Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th

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OLDMANS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - It was a sticky commute on a New Jersey interstate after tar coated the highway.
State Trooper Alejandro Goez says the tar was in the center and right southbound lanes along a 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 295 in Salem County just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The trooper says about 20 vehicles reported going over the tar between mileposts 13 and 8. The tar stuck to their tires and wheels.
There were no accidents or injuries. Workers scraped the tar from the road.
State Police are trying to determine where the tar came from.

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - After an outcry, the organization that controls the release of emojis has added two more legs to the forthcoming lobster emoji to make it correct.
The Portland Press Herald reports soon after the Unicode Consortium released proposed images of 157 new emojis to be made available this year, Maine residents took umbrage at the lobster emoji's eight legs instead of the correct 10.
Emojipedia Chief Emoji Officer Jeremy Burge wrote Monday the consortium had heard people's complaints and is releasing updated designs for the lobster emoji, alongside updates for a skateboard and DNA emoji.
The lobster emoji is expected to be available later this year.
 
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WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - One Pennsylvania resident has been called to perform his civic duty a few years earlier than expected.
Jeanette Fox says her son came running to her with a summons from the Chester County court to appear for jury duty in March. Her son, Luke, is only 11 years old.
Fox says she tried to go online to request an exemption, but there was no option to select for those too young to serve. She says she made multiple phone calls, and a person who answered said the county had recently changed companies that pull the list for people who receive summonses.
The error was eventually fixed, but Fox says her son was excited to go. Luke is a Boy Scout, and he toured the Chester County Courthouse last year.

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NEW YORK (AP) - New York City is still waiting to see who will become its first ever "night mayor."
The nightlife ambassador position was announced last fall by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio. He says the position would serve as a point of contact between city agencies and the city nightlife industry. The New York Post reports Democratic City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who sponsored legislation creating the position, says he hasn't heard any word about a confirmed appointee.
Espinal says the city is vetting a candidate and the post will be filled in the next few weeks. A spokeswoman for the mayor's office declined to provide a timeframe for the announcement.
The Office of Nightlife and 12-member Nightlife Advisory Board were established last year.

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Children in a Missouri town are selling raffle tickets offering an AR-15 assault-style rifle as the prize to raise money for their baseball team. The rifle is the same type of weapon used last week in the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.
The raffle was launched before the shooting, but Levi Patterson, the coach of the team in Neosho for boys 9 and younger, told The Kansas City Star he plans to continue with the fundraiser.
Patterson said he decided to "turn it into a positive thing" after "getting the hate" in the form of angry Facebook posts after the raffle was first reported.
The weapon was donated as a prize by a team father and co-founder of Neosho gun manufacturer Black Rain Ordnance Inc., which is currently pitching a Spec15 AR pistol on its Facebook page.
"Are you all tone deaf?" a Facebook user asked in a since-deleted post on Patterson's Facebook page. "AR15 kills seventeen so you raffle a gun for child sports? Lord, people wake the hell up."
Patterson said "our hearts break" for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But he added that gun raffles "have been going on for years. Evil has and will always exist."
Patterson said none of the children on his team will be forced to sell raffle tickets for the weapon if they're uncomfortable doing so.
"I just think they have feelings to this specific type of gun that are different than people around here do," he told the Star.
Patterson said supportive donations have been pouring in as well.
Kansas Republican Tyler Tannahill, who is running for a congressional seat, and Missouri GOP U.S. Senate candidate Austin Peterson have also been criticized for each offering an AR-15 giveaway to draw attention to their campaigns, KMOV-TV reported.
Another gun raffle in Michigan has been cancelled, the Detroit Free Press reported. The raffle, which was to raise money for the football team of South Lyon High School, also featured an AR-15.
"Due to the recent tragic events, the South Lyon Football Booster Organization has decided to cancel their second annual Wild Game Dinner. The sensitivity of the issue coupled with the untimely tragedy has led to the decision," said a statement on the team's website. "At no point did the Booster club intend to offend those sensitive to the topic of firearms."
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A street lamp powered by dog poo has started lighting up a famous beauty spot.
Dog walkers on the Malvern Hills are being encouraged to drop the waste into an anaerobic digester which converts it into methane to fuel the lamp.
Ten bags are sufficient to provide two hours of light.
Creator Brian Harper said he wanted to find a use for it after seeing poo-filled bags being left at the area of outstanding natural beauty.
The lamp stands outside Mr Harper's home, on a main access route to the Malvern Hills.
He said he first saw the idea in an art installation in the US city of Boston about five years ago and is also a member of a group that has helped save more than 100 listed gas lamps in and around Malvern.
After seeing a "great deal of dog traffic" go past his home and the plastic bags strewn about, he wanted to find a solution.
"I looked and I thought this is a crazy way. There must be a way of trying to give dog poo a value so people would do something sensible with it," he said.
How it works:
Dog walkers must collect free paper "poop scoop" bags to collect the waste which they deposit in the device
They rotate a handle five times which moves the bag and the poo into the bio-digester where it gets broken down by microbes
Over a period of days it produces bio-gas - 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide - which is stored in a small gasometer
When the lamp senses it is dusk, it turns on its own gas supply, ignites a gas mantle and uses the bio-gas to light up
The lamp was first trialled in November after more than two years of tests and Mr Harper said he wanted to install similar devices in other areas.
He has received some funding from Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to work on the project.
The 66-year-old said he has since seen a reduction in dog waste.
"The public have a very sensible place to put it," they said.
"They aren't carrying it away... they can see dog poo is very useful and the light helps them if they're coming down of the hill later in the evening."

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(The Guardian) A small Australian town is laying claim to the title of being the country's home of the mullet by hosting a festival to celebrate the hairstyle that's all about business at the front, party at the back.
The inaugural Mullet Fest in Kurri Kurri, 150km north of Sydney, will honour the best cuts in five categories - everyday, grubby, "ranga" (red hair), women's and junior. Entrants will be judged on haircut, overall presentation and stage presence.
The person with the "best mullet of them all" will then be crowned, according to the festival host, hairdresser Laura Hawkins.
Hawkins - whose husband sports a razor-shaved "skullet" - said the mullet scene was strong in Kurri Kurri, a Hunter Valley mining town that is home to 6,000 people.
"We've already had 50 entries," she said. "There's such a variety: there are the hardcore, tough mullets, but also the coiffed, well cared for kind."
The short on top, long at the back hairstyle goes back at least as far as the Roman empire but surged in popularity in the 1970s and 80s.
Hawkins said she was keen for more women to enter the contest. "I see plenty of lady mullets walking around town but I know they're not signed up," she said. "I think they're a bit shyer than the proud male mullet."
Mullet Fest will be held at the Chelmsford hotel on 24 February.

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(NPR) There are a lot of ways to be really into Disney as an adult. You can go on a Disney cruise, attend the three-day Disney convention, or get married at one of the parks.
Suddenly, in 2013, a whole new vein of fandom sprouted: Disneyland social clubs.
Like an oddly wholesome motorcycle gang, members wear denim vests festooned with Disney trading pins on the front. On the back are patches bearing the image of their club's totem character. Many members own annual passes and visit Disneyland frequently.
Some members have tattoos of Walt Disney himself.
Each club has its own bent: Some are named after movie characters while others focus on features of the parks themselves. But the denim vests are a mainstay.
"We wanted something we could be comfortable in, that we could wear on hot days, and that was bold and spoke to our acceptance of our semi-outsider stance within the Disney fandom," Nathan Rice, the founder of a club called Walt's Misfits, told the OC Weekly in 2014. "The first few clubs were made up of similar tattooed weirdos, and I think the whole 'The Warriors' outlaw thing had an edge that we wanted to convey, even if that edge was ultimately tongue-in-cheek, it being Disneyland and all."
"Being heavily tattooed and having somewhat of an 'alternative' image compared to the average Disney-goer, it was hard for us to mesh with the families you usually see at the park," Michael Stout, co-founder of the Main Street Elite, told the Weekly. "So we decided we'll make our own Disney family, seeking out the rest of the Disney fanatics who were left with no one to go to the park with."
As you can see in thousands of photos on Instagram, the groups generally look pretty friendly. Members tell stories of helping newcomers or keeping an eye out for park rule breakers.
But according to a lawsuit filed in September in Orange County civil court and updated last week, one of the clubs used tactics more associated with the Mafia than with the Happiest Place on Earth.
The plaintiffs are John and Leslee Sarno, a Sacramento couple. The court filing explains that John Sarno was the president of the Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club "and also bore the title of 'Battalion Chief' in the fictional fire station."
In the summer of 2016, according to the complaint, Fire Station 55 SC organized a fundraiser for the families of firefighters who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Some 340 participants walked 2 miles around Disneyland, and the profits were donated to a charity. Disney gave permission and provided security.
It was in the weeks leading up to the fundraiser that defendant Jakob Fite and four other members of a social club called the White Rabbits approached John Sarno on Disney property and demanded that he pay them $500 in "protection money" for the event, according to the suit. Sarno refused to pay, and he says Fite threatened to ruin him - and that the Sarnos would never be able to visit the park again.
After that, according to the lawsuit, Fite and other members of the White Rabbits began a targeted campaign against the Sarnos on message boards and podcasts, calling them scammers and con artists. They say that White Rabbits printed T-shirts with John Sarno's name and likeness on it warning that he was dangerous and made false reports to law enforcement and news outlets claiming the Sarnos had committed fraud.
The Sarnos say they eventually had to disband the Fire Station 55 SC and that Disneyland refused to let them hold another charity walk. They've been ostracized, they say, living in fear of physical assault. They have not felt it safe to return to Disneyland.
Fite rejects the allegations, the Los Angeles Times reports, "saying Sarno filed the suit to fire back at Fite for raising questions about Sarno's character among other Disneyland social clubs."
The Times adds: "Fite cohosts a podcast that discusses Disney's subculture and said he used that forum to raise questions about Sarno's character and suggest that Sarno has been misleading club members about his background to raise money for charitable causes."
The Sarnos declined to comment on the lawsuit, according to the newspaper, and their attorney said the couple "have no desire to further publicize their circumstances or to take any action that could be construed as their own re-publication of the false and defamatory statements that have been circulated by the defendants in this case."
Disneyland is also named in the suit, which argues that Disney hasn't done anything to take action against the White Rabbits or make it safe for the Sarnos to return to the park. The plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Feel as though you're in the dark when it comes to the underwater world?
New York's American Museum of Natural History is working on just the solution: a floor-to-ceiling installation depicting creatures that glow.
Photographers got a sneak peek on Thursday as one of the centerpieces was installed for an exhibition called "Unseen Oceans."
The intersection of nature and art is dubbed fishnado and displays hundreds of models of marine species that exhibit biofluorescence.
Black light eerily illuminates a scene of sea creatures that appear to swim overhead.
"Unseen Oceans" opens to the public in March.

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(Washington Post) It's a fun time to be an Adam Rippon.
There is, of course, the Adam Rippon, 28, of Olympic glory: the bronze medalist, the trending Twitter topic, the sparkly occasional foil to Vice President Pence.
And then there is @TheAdamRippon, 37: a great Olympic fan, a video game programmer in San Francisco and a staunch supporter of the other Adam Rippon.
"I hope I get to meet him at some point," said Rippon, the not-famous one. "I want to shake his hand."
About a decade ago, there were four Adam Rippons on MySpace. They all connected and exchanged messages, according to the still-not-famous Rippon. It wasn't anything too personal: what's up, where ya from, oh, you figure skate?
It soon became clear the Adam Rippon did more than just figure skate. He was electric on the ice, an Olympic hopeful with a personality as shiny as his bedazzled on-ice costumes. The other Adam Rippon became a fan from afar, pulling for his counterpart to earn spots in the 2010, 2014 and now 2018 Olympic Games.
When he qualified for PyeongChang, Rippon became the first openly gay American athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics.
And in the run-up to the Games, he told USA Today he would prefer not to meet with Pence, the ceremonial leader of the American delegation, while also calling out Pence's policy positions on LGBT rights. Pence later tried to arrange a one-on-one meeting with Rippon, according to the skater's agent, although the White House pushed back against that report. Rippon told USA Today he was still not ready to meet with Pence, and the incident created international headlines.
And that's when things got nuts for the other Adam Rippon.
He started getting Facebook and Twitter messages commending him for "inspirational" action on behalf of the LGBT community, and others decrying his lack of support for the vice president.
He chose not to respond, because the other Adam Rippon would probably be too busy to respond, and because most people could probably figure out after a while that the creator of the "Dragon Fantasy" video game series is not an Olympian on the side.
"I think people can tell the difference between us," he said.
And then the Adam Rippon laid down a stunning free skate during the team event in PyeongChang, helping the United States claim a bronze medal. Rippon's star was born.
"Watching him the other day, I had chills. And I'd seen him skate before, but watching it live was unbelievable for me," the other Rippon said. "And what he's doing socially, he's telling people that it's okay to be themselves. It's okay to be you, and everyone should hear that. I don't want to take away from that. I'm not built to be a gay icon."
The other Rippon doesn't figure skate either. But he does roller blade. Maybe, he said, that could translate to the ice.
 

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