Mad Minute stories from Monday, November 20th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, November 20th

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MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) - Turkeys are traditional for Thanksgiving. But some folks in the San Francisco Bay Area are praying the wild ones will go away.
Introduced into the state for hunting decades ago, wild turkeys are thriving and have invaded urban areas, perhaps seeking food, water and safety from predators over five years of drought.
"The neighborhood embraces them," Darlene Devon Andrade of Concord shared on the Facebook page of the San Francisco Chronicle. "We are all very careful when driving and let them roam freely in our streets and yards so they can eat and be happy!"
On the other hand, the birds poop everywhere, tear up landscaping, gouge screen doors, knock off roof tiles and can get ornery if they perceive a rival.
"These turkeys weigh like 20 pounds, and they know how to defend themselves," said Dan Gluesenkamp, executive director of the California Native Plant Society. "There are tons of stories (about) people's brand new Mercedes getting torn up by 20-pound Toms who are looking at their reflections."
About 20 of the big birds swing by the home of Anthony and Holly Blackburn daily in the town of Martinez.
"My wife gets irritated because she cleans up after them," Anthony Blackburn told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I like watching them on the hill across the street, scratching and pecking, and even occasionally napping. The males will occasionally fan their tails to impress the females."
California doesn't regularly track the wild turkey population, although a survey made more than a decade ago put the statewide population at about a quarter-million, the Chronicle reported.
Homeowners can try to dissuade the birds form entering their yards with stop-motion sprinklers or loud noises. If that fails, they can get permits to kill nuisance birds.
Contra Costa County issues about 60 permits a year, said Greg Martinelli, a program manager with the Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife office overseeing an area that extends between Santa Cruz and Sonoma County.
Preservationists worry about the effect of a wild turkey explosion on native plants and animals.
"They move across the landscape, 20 or 30 of them, elbow to elbow, scratching every inch of the land," Gluesenkamp said. "They eat every creepy crawlie, every salamander, every lizard, every snake, every nut, every acorn, every wild flower seed, every quail egg."
"Turkeys are really cool," he said. "They're incredible birds. And we love seeing turkeys. But there are just too many."

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A young camel named Scooby is back at home after going on a 90-minute jaunt that blocked traffic and provided an uncommon photo opportunity for motorists in Ohio.
The Blade reports 1-year-old Scooby escaped from his fenced-in home in Springfield Township on Friday afternoon and began walking along township streets, prompting wide-eyed reaction.
A neighbor of the owner who was on her way home from work alerted the Lucas County Sheriff's Office. Owner Nabil Shaheen was then contacted and led Scooby safely home.
Shaheen said he bought Scooby as a baby and is glad no one was hurt.
 
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GLEN ROCK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania town has reached a detente over a former councilman's broadcast of taps through loudspeakers at his home, which had caused complaints and lawsuit threats.
The Glen Rock Borough Council voted Nov. 15 to move the nightly taps-playing to a public park as part of a veteran's memorial.
Joshua Corney, a lieutenant commander in the Navy, has been playing a recording of taps from his home nightly for about two years. Last spring, he added loudspeakers.
Several neighbors complained it created a disturbance.
Over the summer, the council restricted Corney's broadcast to Sunday nights and certain flag holidays.
The York Dispatch reports the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue if Corney wasn't allowed to play it.
Corney says he'll continue playing taps at home until the speakers at the Glen Rock Park are installed.
It's not clear when that will happen.

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NEW YORK (AP) - New York City cabbies have been called a lot of things over the years ... courteous, reckless, sometimes rude. But sexy?
That's the tongue-in-cheek goal of a quirky pinup calendar featuring a dozen New York City taxi drivers smirking and smoldering in provocative poses in and around their yellow cabs.
The NYC Taxi Drivers Calendar was the brainchild of Phil and Shannon Kirkman, a husband-and-wife team who thought it was high time cabbies stepped out from behind the wheel and enjoyed a little of the attention that firefighters and others have gotten from their steamy calendars.
"No. 1, you rarely see the driver," Phil Kirkman says. "You get in a cab and they're facing forward and that's sort of your experience with the driver. And we saw that as an opportunity to shine a positive light on them and the industry that they work in."
A portion of the proceeds from sales of the $14.99 calendar benefits University Settlement, a charity that helps low-income New York City immigrants. That five-year partnership, which has so far raised more than $60,000, makes sense, Kirkman says, because the great majority of taxi drivers are immigrants.
Eleven men and one woman camp it up in the 2018 taxi calendar. A shirtless driver in Chippendales-style bowtie and shirt cuffs leans against a vintage Checker cab. Another driver, also shirtless, licks icing from a cake with his picture on it.
Terry Samlall, Mr. November, is pictured draping his left hand over the steering wheel as a female passenger reaches from the back seat to tuck a $100 bill into his mesh T-shirt. The 46-year-old Samlall says, unfortunately, he doesn't get tips that big in real life.
Luis Marte is appearing in the calendar for the second straight year. After he posed last year on the cover of the calendar with his shirt unbuttoned, women he didn't know sent him Facebook messages.
"My wife was having none of it," says the 34-year-old Marte.

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"Carlos Danger" is looking for a pen pal.
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who reported to prison this week to begin a 21-month sentence for sexting with a 15-year-old girl, is hoping to stay in contact with the outside world.
Weiner's away message on his personal email addresses provide specific instructions on how to stay in contact with the disgraced Congressman, the New York Post reported Thursday.
"Thanks for reaching out," the message says. "Starting November 6th, I'll be away for a while but I would love to stay in touch. As quaint as it may sound, the best way to reach me is by sending a letter. When you write, ill get you the information about how email might work.
"So please include your full mailing address here and of course include it when you write," Weiner says in the message. "And although you didn't ask - yes, you may send me books via Amazon. (No crockpots or washers/dryers though)"
Weiner then provides information on how to contact him via the "Federal Medical Center" in Massachusetts.
Weiner, whose political career and later run for New York City mayor was derailed because of continuous sexting incidents - sometimes under a "Carlos Danger" pseudonym - was sentenced in September after he pleaded guilty in May to a charge of transmitting sexual material to a minor.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Santa Claus may be coming to town, but you'll need a reservation to see him.
At Macy's flagship store in New York, a chance to sit on Saint Nick's lap is by appointment only this year, for the first time ever. Starting Monday, eager families can go online to sign up for a time slot from 30 minutes to five days in advance. Admission is free to Santaland Herald Square. Professional photo packages start at $20.99.  
Macy's says the system was designed to cut down on wait times that got very long, especially during the busiest days. The department store says families can cancel a reservation and make a new one at any time. And they say don't be too early or late for the time slot.

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BOSTON (AP) - A Boston zoo is holding a farewell party for a beloved gorilla that's heading to another zoo in New Orleans to start his own family.
Officials at the Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday will be celebrating Okpara, a 24-year-old male Western lowland gorilla affectionately called "Okie." He will soon be heading to the Audubon Zoo in Louisiana.
The Boston zoo is inviting patrons to sign a farewell card, enjoy free cake and learn about gorilla conservation.
Okie's move is part of the zoo's participation in the national Gorilla Species Survival Plan, an inter-zoo program meant to ensure survival of the species.  
Western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered in the wild. They're found in Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Angola, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

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(Huffington Post) An Italian hairstylist was driven to make what is perhaps the strangest car ever.
It's certainly the hairiest. Even Guinness World Records says so.
Maria Lucia Mugno of Salerno spent more than 150 hours covering her Fiat 500 in more than 264 pounds of human hair acquired from India.
"My inspiration came from a dare, a bet, whilst I was working," she told Barcroft TV. "My friend didn't think I was capable of making a car that was entirely covered in real hair. And when he saw my finished work of art, he was completely shocked by what I'd made."
Mugno's car may be hairy, but it's street legal because she didn't cover the engine in hair.
"This would have created a fire hazard," she said. 
Mugno admits people aren't sure how to react when they see her driving around.
"When they see it's actually hair, it disgusts them," she said, adding that she takes care of it like it was still on a person.
"We shampoo it, we brush it, we trim it. It's a systematic operation with the car's hair," she said.

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(Huffington Post) Britain's National Trust has told Santa Claus to get back on his sleigh and get out of town, or at least out of the organization's famous estates and homes. 
He's too American.
But the agency, which runs more than 300 historic buildings including homes, castles and forts, is keeping the jolly elf. They just want its events to use the proper British name of Father Christmas instead. 
The Evening Standard said someone at the Trust accidentally emailed internal guidance on the matter to several members of the press.
"Can you change 'Santa' to 'Father Christmas?'" the email said. "I know you've used 'FC' later on, but National Trust guidance is never to use Santa."
Some U.K. media outlets called it a "Santa ban," but the organization said that's not the case at all. 
"Contrary to any speculation, the National Trust is not looking to ban Santa, Saint Nick or Santa Claus," The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson as saying. "We recognize the gift-giving, jolly man with the beard goes by many names all over the world, but we try to stick to one, and for many years that has been Father Christmas."
Along with being more British, Father Christmas is also more in tune with the upper-class nature of the Trust's properties. 
Etiquette expert William Hanson told the Telegraph that it's "lower class to call him Santa."
Hanson added: "If you're British or have Anglo-Saxon aspirations, then it's Father Christmas and never Santa or Santa Claus."
He said he was "buoyed" to see the Trust "speaking out and correcting this irritating and increasing Americanization of Christmas." 
While Santa is an Americanization, the origin of the name is actually from the Dutch term, Sinterklaas.

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(Huffington Post) You know things are bad when a porn star thinks the country is getting screwed - and not in a good way.
That's why adult actress Cherie DeVille is considering running against Donald Trump in the 2020 election with '90s rapper Coolio as her running mate.
Though DeVille hasn't officially filed - and won't until she is convinced there is enough momentum to pursue it seriously - she does have a website, PornStarForPresident.com.
In August, she released an introductory video featuring Coolio, a former pro wrestler named Virgil, and various other porn stars. 
The 39-year-old DeVille has been thinking about the run ever since Donald Trump was elected last November.
"When he first ran, I thought his campaign was a stunt or joke, and people were only watching because it made good TV," she told HuffPost. "I thought when the election came, people would do what's right and not vote for him."
"But people seem more interested in celebrity than a person's views and more interested in the spectacle," she said.
If a spectacle is what the public wants, DeVille said she's willing to provide that, if her efforts can help unseat Trump from the presidency.
"My philosophy of governing is based on integrity, honesty and openness," she said. "I will listen to my experts. I'm not an insane narcissist. I love other people."
Like Trump, DeVille doesn't have political experience ? though she did play "Hillary Clayton," a candidate who, in true porn fashion, has sex with fellow candidate "Donald Drumpf," played by Charles Dera, in an adult film.
"I honestly didn't learn anything about being president from that scene ? except that I hate pantsuits," she said.
When DeVille isn't making films like "Helpless Hogtied Heroines," "I Blackmailed My Stepmom" and "Our Latin Babysitter," she works as a physical therapist.
She says her career experience has given her skills that translate over to the nation's highest office.
"I have good communication skills. I can read people. I'm diplomatic with people of all backgrounds. I'm open-minded and accepting of people of other cultures," she said.
Politically, DeVille's views lean toward "libertarian liberal."
"I agree with Libertarians on a lot of issues, but not the environment or health care," she said. "I think government needs to lend a hand with those, and we can't depend on the free market."
DeVille also realizes she can't depend of her own level of fame to get her the amount of free publicity Trump got. That's why she's bringing in Coolio as her vice president.
"He represents the American dream," she said. "He started from nothing and made something of himself."
Coolio believes he and DeVille represent a necessary change from the current situation.
"Somebody's got to do something, man, somebody's got to try. We need normal people, we need normal, regular, everyday people in office," Coolio told LA station KESQ.
DeVille admits her introductory video is cheesy and makes her campaign look like just a publicity stunt, but said she did that in order to raise attention to the possible run.
"I'm fully aware that people don't think highly of pornographers," she said. "So I decided to make it outrageous. Will these people in the video be given the positions mentioned in the video? No. But they were willing to be there and get interest and create a spectacle.
"My views are real and my desire is there. I consider it showmanship," she said.
 

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