Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 2nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 2nd

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A misplaced pet is causing concern in a community north of Anchorage, Alaska.
Animal control officials in Matanuska-Susitna Borough say a 17-foot python that weighs 100 pounds escaped in neighborhood in Meadow Lakes.
Animal care officer Darla Erskine says the owner has gone door-to-door notifying neighbors and continues to search for the bright-yellow and white reptile.
Animal care director Kirsten Vesel recommends that small pets be brought inside while the snake is on the loose.
She says area temperatures that drop into the low 30s may weaken the snake or compel it to seek a warm place.
There are no wild snakes in most of Alaska.
Pythons are not venomous. They kill prey by constriction.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York City man is on a mission to flush the cremated remains of his lifelong friend - a plumber - down ballpark toilets around the country.
Tom McDonald tells The New York Times that it's a fitting tribute for Roy Riegel.
The two baseball fans were childhood friends in Queens, not far from - wait for it - Flushing Meadows, where the Mets play.
Like baseball, this endeavor has rules. The game has to be in progress when McDonald sprinkles the ashes into the toilet from a little plastic bottle.
So far, he's done the deed at 16 stadiums.
Riegel also was a music fan: In Cleveland, McDonald flushed ashes at both Progressive Field and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In Chicago, McDonald did his duty at a White Sox game, skipping Wrigley Field because the Cubs are longtime rivals of the Mets.
"I know people might think it's weird, and if it were anyone else's ashes, I'd agree," McDonald said. "But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan and just a brilliant, wild guy."
Riegel's family agreed to share a portion of the ashes after his death in 2008. McDonald spoons out a little each time, from an old peanut can, wrapped in Mets ticket stubs, that he keeps next to World Series highlight videos and his collection of 149 baseball Hall of Fame autographs.
Hank Riegel, of Waterloo, New York, said his brother would appreciate the offbeat gesture.
"He'd be like, 'Oh, yeah, do that,'" Riegel said. "He would definitely approve of it. Never once did Roy follow the rules."
McDonald has enough ashes left for one more tribute. He hopes to do it at Durham Athletic Park in North Carolina, where the 1988 movie "Bull Durham" was filmed.

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BERLIN (AP) -- A court in Munich has rejected a woman's legal bid to obtain the name of a man she spent three nights in a hotel with seven years ago.
The woman gave birth to a son nine months after the encounter in Halle, eastern Germany, and sought to force the hotel to reveal her lover's full identity.
She wanted the man, whom she knew only by the first name Michael, to pay child support.
Judges rejected her request, arguing that it could unduly breach the privacy of four men with that name who were registered at the hotel during the period.
The case was first published late Monday by news website Spiegel Online. The woman was not identified.

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FOREST PARK, Ohio (AP) -- Six siblings who wanted to remain together have gotten their wish, thanks to their adoption by an Ohio couple with five biological children.
Christopher and Christina Sanders live in the Cincinnati suburb Forest Park. They had taken the siblings in as their first foster children, ranging in age from 9 to 16. The Sanders' oldest biological child is 19.
Christina Sanders says she and her husband promised themselves that no matter how many foster children they had they would keep them.
The family was all smiles in a video from WCPO-TV in Cincinnati when the adoption became official in a Hamilton County courtroom Thursday.
The judge who presided over the adoption says he hopes the commitment by the Sanders family will inspire others to adopt children.

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (NBC News) - State Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, has to pass by a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest at the state Capitol several times a week. She has no choice, but said she would never vote to pass a resolution honoring the former Klansman and slave owner.
"If we know nothing else, we know Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave owner, and slavery is the cruelest, most inhumane part of our history," said Akbari while speaking on the House floor Saturday.
But that resolution passed unanimously 94-0. Many lawmakers say they were tricked. It was slipped in to the consent calendar by Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna.
"It was deceitful to the whole body. Nobody in here knew of his intent. He had bypassed the process," said state Rep. Johnnie Turner, D-Memphis.
Earlier this year, Sparks introduced a resolution to honor Forrest. It didn't pass.
Two weeks ago, Sparks tried again. The new resolution looks strikingly like the first, but this time he put it under a different name, Shane Kastler, who wrote a book about Forrest.
Sparks also put it in the consent calendar, which typically passes quickly and without discussion because it's designed for non-controversial recognitions only.
"I can't begin to describe, I can't believe that anybody would do something that underhanded when he knew how we felt," Turner said.
Sparks did not return Channel 4's calls or text messages. He did apologize on the House floor.
"I apologize if I offended any members of the black caucus," Sparks said.
Meanwhile, those black caucus members remain outraged. They said they're offended by the resolution itself and the fact that they said Sparks undermined the entire legislative process.
"I mean that was a double whammy. I mean in our face. I'm going to do this anyway. I don't care how it infuriates you or what it does to your history. I'm going to do it. Well, he won't do that again," Turner said.
The resolution has already passed. It's signed and cannot be undone.
There is talk of passing another resolution expressing discontent with the Forrest resolution.
Akbari said she plans to examine the consent calendar even more closely in the future.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pittsburgh-area businessman will get a new trial on mortgage fraud charges because his defense attorney was seen sleeping by the judge, witnesses and federal court jurors who convicted him last year.
U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose ruled Monday that James Nassida was denied a fair trial because Stan Levenson dozed during the October trial.
Levenson acknowledges sleeping because he was taking cold medicines that made him drowsy. He moved for a mistrial, but the judge opted to wait for the jury's verdict first and to let Nassida file an appeal if he was convicted.
After that happened, Nassida's new attorney, James Brink, filed the appeal. The new trial is scheduled to begin in September.
Nassida is accused of inflating borrowers' income to get millions of dollars in fraudulent loans through his Century III Home Equity firm.

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- A Cleveland police dispatcher heard snoring on a recorded 911 call has been suspended for six days for sleeping on the job.
WJW-TV reports Jasmin Thomas pleaded no contest to internal charges from the department's investigation.
The local police union president, Steve Loomis, says Thomas is a single mother who was working full-time and attending college. Loomis says those aren't excuses but the reality of Thomas' situation, and the concerns about her sleeping on duty have led her to change her lifestyle.
On one recorded call, Thomas answers but no caller speaks, and then Thomas is heard snoring. In another call about a burning stove, Thomas takes 10 seconds to answer and 40 seconds more to transfer to firefighters.
The police chief declined an interview to discuss the matter.

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NENANA, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska's favorite spring guessing contest has concluded.
Nenana Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness (SHAYR-ee for-NESS) says ice on the Tanana (TA-nah-nah) River went out at 1 p.m. Monday.
For contest purposes, that means the official correct guess for winning the annual contest is 12 p.m. Alaska Standard Time.
The jackpot is $267,444. Forness says the number of winning tickets should be known by the end of the week.
The annual guessing contest started in 1916 when surveyors for the Alaska Railroad bet when the ice would go out.
Thousands of people now pay $2.50 per guess. Organizers split proceeds between payouts and Nenana charitable organizations.
The winning time is determined when a cable attached to a tripod on the river ice trips a clock on shore.

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BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Twin sisters in New Jersey have delivered babies on the same day.
The Asbury Park Press reports 32-year-old fraternal twins Danielle Grant and Kim Abraham gave birth to baby boys on Friday. The sisters decided to have labor induced after their identical due dates of April 22 passed.
Grant and Abraham delivered their sons, Roman and Aaron, a little less than four hours apart.
The Toms River natives say their pregnancies were coincidences. Picking an induction date was the only thing that was consciously chosen.
Grant and Abraham say they're very close and their husbands have become close as well so their sons will be like brothers.
The sisters plan to hold joint birthday parties for their sons and dress them in matching outfits.

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WFLA - A man's elaborate plan to deal drugs ended in disaster when detectives discovered he had pottery shipped to Florida that was covered with $600,000 worth of meth paste.
Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office say Omar Palencia, 30, had the pottery shipped to him and intended to cook the meth out of the pottery, and then sell the drugs.
The meth came in the mail in three beautiful vases, covered with pieces of red, white, and mirrored tiles. Under the shiny facade, something far less pretty.
"In Mexico, they were dipped in liquid methamphetamine and carefully, they placed small glass squares on the vase to make it appear to be this beautiful pottery," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

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