Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, January 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, January 17th

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) - Police in the Virginia suburbs of the nation's capital say two would-be carjackers fled from their intended victims when a splash of hot cocoa and a dash of resourcefulness entered the mix.
Police in Prince William County, Virginia, said in a statement that a 50-year-old woman exited a 7-Eleven convenience store on Saturday night with some purchased items when two men, one with a handgun, approached and demanded her vehicle.
Police say the woman struck one man with her bag before her 22-year-old daughter threw her hot chocolate toward both men, who then fled on foot.
No one was hurt and no property was taken.

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WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) - Some Maine drivers say their vehicles were damaged when they purchased fuel at a gas station where the diesel and gasoline were in the wrong pumps.
The Kennebec Journal reports the drivers filled their tanks at a Mobil station in Waterville last week. The owner of the gas station says he has received complaints from six customers who told him the diesel and gasoline had been mixed up.
Kevin Strickland says he has paid over $700 to fix vehicle parts that were damaged as a result of the mishap. Other customers had smaller repair problems.
The station owner says Mobil officials are investigating the error to determine what happened. The owner says he is collecting information so Mobil can compensate customers after the problem is figured out.
 
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Spanish and Portuguese police say a joint operation resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms (1,642 pounds) of cocaine, much of it allegedly concealed inside pineapples shipped from Latin America.
The Iberian police forces announced the big drug bust on Wednesday. They said it unfolded over several months, led to nine arrests and broke up an international smuggling ring led by Colombians.
In November, Spanish police discovered almost 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of cocaine in Madrid and Barcelona. They say that led to an import company shipping fruit from Panama to Portugal and to a search of ships at the port of Lisbon.
The searches uncovered wax-covered cylinders hidden inside pineapples and containing more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of cocaine in all. Also seized was 400,000 euros ($489,000) in cash.

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KIRKLAND, Wash. - It was an umbrella.
EvergreenHealth was placed on lockdown in an abundance of caution Wednesday morning as police investigated reports that someone showed up to the hospital with a weapon.
People inside the hospital reportedly locked themselves in rooms while police searched for a gunman.
EvergreenHealth shared a photo of a man with what some thought was a gun. He saw himself on social media and called Kirkland police to tell them that he had only an umbrella - no weapons.
EvergreenHealth released this statement after the incident:
"The lockdown at EvergreenHealth Kirkland has been lifted. We have located the gentleman in question and the unidentifiable object was confirmed to be an umbrella with a handle that is shaped like a sword. We took all necessary steps to exercise absolute caution to keep our patients, visitors, staff and community safe and we greatly appreciate the support of everyone to help ensure our campus was safe. Additionally, we thank the Kirkland Police and the local and national media for helping us to inform our community and ensure this message was shared to keep our hospital safe.
EvergreenHealth will resume care as usual today and this situation has been resolved. We again thank you for all of your support in taking necessary steps to keep our community safe.
We invite you to please share this update broadly by telling your family and friends and by sharing on social media to help to notify the community that lockdown is lifted."

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(Huffington Post) Coughs and sneezes may spread diseases, but trying to hold your next sternutation completely in can cause trouble, too.
A "previously fit and well" 34-year-old man in England ruptured his throat after he pinched his nose and closed his mouth to contain a sneeze, according to a case study the British Medical Journal shared online Monday.
"Halting sneeze via blocking nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre and should be avoided, as it may lead to numerous complications," wrote the authors of the report, who described the damage as rare.
The unidentified man in the article developed a popping feeling in the back of his throat and swelling in his neck after the stifled sneeze. He also experienced difficulty swallowing and speaking.
The unidentified 34-year-old man reported a popping sensation in his neck after he attempted to stifle a sneeze.
Doctors at a hospital in Leicester discovered that air bubbles from the rupture were permeating the soft tissue of his neck and chest. He was hospitalized for seven days, administered antibiotics and fed via a tube so that the rupture could heal. He eventually made a full recovery.
Anthony Aymat, a consultant at University Hospital Lewisham in London, told Time magazine that "the safest thing to do, although it's not socially acceptable, is just to sneeze loud" and catch the germ cloud in a tissue.
"When you sneeze, air comes out of you at about 150 miles per hour," said Aymat, who was not involved in the reported case. "If you retain all that pressure, it could do a lot of damage and you could end up like the Michelin Man with air trapped in your body."

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Columbus, Ohio - It was an open and shut case of "hamicide" for police officers in Columbus, Ohio. 
Columbus Police braved frigid temperatures to capture a pig on the loose. 
Neighbors called police after finding the pig out in the cold outside of an apartment complex. 
With the help of some Rice Krispies, it wasn't long before the squealing pig was safe and warm in the back of a police wagon.
When asked if the pig would be charged with a crime, officers joked -- of course, "hamicide". 

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BRIDGTON, Maine (AP) - A Maine animal rescue group says it has raised enough money to save a 15-year-old pony that lost part of its penis due to cancer and frostbite.
Bridgton-based Animal Rescue Unit took over care of the pony that was suffering from cancer and infection. Brogan Horton said temperatures plummeting to 25 below exacerbated the problem, causing part of the animal's flesh to break off during an examination.
The animal, named Richard, will be spared from being euthanized thanks to a fundraising campaign that surpassed its goal of raising $4,000 for care, including reconstruction.
Horton said the pony will be transferred to an animal hospital on Friday and the surgery will take place Monday. She said the goal is for the pony to live the remainder of its life pain-free.

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LYONS, Mich. (AP) - Some residents in central Michigan are hoping local officials will allow a cat to stay in the public library.
The Lyons Township District Library Board of Directors decided last month that the cat would have to leave the Lyons Public Library because some patrons are allergic, WOOD-TV reported .
The gray and white cat, known as Aww Kitty, was a stray before she came to the library about 2 ½ years ago. She's become the library's unofficial mascot and a sort of therapy cat. Donations from library patrons pay for her expenses, including food and veterinarian costs.
Many local residents told the board Thursday that they want the cat to be allowed to remain in the library. The cat has spent years at the library and has made it her home so she shouldn't be evicted, one resident said.
But another resident said the city shouldn't be prioritizing a cat over its human residents.
The library should be accessible to everyone, including those with allergies, said board member Marilyn Huhn.
Some library staff members have proposed working with any allergic individuals to ensure they have access to the books, such as allowing them to request books over the phone and delivering those books curbside.
The board will review the public's comments and resume discussions about the issue later. The board's next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8, but it may hold a special meeting to address the issue.
Another home for Aww Kitty has already been found.

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Police in Arizona have arrested an 80-year-old man they say robbed a credit union at gunpoint.
Tucson police said Sunday that a tip led to the arrest of Robert Francis Krebs after authorities circulated surveillance photos of him entering the Pyramid Credit Union and at a teller's window. They say Krebs had a handgun, demanded money from the teller and was given cash before running out of the bank.
Police released the photos after Friday's robbery. A local hotel clerk called police Saturday to report a man that looked like the one in the photos had tried to cash a check.
Police began checking nearby hotels and located Krebs. He was booked into jail on two counts of armed robbery.
It's unclear if he has an attorney.

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An Army veteran from Connecticut claims in a lawsuit that a scalpel was left inside his body after a surgery four years ago at a VA hospital, reports on Monday said.
Doctors discovered the instrument in Glenford Turner's abdomen during a recent MRI, Glenford Turner's lawyer said.
The 61-year-old veteran has been complaining of long-term abdominal pain, his lawyer said.
"The imaging study was abruptly halted when Mr. Turner began to experience severe, worsened abdominal pain," John Faxon, the lawyer, said.
Faxon said doctors confirmed it was the same scalpel used in a surgery Turner underwent at the hospital in 2013. He called it "an incomprehensible level of incompetence."
The surgeon "just sewed him up and moved on to his next victim," Faxon said.
Turner had an operation to remove the instrument in April 2017, the Hartford Courant reported. He filed a lawsuit last week against the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking unspecified damages.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., released a statement saying he was stunned by the "egregious malpractice case," demanding full accountability so this type of "horrific negligence never happens again."
Late last week, a South Carolina Navy veteran sued the VA after he said a mix-up with a urine test led to his misdiagnosis as a cocaine addict.
 

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