It wasn't all bad!

The week's good news: January 27, 2022

1

Couple pressured to break up decades ago gets a 2nd chance at love

Decades after she broke up with him, Jeanne Gustavson tracked down her first love, Steve Watts — and this time, she's not letting him go. They met in the early 1970s at Chicago's Loyola University, and Gustavson, who is white, told CBS News her mother was "livid" over her being in a relationship with a Black man. She was pressured into breaking up with Watts, a move she instantly regretted. Gustavson never stopped wondering what happened to him, and last year, discovered he was living at a Chicago nursing home after suffering two strokes. Like her, he was divorced with no children, and was still "the wonderful, gorgeous man that I knew," Gustavson said. Their romance rekindled, she arranged for Watts to be moved to her Oregon home, where she can serve as his full-time caretaker. Watts was thinking about Gustavson for all these years, too — "I always loved her," he said — and they're grateful to be back in each other's lives. "We both get a second chance," Gustavson said. 

2

High school football players skip workout to shovel snow for their neighbors

A winter storm may have canceled the Bethel Park High School football team's weight lifting session, but they still were able to get some exercise in, while also giving their neighbors a hand. Last week, the team's coach, Brian DeLallo, tweeted that instead of coming to school and hitting the weights, he wanted players to "find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway. Don't accept any money — that's our Monday workout." DeLallo told Fox News the team's former coach came up with the idea to shovel snow in lieu of workouts two decades ago, "and we've just carried on this tradition." Their community of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, supports the football team, DeLallo added, and this is a way for them to show their appreciation. One player, 16-year-old David Shelpman, spent seven hours clearing two driveways, and when he was finished, volunteered at a spaghetti dinner for homeless veterans. Lending a hand "makes me feel like a part of something bigger than myself," Shelpman said.

3

Zara Rutherford becomes youngest woman to fly around the world solo

Pilot Zara Rutherford made history last Thursday when she landed at Belgium's Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport. This was the final stop for Rutherford, 19, on her 32,300-mile journey to 41 different countries. She completed her epic adventure in 155 days, and became the youngest woman to fly around the world solo. The previous record was set in 2017 by 30-year-old Shaesta Waiz. Going on such a grand voyage "takes a lot of time, patience, a lot of work, but it is incredible," Rutherford told reporters. Her dream is that "in the future, if a girl wants to go into aviation or wants to go into engineering, it's not special," she told NPR. "It's just like, 'Oh, cool, just another person who's doing a cool thing with her life.' But it doesn't matter what gender they are."

4

YouTuber on wilderness expedition discovers new species of tarantula

JoCho Sippawat took a walk on the wild side, and found a new species of tarantula. Sippawat is a YouTuber from Thailand whose videos focus on wildlife in the country. While exploring near his home, Sippawat took photos of a tarantula that was living inside a hollowed-out bamboo stalk. He sent the pictures to Narin Chomphuphuang, an arachnologist who studies spiders at Khon Kaen University, and after going into the forest to see the tarantula for himself, Chomphuphuang determined the tarantula belongs to a new genus and species. The tarantula has been named Taksinus bambus, in honor of the Thai king Taksin the Great. "This species is unique because it is associated with bamboo, and we have never observed this tarantula species in any other plant," Chomphuphuang said in a statement. Bamboo, he added, "can only be found in high hill forests in the northern part of Thailand, at an elevation of about 1,000 meters. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are now Thailand's rarest tarantulas."

5

11-year-old who won mullet competition donates prize money to foster kids

Allan Baltz and his mullet are making a difference. Allan, 11, and his twin sister, Alice, were in foster care in Jonesboro, Arkansas, before being adopted in 2015. The kids have "the biggest hearts," their mom Lesli Baltz told KATV, and never forgot what it was like to be fostered. At the start of the pandemic, the family had fun trying out crazy hairstyles, with Allan embracing the mullet. A friend told them about the USA Mullet Championship, and Lesli said as soon as Allan learned there was a $2,500 prize, "He instantly said, 'Oh I can do it and give the money to kids in foster care.'" Late last year, Allan won the kid's division in a landslide, and split the prize between two Arkansas nonprofits: Together We Foster and Project Zero. "When I was in foster care, I knew how it felt and I'm pretty sure they feel the same way, so I'm just really hoping they get a family," Allan told KATV. 

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