Mad Minute stories from Monday, December 4th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, December 4th

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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An opossum that apparently drank bourbon after breaking into a Florida liquor store sobered up at a wildlife rescue center and was released unharmed.
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge officials say the opossum was brought in by a Fort Walton Beach, Florida, police officer on Nov. 24. A liquor store employee found the animal next to a broken and empty bottle of bourbon.
"A worker there found the opossum up on a shelf next to a cracked open bottle of liquor with nothing in it," said Michelle Pettis, a technician at the refuge. "She definitely wasn't fully acting normal."
Pettis told the Northwest Florida Daily News the female opossum appeared disoriented, was excessively salivating and was pale. The staff pumped the marsupial full of fluids and cared for her as she sobered up.
"We loaded her up with fluids to help flush out any alcohol toxins," Pettis said. "She was good a couple of days later."
Pettis says the opossum did not appear to have a hangover.
The store owner, Cash Moore, says he never had an opossum break in before.
"She came in from the outside and was up in the rafters, and when she came through she knocked a bottle of liquor off the shelf," Moore said. "When she got down on the floor she drank the whole damn bottle."
"But it just goes to show that even the animals are impressed with Cash's," he said.
The animal was released on Thursday.

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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - When a man found the only worker at an empty South Carolina Waffle House asleep, he took his meal into his own hands.
On Facebook , Alex Bowen chronicled with selfies how he made his own double Texas bacon cheese steak melt at the famous Southern 24-7 diner around 2 a.m. Thursday.
Bowen says on Facebook he waited 10 minutes, then cooked his meal and "even scraped the grill when I was done."
Bowen's photos showed him with the sleeping worker, frying bacon and putting the sandwich together.
After good-natured kidding about stealing the sandwich, Bowen even posted a selfie returning to pay for his meal.
Waffle House said in a statement it was impressed with Bowen's cooking skills but customers should never go behind the counter for safety reasons.
 
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Earmuffs are all the rage on at least one day of the year.
With the arrival of the holiday season and winter around the corner, the town of Farmington celebrated Chester Greenwood Day with a parade Saturday honoring the folk hero who's credited with the invention that has kept ears warm for more than a century.
Earmuffs festooned floats and cars, and people and pets, too. A flag featuring with supersized earmuffs was hoisted outside the courthouse.
Behind all the silliness, though, there is pride in the famous tinkerer and his creation.
"They're just ubiquitous. People continue to wear them. It's something Mainers can be proud of," said Angela Goebel-Bain from the Maine State Museum.
Greenwood was just 15 when he fashioned his first muffs out of farm wire and his grandmother sewed fur onto them in 1873. He made improvements to his creation, obtained a patent and manufactured hundreds of thousands of Champion Ear Protectors.
During World War I, his factory made earmuffs for the U.S. Army "doughboys" fighting in the frozen trenches on the western front.
Greenwood enjoyed tinkering. He came up with more than 100 contraptions but received patents for only five of them, Goebel-Bain said.
His earmuff design represented improvements by incorporating a spring that conformed to the head and kept muffs in contact with the ears, according to his 1877 patent. Other patents included a rake, a tea kettle and a wood-boring machine. He also ran a bicycle shop, built a plumbing and heating business and created a local telephone company.
His earmuff factory closed a few years after his death in 1937.
Forty years later, the Maine Legislature declared Chester Greenwood Day on the first day of winter. These days, it's celebrated on the first Saturday of December. Festivities include a polar dip, gingerbread house contest, tree lighting and carriage rides.
"People have stepped up to the plate to make it fun," said Nancy Porter of Farmington, who authored the self-published "Chester: More Than Earmuffs."
As the story goes, Greenwood hatched the idea for the earmuff to protect his generous-sized ears after a day of ice skating on a frigid day.
Over time, some elements of the Greenwood story may have been embellished, but not the part about the size of his ears, Porter said.
"He had pretty good-sized ears. There's no question," she said.

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GUADALUPE, Calif. (AP) - Archaeologists working in sand dunes on the central California coast have dug up an intact plaster sphinx that was part of an Egyptian movie set built more than 90 years ago for Cecil B. DeMille's epic "The Ten Commandments."
The 300-pound sphinx is the second recovered from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.
Dunes Center Executive Director Doug Jenzen tells Santa Barbara news station KEYT-TV that it's unlike other items found on previous digs because most of it is preserved with the original paint intact.
The set of the 1923 movie included more than 20 sphinxes. After filming, DeMille ordered everything buried in the dunes 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
They lay undisturbed for decades before recovery efforts began. The newly recovered sphinx is expected to go on display at the dunes museum next summer.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The first-ever pizza party in space is getting sky-high reviews.
Astronauts at the International Space Station posted pictures and a video over the weekend of their small, made-from-scratch pizza pies. The fixings flew up last month on a commercial supply ship, and the crew wasted little time pulling out the flatbread, tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives, olive oil, anchovy paste and pesto.
After making their own individual-size pizzas, the six astronauts tossed and twirled them like floating Frisbees, before heating and devouring them.
Commander Randy Bresnik called the pizzas "flying saucers of the edible kind." The crew, he said in a tweet, "had a blast channeling our inner chef by building tasty pizzas for movie night."
"The IPDS (Intergalactic Pizza Devouring Squad) says 12 thumbs up!" Bresnik added.
NASA's space station manager, Kirk Shireman, took pity on Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli's pizza craving and, in mid-November, shipped up all the ingredients on an Orbital ATK capsule. Nespoli, in orbit since July, declared the pizza "unexpectedly delicious."
Nespoli has just over a week before returning to true Italian cuisine. He will land in Kazakhstan on Dec. 14, along with Bresnik and a Russian.

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SEA GIRT, N.J. (AP) - It was a squirrel that nearly stole Christmas in a New Jersey town.
Sea Girt officials were puzzled when wires to the town's Christmas tree and display were found torn last week. Workers repaired the damage so the tree could be lit on Friday.
Police kept watch over the display and on Saturday posted a photo on Facebook of the culprit - a squirrel.
Police said the squirrel was "charged with criminal mischief and released on bail."

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PARIS (AP) - Residents of a small French town are hoping to break a record for the world's biggest Provencal nativity scene.
Craftsmen in Aubagne joined forces to create a 150-square-meter (1,615-square-feet) nativity village. It sprawls around the room replete with 3,500 terracotta figurines in scenes that include Mary and Joseph, and even a French post office, cinema and bar with people playing cards.
Aubagne figurine-maker Philippe Rish said Friday the pieces were made by a "large community of passionate people."
The making of hand painted figurines, called "santons," is a famous local tradition in the southern Provence region that dates back to the French Revolution.
Aubagne's deputy mayor, Philippe Amy, said they hope Guinness World Records will register their feat before Christmas.

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KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Troopers have seized methamphetamine welded inside heavy equipment that was shipped to Ketchikan.
A 53-year-old Ketchikan man was charged with a felony drug count in the case.
Officers from the troopers' statewide drug enforcement unit, Ketchikan police and the Coast Guard took part in the investigation at a Ketchikan freight carrier.
Troopers say a drug dog Sunday located the methamphetamine welded inside a hydraulic engine hoist shipped from Seattle. Officers seized nearly 4 ounces (111 grams) of the drug.
Officers Monday arrested Richard Anderson after he took possession of the cargo shipment. He remained jailed Friday.
His attorney, assistant public defender Margret Bergerud, said by email she was not prepared to comment on the substance of the case but that her office would be doing its own thorough investigation into the allegations.

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(The Hill) A Philadelphia resident was shocked to receive a letter Friday saying they won an election earlier in the month - apparently because no one else cast a vote.
"I literally yelled 'what the hell' when I opened the letter," Phillip Garcia told The Hill. "I've written my name in a few times during elections when no one else is listed for a position. It's just been a thing I do, with no expectation of, like, actually making an impact on the vote."
Garcia, editor-at-large of The Rumpus and a Temple University Ph.D. candidate, tweeted Friday that the city had informed them of being elected as an election judge to serve on a board for Ward 21, Division 10 of the city, which covers parts of the Manayunk neighborhood.
"They say that one vote doesn't matter, but I literally wrote in my own name and won an election because I guess no-one else ran/voted for this position," Garcia tweeted Friday.
The city's election results website shows Garcia's new position as being won by a write-in candidate, with no name listed and three votes in the category. Garcia said two other candidates wrote their names on the ballot as well, but were likely declared ineligible to serve.
Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt confirmed Garcia's victory and vote total (1) in an interview Saturday, and said that many election judge positions are filled the same way.
"Frequently, candidates do not file petitions to have their names appear on the ballot, so that's when we see write-in votes being decisive," Schmidt told The Hill. 
"A winner is the candidate who received the most write-in votes."
Schmidt added that a total of 192 election judge positions were filled by write-in candidates in the Nov. 7 election.
Garcia said they were not informed of the victory until Dec. 1, almost a month after the Nov. 7 election.
"Part of me still feels like this is a mistake or prank," Garcia added.
Alongside the certificate, Garcia received a letter, dated Nov. 28, informing them that Garcia had been "duly elected to a four-year term for a board worker position in the office and precinct listed in the enclosed certificate." The letter is signed by the city's acting supervisor of elections, Kevin Kelly.
A judge of election typically runs their local voting place on election days. To appear on the ballot, a candidate must file a petition with the city containing 10 signatures - but no signatures are required to mount a write-in campaign.
Judges in the city are paid $100 per election they preside over, and the only requirements are to be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age and a resident of the division in which the position presides over.
Garcia is hopeful that the position will allow for pursuing progressive goals for the district through community organizing.
Garcia also tweeted, "My first act as an elected official is to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump and also now every Tuesday in Manayunk is officially Taco Tuesday."
"This actually will be a great way for me to be more involved in my neighborhood and work actively toward more progressive change," Garcia told The Hill.
"I actually have a background in community organizing, and while I'm not entirely sure how this position could align with that, it seems like an opportunity to find some ways to at least more deeply connect with my neighbors," Garcia continued.
Garcia's term begins in 2018, with the position's first official duties being next year's primary elections in May.

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(Huffington Post) The host Buffalo Bills didn't come back in a 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday ? but a dildo did.
A little more than a year after a fan threw a dildo onto the field in a Bills home game against the Pats, an object that appeared to be another sex toy landed on the gridiron.
"Nobody's seen it yet," a fan can be heard snickering as players jog by in the clip below.
A sideline crew member eventually swept it away with the down marker.
According to reports, said marital aid materialized in the third quarter. Toronto Sun NFL columnist John Kryk wrote that the referees noticed the object.
Last year, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady actually commented on the flying phallus, saying: "I thought it was funny the ref didn't want to pick it up. He was kicking it. Nobody wanted to reach down and grab it. That was very unusual. That was a first. Only in Buffalo."
Only in Buffalo again, Tom!
We've reached out to the Bills for more details, because ... journalism.
 

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