Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 9th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 9th

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PROVO, Utah (AP) - Provo police say a man broke into the department's evidence room undetected and took back his bike.
Deseret News reported Thursday that the burglary went unnoticed until the person who originally was found with the bike was arrested again and told officers David Elwin Snow was bragging that he "pulled off the crime of the century."
The 37-year-old Snow and his brother had gone to the department on Dec. 18 to retrieve the bike, but since they never reported it stolen they had a hard time verifying it was Snow's bike. Police accuse Snow of stealing it that same night after seeing where it was being stored.
The bike was found Wednesday at Snow's grandmother's house.
Police Sgt. Nisha King said such a heist has never happened at the department.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Any mists spotted rising over the swamp may just be Washington wielding its newest weapon in its never-ending war on rats: dry ice.
The District of Columbia's rodent control division's program manager, Gerard Brown, tells The Washington Post the frozen form of carbon dioxide complements the poison the city uses, as reported rat complaints reach a four-year high.
Last month, Brown and Mayor Muriel Bowser oversaw a demonstration in which health department staffers stuffed dry ice into a northeast Washington alley rathole. As the ice smoked, the emanating carbon dioxide suffocated the rats, according to Brown's explanation.
Residents are encouraged to purchase their own dry ice. The city is working on usage guidelines.
Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells says dry ice is relatively humane, cheap and pet-friendly.
 
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BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) - A marine biologist believes a humpback whale shielded her from a 15-foot tiger shark in the South Pacific.
Nan Hauser said she didn't understand the actions of the 25-ton whale that she met face-to-face in the Cook Islands. Then she saw the shark.
She's heard on a video telling the massive mammal, "I love you!"
The encounter took place in October, but Hauser didn't upload the video until Monday. It quickly spread via social media.
Hauser, president of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, tells the Portland Press Herald that whales are "altruistic" and often hide seals from predators, but she has never experienced or read about anything about a whale protecting a human. "If someone told me the story, I wouldn't believe it," she said.
The Brunswick resident said she was oblivious to the shark during the tense, 10-minute encounter. The whale started to nudge her, and appeared to push her with its head. The animal also appeared to shield her with its pectoral fin.
Her research companions turned off an underwater video drone, fearing she was going to be mauled to death.
But Hauser kept her video rolling.
She suffered some bruises and scratches from the encounter, but was otherwise unscathed. She said that after she swam back to her boat, the whale surfaced nearby as if to check on her.
While Hauser credits the whale for protecting her, she acknowledges she can't know what the whale was thinking.
James Sulikowski, a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England who has studied tiger sharks, said he's not convinced that the whale saved her life. "The shark could have just been hanging around," he said. "There's really no way of knowing the whale's motivation."

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BERLIN (AP) - Swiss authorities say they have apprehended an 80-year-old man on allegations he robbed a bank near the city of Lucerne.
Lucerne canton (state) prosecutors said Tuesday the man, who was arrested the previous day in the Lucerne area, had confessed to the December masked robbery of the bank in Meggen. The suspect's name wasn't released in line with privacy laws and further details weren't immediately available.
At the time of the robbery, police released a photo of the suspect showing him wearing a black mask, clutching a blue plastic bag of money as he robbed the bank before he fled on foot.
They said it wasn't clear if he was armed, and did not say how much money he got away with.

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HARAHAN, La. (AP) - A Louisiana couple is accused of attempting to rob an Uber driver that the woman distracted by being topless.
Harahan Police Chief Tim Walker tells news outlets 24-year-old Anthony Kennedy and 22-year-old Rayna Fillios were arrested Saturday.
The victim told officers he gave his telephone number to Fillios when she hailed a ride. Fillios called and asked him to come over.
He said Fillios was topless when she opened the front door. Authorities say Fillios grabbed his arms, pulled him into her chest, kissed him and bit his tongue to distract him.
When Fillios let go, Kennedy brandished a knife and told the victim to hand over his money. The victim refused and Kennedy punched him.
The couple was charged with several offenses including armed robbery. It's unclear if they have lawyers.

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ROME (AP) - Rome's pathetic Christmas tree, so droopy and dried out that residents nicknamed it "The Mangy One," will be carved up and turned into souvenirs and a lactation hut for mothers and babies, city officials said Tuesday.
In giving the downtrodden tree a new life, Rome's cabinet moved to close an embarrassing chapter in which the holiday decoration came to symbolize the city's degradation and dysfunction under its 5-Star mayor, Virginia Raggi, and the years of neglect and corruption before her.
Raggi insisted Tuesday that the tree ended up capturing the hearts of Romans and visitors alike, and that its future life would show Rome as a model of recycling.
But not even its removal went as planned. Workers on cranes started taking down ornaments Tuesday, only to put them back after getting word that a formal farewell ceremony was planned for Thursday.
The 21-meter- (70-foot-) high tree, which was lit on Dec. 8, earned its moniker soon after it was hoisted up in the middle of Rome's main square, Piazza Venezia, and started dropping its needles at an unusually fast clip.
Raggi ordered an investigation into why the needles fell off so soon, given the tree was alive when it was selected and cost 48,000 euros ($57,000) to transport from South Tyrol, an Italian Alpine region, to the capital.
The "Spelacchio" saga was the latest headache for Raggi, who was recently indicted on charges she lied about a City Hall appointment. The trial is due to start in June. Raggi says she's innocent.
The case involves the appointment of Renato Marra as director of Rome's tourism department. Marra's brother, Raffaele Marra, headed City Hall's personnel office until his arrest in an unrelated corruption probe.
Raggi has said she alone decided on the tourism appointment, but text messages indicate Raffaele Marra had a hand in both it and the resulting salary increase for his brother.
On Tuesday, Raffaele Marra was indicted in the case for alleged abuse of office, Italy's ANSA news agency said.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Police in Virginia say a robber broke into an apartment and accidentally shot himself.
The Washington Post reported that the robbery occurred Sunday in Alexandria.
Police said three robbers were involved in the break in. One had an unintentional, self-inflicted wound to the lower body. No one else was injured.
Police said all three robbers fled. It was not clear if they took anything. A helicopter assisted in the search.

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MIAMI (AP) - Authorities say a man was taken into custody after jumping a perimeter fence at Miami International Airport and sprinting across a runway.
News outlets report that Miami-Dade police responded to the tarmac Monday afternoon and apprehended the man, who wasn't immediately named.
Police say the man was apparently trying to take a shortcut. He told investigators that he had been dropped off at the airport to fill out an application and decided to jump the fence after realizing he was in wrong place.
It wasn't clear if any flights were affected by the intruder.
No injuries were reported.

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BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's prime minister evaded journalists' questions on Monday by bringing out a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself and telling the reporters to quiz it instead of him.
Prayuth Chan-ocha then turned on his heel and walked off, leaving the mock-up behind, to bemused looks and awkward laughter from the Government House press pack.
The prime minister had briefly spoken to the media after attending an event promoting upcoming Children's Day, but deployed his dodging tactic before anyone could ask him about a number of pressing political issues.
"If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict," he said, "ask this guy."
It isn't the first time Prayuth - a general who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2014 - has dumbfounded the media. In the past he has fondled the ear of a sound technician for several minutes during an impromptu news conference, flung a banana peel at cameramen, and threatened, with gruff humor, to execute any journalist who criticized his government.
When it took power, his government, packed with military leaders, enjoyed considerable public support for ending a prolonged period of often-violent street politics. But as the junta's rule has stretched on, criticism of its often-repressive policies and lack of transparency has grown markedly.
Prayuth has promised elections in November, though he has made similar promises several times previously and then delayed the balloting.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona woman is facing charges after police say she fired shots at her husband while he sat on the toilet to make him "listen."
KNXV-TV reports 69-year-old Linda Jean Fahn recently was arrested following a frantic call from her husband.
He told Goodyear police Fahn barged in while he was using the restroom and fired two shots above his head.
According to a police report, Fahn told officers, "I shot two bullets at the wall above his head to make him listen to me."
Police say the shots were fired about seven inches above the man's head as he was slouched on the toilet.
Fahn has been charged with aggravated assault. It was not known if she had an attorney.
 

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