Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 25th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 25th

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

ATLANTA (AP) -- Police say a boy found a gun in a dressing room at an Atlanta mall and it fired when the mother pulled the trigger to see if it was real.
News outlets report the mother and son were inside a dressing room at the Adidas store in Lenox Square on Wednesday when the 10-year-old boy found what he thought was a toy gun under a bench. Atlanta police spokeswoman Stephanie Brown says the mother took the gun from the boy and pulled the trigger "to see if it was real." A single shot was fired.
Brown says there were no injuries. There was minimal damage to the wall.
No charges have been filed and the case remains under investigation.

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Cincinnati Zoo says its popular baby hippo will star in an internet video series called "The Fiona Show" starting next week.
The zoo says the first video will be available on the show's Facebook page on Tuesday. It's not clear how many videos are planned or how regularly they will be produced.
Fiona has already garnered millions of views on the zoo's Facebook page since her premature birth in January.
Since then, her face has appeared on ice cream and beer, she was named an honorary deputy sheriff and a children's book about her was announced.
Fiona was born Jan. 24 weighing about 29 pounds (13 kilograms). She overcame early health scares and now weighs more than 450 pounds (200 kilograms).
 
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BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) -- A one-armed Maine man accused of startling neighbors by going for a stroll wearing a clown mask and brandishing a machete says it was supposed to be a prank.
Thirty-one-year-old Hollis resident Corey Berry pleaded not guilty Wednesday to criminal threatening and weapons charges.
Police say Berry was intoxicated but cooperative when they arrested him last month. They say he had a machete taped to the stump of his amputated arm and was wearing a mask to copy previous clown sightings.
Police say Berry was first spotted in Hollis but then fled into the woods. They say he was taken into custody when he re-emerged.

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SAN DIEGO - A California teenager charged with smuggling a Bengal tiger into the United States told a judge Thursday that he bought the animal on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, where several of the endangered animals have been spotted this year.
Luis Eudoro Valencia was charged after border officials said they found the furry cub early Wednesday lying on the floor of a car heading from Mexico to California.
Valencia, a U.S. citizen who lives in Perris, told the court that he had purchased the tiger for $300 from someone he met in the Mexican border city who was walking a full-sized tiger on a leash.
The cub was found during an inspection at San Diego's Otay Mesa border crossing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials took custody of the cub and were working with the San Diego Zoo to care for it.
In January, Mexican authorities seized a Bengal tiger in Tijuana after a resident called police to report a man was walking a tiger on a dog leash through the neighborhood. Officials said the 4-month-old tiger had been living in a private home with children.
In April, Mexican officials seized a nine-month old Bengal tiger in Tijuana after the cub fell from a third-floor terrace onto a neighbor's patio, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Despite the fall, the tiger appeared to be in good health.
Tiger attacks circus trainer, dragging him across arena
Mexican circuses have been trying to get rid of exotic animals after a law went into effect in 2015 prohibiting such acts. Drug lords in Mexico have also been known to keep big cats as pets.
All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a declaration filed with the agency.
Prosecutors say Valencia lacked both.
Valencia could not be immediately reached for comment and the office of his court-appointed attorney, Robert Schlein, said he has not had a chance to speak to his client.
Valencia was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on September 5 in federal court in San Diego.
If convicted, Valencia could face up to 20 years in prison.

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Looking for a nanny job? A family of six paying $130,000 per year might be the right fit for you - if you have 15 years of childcare experience, a degree in child psychology and are trained in self-defense.
A London-based family's job listing for a live-in nanny went viral due to the exuberant requirements - and the benefits being offered.
"I feel it is best to be upfront - the role is demanding," the mom wrote in the ad on a U.K. childcare website. "Our children are home-schooled and require constant attention and supervision, even when they are with their teachers."
The family is looking for a nanny to take care of four children, ages 2, 5, 7 and 15; work six days a week, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and travel frequently between homes in London, Barbados, Cape Town and Atlanta.
"The applicant therefore must be comfortable with flying regularly, as they may be required to travel internationally up to three times a week, depending where the children are," the family wrote.
Another non-negotiable aspect: the candidate must be trained in self-defense - the ad does not expand on why it's a requirement, however, the family said it would pay for classes if necessary.
Some of the perks: meals cooked by a Michelin star chef and access to multiple luxury cars, including a Porsche, Range Rover and a Maserati in which to run errands.
"We do not mind what the nanny does with their free time, however, binge drinking or drug taking will not be tolerated and will result in instant dismissal," the mother wrote. "My husband and I are often absent due to work and social commitments, but when we are home we like to have time alone with our children. Therefore, there will be periods where we ask our nanny to take leave to allow us to have quality time as a family."
Any candidate hired will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
According to an update of the ad, more than 1000 people from around the world have applied for the position, however, "only a small handful meet the specific requirements and criteria stipulated in the advert."
"If you do not have ALL the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for the role then we would politely request that you do not even bother making an application as it is a waste of our time and yours," the family wrote.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A man riding his bike in the middle of a Philadelphia interstate during morning rush hour traffic - causing delays as drivers tried to avoid hitting him - has been taken into custody.
WPVI-TV reports the ordeal happened Friday around 8:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-76, also called the Schuylkill (SKOO'-kul) Expressway.
A reporter with the TV station was on her way to work and saw the man riding between the left and center lanes of the expressway - a major artery cutting through the center of Philadelphia.
Traffic in the left two lanes was backed up as drivers tried to avoid him. Troopers eventually caught up with him.
Aerial footage shows the man being put in handcuffs and helped into the squad car. The trooper then loads the bright yellow bike into his trunk.
No details about the biker have been released.

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An 800-year-old stone coffin was damaged earlier this month, after visitors placed a child inside the sarcophagus for an apparent photo op, the Southend Echo reported.
The artifact has been on display since the 1920s at Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, England, and was found with a skeleton thought to be that of a senior monk, conservator Claire Reed told the BBC.
The culprits caused a chunk of the sandstone coffin to break off, then left the scene without reporting the damage to museum staff. However, they were caught on closed circuit television, officials said.
Reed, who will be tasked with fixing the sarcophagus, said the staff "heard a thump and that was the first indication something had happened."
She added, "it's a very important artifact and historically unique to us as we don't have much archaeology from the priory."
The damage is repairable, but the coffin will now have to be "completely enclosed" in order to "prevent further damage," said Ann Holland, executive councilor for culture for the priory.

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(Huffington Post) New York City's estimated 2 million rats have a notorious reputation ? as disease-spreading, house-destroying, fire-starting vermin. But despite their ubiquity and the risks they pose to humans, very little is actually known about the rodents and their behaviour, according to a study published this week.
Eager to learn more, the research team has offered $1,000 to study rat-plagued homes and businesses in the city. Take that, Pizza Rat. 
American and Australian researchers conducted the study, published in the Journal of Urban Ecology, which found that urban rats are the "least studied wildlife" in city environments, despite being among the "most important" of all urban animals. 
"They are the bane of urban environments, associated with poverty, disease, and fines by public health authorities" said coauthor Jason Munshi-South in a statement.
Yet despite their bad reputation, scientists said the ecology of city rats is not well-understood, with "insufficient" research on the animal. 
Part of the problem is that people see rats as the "'pariahs' of the animal kingdom, linked with disease, poverty and fear," the study says. Because of this, home or business owners "plagued with rats are reluctant to tell anyone, or to share their residences with researchers," said Munshi-South, an associate professor of biology at Fordham University in the Bronx. 
But as lead author Michael Parsons warned, city-dwellers can't afford to indulge their ignorance about their rat neighbors any longer. As city populations continue to balloon worldwide, rodent-related risks and diseases are anticipated to go up and up in the coming decades. 
"We neglect to study them at our own peril," said Parsons, a visiting research scholar at Fordham, in a statement. "No war has ever decimated one-third of the human population. Rats have." 
In an effort to bridge this critical knowledge gap, the scientists have urged others to start conducting robust studies into city rat behavior and movement patterns. To gain access to rat-infested homes and businesses, the scientists recommended "incentivizing" property owners so they're more willing to open their properties for study. Local authorities could, for instance, provide discounts for pest extermination services in return for access, they said. 
The scientists added that they've seen first-hand how effective such incentives can be. In their own research, the team offered free and confidential extermination services to "willing residences" that permitted their rats to be studied before the critters were exterminated. 
To continue his research into New York City's rats, Parsons is adopting this method himself. He's offering up to a $1,000 "reward" for access to a viable rat-infested location in Manhattan. 

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(Huffington Post) A woman in Devon, England, is breathing easier now that her missing pet skunk is home safe and sound.
Sarah Harris, 40, said her beloved skunk, Dottie, disappeared in early July when they were camping. Harris immediately reported the missing animal but had no luck finding Dottie, despite some occasional sightings by other people.
Weeks passed and Harris still hadn't sniffed out Dottie's whereabouts. 
That is, until she reached out to a local clairvoyant named Becky Willoughby. She felt that Dottie was near a garden shed, according to Devon Live.
More days went by, until Harris got a call from a man who had seen a Facebook post about the missing skunk.
"He took a picture of Dottie and sent me a text message to say he might have seen my skunk in the garden," Harris told Devon Live.
As the psychic had sensed, Dottie was under a garden shed.
"All of a sudden, I saw her. She edged forward and a friend managed to grab hold of her," Harris said, according to Inside Edition. "It was as if she had never been away."
It wasn't a perfect reunion: Dottie actually sprayed Harris, but she seemed to cool down by the time they were driving home.
"Dottie curled up in the car in a blanket," Harris said. "I had to give her a bath. She smelled very earthy." 
That was in late July. Since then, the skunk has apparently shaken off any lingering taint of her ordeal.
"I am absolutely over the moon," Harris said, according to Inside Edition. "Dottie is back to her normal, cheeky self."

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Philadelphia, PA - The NFL pre-season match-up featured the Eagles and Dolphins, but a frisky rodent stole the show in Philadelphia.
This squirrel skampered across the field in the second quarter and hunkered down at the 25 yard line.
The critter caused excitement on the field and in cyberspace.
Some fans took to Twitter to say the squirrel was more productive and more fun to watch than Eagles quarterback Matt McGloin.
The game announcers even used the telestrator and commented on the squirrel's quick start and reflexes.
The critter eventually bolted towards the sideline and vacated the premises.

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