Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 30th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 30th

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PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Animal control workers are using noisemakers to try to wake a sleeping black bear and chase it out of a tree near a New Jersey home.
Animal control officer Carol Tyler tells NorthJersey.com the young bear likely was attracted by the smell of food in Paramus on Monday.
Tyler says the bear could be shot with a tranquilizer dart if it moves lower down and be caught with a net to break its fall. She says the 200-pound (90-kilogram) bear likely will be taken to a remote area and freed.
Live video footage shows the bear dozing on a branch, waking up and then falling back to sleep again.
Police earlier tweeted a warning to stay clear of the bear and to call 911 if it was sighted.
The Department of Environmental Protection says it’s monitoring the situation.

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MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — A pair of pelicans crashed a graduation ceremony at Pepperdine University in the California beachfront community of Malibu over the weekend.
The long-beaked birds flew in Saturday as the class of 2018 was receiving diplomas outdoors on a lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Video broadcast by KABC-TV shows one of the big birds landed among seated observers who managed to toss it back into the air, only to have it land on a red carpet at the center of the ceremony.
The pelican resisted efforts by several men to get it to move along.
It finally waddled away.
 
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The pungent smell of the rotten durian fruit at an Australian university library has been mistaken for a gas leak, prompting an evacuation of the building.
Specialist crews wearing masks searched the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology university campus library on Saturday, but all they found was rotting durian in a cupboard.
About 600 staff and students had cleared the building.
A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the smell alarmed staff and students as it permeated the air-conditioning system.
Durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong smell. It is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport across Southeast Asia.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A frisky cat that got loose at New York's Kennedy Airport has been captured after more than a week on the lam.
WABC-TV reports that Pepper the cat was lured out of hiding early Saturday.
Pepper bolted from her owner April 20 as they were preparing to board a flight to China.
The owner was moving to China for a new job and had to leave without Pepper.
Pepper was spotted several times in non-public areas but eluded capture.
Then on Saturday, the officer who led the rescue effort enlisted the help of a friend of Pepper's owner, who called Pepper by her Mandarin name and enticed her with food. The officer and the friend then grabbed Pepper.
The friend will be responsible for getting Pepper to the owner.

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SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — A historic covered bridge near Atlanta that was rebuilt after being burned down during the Civil War now faces a different foe: GPS systems.
WABE-FM reports that five vehicles since December have rammed into the top of the 7-foot-high (2.1-meter) warning beam erected just before the entrance to the Concord Covered Bridge.
Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt says officials attribute a spike in accidents to navigation apps that lead oversized vehicles to the bridge. He says officials are working with such companies to see if they can provide in-app warnings.
The county has installed an electronic warning sign that warns trucks and cars with trailers if they're too tall and need to detour.
Local authorities spent $800,000 to repair the National Register of Historic Places structure last year.

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Like so many American soldiers returning home from World War II, Bob Barger started working a new job and going to college. Once he settled into his career and raising a family, finishing school was no longer a priority.
Now, 68 years since he last sat in a classroom, Barger is set to graduate from the University of Toledo this week after a review of his transcripts from the late 1940s showed he completed enough courses to quality for an associate's degree — a two-year diploma not offered when he was still in school.
"It was something I never dreamed of," the 96-year-old Barger said. "I knew I couldn't go back to school now.
"I'm going to be proud to hang that diploma on the wall and think about the friends behind it," he said. "I found out without friends, this old world wouldn't be worth living in."
The university took a look at Barger's old school records because of a friendship he struck up with Haraz Ghanbari, the school's director of military and veteran affairs.
They met five years ago when Ghanbari, a Navy Reserve officer, asked Barger to officiate his promotion to lieutenant.
Ghanbari later found out that Barger never graduated from the university, even though he took a full load of classes from 1947 to 1950.
"We actually had to go into the archives to find his transcripts," said Barbara Kopp Miller, dean of University College at Toledo.
The records showed Barger completed 83 credit hours — about 20 more than what's required for the associate's degree that he'll receive on Saturday. University officials say they don't know of anyone older ever graduating from the school.
"It's the right thing to do. He deserved. He earned it," Kopp Miller said. "It's so cool to honor a member of our greatest generation."
Barger was a pilot in the Navy, enlisting after seeing an advertisement that said "join the Navy and get an education."
He flew seaplanes for scout observation over the Gulf of Mexico and was a flight instructor at a base in Corpus Christi, Texas. He later was stationed in Norman, Oklahoma, after the war and planned on a career in the Navy until an explosion in a bunk house. He wasn't hurt, but carrying out the bloodied men changed his mind about staying in the military.
Barger returned home with his wife and young daughter and studied business and advertising while working for a paper company. He remembers history was his favorite class at what was then called Toledo University.
He never gave much thought about not graduating until just recently. When he was told in January that he would finally get a degree, he let out a hearty laugh. "I can't believe this. I'm 96 years old," said Barger, whose wife died in 2011.
Members of the university's Student Veterans of America chapter bought him a cap and gown that he tried on last week. "I fit. I guess I look pretty good in it," he said.
The assisted living center where he lives is planning a big graduation party for over 100 people. Barger stocked up on a dozen bottles of vodka, whiskey and scotch.
He jokes that he now wants to find "a cushy job where I can play golf."

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(Huffington Post) Authorities in Florida have arrested three people in connection with a brazen panty pilfering scheme that allegedly stole thousands of dollars' worth of women's unmentionables.
According to the Tallahassee Police Department, Quinessia Jackson, 29, and her fiancée, Coby Richardson, 47, are former employees of a logistics company that packages and ships Victoria's Secret products.
Beginning in November 2017, customers who'd purchased panties online from Victoria's Secret began complaining that their shipments were overdue. An internal investigation was launched. In March, it was allegedly discovered that Jaresa Frye, a 25-year-old friend of Jackson and Richardson, was selling new Victoria's Secret underwear online.
Photos posted by Frye show that the merchandise being offered for sale was in the same barcoded bags used by the logistics company to track items prior to shipment, authorities said. The trail of plundered panties further pointed to Jackson and Richardson, police said, when it was discovered they'd been assigned to prepare the majority of the missing items for shipment.
Questioned about the lost undies, Richardson allegedly confessed to stealing and selling more than 400 packages of panties. Jackson, Richardson and Frye have since been charged with felony theft. Richardson also faces a charge of grand theft of items worth over $20,000, police said.
All three have since been released from jail after posting bonds totaling $35,000. It was unclear on Monday if any of the missing merchandise had been recovered.

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April 30 (UPI) -- An Australian snake catcher was called out to a local business to remove a deadly snake found curled up inside the workings of a stove.
A video captured at the business in Lonsdale, South Australia, shows the snake catcher disassembling an oven to reach the eastern brown snake, one of the most venomous species in the world.
"A local business is going about their daily business when one employee saw the half end of a snake go under their stove," the snake catcher wrote. "They called us up and the snake ended up going into the stove so it's a case of pulling it apart until you locate the snake."
The snake was safely removed and captured for relocation.

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Authorities say a trucker who was missing for four days has walked out of the Oregon wilderness safely.
Jacob Cartwright, 22, got lost after his GPS sent him the wrong way, State Police Sgt. Kaipo Raiser said.
Cartwright's truck was reportedly full of potato chips when it got stuck in an area with limited cell phone coverage, his boss said. The trucker started walking back in the direction from which he had come -- without any food or water -- just after midnight Wednesday, wading through snow at some points.
An intensive search involving aircraft had been taking place since he went missing Tuesday.
Cartwright didn't stop walking until Saturday morning, when he neared La Grande. The journey was 36 miles.
From there, the trucker got a ride home from a passing motorist.
Cartwright's wife returned home from meeting with local officials about the search for her husband -- only to find him in their house.
The trucker told his wife he was "hurting real bad" and was "real cold," so she drove him to a hospital.
"He looks to be pretty good," said a nursing supervisor at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. "He's a big boy. He kept moving and stayed warm enough. So it doesn't look like he's going to have too many injuries."
When asked why he didn't take any potato chips from the truck he reportedly said, "That's worth money."

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April 30 (UPI) -- A team of Australian scientists said they were "really miserable" to discover the world's oldest-known spider was killed by a wasp sting at the age of 43.
Leanda Mason, lead author of the Curtin University study published in the Pacific Conservation Biology Journal, said the female trapdoor spider, known as Number 16, was 43 years old when it was killed by a wasp sting at its burrow in the wild.
The previous record-holder for oldest spider was a 28-year-old Mexican tarantula documented by researchers.
"We're really miserable about it," Mason told The Daily Telegraph of the spider's death. "We were hoping she could have made it to 50 years old."
Female trapdoor spiders tend to remain in the areas around their burrows for their entire lives, allowing Number 16 to be studied in the wild.
"To our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider's behavior and popular dynamics," Mason said in a Curtin University news release.
Barbara York Main, 88, who was Mason's teacher, began studying Number 16 shortly after the spider's birth in 1974.
"Through Barbara's detailed research," Mason said, "we were able to determine that the extensive life span of the trapdoor spider is due to their life-history traits, including how they live in uncleared, native bushland, their sedentary nature and low metabolisms."


 

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