Mad Minute stories from Monday, July 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, July 17th

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Mad Minute for 12/30/16 Mad Minute for 12/30/16

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A Northern California judge is losing his job after swiping two art deco-style business card holders from a judges' dinner in San Francisco.
The Commission on Judicial Performances announced Monday its censure of Judge Michael S. Williams of Napa County. Williams also agreed to resign effective in December.
Williams was attending a dinner hosted by a matrimonial lawyers association in March 2016 when he took two cardholders in the art deco decor of The City Club of San Francisco. They were each worth about $30 to $50.
The commission says Williams returned the cardholders after being informed that he was caught on video.
The judge expressed remorse and said he had an "unexplainable impulse" to take the cardholders.
A lawyer for Williams did not immediately return a request for comment.

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LONDON (AP) -- Doctors intending to perform cataract surgery on a 67-year-old woman in Britain found something rather unexpected: 17 contact lenses mashed together in her right eye.
In a case report published Monday in the journal BMJ, the doctors said that the woman had worn monthly disposable contact lenses for 35 years; she had "deep set eyes" and poorer vision in that eye, which they said might have contributed to a failure to remove some of the lenses.
The doctors said the 17 lenses were bound together by mucus. A further 10 were found by the surgeon using a microscope. Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee in ophthalmology, said the "large mass" would have caused quite a lot of irritation.
The patient had chalked it up to old age and dry eye, Morjaria said.
 
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Timber rattlesnakes are known to thrive in some rural areas of Massachusetts, but finding them in urban areas is almost unheard of.
That's why state environmental police and animal control personnel were surprised to receive a report Sunday of a large rattler hanging around a Springfield home.
Animal Control Officer Daniel Simpson tells the Boston Herald the man was going to kill it with a shovel, but called authorities instead. The venomous snakes are protected in Massachusetts.
Simpson and state Environmental Police used a pillowcase and net to capture and relocate it about 14 miles way to Mount Tom in Holyoke.
He doubts the snake slithered its way to Springfield. He thinks it was a pet that either escaped or was released, or was dropped by a bird of prey.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A baboon in Zambia has interfered with machinery at a power station in a tourist town near Victoria Falls, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people for several hours.
State broadcaster ZNBC says the blackout affected residents in Livingstone and surrounding areas Sunday and reports that it was caused by an accident involving "a curious animal."
ZNBC quotes power utility spokesman Henry Kapata as saying the baboon survived an electric shock and has been handed over to wildlife officials for care.
People on social media joked about possible sabotage by the baboon, recalling that President Edgar Lungu has announced extra police powers to deal with alleged security challenges amid increasing political tension.
One Twitter user says the baboon is "not believed to be politically inclined."

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GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) -- Police say six cars were stolen from people's driveways on the same night in the Connecticut town of Greenwich.
Police tell the Greenwich Time all six cars were unlocked with the keys inside when they were taken from homes Saturday night.
Lt. Louis Pannone says "people need to be responsible."
He says police are looking into whether Saturday's thefts relate to other cars reported stolen across the state.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An astronomy buff and her fiance want to make sure nothing eclipses their Missouri wedding ceremony.
Samantha Adams tells The Kansas City Star that her longtime fascination with the stars prompted her to schedule the ceremony for 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 - during an extremely rare total solar eclipse.
"I couldn't think of a more dreamlike wedding for myself," said Adams, 28, who has a tattoo of the space probe Voyager on her left arm.
The couple's entire ceremony in St. Joseph, Missouri, will have an eclipse theme and every guest will be provided with a pair of solar glasses. During the wedding, the couple plans to watch the eclipse with their guests before taking their vows.
Adams' fiancé, Cameron Kuhn, 27, said he's happy to go along with the eclipse wedding because it makes his bride happy.
Adams once dreamed of becoming an astronaut, but multiple knee surgeries forced her to take a different path. She lives in Overland Park, Kansas and has a master's degree in industrial education.
The couple grew up in Platte City, Missouri, a grade apart in school before they started dating while attending the University of Western Missouri.

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man has survived a harrowing drive after a large piece of scrap metal fell from a tractor-trailer and crushed his van.
The Florida Highway Patrol says 36-year-old Jesus Armando Escobar of Orlando suffered only minor injuries on Saturday when the metal fell from an interstate overpass and landed on top of his Pontiac van, smashing the roof.
The metal became loose when a truck lost control and struck a guardrail. The truck flipped over and caused the metal object to fly off the overpass.
The truck was driven by 33-year-old Antonio Santiago Wharton of Kissimmee. He also had minor injuries and was ticketed for careless driving.
The exit ramp where the crash occurred was closed for several hours while debris was cleared.

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A fracas broke out Friday on the floor of the Taiwanese Parliament as lawmakers exchanged blows over an infrastructure project for the second day in a row.
Amid negotiations over a budget review for the infrastructure project, rival politicians pushed one another to the ground, threw water balloons and hoisted padded office chairs over their heads.
In a video of the brawl, a whistle is blown repeatedly - seemingly in an attempt to regain control of the floor - but lawmakers ignored the call for order and continued to fight and yell at one another. One man brandished a chair over his head and appeared to prepare to throw the chair, but stopped short of actually launching it into the air.
A few lone lawmakers attempted to pull their fellow politicians off of one another, but were unable to stop the chaos.
The Friday fight erupted after Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers pressed forward with the reforms despite opposition from a rival party. On Thursday, a water balloon was thrown at Premier Lin Chuan. Opposing politicians successfully relegated him to the side of the chamber once more on Friday as the skirmish flared up on the floor.
The session was suspended Friday morning, AFP reported.
The controversial infrastructure plan was introduced by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP, and would bring light rail lines, flood control measures and green energy facilities across the country, according to AFP. Lawmakers from the opposing Kuomintang Party have criticized the $13.8 billion plan for favoring DPP supporters, claiming that the plan was constructed with the intent to gain support for the party before regional elections next year.
According to AFP, one lawmaker who felt unwell went to the parliament's clinic after the fight.
The Taiwan president's popularity has plunged from a 70 percent approval rating when she took office last year to under 40 percent currently, according to AFP.
The Friday clash occurred one day after two female lawmakers started shoving each other during negotiations on the same project.

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BEIJING - It would seem the Tao of Pooh has been lost on Chinese censors.
Users of China's popular messaging app WeChat and other social media this past weekend found that images and mentions of Winnie the Pooh had been scrubbed from their internet.
On WeChat, a chat app that boasts over 768 million users, albums of gif images containing Winnie the Pooh - and his other friends from Pooh Corner like Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore - were removed from the app's "sticker" site.
No official explanation has been given for the removal, though a popular meme over the years that compares Chinese President Xi Jinping to the bear created by English author A.A. Milne has been blamed.
In particular, images of President Xi Jinping meeting with former U.S. President Barrack Obama at the Sunnylands estate in California, 2013, which compared the two to Pooh and Tigger respectively, and another of President Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meeting in 2014 that portrayed Abe as Eeyore the sad donkey were wildly popular online.
A representative for Tencent, the developer of WeChat, contacted by NBC News declined to comment on the removal.
Meanwhile, on China's Twitter-like service, Weibo, the Chinese name for Winnie the Pooh, Wei Nixiong, was still searchable, but results that previously included numerous Xi/Pooh comparisons now have none of the popular memes.
Searches for stories posted earlier on Chinese news portals about the scrubbing of Winnie the Pooh were also removed, though still passed around on Chinese social media.
This latest move comes at a time of heightened censorship as the government in recent days has been already been censoring news regarding the recent death of noted Chinese human rights activist and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo.
For many of China's young netizens though, the blocking of a fairly innocuous, portly bear seemed extreme.
"I think this is ridiculous," one Chinese college student told NBC News on Monday. "The Chinese government is being overly sensitive."
"To ban Winnie because someone has compared him to Xi?" asked another student. "What the heck, give Pooh and President Xi a break!" 

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An Oregon woman is facing multiple charges after she allegedly towed her two young children and another child in a plastic toy wagon tied to her vehicle on Wednesday. 
Alana Donohue, 27, is charged with three counts of reckless endangering, Springfield police say. She is accused of towing her two-year-daughter, four-year-old son, and eight-year-old nephew around a roundabout. 
Authorities say that witnesses reported that a woman towing three kids -- and that Donohue drove as fast as 30 miles per hour. 
"A witness reported the toddler began crying after the wagon went up on two wheels during the trip," a news release said. "That same witness reported observing Donohue pull over and move the toddler from the wagon to the car and then continue driving with the 4 year-old and the 8 year-old still in the wagon."
Donohue was indignant when drivers tried to get her to stop and said they should "mind their own business," the release said. 
Donohue confessed to towing the kids and claimed to have been traveling 5 miles per hour, Springfield police spokesman Lt. Scott McKee told The Oregonian. 
"Given the time of day, it's right at 5 o'clock, it's a busy intersection," he said. "It feeds from three different directions."
Drugs and alcohol were ruled out, police said. Donohue's children have been placed with someone else, the newspaper added. 

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