Mad Minute

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Officials say they seized $2.3 million worth of marijuana mixed in with a shipment of jalapeño peppers at a Southern California port.

A Customs and Border Protection K-9 unit alerted officers to a shipment of peppers Thursday at the Otay Mesa cargo facility in San Diego.

A CBP news release says officers discovered more than 7,500 pounds (3,401 kilograms) of marijuana in the peppers’ pallets.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan congratulated the officers on Twitter and noted it was the second large seizure of marijuana there within days.

Authorities seized more than 10,600 lbs (4,808 kilograms) of marijuana in a shipment of plastic auto parts at the port Tuesday.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.

Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.

"I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle," Tyler Ivanoff said. "When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out."

Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.

Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.

He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.

"There — exactly!" he exclaimed.

The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.

Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife's protests.

Ivanoff's discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.


CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Late in the summer of 1939, crowds of strangers started showing up at Rhoda Wise's house next to a city dump in Ohio after she let it be known that miracles were occurring in her room.

Eight decades later, people still make pilgrimages to the wood frame bungalow at the edge of Canton, Ohio, seeking their own miracles. Wise died in 1948, but her legend as a Christian mystic has blossomed with time. And last fall, after years of discussions, the local Roman Catholic diocese petitioned the Vatican to make Wise a saint, renewing interest in her former home.

The story starts with the sickly Wise, who lived with her alcoholic husband and young daughter, claiming she was healed of a terminal illness and was visited by Jesus Christ as she suffered in her bed.

When word got out, people began arriving at all hours, seeking spiritual guidance and asking to see the wooden chair where Jesus sat. They stood in lines around the block to file past her bed when she appeared to suffer stigmata — bloody wounds on her head, hands and feet like those Jesus suffered on the cross — until she implored the church to take her off display.

Newspapers and national magazines sent reporters to write about Ohio's "miracle house."

The parade of pilgrims slowed down after Wise's death but never stopped. Her house — now with beige vinyl siding and a good-sized parking lot — has remained an under-the-radar destination for the faithful and curious.

Her former home is one of dozens of Catholic shrines and pilgrimage sites in the United States, ranging from modest to grand.

Among them are one of the largest crucifixes in the world in the woods of Michigan, an altar inside a 50-foot-high cave carved into a cliff in Oregon, and a small chapel in Minnesota built as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, to whom the locals prayed when a plague of grasshoppers devastated crops in the 1870s.

In 1996, a popular shrine developed in the parking lot of an office building in Clearwater, Florida, where thousands believed a 60-foot image of Mary had appeared on the mirrored glass. That lasted until 2004, when a high school boy with a slingshot shattered some of the panes.

The Wise house stands out because it doesn't stand out, blending in with a row of Habitat for Humanity homes, built across the street in recent years, and the rest of the frayed residential neighborhood. These days, there's a golf course where the dump used to be.

Regardless of the validity of the Rhoda Wise narrative — scoffers note that she was known to have mental health problems — people still arrive by the busload. They come to view her 9-foot-square bedroom, pray and sit in the Jesus chair, which has been repaired numerous times through the years and now is painted gold. There is no admission fee. Donations pay the bills.

Canton native Karen Sigler, 66, visited with a group in the early 1980s and was recruited by Wise's daughter Anna Mae to become the live-in caretaker, a position she has held now for 36 years.

"We live in a world that's really hard to have faith in today. Really hard," Sigler said, trying to explain the attraction. "A lot of people want to hold on to it. And Rhoda's strength to endure everything she did with such a great love of God is inspiration for them."

Precise numbers aren't kept, but a guest book shows visitors from more than a dozen states and Canada since late spring. Most are already believers, like 49-year-old Denise Kleinhenz. She came with her family recently from their home on the other side of the state.

"She saw Jesus," said Kleinhenz, wonder in her voice. "And he came more than just once. It just makes me think about, that he exists."

The room where Wise was bedridden for years now is an altar room crowded with statues and relics. Bandages claimed to be those that absorbed Wise's blood during stigmata are mounted in frames on the wall. Photos of Wise bleeding from the head and hands also are displayed.

The "Acts of the Case" advocating for her sainthood have been sent to Rome, but the next steps of the arduous process could take years.

Whether scientific explanations might exist for things that happened to Wise makes little difference by now, said Michele Dillon, a University of New Hampshire sociology professor who has written on Catholic beliefs.

Nobody can prove or disprove that miracles occurred at house or as a result of people visiting and praying there, Dillon said. And the continued involvement of the church has given the story a stamp of legitimacy.

"People do believe in prayer and miracles," Dillon said. "And there's also a social piece to that — if so many others are going, they must be on to something. If the story is compelling, it will attract a following."

One of Wise's granddaughters, 71-year-old Darlene Zastawny, was raised in the house and still stops around to talk to visitors. Her earliest memories, she said, involve strangers showing up at the door.

"I always wondered who all these people were that my mother would let in," she said. "I'd be getting ready for school when I was little and there would be a stranger sitting with us because she wouldn't tell them no. I knew it was special, but sometimes I wished it was more of a home. There was somebody coming all the time, but you get used to it."


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — An airport security worker in New York has been fired for handing a passenger a handwritten note that said "You ugly!!!"

The June incident came to light this week after passenger Neal Strassner obtained security video through a public records request and posted it to YouTube .

The video from Greater Rochester International Airport shows the worker handing Strassner the note after he passes through a metal detector.

Strassner says he didn't think much of it and continued toward his gate. That's when he says the woman yelled out: "You gonna open the note?"

Strassner says that when he did, the woman burst out laughing. He later complained to her supervisors.

The Transportation Security Administration says the woman worked for a contractor. The agency says it has "zero tolerance for this type of behavior."


STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota woman who recently gave birth to triplets says she didn't find out about her pregnancy until she went to the hospital with what she thought were kidney stones.

KOTA-TV reports Dannette Giltz, of Sturgis, gave birth to the healthy triplets on Aug. 10.

Giltz says that despite having two other children, she did not know she was 34 weeks pregnant. She says that when she started having pains, she thought it was from kidney stones, which she has had before. Doctors told her she was actually in labor — with multiple babies.

The triplets were born within four minutes. Each weighed about 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms).

The babies' names are Blaze, Gypsy and Nikki.


(FOX) Plenty of people complain about a meal going straight to their waistline, but one Florida man allegedly took things a bit too literally.

Michael Owens, 61, was arrested after police say he tried to steal two packs of steaks from a Publix store in St. Augustine by shoving the meat down his pants, WFOX-TV reported.

Owens was reportedly caught on surveillance footage allegedly grabbing two packs of rib-eye steaks — worth $56.36 — putting them in his pants and walking out of the store. A loss prevention officer who saw the alleged steak swipe apprehended Owens as he exited the store, according to the report.

The 61-year-old told investigators he figured if he got caught, he would just be removed from the store, not arrested, officials said.

The steaks were recovered but weren't allowed back on store shelves.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment.


(FOX) A New York man was arrested on Friday after he allegedly tried to pull over a van while pretending to be a police officer except there was reportedly one problem: the van was filled with detectives.

Valiery Portlock, 25, turned on emergency lights and sounded an airhorn in Hicksville, a city on Long Island roughly 30 miles east of New York City, on a roadway Friday morning as he tried to pull over a van, investigators said.

That van was full of detectives from the Nassau County Police Department's electronics squad, according to News 12 Long Island.

As detectives identified themselves, Portlock allegedly tried to flee the scene. Authorities claim he drove away, swerved into oncoming traffic and eventually sped to the Long Island Expressway, where he was stopped by the highway patrol.

Portlock was arrested without incident and charged with criminal impersonation, reckless endangerment and fleeing the police. He was released from custody on his own recognizance following an arraignment on Saturday.


(FOX) A Florida woman was furious after her dog — who went to the groomer for a simple maintenance appointment — returned with floppy pink ears and neon green eyebrows.

Graziella Puleo, of Lake Worth, said she dropped off her dog at Amore's Pet Salon Dog Grooming Day Care Boarding Spa recently and returned nine hours later to find her goldendoodle with a totally different appearance — and a possible infection.

"I almost cried," Puleo told The Palm Beach Post in an article published Saturday.

She claimed she took her dog, Lola, to get a trim, her nails cut and her teeth cleaned, but instead found Lola in a much different state: her teeth weren't cleaned, her nails weren't clipped, her eyebrows and tail were shaved and colored green, while her ears were colored bright pink.

"I noticed they'd shaved her eyebrows off and tried to fix the mistake by drawing green eyebrows on her," Puleo told the news outlet. "She looks like you painted on her and were trying to turn her into a clown."

The dog's underside was also pink, but apparently from an infection — not any colored dye. She reportedly had to take the dog to a veterinarian to get the infection treated.

The owner of the dog spa, Raquel Adams, returned the $150 grooming fee to Puelo, and offered complimentary services, according to The Palm Beach Post. Adams told the news outlet she "wanted to make Puelo happy."

"We beautify the dog... If we see it's missing something, we do color, sometimes, the dog," she said. "We did wrong about the color. We should have offered her first."

Puleo told the New York Post she feels "more embarrassed than my dog feels."

Amore's Pet Salon Dog Grooming Day Care Boarding Spa did not return Fox News' calls requesting comment.


(FOX) Canadian authorities are searching for a suspect accused of a stinky crime — allegedly swiping $187,000 worth of cheese.

An unidentified man went to a business in Ontario around 7:45 a.m. Friday and provided paperwork that the cheese would be shipped to New Brunswick.

A trailer was loaded up with cheese and the man drove off in a transport truck, but the cheese never arrived at its destination, according to Global News.

Investigators said the man provided fake documents about the cheese and realized it had been stolen. Estimated to be worth $187,000, it was not immediately clear what kind of cheese was involved.

Anyone with information on the cheese heist is urged to contact Oxford County Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


Some of them are headless, others are resting in strange places and all of them are creepy.

The city of Festus in Jefferson County, Missouri, has had multiple instances in the past week of eerie dolls popping up in random places without any explanation and residents haven't the faintest clue of who put them there.

One was spotted looking like it was crying against a pole, another was laid out on the ground without a head, and another one was found hanging from a light pole on a main road Tuesday. All of this with Halloween still months away.

Festus Chief of Police Tim Lewis told NBC affiliate KSDK that the department is investigating after multiple people reported being spooked by the dolls. He added that a person called out of concern that one of the dolls was a child on the side of the road.

According to Lewis, the police believe it's probably just the work of a prankster but do not know who is behind the doll placements. As soon as the dolls have appeared, they have often quickly disappeared.

Lewis and Festus Captain Doug Wendel were not immediately available for comment on Thursday, a spokesperson told TODAY.

"Somebody thinks it's funny, somebody thinks it's cute, it's all fun and games until somebody stops, thinking it's a child in distress, and gets hit trying to help out,'' Wendel told "So whoever's doing it, we know you think it's fun and games, but it could be a very dangerous situation."

There also has been a doll sighting in neighboring Crystal City, KSDK reported.

The weird scenes of unnerving, mutilated dolls like something out of "Annabelle" bring to mind the 2016 sightings of adults dressed like creepy clowns that happened across several states.

Students were banned from wearing masks or face paint at some schools across the country and police made several arrests.

All these dolls in Missouri are guilty of is sending shivers down people's spines.