Random Good News

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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