Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th

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COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - A McDonald's drive-thru window became a squeeze-thru window for a woman who apparently needed a fast food fix.
A surveillance video shows her worming her way inside, helping herself to a soft drink and making off with a box of items.
The video , posted on the Twitter feed of Howard County Police in Columbia, Maryland, shows the break-in early on Nov. 5, when the restaurant was closed. The woman reaches through the window for a soda cup and tries unsuccessfully to fill it from the dispenser.
She then manages to squeeze herself into the restaurant through the small window and gets a soft drink. The camera zooms in on her uncovered face.
The woman puts a box of unidentified items through the window and leaves.
She remains at large.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities say the same woman led officers on vehicle chases through Southern California on back-to-back days.
The Orange County Register reports that a day after leading officers from Orange County into the Los Feliz area, a woman Wednesday morning led officers on a second chase. The chase went onto freeways and streets before the car became stuck in traffic at an intersection. The woman was pulled from the car.
The Los Angeles Police Department says officers tried to pull over the driver Wednesday for possibly being under the influence.
Authorities say they chased the same woman Tuesday for allegedly violating a restraining order but called off the pursuit for safety reasons.
Jail records say the woman was booked at the sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley Station on suspicion of evading arrest and was released after posting bail.
 
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TOKYO (AP) - Haruyuki Sano traveled 1 ½ hours for a taste of the same cheeseburger U.S. President Donald Trump ate with Japan's prime minister during his visit last week.
"It tasted great, like steak," the pastry-maker said after savoring the 100 percent U.S. Angus beef Colby Jack Cheeseburger at Tokyo's tiny Munch's Burger Shack on Thursday.
The lines out the door during lunchtime are getting longer than ever, thanks to Trump.
Trump's tough talk on issues such as trade and security tend to get a mixed response in Japan, which sees the U.S. as its most important ally and partner. But Trump's love for the Japanese take on the all-American hamburger is striking a chord with many here.
"I like Trump," said Sano, stressing that putting one's country first amid globalization made a lot of sense, and Japan should do that, too.
While better known for sushi, soba and tempura, Japan has had a long love affair with American food. So-called "premium burgers," which are twice the price or more of fast-food versions, are growing popular.
The "President Trump Set," a new addition to the menu at Munch's Burger, includes a serving of coleslaw and a side of fries with the cheeseburger and sells for 1,400 yen ($12). The juicy beef patty comes layered with crisp lettuce, melted cheese and tomato between hot soft buns.
These days, it's one of the most popular orders, says owner-cum-chef Yutaka Yanagisawa, who recalls Trump shaking his hand after eating the burger and saying, "Very good. Very good."
"I felt so honored," he said, adding that all he could muster in reply was "thank you."
Since Trump wanted his meat well-done, that's how the order was placed for both burgers in case the servings get mixed up on the table.
"That would have been a disaster," Yanagisawa said with a laugh.
He has no idea why he was chosen. One of his two stores is near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, but it was the Japanese Foreign Ministry that reached out to him.
Yanagisawa was asked to bring the ingredients and his equipment to prepare the burgers, not just for the leaders but for an entourage of about 20 people, at a kitchen at the country club where the leaders were dining, he said.
The security checks were surprisingly simple, with no metal detectors, although a Trump staff member checked the food and watched the entire time he was cooking, he said.
The experience of eating out in Tokyo is increasingly about fun storytelling, such as sharing Instagram photos of meals, said Jotaro Fujii, a Tokyo-based food consultant and the founder of Subway Japan.
And so the "Trump effect" for the humble burger joint is expected to be huge.
"Talk of lines brings more lines," said Fujii. "Rather than mere taste, the value and joy come from being able to say: I had the same burger as Trump."
Munch's Burger Shack is up against some competition. Not only are there the ubiquitous McDonald's and Burger King chains, and relative newcomer Shake Shack, but Japanese burger joints are popping up, such as Shake Tree, which serves a breadless burger.
Yanagisawa's dream is to open a restaurant in New York. He hopes to show what Japanese sensitivity and attention to detail can bring to a burger.
"It must have that handmade element," he said. "More than anything, it is about the feelings you put in for the customer, in each and every burger."

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BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts man authorities dubbed the "spelling bee bandit" because the notes he passed to tellers during multiple bank robberies in the Boston area contained the same spelling error has pleaded guilty.
Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Jason Englen pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of bank robbery.
Authorities say the Chelsea man entered an Arlington bank on Oct. 31, 2016, approached a teller and handed over a note written on a deposit slip indicating a robbery was in progress, except robbery was spelled with just one "B."
Over the next few weeks, he robbed banks in Reading, Burlington and Peabody using notes with the same misspelling. He was arrested last December.
He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Feb. 28.

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - Amazon is sorting through 238 proposals to house the company's second headquarters, and a Las Vegas man is trying to woo the online giant with a song. A man from Las Vegas, New Mexico, that is.
KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico reports that Las Vegas resident Jim Terr has penned a tune to attract Amazon to the small northern New Mexico city.
The song highlights the food, natural beauty, architecture and pop culture in Las Vegas.
But the city of Las Vegas didn't submit a bid to Amazon.
The online retailer kicked off its hunt for a second home base in September, promising 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was born in New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque. That city has submitted a bid.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A newly discovered object from another star system that's passing through ours is shaped like a giant pink fire extinguisher.
That's the word this week from astronomers who have been observing this first-ever confirmed interstellar visitor.
"I'm surprised by the elongated shape - nobody expected that," said astronomer David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the observation team that reported on the characteristics.
Scientists are certain this asteroid or comet originated outside our solar system. First spotted last month by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, it will stick around for another few years before departing our sun's neighborhood.
Jewitt and his international team observed the object for five nights in late October using the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands and the Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona.
At approximately 100 feet by 100 feet by 600 feet (30 meters buy 30 meters by 180 meters), the object has proportions roughly similar to a fire extinguisher - though not nearly as red, Jewitt said Thursday. The slightly red hue - specifically pale pink - and varying brightness are remarkably similar to asteroids in our own solar system, he noted.
Astronomer Jayadev Rajagopal said in an email that it was exciting to point the Arizona telescope at such a tiny object "which, for all we know, has been traveling through the vast emptiness of space for millions of years."
"And then by luck passes close enough for me to be able to see it that night!"
The object is so faint and so fast - it's zooming through the solar system at 40,000 mph (64,000 kph) - it's unlikely amateur astronomers will see it.
In a paper to the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the scientists report that our solar system could be packed with 10,000 such interstellar travelers at any given time. It takes 10 years to cross our solar system, providing plenty of future viewing opportunities, the scientists said.
Trillions of objects from other star systems could have passed our way over the eons, according to Jewitt.
It suggests our solar system ejected its own share of asteroids and comets as the large outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune - formed.
Why did it take so long to nail the first interstellar wanderer?
"Space is big and our eyes are weak," Jewitt explained via email.
Anticipating more such discoveries, the International Astronomical Union already has approved a new designation for cosmic interlopers. They get an "I″ for interstellar in their string of letters and numbers. The group also has approved a name for this object: Oumuamua (OH'-moo-ah-moo-ah) which in Hawaiian means a messenger from afar arriving first.

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Workers at the Des Moines County Courthouse are sniffing around the 77-year-old building and using blueprints to find the source of a mystery smell.
The sewer-like stench has been wafting around the basement and parts of the third floor, including the jury deliberation room, the Hawk Eye reported . The unpleasant smell has been noticeable over the past few weeks, though workers say it happens every fall.
"You've probably noticed we're still chasing the smelly gremlin here in the courthouse," said Rodney Bliesener, the county's maintenance supervisor. "We're still trying to find it."
Courthouse employees have tracked past odors to suspect pipes and busted holes in the building's walls to seal cracks. Maintenance workers bored through marble and brick in the women's restroom to patch a pipe that was creating a smell last year.
Panels also line many walls in the courthouse where workers created holes to fix pipes.
Maintenance workers suspect that a pipe connecting the basement to the jury room might be creating the current smell. They plan to open the wall after jury trials end this week.
Bliesener believes changes in the air pressure might be pushing stinky air out into the courthouse, though he isn't positive.
Workers have found a temporary solution: Running the boilers in the courthouse's sub-basement seems to make the smell vanish.
"It's like a smelly ghost," Bliesener said. "It just pops in and out."
Bliesener said he's confident workers will identify the source.

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(Huffington Post) He's making 911 calls great again.
A Florida man being chased by police phoned 911 and asked a dispatcher to contact the White House so he could speak to his "close friend," President Donald Trump.
"We made a deal," marijuana suspect Aric Frydberg said of his relationship with the president during the bizarre emergency call early Tuesday.
The appeal didn't work. Collier County sheriff's deputies caught Frydberg, 33,  after a seven-mile car chase. Despite his attempts to weasel out of trouble ? invoking Trump, blaming Jews and claiming his mother had been in an accident ? deputies booked him on charges that included aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, tampering with evidence, and possession of marijuana. He was jailed on $99,500 bail.
It all started when a deputy noticed a marijuana-like scent emanating from a vehicle parked in a post office parking lot. The officer looked inside the car and saw a baggie containing a green leafy substance. When he tried to confiscate the baggie, Frydberg allegedly grabbed it and stuffed it into his mouth, according to local station WINK.
Then Frydberg sped away and called 911.
"I need help, please," Frydberg told the dispatcher. "There's a police officer chasing me."
The 911 operator repeatedly told Frydberg to pull over, but the fleeing driver had some requests, according to local station WFTX.
"Call my mom, call my mom," he said. "Please call my mom."
When that didn't work, Frydberg pulled out his trump card.
"Donald Trump is a close friend of mine. We made a deal," he said. 
He added, cryptically: "It wasn't his fault, it was the Jews who fucked me, not Donald Trump, it was the Jewish community." 
When that didn't work, Frydberg tried another excuse.
"My mom called me and said she was in a car accident in Homestead," he said. "My flesh and blood was in a car accident and I have to stop and help you."
Officers eventually stopped Frydberg and arrested him. Deputies said they found glass pipes with a burnt leafy residue on them that tested positive for marijuana, according to WFTX.
Frydberg's Facebook page lists him as an apprentice and executive assistant to the CEO at Trump Financial in Miami. HuffPost contacted a phone listing for the company, but no one immediately responded.

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This sausage roll is bringing joy to the world ? and a few complaints, too.
Greggs, a British bakery chain with more than 1,800 locations, released an Advent calendar with coupons and cheeky holiday images. One shows the Three Wise Men gathered around a manger with a meaty treat in place of the baby Jesus. 
That led to some grumbles, and even calls for a boycott.  
GREGGS has apologised to anyone offended by publicity for its first Advent calendar which shows a sausage roll in a manger instead of the baby. The U.K. Evangelical Alliance told BBC Money that it wasn't "too outraged" by the image, but was concerned about the holiday being used for marketing.
"Every year some company creates a Christmas controversy for commercial gain. It seems to get earlier each year," spokesman Daniel Webster told the network. "That's the scandal that should be talked about this Christmas, not processed outrage to sell processed food."
Greggs apologized.
"We're really sorry to have caused any offense, this was never our intention," the company said, according to Sky News. 
However, not everyone was offended. Many on social media ? even some self-described Christians ? saw a little holiday humor in the image of a sausage roll being adulate.

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BORDENTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man is looking for the woman who busted a move while he danced in a supermarket parking lot.
Nineteen-year-old Melvin Brown, of Bordentown, was captured on video by his sisters dancing to the song "Valid like Salad," a Joo & DJ C-HIM hip-hop song.
NJ.com reports he was joined unexpectedly by a passerby getting into her nearby car.
Brown says he figured the video would "blow up" once he posted it on social media, but didn't expect it to reach thousands as it already has.
Brown says he's hoping to find the mystery woman, saying he regrets not talking to her and hopes he can see her again.

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