Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 15th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 15th

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Scott Babcock was wrapping up an early morning runway inspection at America's farthest north airport when he saw what he thought were a couple of wolves.
He took a closer look through his headlights Thursday and saw something bigger and badder.
Two young polar bears ran away when they saw the Alaska airport worker's truck approach. He made sure to videotape their departure.
"Well, it's just another day at the Will Rogers-Wiley Post Memorial Airport," Babcock says as the bears scamper off.
Most airports only worry about wildlife when dealing with bird strikes, but state officials at the airport in the city of Utqiagvik, formerly Barrow, have to prepare for marine mammals that wander in from the Chukchi Sea and around a fence.
A bearded seal estimated to weigh 450 pounds (204 kilograms) plunked itself down on a runway in October after a storm. The state Department of Transportation warned pilots of "low sealings."
But polar bears are another story. They come with claws, teeth and sometimes lethal attitudes. And at this time of year, when the sun is down all day for the next few months, polar bears can be hard to see.
"Those bears could be 40 yards away from you and you wouldn't know it," said Babcock, an equipment operator foreman.
If someone walked out of building and was trapped between a polar bear and a fence, "things could get real ugly real fast," he said.
Complicating Babcock's job is that polar bears are protected marine mammals. Airport workers are not authorized to chase or harass them. If bears linger, they call in the wildlife management department of the North Slope Borough, Alaska's version of counties.
The bears got themselves out of harm's way Thursday. They entered the airport before scheduled flights, and 30 mph winds had grounded some local traffic.
When the bears saw Babcock's headlights, they ran to an infield area and eventually a snow dump. The bears hung out for a few hours, disappeared and showed up again Thursday night.
An animal control officer may have chased them off, Babcock said. He figures they were hungry.
"They're looking for food. They're looking for whatever they can find, like any bear," Babcock said. "If they can find some scrap lying around, it's easier to pick a scrap up than it is to kill a seal."
Calls to the North Slope Borough and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages American polar bears, were not immediately returned.

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ELLSTON, Iowa (AP) - Bargain hunters beware! A four-bedroom farmhouse in southern Iowa listed online for free comes with a catch: The new owner must move the building from the current owners' land.
Roger and Linda Dolecheck wrote in a Craigslist ad that the Ringgold County home will be torn down this winter if no one takes up their offer.
The Dolechecks have been trying for years to sell the house where they raised their four children, the Des Moines Register reported .
"It needs a family to enjoy it the way ours did," Roger Dolecheck wrote in the ad.
The 2 ½-floor farmhouse is assessed at $52,700, even after the Dolechecks invested $150,000 in repairs.
The Dolechecks purchased the home in 1984, then built a new house on the same property about seven years ago. The couple can still see the top of their former home about 100 yards (90 meters) away.
"We just want it moved," Roger Dolecheck said.
Dolecheck said the old farmhouse has historic value as the home to landmark agricultural innovation in Depression-era Iowa.
Raymond F. Baker's family built the farmhouse in the early 1900s. Baker was an agronomy student at Iowa State University in the 1920s. He was given experimental corn samples by Henry A. Wallace, who later served as the vice president under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Baker planted those samples at the farm, and the hybrid corn won awards for its high yields.
"(Raymond) and Henry Wallace . started to develop the first seeds right here," Dolecheck said, "right north of this old house we're trying to get moved."
Dolecheck originally planned to move the farmhouse to a historical farmstead and event center east of Mount Ayr. The cost of the 20-mile (32-kilometer) move that never materialized as at least $22,000. But the tab nearly doubled when it was discovered that a single key power line would have to be moved.
"I would still love to have somebody move it and live in it," Dolecheck said.
 
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A dog who was the subject of a two-year court battle and a faked death is back with his adopted family in Missouri.
KSDK-TV reports that Jamie Patterson and her seven kids adopted Mack the boxer-mastiff mix from Rough Road Rescue in Perryville in 2015.
It turned out that Mack was quite the escape artist. The last time he wandered off, Rough Road Rescue director Steve Svehla found him and decided to keep him, accusing Patterson of neglect.
A two-year court battle ensued. The courts sided with Patterson.
But instead of handing over Max, Svehla gave Patterson a box of ashes, saying the dog died.
He eventually fessed up to the lie, and gave up the dog.
Svehla is charged with theft for failing to turn over Mack immediately after the case ended.

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Police in Cambridge are leaving a decoy package on some local porches this holiday season in an effort to catch would-be thieves.
The Boston Globe reports the police department has started using a "bait package" equipped with a small GPS device that allows officers to track anyone who tries to steal it.
Police spokesman Jeremy Warnick says nearby officers get a text message when the package is moved and can monitor its movement to confront the thief.
It's meant to catch criminals who target packages left on porches amid increased online shopping around the holidays.
The package has been left at some homes with multiple thefts in the past. So far it has not led to any arrests.
Police say they notify residents and their neighbors before leaving the decoy.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Some busy beavers are wreaking havoc in a New York City neighborhood.
The Staten Island Advance reports that the city's Department of Environmental Protection has been grappling with problems caused by a beaver lodge and dam.
It's caused flooding in a creek that's linked to a major storm water management system.
Apparently, it only takes a few eager beavers to source, build and maintain a wildlife urban development project. Neighbors are blaming them for chewing down dozens of trees.
Environmental workers cleared a 2-foot hole so water could get through. The next morning, it was completely closed again.
Now the humans have placed wire cages around some of the bigger trees.
One resident, said Dr. Franklin Caldera, concedes that the rascally rodents are "really good architects."

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Law enforcement officers say they found 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of meth in a spare tire during a traffic stop in Stillwater County.
The Billings Gazette reported Thursday that the officers said the man driving the vehicle claimed he had been visiting Yogi Bear in Yellowstone National Park before being pulled over.
The driver, 31-year-old Manuel Paz Sanchez Jr., was charged with possessing meth with intent to distribute.
Sanchez was originally pulled over for tailing a vehicle too closely.
He waived a preliminary hearing. The case will be presented to a grand jury for indictment.  
Sanchez remains in custody and booking documents do not indicate if he has hired an attorney.

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Huntington, WV- A jealous boyfriend told police he set a West Virginia strip club on fire because he was tired of his girlfriend working there, authorities said.
Creio Chance Bishop, 21, of Huntington, W.Va., was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly set the exterior of JB's Gentlemen's Club on fire, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal reported.
Bishop reportedly set the strip club on fire early Wednesday and fled to a nearby Walmart. A bystander, who alerted police about the blaze, said Bishop told him to "leave the fire along and mind his own business," WSAZ reported.
Deputies discovered Bishop near the scene with a black trash bag. The envious lover told police he "Was tired of his girlfriend working at JB's, so he set it on fire," WCHS-TV reported.
No one was injured in the fire but there was about $1,000 in damage, Jim Reed, the strip club's owner, told WSAZ. Reed said Bishop's girlfriend's job was also in jeopardy.
"I hate doing it, but I got to protect my business," Reed said. "He might do this again. It might be worse next time."
"It's stupid. She's trying to make a living for herself. He's not doing nothing," Reed said. "She's paying the bills, from what I understand."
Reed said the girlfriend was a nice and quiet girl and was upset about the incident.
Sheriff Chuck Zerkle, of the Cabell County Sheriff's Department, said surveillance footage helped deputies identify Bishop.
"Young guy," Zerkle told WSAZ. "He got himself in a big mess now."
Bishop was being held at Western Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond. He was charged with second-degree arson.

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UPS lost a bank draft containing a Canadian family's $846,000 inheritance, and then initially tried making things right by offering to refund a mere $32 shipping fee.
The drama began in February, when, Louis Paul Herbert told CBC, his family was going over his father's will and dividing money between family members. Herbert said he went to a UPS store near Cornwall, Ontario, to pick up a package his sister, Lorette Taylor, had sent him containing a bank check with his part of the fortune.
But the check never arrived.
"I'm waiting at the UPS store, around 3 p.m. because that's when they said the guys came in -- nothing shows up," Herbert told CBC News. "I came back in the evening. Nothing shows up...and I'm wondering, 'What's happened to my inheritance?'"
Taylor said she sent the check from TD Bank through UPS so her brother would not have to travel 270 miles to pick it up. Taylor said the bank guaranteed the draft would get to Herbert safely, a vow that helped convince her to use UPS' services. TD also pledged to Taylor and her husband, John, it would replace the money if the draft got lost.
"They said a bank draft was more appropriate," Taylor said. "Never in my wildest imagination did I think something like this would happen."
UPS said it could not trace the draft's location.
 "While UPS's service is excellent in our industry, we are unfortunately not perfect. Occasionally, the loss of a package does occur," UPS spokeswoman Nirali Raval told CBC. "Our records indicate that our team followed UPS protocol and an exhaustive search for this package was completed by our Operations and Security teams. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the package."
Taylor said UPS sent an apology letter to her family and offered to refund the $32 shipping fee -- but the unlucky woman believes that's not enough.
"That's nice of them to say, but it doesn't solve my problems," Herbert said.
TD refused to issue a new check unless Taylor signed "an agreement to pay back the bank if someone cashes the lost draft," CBC reported.
"It also said that if something happened to me, for example, my children and my heirs and my spouse and my executor would have to pay this debt," she said. "Well, I didn't really want to sign this."
Eventually, however, the woman said she signed the form but the bank "never paid anyone a dime." The bank instead put a lien against her home in case "the errant check was cashed." However, she refused.
"If the bank really wants indemnity, then UPS should sign it," Taylor said.
Herbert said he was out of cash and needed the inheritance to survive.
"TD has the money. The money is actually sitting in an account with TD. Nothing has been stolen. It's there. That's my inheritance," he said. "I would have been retired."
Following initial reports of the misfortune surrounding the missing fortune, TD stepped up, releasing the $846,000 on Thursday and issuing an apology.
"We understand that we've reached a resolution with our customer," Cheryl Ficker, a spokeswoman for TD Canada Trust, told CBC News. "It's clear to us we didn't get this right along the way and that there was more we could have done to come to a resolution faster."
Taylor confirmed to CBC her lawyer has the new check.
"It looks like the matter will be settled," she said.        

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Christine Jo Miller's eyes were watering on her wedding day, but the tears weren't because of joy.
No, the 23-year-old had a reaction to flowers she picked a day earlier for floral arrangements.
As a result, Miller's white wedding dress contrasted with a red and bumpy rash on her face. Not that she saw it: Her eyes were swelled shut and she feared she might go blind.
"I was in so much pain," Miller told Inside Edition. "Nobody knew what to do."
When Miller married her college sweetheart, Jonathan, in September, she thought creating floral arrangements using flowers from her 29-acre plot of land near Lincoln, Nebraska, would be a nice touch.
One type of flower that caught Miller's eye was snow-on-the-mountain, which is known for its lovely white blooms.
It's also known for being poisonous, but Miller didn't realize that until she went to wash her face the morning of her wedding, not realizing the sap residue was still on her hands from doing the floral arrangements from the night before.
She started breaking out, so much so that by 11:30 a.m., her eyes were so swollen that her mom took her to a nearby emergency clinic, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Sadly, it was closed.
Ever the trooper, Miller put on her gown and went to the ceremony. She walked down the aisle to get hitched feeling absolutely terrible.
"I literally couldn't see my husband when I was saying my vows because my vision went blurry," she told HuffPost by email. "So blurry I passed out twice at my reception."
The eye problems set off a chain reaction of other snafus.
"Due to all of this going on, and since I put my wedding dress on 20 minutes before walking down the aisle, I forgot to wear shoes at the forest wedding," Miller said. "My veil fell out twice walking down the aisle, we forgot our rings, and our wedding song didn't get played."
The couple also skipped the unity portion of the ceremony because they forgot those items.
"Our pastor cut it short and married us in a hurry because of the pain I was in," Miller said. "Literally my entire day was a mess hahaha."
After the vows were exchanged, the Millers didn't go to the reception. Instead, they went to the hospital to get medication for the bride.
Of course, there were troubles with that as well, thanks to insurance foul-ups because she was newly married with a new name, according to the Omaha World-Herald. 
Eventually, Miller received eye drops, pain medication and a steroid shot, and arrived at the reception three-and-a-half hours late.
"Everyone had already been done eating a while and were still awkwardly sitting at the tables," she told HuffPost. "Nobody knew if it would be good or bad to update them. We thought they deserved to know why they were sitting in the same spot for so long and I wanted my wedding to keep going even though I wasn't there."
When the couple did arrive, Miller was no longer in her white wedding dress, instead wearing pajama pants and a shirt Jonathan found at Target that read "Bride."
"I didn't wear my dress into the reception mainly because I went fully blind and had been tripping over it since I couldn't see where I was walking," Miller explained.
The Millers did dance at the reception, but the bride said she wasn't able to eat, drink or be merry.
"I laid underneath my grandparents table for a large portion of the night icing my eyeballs and crying," Miller said.
"I was the scariest-looking person at my wedding," she told Inside Edition.
Although there is video of the actual wedding, the photographer graciously allowed the couple to retake their pictures a week later when the bride was back to normal.
This time, the bouquet was hypoallergenic, according to Inside Edition. 

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) - A police department is playing the role of puppy delivery for a Maine woman looking for help with her Christmas gift.
The Bangor Police Department says a woman requested their assistance after seeing two officers were in Washington, D.C., as part of the convoy for Wreaths Across America. The organization lays wreaths on the graves of veterans during the holidays.
The Waldoboro woman told the department she adopted a 14-week-old rescue border collie puppy in Virginia, but she couldn't bring the dog back to Maine before the holiday.
The officers responded, saying they don't mind picking up an extra passenger on their way back from Arlington National Cemetery. The wreaths arrive Saturday.
The police department is posting about the experience on Facebook.

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