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

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, August 2nd

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

BOSTON (AP) -- A new wax museum is asking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for help to improve a wax replica of him that has been ridiculed online.
The Dreamland Wax Museum in Boston features a statue of Brady that has sparked criticism from many people who say it looks "creepy" and doesn't resemble him.
A Facebook post from the museum on Wednesday acknowledges the figure isn't perfect because it's based on a photo and not on Brady's actual measurements.
The museum invited Brady to "come by and sit in for a measurement session." The museum says getting it perfect is its top priority.
Museum officials haven't said if they've received a response.
The museum drew attention in July with a figure of President Donald Trump that some said missed the mark.

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WARWICK, R.I. (AP) -- Police in Rhode Island are asking people to be on the lookout for a goat that wandered off a landscaping job.
Warwick police say the goat, which goes by the names Sammy and Frank, turned up missing during a post-work head count on Tuesday. He is owned by The Goatscaping Company, based in Plympton, Massachusetts, which offers the ruminants as an alternative to herbicides in the management of vegetation.
Police say he has one curly horn and is small, brown and generally "funny looking."
Anyone who spots a goat roaming in the Warwick Neck area, or anywhere else in Warwick, is asked to call police.
 
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BERLIN (AP) -- A German court has ruled that local authorities are entitled to prevent a group calling itself the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster from advertising its "noodle Masses" at the entrance to an eastern town.
It's standard practice in Germany for small signs at the entrance to towns to announce there's a Lutheran or Catholic church and detail when it holds services. The "Spaghetti Monster" group, an organization that criticizes religion as intolerant, wanted permission to do the same in Templin, northeast of Berlin.
News agency dpa reported that the Brandenburg state court ruled Wednesday the group can't claim the rights of a religious or philosophical community. Judges said its criticism of others' beliefs doesn't constitute a philosophy.
The group says that it's a humanist organization and plans to appeal.

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A man allegedly sneaked into a New Jersey home Wednesday, took off his clothes and tried to get into the shower with a woman, then went to the kitchen and started doing dishes, according to the terrified family and police. 
A woman who lives in the home on First Street in Hackensack tells News 4 she was in a bedroom babysitting her baby nephew when her sister burst into the room, wearing only a towel, shortly before 8:30 a.m. The sister fell to the ground, panicking, and said a stranger pulled back the shower curtain as she was inside and started taking off his clothes, according to the woman. 
According to police, the man, identified as James King, of Queens, left the bathroom when the sister threatened to call police. 
But he didn't leave the home. When police arrived, they found King in the kitchen washing dishes. The sisters say King told police he was the family's caretaker, but they say they've never seen him before. 
Neighbors said they had never seen King before either. He was led from the home in handcuffs and charged with burglary and lewdness. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations. 
No injuries were reported. The women say they locked all the doors and think the stranger got in through an open window.

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A Tempe family is hoping their story will serve as a warning to others about a certain type of fidget spinner, which put their son in the hospital for 16 hours.
"I thought that maybe it would be on there for the rest of my life," said 11-year-old Sam Rhodes.
Unlike most of the more common fidget spinners, the Genji Shuriken, inspired by a video game, is put on your finger.
"I barely pushed on my finger and it just popped right on," said Rhodes.
Taking it off was much more difficult.
"We tried soap, we tried oil, we tried looking on the internet for tricks," said Cassie Rhodes, his mother.
When nothing worked, they took him to the emergency room, but that wasn't much better.
The ER doctor brought out a ring cutter, which easily cuts through most common rings.
"It didn't even scratch it," said Cassie.
Of course, this was no common ring. The Genji spinner is made of an alloy metal, meaning it is incredibly strong.
"I mean, it didn't even make a mark. Hospital staff said, 'We don't have the equipment right now at this point to help you, but we'll find someone who does,'" said Rhodes.
That took them to hospital No. 2: Cardon Children's Medical Center.
And this wasn't the first time they saw a child in the same predicament. It was the third.
"I had a patient previously, like a month prior, who had a very similar fidget spinner stuck on his finger," said Lizzy Ballenger, an ER nurse.
They knew exactly what to do. Instead of getting a doctor, they ran to find the maintenance man.
"It's the third time I've been asked to cut off rings from people's fingers," said Greg Earhart, who has worked as a maintenance man at the hospital for 31 years.
Once again, it was Greg and his fiberglass saw that came to the rescue.
Earhart went through four of his fiberglass blades before he was able to cut off the stubborn alloy band.
And finally, two hospitals, 16 hours and four broken saws later, Sam's finger was fidget-free.
"I was extremely happy because I knew it was finally over," said Sam.
Now he and his mom want others to learn from their story and know how potentially dangerous some spinners can be.
"Especially, the ones with open holes meant to put your finger in it," said Sam.
Something else to keep in mind, nurses at Cardon's ER say they've also seen a recent increase in kids who swallow spinner parts and end up in the ER.
They're seeing an average of two or three kids per month recently.
It proved difficult to find the manufacturer of the Genji spinner. The device is available online. Sam bought his on Amazon. We reached out to them, and an Amazon spokesperson told us they are investigating.

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VIENNA (AP) -- Police in Austria thought vandals were responsible after a statue in a town square was beheaded.
Their investigations came to an abrupt end Wednesday when they found out that the statue's creator was the culprit.
Police in the town of Neusiedl am See said the sculptor was acting on the request of a local official, who thought the head of Saint Rosalia was weathered and needed restoring.
But other officials and the townsfolk were not informed, and a resident soon went to police to report the "crime." The artist cleared up the situation after he read about the misunderstanding.
A police statement said: "The mystery is solved."

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Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a hero? How about the protector of mankind? Well now NASA is looking for just that - and it'll pay a six-figure salary for the honor.
The U.S. space agency is currently in search not of life on other planets but of a "Planetary Protection Officer", who can protect Earth and its inhabitants from alien invasion.
The job, which is offering a salary of between $124,406 and $187,000 per year, involves preventing alien microbes from contaminating the Earth, as well as ensuring human space explorers do not damage other planets, moons and objects in space.
"Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration," NASA wrote in the job posting on its website late last month.
Other duties include advising Safety Mission Assurance officials on planetary protection matters and ensuring compliance by robotic and human spaceflight missions.
The role is open to those with "broad engineering experience" and a willingness to travel.
It is not for those shy of responsibility, however. The Planetary Protection Officer role is one of just two such full-time positions in the world, according to Business Insider, and comes at the requirement of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The other position is with the European Space Agency.
Applications are open until August 14, 2017. The post is for an initial period of three years, though may be extended for an additional two.

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Like a pot of pierogies left on the stove too long, a trademark dispute involving the name of the popular Polish delicacy is threatening to boil over.
Four years ago, civic-minded residents of Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, launched a festival tied to the pierogi, the potato-filled dumpling that's ubiquitous in a region whose coal mines drew waves of Polish immigrants more than a century ago.
The Edwardsville Pierogi Festival has been a rousing success - so much so that it's caught the attention of a chamber of commerce in suburban Chicago, which runs a highly popular "Pierogi Fest" and says the Pennsylvania upstarts are infringing on its trademark. Lawyers for Pierogi Fest recently sent a letter demanding the Edwardsville organizers either stop using the name or pay a licensing fee.
In Edwardsville, population 4,700, the threats have gone over as well as undercooked kielbasa. The town is located in Luzerne County, the only county in the United States where Polish is the most common ancestry.
"People are beside themselves. It's ridiculous," said Jackie Kubish Moran, president of the Edwardsville Hometown Committee, which runs the Pennsylvania event. "There's a lot of pride in this area when it comes to people and their heritage. They're going to protect that."
The food fight has landed in federal court, where lawyers for the Pennsylvania group filed a lawsuit Monday against the organizers of the event 700 miles away in Whiting, Indiana, which has been around since 1995 and draws some 300,000 people a year from around the country.
"No person on planet Earth is going to confuse the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival with a suburban Chicago 'Pierogi Fest,'" said Jim Haggerty, the lawyer for the Edwardsville group. "We don't think they're acting in good faith and we think they're bullies."
The Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce registered Pierogi Fest as a trademark in 2007. The chamber's lawyers say the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival is "likely to cause consumer confusion," and are threatening to sue not only the event organizers, but its sponsors, too.
Pierogi Fest Chairman Tom Dabertin said Tuesday that his group has licensed the name to similar ethnic food festivals around the country, and is willing to talk with the Edwardsville group about a similar arrangement.
He said the chamber, which runs the festival, is justified in defending its trademark.
"Disney does it. Coca-Cola does it. Kleenex does it. If you have a trademark, you have to protect it," he said.
Debbie Konefal, the third-generation owner of an Edwardsville restaurant that serves Polish and American cuisine, called the notion that people would confuse a pair of pierogi festivals 700 miles apart "a little silly." Like others in Edwardsville, she was flabbergasted by the Whiting chamber's stance.
"There is no way we could possibly be in competition with them," said Konefal, whose restaurant uses the pierogi recipe of her great aunt.

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(Huffington Post) If you see Jeff Bloch driving by in his camper van, you're to be forgiven if you think you're suddenly on LSD.
The VW van looks like something straight out of the Summer of Love, but with one big difference: the van looks like it's sideways.
Don't worry ? Bloch isn't an exceedingly bad driver, but a very good designer of custom cars.
Bloch recently took a 1976 VW camper van, gutted the interior and stuck the shell on top of a 1988 VW Rabbit in a way that looks as if the van has been permanently turned on its side. 
"The van is set really close to the ground to complete the visual effect of it being a rolled over vehicle rather than an actual race car," Bloch told Barcroft TV.
Despite its awkward appearance, Bloch said his "Trippy Tippy Hippy Van" is able to reach speeds of 100 mph.
"We raced it last weekend for the first time and it lasted all weekend," Bloch told Barcroft. "We did a total of 224 laps on a two-mile road course, and we were actually putting this thing on two wheels on some of the hard corners."

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GREENACRES, Fla. - A South Florida man was arrested on aggravated assault charges after he armed himself with a machete and a baseball bat during a dispute with his son about a hedgehog, authorities said.
Homer Stacy II, 53, was walking outside his Greenacres home Sunday, pushing a wheelchair with a baseball bat and a machete on the seat when deputies arrived, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report.
When deputies asked Stacy why he had the items, Stacy said they were "for his protection," the report said.
Stacy claimed that he had just walked over to tell his son to come and get his hedgehog that he left at Stacy's home, and that's when his son pushed him, the report said.
As deputies were questioning Stacy, he "went back and forth between being cooperative to belligerent," the report said.
When deputies spoke to Stacy's son, he told them that Stacy had been drinking heavily and instructed him to "go and hurt" a woman, but he refused. Stacy's son said he was leaving to go see his mother when Stacy started yelling at him and stabbing a door with a knife.
Stacy's son said his father pushed him, so he left and "snuck in" later to gather his belongings, but Stacy was already gone. He later encountered Stacy outside, and they started yelling at each other. Stacy's son said his father took off his shirt, picked up the baseball bat and held it as though he intended to hit him with it.
While Stacy was sitting in the back of a deputy's car, he could see his son and began screaming at him, threatening to kill him, the report said.
Stacy was booked into the county jail on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of simple assault. He remained in jail Tuesday morning without bond.

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