Mad Minute Stories for December 19, 2017 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute Stories for December 19, 2017

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SCOTLAND, Conn. (AP) — Residents of the rural town of Scotland, Connecticut, are becoming lords and ladies in the United Kingdom country of the same name.

The Scottish land preservation company Highland Titles said Tuesday it’s gifting all 1,694 residents 1 square foot (0.09 square meters) of land on its nature reserve in Glencoe Wood, Scotland. The residents will get courtesy titles of Lord or Lady of Glencoe and instructions on how to visit their plots.

The company sells forest land ranging from 1 square foot (0.09 square meters) to 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) so they can’t be developed.

Scotland First Selectman Dan Syme says the Connecticut town was settled by a Scotsman named Isaac Magoon in 1700 and celebrates that heritage by hosting an annual Highland Festival.

Highland Titles says residents have to call Town Hall to claim their free plots.

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READING, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a woman stabbed her roommate during a dispute over candy, injuring victim’s leg.

Reading police say charges against 54-year-old Tracy Mitchell include aggravated assault and reckless endangerment stemming from the stabbing around 2:30 a.m. Monday.

The victim claims Mitchell was holding a pocket knife in one hand and a picture frame in the other as they argued in their apartment. She says Mitchell tried to strike her with the picture frame as they both fell to the floor.

The woman says she tried to hold Mitchell on the ground, but Mitchell stabbed her once in the leg. Mitchell left the apartment shortly afterward.

It was unclear Tuesday if Mitchell has retained an attorney.

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WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Firefighters helped save a woman’s wedding dress from a burning home in Massachusetts.

NBC Boston reports fire crews responded to the blaze at a Woburn building where Julie Centeno and her fiance Curtis Wilson lived Sunday evening.

Twenty-five-year-old Centeno says they were able to escape the home with just their coats. When firefighters asked if there was anything important still inside, Centeno says she mentioned her dress and her diamond ring.

Fire Chief Stephen Adgate says the crews were able to recover the items, and the groom-to-be managed to avoid seeing the dress. Three other people who lived in the building also evacuated safely.

Wilson’s mother says the wedding is scheduled for November 2018.

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TUCSON, Az. -- A $10,000 reward is being offered by the postal service after someone stole a package containing a man’s ashes from the doorstep of his daughter’s home in Arizona.

Elyse Brink told Tucson News Now her neighbor saw the package on her porch Tuesday but when she arrived home, it was gone. She searched the area, including nearby trash cans, to no avail. Brink had planned a trip to California to bring the ashes to her brother.

“This was the final step in the process of me saying goodbye to my dad and making the arrangements and sending him home here. And to know that he was so close and then taken. It just breaks my heart,” she said.

The package should not have been left on the porch without a signature, the Oklahoma City funeral home told Tucson News Now.

An urn, similar to the one pictured above, was stolen from Elyse Brink's front porch in Tucson, Arizona.  

Officials with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said they’ve launched a probe since the package should not have been left on the porch without someone signing for it. The $10,000 reward will only be given if the information provided leads to an arrest in the case. 

"Our goal now is to get the word out. I was just out on an arrest early Sunday morning and the patrol officers know about this," Postal Inspector Dan Grossenbach told Fox News by phone. "There's such an all-out blitz with law enforcement. In my experience, people that are stealing mail may continue to do so until there's an arrest."

Brink hopes the ashes are returned. Grossenbach said he's optimistic that the case will be resolved. 

“They are a physical reminder of him," she said, adding that if she gets the urn back "he would be proud of me.”

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LONDON - A cafe in London is taking barista art to a new level by giving customers the chance to sip on their own self-portraits.

A customer drinks a 'Selfieccino' coffee at the Tea Terrace in London, Britain, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

The Tea Terrace, based in House of Fraser’s Oxford Street branch, has become Europe’s first location to deliver the “Selfieccino,” which features an image of customers’ faces on the frothy topping of their drinks.

Patrons send their headshots via an online messaging app to the barista and are given the choice of either a cappuccino or hot chocolate as their canvas.

The image is uploaded to the “Cino” machine while the drink is placed in position. The picture is then scanned and reproduced onto the froth using a flavorless food coloring.

The process takes around four minutes before an image is presented on the froth, ready to be photographed and sent to all points via social media before drinking, and costs around 5.75 pounds. ($7.5)

”Due to social media, the dining experience has completely shifted,“ Ehab Salem Shouly, owner of The Tea Terrace told Reuters. ”It’s not enough any more to just deliver great food and great service - it’s got to be Instagram worthy.”

Over 400 of the personalized drinks have been sold since they launched on Saturday, with the hash tag “Selfieccino” going viral across various social media platforms.

The Tea Terrace hopes to trademark the term as they expand the service across their other two locations in London Victoria and Guildford, Surrey.

Reporting by Elliot Moses; editing by Stephen Addison.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities.

But as to whether the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program has continued to investigate UFO sightings since its funding ended five years ago could rank as an unexplained phenomenon.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Its initial funding came largely at the request of former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat long known for his enthusiasm for space phenomena, the newspaper said.

Yet according to its backers, the program remains in existence and officials continue to investigate UFO episodes brought to their attention by service members, the newspaper said.

The Pentagon openly acknowledged the fate of the program in response to a Reuters query.

“The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe,” Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said in an email.

“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” she said.

But the Pentagon was less clear about whether the UFO program continues to hover somewhere in the vast universe of the U.S. defense establishment.

“The DoD takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed,” Ochoa said.

What is less in doubt is former senator Reid’s enthusiasm for UFOs and his likely role in launching the Pentagon initiative to identify advanced aviation threats.

“If you’ve talked to Harry Reid for > 60 seconds then it’s the least surprising thing ever that he loves UFOs and got an earmark to study them,” former Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a message on Twitter.

Or as Reid himself said in a tweet that linked to the Times’ story: “The truth is out there. Seriously.”  

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ROME, Italy -- Rome's official christmas tree, set up in the center of piazza Venezia, was shedding its needles  Tuesday and facing public ridicule.

Since it was first lit on december eighth, the condition of the tree has worsened.

Romans have since nicknamed it 'spelacchio', roughly translating as mangy or threadbare.

Around 600 silver reflective baubles hang on bare branches.

Rome's city hall has declared they will conduct an investigation into how the tree arrived in Rome in such disastrous shape.

the city paid 56-thousand dollars to transport it from the Trentino region of Italy.

Nearby, the Vatican has had a little more luck with its tree.

A 75-foot spruce tree from Poland seems to be holding up perfectly well in St. Peter's square.

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