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It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: August 8, 2019

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Catherine Garcia
A loon.
Tammi Mild/iStock
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1.

Researchers in Wisconsin are astonished to find loons raising a duckling as their own

When Dr. Walter Piper saw a pair of loons taking care of an orphaned duckling, he was "flabbergasted." Piper runs The Loon Project, which studies the species in northern Wisconsin. He's been researching loons for nearly three decades, and told Good Morning America that mallards and loons are "usually enemies," and a loon couple raising a duckling has "never been reported before." This unusual family was spotted by Piper and his team on a lake in mid-June. "It's touching and crazy and undeniable but these loons love this duckling and vice versa," he said. While observing the trio, they saw that the loons were "fiercely protective" of the duckling, and noticed it was picking up loon behaviors, like diving for food and standing on its parents' backs. The researchers believe the loons likely had a chick that died, and they decided to raise the lost duckling as their own. [Good Morning America]

2.

Hairstylist takes her salon on the road to give free haircuts to the homeless

Katie Stellar believes that getting a haircut can be a transformative experience. "When you feel good about yourself, it can inspire you to do so many things," she told KARE 11. Stellar owns the Stellar Hair Company in Minneapolis, and often puts one of her salon chairs in the trunk of her car and drives around the city, offering free haircuts to people she meets who are homeless. Stellar was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a child, and at 18, underwent surgery to remove her large intestine. Her hair started to fall out, and she soon realized "what a big part of my identity it was," she said. "That's probably my main motivator — I don't do hair because I'm naturally good at it. I became good at it because I saw it was a way and a vessel to connect and care for people." [KARE 11]

3.

Instead of wedding gifts, Florida couple asks guests for school supplies

Kelli and Matt Cameron didn't have a typical wedding registry. The Tampa, Florida, residents decided they had enough household items, so in lieu of gifts, they asked guests to donate school supplies. "It wasn't much different than going online and making a registry," Matt Cameron said. "Instead of Crock-Pots, it was Sharpies and T-shirts and khaki shorts." Kelli Cameron, a first grade teacher, decided the supplies should go to kids at Booker T. Washington Elementary School. At the end of the wedding, dozens of backpacks filled with paper, pencils, crayons, and more were loaded up in Matt's truck, and they've since been delivered to the school. "How wonderful it was that we were able to do that, take something that was about us and kind of help others," Kelli said. "The kids that get the backpacks will be so excited for that first day of school." [Tampa Bay Times]

4.

Oregon man reunited with lost life savings, thanks to workers at a recycling facility

After accidentally throwing away a shoebox containing his life savings, a man in Ashland, Oregon, crossed his fingers and hoped that workers at a recycling facility would somehow discover it among the tons of cardboard, glass, and aluminum. The man tossed the shoebox containing $23,000 into his recycling bin last Thursday morning, and realized his mistake later in the day. By that time, his recycling had already been dumped into a truck headed for California. He made a few calls and discovered that his recycling was now at a Recology facility in the Humboldt County city of Samoa. General Manager Linda Wise told The Press Democrat the odds of finding the box were "not much better than a needle in a haystack," but she still told the crew to keep an eye out. On Friday morning, one sharp worker spotted it, to the delight of everyone on the line — and the owner. [The Press Democrat]

5.

107-year-old New Yorker shares the secrets to her longevity

Louise Jean Signore turned 107 years old last week, and shared a few of her secrets to living a long and happy life. Born in Manhattan on July 31, 1912, she has lived in the Bronx since 1926. She enjoys traveling — in the 1950s, she took three months off from work to vacation in Europe — and credits her positive attitude and love of adventure with keeping her young at heart. Signore said getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising are all beneficial, and although she no longer swims at the beach — she stopped in her 90s — she does still dance. While all of that has helped her make it to 107, she joked that the most important thing she did was stay single, as "not getting married" is her ultimate key to longevity. There were four children in Signore's family, and two others are still living — including her youngest sister, who turned 102 in March. [ABC 7 New York]