Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 28th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 28th

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire middle and high school girls have been invited to apply to take Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's (soo-NOO'-nooz) job for a day.
Sununu on Wednesday announced the Governor for a Day competition as part of Women's History Month. Applicants must answer the prompt "If I were governor for a day, I would ... " via either a written response of fewer than 250 words or a one-minute video.
Written responses can be emailed to GovernorForADay@nh.gov or sent to the governor's office. Video submissions must be sent as private messages to Sununu's Facebook messenger account.
Sununu says the goal is to ensure the state's next generation of leaders feels empowered to lead.
The contest is a partnership with Girls Inc., Girl Scouts and Granite Girls State.
The deadline is April 30.

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who signed up for internet gambling has won nearly $194,000 on his very first spin of an online slots game.
Anibal Lopes, of Woodbridge, said he was bored after work Monday night, so he created an account on the playsugarhouse.com website on his smartphone.
Choosing a slots game called Divine Fortune, the 33-year-old won its Mega Jackpot on his very first spin.
"I thought, 'This is not happening,' " he said. "I couldn't believe I won that much money. I told my wife: 'I don't feel well. My legs are shaking.' She said, 'We need to get you to the emergency room.' I told her, 'No, I'm not sick; I just won close to $194,000!'"
The progressive jackpot had been building since it was last hit in September.
The website, run by Rush Street Interactive, is affiliated with Atlantic City's Golden Nugget casino.
Lopes said he played other gambling sites in New Jersey sporadically since online wagering became legal in 2013, but stopped for a number of years.
The construction company superintendent plans to use the money to pay bills, repair his house, and set up a savings account for his 6-year-old son.
He usually visits Atlantic City about six times a year, but now says he prefers the convenience of gambling from his phone without having to make the four-hour round trip from his home.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
 
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PROSPECT, Va. (AP) - Carnival Cruise rolled into a small Virginia town this week on the hunt for a local teen and his coveted Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise.
The company surprised 15-year-old Darian Lipscomb at his Prospect, Virginia, home Tuesday night after peppering the town with signs asking "Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?"
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the company offered to trade Lipscomb a free trip for his family abroad its newest ship, Carnival Horizon, in exchange for his Snapchat handle. The net worth of the trip is about $5,000.
Organizers say Lipscomb will receive customized surprises throughout the trip, which will be documented on the cruise's social channels.
The Dispatch reports the company said the trade was a fun way to claim the handle and reward a 'superfan.'

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) - Scientists have the dirt on the rubber ducky: Those cute yellow bath-time toys are - as some parents have long suspected - a haven for nasty bugs.
Swiss and American researchers counted the microbes swimming inside the toys and say the murky liquid released when ducks were squeezed contained "potentially pathogenic bacteria" in four out of the five toys studied.
The bacteria found included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is "often implicated in hospital-acquired infections," the authors said in a statement.
The study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois was published Tuesday in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes. It's billed as one of the first in-depth scientific examinations of its kind.
They turned up a strikingly high volume - up to 75 million cells per square centimeter (0.15 square inch) - and variety of bacteria and fungus in the ducks.
Tap water doesn't usually foster the growth of bacteria, the scientists said, but low-quality polymers in the plastic materials give them the nutrients they need. Bodily fluids - like urine and sweat - as well as contaminants and even soap in bathwater add microbes and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus and create balmy brine for bacteria.
"We've found very big differences between different bath animals," said microbiologist and lead study author Lisa Neu, alluding to other types of bath toys - like rubber crocodiles - that also were examined. "One of the reasons was the material, because it releases carbon that can serve as food for the bacteria."
While certain amounts of bacteria can help strengthen children's immune systems, they can also lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections, the researchers said. Among the vulnerable users: Children "who may enjoy squirting water from bath toys into their faces," a statement from the institute said.
The scientists, who received funding from the Swiss government as part of broader research into household objects, say using higher-quality polymers to make the ducks could prevent bacterial and fungal growth. The Swiss government isn't making any recommendations at this stage.
Known for their squeaks and eulogized in a Sesame Street song on TV, rubber duckies have been a childhood bath-time staple for years. Online vendor Amazon.com lists one such offering - advertised as water-tight to prevent mildew - among the top 10 sellers in its "Baby Bath Toys" category.

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A "deadly-looking" scorpion that forced residents to cordon off a street in the residential part of an English town for hours last Thursday turned out to be nothing but a child's toy.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a news release that worried members of the public contacted authorities after the bright red scorpion was found on the pavement by a child in the town of Grantham, birthplace of the late prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
"The callers were really concerned about the public's safety so they used cones to cordon off the area and stood out in the street for two hours to ensure no one went near it," animal collection officer Paula Jones said.
Jones said she was dealing with "another emergency elsewhere," but quickly headed over as some types of scorpions are highly venomous, making them "potentially very dangerous."
But when Jones and her colleague, deputy chief inspector Becky Lowe arrived, they realized the scary-looking creature was simply a fake toy made of rubber.
"It was quite funny after we realized it was a child's toy and wouldn't be a threat to anyone," Jones said. "But we really appreciate the concern of the woman and the efforts she went to."
The scorpion, now no-longer deemed a threat, has a new home -- inside the animal control officer's van.
"Cecil the scorpion is now my van buddy and keeps me company on the road," she said.
The charity organization said it deals with a number of reports each year involving potentially dangerous spiders, lizards and scorpions, which may have come to the United Kingdom in fruit boxes or inside luggage from vacation.
The incident was similar to one earlier this year, when armed police stormed a Scottish farm after receiving a report a tiger was on the loose - only to discover the big cat was a toy laying on the road.

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An Uber driver in California ended up taking the stairs on Sunday after claiming the navigation system in the ride-sharing app told him to.
The driver, only identified as Fred by Business Insider, was reportedly driving two passengers through San Francisco, on his way to pick up a third, when he made the wrong turn just before 1:30 p.m.
Fred, who's reportedly been driving with the company for less than a year, told the news outlet that Uber's navigation instructed him to go down the stairs outside a pedestrian sidewalk near a Safeway supermarket.
A tow truck driver attempted to remove the white Toyota Camry from the stairs around 3 p.m., but the cable connecting the car to the tow truck snapped, leaving the car to slide forward into a city trash can, pushing it off its bolts, the San Francisco Examiner reported.
Reports indicated no one was injured in the incident, and it wasn't immediately clear whether the driver would be cited.

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Police are looking for a man who decided to say a quick prayer before breaking into the storefront of a New York City clothing store on Thursday.
A surveillance video shows the unidentified thief taking off his hat. Unknowingly as he looks into the surveillance camera, he makes the sign of the cross.  
He is then seen taking a large stone and throwing it into the window.
Police say the devout man broke into Ziani Fine Italian Clothing in Brooklyn and ran off with about 18 pieces of clothing, Patch.com reported.
Authorities are still looking for the man, who is shown wearing a black baseball cap and a black jacket.  

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The Dodgers and Angels were playing an exhibition game in Los Angeles tonight. It ended early, however, when a pipe burst in the bottom of the 5th inning, flooding the field with sewage.
The leak was caused by a water main break, and left a stinky, brown pool near the Dodgers' dugout down the third base line in foul territory. The grounds crew worked to clean up for a half hour before they decided to call the game. Dodgers officials were unsure as of the time the game was called if it was a stadium or a city issue.
Here was team president Stan Kasten's comment to the media about it:
Apparently in the middle of the of the fifth inning there was a pipe backup, in two different levels of the stadium. We don't know exactly where the backup was or what caused it. It had something to do with a main pipe here as well as a main pipe outside.
Kasten said he has no concerns about Opening Day being disrupted on Thursday.
One Dodger player told Pedro Moura of The Athletic "I hope this doesn't mean it's gonna be a sh***y year." Because of course he did. More poetically.
If the Dodgers win the World Series this year, I can absolutely, with 100% certainly, tell you what will lead off the season highlight reel. Same if they lose 100 games somehow. Anything in between, I suspect they'll just flush this down the memory hole and pretend it didn't happen.
In other news, the Oakland A's are the happiest people in baseball right now.

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A Louisiana couple decided to announce the sex of their unborn baby in a pretty jaw-dropping way.
Grandmother-to-be Melody Kliebert posted a video to Facebook on Sunday featuring her son, Mike Kliebert - an alligator wrangler and trainer who runs Kliebert's Turtle and Alligator Farm in Hammond and goes by the name "T-Mike, the Gator King."
The video shows Mike Kliebert holding an alligator's mouth shut on a lawn, surrounded by friends and family gathered for a gender reveal party.
"First thing that came to my mind when my girlfriend and I decided to have a gender reveal party were alligators," Kliebert, whose father and grandfather were both also alligator handlers, told HuffPost. "They're a big part of our family, so why not incorporate them into our reveal?" 
At one point in the video, Kliebert places a watermelon into the gator's mouth. The reptile snaps her jaw shut and a blue liquid comes gushing out of her mouth, indicating that Kliebert's baby is going to be a boy.
"We have a few gators who like to eat fruit, so I figured fruit was great -let's get a watermelon, drill a hole in it, add some Jell-O to it, and throw it in the gator's mouth? Let her bust it open, no big deal, you know?" Kliebert explained. "And what better way to do it than having an alligator that is 61 years old that my grandfather hatched in 1957?"
Kliebert said the gator in the video is named Sally and "she's our movie gator." She's appeared in commercials and the TV show "American Horror Story," and she recently filmed a scene for upcoming movie "Louisiana Caviar." Kliebert says Sally responds to her name and that she received "a big piece of chicken" as a reward for helping in the gender reveal.
"Sally's not just a gator, she's not just a pet, she's part of our family," he said.
The viral video has more than 5 million views on Facebook. It ultimately made its way onto other social media platforms, like Twitter, where many  people  expressed  concern for the animal's well-being.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman said what happened in the video didn't appear to harm Sally, but the department doesn't exactly support bringing an alligator to a party.
"It wasn't harmful to the animal," the spokesman told HuffPost. "But we discourage and don't condone anyone using an animal as exhibition piece."
He added, "Also, it is not wise to have a dangerous animal in such a demonstration so close to humans, especially children."
Kliebert said he had prepared for numerous scenarios in which things could have gone wrong.
"I know gators better than I know the back of my hand," he said, noting that Sally had opportunities to hurt him in the video, but didn't.
He added that there were "a dozen other gator handlers on the scene, most of my family are gator handlers."
Those handlers include his pregnant girlfriend, Rebecca Miller, who has been a gator handler for four years, and his 9-year-old son, Blaze. 
"It's like having your family brought up on the dairy farm," he explained. "Except with gators."

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The curious case of an Australian home's randomly flushing toilet had a ssss-urprising conclusion.
Residents of a house in Doonan, Queensland, were stunned to discover a brown tree snake resting on top of the toilet's electronic flush mechanism, inside the wall.
Snake-catcher Luke Huntley was called to deal with the critter, and shared footage of the animal's removal on Facebook.
"The toilet had been flushing by itself randomly for days when they opened it up and found a surprise waiting for them!" wrote Huntley. "It was a quick catch but it needed to be. That or putting my hand down into the toilet water."
The U.S. Geological Survey describes brown tree snakes as "mildly venomous."
They are "not considered dangerous to an adult human and no known deaths have occurred," USGS adds. "Young children can have reactions to tree snake bites."


 

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