The week's good news: October 28, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
'Dads on Duty' show Louisiana high school students they have someone in their corner
After multiple fights at Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, resulted in the arrests of 23 students, a group of about 40 dads stepped up to put a stop to the violence. Known as Dads on Duty, the men work shifts, so there are always several fathers on campus from the time students first arrive to when they go home for the day. The dads are there to lift spirits, tell jokes, dole out advice, and just let the kids know there's someone looking out for them. Michael LaFitte told CBS News he started Dads on Duty because "we decided the best people who can take care of kids are who? Are us." Since the group formed, there have been no fights on campus, with one student explaining, "The school has just been happy, and you can feel it." Dads on Duty will have a permanent presence at Southwood High, and the group would like to see other chapters form across the country.
Afghan chef uses traditional meals to welcome hundreds of refugees to the U.S.
Afghan refugees settling into the San Francisco Bay Area are getting a taste of home, courtesy of chef Laila Mir. Mir grew up in Afghanistan, and before moving to the U.S. at age 9, spent hours in the kitchen learning from her mom and grandmother how to cook traditional dishes. She is now a chef who uses Shef, an online platform where many immigrants and refugees sell meals to customers in their neighborhoods. She specializes in Afghan food, making authentic items like kofta and firni, and over the last several weeks has donated hundreds of meals to Afghan refugees, including a major delivery to the Muslim Community Center in Pleasanton. Every meal includes a note welcoming the recipient to the U.S. Shef co-founder Alvin Salehi, the son of Iranian immigrants, told CBS San Francisco it's his hope people shower the refugees with kindness and "show them the America that they've always dreamt about."
Bronx boy does his part to help shelter dogs get adopted
Evan Bisnauth has made it his mission to get as many dogs as possible out of New York City shelters and adopted into loving homes. Bisnauth, 11, lives in the Bronx, and was recently named ASPCA's Kid of the Year. He goes to Animal Care Centers of New York City shelters, and helps socialize dogs by talking and reading books to them. His favorite title is Belly Rubbins for Bubbins, "about a dog that was placed in the shelter and got adopted," Bisnauth told Today. "I like reading that to the dogs because when I'm done reading the book I'm like, 'You will get adopted. Now I have hope for you.'" Bisnauth, who also makes video animations of the adoptable pups, said he's only just beginning his efforts to help his city's canines, and wants people to know that "shelter dogs are not bad dogs. They are just looking for good people."
Archaeologists used tree rings and astrophysics to prove Vikings were in Canada in 1021
Scientists and historians have long known that the Vikings beat Christopher Columbus to the Americas, and now they know by exactly how much: 471 years. A group of archaeologists, geoscientists, and at least one dendrochronologitst — a scientist who dates events and objects using tree rings — reported in the journal Nature last week that after studying the remnants of what was believed to be a Norse settlement, they've pieced together definitive evidence that it was actually built by Vikings who arrived in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1021, exactly 1,000 years ago. The researchers pinpointed the elusive date of the settlement, called L'Anse aux Meadows, using evidence of an extremely rare solar storm found in three tree segments cut with axes or other metal instruments. At the time, Newfoundland's Indigenous people didn't use metal tools. This is "the only known date for Europeans in the Americas before Columbus," Michael Dee, a study co-author from the University of Groningen, told USA Today, calling this a huge turning point in the history of human migration.
Minneapolis kids launch community newspaper to keep neighbors informed
Since May 2020, the Ewing South Post has been keeping residents of one Minneapolis neighborhood connected and updated on all the latest happenings in their corner of the city. The newspaper was started by three siblings — 11-year-old twins Cris and Gabriella Olson and 9-year-old Lucia Olson. Since their inaugural issue, the Ewing South Post staff has published 15 more editions, with each one delivered to the 29 houses on their block. Gabriella serves as editor-in-chief, and told the Star Tribune they began putting together the newspaper — which features everything from profiles to business announcements to comics — because at the beginning of quarantine, "it was a lonely time then, and we wanted a way to help people feel more connected." Having the Ewing South Post was "a gift to me during COVID lockdown," avid reader Nanc Malone told the Star Tribune. "I was alone, but the newspaper helped me learn about neighbors and find out more about them."