Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 12th

LENOX, Mass. (AP) - Students at a Massachusetts school want to remain Millionaires.

The Lenox Memorial Middle and High School student council on Wednesday announced that a school-wide poll found a majority of students want to keep the sometimes contentious Millionaires mascot.

About 96 percent of the school's 438 students voted last month. Fifty-one percent voted to keep the nickname, 32 percent wanted to change it, and 17 percent had no opinion.

Students last spring voted to change it because it is divisive, leads to taunts from opposing schools, and doesn't accurately reflect the picturesque town's economics.

Superintendent Timothy Lee tells The Berkshire Eagle the latest vote "puts the issue to rest."

The nickname is a tribute to wealthy out-of-towners, called "cottagers," who built mansions during the gilded age and employed the locals.


Millions of Europeans who arrived late to work or school Wednesday had a good excuse - an unprecedented lag in the continent's electricity grid that's slowing down some clocks.

The problem is caused by a political dispute between Serbia and Kosovo that's sapping a small amount of energy from the local grid, causing a domino effect across the 25-nation network spanning the continent from Portugal to Poland and Greece to Germany.

"Since the European system is interconnected ... when there is an imbalance somewhere the frequency slightly drops," said Claire Camus, a spokeswoman for the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

The Brussels-based organization, known as ENTSO-E, said in a separate statement that "this average frequency deviation, that has never happened in any similar way in the Continental European power system, must cease."

The deviation from Europe's standard 50 Hz frequency has been enough to cause electric clocks that keep time by the power system's frequency, rather than built-in quartz crystals, to fall behind by about six minutes since mid-January. The problem mostly affects radio alarms, oven clocks or clocks used to program heating systems.

ENTSO-E said it's working on a technical solution that could bring the system back to normal within "a few weeks," but urged European authorities and national governments to address the political problem at the heart of the issue.

"This is beyond the technical world. Now there needs to be an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo about this lack of energy in the Kosovo system. You need to solve it politically and then technically," Camus told The Associated Press.

The friction between Serbia and Kosovo is part of a broader dispute that goes back almost 20 years. Since the war in Kosovo ended in 1999, the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo that remains loyal to Belgrade, haven't paid the Kosovo government for the energy they consume.

A 2015 agreement was meant to resolve the dispute, but Serbia has blocked its implementation.

Serbia's power grid company EMS blamed the problem on Kosovo, claiming that in January and February the country "was uninterruptedly withdrawing, in an unauthorized manner, uncontracted electric energy from the Continental Europe synchronous area."

Kadri Kadriu, deputy manager of Kosovo's grid operator KOSTT, acknowledged that electricity from elsewhere was diverted to the Serb minority in the north, but said consumers there hadn't paid for their electricity, causing considerable financial burden to the company.

ENTSO-E warned that "if no solution can be found at political level, a deviation risk could remain."

So far the only consequence seems to be the effect on clocks.

"The system is built in such a way that all your basic needs are really secured by the distribution and the transmission system operators," Camus said. "Frankly, there is no risk other than those clocks running behind."



Something besides politics put people in the Washington metro area on the verge of throwing up on Friday. 

A powerful storm moving along the East Coast caused winds so strong that they made people sick. 

One plane landing at Dulles International Airport outside Washington during the heavy winds reported that nearly everyone on the flight had lost their lunch or whatever else they were eating. 

The tweet sent out by the National Weather Service's Aviation Weather Center suggests the experience for the passengers and crew of United Flight 3833 from Charlottesville, Virginia, was miserable. Just miserable.

More than 4,500 U.S. flights had been canceled as of Friday mid-afternoon, according to Most of those cancellations were along the East Coast from Maine to Virginia, the area currently being affected by a nor'easter, according to The Washington Post.


Some people are offering an interesting tip to protect car owners from thieves busting into vehicles in San Francisco.

At least two signs posted near Alamo Square Park encourage folks to adhere to common knowledge break-in prevention tips: lock your car, take your keys with you and conceal your belongings. The last tip is much more bizarre. It spurs car owners to "fill a decoy purse with thousands of angry, poisonous bees."

A woman who lives in the neighborhood said residents crafted the signs.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for comment.

Last year, 28,984 car break-ins were reported to San Francisco police, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. For comparison's sake, there were 24,624 car break-in reports in 2016, an 18 percent increase.

A recent NBC Bay Area hidden-camera investigation revealed thieves smashing into cars, snatching valuables and darting from the scene in a matter of seconds.


(South China Morning Post) A two-year-old boy in Shanghai disabled his mother's iPhone for the equivalent of 47 years after playing with it and repeatedly entering the wrong passcode, according to a Chinese media report.The incident happened in January after the phone was given to the child to watch educational videos online, the news website said.

The mother returned home one day and when she checked the phone found it had been disabled for 25 million minutes by pressing keys repeatedly when the handset requested the passcode be inputted, according to the article. Each time the wrong keys were pressed the phone was disabled for a period of time, the report said.

A phone technician at an Apple store in Shanghai was quoted as saying that the woman could either wait years to try to input her passcode again or wipe the contents of the handset clean and then reinstall files.

The technician, named as Wei Chunlong, also told the website that there had been cases of phones locked for the equivalent of over 80 years by the same method. "In this woman's case, the only way out without waiting is to erase all the phone data and do a factory reset," Wei said.

The customer, who was only identified by her family name Lu, has waited for two months but has seen no sign of the problem rectifying itself, the report said.

"I couldn't really wait for 47 years and tell my grandchild it was your father's mistake," the woman was quoted as saying.

The report sparked a debate online in China.

Some parents said the mother should never have allowed her child to play with the phone alone.

Others said she should have backed up the data stored on her phone elsewhere so that if something went wrong she could easily retrieve it.


"Bachelor" star Juan Pablo was long seen as the most controversial star of the show, but Arie Luyendyk Jr. is inching in on that title.

Luyendyk's mug shot from a 2008 arrest began recirculating after he controversially dumped "Bachelor" winner Becca Kufrin after proposing to her and then quickly proposed to runner-up Lauren Burnham.

The brutal breakup has painted the winner as a bad boy and angered fans so much that Minnesota Rep. Drew Christensen signed a bill for an act to ban the 36-year-old reality star from the state.

"I'm a man of my word-here's the bill banning Arie. #TheBachelor #mnleg," Christensen tweeted Wednesday night.

"The state of Minnesota hereby adopts a policy of zero tolerance of Arie Luyendyk Jr. from season 22 of The Bachelor," the letter reads. "It is state policy that every person in the state has a right to live free from the presence of Arie Luyendyk Jr. in the state."

The bill hasn't appeared on the Minnesota State Legislature site as of Thursday morning.

Christensen first proposed the idea of banning Luyendyk Monday night.

"If this gets a thousand retweets I'll author a bill banning Arie from Minnesota. #TheBachelor #PriorLakeLakers," Christensen tweeted.

Christensen's challenge surpassed his expectation, receiving nearly 12,000 retweets by the time he signed the bill.

It's not the first time Luyendyk has caused trouble.

In 2008, the ex-race car driver was arrested for driving with a suspended license. According to the Daily Mail, he has a long list of traffic infractions, including speeding, failure to obey traffic signs and failing to provide proof of insurance. 

With all the drama, it seems Kufrin may be the lucky one.

She won't be staying single for long. The 27-year-old was announced as the new "Bachelorette." The season is expected to premiere in May.


(Sky News) Ticket holders are demanding a refund after a Brighton cheese festival ran out of its main ingredient.

The Big Cheese Festival, held on Saturday, fell at the final curdle with organisers blaming "adverse weather conditions" for the shortage.

Ticket holders had been promised a "plethora of the finest international cheesemakers and mongers showcasing their amazing cheeses".

But disruption caused by the cold snap across the UK meant they were left disappointed.

"BRIE warned", Rachael Chadwick wrote on Twitter, adding that the organisers needed to "tread CAERPHILLY" and should have "done FETA".

She reckoned there was "more cheese in this tweet than there was at the festival".

Natalie Howe posted: "Not entirely understanding what we've paid for? Except to pay hugely expensive prices at maybe 10 stalls?!"

Kya Poat tweeted: "£22 for the #BigCheeseFest is a joke. I know the weather stopped some vendors from coming but there's only 2 cheese based food trucks and like 3 stalls."

In addition to the cheese and "R and Brie" music, "craft beers, liquor and wine" were also promised.

But the alcohol appears to have missed the mark too, with Helen Chapman writing: "Where is the craft beer? Since when is Bud and Stella craft!?!?!"

In a statement on Facebook, organisers said they were "just as disappointed as yourselves that the event was disrupted by the adverse weather conditions".

They added that they take "great pride" in their work and have run "many successful events previously".

It is not the first time that a cheese festival in Brighton has run out. People claimed they faced 90-minute queues at another event last August.

Anyone that wishes to complain has until 3pm on 11 March to do so. Complaints will be "taken into account and actioned accordingly".


TAMPA, FL (WCMH) - A Florida woman is suing a burger restaurant for $1.5 million after she says she was injured by a drag queen's breast.

WESH reported it happened in May of 2015 while Neldin Molina was in a Tampa Hamburger Mary's for dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday.

In the lawsuit, Molina claimed she was unaware there was a drag show until the music started playing and she heard someone mention it.

When Molina turned around, she said performer Amanda D'Hod pointed at her and began to walk toward her table. In the complaint, Molina said she turned back around, not wishing to draw attention to herself, WESH reported.

Molina said D'Hod touched her shoulder, then went in front of her and grabbed her head.  The complaint said the performer then "wiggled her breast against the Plaintiff's face and head eight times."

Molina said the performer grabbed her face, pushed it, and shook it several times before repeatedly pounding it against D'Hod's chest.

Molina said she went to the emergency room to be treated for pain and headaches. She is seeking $1.5 million for medical costs and expenses. She is also looking for damages for pain she suffered physically and mentally.


GLENDALE, Calif., March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, IHOP® Restaurants announced the debut of PancakeWear by IHOPTM, a limited-edition clothing collection inspired by a love of all things breakfast. The colorful, one-of-a-kind lineup features adult- and child-sized one pieces and lounge pants as well as socks. Part of the IHOP "60 Days of Giving" campaign, a portion of the proceeds from every purchase will benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

The ultra-comfy PancakeWear by IHOP collection is the perfect accessory for eating pancakes, dreaming about pancakes, talking about pancakes and general pancake revelry - and helps a child in need at the same time. Limited inventory of the Spring collection is available now for purchase on eBay for Charity.

"Breakfast and laid-back loungewear just go together at IHOP so we thought it would be fun to design a limited-edition merchandise collection that reflects the spirit of the brand and what we see in our restaurants all the time - people in pajamas enjoying pancakes," said Stephanie Peterson, Executive Director, Communications at IHOP. "PancakeWear by IHOP was launched to celebrate our 60th anniversary as a brand, but also to do a lot of good for our largest charity partner Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. A portion of proceeds from every sale of our breakfast-inspired one pieces, lounge pants and socks directly supports CMN Hospitals and the more than 10 million kids that are treated every year at their 170 affiliated facilities."

This year, IHOP aims to raise $5 million for children's charities dedicated to treating and eradicating life-threating illnesses during its annual giving effort. The centerpiece of the campaign, IHOP National Pancake Day, took place last week and served as the largest one-day donation event for the campaign. Guests can contribute by purchasing PancakeWear by IHOP (price varies by product), available until sold out, or by making an on-check donation at any IHOP restaurant until March 31, 2018. Since 2006, IHOP, its franchisees and guests have raised more than $30 million for charity partners.

Guests are encouraged to wear their new pancake loungewear into their local IHOP and post a photo tagging @IHOP on Instagram and Facebook and using the hashtag #PancakeWear.

For additional information on the PancakeWear by IHOP collection, hi-res photos, and the IHOP 60 Days of Giving Campaign, contact


GREENVILLE, S.C. - An Greenville woman's intuition has paid off.

She was leaving the Spinx gas station #110 on Augusta Road in Greenville when something told her to turn around and go back inside the store for a lottery ticket, South Carolina Education Lottery officials said.

The hunch won her $250,000.

"She called me hollering," said the winner's husband, who didn't believe her until he saw the winning $250,000 Extra Play scratch-off for himself.

"I'm happy," he told lottery officials of the win.

His said she wife is pretty pleased with how it all turned out, too.

"I want to fix up the house," she said.

Two top prizes of $250,000 remain in the $250,000 Extra Play game, at odds of 1 in 700,000, according to lottery officials.

For selling the claimed ticket, the Spinx store received a commission of $2,500, lottery officials said.


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