It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: November 14, 2019

Image
Catherine Garcia
LiLou the therapy pig.
REUTERS/Jane Ross
The good news newsletter
Your free email newsletter subscription is confirmed. Thank you for subscribing!

1.

A therapy pig is making life better for travelers in San Francisco

Travelers making their way through San Francisco International Airport are going hog wild for LiLou, the world's first airport therapy pig. She makes her way around Terminal 4 about once a month, playing with kids and bringing smiles to stressed out passengers. Her owner, Tatyana Danilova, told Good Morning America that she announces on Instagram when LiLou is going to be at the airport, and one woman even switched her flight so she could meet her. "It's kind of like the lottery," she said. "People get so excited if they're going to be traveling that day." LiLou, who also visits schools and hospitals, may be a pig, but the airport has made her a member of the Wag Brigade, which brings trained therapy dogs to the different terminals. [Good Morning America, Instagram]

2.

Michigan woman raised an only child discovers she has 19 half-siblings

Mariann Jeffery just found out her family tree has more branches than she ever imagined. Jeffery, 92, of Southgate, Michigan, was adopted as a baby and raised an only child. Her biological parents, Margaret Corwin and Thomas Dumas, separated after her birth, and both ended up getting married twice to other people. Corwin ultimately had 11 additional children, while Dumas had eight. Earlier this year, Robert Dumas was doing genealogy research, and recent home DNA testing results showed that he had an aunt: Jeffery. He started digging around, and learned she had a total of 19 half-siblings, born between 1928 and 1948. After getting in touch with Jeffery, a big party was planned for her to meet her new relatives — including all 11 of her half-siblings who are still living. Jeffery's half-brother Robert Corwin, 75, told The Detroit Free Press that it is "truly amazing to find out after eons that you have a living sibling." [The Detroit Free Press]

3.

Customers step up to help lone restaurant employee working a busy shift

When Ethan Crispo walked into a Waffle House in Birmingham, Alabama, earlier this month and found only one man working, he was ready to turn around and look for a midnight snack elsewhere. There were about 30 customers that night, Crispo said, and an employee named Ben cooking, serving, and acting as cashier. Before he could leave, Crispo saw a diner stand up, walk behind the counter, and start washing dishes. He was soon joined by another customer, who grabbed a coffee pot and began to fill cups around the restaurant, freeing up Ben to cook and work the register. A Waffle House spokesperson said a scheduling mix-up resulted in Ben being the only person on duty. Crispo told CNN he was amazed to see strangers coming together to help a person in need. "I've never seen anything like this ever happen," he said. "It was one of my most memorable experiences." [CNN]

4.

Kent State basketball player makes history during team's season opener

Kalin Bennett is ready to be a role model, on and off the court. Bennett, a freshman at Ohio's Kent State University, is a member of the men's basketball team. He's also the first student-athlete with autism to sign a national letter of intent to play with a Division I team. He made his debut last week during the season opener against Hiram College, playing during the last six minutes of the game. He finished with two points, two rebounds, and one block. "For my mom to see it was really big for me," he said. It's been a long road for Bennett — he didn't start walking until he was 4, and didn't talk until 7 — and he's ready to continue defying expectations. "It's good to know that people look up to me, but the real thing is: Everybody is capable of doing whatever they want to do in life," he said. [NCAA]

5.

In just a few hours, Chicago police officer runs a race, saves a life, and proposes to his girlfriend

When Sgt. Mike Nowacki ran the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago earlier this month, he had one goal: Reach the finish line and then propose to his girlfriend. Before he could complete the 15K, Nowacki — who was wearing 50 pounds of SWAT gear — heard people shouting for a medic. A woman was on the ground, not breathing, and Nowacki and a firefighter started giving her CPR. She was rushed to a hospital, suffering from cardiac arrest, and the Chicago Police Department said doctors declared that Nowacki's quick response saved her life. Nowacki's girlfriend, Erin Gubala, is also a police officer, and met him at the finish line. She thought he was going to tell her all about the incident, but instead, he got down on one knee. "I thought he was hurt ... and then I realized what was going on," she said. With hundreds of spectators watching, Gubala said yes. [ABC 7 Chicago]