Random Good News

Missing parakeet told police where he lived

It seems all too simple, a parakeet goes missing, but is reunited with its owner after telling police where he lives.

Piko, the 2-year-old parakeet, was found Sunday at a hotel in Japan. After spending two days at a police station, Piko started repeating his address to authorities.

Police tracked down the woman that lived there, and sure enough, she was Piko's owner. The two were reunited yesterday.

The owner says she taught her bird to repeat her address and phone number after losing a parakeet five years ago.



Bennett, Kirsten. "Missing parakeet told police where he lived". Koaa.com. 3 May 2012. Web. 

View original article at koaa.com:



Man repaints entire town for free

(CBS News) GLOUSTER, Ohio - Most of us face a rough patch at one time or another in our lives.


CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman met a man who can teach us all something about how to turn sadness into joy.


After Jim Cotter last his wife last year, he set out to paint the town. But, don't judge him too harshly for that -- not until you hear the rest of the story.


"I miss her," he told CBS News. "And this just gives me something that keeps me from missing her more."


The own Jim set out to paint is Glouster, Ohio, population 2000. Once a thriving coal community, it's been peeling - and therefore somewhat unappealing - for years. Cotter says he's always wished someone would fix it up, and so after his wife died, he decided to be that someone.


"I can do something about the town. We'll paint it," he explained.


"The whole town," he added.


He started with a fire hydrant, moved down the road to the guardrail and then hit a home stretch.


Cotter painted house after house, business after business - all for free.


Bonny Shifflet owns the newly painted Bonnie's Restaurant. She says she cried when she saw her business. "I tell you, it did something to me," she said.


"It's just amazing what a little bit of paint will do," Cotter said. "It changes people's hearts."


It also inspires them to join in. Over the last few months, volunteers have been coming out of the woodwork to paint the woodwork and help Cotter reach his goal. "It's just gone like topsy," Cotter said.


Today, you can't walk more than a couple blocks in Glouster without finding someone painting something. Even the high school kids have been Tom Sawyer-ed into helping.


Not a painter? Not a problem. Jim has found a way for pretty much everyone one to contribute. And again, these are all volunteers donating their own time and often their own materials to work on buildings that aren't even their own. "We're getting something out of it because it makes us feel better about our town," one volunteer said.


"It's just what a community ought to do," Cotter said.


So far Jim and his volunteers have painted or fixed up more than 20 buildings. Although they may never get to all the ones that need it, their effort alone has already made this community a brighter place to live --- and given this widower all he ever needed -- a fresh coat of purpose.


If you'd like to donate to the folks in Glouster, checks can be made out to 'Glouster Volunteers' and sent to this address:

Glouster Volunteers
c/o Jody Moore
134 Allen Road
Glouster, OH 45732

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.



Hartman, Steve. "Ohio widower paints the town to make it a brighter place". CBS News. 4 May 2012. Web. 

View original article at cbsnews.com:



Rescued refugee becomes Coast Guard rescuer

When Orlando Morel was just 6 years old, the Haitian refugee was starving, dehydrated and lost among the masses of a tightly packed boat, feeling completely alone although he was with his mother.

Morel was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard that day, 18 years ago.

Today, he can do the same for someone else. On Wednesday, the 24-year-old graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

The ensign will be serving on a cutter out of Florida, helping to rescue Haitian refugees fleeing to the United States.



Strickland, Ashley. "Rescued refugee becomes Coast Guard rescuer". CNN. 18 May 2012. Web. 

View original article at CNN:



Safe Haven Rescue Zoo gives endangered animals a second chance at life

MLAY, Nev. -- Lions, tigers and white foxes, oh my! The Safe Haven Rescue Zoo is a 160-acre playground for once endangered animals.

Lynda Sugasa opened the sanction in Imlay, Nev. in 2006, as an extension of her Illinois-based nonprofit organization.

"It's kind of like an orphanage for the unwanted," says Sugasa.

Her mission: To rescue wildlife that have been illegally owned and confiscated from across the country and give them a forever home.
"Most of these wildlife are un-releasable, whether it's an injury, whether they're orphaned, and not permitted to be re-introduced," explains Sugasa.
Each animal has their own, disheartening story. Many have come from places they've been housed for years, like Max the cougar.
Sugasa explains, "He was in a 10x12 foot horse stall in a barn. There were 19 other cats housed in the other stalls. He was housed with another cougar, and never went outside in his 10-12 years, never saw sunlight."
It's stories like these that keep Lynda fighting for these animals' protection. 
"What we don't want to do is rescue them from a small place and then put them in an equally bad, small place. Our enclosures for our big cats for example are 10,000 square feet."

Because most of these animals have never been on their own, Lynda and her team hold bi-weekly enrichment programs to prevent cage boredom.
"So maybe they've never actually hunted for their own food before. If we give them an object that has a piece of food in it and they have to go find it and rip it apart and find the food, it mimics behavior that they would do naturally but maybe they haven't ever done before," says Animal Care Supervisor, Melanie stephens.

It's at Safe Haven where these animals have been given a second chance at life.

"We try to give them a better quality of life to finish out indignity," says Sugasa.

The Safe Haven Rescue Zoo is an accredited nonprofit and survives off of financial backing by the nearby mining companies and the community. The sanction is open to visitors and contonues to grow. With costs reaching $5,000 a month, donations are always accepted.

The On May 19, Safe Haven will be holding a fundraiser at the Winnemucca Convention Center with all proceeds going directly to services and educational outreach programs. Burning man tickets will be raffled off, along with many more prizes.



Kupfer, Dina. "Safe Haven Rescue Zoo gives endangered animals a second chance at life". MyNews4. 14 May 2012. Web. 

View original article at mynews4.com:



Small Firefighter Rescues Toddler From tiny Storm Drain

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) - Authorities say East Point’s smallest firefighter was able to squeeze into a storm drain to rescue a toddler who had fallen inside.

Fire officials say 1-year-old Darnell Brown’s foot slipped into the drain Sunday night, and he then rolled 20 to 25 feet to the bottom.

East Point firefighters were called, and authorities say 4-foot-11-inch firefighter Rosa Tullis was able to wriggle inside the drain because of her small size.

Fire officials say Tullis squeezed into a one-foot opening before being lowered by a harness to reach the child. Tullis said she couldn’t reach the child at first, but on the second attempt she was able to get down further into the drain to grab him.


"Firefighter Rescues Toddler From Storm Drain". Atlanta CBS. 30 April 2012. Web. 

View original article at cbslocal.com:



Oldest graduate: Dr Allan Stewart sets world record

SYDNEY, Australia -- Dr Allan Stewart, a 97-year-old retired Australian dentist, just received his masters degree in clinical science from Southern Cross University- setting the new world record for Oldest graduate, according to the World Records Academy: www.worldrecordsacademy.org/
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the oldest existing, and continually operating educational institution in the world, set by the University of Karueein, founded in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco.

  This is his fourth degree after completing dentistry in 1936. He went back to school in his 80s to keep himself mentally active. 
  Dr Allan Stewart, born on March 7, 1915, is already the holder of the Guinness World Records title for being the oldest graduate after completing a law degree in 2006 at the age of 91.

  Mr Stewart says much has changed over the years, not least of all, the technology. 

 "I realised I had to be reasonably literate with the computer," he said. 

 "I was more or less self-taught but with experience I was able to handle that and I found that was the only way to do a university degree at my age." 

  The graduate has also noticed a distinct difference in the apparel of the students. 

  "We had to wear very conservative clothing in those days," he said. "Up here university students are mostly in holiday gear, or at least smart-casual."

  Mr Stewart lives independently and also acts as a carer for a friend. He says he thinks about each day and what he wants to achieve and says that gives him focus and purpose. 

  When Mr Stewart is not studying he is assisting in the local community technology centre, walking, gardening, fishing and, up until last year, was playing golf.

  Mr Stewart, who was born in 1915, has six children, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchilden. He worked as a dentist and earned his second degree in dental surgery.

  'I think I can hang up my mortar board and academic robes after this one - although I said that after my last degree and then I got bored,' said Dr Stewart, from Port Stephens, north of Sydney, ahead of his graduation ceremony. 

  "There's a lot of surprise but I think the fact that I've done what I've done has been an encouragement to a lot of people, particularly older people and say baby boomers to do the same," he said.

  Mr Stewart said people were never too old to study. 

  "It is never too late to expand your mind, make new friends and challenge yourself to achieve something worthwhile." 




"Oldest graduate: Dr Allan Stewart sets world record". World Records Academy. 4 May 2012. Web. 

View original article at worldrecordsacademy.org:




Dog pulls owner off railroad tracks

Boston (WCVB/CNN) - A Massachusetts pit bull saved her owner from an oncoming freight train, risking life and limb, to pull her off the tracks. 


The woman survived, but the dog is severely injured. 


David Lanteigne has adored this pit bull since recuing Lilly from a shelter to be a companion for his mom who suffers from alcoholism. 


"We saved her life and she saved my mom's life," he said. 


It was midnight last Wednesday when his mom fell unconscious on train tracks in Shirley. 


"Lilly was either pushing or pulling my mother off the tracks," said Lanteigne. "There wasn't enough time and that just prior to the train making impact Lilly had intentionally gotten between the train and my mother and had taken the hit." 


The entire hit. Eight-year-old Lilly suffered severe trauma. David's mother was uninjured. 


[Reporter]: "Will this dog be able to walk again?" 


"Yes she should be able to walk quite well. They accommodate quite well to having a front limb amputation," said the veterinarian. 


Lanteigne, a Boston police officer, will be with her every step of the way. 


"I'm supposed to be the strong one. I'm supposed to be here for her, but she's been so great, so tough through all this. It almost seems like she's the one comforting me and being there for me and making me feel better," he said. 






Tuthill, Kelley. "Dog pulls owner off railroad tracks" KSDK. 8 May 2012. Web.

View original article at KSDK.com:



Hope and optimism evident in Liberia

Liberia is a beautiful country on the coast of West Africa.  Recently, this country has made vast improvements since the civil war tore apart the nation several years ago.  CNN's Brenda Bush had a segment on CNN Newsroom about how the country is improving.  It really is an interesting interview which holds a special place in my heart not only because it is good news, but also because my family is from Liberia.

In 2011, I had the privilege of going back to Liberia to visit family and friends.  I too saw evidence of improvements in this beautiful land.  This improvement cannot happen overnight, but slowly the world will see Liberia become the wonderful paradise that it once was.  More to follow on my adventures in Liberia!

Be sure to check out the interview at CNN's Newsroom:



Peace and Love, Jon

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