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

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 22nd

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FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man has been reunited with a cat he lost 14 years ago.
TCPalm.com reports Perry Martin of Fort Pierce said he had assumed his orange tabby named Thomas Jr., or T2 for short, had died in traffic.
Martin moved in with a friend after Hurricane Jeanne clobbered the state in 2004. A few days later, T2 escaped the home and never returned.
Martin had T2 implanted with a microchip in 2002. He never had news of his missing pet until a Martin County Animal Services officer called him March 9 to tell him T2 was in a shelter in Palm City.
Martin said he initially thought the call was "too crazy to believe."
The pair reunited last week at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Days after one Romanian court told a man he was officially dead despite evidence to the contrary, another court has declared that a man who was truly dead could get his driving license back.
A court in the northern city of Iasi on Thursday confirmed that Valerian Vasiliu should have his license returned and be reimbursed a fine he paid for speeding. Vasiliu was fined and temporarily lost his license in March 2017, but appealed the punishment in court and won an interim ruling.
He died in October, before the ruling was final. Police still appealed, but this month lost their appeal.
Local lawyer Gianina Porosnicu, a traffic law specialist, told the Mediafax agency that "cases like this may seem odd or even sinister," and blamed "a legal void."
In an almost opposite situation last week, a Romanian man who had been officially declared dead lost his bid to have his death certificate canceled.
Constantin Reliu, a 63-year-old cook, returned from Turkey in January and found out that his wife had declared him dead. Reliu tried to get his death certificate overturned in court, but his appeal was rejected because his request was filed "too late."
 
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BUFFALO, Minn. - A teenager taking her driver's test crashed through the driver's examination station before she even got on the road.
The Star Tribune reported that the 17-year-old crashed a 2014 Chevy Equinox into the building Wednesday afternoon in Buffalo, Minnesota.
The driver was not hurt, but a 60-year-old woman working as the license examiner sustained non-critical injuries and the vehicle was significantly damaged.
It happened after the teenager put the Equinox in drive instead of reverse at the start of the test, according to the paper.
Nobody was inside the office during the crash. The teen driver will not be charged.

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FORT PIERCE - A man who crafted a bomb inside a whiskey bottle and blew it up in another man's backyard was charged with a crime Wednesday, investigators said.
Scott Frederick Wegener, 55, of the 500 block of Wendell Road, was charged with possession or discharge of a destructive device.
More: Early-morning SWAT training, explosions startle Port St. Lucie residents
An anonymous caller Wednesday warned Wegener had detonated an improvised explosive device and was threatening it again, according to Wegener's arrest affidavit.
The caller said Wegener, nicknamed "Spider," was in a dispute with someone over the theft of a BB gun and had offered to pay a friend to crawl under the man's home to plant an IED.
Investigators from the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, Fort Pierce Police Department, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, all responded to Wegener's home Wednesday.
They didn't find any bomb-making equipment there, only two empty Canadian Mist bottles in a red golf cart.
At a home in the 800 block of South Sixth Street, they found evidence of an explosion in the backyard. The homeowner, Wegener's friend, said the incident happened Saturday.
"Wegener pulled up to (the) house on the golf cart. They began to hang out. Wegener said he was going to kill the chickens in (the) yard. Wegener went to his golf cart and retrieved a Canadian Mist bottle filled with black powder, sand and a green fuse," according to the affidavit.
Investigators said Wegener lit the fuse and threw the IED into the backyard, where it exploded.
They recovered a 1-pound bag of explosive black powder, 8 feet of "cannon fuse" and a coffee cup filled with sand, which Wegener had left at the Sixth Street home, the affidavit said.
Wegener was charged by the Sheriff's Office. He remained late Friday in the Indian River County Jail, with bail set at $30,000.

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A California jury awarded millions to a former MLB pitcher who claimed his pitching hand was never the same after punching a naked man on LSD who attacked him and tried to break into his home.
A San Mateo County jury awarded Greg Reynolds and his wife $2.3 million Monday from the man Reynolds said he punched in self-defense and the neighbor who hosted an acid party, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Reynolds was selected as the No. 2 pick of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. He spent three seasons in the majors before trying to continue his playing career in Japan, according to the New York Daily News.
In January 2015, Reynolds was hoping to latch onto a major league team. However, Reynolds was attacked by Dominic Pintarelli.
Pinatarelli, 19, was attempting to destroy Reynolds' mailbox before attacking the pitcher and chasing him back into his Half Moon Bay home, Reynolds' lawyer stayed, according to the Mercury News.
Pinatarelli tried to force his way inside the home and that's when Reynolds punched Pinatarelli in the face, the Mercury News reported. Reynolds suffered fractures in his knuckles from the punch, his lawyer said.
"I only hit him one time, and it was bad enough to where I knew immediately it was broken," Reynolds said. "It all happened so quickly, you don't have time to think about it. We were definitely in fear for our lives."
Reynolds argued that the punch effectively ended his career.
He would sign a minor-league deal with the San Diego Padres in 2016, but never latched on with the major league team.

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(Sky News) A shot of cognac has sold in a London bar for £10,014, setting a new world record.
The 40ml serving of Rome de Bellegarde sold on Wednesday night after it was discovered in the cellars of cognac house Jean Fillioux by fifth generation cellar master Pascal Fillioux.
It is believed to be the very first blend created by Jean Fillioux in 1894.
The event was attended by cognac lovers and industry experts, who witnessed the very first pour.
An official adjudicator from the Guinness World Records was also present.
Ranjeeta Dutt McGroarty, the founder and director of Trinity Natural Gas, was the first to buy a shot of the rare drink at Hyde Kensington, breaking the Guinness World Record for the price in the process.
The brand has decanted the spirit into 67 French crystal bottles.
Rome de Bellegarde founder David Smeralda said: "We are so excited for Rome de Bellegarde to be available for the first time in over 120 years.

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March 22 (UPI) -- A Kansas woman said her $25,000 lottery jackpot never would have happened if she hadn't had trouble finding a parking space while visiting her mother.
Mary San Miguel of Wichita told Kansas Lottery officials she went to visit her mother last week and decided to visit a nearby gas station when she was unable to find parking.
"I left work and went to see my mom, but there wasn't a parking spot available, so I thought I'd run by the gas station real quick to kill some time," San Miguel said. "I decided to try the Bingo Numbers game, and when I scratched it off, I thought I had won $50!"
San Miguel took the ticket to the clerk, who scanned it and handed over a claim form, leading the player to assume she had won more than she thought.
"I took the ticket with me to my mom's house, and I said that I thought I had won $1,000. Everyone wanted to see the ticket, so I handed it to them," San Miguel said.
San Miguel said that was when her family discovered the true worth of the ticket.
When they told me it was worth $25,000, I went into shock! I still am having a hard time believing it. It probably won't completely sink in until I'm spending the money," she said.

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March 22 (UPI) -- A Thailand man who heard a noise coming from his bathroom went to investigate and discovered a huge monitor lizard had climbed onto a shelf.
Kimkhun Likitwattanaset, 81, said he had been saying his morning prayers Wednesday when he went to investigate the racket in the bathroom of his Samut Songkhram home.
''I was meditating when I heard noises coming from the bathroom. I didn't know what it was and when I went to look, there was a monitor lizard clinging to the wall like a gecko," the resident said. ''Yes, it was a big surprise. It had caused a lot of mess and there were a lot of things on the floor. I closed the door and waited for the volunteer service to come and catch it.''
A video recorded by wildlife rescuers from the Sawang Baynjatam foundation shows the 5-foot lizard on a shelf with a mess on the floor and a shower caddie hanging from its tail.
The rescuers said the big lizard would be released into the wild a safe distance away.

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March 22 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania couple who wanted their coworkers to be able to attend their wedding held the ceremony in the Garden Center of their Walmart.
Chrissy Slonaker Torres and Leida Torres, who met in September 2015 when Torres started working as a manager at the West Manchester Township Walmart where Slonaker Torres was an employee, said they realized when they started planning their wedding in December that some of their coworkers would have to miss the ceremony because the store is open 24 hours.
The couple executed their solution on Saturday: holding their wedding in the Walmart Garden Center, surrounded by their coworkers, friends and family.
"We both have a lot of really close friends that we call family in our Walmart store," Slonaker Torres told the York Daily Record. "We discussed it with the store manager and the home office so that everybody in our store -- everybody that we share our lives with -- can be a part of the wedding."
The couple said customers were also charmed by the ceremony.
"There were some customers that were going around saying 'ooooh' and 'ahhh,' and that was so sweet," Slonaker Torres said. "You could hear it in the background. I didn't hear anything negative."

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(Newsweek) On Wednesday, two U.S. astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan headed for the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits the Earth around 250 miles above the surface.
Given that this is relatively high up, you probably wouldn't expect any of the crew to have a fear of heights. But that's exactly what Andrew J. Feustel admitted in a video NASA has released revealing five facts about the astronaut that people may not be aware of.
"I actually have a mild fear of heights but apparently that doesn't affect me 250 miles above the planet in a space suit," Feustel said in the video. "But it is there."
This fear doesn't seem to have impeded his astronaut career in any way. In total he has spent 29 days in space, completing 42 hours of spacewalks over the course of two missions.
Feustel's third and current mission will see him live onboard the ISS for nearly six months where he will eventually take over as commander in June later this year. The trip to the space station took around 50 hours aboard the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft. He was accompanied by NASA flight engineer Ricky Arnold and Soyuz commander Oleg Artemyev.
Feustel also revealed in the video that he grew up having two dreams in his life, one of which he ended up achieving. The first was to be a Formula One driver and the second was to become an astronaut. He also mentioned he was skilled at an unusual sport known as barefoot waterskiing-essentially waterskiing without skis.
"I taught myself to barefoot water ski at the age of 14, and I can tell you I've swallowed a lot of lake water as a result of that special skill," he joked.
Feustel, 52, is from Lake Orion, Michigan. He earned a master's degree in Geophysics from Purdue University in 1991 before embarking on a doctorate in geological sciences, which he completed in 1995.
After applying to NASA, Feustel was selected for astronaut training in July 2000. In May 2009 he finally got the chance to go on his first space mission, known as STS-125-the fifth and final space shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
 

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