Mad Minute Stories For August 3

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A jetliner taking off narrowly missed hitting an airport van that crossed a runway to go to an employee barbecue.

The Envoy Air jet, with 50 passengers and 3 crew members aboard, was taking off on June 27 from Missouri’s Springfield-Branson National Airport. Video shows the van cleared the jet’s path with seconds to spare.

A report obtained by the Springfield News-Leader shows the van’s driver said he decided to cross the runway to make the barbeque in time. He said a ground controller had cleared him to cross Runway 14, but halfway across he saw the plane coming down the runway.

The airport on Wednesday issued a statement that an internal review is underway and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fancy a tarantula taco for a cool $27? Not so fast, Mexican authorities say.

A Mexico City market restaurant recently put the arachnids on its menu and posted a video on Facebook showing a chef torching one until blackened.

The only problem: The Mexican red rump tarantula is a protected species.

The federal environmental protection agency said Tuesday it was alerted to the situation via social media and seized four tarantula corpses that were ready to be served up on tortillas.

The tarantula tacos were apparently on offer for 500 pesos, or 50 times the price of a basic street taco.

The restaurant's menu also features other creepy-crawlies such as grasshoppers, worms and ant eggs, which have a long tradition in Mexican cuisine, and scorpions, which are less common.



PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia's Temple University is honoring a 45-year relationship sparked in a campus elevator.

Sharyn Rubin and Eric Schlesinger briefly met on move-in day on Sept. 6, 1972, while she was moving in and he was operating a dorm building elevator. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Rubin formally introduced herself a few days later at a college mixer, walking up to Schlesinger and saying, "Hi, Mr. Elevator Man."

The quote is now affixed to the elevator, which will be named for Shari Rubin Schlesinger on Friday.

She died last year from colon cancer. She and her Elevator Man had been married for more than 42 years.

Eric Schlesinger says meeting his future wife in the elevator was "the most important thing" that happened to him at Temple.


BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Health officials in one Colombian coastal city have a controversial recommendation for residents trying to stay cool during an intense heat wave: Take a break from sex.

Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean tourist mecca to refrain from sex during the day as part of a list of recommendations, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing to prevent overheating.

Sex is considered only a moderate physical activity, as much of a strain on the heart as walking up two flights of stairs, according to the American Heart Association.

Temperatures in Santa Marta have soared past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and Salas says medical facilities in the city of 600,000 have been overwhelmed with patients complaining of symptoms of heat stroke such as nausea and headaches.


When Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London said "sphincter bleaching is a very up and coming business," during the City Commission's budget discussion Monday night, he may have been right. But whether he thought anal bleach had anything to do with public safety budgets — the topic being discussed — remains unclear.

Why London thought it relevant, much less appropriate, to accuse a female commissioner of making her living from bleaching her own anus is even more baffling.

"Was it getting my sphincter bleached, is that what I earned my income for?" London said to Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub, as the two exchanged personal attacks. "No that would be you."

What did the mayor even mean by that? London couldn't be reached for comment.

Lima-Taub told the Miami Herald that she does not profit from bleaching her own anus. And whether or not she uses skin bleaching products — commonly applied by people with medical conditions causing hyper-pigmentation — would certainly not be anyone's business but her own, she said. (For the record, her mom owns a spa that sells skin bleaching cream, but Lima-Taub said she doesn't work there.)

"Even if I was doing that for a living, that's not appropriate," Lima-Taub said. "For the sitting leader of a city to speak this way was completely inappropriate."

A pony-tailed commissioner-turned-appointed-mayor, London has a history of inappropriate remarks. In 2017, he told Broward investigators that a fellow commissioner was a "migrant worker." He wasn't. Earlier this year, London was recorded asking a city employee if he "sucked d---" while in prison. 

London was appointed to head the commission in January after longtime Mayor Joy Cooper was arrested and charged with money laundering. The FBI said she had accepted illegal Russian campaign donations during a sting operation.

His latest degrading comments came as part of a heated argument between Lima-Taub and London near the end of Monday night's meeting. London had called firefighter Jim Bunce, a 30-year veteran and president of the local union, "a simple mind." So Lima-Taub, a former paramedic, sprang to Bunce's defense.

"He has a college education, you don't, so I don't really know how you can call him simple," Lima-Taub shot back at London. "To call a city employee simple minded is shameful."

Lima-Taub, who says she and London used to be friends, doesn't deny that she was making personal attacks. When she accused London of not working for a living (he once said in a sworn statement his job was city commissioner), London shot back with his remarks about making her making money from anal bleaching.

"You want to make it personal commissioner, we'll make it personal all day long," London said. No one on the commission came to Lima-Taub's public defense. In fact, no one in the entire room said anything about the attack. Others, she said, have teased her about her personal bleaching habits.

Now, the commissioner accused of profiting from bleaching her bum has taken up a familiar drum beat. #MeToo she wrote on Facebook, citing the traumatizing event.

Lima-Taub says the mayor has made many sexually inappropriate advances on her before.

"I'm not a small girl. I'm half Latin, I have a derriere and he's made comments about it," she said. She said London "felt very comfortable" patting her there "until my husband said enough is enough." 

She said while what happened at the budget meeting was unfortunate, she plans to use it as an opportunity to take a stand.

"I don't shy away from anything," said Lima-Taub, who said she was abused as a child and is outspoken on issues around gender bias and abuse. "I'm going to try to empower the women who are going through what I went through."


DES MOINES, Iowa –  It's no secret the Iowa State Fair is a fried food lover's paradise. But with nearly 200 concession stands, this year's vendors are urging fairgoers to make room for dessert.

Mike Biegger, a 15-year employee of Dipped in Chocolate, said sweet treats are becoming the new main course at the fair famous for its deep-fried corndogs and pork chops on a stick.

"We began experimenting with chocolate chip cookie dough a few years back and it just blew up like crazy with the fair attendees," he said.  

The booth, which specializes in items like chocolate-dipped bananas, cookie dough balls, and strawberries, is now introducing its newest show stopper – cookie dough spaghetti, a dish Biegger said can rival any fried concoction.

"It's probably the craziest thing I've ever seen," he said.

The dish is a fun take on cookie dough in the form of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce. Cookie dough spaghetti noodles are topped with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate "meatball," while the red sauce is substituted with a strawberry dessert sauce.

Other stands are joining the strange wave of entrée-themed goodies, including ice cream nachos, brisket mango tango, and beef sundaes. And with 56 new items just this year, fairgoers can expect the unexpected when it comes to the "new foods" lineup.

While Iowa may not be the biggest fair in the nation – Texas and Minnesota are larger – the 164 year-old-tradition sets the tone for bizarre food and competition.

"Every year we have a new foods contest and our concessionaires get real fired up about that and they'll try crazy and wacky things," said Mindy Willamson, marketing director of the fair. "The booth owners aren't just after the best original recipes, they are also competing to attract the most visitors."  

Concession sales are a critical part of the fair's success. The unusual food items helped lure in over a million visitors last year. According to fair officials, roughly 70 percent of the nearly 1 million visitors in Des Moines identified themselves as foodies who wanted to try the new and odd food.

"We had one individual concessionaire break a million dollars alone," Willamson said.

But it's still the new cuisines that get all the attention. A New Fair Food Contest is held every year among the newcomers – one of 228 different food competitions at the fair. Voting began on the first day of the fair and ends today.  

Apart from taste, presentation and value are also important.

"You have to try to keep things reasonably priced," Williamson said. "For the serving size, is that worth $3, or is that worth $6? When it's judged, they do look at those things."

This year, there are three finalists. The brown sugar pork belly on a stick, the all Iowa belly up burger, and the third finalist an apple egg roll. The winner will be announced on Wednesday. 


A Michigan man allegedly chose an unusual place to relieve himself on Sunday night.

The 69-year-old Swartz Creek man, who has not yet been named, allegedly peed in the deli section of a local Kroger grocery store, Metro Police told ABC12.

A customer in the store who witnessed the incident alerted a grocery store employee, who allegedly snapped a picture of the suspect.

The man was arrested shortly after, according to the news station. The grocery store has since thrown out any affected items and thoroughly cleaned the area, according to ABC 12.

The suspect, who reportedly told authorities he had a prostate problem, is facing indecent exposure and destruction of property charges.


Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Connecticut said they executed an unusual rescue when a 2-year-old boy got his arm stuck in a Thomas the Tank Engine toy.

The Danbury Fire Department said firefighters and EMS crews were called to a Danbury home on Wednesday on a report of a toddler with his arm stuck in the smokestack of a large Thomas the Tank Engine toy.

The department said the "tot in toy" call became further complicated when firefighters attempting to dismantle Thomas discovered the smokestack was a launcher for toy balls.

They said it took about 20 minutes to free the child's arm, which was not injured. Firefighters said the boy's arm had become stuck inside the toy because of a bracelet he was wearing on his wrist.


Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Authorities in Britain are searching for a kangaroo that escaped from a zoo when it was chased by some children.

The 3-year-old wallaby, a smaller cousin of the kangaroo, escaped from the Wild Zoological Park in Bobbington, England, and was last spotted Wednesday night near a Sainsbury's store in Wombourne.

Zoo director Zachary Hollinshead said the wallaby, named Holly, flew the coop on Tuesday after being chased by some rule-breaking children.

"We've got a walk-through enclosure and there's a marked pathway and kids have gone off the pathway and chased the wallabies," Hollinshead told the Express & Star newspaper. "They got spooked and bashed a hole in the fence."

Police were summoned to the Sainsbury's store Wednesday night.

"Currently on Bridgnorth Road nr Sainsburys conducting an area check with @KinverPolice following a call reporting a kangaroo in the road," Wombourne police tweeted.


Louden County, VA - Sad as it is, some dogs who wind up in animal shelters have a tough time finding a forever home, especially if they're senior citizens. 

But one Virginia shelter is making life a little nicer for long-term and older shelter dogs. 

The "Friends of Homeless Animals" shelter has made a lovely condo community for dogs who are older or who've been there a long time. 

The pooches here have their own individual tiny houses, complete with air conditioning and heat, a comfy bed, and plenty of love from the staff. 

Some even have their own private pool!

The dogs can roam around their private yards and homes freely and greet visitors. 

The shelter plans to build eight more of these condos to give even more dogs a comfier stay, while they wait to find a family of their own. 

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