It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: September 12, 2019

Catherine Garcia
A Coast Guard rescue.
U.S. Coast Guard via AP


Hairstylist discovers one of his favorite clients is actually family

Over the years, hairstylist Troy Winget and his client Andrea Quaint Fleck grew close, spending appointments swapping stories about their lives. Quint Fleck shared that her dad was adopted, and Winget revealed that he never knew his father. Last October, the Calgary residents decided to take ancestry DNA tests, and soon after registering on one website, Winget received a message from a man in the U.S. He was the half-brother of Winget's father, and said they were both connected to a woman in Calgary. That woman was Quint Fleck, and after connecting the dots, they discovered Winget was her half-brother. "I just remember feeling like my heart stopped," she told CBC News. Their father said he never knew he had a son, and they are now making up for lost time. Quint Fleck said it feels wonderful to find someone "that I didn't even know was missing from my life." [CBC News]


Sisters make U.S. Army history after both become generals

Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi made U.S. Army history this summer, becoming the first pair of sisters to become generals. Barrett said they reached this milestone due to "hard work" and "strong leadership skills," telling The Washington Post that it was a "very tough bar in and of itself for both of us to make it." The Council on Foreign Relations says roughly 16 percent of the 1.3 million active-duty service members are women. Lodi is the director of health-care operations for the Army's surgeon general, while Barrett is the commanding general of the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM). Barrett became a general in December 2015, and Lodi was promoted to the rank in July. Both women have been in the Army for more than 25 years. Barrett met her husband through the service, and both sisters have been able to travel the world. [The Washington Post]


University offers free semester to students displaced by Dorian

University of the Bahamas students affected by Hurricane Dorian won't have to worry about the devastating storm setting them back in their studies. Hampton University, a historically black university in Virginia, has announced that it is teaming up with the University of the Bahamas to give displaced students the opportunity to spend the fall semester at Hampton. And they won't have to spend a dime on tuition or room and board. Hampton President William R. Harvey said the agreement "is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families." Lawrence Rigby, a Nassau native and recent Hampton graduate, said in a statement that many people from the Bahamas have chosen to study at Hampton, and those affected by the hurricane will find "the tools to rebuild their lives and our home." [CNN]


Minnesota man spends 10 years handcrafting 10 violins for his grandchildren

Gene Van Alstine can still remember sitting on his grandfather's lap as he played the fiddle. The violin was passed down to Van Alstine when he was young, and the Cambridge, Minnesota, resident considers it his most treasured object. "I've got a lot of stuff in this world, but nothing means more to me than that fiddle," he told KARE 11. He knew the violin would remain in his family, but with 10 grandchildren, Van Alstine didn't know how to fairly pass it down. "I wanted each one of them to have the same feeling that I had," he said. Van Alstine decided to learn how to make violins, and after 10 years and lots of hard work, he surprised his grandchildren with their fiddles this spring. "I think we're so lucky to have somebody that loves us so much that they gave us that special of a gift," granddaughter Kendrah Schmidt said. [KARE 11]


Coast Guard rescues all crew members trapped in capsized cargo ship

The Coast Guard was able to safely rescue all of the crew members who were trapped inside a cargo ship that capsized off the Georgia coast early Sunday. The vessel was headed to Baltimore and carrying about 4,000 vehicles when it overturned. Almost immediately, 20 crew members were airlifted to safety, but fire and smoke kept the rescuers from being able to move deeper into the ship. There were still four crew members inside, and on Monday, rescuers drilled into the hull's steel plates to get them out; the men were all alert and in good condition. Lt. Lloyd Heflin coordinated the rescue, and told The Associated Press this was the "best day of my 16-year career." It was a South Korean ship, and the government sent Coast Guard Commandant Karl Schultz a letter thanking the rescuers and praising their "courage and dedication." [The Associated Press]