Mad Minute stories for December 18, 2017 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for December 18, 2017

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KHQ.com -

A routine oil change has turned into an unusual owl sighting for one car owner.

The police department in Salem, New Hampshire, said Friday a mechanic popped the hood of a car and found an Eastern Screech owl sitting on the engine. The department said the car owner had no idea how the owl got there. Police guessed he was either seeking warmth or chasing a mouse.

Police posted photos of the owl on Facebook. They named him “Shazam” and said he was very friendly.

Shazam was taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center for evaluation.

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VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia theme park is offering guests a free ticket if they eat a cricket.

The giveaway may bug some people. But Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta was giving away T-shirts and free admission Saturday to the first 100 guests to gobble up a roasted cricket.

The challenge was meant to promote the park’s upcoming attraction called MEGABUGS! The Valdosta Daily Times reports the interactive insect attraction will open in March.

Exhibits will include giant replicas of insects including a 15-foot (4.5-meter) dragonfly, a 26-foot (8-meter) hissing cockroach and a 50-foot (15-meter) millipede.

Wild Adventures officials said in a news release the exhibits will showcase the unique sounds and movements that insects make.

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CITRUS HEIGHTS, California (AP) — Authorities say a Northern California man tried to burglarize a business by entering through the chimney only to become stuck.

Police in the Sacramento-area city of Citrus Heights said Friday that 32-year-old Jesse Berube was uninjured but now faces one count of burglary.

According to police, Berube slid down the chimney of the business Wednesday and then found himself lodged inside.

The Rocklin man was able to reach his cellphone and dial 911 for help.

The Sacramento Fire Department responded and used special equipment to extricate him.

Police called Berube a “criminal Santa” who “does not have the same skills as the real deal."

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts marijuana aficionados have rolled a 100-foot-long (30.48-meter) joint.

The effort was led by Boston-based cannabis club and advocacy group Beantown Greentown during an exhibition of pro-marijuana vendors and supporters at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday.

They perfected a secret rolling technique using 1,000 grams (35.27 ounces) of their own pot trimmings.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that people crowded around to take selfies when the final product was displayed Saturday. Thousands of people attended the exhibition.

The newspaper says 55-year-old Denise Fournier, of Gardner, Massachusetts, asked the question on everybody's mind: "When are you going to light it up?"

Massachusetts last year voted to legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana. A Cannabis Control Commission is writing regulations to govern the sale of cannabis.

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BYRAM, Miss. (AP) - A 5-year-old Mississippi boy called 911 to report that the Grinch was trying to steal Christmas.

The Clarion Ledger reports that it happened Saturday in the Jackson suburb of Byram. An officer went to TyLon Pittman's home to assure him that the green creature wouldn't take anyone's gifts.

TyLon had been watching videos online when he became alarmed about the Grinch. He told his mom, Teresa Pittman, that he dialed 911, but she says she didn't quite believe him until an officer knocked on the door.

The officer, Lauren Develle, says she grew up loving the character created by children's author Dr. Seuss.

TyLon says has a plan in case the Grinch does appear: he says he will wrestle him and hold him until the police show up.

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Reindeer are supposed to pull Santa Claus’ sleigh, but in Oregon recently, a red-suited man on a sled wound up pushing a deer.

The reverse-reality Christmas-season tale played out when a deer wandered onto a frozen golf course pond in Sunriver, Oregon, on Friday and then lost its footing.

Try as it might, it couldn’t get all its legs underneath him. It skidded and slithered, and its legs buckled.

Along came firefighter Jeff “JJ” Johnston, astride a new ice-rescue sled that was as bright red as the suit he wore, and as the nose on Rudolph the reindeer, which guided Santa’s sleigh one foggy Christmas Eve.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A dead Christmas tree at the Statehouse is being replaced.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Monday that a new tree is coming after the first one dried up and dropped piles of needles more than a week before Christmas. She told reporters her staff plans the switch as soon as possible.

Raimondo, a Democrat, said she wants people to know, “Don’t worry, we’ll get a new tree.”

The move comes three days after The Associated Press reported Friday on the tree’s sorry condition, including bare branches and needles that dropped instantly when touched.

The AP article prompted a local tree farm to offer to donate a new tree. The state fire marshal’s office, which over the weekend put out a news release warning of the dangers of dried-out Christmas trees, did not immediately answer a question Monday about whether the fire marshal had seen the tree.

It’s not the first time the Rhode Island Statehouse tree has caused trouble. In 2005, it shed its needles after being doused in fire retardant. Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent at the time, refused to call it a Christmas tree and called it a holiday tree instead, leading to angry protests. Last year, the first tree selected was removed after staff decided it was too puny.

Raimondo said she wasn’t sure why the tree had made national headlines.

“If it gives people a smile and a laugh, that’s a good thing,” she said.

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — The shoulder-shrugging reply “whatever” continues to annoy Americans more than other words or phrases, but “fake news” is coming on strong.

The annual Marist College poll of most annoying words and phrases found “whatever” topping the list for the ninth straight year. It was the pick of one third of poll respondents, who were given five choices.

The recent addition “fake news” was slightly ahead of “no offense, but” for second place, 23 percent to 20 percent. About one in 10 found “literally” to be most grating, as did a similar number for “you know what I mean.”

The telephone survey of 1,074 adults conducted Nov. 6-9 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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CINCINNATI (AP) — A ghoulish holiday tradition outside of Cincinnati will soon come to a close after an Ohio man said he won’t put up his “zombie Nativity” scene after this year.

Sycamore Township’s Jasen Dixon said he originally wasn’t planning to install the display this Christmas season.

“But I get hundreds of emails from people, local fans,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s almost like a cult following.”

Dixon installed the display complete with zombie Mary and zombie baby Jesus in early December. He said he’ll put it in storage or sell it after it’s taken down sometime after Christmas.

When it debuted four years ago, the nativity scene made news worldwide and was met with both scorn and celebration.

Sycamore Township in previous years took Dixon to court for alleged zoning violations because of the structure built over the display but eventually dropped the case.

Dixon’s attorney argued the township was trying to suppress his freedoms.

The township didn’t issue any fines against Dixon last December and apparently won’t go after him this year.

Township zoning administrator Harry Holbert Jr. said it’s not worth employee time and effort to fight the display.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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