It wasn't all bad!

The week's good news: Sept. 8, 2022

1

This 12-year-old is keeping traditions alive at his family farm

Farm livin' is the life for 12-year-old Brayden Nadeau, who wakes up every day before dawn to start working at his grandfather's farm in Minot, Maine. Brayden feeds the chickens, pigs, turkeys, and cows, cleans their stalls, and picks vegetables, which he sells at a produce stand he opened two years ago. "I taught him the basics and he took it from there," his grandfather, Dan Herrick, told The Washington Post. "I couldn't be more proud that Brayden wants to follow the tradition of farming." Herrick's farm is 25 acres, and Brayden has taken over much of the duties, all on his own. "Nobody has ever asked Brayden to do this — there's just nowhere else he'd rather be," his grandmother, Marie Herrick, said. "It's been a joy all these years to watch him learn everything he can from Dan." Brayden loves every aspect of working on the farm, from planting seeds to selling fresh eggs to customers at his stand. "I really enjoy it — even getting up at 5 in the morning," he told the Post. "I'm not into video games and goofing around on my phone like some of my friends. I'd rather be busy on the farm."

2

Cafe opened by man with autism offers opportunities for young people with disabilities

Jacob McFarland loves making his dad the perfect cup of coffee every morning, and has the nickname to prove it: Barista Jake. "It makes me feel very, very happy," Jacob told CBS News. The 21-year-old from Norristown, Pennsylvania, has autism, and in the spring of 2020, his continuing education classes were canceled because of the pandemic. Jacob needs a routine, his mom Angela said, so the family came up with a way for him to stay busy while doing something he enjoyed: they set up a coffee cart outside of their record store, providing curbside service. "What that turned into was an overwhelming community appreciation of Jacob," Angela said. The cart grew into The Coffee Closet, located inside the record store, which serves drinks and breakfast items. The Coffee Closet has raised $27,000 for local charities and employs several other young people with disabilities. "We just want this to be a safe place for these people to come in, feel of service and of value, learn some vocational skills," Angela said. It's been amazing for her to watch Jacob gain confidence and speak up more, she added, telling CBS News, "He's found the social side of himself. And if this were to all go away tomorrow, the advancement in Jacob in two and a half years has been worth everything."

3

California man is now the principal of his former elementary school

When Mike Huss was a student at Ione Elementary School in Northern California, he never thought that one day, he would be its principal. "I am blessed," Huss, 55, told Good Morning America. "I truly am and I don't do anything special. I just show up and work hard. I show up and try my best." Before becoming principal last month, Huss spent 19 years as a teacher at the school, and prior to that, he was the janitor. He always enjoyed interacting with the students, and several teachers told him he should become an educator. Huss wasn't sure — he was working so his wife could go to college, but never had this aspiration for himself. That changed when their son was a toddler. "I said, 'You know what? I want to show my son that you can keep growing in life,'" Huss told GMA. He enrolled in college and earned his teaching credential, all while still working full time as a janitor. Less than a week after graduating, he was hired at Ione Elementary School. Teaching was "a very rewarding career" for him, Huss said, and he wants people to understand "there are really good teachers out there doing really amazing jobs. It's just about growing a world, making it a better place."

4

Rare fossil discovered during beach walk on Prince Edward Island

A Canadian teacher came across a fossil so rare that experts believe it could be of a previously unknown species. Last month, Lisa Cormier was walking in Cape Egmont on Prince Edward Island when she "saw something that I thought was a root," she told CBC News. "And when I looked closer at it, I realized that there were ribs. And then I saw the spine, and the skull." She snapped several photos of the partially buried object, which made their way to John Calder, a geologist and paleontologist who said it's a fossil that appears to be from the end of the Carboniferous period and into the Permian period, making it about 300 million years old. It's either a reptile or close relative, Calder told CBC News, and "could be a one-of-a-kind fossil in the tree of life ... of evolution of amphibians, to reptiles, to mammals, to us." It's "extremely rare" to find a specimen from this era, he said, and this could even be a previously unknown species. Cormier told CBC News she's stunned by what she found, and will keep an eye out for other fossils during future strolls. "To think that I found something that might be 300 million years old, it's incredible," she said.

5

Wild lorikeets befriend Australian couple, visiting them daily

Every day, an Australian couple is visited by some unexpected — but very welcome — guests: a group of wild lorikeets that live in the trees across from their apartment's balcony. It all started in the summer of 2021, when Georgina Brough and Christian Allen left their door open. The lorikeets flew into the apartment as Brough and Allen were having lunch, and they've been letting themselves inside on a daily basis ever since. Brough and Allen said the birds will watch TV with the couple, sitting on the couch. "They are super friendly birds," Brough told the Good News Network. "We can touch them and hold them, so naturally we love them." While the lorikeets can be a little demanding — they love to beg for grapes and at times are "super loud" — Brough said their visits brighten her day, and she loves learning more about each bird. "They all have different personalities and qualities that make them unique, so they are easy to recognize," she said.

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