Young girl rescued after she drifted out to sea on an inflatable unicorn

A young girl and her father were rescued after she was blown out to sea on an inflatable unicorn.

The local coastguard issued a warning about the “dangers of inflatables” after the incident at Irvine Beach Park in Ayrshire on Saturday.

Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team spotted the girl “some distance away from the shore”, with her father swimming out to try to rescue her.

Both were brought safely back to the shoreline, the coastguard said in a post on Facebook.

They had both swallowed sea water and were checked by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Young girl rescued after she drifted out to sea on an inflatable unicorn

A young girl and her father were rescued after she was blown out to sea on an inflatable unicorn.

The local coastguard issued a warning about the “dangers of inflatables” after the incident at Irvine Beach Park in Ayrshire on Saturday.

Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team spotted the girl “some distance away from the shore”, with her father swimming out to try to rescue her.

Both were brought safely back to the shoreline, the coastguard said in a post on Facebook.

They had both swallowed sea water and were checked by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Marlborough community raises $10K to help a woman buy eSight glasses

Jeff Malachowski Daily News Staff – For years Laura Gregory was unable to read the nutrition facts on food products or see the decorations in her living room.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, that has changed.

Aided by a pair of innovative eSight glasses, Gregory – who has been legally blind her whole life – can now read the menu at Starbucks and distinguish facial expressions from a distance.

“It was just amazing looking around the room seeing things on the mantel,” said Gregory, who received the glasses in March. “I’m seeing new things every day. It’s a huge difference. Even sitting in Starbucks I can look at the door and see who is coming in.”

The glasses are a new technology that grants sight to those whose vision is so impaired that it cannot be corrected with ordinary lenses. The eSight headsets are equipped with a camera that captures what a user is looking at in real time and displays the images on two screens in front of the user’s eyes. Those wearing the glasses can control color, contrast, brightness and zoom.

Gregory – a former teacher’s aide who has been unemployed for the past eight years – could not afford the $10,000 cost to purchase the glasses. Her insurance would not cover the cost either, so she enlisted the help of the Marlborough community, which raised the $10,000 in mere weeks.

The grateful 12-year Marlborough resident hand-writing thank you notes to those who donated.

“They’ve been life changing,” she said about the glasses and those who helped her buy them.

The glasses have some limitations - such as not being useful at the movies and while walking – but they have increasef her independence and safety.

“They’ve opened new doors for me,” said Gregory, who suffers from neurofibromatosis.

Gregory, 41, estimated she uses the glasses four or five times a day.

Doctors found a tumor on Gregory’s optic nerve when she was 5 years old. A year later she had 32 radiation treatments. She had her first grand mal seizure at age 21 and was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Eight years ago, doctors determined the cause of her seizures was a malformation that had grown on her right temporal lobe as a result of scar tissue from the radiation treatments. A year later she had a right temporal craniotomy to correct the malformation, which put a halt to the seizures. But her eyesight continued to deteriorate due to swelling in her brain caused by the surgery.

She encourages others who are disabled to persevere. Gregory, 41, is aiming to publish a series of children’s books on kids with disabilities.

“Don’t let it stop you,” she said. “My disability does not affect what things I do, it affects how I do them.”

Jeff Malachowski can be reached at 508-490-7466 or jmalachowski@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @JmalachowskiMW.

Outpouring of kindness for special needs girl: Kindness can be contagious. that’s the lesson at one elementary school on Maui.

Kindness can be contagious. that’s the lesson at one elementary school on Maui.

Every child just wants to be accepted at school, and every parent just wants the same for their child. That’s why Vanessa Ince was scared for daughter Alexis when she started elementary school. Alexis is 8-years-old but has a rare genetic abnormality causing her to be  the size of a 3-year-old. She’s also non-verbal.

“There’s so much horrific stuff happening in school,” said Ince. “Day after day  kids  like Alexis or other kids with disabilities or just average kids are being bullied. I’m afraid for her in the world.”

But as Alexis entered first grade at Pomaikai Elementary School on Maui, something astonishing began to happen. Her mother noticed one girl helping Alexis navigate school, and soon others joined in.

“This little peer group has gotten itself together on its own from the leadership of one first grader who rallied this group that is her friend support network that escorts her through her day, ” said Ince.

Parents and teachers noticed that before long a group of kids would line up and wait for Alexis in the morning.

“As soon as they see the car lining up they jump up and down and say Alexis is here, Alexis is here,” said Ince.

And because Alexis cant speak, the students and teachers set up another way for her to greet her peers. Every morning she puts a lei on her friends. Her mother says these acts of kindness from her peers have made all her progress possible.

“I think it gives people hope,” said Ince. “Hope that in the face of all these mass shootings and horrible things at school, kids don’t have to be that way.”

Mother-daughter duo donates 16,000 books to kids

Sara Weaver and her mother JoAnn Hooker have been helping kids learn how to read for years. (Image: WTVC)

OLD FORT, Tenn. — For many students, summer break has finally arrived!
But before they waved good bye to their teachers and friends, a mother-daughter duo made sure every student had ten books to read at home.
In this week’s Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises them at their annual book giveaway at South Polk Elementary School.
For more than 20 years, JoAnn Hooker has helped hundreds of kids learn how to read in Polk County.
She’s a special education teacher at South Polk Elementary school, where her daughter Sara also teaches first grade.
Their love of literacy knows no limits.

Plastic bags were rattling and the kids were glowing with excitement, hundreds of books lay before them, free for the taking!

“It’s like Christmas morning!” said School Supervisor Joel Cox.
For the past four years, School Supervisor Joel Cox has witnessed the book giveway at South Polk Elementary, seeing first hand how it battles the summer slide where kids can regress in reading skills.
“Some students have no books at home, so this is big to inspire them to pick up a book during the summer,” said Joel.
Since 2014, JoAnn Hooker and her daughter Sara Weaver have purchased more than 16,000 books and giveaway day is a big deal!
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They were so wrapped up in handing them out, they didn’t even notice our camera crew had entered the room.

“Sara and JoAnn? On Behalf of the McMahan Law Firm and Newschannel 9, I want to Pay It Forward from your community of South Polk $500. We appreciate everything you do. Hold your hands out! 1, 2, 3, 4, $500,” surprised Joel.
“Thank you!” said JoAnn and Sara.
JoAnn tells us seeing the kids’ eyes light up as they turn the pages is worth every dollar spent.
“I just hope they grow up to love reading and explore a big wide world through books,” said JoAnn.
Joel says opening a book is like opening a door, everything is reading based, even math.
“Six, seven, we need how many more? Ten! We need three more to make ten don’t we?” asked JoAnn to the student.

As the kids walked out the door, book bags in hand, JoAnn and Sara knew it wasn’t the end of the story -there’s always next year.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others? Nominate them here.

94-yr old WW II veteran gets high school diploma 74 years after dropping out to serve

CIRCLEVILLE, OH (WCMH) – Robert Lockard dropped out of Circleville High School more than 70 years ago to join the military and serve his country in World War II.
Lockard, 92, earned numerous medals during his service, and on Sunday, he finally earned another honor: his high school diploma.
Lockard remembers the exact day he came home from war after fighting in central Europe, Northern France and Normandy on D-Day.
If it hadnt been raining and a sloppy mess, I think I wouldve kissed the ground I was so homesick, he said.
The veteran was supposed to have graduated from high school in 1944, but life happened and so did the war.
I saw too much death, Lockard said. I dont want to talk about that.
Fast forward to Sunday, and the citizens he served came to honor him at Circleville High Schools 2018 commencement.
Dressed in his cap and gown, Lockard walked across the stage to receive his diploma, a pursuit 74 years in the making. He can now say that along with being a WWII Victory Medal recipient, he is now a high school graduate as a proud member of the class of 2018.
It means everything to me. Everything, Lockard said as he fought back tears of joy. All these years man, I thought about this.

Mamoudou Gassama, the heroic Malian migrant who scaled a Parisian apartment building to save the life of a toddler, is to be given French citizenship, Emmanuel Macron says

Macron revealed on Tuesday after meeting with Gassama at the Elysée Palace that the young hero, dubbed “Le Spiderman” would be granted French citizenship and enrolled as a voluntary firefighter in the French fire service.

“You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful,” Macron told the 22-year-old, adding that his immigration status would be “put in order.”

The president later tweeted: “With Mr Gassama who saved the life of a child after scaling four floors with his bare hands. I told him that in recognition of this act of heroism he would be regularized as soon as possible and that the Paris fire brigade were ready to welcome him.”

He will be granted a residency permit on Tuesday and French citizenship at a later date.

The act of heroism, which was the top news item for most French websites and television channels, comes as French lawmakers debate a controversial bill that would speed up the deportation of economic migrants and has been living illegally in France and working in construction after arriving in the country.

During his meeting with Macron the Malian told him of his experience.

“I was trembling, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Macron asked what condition the child had been in once he’d been rescued.

“He was crying, his feet were hurt” said Gassama, adding that he had seen the toddler since the incident.

Gassama’s act of bravery which took place at around 8 pm on Saturday in northern Paris, was captured on film and viewed millions of times on social networks.

On reaching the fourth floor Gassama puts one leg over the balcony before reaching out with his right arm and grabbing the child.

A petition was set up on Sunday calling for Gassama to be given the right to stay in France.

The petition states, “At the risk of his own life, [Mamoudou Gassama] climbed a three-storey building to save a dangling child. “Thanks to the courage and determination of Mamoudou, the child is alive. Faced with this act, the Minister of the Interior has the power to offer another life to Mamoudou. “Mr. Gassama must be naturalized and decorated by the French Republic. He who saves a life, saves all humanity.” In an interview with BFM TV Ian Brossat the capital’s deputy mayor for housing said that “Paris would be on his side in assisting him to get his papers”. “I do not imagine that Gerard Collomb (France’s interior minister) would put [the rescuer] in a detention center,” said Brossat, a guest of BFMTV. In France authorities have the power to grant French citizenship to foreigners in exceptional cases, normally if they have “an exceptional talent” or for “service to the public” for example charity or humanitarian work. The decision normally rests with the local prefect.

Fan at Braves game holds umbrella over JROTC cadet standing at POW honoring seat

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University of Memphis to offer free tuition to children, spouses of fallen service members

The University of Memphis will no longer charge tuition to the children and spouses of fallen service members.

The school becomes the first to offer the national Folds of Honor scholarship as a payment-in-full scholarship, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on Monday, Memorial Day.

The university already accepts the scholarship, which provides a $5,000 per year payment to undergraduate students under the age of 24 who had a parent severely injured or killed while on active duty.

Spouses of any age can also receive it if they have not remarried.

Fold of Honor recipients, both those currently enrolled and future students, will no longer need to pay for the rest of their education at the Tennessee school.

The average cost of tuition at Memphis is reportedly about $9,700 a year, plus room and board, fees and textbooks.

Any outstanding fees may also be covered by additional scholarships, said university President David Rudd.

“Our commitment is to cover any gap that exists as a result and to relieve them of that burden,” Rudd said.

The deal will be formally signed by Rudd in the coming weeks.

“This sacrifice is remarkable and we need to recognize that,” he said.

One million French smokers quit in a year: France has seen a sharp fall in the number of people smoking daily, with one million fewer lighting up from 2016-2017, a survey suggests. Such a drop has not been seen in a decade.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Times have changed since the smoky days of the 1970s, when music legend Serge Gainsbourg was seldom seen without a Gitanes

France has seen a sharp fall in the number of people smoking daily, with one million fewer lighting up from 2016-2017, a survey suggests.
Such a drop has not been seen in a decade, according to Public Health France, which carried out the study.
There has also been a decline in smoking among teenagers and those on low incomes.
The study pointed to the slew of anti-smoking measures introduced to France as a likely reason for the decline.
Recent years have seen neutral packaging, reimbursements for people using tobacco substitutes, higher cigarette pricing and campaigns like the national tobacco-free month.
According the survey, in 2017 26.9% of 18- to 75-year-olds smoked every day, compared with 29.4% a year earlier. This amounts to a drop from 13.2 million smokers to 12.2 million over the period.
France’s Health Minister Agnès Buzyn in particular welcomed the decline in smoking among those on low incomes, saying that “tobacco is a trajectory of inequality, it weighs particularly on the most disadvantaged and it gets worse”.
What’s the global story?
A study last year found that despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth had meant there was an increased number of smokers.
Worldwide, smoking causes one in 10 deaths, half of them in just four countries – China, India, the US and Russia, according to the Lancet.
A country-by-country analysis warns that “the smoking epidemic is being exported from the rich world to low-income and middle-income countries”.
The World Health Organisation says picture warnings in particular are proven to help people quit, and says that 78 countries making up almost half the world’s population currently meet best practices.