Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 22nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 22nd

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STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say an inmate with a skull tattooed on his face who escaped last month from a work crew in central California is back in custody.
The Fresno Bee reports police arrested 27-year-old Corey Hughes on Thursday at a home in Stockton.
Officers set up a perimeter and knocked on the door, but no one answered. Stockton police then sent a police dog into the residence, and Hughes was apprehended. He was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked into San Joaquin County Jail.
Hughes was reported missing from a work crew near Interstate 5 in Stockton on Nov. 27.
He had been serving time on a weapons charge and was due to be released in February.

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DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit man who pleaded no contest to manslaughter still hasn't been sentenced - six years after his conviction.
The Wayne County prosecutor's office "lost track of the case," especially after a prosecutor resigned and Leroy Moon had health problems, spokeswoman Maria Miller told The Detroit News .
Moon, who's now 78, was accused of shooting a man who urinated outside his fish market in 2009. He pleaded no contest to manslaughter in 2011, a year after his murder trial ended in a mistrial, and has been free on bond since the conviction.
The News said Moon's plea deal calls for a year in jail. Defense attorney Marlon Evans said he doesn't know whether he'll ask a judge to keep his client out of jail, considering all the years that have passed. A hearing is set for Jan. 9.
"He's an old man who still suffers from a lot of medical issues," Evans said Friday, declining further comment.
Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said Moon is fortunate that he wasn't being held in jail for years while awaiting his sentence.
"In a busy court system, these kinds of mistakes happen," Henning said.
 
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KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Saying their son's teachers deserve more than a coffee mug for Christmas, an Ohio couple decided to give them bottles of wine with the child's picture on the label.
Beavercreek resident Mary Sommers tells the Dayton Daily News she doubted the teachers needed any more mugs, but, she joked, "who doesn't need a glass of wine after teaching a kid like mine?"
She and her husband, Paul, gave the wine to the teachers at their son Jake's school in Kettering. In addition to a picture of Jake's smiling face, the labels carry a message that says, "Our child might be the reason you drink so enjoy this bottle on us!"
The gifts drew widespread attention after the couple's older son posted about them on Twitter .

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GUILFORD, Vt. (AP) - Each December, Shirley Squires transforms her modest Vermont home into a veritable creche museum, with more than 1,400 miniature nativity scenes of Jesus, Mary and Joseph covering every surface, taking over two bedrooms and overflowing into a specially built room in her garage.
During the holiday season and through January, the 87-year-old welcomes school and church groups and other visitors by appointment to tour her collection lit up by holiday lights.
"This is my 20th year of doing it," said Squires as she sat in a room surrounded by nativity scenes some from faraway places like South America and Africa and others from nearby thrift stores. "It's a lot a work but it's worth the work when I see all the pleasure that the people (get) that come to see them."
Squires started collecting them after the death of her husband in 1991 and then her son in 1993, both around Christmastime, "to get through the first couple of years," she said. She opened it to the public in 1997, and gets about 300 visitors a year.
The collection grew as people gave her more and she and her family purchased some.
The hundreds of scenes displayed on shelves, in cabinets and on and underneath tables come from more than 55 countries, she believes. Some are crafted from wood, porcelain, plastic or clay. Other specially made versions include one crafted from wood shavings, another from beeswax. There's even a Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the manger in a sandwich bun.
They range in size from one about as small as a thimble to another waist high Joseph and Mary at the top of her stairs near the entrance to a bedroom, where a sprawling set of small figurines from Italy cover an entire bed and several shelves.
She admits it's a lot of work and wonders if she'll do it again next year. She starts setting the collection up in September, with help from family. She keeps the display in the garage room up all year and no longer takes down the collections in the upstairs bedrooms.
"I've always been a religious person, and the birth of Jesus is really the meaning of Christmas and the whole meaning of what Jesus is all about," she said.

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romanian lawmakers could end up smelling like roses, if they succeed in passing a law to ban unpleasant odors.
Lawmakers from the opposition Save Romania Union on Friday submitted a "Smell Law" that aims to outlaw some of the country's most offensive stenches and includes fines for violators.
A party statement says that despite clean air laws, Romanian citizens frequently complain of "olfactory discomfort" from garbage dumps, animal farms and petrochemical fumes.
The statement says that even when air quality is within legal limits, "the smell is unpleasant and has a powerful impact on local residents."
Senator Allen Coliban, who initiated the proposal, says it has cross-party support, including from Environment Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu.
Parliament is expected to debate the legislation next year.

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CROFTON, Ky. (AP) - The unknown culprit behind a string of burglaries in one Kentucky town has been dubbed the "bologna bandit," based on his predilection for the lunch meat.
A Christian County Sheriff's Office spokesman tells WTFV-TV in Tennessee that deputies have stepped up patrols in Crofton, Kentucky, following an increase in burglaries targeting churches and homes within the last month.
Lt. Scott Noisworthy says the common factors in the burglaries are the items stolen: food and change. Authorities haven't named a suspect, but have identified a person of interest.
The pastor at Lighthouse of Crofton Assembly of God Church, George Linton, says his church was broke into twice in five days.
The items stolen: bread, a block of cheese and four packs of bologna.

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YORK, Neb. (AP) - An elderly couple who was arrested in Nebraska with 60 pounds of marijuana in their truck told officers that the drugs were meant to be Christmas presents.
The York News-Times reports the couple were arrested Tuesday by the York County Sheriff's Department after they were stopped for a traffic violation.
Officers found the bags of marijuana in the Toyota Tacoma driven by the 80-year-old man and 83-year-old woman. They said they were driving from California to Vermont.
The couple was being held in York County jail on suspicion of felony drug charges.

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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Casper police say they arrested a shoplifter with the help of a man dressed as Santa Claus.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports the man who only identified himself as St. Nick said he noticed the thief drop something among the trees at his Christmas tree lot on Monday.
He says he did not think the act was suspicious until he noticed a police officer.
A Rocky Mountain Discount Sports store employee had accused a man of shoplifting.
The suspect initially denied it until St. Nick showed Sgt. Scott Jones the grove of trees where the thief had stashed the stolen merchandise.
Jones says the thief admitted to the theft, but was not arrested.
Jones says he was instead cited for the crime.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Four Romanian men have been convicted and sentenced to up to 21 months in jail for daring thefts from moving postal trucks in Sweden.
In September, Sweden's postal service mounted concealed cameras inside the back of a postal truck after a series of unexplained thefts, including laptops, computers and smartphones, estimated to be worth 2.5 million kronor ($300,000).
The cameras showed how thieves boarded the truck from a car as it was going 80 kph (50 mph). Four men in their 30s and 40s were arrested Sept. 16.
The Allingsas court, north of Goteborg, on Thursday gave 21-month prison sentences to three men each for three thefts, while the fourth man got 18 months for two thefts.
All will be expelled from Sweden after serving their time.

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VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) - Lithuania has given Pope Francis a Christmas present invisible to the naked eye: a Nativity scene where baby Jesus is smaller than a human cell.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Friday looked through a microscope to see a replica of the crib at Vilnius's downtown Cathedral Square, a copy of the nativity scene that was given to Francis by Lithuanian diplomats earlier this month.
She said it took three months for Lithuanian scientists and students to create the minuscule crib from a 3D scan of the life-size crèche, reducing it 10,000 times.
Francis plans to visit the Baltics next year. Details about Francis' trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have not been released yet but he is expected in the fall of 2018.

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