Mad Minute stories from Friday, March 4th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, March 4th

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Those screams you hear?
They're the collective sounds of primal anguish after reading a Florida woman's account of waking up with a palmetto bug in her ear. (That's the polite name for a flying cockroach, for those of you not acquainted with the reviled Sunshine State insects.)
Katie Holley's gruesome experience happened in the early morning hours of April 14. Soon after, her sister-in-law - who works as an editor for Self Magazine - asked her to pen an essay . She did, in frightening, gut-churning detail that's made thousands of people across the nation wonder if they should sleep with earplugs.
"Never thought I'd be known for such a ridiculous thing lol," she tweeted to a reporter on Thursday. It should be noted that Holley has an extremely positive attitude and healthy sense of humor about an episode that would send many into a spiral of anxiety, including this reporter.
"I need therapy for a lot of reasons, but this experience blows all of those other reasons out of the water," Holley wrote.
Holley, who is 29 and works as a sales and marketing manager in Melbourne on the state's east coast, has lived in Florida since 1995. Which means she's seen her fair share of palmetto bugs, which are brown, ubiquitous, and can grow to an inch-and-a-half long or more. It doesn't matter how clean your home is - it's almost a given that every building has one or more.
And they come out at night.
"When I woke up with this weird feeling, I didn't know what it was. But 30 seconds later, stumbling to the bathroom, I knew," she said. "I knew there was something in my ear."
(Dear Reader, just stop now if you're squeamish. Really.)
Holley's next several hours were the stuff of horror movies. She gingerly put a cotton swab in her ear and fished out two legs. Her husband "located the thickest part of the roach that was visible" and tried to extract it, to no avail.
(Seriously, it gets worse.)
The bug wriggled in her ear on the trip to the hospital.
"As the doctor administered the Lidocaine, the roach began to...react. Feeling a roach in the throes of death, lodged in a very sensitive part of your body, is unlike anything I can adequately explain," she wrote.
A doctor removed three chunks - but that wasn't the end of the ordeal.
(You've been warned.)
Nine days later, Holley still had lingering discomfort and hearing loss, so she went to her family doctor.
"My physician proceeded to remove the leg and flush my ear again, only to examine it and see even more remnants. She ended up pulling out six more pieces of the roach's carcass_nine days after the incident took place."
(Deep breath.)
Here's the bad news.
"This may be upsetting to many people, but it's a pretty common thing," said Dr. David Wein, chief of emergency medicine at Tampa General Hospital, who added that the hospital gets a dozen or so cases a year. "There are probably not a lot of preventative things you can do. In Florida it's really hard, because we all have bugs in our house, no matter how many times you spray."
In fact, Holley said, she and her husband had hired an exterminator about a week before the incident.
"I think it's one of those freak things, unfortunately," she said. "It happened to me, so it's probably not going to happen to you."

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BROWNSVILLE (AP) - Smugglers left behind a live tiger cub in a duffel bag when they fled back to Mexico after attempting to cross the Rio Grande into Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Tuesday said the male tiger, believed to be three or four months old, has been placed at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.
Border Patrol agents patrolling Monday along the river near Brownsville saw three people trying to enter the U.S. illegally. An agency statement says the trio abandoned a bag and returned to Mexico.
Officers discovered the cub stuffed in the bag. Agent Robert Rodriguez said Tuesday that the tiger appeared calm and was possibly sedated.
 
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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police say a 3-year-old girl survived with just minor injuries after falling as far as five stories from a window and landing in freshly spread mulch.
Stamford police tell The Advocate the girl fell from the apartment building window Tuesday afternoon. She was moving and crying when found.
She was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Sgt. Brian Butler says the girl was being watched by her sight-impaired grandmother and an aunt when she opened a window and fell next to the parking lot.
Butler said even though the apartment was on the second floor, the fall to the parking-lot level was four to five stories.
The state Department of Children and Families was notified.

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A Florida school was put on lockdown after a hungry mother bear and her three cubs wandered onto campus.
Students were made to stay inside after the furry family was spotted near portable classrooms at about 8am local time (1pm in the UK) on Thursday.
Officials said the bears foraged for food in the grounds of River Springs Middle School, Orange City, for nearly two hours.
Volusia County police officers and staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were called to the campus after the bears were sighted.
The police force wrote on Facebook: "Fortunately, the bear family moved on shortly after 10am after foraging for food around the campus for about two hours, according to the FWC officer who arrived on scene."
The statement added: "Thankfully, the bears' presence did not cause any serious problems and due to their healthy fear of humans, they moved on without harm to anyone on campus or themselves."
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that the animals were black bears.
Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's latest figures suggested more than 4,000 of the animals were living in the state in 2014-15.
Dave Telesco, who directs the commission's bear management programme, said: "Bears are starting to come out of their winter dens and they're searching for food.
"Don't give a bear a reason to hang around in your neighbourhood.
"Remove anything that might attract a bear.

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New Zealand has launched a tourism campaign exploring a question that has bothered the country for years: why is it frequently left off world maps?
A tongue-in-cheek clip shows PM Jacinda Ardern and comedian Rhys Darby exploring why the nation keeps getting wiped off maps.
"We're a bit of a fiddly looking shaped country, a bit like a half-eaten lamb chop," Darby tells Ms Ardern in the video.
"Perhaps people are just leaving us off, thinking we're a mistake?"
He adds that the conspiracy is "bigger than the moon landing and the Loch Ness combined".
Darby surmises that Australia wants to steal their tourists, England plans to get rid of the All Blacks rugby team and the French are jealous of the Kiwi wine industry.
New Zealand has been left off maps including at The Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Central Park Zoo, Starbucks and Ikea.
In the video, which is accompanied by the hashtag #getnzonthemap, Darby explores the notion that there's a "big conspiracy going on" to obscure the island nation.
The nation is home to 4.7 million people and is located in the south west Pacific ocean, around 2,000km from Sydney.
A reddit thread dedicated to recording incidents where New Zealand is left off global maps has nearly 30,000 subscribers.

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NEW DELHI (AP) - The Taj Mahal, that shining white monument to love, is turning a little ... green. And yellow. And black.
And India's Supreme Court is not pleased.
"You all appear to be helpless," a Supreme Court judge told government officials earlier this week, after an environmental lawyer argued that pollution and insect dung were discoloring the 17th-century building.
"Money should not be the consideration. We might order you to hire experts from within India or abroad. We need to save it," the judge said, according to numerous Indian media reports. The reports did not give the judge's name.
The officials, representing the central government and Uttar Pradesh state, where the Taj is located, were given until Wednesday to come up with a plan and report back to the court.
Built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite wife in the north Indian city of Agra, the monument has been losing its sheen for years. The Archaeological Survey of India, the agency responsible for preserving the country's monuments, has been coating portions of the Taj with a special clay that, when it is removed, also takes away most discolorations.
But M.C. Mehta, the lawyer who brought the case to the court, said not enough is being done.
"The white sheen is disappearing and instead of that if the green color, the brown color, the other colors ... are visible, then what is the reason? The reason is that the pollution has become alarming," he said in an interview after the hearing.
One of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the Taj Mahal includes a mosque and the graves of the emperor and his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Agra is a major north Indian industrial center, and the city is often covered with a fog of pollution. Experts say air pollution and swarms of breeding insects are threatening the Taj by leaving green, yellow and black patches.
Mehta said authorities have not complied with earlier Supreme Court orders to protect the Taj by shutting down area factories.

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What was first thought to be a potential disaster turned out to be a peculiar discovery in the waters of the San Francisco Bay.
The initial scare on Sunday afternoon was a report of possibly downed aircraft in the water near Emeryville. But it turned out the aircraft was a homemade submarine that was found to be unoccupied, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
A rescue boat was eventually able to tow the yellow and blue sub to the Emeryville Marina. The vessel, which also happens to be capped by a Captain America-style hatch, was registered and labeled with up-to-date information, according to the fire department.
Police later figured out that the sub had been stolen out of nearby Berkeley, according to the Emeryville police department.
Emeryville police eventually got their hands on the vessel and transported it to a secure spot because the owner was not available to retrieve it.

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May 4 (UPI) -- A British Columbia man has several reasons to celebrate after marking his birthday, retiring and winning the lottery on the same day.
The British Columbia Lottery Corp. said Ping Kuen Shum from Vancouver was celebrating both his birthday and his retirement on April 28 when he matched all six numbers on that evening's BC/49 drawing.
Shum's ticket earned him a $1.55 million jackpot.
"It's unbelievable that all three events happened on the same day," Shum said. "I have worked hard for so many years and I'm looking forward to sharing this fortune with my family."
Shum said he treated his family and friends to a dim sum meal to announce his newfound fortune. He said he plans to use some of his winnings for a trip to China.

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(CentralMaine.com) AUGUSTA - Kevin Raymond Curtis, of Augusta, held up an evidence bag Tuesday containing two small, clear plastic bags of a white sandy material.
Police had suspected the grainy substance was heroin.
It was actually his father.
The 48 grams of suspected heroin seized after a car crash Saturday morning in Manchester proved instead to be human remains - specifically, the cremated remains of Robert Clinton Curtis Sr., who died five years ago in Brookville, Florida.
"This was the first time my father was ever in lockup right here, and it took me forever to get him out of it," Curtis said.
In fact, it took about 48 hours to have the cremains returned from the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office after a field test showed the substance was negative for heroin.
Kennebec County Sheriff Ken Mason confirmed the test results Tuesday, calling the substance "human remains; a rather unusual manner in which to keep the remains of a loved one, for sure."
The elder Curtis probably would have been pleased with the result; after all, he had worked as an auxiliary officer for the Hallowell Police Department in the late 1950s, then worked in local factories, his son said in an interview Tuesday.
On Saturday, Kevin Curtis had lent his 2006 Chevrolet Impala to a friend, Jess Legendre, 31, of Livermore Falls, to go to the grocery store. Curtis said he was unaware Legrendre's license had been suspended. Police said Legendre's license had been revoked because he was a habitual offender.
While Legendre was traveling along Prescott Road in Manchester, the vehicle went off the road, struck and broke a utility pole and ended up in a ditch.
Initially, investigators thought he was under the influence of heroin, and emergency responders used the opioid-overdose reversal drug Narcan on him to revive him after he appeared to pass out while rummaging through the glove box for paperwork. Deputies found the small bags of powder and suspected they contained heroin. A second dose of Narcan was administered later at MaineGeneral Medical Center, where Legendre was taken for treatment.
Curtis said he hasn't had his father's ashes long.
"My sister had them and gave some of them to me just recently," he said.
He said he had kept father's cremains in the glove box while he awaited arrival of an urn he had ordered. "I didn't want them if they were in the house, the kids ripping them open and having them everywhere," Curtis said.
Curtis, 57, has four children. "The kids were really mad when they found out that (the police) took Grandpa, but I tried to make a joke of it. I said, 'This is the first time he's ever been in lockup and we'll just get him out."
He also said some of his father's remains had dumped out during the crash and the ashes had spilled on Legendre's pants.
Curtis said his sister, who is from Winthrop, is driving around with more of their father's cremains in her truck because she is in the process of moving.
And an unrelated visitor to Kevin Curtis's home Tuesday morning said she has the cremains of her grandmother in her vehicle, although they are in the original packaging she received from the funeral home. The woman said she was waiting for relatives to agree before the remains could be interred.
On Monday, Legendre was charged with operating after habitual offender revocation and falsifying physical evidence.
He was not charged with any drug-related offense and there's no evidence he was under the influence of drugs at the time, even though he seemingly responded to the opioid-overdose reversal drug Narcan administered by emergency repsonders.
"At the time we didn't have the correct testing equipment to test it. It has since come back negative and that property has been returned to the owner," said Lt. Chris Read, of the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office.
Legendre had called Curtis and his girlfriend, Jennifer Nisby, immediately after the crash to tell them what happened, Nisby said on Tuesday. She too is a longtime friend of Kevin Curtis.
Both Curtis and Nisby said Legendre was tired after finishing a 20-hour shift. Authorities said that rescue personnel found a small chunk of a brown substance in Legendre's mouth, believed at the time to be heroin, but Nisby has an explanation for that, too.
"The only thing that was in his mouth was something that came from the airbag and he was gagging on that," Nisby said.
"The airbag hit him right straight in the face," Curtis said. "He wasn't breathing right and said his eyes were burning."
They said they suspect that's why the Narcan was administered.
Narcan, also referred to as naloxone, is "a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose," is safe and affects only those with opioids in their system, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Legrendre remained in the Kennebec County jail in Augusta early Tuesday afternoon but was expected to be released later on bail, which had been set Monday at $1,000 in cash or, alternatively, $250 cash with a Maine Pretrial Services supervision contract.

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May 4 (UPI) -- The Virginia State Police responded to a stretch of interstate where a multi-vehicle crash released a swarm of bees -- and a dog.
The Virginia State Police said two vehicles involved in a minor fender-bender in the northbound lanes of Interstate 495, near Georgetown Pike, were pulling over to the side of the road when they were struck by a tractor-trailer about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The truck turned out to have been carrying pallets of honeybees and a swarm of the insects were released by the crash.
The truck driver's dog, which had been riding in the cab of the semi, was also released during the crash.
Two beekeepers who happened to be near the scene helped secure the insects while troopers retrieved the dog.
The truck driver, who police said suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel, was taken to a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
The drivers of the other two vehicles were not injured.

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