Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 1st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 1st

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Game and Fish Department wants the public to stop calling them about mangy coyotes in the Tucson area.
The department released a statement stating while it's "appreciative of calls from the concerned public," it does not need to be contacted for coyotes with mange.
Mange is a disease in canines caused by various types of mites.
The department states it has taken about 12 of these calls in the past four weeks. It says not to call unless the coyote puts the public in danger or is alive but not moving.

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LONDON (AP) -- An English policeman wearing a gorilla costume while crawling the London Marathon has finally finished the race, almost a week after starting.
Metropolitan Police officer Tom Harrison, who goes by the name "Mr. Gorilla," raised a reported 26,000 pounds ($33,650) for the Gorilla Organisation, which is dedicated to conserving gorillas in countries including Rwanda and Uganda.
The 41-year-old Londoner started the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) route last Sunday and crossed the finish line on Saturday.
Harrison slept at friends' houses in the evenings after completing around 10 to 12 hours and 4.5 miles per day. He has swapped between crawling on his hands and knees and up on his hands and feet to save his blistered knees.
He crossed the finish line in central London flanked by his two sons - and beating his chest.

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- A wild coyote has decided to go where some other wild things are - the Detroit Zoo.
The Detroit Free Press and WWJ-AM report the zoo in the suburb of Royal Oak temporarily closed Monday morning after workers discovered a coyote on the grounds. The gates reopened a short time later after officials determined the wild visitor posed no risk to the public - though some zoo animals have been sheltered for their protection.
So far, zoo officials are taking a wait-and-see approach. They've spotted the coyote and for now hope that it will leave on its own.
Zoo spokeswoman Patricia Janeway says the zoo has had uninvited animals show up before, including a deer that caused a temporary shutdown.

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TOKYO (AP) -- "Star Wars" fans with deep pockets might consider it a golden opportunity.
A Tokyo jewelry store is offering life-size Darth Vader masks made of 24-karat gold at a hefty price of 154 million yen ($1.4 million) to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the first "Star Wars" movie.
The creation measures 26.5 centimeters (10.4 inches) wide and 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) high.
The Ginza Tanaka store says the masks are not designed for wearing - at about 15 kilograms (33 pounds), they would be too heavy, and they have no opening for a head.
While the masks are its most expensive "Star Wars" memorabilia, the jeweler has made pricier products. In 2013, a gold Disney-themed Christmas tree was priced at 500 million yen ($4.5 million).
Marketing manager Hirotsugu Tsuchiya said it took 10 goldsmiths three months to mold and assemble the prototype.
"The most difficult aspect was that each section of the mask was created by a different gold craftsman and then assembled to make one Darth Vader mask," Tsuchiya said.
Orders for the mask can be made at its main store in the glitzy Ginza shopping area where the prototype is on display. Customers will have to wait three months after ordering.
For those looking for less expensive options, gold coins engraved with Yoda or Luke Skywalker will also be available starting at 132,300 yen ($1,200). They will go on sale Thursday, which is May 4, celebrated by some fans as "Star Wars" day because "May the fourth" evokes the film's iconic line, "May the force be with you."

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont town is giving away golden tickets courtesy of its local chocolatier and the prize is free parking for a year, not a tour of a chocolate factory.
The limited edition chocolate bars were created by Vermont's Tavenier Chocolates.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports that the search for the three golden tickets began with Brattleboro's town manager buying the first bar of chocolate. Stephanie Bonin, chairwoman of a National Main Street branch, says that the goal of the promotion is to recreate scenes from the film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," where everyone in town searched for the golden tickets.
Parking enforcement officers will be handing out other tickets all week - movie tickets so residents can see the original film at a local theater.

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CHINA GROVE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina couple trying to get to a hospital for the birth of their son ended up at a convenience store for the big event.
WBTV reported the couple was on the way a hospital in Concord shortly before 7 a.m. Friday when they realized they needed to stop at the store in China Grove.
A 911 operator on the phone helped guide them as firefighters arrived.
Bostian Heights Fire Chief Mike Zimmerman and his crew helped with the delivery, allowing the father to cut the umbilical after the boy was delivered. Zimmerman said it was the first delivery for his firefighters.
The 911 operator, Michelle Baughman, said she was a paramedic for 12 years and never handled a delivery, but has now done two on the phone.

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PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A self-described psychic who scammed more than $1 million in cash and valuables from a dozen people she promised to protect from "dark forces" has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
An Ohio judge gave 42-two-year-old Gina Miller the maximum sentence and ordered her to repay $1.4 million.
Before her Thursday sentencing in Painesville, Miller apologized and asked Judge Vincent Culotta for leniency so she could care for her two sons, including one she said has a mental illness.
"Quite simply, you don't deserve leniency," Culotta said. "You deserve to be punished."
Defense attorney Louis Carlozzi said Miller's fortune telling was a part of her Romani culture, and she "took it a step too far." But prosecutors described Miller as "a con artist."
An audio tape from a former client who had worn a wire for Mentor police was played in court, and the woman can be heard asking Miller what would happen if she could not make payments. "Your grandson would die," Miller responds.
Miller pleaded guilty in March to an aggravated theft charge in the scheme prosecutors say operated for 15 years. They say she targeted vulnerable clients, convincing them to pay her in cars, Rolex watches and a diamond ring in exchange for protection.
Another former customer, a 72-year-old woman, told the judge she works two jobs to pay off credit card debt after giving money to Miller.
"She has ruined my life," the woman said. "I cannot live long enough to pay off the debt."
On recordings of meetings between Miller and an undercover agent also played in court, Miller can be heard asking for $180 for crystals to improve the agent's luck.

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(FOX) FINLAND - Hobby Horse enthusiasts from all over Finland gathered in Vantaa for the annual championships.
Now this is a kind of championship you don't often hear about. It's a competition involving hobby horse enthusiasts.
In Finland, people who love hobby horses, and there are plenty of them, gathered in Vantaa on Saturday for the annual championships.
The main event took place at a packed sports hall. An estimated one-thousand spectators watched about 200 participants.
The riders were almost all girls between 10 and 18 years of age. They faced-off in sports that simulate traditional equestrian events, like dressage and show jumping.
The vast majority of the hobby horses are handmade - colorful creatures complete with names like Chattanooga Choo Choo and Panda.
They're exchanged and sold by owners at events and through social media. Some of them have been known to fetch more than 200-dollars.
As many as ten-thousand people are currently estimated to be involved in hobby-horsing in Finland.

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A woman in Arizona said she made a stunning discovery inside a new purse she bought at a Walmart: A note apparently written by a desperate prisoner in China.
Laura Wallace found the message, written in Chinese, tucked inside the zipper compartment of the purse she purchased at a Sierra Vista Walmart, KVOA reported.
Wallace had a Chinese-speaking person translate the note to English. The letter read: 
"Inmates in the Yingshan Prison in Guangxi, China are working 14 hours daily with no break/rest at noon, continue working overtime until 12 midnight, and whoever doesn't finish his work will be beaten. Their meals are without oil and salt. Every month, the boss pays the inmate 2000 yuan, any additional dishes will be finished by the police. If the inmates are sick and need medicine, the cost will be deducted from the salary. Prison in China is unlike prison in America, horse cow goat pig dog (literally, means inhumane treatment)."
Two other people translated the note to make sure the message was accurate, Wallace added. 
"I'm very sure that that's exactly what the note says," she told KVOA.
Wallace said she wanted to share the note to bring awareness to the situation. 
"I don't want this to be an attack on any store," Wallace said. "That's not the answer. This is happening at all kinds of places and people just probably don't know."
Walmart issued a statement to KVOA on the incident. "We can't comment specifically on this note, because we have no way to verify the origin of the letter, but one of our requirements for the suppliers who supply products for sale at Walmart is all work should be voluntary as indicated in our Standards for Suppliers."
Similar notes reportedly have turned up in items sold at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and K-Mart in the past.

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BELFAST, Maine (AP) - Police in Maine have picked up some adorable intruders after two miniature goats escaped from their home and wandered the streets.
A Belfast police officer responded Sunday morning to find the pygmy goats in a woman's garage. They had been snacking on cat food. Officer Daniel Fitzpatrick used a cat leash to lead them into his squad car.
The trio drove around looking for the goats' owner as Fitzpatrick fed them carrots and celery. Belfast is a seaport town about 45 miles (73 kilometers) east of Augusta.
The daughter of the goats' owner saw Fitzpatrick's Facebook post and picked up the pair, named Louis and Mowgli - but not before Fitzpatrick snapped a selfie with the duo.
Fitzpatrick called the runaways "good company" and joked about adding patrol goats to the next police budget.

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