Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, August 8th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, August 8th

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

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) -- A man accused of burglarizing a Southern California home took a bathroom break and left DNA evidence in the toilet that led to his arrest, an investigator said Tuesday.
The suspect "did his business and didn't flush it" during the October break-in in the city of Thousand Oaks, said Detective Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.
That allowed investigators to collect evidence to conduct a DNA profile. It matched another profile in a national database and detectives tracked down the suspect at his home in the nearby city of Ventura.
Andrew David Jensen was arrested July 28 on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony. His bail was set at $180,000. Lohman did not know if Jensen, 42, has an attorney.
Efforts to reach Jensen for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Lohman said it's the first DNA burglary match case he knows of with fecal evidence collected from a toilet.
"When people think of DNA evidence, they usually think of hair samples or saliva," Lohman said.
Jensen was scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Authorities say a man who tried to deposit what he presented as a $1 million bill has been charged with drug possession in Iowa.
A criminal complaint says Sioux City police officers were called to a Northwest Bank branch Thursday to talk to a man who tried to deposit the bill into his account. The officers asked 33-year-old Dennis Strickland whether he had any more of the bills and that a baggie fell out when he emptied a pocket. The complaint says the baggie contained methamphetamine.
The U.S. Treasury Department says it has never produced a $1 million bill.
Iowa court records say Strickland is scheduled to be back in court Monday. His attorney hasn't returned a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
 
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- These days, the price of a San Francisco home can easily top a million dollars. But one savvy investor has bought up a whole street in the city's most exclusive neighborhood for a mere $90,000.
Trouble is, some of the extremely wealthy residents of Presidio Terrace were not aware their street was up for sale and are not pleased it has been sold.
Presidio Terrace is an oval shaped street sealed off by a gate from the tony Presidio Heights neighborhood. Lined with towering palm trees and multimillion dollar mansions, the street has been home, over the years, to famous residents including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
Thanks to a city auction stemming from an unpaid tax bill, Bay Area real estate investor Michael Cheng, and his wife Tina Lam, bought the street and now own the sidewalks, the street itself and other areas of "common ground" in the private development that, the San Francisco Chronicle report ed, has been managed by the homeowners association since at least 1905.
Cheng says reaction to the sale has been less than neighborly.
"I thought they would reach out to us and invite us in as new neighbors," Cheng told The Associated Press. "This has certainly blown up a lot more than we expected."
It turns out the homeowners association for Presidio Terrace failed to pay a $14-a-year property tax, something that owners of all 181 private streets in San Francisco must do, the Chronicle reported.
So the city's tax office put the property up for sale at the cost of $994 in an online auction to regain unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest. The couple eventually won the street with a $90,100 bid in an April 2015 auction.
Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said in a letter to the city that the owners failed to pay because the tax bill was mistakenly being sent to the address of an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners association since the 1980s, the Chronicle reported.
Emblidge said the residents didn't know their street was put on the auction block, let alone sold, until May when a title search company hired by Cheng and Lam reached out to ask if any residents had interest in buying back the property.
That was one of several options Cheng and Lam have considered for making the investment pay off.
Another option is to charge residents to park on their street - and rent out the 120 parking spaces that line the grand circular road.
"As legal owners of this property, we have a lot of options," Cheng said, adding that nothing has been decided.
The matter could be headed for court.
Last month, the homeowners petitioned the Board of Supervisors for a hearing to rescind the tax sale. The board has scheduled a hearing for October. The homeowners association has also sued the couple and the city, seeking to block Cheng and Lam from selling the street to anyone while the city appeal is pending.

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HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut boy got an unpleasant surprise when he awoke to find a skunk in his bed.
Hamden Police say the 13-year-old was awoken in his upstairs bedroom by the skunk, which had climbed into bed with him.
Police say the skunk apparently got into the home when it climbed through a hole in a trash can and a resident brought the can inside. It's not clear how the skunk found its way into the boy's bed, but no one was happy about the outcome.
Hamden Animal Control Division responded to a call about at 6 a.m. on July 25. Police say an animal control officer arrived "to the poignant smell of skunk, which emanated throughout the house."
The family got the animal out of the house on their own.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A man's attempt to burn bees out of their nest backfired after the ill-advised extermination method caught fire to a Georgia home, destroying most of it.
Fayette County Deputy Fire Chief Tom Bartlett tells The Associated Press that the homeowner lit a stick on fire last weekend, then tried to poke the flaming stick up into the bees' nest near the roof to get rid of them.
That set fire to part of the house, with the flames then spreading through the attic and engulfing much of the structure.
No serious injuries were reported, but photos of the devastation show that the blaze charred the entire roof of the house.
The fire happened in the Fayetteville area, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Atlanta.

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TONOPAH, Nev. (AP) - A clown-themed motel is for sale in rural Nevada, with the owner insisting the 600 clown figurines, mannequins and paintings, and his employees, get to stay.
After 22 years, the Clown Motel owner Bob Perchetti says it is time to find someone else to look after the clown figurines, mannequins and paintings spread throughout the building in Tonopah, about 250 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
The 79-year-old Perchetti said he is ready to "enjoy some free time" with his wife, five daughters, three sons and 14 grandchildren.
Perchetti told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he hopes to sell the motel in a month, but he is insistent the clowns stay.
"I'm not going to let them change the clown motif," he said. "That's going to be part of the contract."
The motel was built around 1985 by siblings Leona and LeRoy David, Perchetti said.
The two thought it was the perfect place to house their small clown collection.
"He and his sister decided from day one that it was going to be the Clown Motel," Perchetti said.
Perchetti bought the motel from the Davids in 1995.
The motel got a major boost in 2015 when it was featured in an episode of the TV show "Ghost Adventures."
Viewers saw blurry footage of a life-sized clown mannequin sitting by the front desk. The mannequin's hand moved on its own.
"After that was when we started getting a lot more activity," Perchetti said. "A lot more people stopping."
Perchetti said he wants the new owner to at least interview his current employees so they can keep their jobs.
He said he's already had more than seven offers to buy the building.
"They can improve it any way they want, but we don't want to lose the clown motel," he said. "We want it to be bigger and better."

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LONDON (AP) - A British jury on Friday acquitted two police officers and two pilots of misusing a police helicopter to film people sunbathing naked and having sex.
Prosecutors say a South Yorkshire Police helicopter equipped with a powerful camera was used to film people in backyards and at a campsite in a "gross violation" of the victims' privacy.
Another officer, Constable Adrian Pogmore, earlier pleaded guilty to making the recordings. He has been dismissed from the police force and will be sentenced next week.
His four colleagues testified that they didn't know what Pogmore was up to. Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court in northern England believed them, delivering not-guilty verdicts to charges of misconduct in a public office.
In one case, a couple was filmed having sex on their patio, with their knowledge. Prosecutors said Pogmore was "a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer" who knew the couple through the swingers' scene.

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) - Washington State Highway Patrol says a large pig headed to auction jumped from a trailer on Interstate 5 near Federal Way on Saturday morning.
Trooper Rick Johnson says the pig made the leap at about 10 a.m. and passers-by stopped and herded the pig through an opening in barriers along the interstate so it wouldn't walk into traffic.
Johnson says the pig had some scrapes but otherwise appeared uninjured.
He didn't have an estimate of the pig's weight, but it appeared significantly larger than the people herding it as seen on Washington Department of Transportation cameras along the interstate.
Johnson says the owner returned within about 45 minutes to reclaim the pig, and that no citations were issued.

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Cheetos fans are going to love a "cheesy" new restaurant in New York.
"The Spotted Cheetah" will be a 'pop-up' restaurant that serves up nothing but Cheeto-infused treats like, Cheetos crusted fried pickles, Cheetos meatballs and spicy Cheetos nachos.
There will also be desserts, including Cheetos-sweetos cheesecake and cheddar-Cheetos apple crepes.
"The Spotted Cheetah" will only be open August 15th to August 17th.
But if you are interested how to make items on the menu, you can get a free cookbook at the SpottedCheetah.com.

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A van that appeared to have no driver made headlines when it was spotted in Arlington, Virginia, last week. But when News4's Adam Tuss saw the van on Monday and looked inside, he saw that it did have a driver: a man dressed in a costume made to look like just a car seat.
From the road, the unmarked gray van eerily looks like it's moving without a driver. The entire front seat looks empty. But when Tuss looked inside, he saw a man wearing a beige and black costume that covered his entire torso.
His arms poked out of the bottom of the costume to steer. His face was completely covered, like that of a sports mascot who can see out, but no one can see in.
"I looked out and I said, 'Oh my God, there's a guy in a seat costume," Tuss said. "How's that possible? Your brain can't get around it for a second."
Tuss went to the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington on Monday to talk with ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck about the vehicle he saw in Clarendon and Courthouse on Thursday night. 
As Tuss left the ARLnow.com offices, he saw the 2017 Ford Transit Connect himself. He and a News4 photographer followed the vehicle in Clarendon and Ballston for about 20 minutes. 
Tuss went to knock on the window. At first, he thought he saw an empty seat. Then, when he looked below the wheel, he saw a man's hands and legs.
"Brother, who are you? What are you doing? I'm with the news, dude," Tuss said. "Dude, can you pull over and we can talk for a second?"  
But the driver didn't say a word.
After multiple inquiries by News4, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear. 
"The driver's seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings," a statement from the institute says. 
Virginia Tech declined to make the half car seat, half man -- as Tuss put it -- available for an interview. 
Arlington County officials were involved in the planning for the study, a Virginia Tech spokeswoman said. Arlington was selected because "it is representative of the urban areas for which automated vehicles are currently being considered," she said. 
The Virginia Department of Transportation was not aware of the vehicle, a representative said. The Arlington Police Department was "shocked" by news of the van, one representative said.
Several "invisible driver" prank videos can be found on YouTube. The drivers are entirely hidden by costumes that look just like car seats.

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