The week's good news: March 31, 2022
In the Seychelles, conservation efforts are paying off for the endangered green turtle
There is a welcome and wonderful sight appearing on beaches in the Seychelles. The endangered green turtle is making a comeback there, after several decades of protection and close monitoring. Turtle hunting was banned in the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa, in 1968. In the early 1980s, researchers would find just one or two turtle tracks on a beach, but by the mid-1990s, there would be 10 to 20 — and it's only been up from there. This month, a new study was published in Endangered Species Research about the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. Researchers found that in the late 1960s, the annual number of green turtle clutches was in the 2,000 to 3,000 range, and that increased to more than 15,000 in the late 2010s. "There's potential for this population to double, triple, we're not even sure," lead author Adam Pritchard from the University of Exeter told Popular Science. "This could just be the start. It's amazing that, after slower growth in the beginning, there's been this real explosion in recent years."
Teen uses basketball skills to raise money for best friend injured in accident
Best friends since the sixth grade, Marcos San Miguel and Jordan Sloan discovered over the last 18 months just how strong their bond is. The Atlanta residents connected over sports — San Miguel is a star on the basketball court, and Sloan on the football field. In September 2020, Sloan, now 16, took a hit to the head during a game, and suffered brain-stem trauma. He's been working on regaining his mobility and strength ever since, and goes to rehabilitation sessions six days a week. The entire time, San Miguel has been cheering his best friend on from the sidelines, and found a way to support him through basketball: he takes pledges for every charge he takes in a game, and gives Sloan's family the money so they can buy items not covered by insurance, like a manual wheelchair. "I really wanted just to do whatever I could to help," San Miguel told CBS News. "He would have done something similar for me." So far, he's raised more than $14,800.
Dozens of Afghan refugees have found work at this Phoenix hotel
More than 40 refugees who came to the United States last year have started working at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, forming a close community in their new home. Erin Flothmeier, the hotel's market director of human resources, told AZ Family the Sheraton worked with an agency to find several refugees jobs, and from there, those new employees told their friends and families about open positions. Today, the refugees make up roughly 15 percent of the hotel's staff, working full-time as accountants, chefs, waiters, housekeepers, and dishwashers. Fahim A. came to the U.S. seven months ago with his wife and toddler. He is working as a cook at the Sheraton, and told AZ Family he's getting used to "a different world," and what makes it easier is knowing he's surrounded by people who care about him. Fahim doesn't "feel like I'm new here," he added, and his co-workers "ask about your families, and they take care of you. I like working here. They work like a family."
The dog from Betty White's Academy Awards tribute found her forever home
MacNCheese, the adorable rescue puppy who made her Hollywood debut at the Academy Awards on Sunday, has found a new home with a famous family. During the ceremony's In Memoriam segment, Jamie Lee Curtis came onstage to pay tribute to Betty White, the beloved actress and longtime animal rights activist who died Dec. 31 at 99. As she held MacNCheese, Curtis spoke about the importance of adopting pets, and said doing so is one way to honor White's legacy. Someone in the audience was listening: John Travolta. He ended up adopting MacNCheese after meeting her backstage. Curtis wrote on Instagram that she was thrilled to learn that Travolta and his son, Ben, are welcoming MacNCheese into their home. "It is an emotional end and a perfect tribute to Betty White," she said, and "shines a light" on the important work done by animal rescuers and advocates.
Teen buys cafe she's been waitressing at for past 4 years
In just four years, Chloe Campbell went from waiting tables on weekends at The Coffee Pot to owning the cafe. The 19-year-old was only 15 when she started working at The Coffee Pot in Dufftown, Scotland. Campbell said her parents taught her at a young age how important it is to save money, and she put most of her paychecks into a savings account. Last September, Campbell was chatting with the owner about one day opening her own cafe, "and she said, 'You could have this place,'" Campbell told BBC News. "So I took the offer. When I got the opportunity I just knew that I had to go for it and see what happens. I just knew I couldn't say no." All of her saving paid off, as Campbell was able to take over the business and pay the monthly lease. "We have a lot of regulars," Campbell said. "Everything is made here. Our cakes are very popular — especially the strawberry tarts."