Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 15th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 15th

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - The field of teenage candidates running for Kansas governor has grown to seven, and the latest contender isn't even from the state.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 18-year-old Conner Shelton, a University of Delaware student from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was inspired to enter the race when a man launched a short-lived campaign for his dog, Angus. Elections officials put the brakes on the dog's candidacy, but Kansas doesn't have an age or residency requirement, which lawmakers are seeking to change.
Six other teens have entered the race, but Shelton is the first who isn't from Kansas. The chemical engineering major described his candidacy as "an experiment of sorts."
In addition to the teens running for governor, a teen is running for Kansas secretary of state.

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NEW YORK (AP) - It wasn't meant to be for a New York City woman seeking a mystery missed connection via a 20-foot mural asking him to meet her on Valentine's Day.
Twenty-five-year-old Devin Custalow waited for nearly 30 minutes at the billboard that asked the mystery man with yellow shoes she met on a subway train in October to meet with her at 1 p.m. Wednesday. She was surrounded by friends, family and plenty of cameras for the meeting that never came to pass - but her loved ones were on hand with a bouquet of flowers.
Custalow says despite the outcome, the search for her mystery Valentine was a really great experience and she hopes she's encouraged others to look for love.
 
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Federal authorities say a Delaware man snapped a selfie before stealing part of a $4.5 million statue at a Philadelphia museum.
According to an arrest affidavit filed Friday, 24-year-old Michael Rohana was attending an Ugly Sweater Party at the Franklin Institute Dec. 21 when he entered the "Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor" exhibit.
Authorities say Rohana took photos while posing next to a statue known as "The Cavalryman," and then snapped off the statue's left thumb.
Museum staff noticed the missing thumb Jan. 8, and the FBI traced it to Rohana five days later. It is unclear if he has legal representation.
A museum spokeswoman says the statue will be repaired. She says a security contractor did not follow standard procedures the night of the alleged theft.

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LEONIA, N.J. (AP) - A town that recently banned nonresident drivers from using its side streets as a shortcut to the busy George Washington Bridge into New York will replace imposing "Do Not Enter" signs with more welcoming versions, in an effort to lessen confusion and allay fears of local business owners.
Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler said the new signs will be more understated and "business friendly."
In January, Leonia began closing 60 residential side streets to nonresident commuter traffic in response to thousands of drivers being routed through the town by navigation apps when traffic is tied up at the bridge, the world's busiest.
At least one person has sued the town over the restrictions, and a group planned to march in protest Thursday.
The signs will still have information about side streets only being open to residents and visitors of Leonia destinations during rush hour times.
It' believed the original "Do Not Enter" signs - which include the words "residents exempt" - are "scaring some non-residents, and they're worried that they're not able to shop or dine at their favorite Leonia destinations," Zeigler said in an email.
"Because of this, we're going to be replacing these signs with less menacing signs simply communicating that, during peak drive periods, our side streets are open to residents and those visiting Leonia destinations," he said.
Zeigler said the new signs will be installed as soon as they are received. The plan is for them to say, "Residents and Leonia Destinations Only."
"We said from the beginning that we would closely and continuously monitor the plan, and if any unintended negative consequences were discovered, that we would quickly address these," he said. "Our retailers are telling us that they're seeing a negative impact, and while it's very early, we are making these revisions anyway."
Town officials have said the decision to put in the restrictions has been years in the making, and prompted by the significant increase in the use of the navigation apps. Police Chief Thomas Rowe said last month studies have shown more than 2,000 vehicles often pass through town from just one of the three exits off Interstate 95. The town has about 9,200 residents and a police force of 18.
Other towns have taken similar steps. Fremont, California, north of San Jose, implemented turn restrictions during commuting hours, and several towns in the Boston area have redirected traffic or are seeking permission to do so.

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WARRINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A chemist stole potassium cyanide from his workplace to use as pest control at home and poured it down a suburban Philadelphia storm drain when he learned there was an investigation, prosecutors said.
Richard O'Rourke, 60, has been charged with risking a catastrophe, theft, receiving stolen property and recklessly endangering others. He's accused of taking about a cup of potassium cyanide from the Merck & Co. facility in Montgomery County in December.
Reached at his home on Wednesday morning, O'Rourke said didn't want to comment. A message seeking comment from his lawyer wasn't returned.
A co-worker witnessed him pouring potassium cyanide into a beaker and then into a Nalgene water bottle on Dec. 14, then leaving the building, according to a release from District Attorney Kevin Steele. That worker informed authorities, and O'Rourke later dumped the chemical near his Warrington home about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Philadelphia, after learning there was an investigation.
The state Department of Environmental Protection began monitoring the water supply after determining there was a possible threat to drinking water.
The department went into "high alert" and increased its monitoring at stormwater systems, retention basins, waterways and tributaries, from Dec. 15 to Dec. 29.
It was determined that there was no evidence of water contamination, or any environmental or human health impacts related to the dumping, department spokesman Neil Shader said.
Steele said a heavy rainfall at the time likely helped diffuse the chemical.
"It is concerning that someone was able to remove such a poisonous chemical, but thankfully through an immediate and swift response by many people, nobody was hurt," Steele said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 6.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Medford woman was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after authorities say she struck garbage cans and drove into a ditch during a Taco Bell run.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 39-year-old Diane Wilcox left her home Tuesday morning to travel to a Taco Bell about six miles (10 kilometers) away.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says she began hitting garbage cans and nearly struck an elderly couple while she was driving home.
Authorities say she then drove into a ditch near her home and bystanders forced her to stop.
Authorities say she had a blood alcohol level of 0.55 percent, and she was taken to the hospital for treatment. The legal limit in Oregon is 0.08 percent.
Sheriff's office Sgt. Julie Denney says her blood alcohol level can be fatal.

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A New Hampshire woman who claims to have won a $560 million Powerball jackpot -- but is fighting to remain anonymous -- is losing about $14,000 a day in interest, her attorney says.
Steven Gordon is trying to fast-track a court hearing in the case, telling the New Hampshire Union Leader that "time is of the essence in this matter."
The winning ticket, purchased in January at Reed's Ferry Market in Merrimack, N.H., translates to a lump-sum cash prize of $352 million before taxes and $268 million after taxes.
The woman, who has not yet submitted her winning ticket to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, is referred to as Jane Doe in the court documents.
"Pushing the resolution of this case into March will subject Ms. Doe to serious and irreparable financial harm," Gordon told the Union Leader.
Privacy is a primary concern for the woman, a longtime resident of New Hampshire and an engaged community member who does not want to be known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars, the Union Leader reported, citing court documents.
Gordon is hoping to expedite the hearing from Feb. 21 to Feb. 13, and the judge is reviewing the request, the paper reported.
The purported winner plans to contribute a portion of her prize to a charitable foundation, the report said.

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One million lethal doses of fentanyl worth up to $10 million were found wrapped inside fish in the back of a car as police conducted surveillance on a man in the Bronx during a drug trafficking investigation, authorities say. 
Detectives were monitoring Johnny de Los Santos-Martinez when they saw him in a white 2017 Acura MDX at Leland Avenue and Archer Street in Parkchester with two boxes in the back seat, the city's narcotics prosecutor says. 
Police obtained a search warrant for the car, and found Styrofoam coolers inside the two boxes. The bigger cooler had fish wrapped around two brick-shaped packages covered in green plastic, and a third brick-shaped package concealed in a vacuum-sealed package of chili, police said. 
The second cooler contained one brick-shaped package similarly wrapped with green plastic and fish. 
The brick-shaped packages each consisted of about 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, authorities said. Authorities initially thought the powder was cocaine, but lab tests later showed it was actually the synthetic opioid that's up to 50 times stronger than heroin. 
The wholesale value for the four packages of fentanyl is estimated at $100,000.  
Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed into the black-market drug supply in New York City, and frequently found in combination with heroin, cocaine and synthetic durgs. 
Los Santos-Martinez was arraigned on criminal possession of a controlled substance charges in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, with bail set at $150,000. He's next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 28.
Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available. 

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (WTEN) - A stunning discovery at a college library in New York has everyone talking.
India Spartz, the head of collections and archives at Union College in Schenectady, knows it's the kind of thing you have to see to believe.
"This is George Washington's hair," she said.
A lock of hair from the first President of the United States, whose face is on the dollar bill, was found inside an envelope tucked into an old book at the library.
The book was published all the way back in 1793.
"It's a bit of a needle in a haystack," Spartz said.
She and her staff did some digging - no CSI forensics needed. Just historians with a knack for finding clues, like an inscription on the inside of the book.
"Phillip J. Schuyler. Given to him by one of his friends," Spartz explained.
Turns out Schuyler's dad was a general who served with Washington. The two families were close.
"They were well connected, they had a good social standing," Spartz said.
Back in those days, when someone died it wasn't uncommon to give away a strand of hair as a token.
Flash forward to 2018 and the whole campus is buzzing.
"It's pretty cool. I mean it's a piece of history," said one student.
"Who would have thought with all those books in the library?" said another.
Plans are already underway for the iconic hair to be on display soon at the college.

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A Japanese city used its emergency loudspeaker system in an attempt to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver.
The fish, known as fugu, is an expensive winter delicacy but requires a license to prepare because of the dangers of mishandling. Its liver is mostly toxic and is banned from sale.
Regional health officials on Tuesday said a supermarket in the central city of Gamagori sold five packages of assorted blowfish meat. The inclusion of the liver in the package could have contaminated the other meat with the poison, although nobody has died since the mistake.
The alarm was raised Monday when a buyer of one package took it to a health center. With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters. Two packages have since been returned.
The health ministry ordered the store to recall all the blowfish packages and suspend their sale, but the store told officials that it will no longer sell blowfish, Ohashi said.
 

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