Mad Minute stories from Monday, November 27th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, November 27th

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NEWTON, N.J. (AP) - Wizards and muggles have turned out in droves for a Harry Potter-themed celebration in a small community, so much so the town is now looking to turn it into an annual event.
Spring Street in Newton was transformed on Saturday into Diagon Alley, the magical market from the J.K. Rowling book series.
More than two dozen restaurants and stores in Newton's main business district featured elements of the franchise, including a restaurant that served Butterbeer and a store that gave patrons magic wands.
Many attendees dressed up in Harry Potter attire. Some donned scarves with colors from the various Hogwarts houses and Harry's signature round eyeglasses.
Mayor Wayne Levante told the New Jersey Herald that the overwhelming crowd was much larger than organizers initially envisioned.
"It's just awesome to see this many people here in Newton," Levante said. "There's obviously a demand for this. ... A rising tide raises all boats, so we're going to make sure that we do this bigger and better next year because this is lightning in a bottle."
Town and local business leaders planned to meet Monday to discuss next year's event and how it could be improved, including the possibility of making it a two-day event. They planned to address concerns raised by attendees, such as a lack of parking and the need for more bathroom facilities. Some people also voiced displeasure over long waits to get in to some stores, but officials say that was mostly due to the larger than expected crowds.

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SUDBURY, Mass. (AP) - Police in a Massachusetts town are showing residents how not to transport their holiday trees.
Sudbury police posted a picture Friday of a vehicle with a large tree on top of it. Almost the entire car appears to be hidden.
Police say an officer stopped the vehicle on Route 20 in the town, located about 25 miles (40 km) west of Boston.
Police on Facebook reminded people to transport holiday trees "responsibly."
It's unclear if the driver was cited. The department did not immediately respond to a request for additional details on Monday.
 
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California man accused of flying a drone over two NFL games this weekend and dropping political leaflets has been arrested in a case that raised concerns about security at professional sports events, police said Monday.
Federal and local laws prohibit flying drones near football games, and authorities are examining additional ways to prevent the unmanned aircraft from hovering over crowds of tens of thousands of people after the flights Sunday, Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno said. He declined to discuss the security measures being considered.
The Federal Aviation Administration also is investigating, spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Police cited Tracy Michael Mapes, 55, with misdemeanor charges and released him after a drone was spotted over Levi's Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks played.
The drone released fliers criticizing television news media during the second quarter of the game, but most of the papers blew out of the stadium during the windy, rainy game, Moreno said. It didn't disrupt play.
Surveillance cameras helped detectives track the drone to its operator, who was seen driving away from the Santa Clara stadium and identified by a license plate, Moreno said.
Santa Clara detectives called their counterparts in Oakland in anticipation that Mapes would go there next as the Raiders hosted the Denver Broncos.
Oakland officers spotted a drone over Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and it dropped the fliers again, Moreno said. That game also was not affected. Mapes was arrested shortly afterward while leaving in his vehicle.
Mapes didn't respond to an email inquiry sent through Facebook.

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CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) - A dog wouldn't come out after chasing a cat into a tunnel dug by a giant tortoise in the back yard of a home in a Phoenix suburb, so homeowner Toby Passmore called for help.
Chandler firefighters responded Wednesday with people and shovels and, with the help of a city backhoe, began unearthing the 6-foot-deep tunnel dug by Passmore's tortoise.
That allowed Passmore to squirm head-first into the hole and see that his Scottish Schnauzer "was willfully inside the hole" where it had cornered the cat.
With his ankles held by firefighters, Passmore was able to pull the dog out. It emerged dirty but unharmed.
The rescuers left the hole open to allow the cat to leave when it felt safe.

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city has shut down a recently opened dog park after complaints from a neighbor that the barking and yapping were making him "miserable."
The Burlington Free Press reports that South Burlington decided to close Jaycee Park last week and create a committee to establish new standards before opening dog parks in residential areas.
Mark Dickinson complained at a Nov. 6 council meeting that it's as if the park were in his backyard, saying his neighborhood suddenly had no peace and quiet.
City Council member Meaghan Emery said the city wants to put more dog parks on city-owned property. She said there is a chance they may be able to find an alternate site for a park before the ground freezes for the winter.

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PARIS (AP) - Police in Paris say a tiger escaped from a circus in the city and roamed the streets of the French capital for "some time" before being killed.
Police said that the big cat was "neutralized" by a staff member from the circus near a bridge over the River Seine, about two kilometers (1.24 miles) from the Eiffel Tower.
Police authorities tweeted "all danger is over" alongside a tiger emoticon.
A Paris police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the tiger had been loose for "some time" Friday but said there had been no reported injuries or casualties.
Residents in the 15th district where the tiger was shot circulated photos of the beast's limp corpse on social media - many angry that it had been killed.

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MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) - Police in New Hampshire have accused a woman of stealing over $300,000 worth of airline miles from a former employer's account.
Thirty-six-year-old Tiffany Tomaselli, of Manchester, was charged Saturday with theft by unauthorized taking and other offenses after she turned herself in to police. Tomaselli was released on $5,000 bond. It wasn't immediately known if she had an attorney. A message was left at a phone number Tuesday.
Police say executives at the Merrimack-based retailer Brookstone discovered Tomaselli used company airline miles after leaving her position as an executive assistant in 2013. Company officials say Tomaselli accessed a Delta Air Lines account used for business trips. A company audit says Tomaselli used over 2 million points on trips to multiple countries.
A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials say it took firefighters more than two hours to free a man who wound up stuck in a trash truck's compactor section.
Police say it appears the man had been sleeping in a trash bin when he was tossed into the truck. He was buried under bagged and loose trash when firefighters tried to reach him Monday morning.
The ordeal happened outside The Kintock Group home, which serves as an interim stop before state and federal prisoners are released.
Authorities initially said the man escaped from the home, but a prisons department spokeswoman says no one was missing from a roll call.
The man was taken to a hospital with leg, hip and abdominal injuries.
Fire officials say residents who heard the man screaming called 911.

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A museum has restored the longest painting in North America so it can share the story of American whaling with the public.
The quarter-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long) panorama toured the U.S. after it was completed in 1848. A section was featured at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
But the panorama deteriorated after so much traveling on wagons and trains, rolling and unrolling. Paint dried up and flaked off, and the panorama was put into storage.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum enlisted the help of a textile conservator to fix the "Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World." Now it's searching for a large venue to display it, scouting locations in New Bedford but open to considering Providence, Rhode Island, or the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.
D. Jordan Berson, who's managing the project, said he hopes this record of American whaling can eventually return to some of the cities that were stops on the national tour, including Boston; Buffalo, New York; and St. Louis.
"It's a national treasure that's been out of the spotlight for too long," he said.
Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington created the panorama to capture all aspects of a whaling voyage. The panorama would be mounted on a system of cranks and reels to go across a theater stage as a narrator told stories of hunting whales and processing their carcasses. A poster for the Boston stop in 1849 advertises tickets for 25 cents.
The audience members would hear what it was like to round Cape Horn and visit Fiji and other far-flung destinations as they saw painted scenes of those locations. Most people hadn't traveled to any of those places, and photography was in its infancy.
Many young men at that time were headed west in search of gold, which meant they weren't joining whaling crews, said Michael Dyer, the museum's curator of maritime history. The panorama may have been used as a recruiting tool, he said.
"It serves as a pictorial documentation of whaling in a way almost nothing else does," he said.
The museum has spent $400,000 to conserve, digitize and store the panorama. The money was raised from individual donors, private foundations and government grants.
Berson spent a year spraying the panorama with an adhesive to stabilize a paint layer that had powdered over time. The conservator stitched sections that were taken apart, repaired thinning areas of the cotton muslin fabric and fixed holes and tears. Every section has been photographed and merged into a large digital image so it can be shown moving to replicate the original experience.
The restored artwork will be static when it's displayed, meaning the museum needs to find a room that's at least 16,000 square feet (1,486 square meters), Berson said.
The panorama is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall. The museum's chief curator, Christina Connett, said she's confident it's the longest painting in North America and she knows of no longer moving panorama in the world.
The last time the panorama was displayed in its entirety was in 1969, when it was unfurled in a former furniture store on an island off New Bedford, Dyer said.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police are searching for thieves who swiped more than 1,800 (6,800 liters) gallons of vodka from a Los Angeles distillery.
Investigators say the suspects sawed through dead bolts to get inside a storage room at the Fog Shots distillery
Company representative Art Gukasayan says the thieves made away with about 90 percent of the company's holiday inventory and that the take was worth about $278,000.
KABC-TV reported Wednesday that detectives are examining surveillance footage that shows three men behind a razor wire fence. One of them climbs the fence and knocks the camera over before the break-in.
 

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