Mad Minute stories from Friday, November 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, November 17th

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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) - At first, it was an orange traffic cone with a weed growing out of it. Now, the roadside attraction dubbed "Cone Weed" is something of a Christmas miracle to locals.
WBTV reports someone decorated the "Cone Weed" with tinsel and ornaments last week. The weed has been growing unencumbered across from the Huntersville Fire Station for a year and has amassed a cult following. The fire station tweeted pictures of Cone Weed decked in tinsel and ornaments last week.
Property owner Madeline Phillips said her son mowed around "Cone Weed" during the summer, and calls it "a beacon of hope."
A graphic designer has created a line of Christmas clothes and has sold more than 200 shirts, with proceeds helping local families through HopeMatch.org. There's also a Facebook fan page.

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(Huffington Post) This would make anyone hopping mad.
A Florida couple says they discovered a dead frog in one of their water glasses earlier this month when they sat down for a meal at a Tallahassee Waffle House, local station WCTV reported Thursday. 
Claire Sheats says her husband sipped some ice water before he noticed the frog floating in the cup. They immediately filmed a video showing the frog in the glass before pouring it out onto the table and calling over the waitress.
The employee isn't seen in the video, but her reaction ? "What the hell?" ? can definitely be heard.
Sheats said she and her husband left without eating the meal they ordered, and that she filed complaints with state health inspectors and Waffle House corporate officials.
The Waffle House location passed a later inspection, though the restaurant was cited for 11 violations, according to records from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation obtained by the station. The inspection report did not mention the frog incident.
Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner issued a statement saying the company is investigating Sheats' claim.
The Waffle House has been home to other bizarre incidents in the past. A man was arrested in June 2016 for allegedly trying to force his way into a Waffle House in Sandy Springs, Georgia, while stark naked. In January of the same year, a woman in Kennesaw, Georgia, was accused of stripping naked and then punching customers and heaving platters of food at other people. In October 2015, a man allegedly shattered the front door of a Waffle House in Brookhaven, Georgia, after the business raised the price for a sausage biscuit from $1 to $1.50.
 
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HOUSTON (AP) - A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car.
The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45.
He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police dog attacked him.
Police Lt. Larry Crowson says officers were concerned the man might try to flee into traffic, so they unleashed the dog.
Crowson says investigators will determine whether the man was under the influence.
The suspect has been charged with evading arrest.

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SARVER, Pa. (AP) - A couple who say they were handcuffed for hours in a police patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana are suing the police and an insurance company.
Edward and Audrey Cramer say in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that a Nationwide Insurance Co. agent investigating a fallen tree at their Buffalo Township home sent photos of their flowering plant to police. The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Township police officers with assault rifles went to their home on Oct. 7 to investigate.
Audrey Cramer, 66, said she was partially dressed when she went to the door and police would not let her put on pants before she was handcuffed.
"I was not treated as though I was a human being," she said. "I was just something they were going to push aside."
Edward Cramer, 69, said he returned home a half-hour later to find his wife in the back of a police cruiser and officers pointing guns at him. He also was placed in the cruiser despite trying to convince the officers the plants were hibiscus, not marijuana.
"They actually ignored me," he said. "They wouldn't even listen. I said, 'I can show you pictures on the internet.'"
The Cramers eventually were released without charges. They are seeking monetary and compensatory damages and court costs.
Nationwide Insurance declined to comment on Friday, citing the litigation. Township police also declined to comment.

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PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix man was close to turning a locomotive into his own runaway train.
Police say 20-year-old Julio Rodriguez was arrested earlier this month after trying to steal a train from a rail yard just south of downtown Phoenix.
Union Pacific Railroad workers say they were alarmed when they heard the train horn Nov. 8 and went to investigate.
They discovered Rodriguez, who was actually released from jail earlier that day, sitting in the engineer's seat.
Employees removed him and found he had moved levers and pushed buttons.
They say he was one pedal away from actually moving the train.
According to court documents, Rodriguez admitted to trying to steal the train.
He faces charges of theft of means of transportation and burglary.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A 22-year-old Norwegian student has been handed a 250,000-kroner ($30,400) fine for drunken driving - but can still count herself lucky.
Katharina G. Andresen is reportedly Norway's richest woman, with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.23 billion.
Fines for drunken driving in Norway are based on the defendant's income. Newspaper Finansavisen reported that Oslo City Court said the penalty could have been up to 40 million kroner ($4.9 million) if based on Andresen's assets, but they "have not yielded any dividend yet" and she has no fixed income. The court did increase the fine because of her estimated wealth, however.
Andresen was also banned from driving for 13 months.
Andresen's father gave her a 42-percent share in the family-owned investment company in 2007, leading Forbes to declare her the world's second-youngest billionaire.

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PLAINS, Pa. (AP) - A man who always joked that he didn't want to venture into the afterlife hungry got his wish when he was buried with two cheesesteaks from his favorite sandwich shop - Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia.
According to his grandson, Dominic Lussi, when asked what he wanted to take with him when he died, Richard Lussi replied, "What do you think? Pat's cheesesteak!"
"No onions," his grandson said he would say, "because they'll come back to haunt me."
The 76-year-old father of four died of heart complications on Oct. 10.
Richard Lussi, from Plains Township, was a rabid fan of Philadelphia sports teams, and that loyalty spread to the famed cheesesteak shop after a pregame meal decades ago, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer .
"We hear that there's other cheesesteak places in Philly but we haven't seen them," his son, John Lussi, said.
Richard Lussi loved the sandwiches even though he had a bad heart and his doctor had warned him to watch what he ate, said Dominic Lussi.
At family gatherings, Richard Lussi would often challenge family members to drive 2 1/2 hours to Philadelphia and back to get the sandwiches.
So the day before his funeral, his son, grandson and two friends made the trip to pick up cheesesteaks for the coffin. They had planned to buy just one until they remembered a piece of advice he had given them: "If you're going to Pat's you always get two, you never order just one."
Pat's owner, Frank Olivieri Jr., said he was flattered and bewildered by someone choosing to be buried with his sandwiches. As for what the second cheesesteak might be for, he speculated: "Maybe it's a bribe for Saint Peter."

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida say a former firefighter set a fire in a Walmart and then left with a cart full of unpaid goods as employees rushed to put out the flames.
WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach reports former firefighter Kenneth Gray was charged with arson and petit theft on Tuesday for the fire that damaged a Walmart store last month.
Investigators used surveillance video to identify Gray, who was fired from the county fire department earlier this year.
Palm Beach County deputies say he loaded a cart, placed it near the front entrance and then set the fire to cause a distraction as he walked out with the items.
Online jail records didn't list an attorney for Gray.

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An Indian adventurer dodged terrorists in the barren desert to stake ownership to a strip of land between Sudan and Egypt that neither country has claimed.
Syash Dixit, a computer coder from Indore, India, undertook a perilous six-hour drive and declared himself king of the Kingdom of Dixit in Bir Tawil, an 800-square mile tract that Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings said in a 2011 article was there for the taking if anyone was up to the challenge.
The land is believed to be the largest area unclaimed by any recognized nation. Bir Tawil's existence is the result of a border drawn up by the British at the end of the 19th century.
"The route that I took is under Egyptian military (it is an international border) and is an area of terrorists so military have 'shoot at sight' orders," Dixit said on Facebook, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.
"But, if your Bucket List ideas are not scary enough then they are not worth trying! You need permissions to even enter the route to this place.
"We had three conditions; no photos of military areas, be back in a single day and no valuables."
Dixit has also created a website, encouraging others to apply for citizenship.
He planned his journey over two nights in Egypt and then convinced a local driver to take him to the remote outpost, according to the Telegraph.
After making it safely, Dixit planted a flag and seeds in the desert to establish his claim.
"Following the early civilization ethics and rules, if you want to claim a land then you need to grow crops on it," Dixit said. "I have added a seed and poured some water on it today. It is mine."
He added, "The dawn of our nation begins as a blank slate in an arid, desolate desert. Through the charity of the world community and the disciples of modern science, we will construct the most fertile, ecologically sensitive nation on Earth.
Then he called himself a monarch.
"I am the king! (Please?) This is no joke, I own a country now! Time to write an email to UN."
"King Dixit" is not the first person to claim the land, the paper reported. In 2014 a Virginia father travelled to Bir Tawil with the aim of making his daughter a princess of the "Kingdom of North Sudan." It is not clear that he has pursued his claim of ownership or otherwise continued his involvement in the tract of land.
Dixit won't have an easy time defending his claim.
"Under international law, only states can assert sovereignty over territory," Anthony Arend, co-founder of the Institute for International Law and Politics at Georgetown University, told The Washington Post in 2014.

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(Huffington Post) He wanted the kids fired up. Now he's fired.
An unnamed youth hockey coach was dismissed Friday after his unhinged pep talk emerged on social media, according to multiple news outlets
Deadspin was among the first news sites to post the clip, which must be seen to be believed. Before an Oct. 6 game, the assistant coach.screamed to his players on the Bantam A. Black U14 hockey team of the Littleton (Colorado) Hockey Association: "I want to see you sticking your hands up these guys' a**ses and working 'em like a F***ing puppet!"
He later yelled about the opposing team, "I want to see you beat up Green Mountain. F*** Green Mountain! F*** their coaches! F*** their wives! F*** their friends!"
Told by those in the room he could be heard elsewhere, the coach responded, "I don't care."
The league was informed of the coach's speech through a complaint from USA Hockey, the Denver Post reported.
"This unfortunate event is not a representation of our association and out of respect for the families and the sport we are diligently working to correct the situation," league president George Stieduhar said in a statement to the CBS affiliate in Denver.
The coach issued an apology to both teams, according to the station.
 

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