Mad Minute stories from Monday, January 1st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, January 1st

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SARGENT'S PURCHASE, N.H. (AP) - Extreme cold didn't get in the way of a heartwarming proposal on an icy mountainside.
Josh Darnell, 31, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, dropped to his knee and popped the question after climbing to a scenic spot Thursday on Tuckerman's Ravine, on the southeastern side of Mount Washington. That same day it hit minus 34 (-37 Celsius) on the mountain's summit, which is more than 6,200 feet (1889.76 meters) high.
There's a happy ending: Rachel Raske, 27, of Lowell, Massachusetts, said yes.
Darnell's father, Doug, tagged along to record the event with his camera. He said the wind was blowing so hard that it knocked him on his back when he got out of the car.
Raske was stunned by the proposal.
"After about 10 minutes of her crying, I said you'd better stop crying or your eyes are going to freeze up," Doug Darnell recalled on Saturday.
The Darnells had hiked Tuckerman's Ravine previously and the younger Darnell decided he was going to propose to his girlfriend next to a waterfall.
The younger Darnell secretly sought permission from Raske's father for his daughter's hand in marriage prior to making the trek.
"She had no clue," said Raske's father, Charlie. "We all knew she was getting engaged - everyone except for her."

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DANIA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Joker the dog had one heckuva Christmas adventure.
Joker's owner, Summer Burgos, flew him to Florida on Dec. 21 to live with family while she trains in the Navy. As soon as Burgos' mother-in-law opened the crate at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the 2-year-old Canaan bolted past her. For eight days, in a strange city, Joker roamed the streets.
On Christmas Eve, the Sun Sentinel reports that Joker was spotted near some shops in Fort Lauderdale. A few days later, a group of neighbors in Dania Beach finally rescued Joker - about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the airport.
Using information from his tags, they got in touch with Burgos. Joker got a checkup at a veterinarian's office before going home to Burgos' family, starting another new adventure.
 
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It was less like baseball and more like archery practice. And wherever Stephen Piscotty went he had a bull's-eye on him.
In a bruising, battering tour around the bases , the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder could not stay out of harm's way. He was hit three times in one inning, as if being tracked by a GPS.
The pounding sequence began in the fifth when he was struck on the right arm by Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arietta. Piscotty shook it off and headed to first. It was only beginning. The ball soon got away from the catcher and Piscotty bolted for second, hit on his left arm by Wilson Contreras' throw.
Then came a slow roller to second base that Kolten Wong overran. Piscotty rounded third and broke for home. Wong's throw to the plate nailed him on the helmet. A shaken Piscotty walked to the dugout. He would later pass all concussion tests.
Piscotty, since traded to Oakland in the offseason, majored in atmospheric and energy engineering at Stanford. But even he was puzzled by that inning against the Cubs.
"I've never seen that before," he said. "Crazy."

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HURON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man's tongue-in-cheek obituary blames the winless Cleveland Browns for contributing to his demise.
The obituary published in the Sandusky Register says Paul Stark died Wednesday at a hospice facility after a brief illness "exacerbated by the hopeless condition of the Cleveland Browns."
The football team was 1-15 last season and 0-15 this year ahead of Sunday's finale in Pittsburgh.
Even so, Stark's obituary included a nugget of the optimism voiced by some long-suffering fans. It says the 80-year-old Mansfield native "passed just before the Browns were prepared to turn the corner."

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EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey surgeon's medical license has been temporarily suspended for allegedly reusing disposable anal catheters on multiple patients.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino says East Brunswick-based colon and rectal surgeon Sanjiv Patankar allegedly washed and reused the one-use catheters that are inserted into patients during medical procedures.
State officials say they have evidence that Patankar ordered only five catheters during time when he performed 82 procedures requiring them.
The state Board of Medical Examiners unanimously voted to suspend the doctor's license last week, saying he "placed patients in clear and imminent danger."
Patankar's license will remain temporarily suspended pending a full hearing in the state Office of Administrative Law and until the Board of Medical Examiners takes final action based on further findings.

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan man relied on a simple mode of transportation while traveling through 14 European countries: his feet.
Chris Lemanski recently finished hiking about 6,000 miles (9,656 kilometers) along the E3 path, which spans from Turkey to Portugal. The 26-year-old Traverse City man made the trek solo, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported .
Lemanski called his hike a "trial by error," saying he often planned as he walked. He said an average day involved walking about 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) and finding a place to eat and sleep. He often pitched his tent, and he said many locals let him stay in their backyards and barns.
"They were excited to meet a foreigner," he said. "People responded very well most of the time."
Lemanski said he was going through depression when he decided to make the trek starting in April 2016, after his cousin suggested he take a walk to clear his mind. The walk turned into an 18-month trek.
Chris Lemanski said the blisters, trench foot and torn-up clothes were worth the journey, which he documented on his Facebook page.
"I like the challenge and mediation of walking," he said, noting that he had lived in South America and was accustomed to traveling alone. "It wasn't that much fun to be honest, but once you get used to it, you keep going. It's either you get yourself there or no one will."
His parents said they were initially hesitant of their son's plans but are proud of his accomplishment.
"I'm sure there were times he wondered that he got himself into. It was a test of his resourcefulness and an opportunity to learn about different cultures," said his father, Gary Lemanski.

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BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A Florida judge says a sheriff's office must retain custody of a horse whose owner was charged with drunken driving while riding the animal.
In a report by The Ledger , Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin said 53-year-old Donna Byrne was unfit to care for the horse. Franklin also said Byrne must complete treatment for alcohol addiction.
Byrne was arrested Nov. 2 after riding her horse down a highway. Police said her blood-alcohol level twice Florida's legal limit.
Byrne's attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, says he will revisit the custody issue at a Jan. 11 hearing regarding additional pending charges of disorderly intoxication, animal endangerment and culpable negligence.
Whisenhunt questions whether the charges applied to Byrne, saying she had not been disorderly and was a pedestrian under the law.

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WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Police in West Virginia say they have arrested two people who took the bait by trying to steal an empty Christmas package that officers planted on someone's porch.
According to The Intelligencer , Wheeling Police say that all 37-year-old Scott Ruttencutter and 29-year-old Casey Higgs found when they opened the box was a piece of paper that said, "Merry Christmas, Wheeling Police Department."
The two were charged with theft in the Dec. 20 rendition of what police are calling "Operation Porch Pirates."
Police say the operation of leaving packages on porches took place for a week and a half leading up to Christmas, with officers committing more than 40 hours of surveillance.

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The new year could bring a major scare: the expected crash of an 18,740-pound Chinese space station headed toward Planet Earth.
And researchers haven't been able to pinpoint exactly when and where this event will likely happen.
Tiangong-1, a Chinese space station that launched into Earth's orbit in September 2011, was predicted in essence to fall out of space around January 2018, according to an October forecast by researchers at The Aerospace Corporation.
Chinese space officials announced in 2016 that they had lost contact with the spacecraft and expected it to crash back to Earth between late-2017 and mid-2018, The Guardian reported.
Researchers have since determined that the space station is expected to re-enter somewhere in the area between 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south latitude. And while that location is in the middle of the ocean, the New York Post reported, it's possible that fragments will land in nearby populated areas.
The space station's name means "Heavenly Palace."
The system is said to be making a slow roll back into the atmosphere, allowing some chunks of matter to avoid burning up upon re-entry. But according to the Aerospace Corporation's FAQ page, getting hit with space garbage is unlikely to be the biggest problem.
"It is highly unlikely that debris from this re-entry will strike any person or significantly damage any property," the Aerospace Corporation's FAQ said. "Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive re-entry. For your safety, do not touch any debris you may find on the ground nor inhale vapors it may emit."
The space station was utilized six times in manned and unmanned missions for China's space research program.

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An Alabama fan attending the Sugar Bowl lost her RV after it caught fire Monday morning near the Superdome in New Orleans. 
The fire started around 11 a.m. and temporarily closed traffic. 
The New Orleans Fire Department arrived on scene and quickly extinguished the flames. 
No one was injured, and the fan said despite the loss of her RV she will still be attending the game.
The fan did not want to be identified, but issued an on-the-record statement of "Roll Tide."


 

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