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The week's good news: August 30, 2018

Catherine Garcia
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1.

Couple weds 70 years after meeting on a school bus

Janice and Jim Catlin spent decades apart, and decided to make up for lost time on Aug. 23 when they married in front of family and friends in a Wisconsin courthouse. Janice, 86, and Jim, 88, first met on the school bus in 1947, but lost touch. When they ran into each other again 70 years later, "I knew him right away when I first saw him," Janice told WSAW. They visited each other every day, and after a year figured they might as well spend all their time together. "He's a very calm man, and he's very loving," Janice said. "That's why I love him, because he loves me." When the ceremony was over, Jim declared, "I feel 21." They spent the rest of their wedding day riding around town in a pedicab and eating pizza. When asked by WSAW about their honeymoon plans, the newlyweds told the station that was a secret. [WSAW]

2.

After asking for birthday postcards, teen battling leukemia quickly receives more than 1,000 in the mail

Since Aspen Kelly can't travel the world right now, her mom decided to bring the world to her. Aspen turns 13 on Sept. 1, but is receiving treatment for leukemia, and can't leave Oklahoma. Her mother, Vanessa Kelly, went on Facebook in July and asked friends if they'd send Aspen postcards from wherever they are in the world, hoping she'd at least get one from every state. By mid-August, the message had been shared more than 1,000 times, and Aspen has already received more than 1,000 postcards from all 50 states and 49 countries. Kelly was shocked when she turned over one colorful postcard from Greece and saw that it was signed by Tom Hanks. She told CBS News she wasn't convinced at first it was really from the actor, but was certain after she determined he was in Greece when the postcard was sent, and compared the handwriting to a fan letter posted online. [CBS News]

3.

Inclusive sensory mural in South Florida created especially for the blind and visually impaired

This is no ordinary mural. Painted on the side of the Lighthouse of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, the mural features mockingbirds, oranges, and colorful flowers. But there's more to it than just paint — there are censors above the mural that when triggered generate the sound of birds and scent of citrus, and the oranges and feathers are raised so they can be felt when touched. This is a sensory mural, and the first of its kind in South Florida, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The Lighthouse of Broward County is a nonprofit organization that provides services for people who are blind or visually impaired. The mural, designed by artist Ernesto Maranje, was painted by more than 150 volunteers, and Ellyn Drotzer, president and CEO of Lighthouse of Broward County, says the response from clients has been "overwhelmingly positive as they talk about the experience as a transformational one." [The Sun-Sentinel]

4.

Montana 109-year-old finds loophole, gets restaurant to pay her for eating there on her birthday

Helen Self knows that when she goes to the Montana Club in Missoula, not only will she get a free meal, she'll earn a little money, too. The Montana Club offers people who celebrate their birthdays there a discount based on their age; for example, a 21-year-old would get 21 percent off their meal. Self earned her first completely free dinner on her 100th birthday, and Montana Club owner Nick Alonzo told ABC FOX Montana that "once she turned 101, she informed me that I had to come in and pay for her meal." That's what happened last Friday, when Self and almost two dozen friends and relatives dined at the restaurant to celebrate her 109th birthday. When their meal was over, Alonzo presented Self with a bill for $0, and gave her 9 percent back in cash; in return, she gave Alonzo a peck on the cheek. [ABC Fox Montana]

5.

A painting panda is creating abstract works of art

Yang Yang is the Picasso of the panda world, and her works of art are now on sale. The 18-year-old panda, who lives at the Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, has a knack for painting. Yang Yang uses a special brush to dab black finger paint onto white paper, and the look of each painting depends on her mood at the time. It's a collaborative effort, as a zookeeper holds the artist's paper for her. Yang Yang has created at least 100 pieces, all of which are being sold online for about $560 each. The money raised will be used to create a picture book about the Schoenbrunn Zoo's pandas. [ABC News]