It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: September 17, 2020

Catherine Garcia
Venus.
buradaki/iStock

1.

Florida 911 dispatcher helps save 2 lives over the course of an hour

There's no such thing as a routine day at work for McKenzie Davis, a 911 dispatcher for the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in Florida, and that was made clear during a recent 12-hour shift, when she helped save the lives of a 6-month-old boy and a 71-year-old man over the span of an hour. "She did a phenomenal job," Sheriff Rick Staly told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Our dispatchers are our lifeline to the community. They are on the front line for all first responders in Flagler County." In both cases, Davis provided instructions on how to give CPR, and both the infant and man were revived — and survived. Davis told the News-Journal the callers did an "excellent" job of listening to her, and she thanked her co-workers, saying that each one has "advanced my training, given me advice. We all help each other to make ourselves the best we can." [The Daytona Beach News-Journal]

2.

Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 111th birthday with military flyover

For the past five years, the National World WWII Museum has helped Lawrence Brooks celebrate his birthday, and they kept the tradition alive for 2020. Brooks turned 111 years old on Saturday, and the New Orleans resident is the oldest known living U.S. veteran of World War II. He served in the predominantly Black 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and later the Philippines. The great-grandfather's birthday celebrations are usually at the museum, but because of the pandemic, a party with social distancing was held in his front yard. As Brooks and his family watched from the porch, the museum's vocal trio, the Victory Belles, sang several songs, and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and The Big Easy Wing did a military flyover. Brooks also received a cake and 10,000 birthday cards that had been sent to the museum. [Good Morning America]

3.

Paralyzed man designs mountain bike for people with disabilities

Christian Bagg has always been an outdoor enthusiast, and he created a special mountain bike so everyone can have the chance to go on an adventure. In 1996, Bagg broke his back snowboarding, and the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. He missed being able to hop on his bike and explore the great outdoors, and in 2008, started building a modified bicycle that he could ride over rugged terrain. Bagg had no intention of turning this into a business, but after he let a teen with cerebral palsy borrow his bike and saw how much fun she had, he knew he had to make more. In 2018, he launched his company, Bowhead Corp., to build bicycles that can be customized to fit each person's needs. Bagg told CNN that "anyone who wants to ride a bike, we will endeavor to figure out how they can. Whatever we need to do to get people outside." [CNN]

4.

11-year-old uses his lemonade stand profits to buy diapers for single moms

By turning lemons into lemonade, Cartier Carey was able to donate 22,000 diapers to single moms in his community. Earlier in the summer, the 11-year-old from Hampton, Virginia, wanted to do something to help people struggling during the pandemic. He knew some parents were having a hard time getting diapers for their kids — either the store shelves were empty or they couldn't afford to buy any. Carey set up a lemonade stand, where he raised money for supplies and held drives so people could drop off donated diapers and wipes. In the first month, he raised $4,500, and has since distributed over 22,000 diapers. Carey has a history of helping those in need — last year, he put together "Carti Packs," bags that he passed out to homeless people filled with hygiene products. With the help of his mother, Carey has launched a nonprofit called Kids 4 Change, which he hopes will show people you are "never too young" to lend a hand. [ABC News]

5.

Scientists detect possible sign of life on Venus

Astronomers announced on Monday they have detected a chemical called phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, a discovery that points to potential life on the planet. Scientists believe phosphine could only be present due to something living in Venus' atmosphere, though others believe it could have been created by an undefined geologic process of some sort. The "extraordinary discovery," as MIT molecular astrophysicist Clara Sousa-Silva called it, will spark more in-depth research into whether Venus houses some sort of biosphere. The discovery of phosphine could signal microbial organisms that create the chemical without requiring oxygen. William Bains, a biochemist at MIT and a co-author of the study, said the researchers had managed to "rule out all other sources of phosphine other than life." [The New York Times]