The week's good news: August 26, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
Father and son bike 3,300 miles to fulfill dream of seeing the Statue of Liberty
Shepherd Colver had a summer vacation he'll never forget. Shepherd, 9, always dreamed of seeing the Statue of Liberty in person, and instead of driving or flying to New York from their home in Washington state, Shepherd and his dad, James, decided to travel cross country by bike. They first tried making the 3,300 mile trek in 2019, but stopped when Shepherd started getting bad headaches; he was later diagnosed with diabetes. The duo hit the road again this summer, and it was smooth sailing. After 18 weeks of pedaling, Shepherd and James coasted into New York City earlier this month, celebrating their arrival with a sparkling cider toast. The long journey was "definitely worth it," Shepherd told the CBS Evening News, adding that the Statue of Liberty is "pretty cool." James found their adventure to be a "wonderful bonding experience. I feel like I invested my time as his dad really well here."
Veteran reunites with Italian siblings he saved during World War II
It's been more than 75 years since they met, but World War II veteran Martin Adler never forgot the three Italian siblings he saved while they were hiding from the Nazis — and now that they've been reunited, Adler knows they remembered him fondly, too. Adler, now 97, and his company entered the village of Monterenzio in 1944. Adler heard a noise coming from a large wicker basket outside of a house, and thought there was a German soldier inside. He pointed his gun at the basket, but a woman quickly appeared and said her three children, ages 3 to 6, were hiding inside. "The mother was a real hero," Adler told The Associated Press. Adler gave them American chocolate bars, relieved he hadn't opened fire. His company remained in Monterenzio for some time, and the children — Bruno, Giuliana, and Mafalda Naldi — often played with him. After hearing stories about them throughout her life, Adler's daughter tracked down the Naldis last year, and on Monday her dad was finally able to reunite with them in Bologna.
Illinois girl brings her fight to protect bees to the statehouse
Scarlett Harper isn't afraid of bees, or asking lawmakers to support a bill protecting them from pesticides. Harper, 11, noticed earlier this year there weren't as many bees buzzing around her Winnetka, Illinois, neighborhood, and found out a pesticide that had been sprayed in the area to get rid of mosquitos had also killed bees. "Bees are completely vital to humans," Harper told CBS News. "They pollinate a third of our food supply and without them, we really can't survive." She worked with state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D) to craft House Bill 3118 to curb the use of such pesticides, and called lawmakers to ask them to join in the fight. Harper was able to get 22 state representatives to co-sponsor the bill, which made it out of the Energy and Environment Committee with a 29-0 vote. Illinois' legislative session ended before the bill was passed, but Harper told CBS News she is certain it will be reintroduced in the next session and "we're going to win."
Restaurant finds creative way to send blind customer birthday message in Braille
Natalie Te Paa's birthday was made a little sweeter by the staff at Luciano by Gino D'Acampo. Te Paa recently went to the London restaurant to celebrate her birthday, along with friend Claire Sara. Te Paa is blind, and when the restaurant staff learned it was her big day, they surprised her by looking up online how to write "Happy Birthday" in Braille, and then using chocolate to put this message on a plate. "It just blew me away," she told Today. Sara posted a video online of Te Paa and her birthday message, and it has been viewed by millions. It's Te Paa's hope that this will inspire other restaurants to be more inclusive of guests. "Blindness is not easy," she said. "There are a lot of times that you do face discrimination, you do face things that are challenging and tough and difficult. So the fact that they did this for us really opened up a conversation of awareness."
Ham radio operator saves friend's life from hundreds of miles away
An accidental phone call led to a man in California saving the life of his friend in Oregon. In June, Bill Scott of Manteca, California, received a phone call from a person whose voice sounded familiar, but garbled. He thought it was a prank, Scott told CBS Sacramento, until the man on the line said, "You are an amateur radio operator." It was Skip Kritcher, one of Scott's ham radio friends who lives in Myrtle Point, Oregon. Kritcher had fallen down and needed help, but was struggling to see the numbers on his cell phone, and accidentally dialed Scott. Scott's wife, Sharon, is a retired nurse, and after hearing Kritcher's slurred speech and the confusion in his voice, she told her husband his friend was having a stroke. Bill Scott called 911, and was later told that if Kritcher hadn't received help so quickly, he wouldn't have survived. "It's pretty awesome, they are great people you know," Kritcher said. "I'm just glad I called them."