Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 1st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 1st

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Officials at a Catholic high school in a Detroit suburb will require female students to wear “modesty ponchos” at prom if their dresses are too revealing.
WJBK-TV reports that some students at Divine Child High School in Dearborn are calling the policy a form of body shaming.
The pink ponchos are on display inside the school with a note saying they will be handed to girls wearing dresses that violate the school’s code. The report doesn’t outline the school’s dress code for the May 12 prom, but says a teacher will check for compliance at the door.
Theology teacher Mary Pat O’Malley came up with the idea. She says the school is trying to focus on inner beauty and the ponchos are intended as a light-hearted deterrent.

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MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — A 7-Eleven in California has found a way to keep people from panhandling and loitering outside the store: crank up classical music.
Sukhi Sandhu, who owns the franchise in Modesto, said his customers tell him they feel safer since he started blasting symphonies and occasional operas over outdoor speakers.
"Once the music started, the riffraff left," said Manuel Souza, who's homeless and jokingly referred to himself as part of the riffraff. The loud music makes it hard "to hang out and gossip and joke around" near the store, Souza told the Modesto Bee last week from under a tree down the block.
The classical music is part of a 7-Eleven program that encourages non-confrontational methods to reduce loitering, Sandhu said. It eliminates any risks faced by clerks when asking panhandlers to leave, he said.
Another method employed at some stores is a device that emits a high-pitched screech similar to a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Clerks turn the device on and off as needed. Classical music is more effective, Sandhu said, and he plans to introduce it at other stores he owns in central California.
"We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the US," the convenience store chain's corporate office said in a statement.
The newspaper said Monday that such measures aren't new. Convenience stores and other businesses as well as public facilities have used classical music and the mosquito device over the years to repel panhandlers, homeless people and loitering teenagers.
 
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May 1 (UPI) -- A surprised Oklahoma City police officer captured video of a "small town problem" in the "big city" -- a loose chicken crossing a road.
The Oklahoma City Police Department posted a video to Facebook showing Officer Cook dealing with the unusual pedestrian found crossing a city street.
"You know, just 'cause we're in the big city don't mean we don't have small town problems," Cook says in the video.
Cook pans the camera over to the chicken as it begins to wander into an intersection.
"There's literally a chicken at 10th and Portland," Cook says, "and he's crossing the road."
The post said Cook captured the chicken to keep it safe from traffic.
"And for those asking no, our investigation did not reveal why the chicken crossed the road. We tried to interview the chicken, but she lawyered up," the post said.

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Kids hear no from their parents all the time but when Emma told her 12-year-old son they weren't going to Bali, he decided the word no wasn't what he wanted to hear.
After a heated argument with his mum, the boy, who A Current Affair gave the name of Drew, borrowed the family's credit cards and headed to Bali anyway.
After securing his family's credit card, Drew coaxed his grandma into giving him his passport and researched airlines that flew to Denpasar, Bali.
Then one morning, Drew filled his backpack with enough clothes for a four-day holiday to Bali and then told his parents he was off to school.
Instead Drew rode his razor scooter to the station, took a train to the airport and boarded the plane — no questions asked.
Drew used the self-service check-outs at Sydney Airport which meant he didn't have to deal with any airline personnel until he was physically giving them his ticket.
After a brief stopover in Perth, which Drew said he "sort of stuffed up because I got the deal cheap", the 12-year-old landed in Bali.
When Emma was notified her 12-year-old had never turned up at school, she reported him missing.
Eventually, the family figured out their brazen boy was actually in Bali and Emma had to jump on a plane to get him.
But despite Emma's worry, Drew had thought of everything — booking himself a room at the All Seasons Hotel and using a popular Go Jek bike to get from the airport.
He told hotel reception he was waiting on his sister to arrive but was just checking in early.
The ease at which Drew managed to get from his home in New South Wales all the way to a hotel in Bali has left Emma "shocked and disgusted" and wondering how it all could've happened.
Drew didn't even have any issues when he landed in Perth.
"They just asked for my student ID and passport to prove that I'm over 12 and that I'm in secondary school," he said.
The whole situation left Emma an emotional wreck.
"There's no emotion to feel what we felt when we found out that he'd left overseas," Emma told A Current Affair.
The mum admitted her 12-year-old "just doesn't like the word no".
"That's what I got, a kid in Indonesia," he said.
Despite Emma's fury at the whole situation, Drew doesn't even seem to mind he was caught.
"It was great because I wanted to go on an adventure," he told 9 News.
Australian airlines allow children aged 12 years and over to travel alone without a letter from a parent or guardian.

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(Sky News) Drinkers could soon be enjoying a new type of alcoholic beverage after Japanese scientists said they have invented a way to produce booze from wood.
Researchers from Japan's Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute have been testing the method of producing drinkable alcohol - known as ethanol - since June 2009.
Now they say the drinks they are making from tree bark are similar to drinks aged in wooden barrels, and could be served to customers by 2021.
To make the drinks, the scientists had to pulverise the tree bark into a paste, then hydrolysed it with a commercial cellulase enzyme to obtain sugar from it.
This sugar was fermented using yeast, and, by avoiding a manufacturing process which involves the heat, the scientists say they have been able to let the alcohol retain the flavour of the trees it is made from.
Both brewed and distilled versions of drinks made from cedar, birch and cherry have been made, with 4kg (8.8lb) of cedar wood giving them 3.8 litres (eight pints) of booze with an alcohol content of 15% - similar to the rice-wine sake.
One of the team, Kengo Magara, told the AFP news organisation that the distilled alcohol appeared to be the better drink to the researchers.
He said that while the scientists had already produced biofuel by fermenting wood, that fuel contained toxins and was flavourless, making it unsuitable for human consumption.
"But our method can make it drinkable, and with a wood flavour, because it does not require high heat or sulphuric acid to decompose the wood," Mr Magara said.
Japan's Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute has a large remit to study the country's woods and forests, but Mr Magara acknowledged to AFP that inventing a new form of booze was a little unusual.
"We thought it would be interesting to think that alcohol could be made from something around here like trees," he said.
"It's a dream-inspired project," he said, adding that the institute is hoping to partner with the private sector to get the liquor into the market.
"Japan has plenty of trees across the nation and we hope people can enjoy wood alcohols that are specialised from each region," he said.

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Traffic police in southwestern China have been allowing scooter drivers who commit minor offences to avoid a fine if they confess online – so long as their mea culpa gets 20 or more likes.
So far more than 10 people have opted to come clean via social media in a pilot scheme run by police in Dazhou, Sichuan province, according to a report in Beijing News.
The squad also republished screenshots of two of those confessions on its Weibo account.
"I was seized by traffic police when driving my scooter in the wrong direction at an intersection," one post read.
Chinese drink-driving suspect accused of fleeing scene without realising his son had been killed
"I have learned it was wrong after education by the traffic police officer. I would like to remind internet users to learn from my lesson and not to think it was OK to commit mistakes when driving a scooter."
The unnamed driver's confession had been liked 28 times and also attracted some comments.
Police have been publicising confessions shared on Chinese social media. Photo: news.sina.com.cn
The police told the newspaper that the exemptions only applied to minor offences committed by pedestrians and bikes and scooters, and added that they wanted people to reflect deeply on their mistakes.
Chinese courier takes elderly mother on rounds with him because her Alzheimer's means she cannot be left alone
An officer with the Dazhou traffic police told the newspaper that traffic violations by pedestrians and scooter drivers were rampant in Dazhou, but verbal warnings were not always effective.
"People are generally very interested in collecting 'likes' on social media. Self-exposure this way will bring more attention to road safety," the officer told the newspaper.
The officer said people should not think offenders had avoided punishment, but were simply being given a verbal warning rather than a fine.
So far the pilot scheme has been operating in the Tongchuan district and it remains to be seen whether it will be extended to other parts of Dazhou.

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May 1 (UPI) -- Animal control officials in a New Jersey city said a litter of four baby raccoons were rescued from inside the walls of a public library.
Debbie Nagel, animal control supervisor for the City of Long Branch, said she responded to the Long Branch Public Library on Thursday after staff members reported hearing noises coming from the ceiling.
Nagel said a mother raccoon and her kits were found inside the ceiling and she made arrangements to have the animals removed the following day.
She said the mother was trapped Friday morning, but rescuers ran into a new obstacle -- she had moved the babies.
Library maintenance supervisor Dwayne Dentz sounds coming from behind the wall near a first-floor elevator and library staff ended up calling on help from the city's Department of Public Works to review blueprints and figure out how to reach the raccoons.
Rescuers said they had to cut through drywall, brick and steel to reach the raccoons, which were reunited with their mother at the Monmouth County SPCA.
"A huge thank you to Deb Nagel and Dwayne Dentz who worked tirelessly to rescue the babies alive," library director Tonya Garcia wrote on Facebook. She thanked all of the rescuers for "ensuring another happy ending at the Library."
Officials said the raccoons will eventually be released back into the wild.

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May 1 (UPI) -- A Michigan man who found a three-month-old lottery ticket in his wallet decided to check it on his lunch break and discovered he had been carrying around $250,000.
The 57-year-old Kalamazoo man told Michigan Lottery officials he bought a KENO! ticket from the Meijer store on Shaver Road in Portage and placed it in his wallet, where it remained unchecked three months after the Jan. 18 drawing.
The man said he had forgotten about the ticket before stumbling on it while going through his wallet.
"I was on my lunch break from work the other day and found the KENO! ticket in my wallet," the man said. "I scanned it and it told me to file a claim with the Lottery office, so I called the office and that's when I found out I'd won $250,000!"
The man said the rest of his workday was difficult to get through.
"Focusing was not an option at work. For the rest of the afternoon I was absent minded, wandering around with my head in the clouds," he said.
The man visited lottery headquarters on Monday with his winning ticket, which matched 10 of the 22 drawn numbers.
"I've had some hard time over the last several years. I lost my job and house when the economy was bad, and I've been working hard to get it all back," he said. "Winning is a relief because I won't be worrying about living paycheck-to-paycheck any more."

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DES MOINES, Iowa (FOX 13) - There was an unusual traffic jam in Iowa, when a giant inflatable duck was seen rolling down a street in De Moines.
Drivers and pedestrians alike stopped in disbelief on 6th Street on Thursday. Motorists were seen driving around the oversized bath toy to avoid it. The giant balloon was reportedly on a display a few blocks away to promote a local duck derby, when strong winds caused it to become loose.
Fortunately, the organization says "Quacky" with its black sunglasses, didn't cause or suffer any damage during the midday stroll.
The rubber duck was retrieved and returned to its original location. 

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May 1 (UPI) -- A Florida woman is warning neighbors to be bear-aware after three of the animals wandered up to her home, including one that locked itself inside her father's SUV.
Rikki Koberg-Perrero said in a Facebook post that she and her husband heard "loud banging" outside their Longwood home and the man went out to find two bears lurking around the family's garage and a third bruin closed inside Koberg-Perrero's father's SUV, which was parked in the driveway.
"I've seen bears out and about, but not this close. This was a little too close for comfort," she told WFTV.
Seminole County sheriff's deputies and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to the home.
An officer opened a door and released the bear after about 30 minutes of "thrashing" around inside the SUV, Koberg-Perrero said.
A video filmed by Koberg-Perrero shows her calling for the animal to come out the vehicle after the officer opened the door and the bruin hesitated for a few moments before running away.
She said the vehicle was a total loss.
The bear "was not a happy camper, and it was thrashing around going from the front of the car to the back, pouncing on that back window many times," Koberg-Perrero said.


 

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