?
The mystery has the attention of police in Waynesboro, a small city in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley where someone has been taking cats and precisely shaving their underbellies or legs. It's happened to seven cats since December.
Police Capt. Kelly Walker said Friday that all the cats have been returned otherwise unharmed, but some seem bothered. Walker says all the cats clearly had owners - they were well-groomed and wearing collars. He says police aren't sure what crime has been committed, but the owners "would just like it to stop."
Walker says he learned of the feline barbering spree this week when a resident asked if he could post notices asking anyone with information to contact police.

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PEQUANNOCK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Police say a flower shop owner stole plants and other items from graves at a New Jersey cemetery for months.
Capt. Christopher DePuyt says police installed surveillance cameras at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pequannock Township after two plants disappeared from the mausoleum and replacement plants were stolen two days later.
He says the cameras caught a woman in a minivan taking the plants and Riverdale officers recognized her as a former police dispatcher and current flower shop owner.
Authorities charged 59-year-old Lynda Wingate, of Riverdale, with the disorderly person's offense of theft of moveable property.
DePuyt says Wingate claimed she was cleaning up old flowers from graves of people she knew, but he says that isn't the case.
A message seeking comment was left at her flower shop.

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KENSINGTON, Md. (AP) -- An elementary school principal in Washington, D.C.'s suburbs is rethinking her idea to set up a "smash space" designed to let teachers hack away at a chair to relieve tension.
Kensington Parkwood Elementary School Principal Barbara Liess said in a letter sent home to parents Wednesday that she regrets her decision. She says the space was set up March 8 and she got the idea from reading business articles about companies providing ways to reduce stress.
Sarah Sirgo, a director of school support and improvement for the Montgomery County school district, told families the district doesn't condone this sort of behavior and officials are committed to providing employees with wellness support.
Officials wouldn't comment on whether any employees have been disciplined. Liess has been principal of the school since 2007.

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- Police in Cleveland are trying to identify a woman they say pulled a gun on a barber because he was taking too long to cut her 7-year-old son's hair.
Cleveland.com says a police report says the woman threatened the barber at a barber school April 14.
Police say the woman complained several times before pulling a handgun from her purse and pointing it at the barber, telling him, "I got two clips. I'll pop you." The police say the woman put the gun back after another employee came over to calm her down.
The barber was able to finish the haircut and the woman left with her two children afterward.
WJW-TV reports surveillance video captured images of the woman and authorities are asking for help identifying her.

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ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) -- Cornell University officials say the college's oldest all-male a capella group has been permanently dismissed from campus for hazing that included requiring new members to put Icy Hot muscle cream on their genitals.
According to the Ivy League school's website on hazing, Cayuga's Waiters initially were suspended two weeks into the 2016 fall semester for hazing that also included requiring members to sit naked in ice baths and making them run up and down a street and then consume food.
The hazing website says during an investigation group members admitted the hazing had been going on for at least 10 years.
University Interim President Hunter Rawlings supported the decision to dismiss the group, saying such behavior has no place at Cornell.
Cayuga's Waiters was formed in 1949. The group didn't respond to a message sent to its email address.

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RUSSELL, Mass. (AP) -- Massachusetts State Police are praising the cowboy skills of one their troopers after he lassoed a llama that was loose on a state highway and led it to safety.
Police say Troopers Matthew Kane and Kyle Minnicucci were called after a llama was spotted on a state roadway Thursday in Russell.
Fearing for the animal's safety, Kane grabbed a rope from his cruiser, fashioned it into a lasso and slung it around the llama's neck. Kane and Minnicucci guided the animal off the road to ensure it wouldn't be hit by passing vehicles.
The troopers were not able to determine where the llama came from, but the owner of a nearby horse farm offered to keep the animal until its owner is found.

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Michigan tight end Jake Butt doesn't mind people having fun with his last name. The folks at Procter & Gamble sure are.
The parent company of Charmin toilet paper delivered a truckload of the squeezably soft product to him in his hometown of Pickerington, Ohio, on Wednesday.
The gesture surely was a nod to Butt's last name, which elicits snickers wherever he goes. He embraces it.

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New Orleans, LA - A bizarre sight in New Orleans.
First responders rescued a naked man who climbed a 14-story electrical tower Thursday morning. They got him down, using a harness and rope, Six and a half hours after the incident was first reported. Negotiators were also brought in, power was cut to the tower so the man didn't end up electrocuting himself.
Once down, he was taken to a hospital for evaluation. There's no word on the man's identity -- why he climbed the pole, or why he wasn't wearing clothes.

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