The week's good news: June 15, 2017

It wasn't all bad!

Gavel VRD, 'Vice-Regal Dog.'

1. Puppy that flunked out of police academy for being 'too friendly' gets a new job

A German Shepherd puppy that got kicked out of the police dog academy in Queensland, Australia, has found his dream job. The dog, named Gavel, was dropped from the program because his handlers deemed him "too friendly" to serve on the front line. Queensland Gov. Paul de Jersey swooped in to re-assign Gavel, and the pooch now has the fancy title of Vice-Regal Dog and is living at "one of Brisbane's most prestigious addresses," BBC News reported. The pup is tasked with welcoming visitors to the governor's official residence and helping to entertain guests. "He has outgrown four ceremonial coats, undergone a career change (his official title is now Gavel VRD, 'Vice-Regal Dog'), and brought untold joy to the lives of the governor, Mrs. de Jersey, Government House staff, and the thousands of Queenslanders who have since visited the estate," de Jersey's office said.

Time BBC

2. Nurses give preemies leaving NICU a graduation ceremony

For the parents of babies leaving the neonatal intensive care unit, being able to take their newborns home is a momentous occasion, and a nurse in North Carolina is going out of her way to make patients feel special on the big day. Melissa Jordan, a neonatal nurse at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, first got the idea to celebrate discharges after a baby named Wyatt, born at 29 weeks, went home in a onesie that said "NICU grad." Jordan made him a graduation hat out of cardboard, asked a photographer to take Wyatt's photo before he left, and had the nurses sing and dance for him. It was the start of a tradition; over the last six months, every baby born at least six weeks premature has been given a graduation ceremony on their discharge day, and so far, there have been 14 graduates, including three sets of twins.

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Inside Edition

3. Girl Scout makes L.A. neighborhood safer after campaigning for lighted crosswalk

A Los Angeles neighborhood is now more pedestrian-friendly, due to the efforts of Girl Scout Gwendolyn Rudd. It took two years, but after pushing her neighborhood council in Jefferson Park to work with City Hall, a lighted crosswalk was installed in a busy section of Jefferson Boulevard and Third Avenue. Rudd told ABC 7 when she was younger, she used to be "really scared" to cross there, and her mother used to have to dart out and stop traffic. Now, a new generation of kids won't have the same concerns. "One of our core responsibilities at the school is the child's safety," Elizabeth Garcia, an employer at a neighborhood daycare, told ABC 7. "And this is a major part of their safety while they play. So we are extremely happy and grateful to witness this."


4. Strangers pitch in to buy air conditioner for 95-year-old Texan

This summer won't be a sweltering one for 95-year-old Julius Hatley. Last week, Hatley called 911 because his central air conditioning and window unit were broken, and he felt overheated. When officers William Margolis and Christopher Weir arrived, they discovered it was about 90 degrees inside his home at only 8:30 a.m. They went to the Home Depot to buy him a new unit, and while there, shared Hatley's story. Several employees donated $150 to the cause, and the officers went back and installed the unit. Then, a company came forward and said they would fix Hatley's central air conditioning for free; others offered to replace his windows, paint his house, and make sure he has groceries every week. Margolis plans on keeping in touch with Hatley. "He's 95 years old and a World War II veteran," he told CBS News. "He's a hero."

CBS News

5. Tourist caught on camera helping blind man hail taxi

After watching several taxis pass by a blind man trying to get a ride in Chicago, Casey Spelman couldn't stand by doing nothing. Spelman walked over, took the man's hand, and hailed him a cab. Ryan Hamilton watched this unfold from a rooftop restaurant, and snapped some photos, sharing them on Facebook as a way to remind people of the kindness of strangers. Fox 59 tracked the man, Yusef Dale, down, and he praised Spelman for her assistance. "Not only was she kind enough to see and observe that perhaps I was having a difficulty, but she handled it well," he said. "She did precisely what people who are blind like to be offered. Thank you very much for stopping and certainly the help was appreciated. She was kind. She had good energy."

Fox 59

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.