Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 31st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 31st

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

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) -- Two Penn State professors have received $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop technology that will enable digital devices to weed out fake news.
The university says information sciences and technology professor Dongwon Lee and communications professor S. Shyam Sundar are working on the project.
Lee says fake news "has been around for decades" but has been "exacerbated" on the internet and social media platforms.
The professors plan to investigate "characteristic indicators of fake news" and develop complex formulas that will enable digital devices to recognize those indicators and purge stories that contain them.
Sundar has researched the psychology of online news consumption for two decades.
The Associated Press and other media outlets have made efforts to point out fake news, such as a recent social media headline claiming Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote.

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ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities say Robert Mason was a trusted and model prisoner the six times he was booked into Ohio's Zanesville City Jail starting in 2014.
But it wasn't Robert Mason who served those 150-plus days for various misdemeanors. It was Troy Mason, a homeless man who used his brother's name to avoid returning to prison for a parole violation on a felony burglary conviction.
A Muskingum County jury on Wednesday found the 50-year-old Mason guilty of forgery and tampering with records, felony convictions that could result in more prison time.
Prosecutors say the Zanesville jail's fingerprint machine was broken the first time he was booked as Robert Mason, and he became a familiar figure afterward. He continued the charade until his parole officer unmasked him last year.
Mason's attorney declined to comment Thursday.
 
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BALTIMORE (AP) -- The police response time was quicker than ever.
Two men were arrested after police say they robbed a bar outside Baltimore while off-duty officers were there for a police retirement party.
The Baltimore Sun reports the men allegedly demanded cash from the register at a Woodlawn bar Tuesday evening while a group of officers gathered for a longtime sergeant's retirement. The officers chased and arrested them.
Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. Shawn Vinson says 21-year-old Joseph McInnis III and 22-year-old Tyree McCoy face armed robbery, theft and other charges. The Sun reports neither had an attorney listed in online court records.
Monaghan's Pub owner says it's odd that someone would attempt a robbery because a precinct station is across the street.
Vinson says the party was for David Neral who has been with the department since 1988.

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) -- Lottery ticket buyers hoping to use the same Massachusetts machine as the recent $758.7 million Powerball jackpot winner are out of luck.
The Massachusetts State Lottery has retired the machine that printed the winning ticket belonging to Mavis Wanczyk (WAHN'-zihk). The Powerball jackpot she claimed last week is the largest grand prize won by a lottery ticket in U.S. history.
State lottery spokesman Christian Teja tells The Boston Globe the machine was removed from a convenience store in Chicopee (CHIH'-kuh-pee) on Saturday and was sent to the lottery's Springfield office for maintenance.
He says there is an appetite to preserve "this piece of lottery history." He says some interesting ideas have been proposed.
It hasn't been determined where the machine will go next.

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A 6-foot (2-meter) Burmese python slithered near a popular Miami Beach pedestrian mall, scaring the crowd outside a convenience store.
Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake beneath a royal palm tree on Wednesday. Someone called Miami Beach police and the python was captured.
Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted "suspect apprehended!" along with photos of the capture.
Store owner Indika Wanigarathne tells the Miami Herald she was thinking, "How big can it be?" Then she saw the python and "freaked out."
Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says the snake will be turned over to a wildlife refuge.
Officer Traci Sierra, whom Rodriguez describes as an animal advocate, captured the snake.
The store owner had another word for Sierra: hero. "Trust me," she said, "I wouldn't grab that thing."

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PARIS (AP) - A Paris wine collector returned from holiday this week to a nasty surprise, finding a hole in his cellar and emptiness where his valuable collection of vintage wines had been.
Paris police said Wednesday some 250 to 300 bottles, worth up to 1,000 euros ($1,200) each, were stolen from the cellar in the 6th arrondissement of Paris sometime between July 28 and Monday, while the owner was vacationing.
The robbers apparently broke through the wall of the basement cellar from the "Catacombs" network of tunnels under Paris. That they located the cellar so accurately from underground leads police to suspect the theft was carefully planned.
Police said the owner is still putting together an exhaustive list of the missing wines. The total loss could amount to as much as 250,000 euros ($300,000).
Police said two other cellars were also broken into but nothing was stolen from them.

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SURF CITY, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in Surf City, North Carolina, say a fleeing suspect swam out to sea before being arrested more than three hours later at a neighboring town's beachfront.
Surf City police said in a news release that an officer stopped a driver Wednesday and spotted "illegal contraband."
They said the driver jumped into the ocean and police used a drone to follow the swimming suspect. It recorded video footage of a shark swimming about 60 feet (18 meters) from him before it turned away. The drone lost sight of him after an hour, more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) offshore.
After a sea and air search by multiple agencies, 20-year-old Zachary Kingsbury of Lynnwood, Washington was arrested near a beach access point in North Topsail. He faces multiple drug charges.

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LITHIA, Fla. (AP) -- Some Florida residents woke up to an uninvited, scaly guest in their backyard swimming pool: a 7- to 8-foot-long (2-meter-long) alligator.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Hillsborough County deputies responded to the Lithia home Wednesday morning. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office posted a picture of the submerged alligator on Twitter, adding that the "apprehension of this trespassing suspect should be interesting."
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trappers arrived a short time later and captured the large reptile.
No injuries were reported.

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SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - Officials say a raccoon that got its head stuck in a sewer grate in Rhode Island had to be taken to an animal clinic - grate and all - after efforts to free the animal on site failed.
The Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island said Tuesday on Facebook the animal is recovering after being successfully freed by a veterinarian.
The organization says four people had to help move the grate into the surgery room so the veterinarian could work on the raccoon.
They say the animal had been trapped since the night before and its head and neck had swollen too much to be squeezed back out. The clinic used ice and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling before applying "major elbow grease" to free the animal.

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(FOX) A Georgia mom and another woman were arrested after the mother's 12-year-old daughter was found sporting a tattoo that read "Jesus Loves."
The tattoo, inked on the girl from Newnan, reportedly was spotted by a fifth-grade teacher at her school, who then alerted authorities.
Another fifth-grade teacher saw the tattoo at a school dance, when the student wore a strapless dress. She described the tattoo as "bluish green with Jesus written above the cross and loves written below," according to WTVM.
The girl's mother, 35-year-old Emma Nolan, and the suspected tattoo artist, identified as Brenda Gaddy, were charged with tattooing the body of a person under age 18, the news station reported.
The girl reportedly told police that her father made her get the tattoo -- but later said her father didn't want her to get the tattoo, and that she wanted it herself.
Nolan stated her tattooed daughter no longer sees her father and that she had no idea her father let her get a tattoo. Meanwhile, Gaddy reportedly said the mother gave the OK.
"Each of the parents had a different story and it boiled down to, frankly, just finger pointing," Lt. Jason Fetner, of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office, told WLTX.
Investigators said they were able to confirm that Gaddy tattooed "a number of minors" at the party, the officer said.
"I think it's unfortunate in that the child actually wanted to get the tattoo," said Fetner. "It's not like the child was forced to get the tattoo, I think it just comes down to bad parenting."

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