Mad Minute stories from Monday, March 5th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, March 5th

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SONTAG, Miss. (AP) - Stealing a picnic basket is one thing. Mauling a car is quite another.
A Mississippi wildlife department biologist says a bear attacked a woman's car Friday in the Sontag community about 60 miles south of Jackson.
Jamie Holt tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger there were tooth and claw marks consistent with a bear on the front wheel wells and hood. There was headlight damage, and the front license tag holder was ripped off. There was also a muddy bear track nearby.
No one was inside the car, and it's not clear what prompted the attack. There was no food inside.
A nearby trash can was untouched, as were apples in the yard.
Mississippi's black bear population is growing, and bears are increasingly seen in areas where they've not been seen before.

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PHOENIX (AP) - Two shoplifting suspects running from police scaled a fence to get away from officers and landed in a secure parking lot of a police station - and in custody.
Officials tell KTAR-FM that officers were called to a gas station for possible shoplifting at 6 p.m. Friday. Authorities say as officers arrived, the suspects, 28-year-old Marwan Al Ebadi and 29-year-old Salma Hourieh, took off running.
The pair ran along the side of a building and jumped a fence, despite a sign for "Peoria Police" above the door.
Security video shows Hourieh trying to hide under a bench before being placed in custody. Al Ebadi climbed back over the fence and was arrested on the street.
Al Ebadi and Hourieh face charges of shoplifting, trespassing in a critical public safety building and drug charges.
It wasn't immediately known if either is represented by a lawyer.
 
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - The judges, deputies and clerks showed up for court, but one key element was missing: No one had invited any jurors.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that North Carolina's fourth-largest county failed to mail notices to the 1,700 or so prospective jurors needed to hear cases this week.
After no one showed up for jury duty Monday, Forsyth County officials made a plea through local television station WXII for any volunteers willing to fulfill their civic duty.
But only 19 people showed up Tuesday. One judge in the county of 370,000 residents even sent deputies to a mall to seek volunteers, but found no other takers.
"We don't have enough jurors," Judge Stuart Albright said in court Tuesday afternoon before dismissing the few who had shown up.
New notices were sent asking hundreds of prospective jurors to be there Thursday, while other trials were postponed until next week.
Normally, a county printing office makes the notices and sends them. That happens after a jury clerk determines how many prospective panelists are needed and uses a system to select them at random, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye said in an email.
But this time, the notices weren't mailed because of an error by someone in the county print shop, said Kirby Robinson, the county's property manager.
"It's an unfortunate thing, and we sincerely apologize to the people who were inconvenienced," he told the newspaper.
Frye said this is the only time this kind of error has happened during her eight years as clerk of court. She said she's working with the county to ensure the mistake "does not occur again."

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STANDISH, Maine (AP) - A Maine man has been arrested for the second time in a year on charges he led police on a chase in a stolen U-Haul truck.
The Portland Press Herald reports a Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy tried to stop a U-Haul driven at high speeds by 41-year-old William Wyman in Standish Sunday night. Police say Wyman and the stolen truck were later found.
Authorities say the Portland man had minor injuries and the vehicle sustained minor damage.
Wyman faces multiple charges including theft of a motor vehicle and failure to stop for a police officer. He is being held on bail.
He was previously charged with eluding officers and reckless conduct after police say he crashed into two vehicles last Halloween while driving a stolen U-Haul truck before he was apprehended.

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NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Researchers studying invasive Burmese pythons in Florida came upon something they'd never seen before: an 11-foot-long python had consumed an entire deer that weighed more than the snake itself.
The wildlife biologists tracking the slithery creatures stumbled upon bloated snake in Collier Seminole State Park, and when they moved the creature it began regurgitating a white-tailed deer fawn.
Biologist Ian Bartoszek told the Naples Daily News that the fawn weighed 35 pounds; the snake 31.5.
"We were sitting there just trying to process that an animal this size could get its head around what turned out to be a deer," Bartoszek said. "It's surreal to see that in the field."
Bartoszek said it was the largest python-to-prey weight difference he had measured.
Burmese pythons, which can grow nearly 20-feet long, were brought to South Florida as pets in the late 1970s. They were released into the wild, and have become a problematic invasive species.
White-tailed deer are an important food source for Florida's endangered panthers, so the researchers are concerned the pervasive snakes could also impact the health of the big cats.
If the snake had been left in the wild, it would have digested the entire deer, Bartoszek said.
He said the predator-to-prey size ratio stunned his team.
"It showed my team and myself what we were actually dealing with out there, what this python is capable of," he told the newspaper.

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WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut police say a man stole a rookie officer's car and used his credit cards buy food at a Taco Bell and shop at Walmart.
The Republican-American reports 21-year-old Waterbury resident Derrick Johnson was charged Tuesday with multiple offenses, including burglary, second-degree larceny and identity theft.
Police say Johnson stole the car from a Waterbury parking garage on Jan. 23, the night of the officer's police academy graduation. Investigators say Johnson bought items from Walmart and Taco Bell with the stolen credit cards before leaving the car in a private lot.
Police later recovered the car. Investigators say they identified Johnson using surveillance footage.
Johnson is being held on a $25,000 bond. A hearing is scheduled in Waterbury Superior Court next month.

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HONOLULU (AP) - A 64-year-old bandit who said during his sentencing that he views robbing banks as "going to work" must spend more than 15 years in federal prison.
Wallace Silva went on a crime spree that included robbing 10 Hawaii banks of about $30,000 in 2016, U.S. prosecutors said Monday.
In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to four robberies and must pay restitution for all 10 holdups.
Silva was sentenced in 1997 to about nine years for robbing a bank. Five days after completing that sentence, he began robbing more banks and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in 2007 for four holdups, prosecutors say.
Four months after completing that sentence, he committed the robberies for which he was sentenced this month.
He said during his hearing that robbing banks was like "going to work."
During some of the 2016 robberies, he gave the teller a note saying he had a weapon and demanded cash. "I don't want to take it out," he told one teller about a weapon, according to his plea agreement.
The court document doesn't indicate if he actually had a weapon.
Tellers told authorities the bandit wore an aloha shirt during some of the robberies and walked with a waddle.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A man says he forged a museum artifact in Connecticut that was once described as a "treasure to behold for art and history buffs alike."
Massachusetts antique dealer Harold Gordon tells The Hartford Courant he turned a plain writing desk into the "Bingham Family Civil War Memorial Secretary." The piece was said to be a gift given to a Civil War veteran in honor of his brother who was killed at the Battle of Antietam.
Gordon says he sold the piece to a Connecticut antiques dealer because he needed the money. The dealer showed the piece at a 2015 Winter Antiques Show in New York, where it was purchased by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
The museum said in a statement Monday it has been offered a full refund.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana could become the second state to effectively ban the unusual practice of tattooing eyeballs, after a committee on Monday unanimously backed a proposal whose sponsor calls it "the grossest bill of the session."
Republican Sen. John Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis says he is not aware of any health-related issues that have arisen in Indiana from the process, in which ink is injected into the eye to make the whites change color. However, he wants Indiana to join Oklahoma, which banned the procedure in 2009, to proactively avoid the "extremely dangerous" complications that could arise.
Ruckelshaus proposed the measure following a flurry of news reports last fall about a Canadian model and body-modification enthusiast experiencing major complications after getting her eye permanently colored a shade of purple.
A final vote in the Indiana House is the next step for the bill, which the Senate approved last month and the House Public Health Committee advanced Monday on a 10-0 vote.
Ruckelshaus' proposal would prohibit what is known as "scleral tattooing," unless the person performing the procedure is a licensed health care professional acting within the scope of their expertise. But that sets a threshold so high - further complicated by professional ethics guidelines, which obligate medical providers to do no harm - that it amounts to an effective ban of the procedure.
The bill would allow for fines of up to $10,000 per violation and authorize Indiana's Attorney General to investigate any possible violations.
"Everybody I've talked to personally about this issue is adamantly and totally opposed," said Dr. Eugene Helveston, professor emeritus of ophthalmology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Catt Gallinger, an alternative model from Ottawa, said at the time that she lost part of the vision in the swollen, misshapen eye and was facing the prospect of living with irreversible damage after she allowed someone to dye her right eye.
Ruckelshaus, along with others who testified on Monday, say they are not aware of the practice being popular in Indiana.
Still, Helveston said the bill was a "no-brainer." He added that the American Academy of Ophthalmology strongly recommends against the procedure in which could go wrong and thus cause pain, discomfort, loss of vision, blindness and loss of an eye.
Republican Rep. David Frizzell of Indianapolis, who is sponsoring the bill in the House, said by passing the proposal, Indiana could become a model for other states when it comes to protecting people's health.
The bill, however, is not without its critics. Republican Sen. Michael Young, of Indianapolis, argued that such ban goes against a person's inherent individual rights, regardless of whether it's a good idea.

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FRANKLIN, Mich. (AP) - A suburban Detroit business is offering a treat for those who have had their driving disrupted by potholes in recent weeks.
The Detroit Free Press reports Farmhouse Coffee & Ice Cream in Franklin is offering a free scoop of Ashby Sterling Ice Cream's "Michigan Pothole" for those who have replaced a tire or fixed other damage due to a pothole.
The newspaper says to get a scoop bring in a receipt from Feb. 1 and beyond detailing the repair. The promotion runs until March 25. The ice cream flavor is described as "thick black tar fudge and chocolate ice cream with chunky chocolate cookie asphalt pieces."
Road crews in Michigan have stepped up efforts to patch potholes that have become damaging and dangerous amid fluctuating winter temperatures.

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