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It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: August 2, 2018

Catherine Garcia
Chilkoot/iStock
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1.

Louisiana's bald eagle population is on the rise

After nearly dying out in the 1970s, the bald eagle population in Louisiana is now soaring. The state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a report last week that in southeast Louisiana, where a majority of bald eagles live, 264 active nests were discovered. Researchers also found that a higher percentage of nests had healthy baby chicks inside. Typically, bald eagles lay their eggs in November and December, with the chicks hatching by February. Chicks are nearly fully grown by 10 weeks, the department's non-game ornithologist Michael Seymour said, and at about 12 weeks, they're able to fly. In the 1970s, there were only five to seven active nests in the state, and it's believed that one reason bald eagles have made a resurgence in Louisiana since then is because the pesticide DDT was banned in 1972. [KATC]

2.

Dad works extra shifts to surprise daughter with her dream dress

Nevaeha Smith found her dream dress, but the price was a nightmare. Nevaeha, 14, wanted a special outfit for her eighth grade dance in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, but the ensemble she fell in love with was $200. Her dad, Ricky Smith, works at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Circle K in order to support his family, and when he saw the price, told her he would "see what I can do." Smith works at least six days a week, but took on extra shifts in order to afford the dress. He told Nevaeha her grandmother bought her a different outfit and to pick it up from his work, then surprised her with the dress she loved. Nevaeha hugged him and cried. "My heart felt like there was more love in it than there was before," she told ABC News. "I love him and I'm really happy that he's my father." [ABC News]

3.

Recovering addict shows appreciation for EMTs by picking up their breakfast tab

When a group of six EMTs went to pay their bill at an IHOP in New Jersey last week, the manager told them to put their wallets away — their $77 check had already been covered. The EMTs from the Toms River First Aid Squad were handed a note, which read: "Paid, thank you for all you do! Have a great day!" It was signed, "Recovering Addict." The EMTs asked the manager if they could thank the woman who paid for their breakfast, but she had asked to remain anonymous. It was the end of a long shift, and captain Alyssa Golembeski said the note "was the nicest thing anyone could have ever done for us. I couldn't stop smiling that entire day." Golembeski said she'd love to meet the woman, and commends her for "getting into recovery and for beating the disease that is addiction." [WISN]

4.

Stranger uses his metal detector to help man find ring lost at sea

While at the beach with his family last week, Dan Cross discovered he had lost his wedding ring in the waves. Cross told BBC News he spent an hour trying to find the ring, then looked online for help. Through a directory called Ring Finders, he contacted Richard Higham, who uses a metal detector to try to locate missing items. Higham met Cross at the beach in Bournemouth, England, and moved quickly, as tides cause rings to move and go deeper until they are out of the metal detector's range. After two hours of searching underwater, Higham emerged, holding Cross' ring. "I was completely elated and the emotion hit me," Cross said. Higham said people like Cross "inspire me to go to the lengths that I go to. It's such a nice feeling to help people find things that they thought were lost forever." [BBC News]

5.

10-year-old swimmer beats record set by Michael Phelps 23 years ago

Remember the name Clark Kent Apuada. Apuada is 10 years old and from Salinas, California, and during the Far West International Swimming Championship on Sunday, he competed in seven events and came in first in all of them. In the 100-meter butterfly, he smashed a record set by Olympian Michael Phelps 23 years ago, breaking it by 1.1 seconds. Phelps congratulated Apuada, tweeting: "Big congrats to #clarkkent for smashing that meet record!!! Keep it up dude!! #dreambig." Apuada, who began swimming competitively when he was 6 years old, said his goal is to one day compete in the Olympics. "Most people just call me Clark, but now, when I beat Michael Phelps' record, they start calling me Superman," he told CBS News. "I thought to myself, yeah, if I had positive thoughts, positive things would happen." [CBS News]