Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Josh Ferrin always wondered what he would do if he suddenly struck it rich - then he found out in the ultimate test of his character.

Josh Ferrin's hands trembled as he fumbled for the phone. He started pacing the floor. He was so giddy from joy that when his wife answered, he choked on his first words.
"Tara," he blurted, "you're never going to believe this... "
Finding $45,000 in his new home changed Josh Ferrin\'s life, but not the way he first imagined.
Finding $45,000 in his new home changed Josh Ferrin's life, but not the way he first imagined.
Ferrin had just discovered $45,000 stashed in his new home.
There's a biblical parable about a man who found treasure hidden in a field. Ferrin found his in a dusty attic. For years, the author and illustrator had wondered what would happen if he struck it big. Would sudden wealth change him?
Three years ago, Ferrin got his answer.
His story began one Wednesday in May, when Ferrin was miserable. He was suffering from pneumonia and had been forced to take time off from his job as an artist at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. But things were looking up. He and his wife had just closed on their first house, and Ferrin decided to take a private tour after getting the keys.
Ferrin moseyed back to the garage, where he noticed something odd: a scrap of carpet dangling from an opening in the ceiling. Grabbing a ladder, Ferrin tugged on the carpet and pulled back a celling panel leading to an attic.
When he climbed into the attic, Ferrin saw eight World War II-era ammunition boxes. He delicately pried one open, dreading seeing a grenade. Instead what he saw blew his mind: wads of bills held together by orange fishing twine. He started counting -- and kept counting until he eventually realized he had stumbled onto $45,000.

Priest buys painting for $660 and asks ‘Antiques Roadshow’ to appraise it for him finds out is an original Anthony van Dyck masterpiece worth $661,000!

The BBC One program Antiques Roadshow has discovered a “lost masterpiece” by 17th Century master Anthony van Dyck.
A priest in Nottingham, Father Jaime, had purchased the painting for $660, and brought it to a filming of Antiques Roadshow to be professionally appraised. Host Fiona Bruce initially thought the painting a fake, but something about it caught her eye.
She had just “spent weeks looking at nothing but Van Dyck paintings” with art expert Philip Mould, and suspected it might be genuine, so she called him in and he believed it was worth investigating.
After months of careful restoration, the pair consulted Van Dyck expert Christopher Brown, who verified it as a genuine Van Dyck worth approximately $661,000.
“Discoveries of this type are exceptionally rare,” Mould said. “The painting’s emergence from beneath layers of paint was dramatic. It’s been revealed as a thrilling example of Van Dyck’s skills of direct observation that made him so great a portrait painter.”
“It’s everyone’s dream to spot a hidden masterpiece, I’m thrilled that my hunch paid off, to discover a genuine Van Dyck is incredibly exciting,” said Bruce. “I’m so pleased for Father Jamie.”
It is the most valuable painting ever discovered by the program in its 36 years on air.

Brotherly love on the slopes in Colorado as Davis LeMair rescues his older brother Edwin...

When a day of Colorado skiing last week turned perilous due to an avalanche, Edwin LaMair had his younger brother to thank for pulling him out of a potentially life-threatening situation.
Edwin, 22, and Davis LeMair, 19, were skiing with friend Jack Edgar on a backcountry trail in Vail on Dec. 22 when an avalanche engulfed Edwin, burying him up to his head. After a few minutes of reduced visibility following the slide, Davis was able to spot his brother and quickly skied over to help him.
He found Edwin almost completely submerged under the snow and struggling to breathe, which was all captured on a GoPro camera mounted on Davis’s helmet.
“I was really worried I was going to be buried completely,’’ Edwin said during the taped segment on TODAY Monday. “I’m extremely thankful that everything turned out the way it did and that I didn’t sustain any worse injuries or die.”
Edwin escaped with only a knee injury, and will have surgery later this week to repair a torn ACL and MCL that will keep him out of action on the slopes until the next ski season. He also was lucky because the avalanche occurred close to 4 p.m., so there was enough daylight left for Davis to be able to spot him.
“We were lucky that they were able to find me and my head was above before it got dark, because if they had to search for me in the dark, it could’ve been a bad situation,’’ Edwin told guest TODAY anchor Bryant Gumbel.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Christmas Eve was very special for homeless couple Chris Derrick and Betty Ybarra as they moved into their new home...

For many couples, the thought of living together in a 96-square-foot house sounds awful. But for Chris Derrick and Betty Ybarra, it’s a Christmas miracle.
That’s because Derrick and Ybarra have spent the better part of a year braving Madison, Wisconsin’s often-harsh climate without a roof over their head.
They’ll spend this Christmas in their own home, thanks to more than 50 volunteers with Occupy Madison, a local Wisconsin version of the original Occupy Wall Street group in New York. The group, including Derrick and Ybarra, spent the past year on an innovative and audacious plan to fight inequality in the state’s capital: build tiny homes for the homeless.
In a city where an average home for sale costs nearly $300,000, many low-income individuals simply can’t afford somewhere to live.
Indeed, in January of this year, a citywide count found 831 homeless people living in Madison, a 47 percent increase in the past 3 years. And it’s not just adults; 110 families with children were identified as well.
The “Tiny House Project” began the same month. The plan was for volunteers to build micro-homes that still include living necessities like a bed, insulation, and a toilet. The homes are heated via propane and include a pole-mounted solar panel to power the house’s light. The total cost: $3,000, paid for by private donations.
Rather than building the homes on a particular lot of land — and thus adding another expense — the houses are mounted on trailers which can be legally parked on the street, as long as they’re moved every 48 hours. Parking on the street may not even be necessary after Occupy organizers successfully convinced the Madison Common Council recently to change the city’s zoning laws so the homes could be parked on private property with permission.
As Occupy Madison continues to build more tiny houses, it hopes to eventually buy a plot of land and create a tiny village with as many as 30 homes.
“It’s not just a shelter, it’s a commitment to a lifestyle,” Brenda Konkel, who heads a tenants’ rights non-profit in Madison, said during the zoning meeting, according to The Capital Times. “It’s a co-op mixed with Habitat for Humanity mixed with eco-village as the long-term goal.”
On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, Ybarra and Derrick moved into their new home. Ybarra said the moment was “exciting,” telling NBC 15 that she’d never owned her own home before, much less one she helped build. Occupy Madison posted this video to mark the occasion.
Though a common critique of the Occupy movement was that its goals were nebulous and unspecific, it has effected a significant amount of change on a local level. This includes savingmany people’s homes from foreclosure and buying up (and then forgiving) $15 million of consumer debt for pennies on the dollar.

U.S. Veteran Aaron Jenkins and his family get the gift of a new home courtesy of the Military Warriors Support Foundation...

Oklahoma woman Teriasia Dean finds out what goes around comes around after returning $800 that she found...

OKLAHOMA - New details on a story that caused dozens of NewsChannel4 viewers to call asking how they can help.
Teriasia Dean found a purse on the pavement, and despite facing eviction and her own financial woes, she returned the purse to the owner.
Doing the right thing was easy for Dean, but it touched so many viewers, they wanted to help her with her rent.
News Channel Four caught up with Dean on Christmas. She was laughing with loved ones, but in the back of her mind, she carried the rent burden.
“I’ve always been that, never let them see you seat type girl,” said Dean. “I tough it out, and I make it work.”
She’s been working her retail make up job to catch up on her rent for months.
She’s been battling staph infection, and fell behind on the payment.
Then, she the apartment complex posted an eviction notice on her door. She has to pay $670 by Friday or get out.
All the while, Dean held the key to dealing with the eviction.
She found the Coach purse in a parking lot.
Instead of stealing money from the wallet, she returned it to the rightful owner: Barbara Cannon.
“I’ve gone through my own life experiences where I had to step back, and I had to humble myself and know that material things and money don’t make me. So, t wouldn’t have made me to spend her money or swipe her card,” said Dean.
A decision so touching, viewers are calling and e-mailing to see if they can help Dean with her rent realities.
Dean’s grandmother says she understands why.
“It’s a rude awakening that there are some honest people in the world,” said Helen Potter. “They’re still out there doing good-by people.”
One viewer, whose identity we promised not to reveal, showed up with her hard-earned cash all for Dean.
Tears filled Dean’s eyes. “Oh wow. $800 dollars. Oh wow!” said Dean. “You have people who don’t even know you who do things for you and bless you, and I’ve always been a giver, and it’s different to receive, you know?”
Counting the money, she sent this message to the mystery donor: “Thank you so much. Thank you so much for, if it was placed on your heart and following through. I am forever grateful. I am very thankful.”

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Homeless mom Crystabel gets the surprise gift of a lifetime from complete strangers...

Say you arrive one day for an important job interview, but find there's no job, no interviewer and no office. Instead, as soon as you open the door, you find festive balloons and 20 people in an apartment shouting to you, "Welcome to your new home!" The 20 include camera crews and reporters from three news stations covering the story, the apartment owner who's donated the apartment rent-free for six months, a couple who provided the food, professional chefs who've prepared a gourmet meal for you, a bottled lemonade company providing the drinks, and a professional singer there to entertain you.
It sounds like a terrifically enjoyable dream or Hollywood movie fantasy, but it really happened exactly that way in a residential neighborhood in Hollywood, at ten in the morning on December 21, the first day of winter, to a twenty-something Hispanic woman named Crystabel, who prefers not using her last name since her daughters are in foster care. A crystal ball is used by psychics to see into the future. But surely Crystabel could never have predicted this day. Nor when she was younger could she have predicted all she's endured the last couple of years, from becoming homeless, to losing her job, then losing her children, to living out of a borrowed truck as she attempted to eke out an existence selling things on eBay.
It was at this lowest point for Crystabel that she was brought to the attention of independent news producer Mytchell Mora. From 1998 to 2010, Mora produced over 165 news stories for Fox News' Undercover Unit. Mora's investigative stories have led to the arrests of a sexual predator, a murderer and doctor whose negligence led to patient deaths. And now, Mora wanted to help. He contacted Kameron Segal, president of William Holdings, Inc., a Los Angeles property management and acquisitions company. Segal agreed to allow Crystabel to live in one of his $1,200-per-month East Hollywood apartments, rent-free, for six months. The apartment includes a refrigerator, full bathroom, secured intercom entry phone system, and laundry facilities inside the building.
Mora contacted others, who agreed to help in other ways. Ira Mandel, president of Fortress Jets, donated the food, furnishings and bath items. His wife, Jenny, and their two young daughters, showed up to help get things in order. Chef Pieps of Naked Catering and Chef D' of Soul D'licious, provided the mouth-watering brunch, and Hubert's Lemonade donated the drinks. A professional singer regaled the gathering with a heartfelt rendition of the classic, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Mora arranged to escort Crystabel to the location for her "job interview" at 10 a.m. As she walked in and was immediately greeted by the room full of people, the media, balloons, fragrant cooking aromas, and the shouts of "Welcome to your new home!", it was clear that Crystabel was genuinely surprised--and moved. Mora let her know that the apartment was now hers. She was overwhelmed, as were all witnessing the scene.
For those wishing to help Crystabel and her children further with any donations or job offerings, please email her here. She has a degree from Pasadena City College and is experienced in payroll/accounting and accounts payable work.
Crystabel is just one person and helping her amounted to a drop in the bucket when you consider the multitude of needy people in Los Angeles. Yet what better demonstration of the holiday spirit of giving and caring, of offering hope? It brings to mind the quote often attributed to Dr. Seuss: "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."

15 year old cancer patient Karina Xavier gets a surprise visit from super model Gisele Bundchen...

MALDEN (CBS) – A 15-year-old girl battling cancer is posting photos of a surprise visit she received on Thursday from Gisele Bundchen.
Karina Xavier, who was born in Brazil and lives in Malden, spent some time today with Bundchen. Xavier, who is a fashion blogger, posted pictures of herself doing Bundchen’s make-up, along with photos of the two hanging out together.
“Thank you so much for taking time off of your day to come visit me and spend some time with me! Also thank you for your kind words and your very meaningful gifts! You are a great person and you will continue inspiring me,” Xavier wrote on Instagram.
Bundchen also posted a photo.
“It was a pleasure to see you again @chicbykarina. You are warrior, an inspiration of positivity and courage. I will be praying for you. Sending you love and light always,” she wrote.

New York landscaper Marvin Rosales Martinez finally gets to collect his million-dollar lottery prize a year after finding ticket while raking leaves...

New York (CNN) -- In the post-Superstorm Sandy destruction, New York landscaper Marvin Rosales Martinez was clearing storm debris with a leaf blower when he discovered an unknown treasure hidden in a pile of leaves.
The damp "Win $1,000 a Week for Life" scratch-off ticket could change his life.
Rosales Martinez, 27, a resident of Hicksville on Long Island, was awarded his $1 million lottery prize on Friday, more than a year after he claimed the winning ticket. He found the ticket among leaves in October 2012.
According to a New York Lottery statement, Rosales Martinez first brought the ticket to a 7-Eleven, but the store couldn't verify it.
It wasn't until November 9, 2012, when Rosales Martinez brought the ticket to the lottery's Long Island Customer Service Center that officials confirmed that it was a winning ticket.
Then, there was a "standard and thorough internal security investigation" to ensure the validity and ownership of the ticket.
According to Lee Park, a lottery spokesman, the review found no reason to believe that the ticket "wasn't rightfully the property of Mr. Martinez. There was no report of theft or of a ticket being misplaced."
"It should be noted that Lottery tickets are bearer instruments," said Park, referring to instruments that may be converted to cash by whomever holds it. "In instances such as these, it's standard practice for the lottery to require a one-year waiting period before awarding the prize in case anyone else comes forward."
In this case, no one stepped forward.
Rosales Martinez was one of five New York lottery winners to claim a prize Friday.
The recipient opted to receive his jackpot prize as a one-time lump sum payment. He will receive a payment of $779,106, netting him $515,612 after required tax withholdings, according to the release.
Rosales Martinez, who could not be reached for comment, told lottery officials that he planned to share his good fortune with his family.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Formerly Homeless Veterans in Boston helping to keep others off the streets...

CONCORD, Mass. -- Not far from where the Boston Massacre helped sow the seeds for the Revolutionary War, David Dyer points toward the underpass where he'd score crack cocaine by day and the train depot where he'd sleep some nights.
Now, he has a family, a home and a job -- helping homeless veterans get off the streets, like he did.
Dyer is part of a team of veterans, some formerly homeless themselves, that the state of Massachusetts has hired to get veterans off the streets in the Boston area. Typically, they spend one day a week roaming the city's storefronts, alleys and shelters, which is what he was doing one recent morning outside Boston's South Station. "I guess you could call this my home for about a month," he reminisced.
The rest of the week is spent making sure those who have found housing are staying the course. The Veterans Affairs Department, which funds the effort, is considering doubling the size of the team in the coming year.
President Barack Obama's administration has pledged to eliminate homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. And while the rate has been dropping, time is running short.
So communities such as Boston are aggressively hitting the streets with offers of housing, treatment and hope. Using formerly homeless veterans such as Dyer and team leader Christopher Doyle helps them make inroads with a community that often is distrustful of people who haven't experienced what they've been through.
"When they say, 'Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about,' I can say, 'Yeah, I do, because I was there myself,'" said Doyle, who at one point lived in a VA homeless shelter with about 180 other veterans before landing a job with the state.

Donald and Dorothy Lutz celebrate 61 years of marriage in photo shoot inspired by the Disney movie "Up"

Donald and Dorothy Lutz struck an 'Up'-inspired post for their anniversary photo shoot.
Cambria Grace Photography
Donald and Dorothy Lutz struck an 'Up'-inspired post for their anniversary photo shoot.
61 years ago, Donald and Dorothy Lutz's wedding photographer stood them up, leaving the lovebirds with only a single picture to remember their big day. But six decades later, they got a very special belated wedding gift — a beautiful anniversary photo shoot, inspired by the Disney movie "Up."
Donald and Dorothy Lutz
Cambria Grace Photography
The idea began when stylist Lauren Wells — who is married to the Lutzes’ grandson Matt — and her photographer partner Cambria Grace found themselves with a bunch of colorful balloons left over from a photo shoot. After a conversation with her husband, Lauren got the idea for the "Up"-inspired shoot and decided the photos would be a gift for her grandparents-in-law.
“It was actually a little bit of luck and coincidence,” Wells told TODAY.
Donald and Dorothy Lutz
Cambria Grace Photography
The shoot took place on Boston’s Old Northern Avenue Bridge, chosen for its “industrial” look, and was a true family affair, with Matt’s sister Abby assisting — and keeping pedestrians from crossing the bridge and walking through the shots.

Beyonce Makes A Wish Come True as She Sings and Dances With a Terminally Ill Cancer Patient...

Dec 26, 2013 11:13am
Could we love Beyonce any more?
The megastar, who just released a secret album while touring and taking care of her daughter Blue Ivy, went out of her way to make the wish of a terminally ill cancer patient Taylon become a reality.
All Taylon wanted to do was dance with Beyonce, 32.
In a video posted by Bey, this Make-A-Wish girl gets to do just that.
Friends and family came with her to Las Vegas earlier this month to see Beyonce perform. As Beyonce hits the stage, the little girl is brought to tears.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

‘Nothing’s Impossible’ says 94 year old Yoga Teacher Tao Porchon-Lynch...

At age 94, Tao Porchon-Lynch has been practicing yoga for seven decades. And with the release of her new instructional DVD, “Yoga with Tao,” she’s proving that she’s not ready to give up her downward dogs just yet.
When asked why she loves yoga so much, Porchon-Lynch said,  “I think it's the joy of living – to feel that when you are in touch with this wonderful power that's inside of you, nothing's impossible.”
In the 1940s and 1950s, Porchon-Lynch was an actress, performing in Europe, India and Hollywood. Though initially skeptical about yoga, she eventually tried it and soon became hooked. Porchon-Lynch went on to practice with renowned yogis like B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of Iyengar Yoga, and Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, the yoga teacher credited with developing Ashtanga Yoga.
Eventually, Porchon-Lynch became a yoga teacher herself – and still teaches multiple classes each week.
“When (students) think they can't do something, and they suddenly realize that they can – that this is something not out of the limit – the expression on their face is very special,” Porchon-Lynch said. “It's a big smile (that) comes on their face, and I feel that you can't give me a diamond worth more than that.”
Porchon-Lynch attributes her good health and longevity to a combination of yoga and dancing – which she still does competitively.
When asked if she has advice to share with others, Porchon-Lynch said, “Don't procrastinate. That's one thing. If you want to do something, remember that one minute after midnight, it's already today.”
And just as important: be fearless.
“Don't get up in the morning thinking of, ‘Well, do I go to the doctors or is this alright…did I take my medicine?’ No, no,” Porchon-Lynch said. “When you get up in the morning, first of all, think without fear.”

Daughter finds her mother after 71 years...

The host was a good cook, famous for his mashed potatoes. No — not potatoes. Beans. Baked beans. That was it. Brooke Mayo held a finger to her cheek. "Old age is getting to me," she said at last.
The images of that night are somewhere in that head of hers. They're clear as day, just a little hard to find, like a carousel of slides stashed in the attic a long time ago. After all, it's been 72 years. Brooke Mayo was 19 then — bright and beautiful.
It was late November in 1941. Europe was in the grip of war, Pearl Harbor was days away, and Brooke was preparing to move to London with a civilian Army corps. But for one night, everyone would try to forget all that. There was a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills to kick off the holiday season. Nice, not too fancy. The famous baked beans. A turkey. The host wore a belt buckle encrusted with tiny diamonds.
Brooke had driven herself to the party. After dinner, she walked down a set of stairs to head home. He came out of nowhere, she said, and raped her. She never saw his face.
You didn't go to the police. Not back then. "They would have said it was my fault," Brooke said. "In those days, the man was never at fault. For anything."
When she found out she was pregnant, she considered getting an abortion. But it would have been a back-alley thing. "Women were dying," Brooke said. "I wanted to live."
So she went home. She went home to her mother, and she cried, and together, they made a decision: Brooke would postpone her plans to move to London. She would have the baby. "But I'd have to give her up."
Patricia Hamlin, left, and her biological mother Brooke Mayo are photographed at Brooke's home in 
Paso Robles. Patricia looks uncannily like a painting of Brooke that was done in the 1970s. 
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times) More photos

Calm and cool police officer helps new parents save their 9 month old boy over the phone...

MARSTONS MILLS – A Barnstable police officer's calm instructions over the phone helped revive a 9-week-old baby who was choking on Christmas day.
Officer Dennis Stampfl answered a 911 call from a woman at 193 Mockingbird Lane on Christmas afternoon that a 9-week old baby had stopped breathing and was blue in the face, said Sgt. Sean Sweeney.
In the 911 tape, the panicked woman describes how the baby, whose names is Brandon, had been eating when he vomited and then choked. The woman who called 911 was breathing hard out of fear but she was able to communicate Stampfl's precise instructions to Jonathan Brooks, Brandon's father.
Stampfl told them to turn the baby over, rest him facedown on Brooks' forearm with his face near his father's hand, and give him five back blows between the shoulder blades.
After the father did a few series of back blows, a baby's cries could be heard in the background on the 911 tape.
“That is the thing you want to hear,” Stampfl told the woman.
An ambulance crew took Brandon to Cape Cod Hospital where Brandon stayed overnight for treatment for an acid reflux condition, his mother, Samantha D'Elia, said Thursday.
D'Elia said she also administered CPR to her baby.
Christmas could have been better, D'Elia admitted, “but the outcome was alright.”
The Barnstable police department recently received a $126,121 grant from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to train and update training for 82 telecommunicators, including dispatchers, and 10 new police officers in emergency medical dispatch.
Everyone currently assigned to the communications desk has had the training, Sweeney said.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Remarkable WWII story between US and German pilots that were bonded for life through a close encounter in the sky...

The pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision.
"My God, this is a nightmare," the co-pilot said.
"He's going to destroy us," the pilot agreed.
The men were looking at a gray German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip. It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.
The B-17 pilot, Charles Brown, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission. His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone in the skies above Germany. Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.
But when Brown and his co-pilot, Spencer "Pinky" Luke, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened. The German didn't pull the trigger. He nodded at Brown instead. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War II. Years later, Brown would track down his would-be executioner for a reunion that reduced both men to tears.
Lt. Franz Stigler was standing near his fighter on a German airbase when he heard a bomber's engine. Looking up, he saw a B-17 flying so low it looked like it was going to land. As the bomber disappeared behind some trees, Stigler tossed his cigarette aside, saluted a ground crewman and took off in pursuit.
As Stigler's fighter rose to meet the bomber, he decided to attack it from behind. He climbed behind the sputtering bomber, squinted into his gun sight and placed his hand on the trigger. He was about to fire when he hesitated. Stigler was baffled. No one in the bomber fired at him.
He looked closer at the tail gunner. He was still, his white fleece collar soaked with blood. Stigler craned his neck to examine the rest of the bomber. Its skin had been peeled away by shells, its guns knocked out. He could see men huddled inside the plane tending the wounds of other crewmen.
Then he nudged his plane alongside the bomber's wings and locked eyes with the pilot whose eyes were wide with shock and horror.
Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn't shoot down the slow-moving bomber. Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany.
"Good luck," Stigler said to himself. "You're in God's hands."
A mission to find the man who spared his life
Late in life the encounter with the German pilot began to gnaw at Lt. Charles Brown. He started having nightmares, but in his dream there would be no act of mercy. He would awaken just before his bomber crashed.
Brown took on a new mission. He had to find that German pilot. Who was he? Why did he save my life?
On January 18, 1990, Brown received a letter. He opened it and read:
"Dear Charles, All these years I wondered what happened to the B-17, did she make it or not?"
It was Stigler. He had had left Germany after the war and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1953. He became a prosperous businessman. Now retired, Stigler told Brown that he would be in Florida come summer and "it sure would be nice to talk about our encounter."
Brown was so excited, though, that he couldn't wait to see Stigler. He called directory assistance for Vancouver and asked whether there was a number for a Franz Stigler. He dialed the number, and Stigler picked up.
"My God, it's you!" Brown shouted as tears ran down his cheeks.
Brown had to do more. He wrote a letter to Stigler in which he said: "To say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU on behalf of my surviving crewmembers and their families appears totally inadequate."
The two pilots would meet again, but this time in the lobby of a Florida hotel.
brown stigler
Photo: Adam Makos
One of Brown's friends was there to record the summer reunion. Both men looked like retired businessmen: they were plump, sporting neat ties and formal shirts. They talked about their encounter in a light, jovial tone.
The mood then changed. Someone asked Stigler what he thought about Brown. Stigler sighed and his square jaw tightened. He began to fight back tears before he said in heavily accented English:
"I love you, Charlie."
brown stigler
Photo: Adam Makos
Brown and Stigler became great pals. They would take fishing trips together. They would fly cross-country to each other homes and take road trips together to share their story at schools and veterans' reunions.

Random Acts of Kindness to help the homeless...

Sam Bashor with "Fort Human Peoples" delivered holiday care packages to homeless men and women. They gave out new backpacks full of gifts.
Some of the homeless men so appreciated the backpack on its own, even without the notebooks, snacks and personal care products inside.

25 year-old Abiola Ogungbenle from Nigeria witnesses his first snowfall...

25 year-old Abiola Ogungbenle moved from Nigeria to Hanover, Pennsylvania in 2013 to be with his wife, and has been eagerly awaiting his first winter snowfall ever since.
When snow began to fall in early December, Abiola was enjoying the sight of his whitened street when he saw Joseph Fryer, a photographer and owner of Digital Lightbox, shooting photos and asked him to take a picture of him to share with African relatives.
After Fryer posted on Facebook the photo of the African native uplifting his face with joy, it went viral.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Khadijah Williams...from homeless to Harvard.

In 2009, Oprah met Khadijah Williams, a driven young woman who grew up in homeless shelters but never stopped believing in herself and the power of education. Though she went to 12 different schools in 12 years, she managed to graduate high school with honors and was accepted into Harvard University. Four years later, she graduated with a degree in sociology and even got a shout-out from Oprah during her2013 commencement speech.
Williams -- who says she was in the bathroom when a friend came running in to tell her Oprah was talking about her on stage -- now has quite an impressive reference. "Just to have someone like Miss Winfrey acknowledge you and say, 'You did a great thing,' … it's not only a great confidence booster, but it's also something I can send to employers like, "Look! Oprah talked about me, here's my recommendation!'" Williams says.
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" recently caught up with Williams in New York City, where she landed a job and moved into her own apartment after graduation. "Right now I am a project manager at an education technology firm," she says. It's a very adult job, I have actual responsibilities – which is a little bit scary, but it's exciting."
"Just being able to have my own apartment and make adult decisions -- or try to, anyway -- is very empowering," Williams says. "And I absolutely want to give back. I will give back. And right now I'm just setting that foundation so I can do that."
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on OWNProgramming note: In 2014, "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs on a new day and time. Catch up with past "Oprah Show" guests, newsmakers and celebrities on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, beginning Jan. 3.

'What an amazing present': Boston Marathon survivor Rebekah Gregory makes bid to walk again...

Eight months after twin bombings at the Boston Marathon nearly took one survivor’s left leg, she can finally put two feet on the ground.
Rebekah Gregory, 26, has had 14 surgeries in a bid to save the leg, though she has faced constant pain and the prospect of amputation many times. She started physical therapy in the summer but had to stop when her doctors determined she would need to wear a device to get her foot into the right position if she hoped to ever walk on it again. That came off at Thanksgiving, when they replaced it with a cast. And on Monday, Gregory graduated to a walking boot.
“To put two feet on the ground again was the most amazing feeling,” Gregory told NBC News Tuesday from her parents’ home in Richmond, Texas. “And just right before Christmas, too. It’s like, what an amazing present this year.”
But Gregory still has a long way to go, a reminder she got the first moment she put her foot down in the boot.
“It was awful. It was the worst pain all over again,” she said. “Putting it on the ground doesn’t feel right and it feels like it’s just crushing what bones I have left.”
“It was the hardest thing to do to try to stand up and put weight on my leg,” she said.
Gregory suffered multiple serious injuries in the April 15 attack on the iconic Boston road race that killed three people and wounded 275 others: she lost a lot of soft tissue in a series of what she calls “craters” going down her leg to her foot, and she endured multiple fractures to her foot as well as the loss of part of her fourth and fifth metatarsals. Doctors had to rebuild her ankle and she was treated for months for a painful bone infection.
Her case was rare even among the more seriously wounded: while amputees moved ahead with prosthesis training and others recovered in rehabilitation, she was stuck many steps behind since salvaging such a severely-wounded leg is a slow process. She is believed to have been the last patient connected to the bombings released from the hospital when she was discharged on June 10 -- after 56 days in medical centers in Boston and Houston.

Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa returns $300,000 found in his taxi, wanted to ‘do the right thing’

Talk about a Christmas miracle.
A Las Vegas cab driver who found $300,000 — $100 bills in six $50,000 bundles — in a brown paper bag in the back seat of his taxi returned the money to the owner, a gambler who had won big at the Cosmopolitan.
Yellow Checker Star named cabbie Gerardo Gamboa its Driver of the Year, rewarding him with $1,000 and a dinner for two at an exclusive restaurant. Gamboa may still get a reward from the unidentified gambler.
Gamboa picked up the player Monday morning at the Cosmopolitan and took him to Palms Place, where the passenger gave him a $5 tip.
Gamboa’s next stop was the Bellagio, where a doorman removed the bag from the back seat of the car and put it on the front passenger seat, surmising it was chocolate left behind by a previous rider.
When Gamboa stopped at a traffic light after picking up his next passenger, he peeked inside the bag and discovered the money.
“I told my passenger, ‘You are my witness on this,’ and then I immediately called my dispatcher,” Gamboa said.
Once the cash was secured at the taxi company office, it was tracked to the owner through Cosmopolitan records. The man arrived at the office in sweats and a T-shirt to reclaim his money, but he didn’t have any identification.
YCS officials took another few hours conferring with the Cosmopolitan and Metro Police to make sure they were handing the money over to the right person.
“He was really polite about it and waited patiently,” said Bill Shranko, a YCS manager. “He said he’d do whatever was necessary.”
Once his identity was verified, YCS turned the cash over to the player, who asked to see Gamboa to shake his hand. He told Gamboa he planned to reward him and got his contact information.
“If he doesn’t give me anything, that’s OK,” Gamboa said. “I’m not waiting for any kind of return. I just wanted to do the right thing, and I appreciate what the company did for me.”
Gamboa, a humble and religious man who has worked for YCS for 13 years, has now become a media star, fielding interview requests from Los Angeles, Chicago and New York about the unusual find.