The week's good news: April 22, 2021

It wasn't all bad!

The Forest Green Rovers.
(Image credit: Action Images/Carl Recine)

1. U.K. soccer club becomes world's 1st vegan, carbon-neutral pro sports team

With uniforms made of bamboo and all players turning down meat, the Forest Green Rovers aren't your average soccer team. In fact, the Rovers, a minor league club in England, are the world's first vegan, carbon-neutral professional sports team. Owner Dale Vince told CBS News when he bought the team, it wasn't to make it green — he stepped in because the club was losing money and games and about to fold. Vince is vegan, and after the players stopped eating meat, too, they found that their games improved and they started winning. The team didn't stop there — its stadium is now powered by solar panels and wind turbines; its field is organic, with seaweed used instead of chemical fertilizers; and sprinkler water is collected and reused. The bamboo uniforms are working for now, but next year's kits will be made out of used coffee grounds.

CBS News

2. Nursing student leaves original paintings around Boston as gifts for strangers

He's only been painting for five months, and already, Jake Garcia's art is a collector's item. The Boston resident is a nursing student, but he recently discovered a love for painting. "I just thought it would be really nice if you're walking down the street and you see this scene you really like and you look down and there was an oil painting of it," Garcia said. He ran with the idea, and has left several of his original paintings in spots around Boston. "I'll see something I like, I'll set up, I'll do a painting of it, and I'll do my best to leave it somewhere in the vicinity," Garcia told WBZ. He hopes this inspires others to pick up their own paintbrushes. "We've all been inside and a beautiful thing to do is to just go outside and just enjoy the sounds and the sights and the smells and just paint what you see," Garcia said.

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3. Philadelphia teacher sells thousands of cheesesteaks to take mom on trip of a lifetime

To take his mom on the vacation of her dreams, Dustin Vitale needed to raise $10,000 so he could fly his family to Egypt, and the Philadelphia middle school teacher came up with an idea that would make his hometown proud. Last year, Dustin's mother, Gloria, was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer. Dustin knew she wanted to see the pyramids, and figured if he could make cheesesteaks and sell them to friends and family, he'd raise enough money to get his family to Egypt. When word spread about Dustin's cheesesteaks and the reason behind his new venture, people lined up outside his house to pick up an order. A food truck operator then offered his services, and after six weeks, Dustin raised $18,000. Dustin told CBS News it didn't matter where his mother wanted to go — he'd take her anywhere. "If she would have asked to go to the moon, I would have made that happen as well," he said.

CBS News

4. NASA successfully flew a remote-controlled helicopter on Mars

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully flew its remote-controlled helicopter on Mars early Monday. "We can now say that human beings have flown a rotor craft on another planet," MiMi Aung, project manager for the Ingenuity helicopter, told her crew after the data confirmed the test flight's success Monday morning. "We have been talking so long about our Wright Brothers moment on Mars, and here it is!" Ingenuity, a solar-powered helicopter that landed on Mars via NASA's Perseverance rover, flew 10 feet into the air, hovered for about 20 seconds, then landed. Ingenuity's down-facing camera transmitted a black-and-white photo of its shadow on the Martian surface and Perseverance beamed back color video of the test flight. The proof-of-concept experiment proved that humans can fly aircraft remotely on planets with a tiny fraction of the Earth's atmosphere. A normal helicopter's blades rotate at about 400 revolutions per minute, NASA said, while Ingenuity's spin at about 2,500 rpm to overcome the thin atmosphere.


5. Longtime minor leaguer returns to MLB an historic 13 seasons after last appearance

In 2008, Sean Kazmar Jr., then a 23-year-old middle infielder, played 19 games in the big leagues for the San Diego Padres. Flash forward to last Saturday, nearly 13 years later, and he got another shot in the show. He got the call from the Atlanta Braves to play in the game against the Cubs, and Kazmar appeared as a pinch hitter during the fifth inning. The Braves lost, 13-4, but Kazmar said it was still "an amazing feeling" to participate. Kazmar had the longest break between MLB appearances since 1950, surpassing legends like Satchel Paige and Minnie Miñoso, who were called out of retirement for very brief stints in their 50s. Manager Brian Snitker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calling up Kazmar was "one of the greatest moments I've had as a manager at all the levels." Kazmar has "the perseverance, the dedication, the drive," Snitker added, and his baseball journey is "a book or movie waiting to happen."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.