Mad Minute stories for June 5, 2017 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for June 5, 2017

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1. Disgruntled man releases bedbugs in Maine city office

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- The city manager in Augusta, Maine, says the municipal office building had to be sprayed for bedbugs after a man threw a cup of the pests onto an office counter and about 100 of them scattered off.

City Manager William Bridgeo tells the Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/2sySI9f) the man apparently complained Friday to the code enforcement office about bedbugs at his former apartment then left, but returned after he showed the cup of bugs to a manager at his new apartment and was told he couldn't live there.

Bridgeo says the man let the bugs loose in the General Assistance Office where he asked for a form to request assistance and apparently was told he didn't qualify.

Police didn't immediately release the man's name or say if any charges would be filed.

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2. Man flashing money on Facebook Live arrested on drug charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man joyfully flashing money live on the internet got a sudden surprise when police officers barged in and arrested him for allegedly selling drugs.

A man identified by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office as 22-year-old Breon Hollings went on Facebook Live to show friends a handful of money, saying, "It don't stop, man, it don't stop."

He then retrieves more money from another room and starts shuffling it when he hears Jacksonville officers warning over a loudspeaker they are about to raid the house. A stunned Hollings runs out of the room. Seconds later, officers barge in. Hollings was arrested off camera.

Hollings faces numerous drug charges and was being held on $425,000 bail Saturday. It could not be determined if he has an attorney.

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3 .Convenience store Dawa agrees to change name after Wawa suit

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey convenience store called Dawa has agreed to change its name after a lawsuit from Wawa, according to recently filed court documents.

The stores agreed that the Paterson-based store would change its name, though the filing doesn't specify what it will be called, according to a proposed order filed in U.S. District Court.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa has more than 700 convenience stores in six states and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit earlier this year against Dawa, saying it's taking advantage of Wawa's hard-earned reputation.

"Dawa" is a casual way to say "come in" in Korean and is interpreted to mean "welcome."

Dawa owner Mike Han said in February that he used the name because everyone is welcome there.

A message left for Han on Sunday was not returned.

But Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said at the time that the company has an obligation to protect the brand name and ensure consumers aren't confused. She said the company reached out to the store multiple times to try to resolve the matter privately.

"We wish them nothing but success," she said. "Just without our name included."

Wawa's name is derived from the Lenape tribe's word for Canada goose

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4. Inmate planned to escape prison in box, buried in sawdust

AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) -- An inmate at a maximum-security prison claimed he repeatedly practiced a daring escape plan involving a coffin-like box hidden under tons of sawdust and that guards never noticed what he was up to.

Gordon "Woody" Mower, who is serving a life sentence without parole for killing his parents two decades ago, told The Post-Standard of Syracuse (http://bit.ly/2svJLOB) that he practiced escaping Auburn Correctional Facility 50 times before guards discovered his plan in April 2015 - two months before two convicted killers cut their way out of a different maximum-security prison in upstate New York.

Mower said his plan involved being buried alive in a bottomless 3-foot by 4-foot wooden box under a big mound of sawdust produced by the prison's woodworking shop, where furniture is made. The sawdust is hauled away regularly in a tractor-trailer by a local farmer who uses it as horse bedding. Mower said the plot failed when another inmate tipped off guards.

The newspaper reported Monday that the planned escape was confirmed by prison records sent to Mower's lawyers at Prisoners Legal Services. Karen Murtagh, executive director of the Albany-based agency, said Mower approved the records release to the newspaper.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision neither confirmed nor denied details in Mower's story. Thomas Mailey, a department spokesman, said the agency "continues to review its policies and procedures and make significant improvements to enhance the safety and security in New York's correctional facilities."

Mower was 18 when he used a .22-caliber rifle to murder his parents in March 1996 inside their home in rural Richfield Springs. Mower said he hatched a plan while serving his sentence at Auburn, the state's oldest prison at 199 years old. He has since been transferred to the maximum-security prison in Elmira.

Mower claimed he compiled information on the routines of prison guards overseeing the farmer's weekly visits. He said another inmate who helped design the scheme would use a small tractor with a front-end loader to put the box on the farmer's truck, then cover the box with tons of sawdust.

Mower said he would have worn googles and a protective mask from another prison workshop. After the truck left the prison, he said he planned to pull himself free from under the sawdust. He said he was injured several times during dry runs of the escape when the box collapsed under the weight of the sawdust, but the guards never noticed anything unusual.

"Where were the corrections officers?" Mower told The Post-Standard. "How did we build all this stuff, get buried alive and nobody sees or says anything?"

Mower said another inmate alerted guards to the plan on April 3, 2015.

On June 6, 2015, Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York by using tools provided by a prison employee to cut their way through their prison cell wall and gain access to the prison's underground infrastructure. Matt was fatally shot by a U.S. Border Patrol officer three weeks later. Sweat was rearrested and wounded by a state trooper two days after that.

Their escape, which touched off the largest manhunt in New York history, was even more embarrassing for state prison officials when it was revealed that prison tailor shop employee Joyce Mitchell provided Matt and Sweat with tools that a guard unwittingly delivered to the inmates. Matt and Sweat also were able to practice their escape without guards noticing.

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5. Man jumps into moving car to save driver having a seizure

DIXON, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities have hailed a northern Illinois man a hero after he jumped through the open window of a moving car to save the driver, who was having a seizure.

Randy Tompkins, of Dixon, was driving his truck Friday afternoon when he spotted a car driving in the wrong lane heading right at him. He jumped from his truck and through the passenger window of the slowly moving car. He put two fingers into the convulsing driver's mouth to prevent him from swallowing his tongue.

The incident was captured by a police dashcam . Police praised the 39-year-old Tompkins as a hero for coming to the aid of a "complete stranger."

Police haven't released the name of the driver, who was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Dixon is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Chicago

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6. Artist uses felt to recreate New York City grocery store

NEW YORK (AP) -- If the hot dogs in this New York City bodega feel a little, well, soft and squishy, don't worry, it's not a health hazard. It's art.

A British artist has recreated the contents of a city bodega entirely in felt, the soft material usually favored by the school-going set. Lucy Sparrow's "8 Till Late" opened to the public in a 1,200-square-foot space at The Standard hotel on Manhattan's west side on Monday and runs through June 30.

Sparrow handmade the 9,000 items in the installation, covering practically everything you might find in the small stores that are synonymous with New York City - there are felt jars of peanut butter and jelly as well as packages of white bread; felt pizza slices and pretzels on the felt grill along with felt hot dogs; felt boxes of detergent and a felt fridge filled with felt ice cream.

The artist has been working in felt for years and says the material "evokes nostalgia with people."

The New York City exhibit follows a similar one Sparrow created in London, called "The Cornershop." The point of both, she said, was to generate conversation about what is lost when small mom-and-pop stores like bodegas fade away, often with chain stores coming in as replacements.

"A sense of community is being lost when these places disappear," she said.

Sparrow said it took several months to make all the items, working for 16 hours every day toward the end of her production period. Among her favorite items in the shop are the sausages and other products in the meat case, all of which have eyes and faces.

"It's very cute but sort of gruesome at the same time," she said.

And in the interests of verisimilitude, she of course included that mainstay of the bodegas, the cat that can usually be seen lolling on a pallet of cans or strolling through the aisles.

"I had at least 20 people say to me that having a bodega cat was probably the most important thing about this installation," Sparrow said, "so I had to get that right."


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7.Mom spends $25K on exotic cars, sand, camel for son's prom

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- One Philadelphia teenager's mom took his prom to the extreme, spending $25,000 on a camel, three tons of sand and exotic cars. He brought three dates , all in custom-made gowns, and wore three different outfits himself.

Saudia Shuler says she had thought of sending her only son, Johnny Eden Jr., to Dubai for a visit. Instead, she decided to bring Dubai to Philadelphia for the formal dance.

She brought the sand and the camel into their neighborhood for photos. Luxury cars , including a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini, were on loan for the evening.

Shuler says it was all worth it. She says she fought cancer and suffered from a stroke in the past few years. She told herself if she was going to make it, she would put on a big prom for her son.

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8. Idaho woman finds 1938 Nazi explosive in parents' shed

MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho woman said she discovered a Nazi explosive as she was helping her parents clean out their shed.

Diana Landa identified the artifact by a Nazi insignia and the year 1938 etched on the bottom of it. It still had a propellant on it, she said.

Landa's parents have lived in their Meridian home for 25 years. They said they hardly used the old shed they cleaned out last week. They have no idea where the explosive came from and how it got there.

Landa brought the bomb back to her home in Kuna, Idaho, and had planned to keep the artifact or donate it to a museum. But a co-worker recommended she talk to experts first.

"He's, like, really into history," Landa said of the co-worker. "He was saying it could be an explosive and how unstable these things can be if they're old."

Landa had been keeping the item in her own shed, but she worried about what might happen to her neighbors if her co-worker was right.

The Mountain Home Air Force Base bomb squad confirmed her co-worker's suspicions. The squad arrived to Landa's home on Thursday and X-rayed the device. The team identified it as a World War II-era 37-mm German round that "was found to be hazardous" and has since destroyed it via detonation, according to a public affairs spokeswoman for the base.

Landa shared the news of her discovery on Facebook. She considered it "a once-in-life-time-experience."

"It's a little scary," she said. "Now I think about it, we should've been more careful. But we didn't know anything about weapons."

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9. W. Virginia firefighters rescue truckload of abandoned pigs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A truckload of pigs wasn’t ready to become bacon, despite being parked in the hot sun for hours in West Virginia.

Bystanders called the fire department Friday after spotting 165 “panting pigs” in a seemingly abandoned tractor-trailer outside a Long John Silver restaurant.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that firefighters doused the pigs with water to keep them cool, and had the truck towed to a shady spot until the Ohio trucking company comes to retrieve the animals.

The newspaper identified the driver as 55-year-old Keith Stikeleather, who said it’s his second week on the job. He said he went for a walk and lost track of time.

Department Assistant Fire Chief Rob Sutler said the pigs appeared healthy but would need to regain the weight they sweated off.

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10 Large part of small Wyoming town sells for $500,000

ALADDIN, Wyo. (AP) — A big part of a small Wyoming town sold at auction for a price lower than expected.

Aladdin is home to 15 people near the South Dakota line. Up for sale Friday were the town store, liquor license, post office, gas station, a two-bedroom home, an outbuilding and a seven-unit mobile home park.

A 17-acre (6.8-hectare) tract also was included in the package bid of $500,000 by Maynard Rude and son Lee Rude of Piedmont, South Dakota, the Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2qMUGX9).

Another bidder bowed out at $490,000, leaving the Rudes with no competitors.

“We obviously didn’t think it was going to go this cheap. I was thinking at least $750,000 to $800,000,” Lee Rude said.

Owners Rick and Judy Brengle also expected a higher price.

“I thought it would probably start there instead of end there,” Rick Brengle said. “It was an absolute roll of the dice.”

A cafe and motel offered separately by another couple failed to sell after a few bids.

The store, considered one of the best preserved of five surviving Wyoming roadside mercantiles, was built 125 years ago when a nearby coal mine supported a town population of about 200.

The mine closed, but the store remained a popular stop for ranchers checking their mail, tourists headed to Devils Tower National Monument, and bikers rumbling to the huge annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Pearl Jensen, 84, has greeted customers at the town store for more than 40 years and worked for the Brengles more than 30 years.

“I just feel like I’ve tried to put it in God’s hands,” Jensen said. “If I’m still going to have a job, that’s fine, if not, that’s fine too.”

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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