Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 15th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 15th

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BERLIN (AP) -- A German snack bar owner is preparing for the worst - or is it wurst - in a spat with authorities over the sale of sausages at a highway rest stop.
Christina Wagner has been battling to sell bratwursts by the Autobahn near the town of Rodaborn for years.
Authorities refused to give Wagner a permit to operate at the site, so she passes sausages to her customers through a fence from an adjacent lot.
The case has made her a local celebrity and thousands of people have signed a petition in her support.
German news agency dpa reported Thursday that authorities in Thuringia state are now threatening to issue Wagner with fines until she stops selling sausages.
But Wagner says she'd rather go to prison than pay.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida city says a former employee stole money to get a butt lift.
A Gainesville city report released Wednesday said Natwaina Clark stole $93,000 from the city, using $8,500 on the cosmetic surgery. The Gainesville Sun says the report shows the 33-year-old Clark also used city money for her cable television bill, food, highway tolls, a television and other expenses.
Clark was fired shortly before she was arrested last March 28 and charged with larceny and scheme to defraud. She has pleaded not guilty.
 
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JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- Officials in an Arkansas county have a plea for courthouse visitors: Please stop urinating in our elevator.
Craighead County officials hope new security cameras will deter the steady stream of culprits who have been relieving themselves in the courthouse elevator in Jonesboro, a college town about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.
Maintenance workers say the problem has persisted for years - even though the restrooms are only about 25 feet (8 meters) from the elevator.
Officials tell The Jonesboro Sun that the cameras, installed last fall, have caught three men in the act, one of whom has been cited for disorderly conduct and fined $105. A third instance was recorded Monday, and county officials say they plan to issue a citation.

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) -- The water bill wasn't so bad, but the service charge was eye-popping.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Kieran Healy of Orange County in central North Carolina got a water bill for $189.92. The service charge was a dollar shy of $100 million.
Healy said he asked Orange Water and Sewer Authority on Twitter on Wednesday if he could make installment payments.
Healy posted later Wednesday the utility assured him that his bill was wrong.
The utility's Stephen Winters said an outside company sends payment reminder emails to customers before their account is drafted. Winters said a mistake made it appear Healy faced a huge bill.
Winters said he doesn't know how many customers may get emails with incorrect service charges, but the company is sending out apology messages.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Federal agents have arrested a man in Los Angeles for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly four pounds of crystal methamphetamine in his underwear.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the drugs were seized Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities say the man, a French citizen, was trying to return to his home in French Polynesia when he was found to have packages of meth hidden in the areas of his groin and upper thigh.
The man's companions were removed from a plane and their baggage searched.
Authorities say more meth was found in the carry-on luggage of a man and woman and in the lining of the woman's underwear.
Both also were arrested.

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LATROBE, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania family is slowly rebuilding their life and their home seven months after a skunk sneaked into their home and ruined it.
Latrobe resident Scott Gray tells WPXI-TV the family's plight is worse than if their home was ruined by fire because their insurance won't cover the damage.
Gray says the skunk apparently sneaked into the house through a doggie door then spent three hours inside with the family's dogs, spraying its noxious scent everywhere.
The family threw away toys, furniture and appliances and had to strip the house down to its wood framing to get rid of the odor.
The family has been living in a small apartment down the street while they rebuild. So far, they've spent more than $30,000.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A fake architect named Newman has pleaded guilty to fraud after an investigation New York's attorney general dubbed "Operation Vandelay Industries."
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office says Paul J. Newman had rendered fraudulent architectural services since 2010 in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. Schneiderman said Wednesday that Newman pleaded guilty to six felonies including grand larceny and fraud. Victims included municipalities and businesses.
Newman is expected to be sentenced to 2-1/3 to 7 years in state prison and pay more than $115,000 in restitution.
Schneiderman dubbed the operation to nab Newman "Vandelay Industries" in reference to a long-running joke on "Seinfeld" about a fictional company by that name. A character named Newman was Jerry's nemesis on the sitcom.

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts mayor has paid $1 out of his own pocket to settle a dispute with a man who complained after unnecessarily paying for parking.
Bill Pharmer tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette he paid $1 to park in Northampton last week when he and his wife went out for dinner. He put the money in a payment kiosk at 6:15 p.m., not knowing that the city stops parking enforcement at 6 p.m.
The Hershey, Pennsylvania, man complained to the city's Parking Division, which passed the problem onto Mayor David Narkewicz.
Pharmer says his complaint wasn't about his dollar, but about the "thousands of people who have lost the dollar" because they were unaware of city parking rules.
Narkewicz sent Pharmer a dollar along with a handwritten note of apology.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Several pigs that were left four years ago on a small island within the California Delta have become the center of residents' debate after an animal-rights group took them off the island.
The Sacramento Bee reports 10 people from Farm Sanctuary used a trailer and barge on Tuesday to ferry six pigs off the island under the land owner's permission. Susie Coston, the group's national shelter director, says the pigs were not in good health and were being mistreated, but residents in the area disagree.
Several boaters have been feeding the pigs and say on the island, the animals are truly "free."
Delta boater Erlyn Lucas-Payne says the pigs were "stolen," not "rescued." But Coston says the pigs starved in the winter and were fed beer in the summer.
The pigs were taken to UC Davis for veterinary care.

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A man accused of bringing more than a thousand doses of fake drugs to the Bonnaroo music festival said he was doing "God's Work" with the bogus substances, Tennessee authorities said Thursday.
The Coffee County Sheriff's Department David E. Brady of Albany, New York, has been charged with two counts of counterfeit controlled substances.
Brady, 45, is accused of attracting the attention of deputies after they spotted what looked like drugs under a tent. The deputies saw Brady toss the item behind him as they approached, and he appeared to have a bag of mushrooms hanging from his waist band as he stood up, a press release from Lucky Knott, a spokesman for the sheriff's department said.
Items Brady brought to the music festival included pills made to look like ecstasy, 22 bags of fake mushrooms, about 1,000 hits of fake acid and counterfeits made to look like cocaine and an incense stick of black tar heroin.
Brady told the deputies that he was doing God's work by selling fake drugs, but the arrest warrant doesn't elaborate.
Brady is being held in the Coffee County Jail. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.
He is wanted in Franklin County, Arkansas, on a felony bench warrant and is also charged with being a fugitive from justice. It's not clear why he's wanted in that state.
Bonnaroo is an annual four-day music festival on a 700-acre farm about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Nashville.
 

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