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

Mad Minute stories from Monday, January 22nd

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man who made headlines when he was caught for break-ins after winning a doughnut-eating contest has been arrested again. And this time he's accused of stealing from a doughnut shop.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports 27-year-old Bradley Hardison of Elizabeth City was charged Thursday with stealing from a Dunkin' Donuts in November.
An Elizabeth City Police Department statement says he's charged with felonies including breaking and entering and larceny. It wasn't clear if he helped himself to any doughnuts.
A phone listing for Hardison rang disconnected.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that in 2014, Hardison won a doughnut-eating contest put on by Elizabeth City police while he was wanted on suspicion of several break-ins. Investigators said they arrested Hardison after his win prompted further scrutiny, and he was convicted, according to the paper.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Workers in Philadelphia are greasing light poles in a bid to prevent fans from climbing up them after the NFC Championship game.
Officials say the grease should make the poles too slippery to climb.
The workers applying the grease are jokingly calling themselves the "Crisco Cops."
The Philadelphia Eagles are hosting the Minnesota Vikings in the championship game on Sunday night. The winning team will earn a spot in the Super Bowl.
 
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BELFAST, Maine (AP) - Police in Maine have accused a man of punching himself in the face three times to avoid a sobriety test.
Police in the town of Belfast say they found 27-year-old Brian Fogg in his car, stuck in a ditch last week.
WGME-TV reports police said when they tried to test for his blood-alcohol level, Fogg punched himself in the face, causing himself to bleed. Police tended to his injuries instead of giving him the test, but later charged him with operating under the influence, falsifying physical evidence and criminal mischief.
Fogg's been released on bail. He has an unpublished number and it wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

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SPRING HILL, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a Florida man was charged with driving under the influence after mistaking a bank drive-thru for a Taco Bell.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that 38-year-old Douglas Jon Francisco was arrested Wednesday evening outside the Bank of America branch in Spring Hill.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says employees spotted Francisco passed out in the bank's drive-up lane. After the workers banged on his car for some time, deputies say Francisco finally woke up and tried to order a burrito. When the branch manager told him it wasn't a Taco Bell, he reportedly drove to the front parking lot.
Deputies say they found Francisco in the driver's seat with his car running. He was arrested after failing a field sobriety test.
Francisco was freed Thursday on $500 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney.

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GRANVILLE, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio liberal arts college is hanging effigies in trees and using pyrotechnics to move destructive vultures off campus.
The Columbus Dispatch reports vultures have caused at least $50,000 damage at Denison University in the last year by picking at roof membranes and at caulking around vents. Vulture droppings left around air-handling units have created stinky health hazards.
Initial efforts to scare off the birds appear to be working. Vulture effigies hung by the U.S. Department of Agriculture send danger signals, says USDA wildlife biologist Jeff Pelc. Only non-lethal methods can be used because vultures are a protected migratory bird species.
Granville officials don't want the vultures moving into town. Village administrator Mollie Ann Prasher says residents should bang pots and pans to scare off vultures when they're spotted.

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Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine.
She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops.
Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.
We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash  
Lara Giddings, government official
"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing.
"Then they crash," she added. "We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."
Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids, said the wallaby incursions were not very common, but other animals had also been spotted in the poppy fields acting unusually.
"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," he added.
Retired Tasmanian poppy farmer Lyndley Chopping also said he had seen strange behaviour from wallabies in his fields.
"They would just come and eat some poppies and they would go away," he told ABC News.
"They'd come back again and they would do their circle work in the paddock."
Some people believe the mysterious circles that appear in fields in a number of countries are created by aliens. Others put them down to a human hoax.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Salt Lake City says it has fired four parking enforcement officers who took free pizza from a downtown pizzeria in exchange for not writing parking tickets for the owner and his employees.
KUTV-TV reports that City Director of Public Service Lisa Shaffer says that the city investigated after one employee admitted to the scheme and fired him and three others.
Shaffer says Unified Police investigated the allegations but did not file charges.
One fired officer Jeff Clegg says for two years he and his colleagues would only give warnings to the owner and employees of Sicilia Pizza and would void parking tickets they received.
Clegg estimates that the officers could have written three parking tickets a day for the pizzeria, meaning as much as $19,000 in fines wasn't collected.
Sicilia Pizza owner Amrol Hararah denied the deal.

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A former leader of the Montana House of Representatives who once supported funding for an anti-drug campaign was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday for his central role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring.
Michael Lange, the Republican House majority leader during the 2007 Legislature, arranged deliveries of at least 20 and possibly up to 50 pounds (nine and possibly up to 23 kilograms) of meth from a source in California over a seven-month period in 2016, prosecutors said. It was sold through a network of approximately 15 to 20 dealers in Montana and Wyoming, according to federal prosecutors and an FBI drug task-force officer.
Lange pleaded guilty in September to drug conspiracy and distribution charges. He apologized at his sentencing but drew a sharp rebuke from U.S. District Judge Susan Watters after Lange appeared to minimize his involvement in the trafficking ring and claimed the truth of what happened had never been revealed.
"You don't get it, Mr. Lange," Watters said. "For you to tell me in your letter of acceptance that it was never your intention for this methamphetamine to get out into the community is completely incredible to me. ... What did you think was going to happen?"
Lange claimed prior to Thursday's sentencing that he trafficked just 7 pounds (3 kilograms) of the drug, according to court documents. Prosecutors said that was contradicted by his own statements to investigators. They said one of his distributors had put the amount at up to 50 pounds.
During his three two-year terms in the Legislature, Lange supported giving $4 million in state money to an anti-methamphetamine public relations campaign, the Montana Meth Project. He was ousted from his leadership position after being captured on video in a profane tirade against then-Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat.
Lange, 57, lived a crime-free life until 2014, when he was charged with driving under the influence after moving to California to launch a new business and starting to cocaine, according to prosecutors and defense attorney Ashley Harada.
That same year, he committed a second DUI in California in conjunction with a felony charge of possessing over an ounce (28 grams) of methamphetamine for sale. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison in that case, according to court records.
Within months of his release, Lange began dealing much larger quantities of the drug, prosecutors said.
He was indicted in February 2017 after an investigation that began when three alleged dealers identified him as their supplier following their apprehension in Wyoming.
The source of the drug in California - identified in court papers only as "Manny" - has not been indicted.
Co-defendant Jose Soltero acknowledged acting as a middleman and interpreter for Lange and Manny. He received a 12-year prison sentence Wednesday.
Soltero claimed he got involved under duress after he and his family were threatened with violence.
Three others charged in the case received prison sentences of five to six years each. The defense requested a 10-year sentence for Lange, arguing that the other defendants had been as or more involved in the drug ring compared with the former lawmaker.
Harada, the attorney, said no decision had been made on whether to appeal Lange's sentence.
Prosecutors described Lange as the central player in the conspiracy, responsible for receiving and redistributing methamphetamine and then returning the proceeds back to California.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan said Lange had become a "wrecking ball" within a community he once represented in the Legislature. The prosecutor blamed methamphetamine as the driving force behind violent crimes and a spate of child neglect cases in the Billings area.
"He held a very respectable position as a Montana politician," Sullivan said. "For him to turn around and do this to a community in which he has lived for so long has a truly staggering effect."

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - Russian police had an unexpected encounter while searching a house in St. Petersburg - a crocodile in the basement.
The Fontanka.ru news portal said the incident happened Thursday while detectives were looking for undeclared weapons in the house of a man involved in staging reconstructions of historic military battles with period uniforms and antique weaponry.
When they went down, they saw a crocodile resting in a small pool of water dug in concrete basement. The owner of the house explained that he got the crocodile years ago.
City prosecutors said Friday they were checking whether the man was complying with local laws.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A Maryland woman is accused of mailing a shipment of drugs to her son, an inmate at a Delaware prison.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said in a statement Tuesday that investigators learned in late December that a shipment of contraband was expected to arrive at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown.
According to the statement, investigators determined 43-year-old Angel Osborne of Hurlock, Maryland, would be sending the contraband through the mail. Gravell says investigators intercepted the narcotics.
Osborne was arrested, extradited and charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, promoting prison contraband and second-degree conspiracy. She was arraigned and held in lieu of bail.
Her son, Patrick Osborne, was charged with criminal solicitation and other counts. He has also been arraigned.
It wasn't immediately clear if either has an attorney.
 

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