Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 25th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 25th

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NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — An alligator caused a stir by meandering onto the campus of a nursing school in Mississippi.
The Natchez Democrat reports that the 9-foot (2.7-meter) gator appeared Thursday on the Alcorn State University satellite campus in Natchez.
A campus security officer, Lt. Kevin King, says he was out for a walk when he noticed the reptile lying in the shade under a bush.
He called state wildlife officers. They wrangled the alligator into the back of a pickup truck, but only after it thrashed around and hissed at them.
People watched from a distance and snapped photos on their phones.
Natchez is by the Mississippi River, and alligators are common in the area. In 2017, a group of hunters caught a gator that was just over 14 feet (4.3 meters) long.

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(WTNH) - A new and controversial service is being offered in Missouri.
Parents and educators are now able to rent drug-sniffing dogs if they are concerned about youth drug abuse.
The company is called Metro K9 Services and it rents out specially-trained dogs by the hour.
Some parents are skeptical about the idea, while others like it.
"If I feel like my son is doing drugs, I'm going to do what I have to do to find out," said Shelly Parker, a mother of nine.
"We're not going to say anything because its none of our business. We are just there to do a job. We do it, and we leave," stated handler Ray McCarty.
The dogs are trained to sniff out drugs including cocaine, meth, marijuana and heroin.
Metro K9 Services says it will never call the police, no matter 
 
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Collectors jumping on Thursday's news that President Trump canceled his long-anticipated meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un crashed the White House Gift Shop website trying to buy the post-summit coin.
The gift shop was selling the "unique heirloom of political history" for $19.95 and was even offering a refund initially if the June 12 summit didn't end up taking place, according to the New York Post. The coin was going for a robust $24.95 before the cancellation was revealed.
"Most supporters have said they want this heirloom of political history regardless of outcome," the shop said on its website, according to BBC.
The website was up and running as of Friday afternoon.
The commemorative item features the silhouettes of Trump, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to the gift shop website. The coin comes in a black velvet case with a plastic protective cover set.  
The White House has said it didn't create the coin and the gift shop notes that the token is different from the one created by the White House Communications Agency.
Now, with Trump telling reporters Friday that the summit might be back on after all, it's unclear what the value of the coin could possibly be.
A quick scan of eBay and Amazon yielded no results of anyone selling the challenge coin.

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A gym advertisement that reads, "Tired of being fat and ugly? Just be ugly!" has struck a nerve with some Alabama residents, but the owner said he's not backing down.
Scott Campbell, the owner of Pell City Fitness, has come under fire for a sign that was erected in Pell City on May 15 with officials telling him to take it down or risk a fine, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Two days after the sign was installed, a Pell City sign enforcement official ordered Campbell to take it down in 24 hours or he would be fined, the gym owner said. The official did not give him a reason why the sign needed to be removed, according to Campbell.
Instead of taking down the sign, Campbell posted a video on his Facebook page in front of the sign to gather support.
"They've given me till 5 o'clock tomorrow evening to take it down. So it's going to stay up 'til 4:50 tomorrow afternoon," he said.
Social media users were torn at the video with some stating the sign was great and others saying it was offensive.
"Pay the fine and leave it up!!! Great sign," one social media user wrote.
"The sign should be taken down. Think about it, some people are already struggling being bullied & my opinion is that the sign is making it harder on people being bullied already," another person wrote. "I'm not fat nor am I ugly."
Campbell said the city manager, Brian Muenger, contacted him and said the "issue involved a necessary permit" which he did not have.
"The owner is aware of his failure to properly request a permit and has since filed a request," Muenger told Campbell in an email, the Post reported. "The city does not object to the content of the sign."
Campbell said the sign was still up and he has not been issued a fine. He also said his sign has fulfilled his hope; more clients.
The gym owner said in the video that he used to be 300 pounds and was a former Alabama State trooper and Montgomery County sheriff's deputy before an incident with a suspect pushed him to lose weight. He said he hoped other people who wanted to lose weight had a similar realization.
"If you were offended by the sign, you would not fit in at the gym," he said.

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May 25 (UPI) -- A NASCAR team's North Carolina office shared video of an unusual visitor -- a snake that wrapped itself around the front door handles.
Joe Gibbs Racing posted a video to Facebook showing the scene that team members were confronted with when they arrived at the Huntersville office on Thursday.
The video shows a black snake wrapped around the handles of the double front doors.
"NOPE! We need a new race shop. Tear it down, we're out," the Facebook post said.
Bryan Cook, the team's social media director, said no one wanted to mess with the serpent.
"I think the staff reaction was one of amazement and amusement," Cook told the Charlotte Observer. "It stayed there 20 minutes and then slithered off back into the woods. Nobody touched it."

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May 25 (UPI) -- The Mars Wrigley company is seeking interns with special skills including being able to distinguish between flavors of Skittles in a blind taste test.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery posted a job opening seeking applicants for the "World's Sweetest Internship" in Chicago.
The posting says the company is seeking a "confectionery connoisseur" whose duties would include sampling the company's chocolate, gum and confections -- including several varieties not yet available to the public -- and producing a personalized batch of chewing gum.
The paid intern would be required to chronicle their 8-12 week experience with the company on social media.
The position, which includes a year's worth of candy as a signing bonus, features a few unusual qualifications for an "ideal candidate," including being able to "distinguish all five fruity flavors from the Skittles rainbow in a blind taste-test."
The posting says ideal candidates should also be able to "blow bubbles with chewing gum that are greater than 5 inches in diameter."
"In your application, showcase why you should have the #WorldsSweetestInternship," the website states. "Applicants will be asked to share a creative and social media portfolio during the interview process."

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May 25 (UPI) -- Officials in a Florida county posted signs at a public park warning visitors to steer clear of the aggressive squirrels.
Orange County Parks and Recreation said five complaints have been lodged in the last month about aggressive squirrels at Shadow Bay Park, and at least two incidents involved the furry rodents scratching children at the playground.
"Please do not feed the wildlife," one sign reads.
"Please avoid contact with squirrels," reads another sign, which officials said will be replaced because "avoid" was misspelled as "aviod."
Orange County spokeswoman Doreen Overstreeet said squirrels and other animals lose their fear of humans when they start to see people as a source of food.
"This is why these particular squirrels have in fact become aggressive," she told the Orlando Sentinel.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it is working to trap and relocate squirrels that show signs of aggression. Officials said two of thew animals have been relocated so far.

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May 25 (UPI) -- A Cleveland driver who apparently made a wrong turn found himself further delayed when his car started sinking into wet cement.
Witness Kate Warren said the man drove right onto the wet cement Thursday afternoon where crews were working to pour new concrete at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 9th Street, near Heinen's Grocery Store.
Warren snapped photos of crews working to free the car after its tires started to sink into the freshly-poured wet cement.
The car was freed later Thursday afternoon, but it was unclear whether the vehicle sustained any damage from its wrong-turn ordeal.

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May 24 (UPI) -- A paper company teamed with a newly-opened store in Wisconsin to break the Guinness World Record for the tallest pyramid made of bath tissue.
Toilet paper manufacturer Kimbery-Clark and the new Meijer store in Grand Chute teamed up Wednesday morning to build the 14-foot, 3.75-inch pyramid out of 25,585 rolls of toilet paper inside the store.
A Guinness adjudicator visited the store Thursday and verified the 11,527-pound pyramid bested the previous record-holder, a 13-foot, 5-inch toilet paper pyramid constructed from 23,821 toilet paper rolls in Brazil in 2012.
The companies said the toilet paper rolls will be recycled and the monetary value of the rolls used to create the pyramid will be donated to St. Joseph's Food Pantry in Menasha.

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(Huffington Post) A 70-pound octopus named Fred not only has eight arms, but possibly nine lives.
Last week, a fish market in Morro Bay, California saved Fred from being served up for someone's supper,
Giovanni DeGarimore, owner of Giovanni's Fish Market, makes his living selling fish and other forms of seafood. But he recently decided against selling octopus products after learning about how intelligent the animals are.
DeGarimore told the San Luis Obispo Tribune he met a friendly octopus while diving in Fiji. 
"Essentially, we played a game of hide-and-seek for 15 minutes under the ocean," he said.
On May 14, DeGarimore's dock manager told him a local crab fisherman was selling a 70-pound octopus, putting DeGarimore in an awkward position. He said he no longer wanted to financially reward those who capture octopuses, but also didn't want to cut up such "a beautiful animal."
So DeGarimore bit the bullet and purchased the octopus for what he says was a couple of hundred dollars.
The octopus was named Fred and spent a few days at the fish market before being released in a safe place.
A spokesperson for the fish market told local news station KSBW TV that the decision to spare the Fred's life was personal for DeGarimore.
"He's an avid diver and lover of the ocean, and though Gio makes his livelihood on selling seafood, he felt conflicted when it came to these magnificent and arguably sentient beings," the spokesperson said.
Comparative psychologist and octopus expert Jennifer Mather spoke to Scientific American at length about octopus intelligence in 2009. 
"I would say intelligence means learning information and using the information that you've learned," she said, explaining that this is an ability researchers have observed in octopuses.
She added that octopuses engage in play and have distinct personalities. The complex environment of tropical reefs likely helped spur their intelligence, according to Mather.
"There's such a huge variety of situations, lots of kinds of prey, lots of predators, and if you are not armored, you'd better be smart," she said. "The octopus has gone the smart route."


 

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