Mad Minute stories from Monday, October 2nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, October 2nd

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BOSTON (AP) - No. 1 if by land, No. 2 if by sea?
Archaeologists are excavating what they believe was the site of an outhouse next door to Paul Revere's home - and the privy, as the colonists politely called their potties, could be flush with artifacts.
People typically dumped trash and household goods in their outhouses. Volunteers with the City of Boston Archaeological Program already have pulled fragments of pottery, bottles and a tobacco pipe from the bricked yard of the Pierce-Hichborn House in the heart of Boston's North End.
So far, there's been no sign of mummified human excrement. That would be the telltale evidence of an outhouse at the home once owned by a cousin of Revere, Boston city archaeologist Joe Bagley told The Associated Press.
"Paul Revere might well have come over here for dinner and used the bathroom," Bagley said. "He had 12 kids in his own little house next door. It's easy to imagine they didn't stay cramped up in there all the time."
On Friday, organizers said on Instagram that they were surprised to discover the outdoor toilet is only three feet deep - half what they expected - but they planned to punch through a concrete bottom apparently added around 1850 to see what might lurk beneath.
The house - one of the earliest remaining brick structures in Boston - was built around 1711 next to the Paul Revere House, one of the city's most prominent historic sites and a huge tourist draw. Archaeologists timed their dig to coincide with drainage improvements being made to the property.
Colonial-era outhouses tend to yield surprises, said Nina Zannieri, executive director of the Paul Revere Memorial Association that owns and operates the homes.
"They've excavated other privies and they were full of stuff," she said. "It's always a treasure trove. For us, it's an opportunity to get at a source of information that's literally buried underground."
Any fossilized unmentionables will be analyzed for seeds or the remains of parasites - clues that could tell scholars more about the colonists' diet.
And bones left over from a 1700s supper could speak to the occupants' financial health, Bagley said. "We'll learn what they were eating, how much money they had, whether they bought good or cheap cuts of meat," he said.
Moses Pierce, a glass worker, was the original owner of the house. It was later bought by Nathaniel Hichborn, a boat builder and a cousin of Paul Revere, famed for his midnight ride on April 18, 1775, warning that the British were coming.
Revere's backup plan - preparations to light either one or two lanterns as signals from the steeple of Boston's Old North Church - is immortalized in a line in "Paul Revere's Ride," a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem: "One if by land, and two if by sea ..."
Did one of America's most celebrated patriots use the outhouse? The experts concede they may never know for certain.
"If it happened," Zannieri said, "we hope he left a marker for us."

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A man in southwest Missouri proposed to his girlfriend with the help of a very, very tall friend.
Zookeepers at the Dickerson Park Zoo on Sunday attached Cody Hall's engagement ring to a lanyard and hung it around the neck of a giraffe at the zoo on Sunday, the Springfield News-Leader reported .
Hall's girlfriend, Makayla Blakey, thought she was getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo when the couple approached the giraffe enclosure.
"They gave us this spiel about how we are going to feed the giraffe and help participate in a training exercise," Hall said. "They showed us the training exercise, getting Mili (the giraffe) to point at a big tennis ball with her nose.
"They gave Makayla a tree branch to feed the giraffe and when it craned its neck out, the ring was hanging."
Hall then got down on one knee and asked Blakey to marry him.
"Marriage was something we had talked about, so I knew she'd say yes," Hall said. "But it's a different feeling when you ask the question and she says yes. It's still surreal."
Hall said his friend Jesse Rollhaus and zoo spokeswoman Joey Powell helped him plan the exotic proposal.
"We were able to make my dream proposal happen," Hall said.
Blakey and Hall are planning to have a spring wedding at the church where they met.
The zoo shared photos of the engagement on its Facebook page Thursday. The post suggested that Mili, the giraffe that made it all happen, should be the couple's honorary ring bearer at the wedding.
 
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Authorities say a West Virginia grandmother has joined her grandson in jail after being accused of smuggling drugs to him behind bars.
The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force said 64-year-old Carolyn Lou Gay was arrested Wednesday on 15 charges related to drug possession and delivery.
News media report a criminal complaint says Gay visited her grandson Sept. 2 at Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg. The complaint says a guard heard inmate Shawn Douglas Weister tell Gay to "go ahead." It says Weister was directed to a strip search room, but instead ran away. When guards caught up, he yelled: "Run granny, they caught me."
The complaint says investigators found 22 sealed drinking straws containing various drugs including heroin in Weister's possession, and Gay is the only person who visited him.

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AUBURN, Maine (AP) - A pair of cows is responsible for a pair of car crashes this week in Maine.
Police say one driver who crashed into a black Angus cow was on the phone with 911 at the same time there was a second car crash with a second black Angus cow about 200 yards (183 meters) away.
The Sun Journal reports that it happened early Wednesday in Auburn.
According to police reports, the cows apparently wandered away from a farm.
Neither driver was seriously injured, but both cows were euthanized.
The driver involved in the first crash says there would have been enough meat to fill his freezer. But neither driver was allowed to keep the meat.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A 14-month-old Tibetan terrier is safe and sound in her new Florida home after surviving Hurricane Irma, numerous thunderstorms and heat.
If Devlyn could talk, her owners - Robin and Dave Saltman of Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville - say she'd tell quite a story.
The Saltmans bought Devlyn from a Houston breeder in August. On Aug. 11, they were letting the dog run around outside and she escaped from their fenced-in yard. With help from daughter Kari Saltman Keene, they sought help though social media.
The Florida Times-Union reports sightings of Devlyn started coming in. On Day 13, she was spotted 12 miles away. She ran off. Then Hurricane Irma hit. Devlyn was caught two days later.
Now safe, Devlyn has a new leash with GPS tracking capability.

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WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A mystery couple has been picking up the checks for other customers at a southwestern Pennsylvania restaurant.
KDKA-TV reports the couple has been doing that for years at the Applebee's in Washington, Pennsylvania, but only recently have their good deeds come to light.
Jolie Welling says she was celebrating her daughter's birthday only to find the couple recently paid the entire tab - for 16 people. Samantha Powell, the waitress for that party, says the gesture touched her, too, and almost brought her to tears.
Bernie Lewis, the restaurant's assistant manager, says she has sworn to keep the couple's secret.
Powell knows them, too, and says they own a local business. She says the man once told her he pays others' checks because, "I grew up poor and now I'm not."

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - An online video shows a jittery police officer who's afraid of snakes using a trash can to try to catch one at the University of Central Florida.
Carl Metzger, the deputy chief of the university's police department, calls the video humorous. He added that the incident, which occurred earlier this month on the Orlando campus, is a result of ophidiophobia - the fear of snakes.
Metzger tells local news outlets everyone got a good laugh but it's "obvious that that particular officer is uncomfortable with snakes."
The video shows the officer jumping around, trash can in hand, trying to capture the elusive black snake.
Metzger says the officer, whose name wasn't released, did his best "and ultimately accomplished his mission" of getting the snake out of the building.

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TREMONT, Maine (AP) - Maine firefighters say they had to rescue a New York couple who took a wrong turn and mistakenly drove into the Atlantic Ocean.
WMTW-TV reports firefighters were called to the docks in Tremont around 8 p.m. Tuesday after there were reports of two people trapped in a car in the water. Officials say the couple's SUV was in 8-to-10 feet (2.4 to 3.1 meters) of water after they traveled down a boat ramp into the water.
A video shows extremely foggy conditions in the area of the dock.
Rescuers were able to pull the couple onto a skiff, and then pulled the SUV back to shore.
An ambulance crew evaluated the couple.

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LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - Residents of a quiet town in southwest Ohio swear they're not seeing things when they tell people monkeys are on the loose in their neighborhood.
WLWT-TV reports residents in Lebanon, a city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Cincinnati, have used their phones to capture photos of the monkeys hanging out in trees.
Lebanon police say they're aware of the reported monkey sightings and are investigating. Residents suspect the monkeys were pets at some point.
Residents say the monkeys haven't been spotted since being photographed several weeks ago but can still be heard.

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Police in Montana say a man told friends he needed help moving and got their unwitting help stealing $40,000 worth of items from another man's home.
One of the friends allegedly rented a U-Haul without knowing it would be used in a crime. The other told police he became suspicious and left after he saw military medals in the Great Falls home. He doubted 36-year-old Patrick Joseph Adams Jr. served in the military.
Investigators say the true homeowner came home later that night, found his home had been burglarized and called 911.
Prosecutors charged Adams on Thursday with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies. The Great Falls Tribune reports Adams faces up to 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
It wasn't clear if Adams had a lawyer.
 

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