Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 12th

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York state court system's longtime communications chief was fired Thursday after inadvertently telling a reporter that he "barely" went to work at his $166,000-a-year job.

David Bookstaver's firing came a day after the New York Post reported he unwittingly dialed a reporter's voicemail, which captured him conversing with someone else - and acknowledging that he was sloughing off at the office.

"I'm not doing anything. I barely show up to work," Bookstaver said in a part of the recording the newspaper posted online.

The 58-year-old had been planning to retire in October from his communications director job. Instead, he was terminated, chief court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.

"While there are occasional abuses of office, we take those abuses extremely seriously, and whenever we learn about them, we will always act to hold the offenders accountable," Chalfen said. He said it was too early to determine whether any disciplinary action could follow.

Bookstaver declined to comment.

He had been with the courts since 1996, after working as a spokesman for New York City's emergency medical service. Earlier, he was a freelance photographer who did work for The Associated Press in the 1980s.

Bookstaver's court-system job ranged from explaining metal-detector policy to helping manage media swarms around high-profile cases and fielding questions and complaints about access to courtrooms and records. Priding himself on responding to reporters' inquiries, he sometimes took calls while out hunting on days off.

But his portfolio shrank after Chalfen became public information director in February 2016, as Chief Judge Janet DiFiore began her tenure and brought him with her.

Still, when the Post asked this week about Bookstaver's work for a possible news story, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks said it was simply less visible, not less valuable, according to the paper.

Bookstaver told the paper the same, but the truth was that "they took away all my responsibilities and left my pay," he dished on the unintentional recording, according to the Post. He went on to say he anticipated an embarrassing Post story but figured he'd just go get his pension.

"I kind of asked for it," he said, according to the Post. "If you have a big mouth, you know, it catches up with you."


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A constipated 49-year-old lowland gorilla at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas is recovering after having surgery.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that zoo Director Brendan Wiley says the procedure that Tiffany underwent Wednesday went "really well." A significant amount of stool was found in her colon and was flushed out.

Wiley says the best-case scenario is that she will bounce back. If issues continue, test results will be reviewed to determine how to treat her constipation.

The zoo said staff reported on Friday that the gorilla wasn't acting like herself. Staff thought a storm the previous night might have upset her, but over the following days, she lost more of her appetite. The surgery was performed to determine why she had been reluctant to eat.



BERLIN (AP) -- A black swan in Bavaria is no longer alone after finding a mate thanks to a lonely hearts ad.

The German news agency dpa reported Thursday that the female swan had been living on her own on a lake near Castle Rosenau since her partner died last year - believed killed by a fox. Concerned by the bird's solitude, Bavarian officials published a lonely hearts ad and got lucky: a swan breeder from nearby Ingolstadt offered a match.

Christoph Schaeftlein of Rosenau Castle told dpa the birds' first days together had been "harmonious."

The new swan is only 1 year old, so its gender couldn't yet be determined. Schaeftlein, however, said the widowed swan didn't seem to care, adding "both swans are happily swimming on the lake."


LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A Virginia woman has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for poisoning her coworkers' coffee with Windex and dish soap.

Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman announced the sentence Thursday for 33-year-old Mayda Rivera Juarez of Sterling.

She pleaded guilty in February to adulteration of food with intent to injure.

Prosecutors say co-workers at JAS Forwarding Worldwide in Sterling began experiencing stomach pain and vomiting beginning in January 2016. In October, a victim began to suspect someone was tampering with the coffee.

Prosecutors say a supervisor then found security footage showing Rivera Juarez pouring Windex into the breakroom coffee maker.

Authorities say Rivera Juarez was trying to make her boss sick. She also admitted putting soap into the coffee machine and once directly into her boss's cup.


(FOX) Atlanta Falcons fans who were ready to see the game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will have to choose a different restaurant to eat at after Chick-fil-A announced that its store inside the arena will be closed every Sunday.

Chick-fil-A has closed its business every Sunday since 1946, according to its website.

"Our founder, Truett Cathy, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose - a practice we uphold today," its website stated.

The Atlanta Falcons will begin playing games in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium next month.  (Reuters)

The sad news for Falcons fan is that there will be one Thursday night home game this season while the rest will be played on Sundays, according to ESPN. Fans of Atlanta United, a soccer team that also plays at the stadium, can rejoice because the restaurant will be opened for games that are played there as long as it is not a Sunday.

Zaxby's signed a deal to be the official "chicken of the Falcons," according to ESPN. However, the restaurant's products are not being provided at the arena at the moment.


(FOX) Summer is almost to a close, but things still got hot in Delray Beach, Florida where a man pulled out a replica AR-15 rifle while he was in a McDonald's drive-thru line because the store didn't have any ice cream.

Jerry Henry was riding in a car with Michael Delhomme who was in the driver's seat ordering at the McDonald's window. Delhomme became upset when he tried to order ice cream and was told that the machine wasn't working.

According to Delray Beach police report, Jerry Henry, the passenger, was directed by Delhomme to retrieve the "stick" from the trunk following the conversation with the McDonald's employee. Henry said he put the gun between his legs in the front seat.

The McDonald's employee told police that he watched from the surveillance video in the store as Henry got out of the passenger seat and went into the trunk to get the rifle. The employee alerted his co-workers and they went into the bathroom to hide and call 911.

The ABC Local 10 news said police confirmed the surveillance video as supporting the employees' account of the events.

Henry was arrested on a charge of improper exhibition of a firearm. 


(The Oregonian) Are you still trying to figure out your eclipse plans? Will you be ovulating on Aug. 21? Do you like cats?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you might want to answer a Craigslist ad, posted Wednesday in the "Activity Partners" section from the San Francisco Bay Area.  

"Wanted woman who wants to conceive child during totality eclipse in OR," reads the questionably-punctuated title of the post.

"I am 40 years of age, caucasian male from Europe. My heritage is strong and pure," it begins. "My looks, instincts, knowledge and strength is 100% pure and 100% lethal."

The man says he's looking for "a worthy female with strong genes, beauty and smarts."

"When totality occurs," writes the poster, "we will have simultaneous orgasms and we will conceive a child that will be on the next level of human evolution."

He is very specific about how the act will happen, even if the exact location is TBD.

"We will make love together, with me and my penis directed towards the sun," he writes. "Everything will be aligned in the local universe. Both of our cosmic orgasmic energy will be aligned with the planets."

While it is unclear if the poster is earnestly looking for a woman to carry a child that is half made from his genetic material, it is clear his understanding of how conception works is a little off.

"In a brief moment of ecstasy," he writes, "we will understand everything, and together, create a new universe. Full of love..."

Fertilization of an egg happens sometime after copulation, at the earliest several hours after sex and sometimes up to five days later. Even a man with 100 percent lethal strength and a woman ovulating at the moment of sex won't become pregnant right away.

And universes, even ones full of love, are not created by sexual intercourse.

The man has a couple other specifics.

"You must like cats," he writes. "Drugs are OK. Nitrous Oxide while we climax and experience totality and conception, is OK with me."

Unfortunately, the post is currently lacking a contact email or number. If you are interested in conceiving a child with the poster from California, point seven clear crystals towards the sun at noon during a waning moon, smudge the area and light a beeswax candle shaped like a raccoon, then scream a primal scream. He will probably find you that way, as long as you can host.


An Arizona man wanted to go on an adventure and visit a new town up north, but he ended up getting lost and stuck in the desert for just about 72 hours.

"It was a series of small, little mistakes that added up to the perfect storm that ended up getting me in my situation," said Mick Ohman.

Ohman captured parts of his journey on his cell phone.

He went to have lunch for fun in Crown King near Prescott. While on his way home, he says he took a different route and ended up in the middle of nowhere.

"The problem is, the road got more narrow, steeper and rougher and there was a sheer drop off on one side and I didn't have time to maneuver until it was too late," said Ohman.

He says eventually he stopped driving his truck. He had no cell phone signal. He tried walking up a hill to get service, but came down with nothing.

"My car still ran, so I could use my air conditioner. When I came back down the hill, I was drenched and I was very, very thirsty," said Ohman.

Thankfully, he had some carbonated water and beer in the backseat. However, that quickly ran out. The next morning he says he got lucky after walking for a mile.

"I noticed there was a tiny, little, beautiful four inch crystal clear trickle of water and I managed to get some water going out of that," said Ohman.

He says he filled up the bottles with water and survived on that while trying to think of ways to become noticed.

He tried to start a fire, but that didn't work. Then, during the afternoon of his third day stranded in the desert, he saw someone.


BERLIN (AP) -- A wary woman in southern Germany alerted police after a man buzzed on the door and asked for permission to search her balcony for his false teeth.

Police in Rheinfelden near the Swiss border reported Thursday that an interrogation of the 56-year-old man soon showed that his unusual request was sincere. He said he had visited a friend living a few floors above the woman and lost his dentures while sitting on the friend's balcony.

Police say the man's dentures had fallen off the balcony and he was simply trying to track down his much-needed teeth.

The man's name was not given in line with German privacy laws. Police wrote they don't know if he ever found his dentures.


(Palm Beach Post) Two Florida college students might have hit the jackpot after finding six rare NASA space suits in a thrift shop. 

Talia Rappa, 20, and Skyer Ashworth, 24, both central Florida college students, discovered five blue flight suits and one white "control suit" under some sweaters in a Titusville thrift store, according to WKMG. 

The duo paid $1.20 in total for the uniforms, but the suits may be valued at $5,000 each. "It just blows my mind," Ashworth told WKMG. 

Experts believe the uniforms belonged to astronauts George "Pinky" Nelson, PhD, Robert A. Parker, PhD, and Charles D. Walker, a payload specialist, who flew shuttle missions between 1983 and 1985, WKMG reported. 

Rappa and Ashworth are planning to auction the space memorabilia on Nov. 4. Some of the money will be donated to the American Space Museum and the rest will be put toward their college tuition, according to WKMG. 


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