The week's good news: July 28, 2022
These friends over 50 have rediscovered the joy of Double Dutch
A group of women meet once a week in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, for a little nostalgia and a whole lot of fun. The friends come together to spend a few hours playing Double Dutch, a form of jump roping that they grew up playing. Cassandra Coats-Payne told KARE 11 that as a young girl in Milwaukee, "that was just the pastime, we did Double Dutch morning, noon, and evening." Coats-Payne is joined at these weekly Double Dutch sessions by her sister, Jackie Coats, as well as De'Vonna Pittman and Babette Buckner. They are all professional women, but don't want to talk about work or their careers while jumping around — instead, they focus on strengthening their bond. "You jump Double Dutch with someone, you instantly develop a different kind of relationship with them," Pittman said. "We really didn't know each other until we started jumping Double Dutch. And now I feel like these ladies are my sisters."
School janitor's rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" turns him into an internet sensation
When Richard Goodall, a janitor at Davis Park Elementary School in Terre Haute, Indiana, started singing the Journey hit "Don't Stop Believin'" at the end-of-the-year talent show, he never thought anyone outside of the gym would hear his performance. He chose the song because the fifth grade students were about to move on to middle school, and he wanted them to take along the message of "don't stop believing in what you love," Goodall told the Tribune-Star. Impressed by his voice, one of Goodall's colleagues recorded his performance and posted it on TikTok, where it soon racked up 3 million views. One of the people who saw it was former Journey front man Steve Perry, who commented, "I love this." Goodall, 53, has been singing for years, including in two gospel groups, and said the attention has been "humbling." He's still getting up to start work at 5 a.m. and is "the same guy I've always been," Goodall added. "But it's been kind of wild."
Women's rowing team breaks world record during race from California to Hawaii
This was an adventure these rowers will never forget. The four members of the Lat35 all-women rowing team — Libby Costello, Sophia Denison-Johnston, Brooke Downes, and Adrienne Smith — set off in June for the Great Pacific Race from San Francisco to Honolulu. They rowed more than 2,400 nautical miles, and when they arrived in Hawaii on Tuesday morning, they had completed their journey in 34 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes — a new world record. This was the first time the women rowed in the deep ocean, and they took turns rowing in pairs during two-hour shifts. Their meals consisted of prepackaged food, and they dealt with rough seas, high winds, and seasickness. Supporters followed along online, and this gave the rowers the boost they needed to push through the hard parts. "We inspired a bunch of different types of people and that's really important," Costello told Good Morning America.
Son grows out his hair to make a special wig for his mom
Melanie Shaha's new wig wasn't bought in a store — it came from her son Matt's heart. In 2003, doctors found that Melanie had a benign tumor of the pituitary gland, about the size of a plum. It was removed, but returned in 2006 and again in 2017. That year, Melanie started radiation treatments, and the Gilbert, Arizona, resident began losing her hair. "Not having hair, you stick out like a sore thumb and well-meaning people can say things that break your heart," she told Today. "I don't mind being sick but I mind looking sick. I'd rather blend in and not stand out at the store." While eating lunch one day, Matt asked her, "Why don't I grow out my hair to make a wig for you?" Fast forward two years, and Matt's hair was 12 inches longer — enough for a wig. Matt cut his hair in March and by June, Melanie had a custom hand-tied wig. "The color is spectacular and we had it cut and styled with a hairdresser," Melanie said. "Matt said it looks great on me."
The number of tigers in the wild is higher than previously thought, conservation group says
A new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has found there are 40 percent more tigers in the wild than previously thought. It's estimated that globally, there are between 3,726 to 5,578 tigers now on the prowl. The last IUCN assessment was conducted in 2015. Tigers remain endangered and face habitat loss and poaching, and the IUCN said in a statement that "expanding and connecting protected areas, ensuring they are effectively managed, and working with local communities living in and around tiger habitats, are critical to protect the species." Lake Hunter, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's big cat program, told NPR there have been improvements in the way tigers are monitored, but governments have also been stepping up their conservation efforts. "When you succeed in saving tigers or conserving tigers, you are conserving very large wilderness landscapes, with a huge host of biodiversity but also a whole bunch of benefits to the human communities that live in and around those landscapes," Hunter said.