It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: August 22, 2019

Catherine Garcia
Schnauzer terrier mix.


Dog rescued from Phoenix shelter is about to become a Hollywood star

Once they saw Monte, they knew they had met their leading man. Animal trainers scouting for dogs to appear in Disney's live-action Lady and the Tramp came to the HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, hoping to find a few animals that would be a good fit. Monte, a 2-year-old terrier mix, immediately stood out, as he's not only handsome, but he also knows how to sit, is good on a leash, and loves attention. The stars of Lady and the Tramp are all former rescue dogs, and Monte will be voiced by actor Justin Theroux. Since filming wrapped, all of the dogs have found loving families, Disney said. The movie will premiere on Nov. 12 on Disney's new streaming service. [AZ Family]


Toddler overwaters flower bed, leading to the discovery of a new species of bug

Had Sylvie Beckers not overwatered her family's backyard flower bed in Kentucky, she never would have helped her mother discover a new insect species. In the summer of 2016, Beckers, then 2, got a little too enthusiastic with the hose, and flooded the flower bed. Her mom, biology professor Laura Sullivan-Beckers, soon could see "these bright green bugs float up to the top of the soil," she told Good Morning America. With her daughter by her side, she spent the rest of the summer taking photos and collecting specimens, eventually sending some to the Department of Agriculture. Three years later, Sullivan-Beckers got the call: This was a new species, and an especially rare find as its "closest relatives are all in South America," research entomologist Stuart H. McKamey said. Without Beckers, the bugs likely would have stayed deep underground, and her mother named the species Hebetica sylviae in her honor. [Good Morning America]


Boy Scouts restore neglected historic black cemetery in Virginia

It was a study in contrasts: On one side, the well-maintained Alexandria National Cemetery, on the other, the overgrown and rundown Douglass Memorial Cemetery. Three years ago, Griffin Burchard, now 16, was in Alexandria, Virginia, on a Boy Scout service trip. He couldn't stop looking at the Douglass Memorial Cemetery, a historic black cemetery named in honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Burchard saw leaves everywhere, he told The Washington Post, limbs falling off of trees, and damage caused by flooding, and wanted to do something about it. This year for his Eagle Scout project, Burchard spearheaded a major renovation of the cemetery, assisted by other Boy and Girl Scouts. Last Thursday, during a brief ceremony at the cemetery, Burchard said Douglass was a "great example of a citizen who impacted his community," adding that the project "made me want to be a great citizen." [The Washington Post]


Quick-thinking customer service representative saves Michigan man's life

Kimberly Williams saved Dan Magennis' life, from nearly 900 miles away. Last Tuesday, Williams was working in customer service for Comcast when Magennis called with a question about his cable. The Walker, Michigan, resident was home alone and suddenly was unable to answer Williams' questions or move his right leg. Magennis said he quickly realized he was having a stroke. Williams was in her office in Jackson, Mississippi, but told M Live she "knew something was wrong with him." Williams moved fast, and five minutes after calling the Walker Fire Department, paramedics arrived at Magennis' house and rushed him to the hospital. Doctors quickly determined Magennis had a blood clot on the left side of his brain, and he was in surgery within an hour. Timing is critical with stroke victims, and Williams' fast thinking helped save Magennis' life. "It was absolutely unexpected," Magennis said. "But I'm still here today. It's incredible." [M Live]


Stranger takes West Virginia man on 8-hour road trip so he can be there for his son's birth

When planning his trip home from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Charleston, West Virginia, earlier this month, Sgt. Seth Craven had no idea storms in Philadelphia would almost keep him from his son's birth. Craven's wife, Julie, was scheduled to have a caesarian section on a Friday. Craven, who serves in the West Virginia National Guard, gave himself three days to get to Charleston. After flying from Kabul to Kuwait to Philadelphia, Craven was in the home stretch until storms in Pennsylvania canceled his flight. The next day, maintenance issues kept his plane on the ground. After hearing his story, fellow passenger Charlene Vickers offered Craven a ride. They jumped into her SUV and drove eight hours to West Virginia, with Vickers dropping Craven off at home around midnight — several hours before his son, Cooper, was delivered. "If it wasn't for Charlene, I never would have made it," he told Metro News. [Metro News]