The week's good news: May 31, 2018
It wasn't all bad!
Memphis couple surprise each other with a double proposal
For their first date, Jessa Gillaspie and Becky McCabe went to the Memphis Zoo, and when she decided to propose, Gillaspie thought it would be the perfect place to pop the question. She did not know that McCabe had the same idea, so last week, after she got down on one knee, Gillaspie was shocked when McCabe started to laugh and pulled out a ring box from her backpack. "I had no idea she planned to propose, and she had no idea I planned to propose to her," Gillaspie wrote on Facebook. "We were both so surprised!" Gillaspie shared video of the double proposal online, and it was quickly shared thousands of times. In an update, Gillaspie said she was thrilled, because "all I've ever wanted was for Beck and the world to know how much I love her." The couple plans on getting married next summer.
Twenty-one years after telling student to 'invite me to your Harvard graduation,' teacher receives invitation
On Christin Gilmer's final sixth grade report card, her teacher, Judith Toensing, wrote that she was a "joy to have in class," adding, "invite me to your Harvard graduation!" Twenty-one years later, Toensing was there to watch as Gilmer received her doctorate in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before she graduated, Gilmer wrote a note on Facebook thanking everyone who supported her over the years, including Toensing, who taught her "about current events, global health, and human rights." Harvard administrators saw the post, and invited Toensing to graduation, covering the cost of her trip from Yuma, Arizona. "I have high expectations of all my students, so to hear that Christin had achieved this goal did not surprise me in the least," she told CNN. Gilmer said she would like to return to Arizona and work in health, politics, and community development.
These six-pack rings are actually good for marine life
A troubling number of plastic six-pack rings wind up in the ocean, where they can seriously injure or even kill marine life, but a collaboration between a Florida craft brewery and a startup is changing the game. Even when people cut the rings up before disposing of them, it doesn't make them safe — a sea turtle might not get tangled up in the plastic, but sea creatures will still eat it. After years of research, Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach and startup E6PR have teamed up to offer the E6PR (Eco Six Pack Ring), a biodegradable six-pack ring made of barley and wheat that is safe for marine life to eat. E6PR hopes other breweries will start using the rings, and as more and more companies come on board, the product will become cheaper.
Determined teen who took the bus to his graduation surprised with a car
After working so hard all year and getting up before dawn to take the city bus to school, Corey Patrick was not going to miss his high school graduation. Last week, the Alabama teen's family couldn't find a ride to his graduation, so he hopped on a bus wearing his gown, garnering the attention of the driver. She snapped a photo of him in admiration of his dedication, then shared it on social media. Patrick told WBRC his family moved before his senior year. Wanting to finish high school with his friends, he got up at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays to make it to the bus stop by 5:41, and often wasn't home until 7 p.m. "I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year," he said. Last week, 95.7 Jamz morning show host Rickey Smiley gave Patrick a brand new Jeep, and he's been granted a full scholarship to Jacksonville University, where he will study computer science.
Woman in labor married by another woman in labor
A New York City woman in labor who wanted to be married before giving birth had her wish granted by another laboring mom-to-be just a few hospital rooms down the hall. Brianna and Casey Walko had planned a City Hall wedding for May 17, but then Brianna's water broke two weeks early, and the hospital chaplain was nowhere to be found. Hearing the story, Sushma Dwivedi Jindal told staff that she'd been ordained as an officiant years before and offered to help — even though she'd just received an epidural. When the couple entered Jindal's delivery room, she began the ceremony, "Brianna, Casey, welcome to the most unexpected wedding ever."