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

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 15th

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MOSCOW (AP) - Russian news reports say the hatch of a cargo plane carrying precious metals accidentally flew open upon takeoff - scattering at least 3 tons of gold on the runway.
An investigation is underway after the incident Thursday at the airport in the far east city of Yakutsk, according to the Tass news agency.
An An-12 plane operated by the airline Nimbus took off for Krasnoyarsk carrying 9.3 tons of gold and other precious metals, according to a statement from the state Investigative Committee quoted by Tass. Damage to a door handle caused it to fly open and spill some of the metal.
Authorities recovered 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, Tass quoted Interior Ministry officials as saying.
No one was hurt in the incident. Images circulating on social media showed gold bars scattered across a runway.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Federal officials have discovered a North Carolina veteran isn't dead yet.
The Fayetteville Observer reported that 81-year-old Charles Covell of Fayetteville was surprised to learn that he had been declared dead by the Veterans Affairs Department last month.
Covell's wife realized something was wrong when a monthly disabilities payment was not deposited in their account. They learned a death certificate for a Charles Covell was filed in January.
Covell spent 12 years in the Army, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.
A spokeswoman from U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson's office said Tuesday the VA has said the mistake had been corrected.
A VA spokesman said the department has an accuracy rate of 99.8 percent in halting payments to those who die.
 
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GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama sheriff legally used more than $750,000 of funds meant to feed inmates to purchase a beach house.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin told The Birmingham News he follows a state law passed before World War II that allows sheriffs to keep "excess" inmate-feeding funds for themselves.
Entrekin reported on state ethics forms that he made "more than $250,000" each of the past three years through the funds.
The sheriff's annual salary is more than $93,000. He and his wife purchased a four-bedroom house with an in-ground pool and canal access in September for $740,000.
Entrekin got a $592,000 mortgage. The home is one of several properties with a total assessed value of more than $1.7 million that the couple own together or separately.

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CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland restaurant says someone won nearly $5 million in a weekly raffle that was intended to draw business and ended up lasting nearly a year as the jackpot climbed.
The crowd at Grayton Road Tavern hooted and hollered Wednesday when the latest entry drawn in the Queen of Hearts game picked the right number to reveal the game's namesake on a board of playing cards.
WJW-TV reports the winner is a man from Hinckley who opted to remain anonymous, for now.
The jackpot was about $5.5 million. Under the game rules, the tavern keeps $550,000 of that to launch the next round of the game in May.

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LANSING, Mich (WILX) -- Imagine thousands of dollars worth of diamonds being thrown away?
Scary right?
Well that's what happened to a woman in Atlanta when she accidentally threw away $100,000 worth of jewelry.
The women and a landfill worker had to search through tons of trash at the dump.
Their only clue? The diamonds were in a black trash bag.
But after hours of searching, the treasure was found; the three diamond rings and one tennis bracelet.

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A husband celebrating his 23rd wedding anniversary gave his wife a life-saving gift: a kidney.
With it, Cesar Calle gave his wife Monica a life free of painful dialysis treatment, which she needed for polycystic kidney disease she had been fighting for a decade, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The couple spoke about the five-hour surgery during a press conference from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., where the surgery was performed on Feb. 19.
"I feel like a million dollars," Monica said, three weeks after the transplant. "And I think I look like a million bucks, compared to before."
Monica, a Memorial Regional Hospital employee who schedules patients' surgeries there, described her three-year journey.
"I was in a lot of pain, I was scared," she said, "and I didn't know if there was gonna be a miracle for me."
Monica added, "I'm sure a lot of us that are in this situation always wonder, 'When is our miracle happening?' And I tell everybody, 'Just hang on tight, fight your fight, because we are warriors, and your miracle will happen.'"
Selflessly, her husband Cesar offered to donate one of his kidney's to his wife, and in December the couple got word that her husband Cesar was a match.
Dr. Juan Arenas, a surgeon and chief of the hospital's Memorial Transplant Institute said, "To find a match between spouses is very unusual but very lucky for us to be able to find that."
According to the Sun Sentinel, Cesar said, "For me to do this, it was big. I was shocked. I thought it's not real, this is not happening."
As she celebrates her wedding anniversary, Monica reflected, "Little did we know 23 years ago that this was going to be the angel to save my life."  
The 39-year-old said, "I felt like I just won the lottery. I started dreaming of what my future would look like, not having to do dialysis. The fact that I can actually travel now and not worry about carrying boxes with me or supplies, or worry if it's gonna get lost. I felt so free."

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(Sky News) Growing up in Kabul might seem like a tough enough prospect these days - but spare a thought for the toddler named Donald Trump.
The 18-month-old was born in Afghanistan's central Daykundi Province as his famous namesake was running for the US presidency.
When his father saw the baby's light-coloured hair, he saw a likeness and his mind was made up.
"(President) Donald Trump has a lot of special qualities," Sayed Assadullah said in a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
"He's very capable, he's serious, and he's a good politician and a good writer.
"Because he's a really good person, and he wrote a lot of impressive books, and because he was a successful businessman, we decided to name our son Donald Trump."
According to the original report in the New York Times, Mr Assadullah comes from a poor farming family but he earned a college degree and read Mr Trump's books.
He also watched the US President on a television, which is powered by solar panels provided to the village by an aid organisation.
Naming the little boy after the famous billionaire would boost his chance of success in life, Mr Assadullah hoped.
Instead, it has strained his relationship with his extended family.
Usually the grandparents have the first say on a baby's name but Mr Assadullah rebelled, with the backing of his wife Jamila.
When the decision was revealed, Mr Assadullah's family ridiculed him and then became angry.
He told the New York Times: "They told me 'How you can select the name of an infidel for your son?'
"My father is an angry man.
"He told me that he could not tolerate the fact that I call my son Donald Trump.
"So I left and moved my family to Kabul."

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(UPI) -- Riders on a Batman-themed roller coaster in Texas were trapped upside-down for about 45 minutes when the ride jerked to a sudden halt.
Witnesses recorded video Tuesday when Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio stopped suddenly at the top of one of its 12-story lifts, leaving riders stranded upside-down.
Park spokeswoman Sydne Purvis said one of the ride's safety sensors, which are designed to stop the coaster for safety factors including hazardous weather conditions, was trigged.
"Yes, one of the many sensors on the ride sent an alert," Purvis told MySanAntonio.com.
The park did not disclose what caused the sensor to go off.
The ride resumed after about 45 minutes and the riders were able to return to solid ground.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - What could be better than becoming a millionaire after finding seven vintage baseball cards while cleaning out your late great-grandfather's house?
How about finding an eighth?
The family that two years ago made one of the greatest finds in sports collectibles history when they found seven Ty Cobb baseball cards printed between 1909 and 1911 have now found one more in the matching set.
"It falls under the category of 'you can't make this stuff up,'" said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator of Newport Beach, California. The company verified the new card and valued it at $250,000.
The first seven cards were in a rumpled paper bag that may well have ended up in the trash if someone didn't peek inside.
"The initial discovery, it was a real shock to them," Orlando said. "They put the cleaning on hold for a while ... later they knew what they were looking for, and in a dusty box between two books, there was another one."
The great-grandfather himself apparently had no idea that he was leaving a fortune to his descendants.
"He wasn't even a collector," Orlando said. "He just held on to these cards that were most likely given to him after buying a particular tobacco product." (Baseball cards were associated with tobacco, not bubble gum, in their earliest days.)
The family, which is from the rural South and wants to remain anonymous, intends to keep this one as a memento.
There are now 24 known copies of the card featuring the famed Detroit Tigers slugger that on the back reads, "Ty Cobb - King of the Smoking Tobacco World."
That's less than half the known remaining number of Honus Wagner cards from the same time that have long been considered the holy grail of collecting.
And while the surge in numbers for the Cobb cards may have diminished the value somewhat by making them less rare, Orlando said the excitement surrounding them, and the possibility that more could exist, have made up the difference.
"Sometimes a card can be so rare that no one bothers to talk about it," Orlando said. "This raised the importance of the Ty Cobb card."

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Former "Blue's Clues" host Steve Burns joked he would fight WWE wrestler John Cena for the hosting job of the children's series reboot.
Burns, 44, hosted "Blue's Clues" for seven years before leaving the show in 2002, and has expressed interest in hosting a reboot of the Nickelodeon series, the Alternative Press reported.
However, Burns may have some competition, such as Cena, who has starred in a string of movies.
Cena was captured auditioning for the hosting gig while wearing the show's signature green striped polo. It was not immediately clear if the audition was real.
Burns responded to Cena's possible audition by threatening to fight the WWE wrestler for the job.
"I think if John Cena is serious about hosting 'Blue's Clues,' he and I should wrestle for it," Burns told TMZ. "I'm calling you out, Cena."
Nickelodeon chimed in, tweeting no fight was needed and "maybe we can find a green striped polo big enough for both of you."
Nickelodeon announced last week that "Blue's Clues" was returning to television and the network was looking for a new host. The show was said to be a "refreshed, but still signature" look.
"Blue's Clues" ran from 1996 to 2006. 
 

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