America is a big place and often some of the smaller news stories slip through the cracks of mainstream media. Today, I would like to share 5 stories from the last month or so which you may have missed.
- Seattle, WA
Keegan Hall is a Seattle based artist who mainly produces art of prominent Seattle sports stars. His sister Joanna suffers from a number of disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy. They are both Mariners fans (Seattle’s Major League Baseball team). Joanna attends a game once a year, on her birthday and her favourite player is Ichiro Suzuki, who spent 11 years at the Mariners. Last Friday, Keegan was contacted by a man called Marty. Marty had come across Keegan’s art and, after doing a little bit of digging, had found out about Joanna. So Marty emailed Keegan with an offer. Marty was in possession of a bat used and signed by Ichiro, which Marty had purchased at auction some years ago. He wanted Joanna to have this bat. And so, according to Keegan’s Facebook page, Joanna will be unwrapping this once-in-a-lifetime gift on Christmas Day.
I’ve been exposed to the concept of Pay it Forward for many years, due to my high school’s headmaster’s love for the idea. However, is it little acts like these that really remind that while Pay it Forward can change the world in little steps, it can also change an individual’s life in a major way.
- New York, NY
Churches have often been a source of sanctuary and comfort for those in need. That said, you have to feel for the custodial worker who returned from his lunch break to find a live baby in the manger of the nativity scene of the Church of the Holy Child Jesus. CCTV from a nearby 99 cent store showed a woman, dressed in a hoodie and holding the newborn, buying towels which the infant would later be found in. The infant was taken to a nearby hospital, quite possibly the same hospital it had been delivered in hours previous and was in stable condition at the last update.
All fifty states have some variation of the ‘safe haven’ law, which allows for parents to leave a child, up to 30 days old, with a suitable person or in a suitable location. Such locations include churches, fire stations and police stations. The mother was eventually tracked down and no charges were filed as she followed in the spirit of New York’s variation of the law. The police have refused to comment on why the child was left in the church. While it is very sad that this happens on occasion, it is good to know that the child is safe and is likely to be adopted into the church’s parish.
- Sycamore, OH
Jasen Dixon is just another man who likes to put up Christmas decorations. Except Mr. Dixon has put a unique twist on his display- his nativity scene is populated by zombies. For the second year, part of Dixon’s festive decor includes a zombie nativity scene and this year, the city council aren’t putting up with it. Citing zoning laws, the council have imposed a $500 daily fine until Dixon takes down the display. However, Dixon is hitting back, stating that he believes the fine is being imposed due to the controversial nature of the display and has subsequently started a crowdfunding campaign to pay the fines.
Look, I’m all for freedom of expression and innovative Christmas display but this is just asking for trouble. With Christian groups declaring war on Starbucks, it is unlikely that those who would be offended by such a display would take this issue lying down. Essentially Mr. Dixon, you’re just creating more trouble for yourself.
- Pomona, CA
So we’ve all heard about the San Bernardino shooting and how the couple spoking about extremism before dating and blah blah blah, aren’t Muslims bad, shouldn’t we just listen to Trump blah blah blah. But let me tell you about Faisal Qazi, a neurosurgeon from Pomona, a town about 30 miles east of San Bernardino. After hearing about the shooting, Qazi began a crowdfunding campaign for the victim’s families. This campaign has raised over $200,000. Qazi and his friends used the Islamic-American crowdfunding site, LaunchGood and aimed to raise $20,000 but have been blown away by the amount of donations the campaign has received.
- St. Petersburg, FL
And finally, let’s end from a weird story from Florida. Admittedly, this one is a little old but oh well. Last October, a truck carrying 18 tons of Crisco, a vegetable shortening, was stolen in the Florida city. The truck was later found empty 260 miles away.
Now, I have no idea what you could do with 18 tons of Crisco, except have the biggest bake sale of all time. Or maybe sell it. If you sold the Crisco in 6lb tubs for the same price that Walmart sells 6lb tubs of Crisco, you would make a tidy profit of $59, 640. I don’t know about you but I think some thieves are living it up in Florida somewhere, riding the spoils of their Crisco heist. Or they are literally filling their homes with delicious baked goods and treats.
I hope you enjoyed these crazy news stories from the US. Do you have any favourite stories you want to share?
Also! I now have a student blog with the Times! You can check out my (hopefully) weekly content here.