Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 3rd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 3rd

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

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state is getting into the comedy business.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) visited the future home of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown to announce the state will pump $500,000 into efforts to promote it.
Cuomo's appearance came Thursday during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, birthplace of the late television and film actress.
The announcement comes two days after one of Cuomo's own jokes went awry. On Tuesday Cuomo told a crowd the state would award millions of dollars in downtown redevelopment funding to cities and towns. He then added an obvious quip about some winners receiving steak knives.
But Cuomo's promise of extra funding sounded serious and was later reported as fact, forcing his office to say the funding amounts were just part of the joke.

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GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) -- The Coast Guard says a tiny floating dock sporting a painting of a blue-tailed mermaid is now considered a derelict vessel after it bobbed across the Gulf of Mexico.
The building apparently drifted 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Florida to south of Louisiana.
Petty Officer Brandon Giles says authorities are no longer trying to find the owner and won't tow it to shore.
Petty Officer Travis Magee says several people reported seeing it on Key West, Florida, before it apparently broke loose during a tropical storm.
A Coast Guard news release says nobody was aboard.
The landward side features a painting of the mermaid, a sea turtle and an octopus. Above the blue door on one end, a sign appears to include the word "shed."
 
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A small, isolated town at the edge of Alaska's Aleutian Islands had no police oversight for several days after its three officers quit in quick succession, followed by the police chief's resignation.
The predicament that befell the remote community of Sand Point illustrates the persistent challenges of life in rural parts of the vast state, including hiring and keeping workers, officials say. Many communities are off Alaska's limited road system, where cost-of-living expenses can be astronomical and life is far removed from the convenience of urban centers.
Just leaving Sand Point, for example, can cost more than $1,000 - the cost of a round-trip ticket to Anchorage, the state's largest city 600 miles away.
"It is emblematic of small, rural Alaska having problems, especially in attracting and retaining trained and qualified people, specifically for these kinds of specialized positions," said Bob Griffiths, executive director of the Alaska Police Standards Council. "It is not as difficult for communities who have a better financial base as it is for ones who are struggling financially - as in 90 percent of most of rural Alaska."
The resignations took place as the town of nearly 1,000 people swelled by several hundred for the commercial fishing and processing season. But there were no big problems when officers were absent, Sand Point officials said.
The police standards council helped find an acting police chief who arrived last week to help out until the jobs are filled.
Two of the officers, a married couple, quit in early July, citing personal family issues, said City Administrator Andy Varner. The third officer quit soon after because his military spouse was transferring out of state.
That left only the police chief, who chose to go on a long-planned vacation in Scotland. Varner and the City Council decided the chief would not have a job when he returned. His last day was July 20.
"We knew we'd get through it," Varner said.
None of the officers had been employed for more than five months. They were all new because the town faced a similar situation earlier this year, when three officers and a retiring police chief left soon after each other, Varner said.
"It's difficult in rural Alaska," he said. "If you're on an island, you can't borrow officers from the next community."
But the town never went without a police presence in that case. In this month's exodus, there were four days this month that the community didn't have any officers at all.
There were "a few calls into the 911 dispatch but they were minor," Varner said in an email.
One local said no problems needed to be dealt with and the temporary absence of police was no big deal. The town population was at its summer peak, but the newcomers generally are busy working most of the season, said lifelong resident Dana Osterback, who manages the Sand Point Tavern.
"I work at a bar and I never had any issues," she said. "And that's where most of the drama happens if it's going to happen."

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Two women trashed a Florida Chick-fil-A restaurant during an argument over an order.
Allison Music, who was in the restaurant and posted videos of the tirade online, tells Action News Jax it happened Monday night in Jacksonville. She wrote in a Facebook post that two women beat on a locked door trying to get inside as the store was closing
Video she posted shows the women arguing with employees, tossing condiments on the floor and throwing an object that could be heard breaking in the background.
A police report says the women caused $900 in damage.
Music says children in the store were frightened.
In a statement, restaurant owner Chuck Campbell apologized for the disruption and said Chick-fil-A is cooperating with police, who are investigating.
The company is based in Atlanta.

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MCINTIRE, Iowa (AP) -- Apparently it was a not-so-special election in the tiny town of McIntire, Iowa, where none of its 70 registered voters showed up to cast ballots.
Tuesday's ballot asked two questions: Should the term of the mayor be raised to four years from two, and should the terms of council members be raised to four years, staggered, from two years.
A Mitchell County deputy auditor, Barbara Baldwin, told the Mason City Globe Gazette that the poll workers didn't even vote. None of them live in McIntire.
McIntire, population 110, sits near the state line with Minnesota, 137 miles (221 kilometers) north-northeast of Des Moines.
Baldwin says she's seen low turnouts over her 28 years with the county auditor, but, "This is definitely a first."

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MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico City bus drivers have discovered the hard way that their new double-decker buses don't fit everywhere in the city.
A driver damaged the top of his bus by driving it into a station whose roof was too low to clear the vehicle.
The city received the new, British-built, London-style red buses just last week, and they are still conducting test runs.
But the buses are only able to run on a few lines of Mexico City's confined-lane Metrobus routes. The director of the Metrobus system says the driver involved in Wednesday's accident took an unauthorized shortcut on another route.
Director Guillermo Calderon said the driver would be punished.

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Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff's office said a World War II-era hand grenade was removed from a construction area in Bellemont, a town approximately 13 miles west of Flagstaff, Arizona.
According to a statement released Wednesday afternoon, deputies responded to Schuff Steel in Bellemont at around 9:10 a.m. for a report of a found hand grenade in a construction area.
According to officials, the grenade was found by employees, while they were installing new equipment.
The grenade was partially exposed above ground, and appeared to be intact.
The area, according to Sheriff's officials, was evacuated be deputies. Members of Flagstaff Police Department's bomb squad, along with the Navajo Army Depot (NAD) Explosive Ordinance Division responded, and placed the grenade in an explosives safe container.

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KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A Montana attorney fought through headwinds, high waves and exhaustion to become the first person to swim the length of the West's largest freshwater lake and back, a 56-mile feat that took 40 hours.
Emily von Jentzen, 34, set off at dawn Saturday from Somers on the northern shore of Flathead Lake, a 200-square mile body of water in northwestern Montana.
The attorney from nearby Kalispell was accompanied by a support crew in a boat that gave her food and kept other vessels away, but otherwise didn't assist her.
Strong headwinds began to rise in the middle of the first day, slowing her down and putting her hours behind her schedule. She told the Daily Inter Lake that she cried in frustration, and that her exhaustion led to strange and negative thoughts.
"I am going so slow, and everyone's going to laugh at me," she said she recalled saying to the support crew at one point.
She made up her mind to at least make it to the halfway point, the town of Polson on the south shore. There, John Cole, a 35-year-old pediatrician, was waiting to swim with her on the return trip.
Cole's positive attitude when she arrived encouraged her to start the long swim back in the dark, she said.
On Sunday, huge swells began to form, battering the swimmers and making the water so choppy that their support crew became sick and had to be replaced.
"To have those big waves when we were both exhausted was really challenging," she said. "I don't think we could have done it without each other."
A crowd of 50 people greeted the two swimmers when they arrived in Somers at 10 p.m. Sunday, about 10 hours behind their projected finish.
Von Jentzen and Cole had trained together for 10 months for the swim. They spent four hours a day in a pool during the cold winter, then donned wetsuits to train in the lake when the weather began to warm.
Von Jentzen was the first woman to swim the length of Flathead Lake in 2010, and the first person to swim the 55-mile Lake Chelan in Washington state in 2011, according to the Flathead Beacon.
In 2013, she swam 30 Montana lakes in 60 days.
The Flathead Lake double-crossing raised money for a 5-year-old boy with a congenital heart defect and a 4-year-old girl with cancer. Von Jentzen has raised about $50,000 for six different children through charity swims and her nonprofit organization, Enduring Waves.
By accompanying Von Jentzen on the return trip, Cole became the sixth person to swim the length of Flathead Lake.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A 73-year-old man is banned from a Florida beach after a parent complained that he was handing out business cards that read, "Sugardaddy seeking his sugarbaby."
Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Tammy Marris says officials are making Richard Basaraba stay off the beach and off walkovers six months for violating an ordinance that prohibits soliciting on the beach.
Basaraba tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal he's "devastated" by what he considers an overreaction.
A 16-year-old girl told officials Basaraba handed her 18-year-old friend a card Saturday that featured a picture of a young woman sitting on an older man's lap. It also included an email address.
Basaraba says he threw out the business cards and deleted the email account and a Facebook account where he posted pictures of women in bikinis.

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ILE DE RE, France (Reuters) - In a change from chocolates and fizzy drinks, the French are starting to offer fresh oysters from vending machines in the hope of selling more of the delicacy outside business hours.
One pioneer is Tony Berthelot, an oyster farmer whose automatic dispenser of live oysters on the Ile de Re island off France's western coast offers a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
French oyster farmers are following in the footsteps of other producers of fresh food who once manned stalls along roadsides for long hours but now uses machines.
"We can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It's excellent; they're really fresh," Christel Petinon, a 45-year-old client holidaying on the island, told Reuters.
The Ile de Re's refrigerated dispenser, one of the first and with glass panels so customers can see what they are buying, is broadly similar to those that offer snacks and drinks at railway stations and office buildings worldwide.
Customers use their bank card for access, opening the door of their choice from a range of carton sizes and oyster types.
Berthelot, thirty years an oyster breeder, sees it as an extra source of revenue rather than an alternative to normal points of sale like food markets, fishmongers and supermarkets.
"We felt as though we were losing lots of sales when we are closed," he said.
"There was a cost involved when buying this machine, of course, but we're paying it back in installments ... And today, in theory, we can say that the calculations are correct and it's working."
Selling oysters from a machine bets on more than just open-mindedness among consumers. Live molluscs not kept cool enough or stored too long out of seawater can cause food poisoning when opened.
The Berthelots say the machine has an appeal to a younger generation accustomed to buying on the internet and unperturbed by the absence of a shopkeeper.

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