Mad Minute Stories Monday, July 18 | Odd

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A detective who created the viral “Duck of Justice” when he rescued a fake waterfowl heading for the trash can is retiring to write a book.

Lt. Tim Cotton has combined his sense of humor with the Bangor Police Department’s social media account to show the human side of police work.

His “Duck of Justice” became a viral sensation when the fowl appeared in various locations before finding a permanent perch in the police department, where author Stephen King and others stopped for photos.

Along the way, Cotton has helped put the town of 30,000 on the social media map with 330,000 Facebook followers, many outside of Maine.

Cotton, 59, told the Bangor Daily News it has been frustrating in recent years to see anti-police sentiment grow nationwide as officers struggle to deal with difficult issues like mental illness and substance addiction.

“Over the past 10 years, society has decided that they don’t want the police involved and yet they call the police for every problem,” he said. “We took on this responsibility because there was no one else to call.”

Upon retirement, Cotton will continue to post on the Duck of Justice Facebook page for the police department while continuing his writing career. He has already published two books.

In the meantime, people should continue to heed the department’s oft-repeated advice: “Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s business alone, and be kind to each other.”

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July 18 (UPI) – A British cinema chain is offering free tickets to people with red hair for two days amid a heat wave in the country.

Showcase Cinemas announced on its website and social media accounts that redheads can get free tickets to movies of their choice on Monday and Tuesday as part of the chain’s “Sun Protecting Flicks” or “SPF” promotion.

“Experts say the UK will soon experience its hottest days on record and as redheads are often more vulnerable to the sun’s rays than most, we are protecting them from the sun inside our cinema screens entirely air-conditioned to catch the latest blockbusters at no cost,” the website states.

The promotion is limited to one ticket per day for each person with red hair.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri man says in a class action lawsuit against Bass Pro that the outdoor outfitter is refusing to honor its lifetime sock warranty.

Springfield’s Kent Slaughter said that after years of exchanging its “Redhead Lifetime Warranty All-Purpose Wool Socks” every time they wore out, the Springfield-based company changed its policy in 2021 before to try to make four pairs of socks. Instead of getting another pair with a lifetime warranty, Slaughter said he was given socks that only carried a 60-day warranty, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

A Bass Pro representative said the company won’t comment on ongoing litigation.

The lawsuit said Bass Pro misrepresents the socks in its advertisements because it says they’re “the last sock you’ll ever need to buy” due to the lifetime warranty.

Slaughter said in the lawsuit that the warranty was a major factor in his decision to purchase the socks.

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ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — Traffic on Florida’s Turnpike stopped for several hours on Monday after a cattle carrier caught fire and dozens of cows blocked the roadway, authorities said .

The carrier’s semi-cab began catching fire shortly before noon near St. Cloud, south of Orlando, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release.

The driver, a 47-year-old man from Alabama, pulled the truck toward the outside shoulder of the turnpike, officials said. He then opened the cattle trailer door, allowing about 70 cows to escape the smoke and flames.

The local fire department responded and extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported. The cattle carrier was towed off the scene.

Florida’s turnpike was closed in both directions and traffic was diverted for nearly four hours as authorities dealt with the blaze and rounded up the cows.

Authorities did not immediately clarify the cause of the truck fire.

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July 18 (UPI) – A Colorado man has become the first person in the 21st century – and fourth person overall – to use a contraption strapped to his nose to push a peanut up Pikes Peak mountain.

The City of Manitou Springs said Bob Salem began pushing the peanut up the mountain at 9 a.m. on July 9 and reached the summit in a ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 15.

Salem attempted the unusual feat as part of Manitou Springs’ 150 year celebration.

City officials said Salem was the fourth person to complete the task and the first person in the 21st century. They said his 7-day trip broke the eight-day record set by Ulysses Baxter in 1963.

“There’s no town like Manitou Springs,” Salem told town officials before beginning his attempt. “I’m thrilled to be the one to bring this piece of history to celebrate Manitou Springs’ 150th celebration. I hope everyone takes the time to visit and indulge in the rich history that the Pikes area represents. Peak. You won’t want to leave.”

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July 18 (UPI) — A waiter at a Pennsylvania restaurant was surprised by a $3,000 tip on a $13 bill from an out-of-town customer.

Mariana Lambert said she recently waited on a customer at Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe in Scranton and received the $3,000 tip on top of the $13 payment for a stromboli.

“We looked at his card and everything was fine. We took his ID and took pictures of everything. They waited a bit to make sure it was legit and it was accepted, and it ended up being real,” Lambert told WNEP-TV.

Alfredo manager Matt Martini said he spoke to customer Eric Smith, who explained he was from out of town and left the generous tip as part of the media trend social “Tips for Jesus”. The phrase “Advice for Jesus” was written on the receipt.

“It really meant a lot to me because everyone goes through hardships. It really touched my heart. I still can’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” Lambert said.

Lambert said the extra money would allow her to pay some bills and possibly take a vacation with her family.

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July 18 (UPI) – Animal control officers in Virginia have been called to the home of a resident who discovered an escaped alligator swimming in their pool.

Chesapeake Animal Services said in a Facebook post that animal control officers suspected the animal found swimming in the pool was the alligator reported missing three weeks earlier on Jack’s Jungle, a traveling animal education show.

The alligator escaped from its enclosure just down the block from the house with the pool, animal services said.

An officer contacted the owner of Jack’s Jungle, who responded to the scene alongside animal control officers.

The alligator, “aptly named” Splash, was safely removed from the pool.

“Owner confirmed it was his (legally owned) alligator and they worked together to remove Splash from his vacation spot. He was then safely returned home to his enclosure,” the post reads. . “See you later, alligator.”

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(Huffington Post) A Texas meteorologist continued to discuss scorching temperatures even after a power outage left him in the dark during a Wednesday forecast.

Travis Herzog, meteorologist for KTRK-TV in Houston, was talking about the risk of blackouts in Texas due to a heat wave when, well, an outage occurred in the studio.

The lights went out a second time during another station broadcast, KTRK-TV reported.

I’m not kidding…it just happened AGAIN on my 5pm show.

Maybe it’s just my electrifying personality, maybe not. But this time, I expected Ashton Kutcher to come around the corner and say, “You got yourself PUNKER!”

One of the station’s engineers told Herzog that the studio lights initially went out because they weren’t on a “dedicated backup power source.”

Over the past week, Texans have faced temperatures near or above 100 degrees in Houston, Waco and Austin, ABC News reported.

The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told ABC News that it did not plan or implement any outages on Wednesday. However, ERCOT had asked state residents to voluntarily conserve power that day to avoid overloading the system.

The news station switched to generator power before returning to the grid two hours later.

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(Huffington Post) Arkansas firefighters rescued a kitten stuck in an ATM earlier this month.

On July 7, the Fort Smith Fire Department responded to a call about a kitten stuck in a Regions Bank ATM, KFSM-TV reported. First responders opened the machine and then took the “dehydrated and hungry” kitten to Fort Smith Animal Haven.

Facebook users showed their gratitude to the firefighters and joked about how the kitten ended up in such a bizarre situation.

“Wait, can I take cats out of an ATM? What button do I press for that?” asked Facebook user John Aary.

“Why hasn’t the cat been arrested for attempted bank robbery? The Fort Smith Police Department wants to get involved here? Is the cat related to Pawciffer Fuzz and used his power to escape an accusation?” asked Facebook user Wesley Stay.

The kitten, a gray tabby male, has since been given a name to match his unlikely adventures in the financial world: Cash.

Ashley Deane, a vet tech at the shelter, described Cash as “a bit spicy” from the ordeal. He weighs less than 1 pound, according to KFSM-TV, but is on the mend.

“Usually after a few days with our handlers looking after them, they become less spicy and just a little sweet so they become a little easier to work with,” Deane said.

The shelter hopes to increase Cash’s weight, give him the necessary shots and take him in before he is adopted.

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