Mad Minute stories from Thursday, April 12th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, April 12th

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Investigators say a woman’s obituary helped federal agents capture her fugitive son nearly four decades after he escaped from an Oklahoma prison.
The U.S. Marshals Service says 58-year-old Stephen Michael Paris was arrested without incident Thursday at an office in Houston where he worked under a pseudonym.
The agency says investigators tracked him down in Texas after a newspaper obituary for his mother listed a son in Houston named Stephen Michael Chavez. Fingerprints confirmed his identity.
Paris escaped from the Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in October 1981. He escaped after serving about 19 months of a nine-year sentence for drug possession and distribution.
He was also featured on the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ “Most Wanted” list.

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — The bizarre trash items plucked from New Jersey's beaches last year might be enough to cause nausea or heartburn. But don't worry, a bottle of Pepto-Bismol was among the items collected.
Also plucked from the sands of the state's beaches were a lawn mower, a saw blade, an empty medical marijuana container, a strobe light, a bird cage and two fire extinguishers.
Other items included a plastic statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, a cheese grater, and a human tooth in a box.
Aside from the bizarre items, Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action said Thursday most of the trash consisted of plastics, which can kill fish and animals that swallow it.
"An emaciated sperm whale washed up dead on a beach in Spain recently," she said. "The once majestic ocean-cruising youngster looked like a burnt pancake. He died a tragic and painful death feeding on 64 pounds of plastic he thought was food. Countless others have died the same way, or by entanglement of plastics or other man-made products. We humans are wholly responsible for their deaths, and it is on us to do something about it."
The groups sponsors beach sweeps along New Jersey's entire ocean and bay coastline in spring and fall each year, and painstakingly catalogs everything collected. In 2017, they picked up nearly 374,000 pieces of trash, 84 percent of which was plastic or plastic foam; 66 percent of the trash collected was discarded single-use items.
The trash is either left behind by beachgoers or washed ashore from sewage systems that overflow during heavy rainstorms.
Some of the more unusual items included enough to stock a small medical clinic: blood vials, dentures, a knee brace, pill bottles, a surgical mask, and a bottle of eye drops.
Good grooming may have been on the minds of Jersey beachgoers last summer. Items found on the sand included acrylic nails, a bag of costume jewelry, a belly ring, a fake mustache, a mascara brush, a mermaid purse, nail clippers, perfume samples and shampoo pump.
There also was enough to stock a nightmare kitchen: a full jug of milk, presumably WAY past its expiration date, a jar of honey, a coffee maker, an oregano jar, zucchini and raw chicken pieces.
There were 19 car batteries found on the sand; 204 tires, and 43 large 55-gallon drums.
The sweeps also continued to show disturbing evidence of sewage making its way into waterways — and later onto beaches — by the presence of items presumably flushed down the toilet, including condoms (361, up 13 percent from two years ago), and tampon applicators (4,080, up 16 percent in two years.)
 
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NEW YORK (AP) — A false report of a tiger in the streets of New York has caused a social media frenzy.
WNBC says the New York Police Department got a call around 8:30 a.m. Thursday about a tiger in Harlem.
People on Twitter described a notification from the Citizen app that said police were responding to unconfirmed reports of a loose tiger running around the street.
Shortly thereafter, police confirmed that there was indeed a wild-animal sighting.
It was a raccoon.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The nearly 60-foot long blue termite that overlooks Interstate 95 in Rhode Island is now even harder to miss.
Big Blue Bug Solutions put up a billboard in Providence on Tuesday alerting drivers that their building and its "World Famous Big Blue Bug" are only a mile away.
Company vice president Tony DeJesus tells WJAR-TV that they get visitors from all over the world looking for the bug known as Nibbles Woodaway. It has been a landmark for drivers for nearly 40 years and doubles as a quirky symbol of the state, showing up occasionally in movies and TV shows.

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont restaurant owner is offering a $100 gift certificate to the person who returns a life-size cardboard cutout of himself that was stolen from an airport.
Bob Conlon said Wednesday he has no idea why anyone would want to steal the advertisement for Leunig's Bistro. WCAX-TV reports Conlon would like the cutout back because it cost $350.
Police say surveillance video shows two women taking the cutout of Conlon the night of March 23. Officials say the unidentified women had just gotten off an inbound flight at Burlington International Airport.
Police previously said the advertisement has "significant monetary value."

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REVERE, Mass. (AP) — The maker of the colorful Necco Wafers has experienced a surge in sales since announcing it might close unless it finds a buyer, and a Florida woman offered to exchange her 15-year-old car for one company's wafer inventory.
Necco stands for New England Confectionery Company. It announced in March that 395 workers could be laid off if no buyer is found. That triggered a buying spree by wafer lovers.
The Boston Globe reports 23-year-old Katie Samuels, of Florida, reached out to candy wholesaler Candystore.com to offer her 2003 Honda Accord for their wafer inventory. Samuels has childhood memories of playing church and pretending the candies were communion.
Candystore.com did not accept the offer in what it's calling "The Great Necco Wafer Panic," but Samuels managed to buy four dozen rolls of the wafers.
Necco has produced the candies since 1847.

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LINDENHURST, N.Y. (AP) — A man has the car of his dreams eight years after he slipped a note inside the window of a blue 1971 Volkswagen bus that the then-16-year-old called his "future car."
Kyle Cropsey of Lindenhurst, New York, received a call last week from Cris Mead, of Oakland, California. Mead's father, Cornelius, had purchased the van new and named it Matilda, taking his family on cross-country trips.
The son was cleaning it out after his father's death when he came across Cropsey's note tucked in the VW's log book.
Cris Mead tells Newsday the family decided to give Cropsey the van, on the condition he update them on its restoration and "go on plenty of adventures."
Cropsey, who is 23 and teaches English, says "it was fate."

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Eight police officers in Argentina, including a former town police commissioner, have been dismissed from their posts after four of them claimed that more than half a ton of missing marijuana was carried off by mice, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
The paper reported that police in the town of Pilar, about 35 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, impounded 6,000 kilograms (13,228 pounds) of marijuana. But when police inspected the evidence warehouse sometime later, they found that 540 kilograms (1,190 pounds) were missing.
During their investigation, officers found that former police commissioner Javier Specia had not signed the inventory for the pot before he left his post in April 2017.
Specia and three of his subordinates were called before a judge, and all of them told the same story: the missing marijuana had been "eaten by mice."
That explanation didn't fly with forensics experts, who testified that mice wouldn't have mistaken marijuana for food -- and if they had done so, "a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse," a spokesperson for Judge Adrián González Charvay told The Guardian.
Specia and three of his officers must testify before the judge next month to help determine whether the weed vanished, in the spokesperson's words, "by connivance of negligence."

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The Miami Marlins may have relocated to the Caribbean sometime after Derek Jeter and company's acquisition of the organization and no one batted an eye.
While the Marlins are still playing home games in downtown Miami, the team is trying to get out of a local lawsuit by claiming that the franchise is a corporate citizen of the British Virgin Islands, the Miami Herald reported Monday.
Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami filed a lawsuit in February against former team owner Jeffrey Loria over his $1.2 billion sale of the franchise to the group led by Jeter and businessman Bruce Sherman, according to the Herald.
The county and the city are seeking a share of Loria's profits from the sale and Jeter's lawyers insist that the complaint is solely between the former Marlins owner and government officials, the newspaper reported. The suit named the Loria group and the Jeter group, claiming that the new owners should be held "contractually responsible" over the old owner's decision to stiff the city and the county.
Former owner Jeffrey Loria was supposed to leave $50 million of the sale proceeds in escrow to solve any suit that may come forth after he was gone.  (Reuters via USA Today Sports)
Loria was supposed to leave $50 million of the sale proceeds in escrow to solve any suit that may come forth after he was gone. The Miami Herald reported that Loria claimed he made no profit from his $1.2 billion sale despite buying the team in 2002 for about $158.3 million and using mostly government funding to build Marlins Park.
The Marlins have decided to argue that part of Marlins Teamco, the ownership group, is a corporation. Abenue Ltd., based in the British Virgin Islands, owns a part of Marlins Holdings LLC, which owns Marlins Teamco, the group formed by Jeter and Sherman among others to buy the franchise, according to Sports Illustrated. The Marlins' lawyers argued, because of Abenue Ltd's location, the case should be decided by a federal arbitrator over a local judge.
The county said in a rebuttal that even if one of the group's members is a U.S. citizen, then the entire group is a U.S. citizen, according to the Miami Herald.
"This is the most local of disputes, involving a locally-negotiated contract made between local parties under local law and requiring local performance," the county's lawyers said.

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(NME.com) Five people were arrested.
Police were recently called to an abandoned Toys R Us store, after hundreds of people staged a massive Easter Weekend rave inside the shop.
The "unlicensed music event" was held at the closed down store in Hounslow, West London on Saturday March 31.
Posting on Twitter, Hounslow MPS shared a photo of a Toys R'Us sign, which had been daubed in graffiti so it read "Raves R Us".
Officers arrested five people and seized a soundsystem on the scene, at Hounslow's Bull's Bridge Industrial Estate.
#ResponseTeamC and #ResponseTeamB have disrupted an unlicensed music event in #Hounslow and five arrests made", Hounslow Police wrote on Twitter.
"Police have closed down an unlicensed music event on Bull's Bridge Industrial Estate, Hayes Road, UB2. Sound system has been seized and several arrests made. Do not travel to this area as all attendees and ticket holders are being turned away."
The incident comes after the once popular toy company went into administration in February, with all 100 UK stores expected to close by the end of this month.

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