Mad Minute stories from Monday, October 23rd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, October 23rd

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LONDON (AP) - Cambridge University has put Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis online, triggering such interest that it crashed the university's website.
Completed in 1966 when Hawking was 24, "Properties of Expanding Universes" explores ideas about the origins of the universe that have resonated through the scientist's career.
The university says the thesis was already the most-requested item in its online repository. It was free to download Monday to mark Open Access Week. The website was intermittently inaccessible during the day as it struggled to handle to the interest.
Hawking said he hoped making his thesis available to all would "inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos."

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MONTREAL (AP) - A Canadian man's decision to belt out a 1990s dance hit while inside his car has landed him a $149 ticket for being too loud in public.
But Taoufik Moalla said Monday he'll fight the ticket and denies his singing was as deafening as authorities claim.
Moalla says he was happily singing along with the windows mostly rolled up to C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," which neared the top of the Billboard chart in 1991, when he was stopped.
He says he initially thought Montreal police wanted him to move out of their way.
He says was asked if he was yelling and he said no. One of the officers walked away and returned with the fine for screaming in a public place.
 
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HONOLULU (AP) - Cans of Spam have become a common item that's being stolen from Honolulu stores and then sold on the streets for quick cash, according to authorities.
Ra Long, who owns a convenience store in the city, said shoplifters have typically targeted alcohol in the past, but recently more cans of Spam have gone missing, Hawaii News Now reported .
"I mean you try to keep an eye on it, but if they run, you just can't leave the counter and chase them," Long said. "So you just got to take the hit."
Honolulu police said they took a report of a man lifting a case of the canned meat from a store earlier this month.
Kimo Carvalho, a spokesman for the Institute for Human Services, said people are stealing Spam because it's easy to sell. "It's quick cash for quick drug money," Carvalho said.
Hawaiians eat millions of cans of Spam a year, the nation's highest per-capita consumption of the processed meat, which is cobbled together from a mixture of pork shoulder, ham, sugar and salt.
The state's love affair with Spam began during World War II, when rationing created just the right conditions for the rise of a meat that needs no refrigeration and has a remarkably long shelf life (indefinitely, the company says).
Ann Kondo Corum, who grew up in Hawaii in the 1950s and has written several Spam-inspired cookbooks, has attributed Spam's popularity partly to Hawaii's large Asian population. "Asians eat a lot of rice. Spam is salty, and it goes well with rice," she told The Associated Press in 2009.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Anti-tax "zombies" in Oklahoma were stopped outside the entrance to the state Capitol on Saturday in a staged event by groups supporting tax increases to prevent cuts to health, education and other services.
The event by Together Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Policy Institute was filmed for videos to be posted on Facebook and Twitter and comes as state lawmakers are in special session to address a $215 million budget hole.
Charles Martin of Together Oklahoma says the group supports increasing gross production taxes on oil and gas from 2 percent to 7 percent, which would raise an estimated $400 million.
The increase has been opposed by the oil and gas industry.
"Gross production should be the first place that we look," Martin said. He said the group hopes that oil and gas companies and the wealthy should pay their fair share.
Many Republican lawmakers oppose increasing taxes on oil and gas production and support a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase, which Democrats oppose without an energy production tax increase to at least 5 percent.
The special session was called by Gov. Mary Fallin after the state Supreme Court ruled a "fee" on cigarettes passed on the final day of the regular legislative session was unconstitutional.
The special session convened Sept. 25, but recessed two days later because a deal to close the budget hole had not been reached.
Ann Young of Tulsa, one of the volunteers warding off the zombie attack, said political leaders must realize that taxes must be increased to fund basic services including education, teacher pay and health programs.
"Our leaders are fooling themselves if they think that a company like Amazon would ever consider coming to Oklahoma, it's just absurd that they would think any company like that would come to a place where we can't even educate our kids," Young said.
City and Chamber of Commerce officials in Oklahoma City and Tulsa have announced plans to compete for Amazon's second headquarters in North America, a massive $5 billion project that will eventually include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Oklahoma Policy Institute coordinator Kara Joy McKee said the goal is to provide information to the public and lawmakers about the need to increase revenue, rather than reducing services.
"Some of our legislators, some of our ... friends and neighbors are still under the delusion that we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem," McKee said.
The Capitol has been closed for the past week because of an ongoing construction project and is scheduled to reopen Monday.

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GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward room where people were visiting his newborn daughter.
Twenty-five-year-old Cody Hulse was arraigned Friday on charges including heroin delivery and endangering the welfare of children. The Tribune-Review reports he declined to comment afterward.
Authorities say Hulse got busted after Greensburg police stopped a vehicle Thursday and found heroin and paraphernalia. The occupants told police they had just bought the drugs from Hulse at Excela Health Westmoreland hospital.
Police say they went to the maternity room and confronted Hulse, who acknowledged selling the drugs and who had heroin in his pocket.
Police say Hulse's girlfriend, the baby's mother, told them she didn't know about the drug deals.
Online court records don't list a defense attorney.

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FAIR LAWN, N.J. (AP) - Police in New Jersey have arrested a robbery suspect who they say left his wallet behind at the scene of the crime.
Officials responded to an alarm at Mavis Discount Tire in Fair Lawn early Thursday and found a broken window in the back of the building. Police say they learned a cash register containing $300 was missing.
While investigating, they found a wallet belonging to a 41-year-old Paterson man, a former store employee.
A few hours after the robbery, two officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle and arrested the suspect and a 36-year-old driver. Police say the two had returned to the scene to try and find the lost wallet.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A Santa Fe elementary school teacher was placed on administrative leave after police and school officials say she washed students' hair in class because it was too fragrant for her sensitive nose.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the parent of a 6-year-old student told the principal of the Nina Otero Community School on Tuesday that Maria Bernardez had washed her son's hair. The incident was reported to police, and school officials say the teacher washed other students' hair as well.
Bernardez denied the allegation and said some students washed their own hair after recess.
Superintendent Veronica Garcia says the school does not tolerate any kind of inappropriate physical contact with students.
Police spokesman Greg Gurule says the report was only for documenting purposes and "there's no legal issue here."

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a man accused of trying to rent a car in Delaware using fake identification was caught hiding in a trash can.
Delaware State Police said 23-year-old Davontae Williams tried to rent a car from Enterprise Car Rental in Wilmington on Wednesday.
Police say employees realized Williams matched the description of someone suspected of attempting to use a fake ID earlier that day at another Enterprise location. Police say Williams fled when a trooper told him to stop, then was found in the trash can after a foot chase.
Williams, of Glenolden, Pennsylvania, was charged with theft by false pretense of over $1,500, resisting arrest and other charges. He was held in lieu of $6,000 cash bond.
Jail officials said Friday they didn't know if Williams has an attorney.

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(Fox) ORLANDO - Sixty-five pounds of marijuana arrived at a Florida couple's home with an Amazon order.
WFTV reported that the customer and her fiancé immediately noticed how heavy the 27 gallons of storage containers they ordered were.
"We love Amazon and do a lot of shopping on Amazon," the customer, who has asked not to be identified, told WFTV.
The couple said they noticed the strong odor of marijuana when they opened the containers.
Amazon has issued a statement, saying it worked with the customers to ensure their safety and will assist law enforcement investigating the case.
Police seized the order and launched an ongoing investigation. No arrests have been made.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A puppy lost its love for sniffing out bombs and the CIA lost a recruit.
Lulu gained a family.
Just a few weeks into her training, the doe-eyed black Labrador with flappy ears just wasn't interested in detecting explosive odors anymore, the agency said.
Even food and play couldn't motivate her. Lulu sought a different future.
She found one with a loving handler, who adopted her.
Now, instead of spending days finding blast materials and terrorist devices, the CIA says Lulu plays with kids and sniffs out rabbits and squirrels in the yard.
"She was clearly not enjoying herself any longer," the CIA said of its erstwhile detector dog.
Of her new civilian life, it said: "This was the right decision for her. We wish her all the best."

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