A 90-year-old Florida man has finally received his high school diploma, 70 years after dropping out. During the Great Depression, John Locher had to quit school to help feed his family in Detroit; he spent 38 years with General Motors and retired to Cape Coral, Fla. But this year, at the urging of Locher’s family, his alma mater, Detroit Southwestern High School, decided to award him an honorary degree for “life credits.” Locher attended the school’s graduation ceremonies this week, accompanied by his wife and five of his eight children. He said he feels “100 percent lighter.”

Emily Vinette and Michaela Murphy, both 26, have been friends ever since meeting in fifth grade in Syracuse, N.Y. They played together, watched boys, and often finished each other’s sentences. Then, in January, Vinette’s kidneys began failing; added to a waiting list four years long, she began looking for a donor herself. It turned out that Murphy—whose own mother had died while waiting for a liver transplant in 2000—was a match. In a successful surgery last month, Murphy donated a kidney to Vinette, and both are doing fine. “I knew right away I would do whatever was needed,” said Murphy.

A dog in Illinois suffered only minor injuries after literally being swept up by a tornado. Sandra and Sidney Holmes of Richton Park had forgotten to bring in their 125-pound Rottweiler, Chase, when the storm hit last week. Neighbors soon spotted him trapped in the funnel cloud. “I saw him twirling around,” said 10-year-old Helena Bulliner. “He kept getting higher and higher. I didn’t know where Chase was going to go.” The tornado carried Chase a few hundred feet and plopped him down into a marshy area, where Sandra Holmes found him soaked and shivering. “He didn’t even know where he was,” she said. “It’s a blessing from God that he wasn’t hurt.”