Mad Minute stories from Thursday, September 14th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, September 14th

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft is getting a grand but hilarious opera send-off before it plunges through Saturn's atmosphere and vaporizes Friday.
An actor from TV's old "Star Trek: Voyager" series, Robert Picardo, says he dashed off the lyrics in about a minute, several weeks ago. He collaborated with the creative director of the Planetary Society, and, presto, "Le Cassini Opera" was born.
Picardo set the words to the instantly recognizable aria "La Donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto."
While Cassini's 20-year mission has been "a serious success," according to Picardo, the opera is definitely a comedy. Here's how it opens: "Goodbye, Cassini. Your mission's fini. Bravo, Cassini! Have some linguini." And on it goes, paying humorous tribute.
For the record, Cassini's program manager, Earl Maize, loves the performance.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A group selfie from some Florida police officers has caused a social media stir, prompting some Facebook users to inquire about their marital status and others to ask to be arrested.
The photo of the three Gainesville officers was posted on their department's Facebook page as Hurricane Irma lashed the state Sunday. The caption said they were "getting ready to do some work." The post produced more than 100,000 comments praising the officers' good looks. One woman wrote that she would like to turn herself in for the thoughts running through her head. Another posted: "how long does it take to get from NW Arkansas to Gainesville Florida? Asking for a friend."
The department issued an update asking people not to call 911 to "request this group respond to your 'incident.'"
 
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DEWITT, Mich. (AP) -- How's this for curb appeal: A Michigan real estate agent selling a house next to a cemetery is promoting it with a sign that says "quiet neighbors."
Shane Broyles says the message immediately came to mind when he saw the four-bedroom house in DeWitt, which is in the middle of the state near Lansing. He says his grandparents knew a man who lived next to a cemetery and joked about it.
Broyles told the Lansing State Journal that he hadn't previously used humor to market a house. But he says "there's not much point to life" without some fun.
The seller, Deborah Perrin, likes the "quiet neighbors" sign. She says she can guarantee there won't be a new subdivision going up in the cemetery.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Authorities in central Indiana say a pathologist arrested on suspicion of drunken driving had human organs and tissues in his pickup truck when he was pulled over along a rural highway.
Seventy-five-year-old Elmo Griggs was arrested Tuesday in the Morgan County town of Brooklyn after another motorist reported a truck driving erratically along Indiana 67 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.
Griggs was released from jail after posting bail. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.
Morgan County Coroner Annette Rohlman says Griggs had several totes inside the truck and in its bed that contained brain and liver samples and internal organs for his private autopsy practice. She says it's not surprising that a pathologist would be transporting such samples.

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EASTON, Pa. (AP) -- Police say a driver's global positioning system device caused him to drive into a Pennsylvania river.
The (Easton) Express-Times says the motorist wound up in the Lehigh River in Easton shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
They say the man's GPS led him to drive along a bicycle path in a park. When the man realized he couldn't drive on the path, he reversed course but found he couldn't go that way either because of a tunnel under a low bridge.
Police say the man was unable to stay on the bike path because it narrowed, and his car rolled off the path sideways into the river.
Police say the driver wasn't hurt, but he was issued several traffic citations. Online court records didn't list them Wednesday.

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COVINA, Calif. (AP) -- Police say a man with a knife tried to rob a Southern California pizza restaurant just a few hours after burglars had already stolen from it.
Covina police Lt. Trevor Gaumer tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that burglars broke into Pizza Chalet on Tuesday and made off with $1,500.
As the owner was cleaning up after the burglary less than three hours later, the knife-wielding man walked in and demanded money.
The owner flagged down an officer providing extra patrol help.
Gaumer says the suspect, 19-year-old Ernest Ramirez, didn't listen to the officer's order to give himself up, and fought with arriving officers briefly until he was subdued.
Gaumer says Ramirez was treated for minor injuries.

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) -- A Mississippi woman accused of robbing a bank and fleeing in a taxi has been arrested.
News outlets report 35-year-old Dominique R. Spears was arrested at her apartment after a Yellow Cab driver told police that he picked her up at a Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday.
Ocean Springs police Capt. William Jackson says the robbery was reported at 10:51 a.m. Responding officers received information that the suspect had left the scene in a taxicab.
A traffic officer followed the taxi and witnessed the driver drop off Spears at the Reserve Apartments about 3 miles from the bank.
Police arrested Spears on a robbery charge. It's unclear if she has a lawyer.

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CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland police are investigating a reported break-in after a couple said someone entered their home and stole their 15-pound pet pig named Spam, jewelry, TVs, and a camera.
The owners say they suspect the thief is planning to sell the miniature pig, which they say could be valued at as much as $1,000.
Valerie Couch posted about the missing pig on Facebook and says she hopes her public plea will lead the thief to return Spam.
Cleveland police say a detective will be assigned to the case.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - It wasn't the typical traffic call for police in the Alabama city of Tuscaloosa.
Police were dispatched to a local business where a truck driver reported that an alligator had crawled underneath his 18-wheeler.
Police told Alabama news outlets that the gator measured nearly 8 feet long.
Employees from the Tuscaloosa Police Department's Traffic Division and Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation's Animal Control were among those who captured the alligator.
It was turned over to Alabama Game and Fish to be transported to Gainesville, Alabama, and released back into its natural habitat

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WEINER, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman says authorities are investigating the discovery of tigers, lions and a leopard in a barn in Arkansas.
Spokesman Randy Zellers said that seven tigers, six lions and one leopard were discovered Saturday in Poinsett County in cages.
Zeller said the Poinsett County Sheriff's Department went to the scene after receiving an anonymous tip. The exotic animals were found with their owner and in good health.
Zellers said the animals' owner, a man from England, was keeping them until they could be flown to Germany. He said the man possessed the appropriate paperwork for ownership of the animals. Zeller said the man didn't alert the county that he would be temporarily holding the animals in Arkansas.
State law generally prohibits ownership of such animals with some exemptions, including accredited zoos and people with annual permits that obtained the animal years ago.
According to the Arkansas Code of Regulations, bringing such animals to the state is restricted for without prior written approval from the commission.
Zeller said the commission is still reviewing the origin of the animals. He said no arrests have been made in connection with the discovery.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Maj. Brad Young said wildlife officers will be at the barn to ensure the animals remain contained.
"Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the citizens of Poinsett County," said Young. "The owner of the animals is with them on-site, and the animals are being taken care of. We just want to make sure they remain secure throughout their time in Arkansas."

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