Mad Minute stories from Monday, September 4th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, September 4th

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

BOSTON (AP) -- A rare yellow lobster has made its debut at the New England Aquarium, posing for a photo op with fellow oddly colored crustaceans.
The lobster was donated to the Boston aquarium by a Salem seafood company. They marked its arrival by showing it off with other lobsters in unusual shades , including blue and orange, and one they call the Halloween lobster - black on one side and orange on the other.
The yellow lobster will not be put on exhibit for about a month as it undergoes quarantine.
The aquarium says the incidence of yellow lobsters in the wild is estimated to be about 1 in 30 million.

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PARIS (AP) -- It's the car coming back from a watery grave.
A blue Peugeot 104 stolen in the heart of France's Champagne country in 1979 is being reunited with its owner - 38 years later - after French police pulled it, in surprisingly good shape but crawling with crayfish, from a murky swamp.
In a Facebook posting, police said the pond owner alerted officers in Chalons-en-Champagne, 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Paris, on Monday about the discovery. The car became visible because drought dropped the water level.
After police divers checked there wasn't a corpse inside, the long-lost vehicle was towed onto dry land.
"lt still looks like a 104. It's still blue and there is still chrome on the bumpers. It's surprising," Franck Menard, a mechanic who hauled it back to the local garage where he works, said in a phone interview. "It's relatively well preserved given that it spent so long in the water."
"The seats are still in good condition, beige," he added.
Police said the compact four-door hatchback - as much a feature of its time as flared trousers and disco - was four years old and on its third owner when it was declared stolen in the Champagne town of Reims in 1979. Too old to figure in computer databases, investigators dusted off paper archives to find the proprietor, who lives in the Reims area.
In their Facebook posting, headlined "Cold Case," police said plans are afoot to reunite car and owner in the next few days.
Menard said that because it was declared stolen, the car technically now belongs to the owner's insurer.
Still, he is expecting the owner to drop by his garage "to come and see the car for nostalgia's sake."
The owner was stunned when officers tracked her down via family and neighbors, said Lt. Col. Pierre-Damien Igau, of the gendarmerie in Chalons-en-Champagne.
"She was surprised that we contacted her because even for her this was very ancient history," he said. "She appeared quite moved by the fact that we had found her car so long after the fact and especially that we had made the effort to contact her."
Menard said he doesn't expect the little Peugeot will ever run again, because the rusty engine block was muddied up.
But he said they scooped up the crayfish that had been living inside and freed them into a canal.
"At least they get a second life," he said.
 
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- High anxiety about White House politics, hurricane flooding and even the threat of nuclear war with North Korea is adding an extra spark to the annual burning of a giant, ghostly marionette that serves as an effigy to gloom and doom.
The ritual burning of Zozobra was attracting tens of thousands of revelers Friday to a Santa Fe city park for a mixture of wholesome and ghoulish fun.
Inside the six-story puppet are reams of crumpled, handwritten notes about recent troubles and travails that people hope to leave behind. Worries this year included a combustible mix of disenchantment with politics and preoccupation over natural and manmade disasters.
In preparation for the burning, Holly Garcia, a 39-year-old homemaker stuffed several notes into a slotted "gloom box" at a shopping center.
The first was about a hospitalized sister and a brother recovering from brain surgery. Then came a note about the U.S. president, and a hand-scrawled prayer for friends and former neighbors besieged by floods in League City, Texas - a community sandwiched between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico.
"I put down, 'Get rid of Donald Trump!'" said Garcia, while still counting her blessings. "I'm very blessed personally, my immediate family."
Yinka Adeniji, a 40-year-old technology consultant, said he wanted to join others in washing away all internal feelings of bad will - and also perhaps get rid of an inept U.S. political system and start from scratch.
"I think it's going to take a lot more than Zozobra," he said. "We're a country that doesn't want to care for its people."
The invention of Will Shuster - a painter from Philadelphia who migrated to the Southwest - Zozobra was first built and ignited in 1924, adding a madcap celebration to a Santa Fe's weeklong community "fiestas" that include historic and religious processions. The festival's name was derived from a Spanish word for anguish.
Modern pyrotechnics have transformed the nighttime burning, now preceded by hours of live music and performances on an adjacent stage. A team of a dozen puppeteers heaves on cords to flex the groaning marionette's arms, head and jaw.
The spectacle appeals to people's "better angels" in a year marked by disaster and political upheaval, said Ray Sandoval, who organizes Zozobra for the local Kiwanis Club to raise money for youth charities.
He spied credit card bills and a paid-off mortgage papers among the messages in the Zozobra stuffing this year - along with worries about nuclear war.
"We're getting a lot of political messages to be quite honest," Sandoval said. "People are really worried about the path of the country and their leadership. There are a lot of them that are more hopeful for the country."

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A retired police officer with multiple college degrees has re-enrolled as a freshman at the University of Toledo for the opportunity to step off with the school's marching band.
WNWO-TV reports 59-year-old grandmother Virginia Todd took to the field with her clarinet Thursday night for Toledo's football season opener.
Todd spent 21 years with the Oregon Police Department outside of Toledo and is now an attorney, a coroner's office death investigator and a full-fledged member of the Rocket Marching Band.
She says her young band mates accepted her with open arms and have helped her out as she re-learned her marching band skills after training for three months and attending a nine-day band camp.
Todd says Toledo created a special program that allowed her to re-enroll as a freshman.

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A rescue operation in the eastern Aegean Sea has turned into a big marijuana bust.
A Greek coast guard statement says a Turkish-flagged wooden sailboat that issued a distress call near the island of Nisyros was found to be carrying around 700 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of marijuana. The three Turkish nationals on board were arrested.
The yacht's crew radioed for help late Thursday, citing engine failure. Greek authorities sent a coast guard launch to look for the vessel. A freighter that had been diverted to help located the sailboat.
The statement says the yacht was towed to Nisyros, where a search early Friday turned up the marijuana cargo.
It was not immediately clear where the yacht had been heading.

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LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- George Beckwith got the surprising phone call a few months ago, informing him that he soon would be an owner of a 19th-century courthouse in Connecticut, nearly 1,400 miles from his home in Missouri.
The 78-year-old resident of Goodman, in southwestern Missouri, knew about the unusual lease agreement his ancestors had signed with Connecticut officials in 1803. If Connecticut ever stopped using the property in Litchfield for a courthouse, the parcel would revert back to descendants of the six landowners who leased it to the state.
Beckwith never thought Connecticut would abandon the landmark 1889 courthouse, which features a Seth Thomas clock tower and lies along the historic Litchfield Green. But that's exactly what was happening, his lawyer, Michael Rybak, told him in that phone call.
"Just out of the blue, the state of Connecticut got a hold of Mike Rybak and they said they were going to hand over the keys," said Beckwith, who grew up in Litchfield. "It was certainly startling.
The state closed the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse on Aug. 25 and transferred operations to a new $80 million courthouse a few miles away in Torrington. Officials had planned to continue some judicial functions in the granite building after the move to Torrington but abandoned the idea because of the state budget deficit, judicial branch officials said.
Beckwith said he had no use for a courthouse or the expenses that came with it, so he went looking for options before the state planned to hand it over on Sept. 30.
The search didn't take long. The nonprofit Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust has agreed to purchase Beckwith's interest in the property for an undisclosed, below-market-value price, Rybak said. The trust is the parent organization of two partnerships that own and operate two other buildings in Litchfield.
The trust intends to keep the building open and "repurpose" its use, said its attorney, Perley Grimes. There are no specific proposals yet, he said.
Ownership of the property actually will pass to Beckwith and his two late sisters' estates, which also are expected to sell their interests to the trust, said Rybak, who also represents the estates. Descendants of the other land owners lost out on ownership rights because their interests were not legally passed down through the generations, Rybak said.
The property was leased to the state by landowners Moses Seymour, Moses Seymour Jr., Roger Skinner, Aaron Smith, Elijah Wadsworth and Frederick Wolcott. The Beckwiths are descendants of the Seymours.
"In 40 years of practice, I've never seen anything like this," said Rybak, who has advocated since the late 1970s to keep the Litchfield courthouse open amid various plans to close it. "But then again, there are not too many properties like this."
People who worked at the courthouse have mixed emotions about its closure. A piece of history is being lost. But the building had grown cramped, there were accessibility problems for the disabled and there were security concerns, including judicial marshals having to transport prisoners through public areas of the courthouse.
"It's quite a piece of history," said Judge John Pickard, who worked at the courthouse the past 15 years. "I think we have all loved being here. But it doesn't have modern facilities. It's time."
The courthouse is the most prominent landmark in the Litchfield Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two previous courthouses on the same property burned down.
It was host for decades to Litchfield County's civil court cases, as well as the region's most serious criminal cases, including the well-publicized murder trial of teenager Peter Reilly.
Reilly was convicted of killing his mother in Falls Village in 1973 but exonerated four years later after playwright Arthur Miller and others helped Reilly find a top defense attorney.

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JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) -- A New Mexico village is holding a festival in connection with a legend that Bigfoot is roaming around the state's Jemez Mountains.
The Los Alamos Monitor reports the village of Jemez Springs is hosting the Bigfoot BBQ & Blues Fest on Saturday to celebrate rumors the ape-like creature hangs around the forests near one of the nation's premier nuclear labs.
Event organizer Felix Nunez says he didn't want to hang his hat on Bigfoot's existence. But he says there are unexplainable and fascinating audio and video clips.
The gathering will feature anthropologist and Bigfoot expert Christopher Dyer, who will present evidence suggesting Bigfoot has taken up residence in New Mexico. Organizers say Dyer will present hair, photographs and a map pinpointing sightings around the state.

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- Prosecutors say a fired county library delivery driver in Ohio has received probation for the theft of thousands of DVDs and CDs over a 12-year period.
Cleveland.com reports 43-year-old Kelvin Shaw, of Parma, was sentenced Tuesday in Cleveland after pleading guilty in July to theft in office.
Prosecutors say Shaw took advantage of a Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Public Library rule that allowed employees to take home DVDs without checking them out. Shaw took home library materials but never returned them.
Investigators eventually placed a tracking device in a copy of the movie "Inferno" and then followed him to his apartment, where they found nearly 4,000 of the library's DVDs and CDs.
Shaw apologized in court, callings his actions "stupid, lazy and dumb."

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DANVERS, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts library is reminding residents that Chuck E. Cheese tokens are not an acceptable form of payment for overdue book fines.
Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook this week the library has had a surge of people attempting to pay fines and printing fees with tokens from Chuck E. Cheese and Bonkers- a Peabody amusement center -this summer.
The library says the tokens are not legal tender and cannot be accepted.
Bookkeeper Sue Kontos tell The Salem News she had counted three Chuck E. Cheese tokens one day before realizing they weren't real money.
Chuck E. Cheese is a restaurant and entertainment center for kids featuring arcade and video games. The company has been phasing out the use of coins.

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NEWARK, Ohio (AP) -- A central Ohio county is selling off an assortment of collectible sneakers seized from a convicted drug dealer.
The Columbus Dispatch reports there are 67 boxes of confiscated footwear up for sale by Licking County officials. Bids will be accepted through Sept. 15 on the website GovDeals.com. Proceeds will be used to fund drug investigations by the Licking County law enforcement task force that found the sneakers.
The name-brand shoes range in size from 10 to 12.
The 48-year-old Newark man who owned the sneakers received 11 years in prison last month after being convicted of possessing more than a half-pound of cocaine and 100 pills containing the deadly opioid fentanyl.
He's currently held at a prison in Orient while officials determine where he'll ultimately serve his sentence.

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