(Photo: NBC New York)
A New Jersey kindergartner was able to help save his father’s life on Monday thanks to some quick thinking and a firm grasp of his ABCs.
A limousine filled with students headed to prom night at Western High in Davie, Fla., stopped for a detour Saturday, after a Honda van veered into a concrete wall and flipped in front of the limo. The van’s seven passengers had trouble getting out — until the limo’s driver and the students came to their aid.
The Honda Odyssey van went out of control and began swerving, Danny Izzi, who was at the wheel of the stretch Cadillac Escalade, tells The Sun Sentinel. After hitting the concrete barrier on Interstate 595 west of Fort Lauderdale, the van flipped onto its side and ground to a stop.
“I almost hit them,” Izzi says. “I had to slam on my brakes, but with 20 kids in there it’s really [difficult] to put the brakes on.”
Dog helps alert owner to house fire
Barber, 82, offers haircuts for hugs in Connecticut park
Each Wednesday, barber Anthony Cymerys sets up his chair in the shade of an oak tree in Hartford’s Bushnell Park. For longtime clients, the homeless or those just down on their luck, the fee is always the same: a hug for a haircut.
The 82-year-old Cymerys, who is known as Joe the Barber, began offering his services 25 years ago after retiring from a career in business. He had cut hair for his family but decided to put his clippers to work for the less fortunate after being inspired by a church sermon about the homeless.
He wanted the homeless not to look homeless.
His clients line up on park benches, some of them also turning out for free meals provided on Wednesdays by a local church. One by one they take a seat in a folding lawn chair above a car battery Cymerys uses to power his clippers.
As he finished a trim on one customer recently, a loud squeal came from the battery. He gathered the mobile shop, connected the clippers to his car and picked up where he left off.
“It really is love. I love these guys,” Cymerys said. He paused and turned to his client in the chair, “You know I love you, right?”
“That’s what it’s all about,” Cymerys said.
College shot putter, Cameron Lyle, gives up athletic career to donate bone marrow
We are in awe of this college athlete’s selfless act to help a stranger.
Cameron Lyle, 21, is a shot put star at the University of New Hampshire. CBS reports that he spent the past 8 years training for his final America East conference this month, but earlier this year he decided to end his career just months shy of the competitions in order to become a bone marrow donor.
According to CBS, Be The Match, the national bone marrow registry, paid his school a visit during his sophomore year, and Lyle and his teammates were all swabbed to find potential matches.
The chances of finding a perfect match outside of immediate family members are about 1 in 5 million. However, just over two months ago, Lyle received a call saying they had found a 100 percent match — and it was a man suffering from a rare form of leukemia with just 6 months to live.
“I said yes right away,” Lyle told Today. “And then afterwards I thought about everything that that meant giving up.”
The marrow extraction procedure would leave Lyle unable to lift more than 20 pounds for a month while he recovered. To save the man’s life, he would have to make the donation just before the culmination of the track and field season,effectively cutting short his athletic career, Today reports.
Nevertheless, he says he, “never had a second thought about donating.” “If I had said no, he wouldn’t have had a match,” he told Today.
Lyle headed to Massachusetts General Hospital last week where doctors successfully collected his bone marrow. The recipient’s operation took place the very next day, Today reports, and even though his college athletic career is over, Lyle has no regrets.
“You can’t measure life against anything,” Lyle told ABC. “When you have an opportunity to save someone, you gotta go for it.”
Say what you will about Harvard kids — and their ecstatic band members — but they deserve some applause themselves for stopping to applaud the dining hall staff that braved a city-wide lockdown and all-out manhunt to do their jobs. It looks like chopped onions were on the menu today.
(Photo: Jesse Skoubo / Mid-Valley Sunday)
A man who was pinned by his overturned tractor and losing breath with each scream says he was saved by his two teenage daughters, who found the strength to lift the ton-and-a-half machine.
Hero kayaker saves family after SUV plunges off cliff into northern Calif. river
A hero kayaker saved a family of five after their SUV plummeted off a cliff into a Northern California river.
Quick-thinking Mark Devittorio paddled over to help as the vehicle started to sink in the American River, 75 miles northeast of Sacramento, Thursday afternoon.
The lawyer, who would have been hit by the car had it fallen over the precipice moments earlier, pulled three children from the wreckage.
A shopkeeper in New Delhi is doing his bit to help raise children out of poverty by setting up a makeshift school underneath a railway bridge.
Most of the pupils who attend the morning classes come from nearby slums and would normally go out looking for work to support their families instead of going to government-run schools.
Rupa Jha reports.
Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s struggle to help roughly 70 slaves escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad was remembered on Saturday at the groundbreaking of a Maryland state park in her honor.
An escaped slave herself, Tubman toiled in bondage on the land that will soon be the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park on the eastern shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.
Construction of the park on open marshland and forests in Dorchester County marks the 100-year anniversary of the abolitionist leader’s death.
It also coincides with the opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile drive with more than 30 historical stops related to Tubman’s early life and the Underground Railroad. Highlights include the Mason-Dixon Line, a one-room school, a historic village store with artifacts from the 1800s and, eventually, the new Harriet Tubman park itself.
“I think the byway is awesome, because we’re connecting the dots again. We’re telling the complete story,” said Patricia Ross-Hawkins (pictured above), 51, a distant relative of Tubman who spoke to the crowd of more than 200 people at Saturday’s celebration. The morning’s events included singing by a local Baptist church choir, a theatrical speech by a Harriet Tubman re-enactor and remarks from Govenor Martin O’Malley.
“It’s been a long time coming but it’s here,” she said.
Slated to open in 2015, the park is located on the same land where Tubman worked as a slave before escaping to Pennsylvania at the age of 27. While in bondage, she had been rented out for work throughout the region, including chopping wood on the land that will now be named after her.
Located next to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the park will include walking trails, a garden and a visitor center with educational exhibits.
“Her descendants had been trying to do something to remember her,” said Clara Small, a Salisbury University history professor, who is currently researching African-American history on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “They’re trying to make everyone aware of her contributions.”
Long considered an American icon, Tubman led roughly 70 slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad and later went on to become a humanitarian and women’s suffragist. A modest Harriet Tubman Museum exists in downtown Cambridge, but local groups have “fought for over 20 years to memorialize her better,” Small said.
“This is an opportunity for revitalization to the entire region,” said Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, who is herself a director descendant of slaves. “Harriet Tubman is too big a persona to be limited to just one little community like Cambridge.”
A number of local parks are already dedicated to Tubman in cities including Wilmington, Delaware, Knoxville, Tennessee and Boston, but many lawmakers insist that is not enough.
Last month, U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland introduced legislation to establish historical national parks named for Harriet Tubman - one at Tubman’s home in Auburn, New York, and another in eastern Maryland. The U.S. House also is reviewing a version of the bill.
Congress has considered similar legislation on three occasions in the past, but each time it failed to rally support.
“We’re very optimistic this time around. Especially given the 100-year anniversary of her death,” said Cardin’s spokesperson Susan Sullam.
The state park was expected to bring in more than $200,000 tourist dollars annually, according to Camila Clark, spokesperson for the state tourism office. Its wider economic impact, including job creation, was anticipated to be $20 million annually.
The $21 million cost of the state park project will be covered mainly by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the State Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, said Josh Davidsburg, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources.
Another boost to the local economy will be the byway, with its dozens of stops in surrounding Dorchester and Caroline counties, said Clark.
Plans are underway to expand the byway northward, tracing Tubman’s Underground Railroad route all the way to St. Catharines in Ontario, Canada, Clark said.
A sweet piece about a girl who started an organization that goes into hospitals to do kids’ nails.
A 12-year-old Dayton native was featured on The Ellen Show today as the volunteer organization she founded continues to grow.
Alanna Wall, founder of “Polished Girlz,” said she started the organization to help ladies in hospitals feel more “polished” by painting their fingernails.
The nail sessions, which include a friendly visit and hand washing education at area hospitals, can range from plain painted nails to fancy designs.
“We usually just choose children’s hospitals or the Ronald McDonald house or any special needs group that we can polish at,” Alanna told News Center 7.
Alanna said she began “Polished Girlz” at 10 years old to lift the spirits of sick girls, and the nonprofit organization has since grown to have chapters in Illinois, California, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C.
“I want to be worldwide. I want to be everywhere,” Alanna said. “We’ve already gotten emails from places as far away as the Netherlands and Columbia; so that’s super cool.”
Alanna and her organization have been named United Way Volunteers of the Month receiving a proclamation from the mayor of the city of Dayton for the work they do.
Ellen teamed up with CoverGirl to give Alanna an entire line of nail polish and a $10,000 check to help her grow the nonprofit.
“I enjoy what I am doing because I get to make girls smile and feel special,” Alanna, who attends Richard Allen Elementary School in Dayton, told the Dayton Daily News in 2011. “I also love that I get to teach them about how important hand washing is and that it can keep them from being sick as often.”
Sir Nicholas Winton.
Rescue Kitty Saves Family From Fire
By Caroline Golon
A rescue cat who was taken in by a Jones County, Ga. family, returned the favor by saving the family’s home from going up in flames.
According to the Macon Telegraph, seven-year-old Brendon Rinauro begged his parents to let him keep Mr. Meowy, a sweet white cat from animal rescue group Macon Purrs ‘N Paws. Brendon’s parents, Kayti and Sal, weren’t convinced they wanted to adopt a cat, but reluctantly agreed to foster Mr. Meowy temporarily.
The next day, the family left their home to go out for the evening. As she was leaving, Kayti ran back inside to turn on a light for Mr. Meowy. That’s when she heard the cat meowing loudly from Brendon’s bedroom.
Since Mr. Meowy had been extremely quiet since he’d come to stay with them, Kayti wondered why he was suddenly making so much noise and decided to check on him. When she did, she discovered what the cat was meowing so loudly about: a pillow had fallen on a nightlight in Brendon’s room and was starting to burn.
Luckily, Kayti was able to extinguish the smoking pillow before it burst into flames. She has no doubt that, without Mr. Meowy’s help, she would have left the house again, not realizing there was a smoldering fire in the bedroom. “Everything would have been gone, no question,” said her husband, Sal. “This is literally everything we have.”
Now, the family has no more doubts that Mr. Meowy belongs with him. “We were just going to foster him for a little while,” Kayti told the Telegraph. “Now, he’s not going anywhere.”
10-year-old pit bull saves family from fire
A 10-year-old pit bull named Baby rescued a family and its dogs not once, but twice, during a house fire.
On Tuesday, Rhonda Westenberger and her sister, Evelyn, were sleeping when their Wellston, Okla., home of 17 years began filling with smoke and flames, KOCO reports.
Immediately, their pit bull, Baby, began barking and pounced on them until they woke up.
“There were flames shooting down the hallway,” Westenberger told KOCO in the video above. “If Baby hadn’t woken Evelyn up, I don’t think either one of us would have come out of it.”
The sisters managed to run out, but five dogs were stuck inside the house. Baby rushed back inside and rescued them.
“There was one hiding underneath the bed,” family member Charles Land told KOCO. “Baby actually went in there grabbed it by the neck and drug it outside.”
Despite losing everything, the family says the pit bull is keeping them hopeful.
“It brings my spirit up a lot to see the dogs,” said Westenberger. “I’m so proud of her. She is my hero. She’s the hero for all of us.”