Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is spending $30 million to house 94 homeless and low-income families in south Seattle.
The Seattle Times reports that Allen’s donation to the Mount Baker Family Housing development is the largest funding piece for the project. Allen has been partnered with the project throughout its design process. Mercy Housing Northwest and Mary’s Place will help run the eight-story complex a block away from the Mount Baker Link light rail station. Half of the units are reserved for homeless families. The other half will be for low-income families of three.
The bottom floor will be a resource center for families who need help finding day care services, after-school programs or homeless diversion.
The construction project will cost $46 million in total. The Paul G. Allen Philanthropies donated the $30 million. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office is also providing $5 million to the project. Another $10 million is coming from a housing tax credit.
It’s the largest in a series of donations Allen has made in recent months which have drawn attention. His investment firm Vulcan donated $25,000 to help defeat the Seattle City Council’s head tax. Allen has also donated $100,000 to help Republicans keep control of the House. He is also helping to fund Blokable, a Seattle startup aiming to revolutionize affordable housing.
Allen’s donation comes nearly one week after another Seattle tech giant announced he is providing funds to tackle homelessness. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is targeting $2 million at organizations serving homeless communities, such as Mary’s Place. He is also using the money to fund “Montessori inspired” early childhood education centers in low-income areas.
A man wanted to celebrate his 91st birthday in high style. Very high.
Dr. Bill Weber, of Florida, is now the oldest known person to have climbed the summit of Devils Tower in Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Rob Kelman, 87, held the previous title, CBS4 reported.
The journey to the summit of Devils Tower took Weber 16 hours, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Weber's two sons joined him on the epic adventure.
Weber was a veterinarian for 30 years before retiring and taking up a successful hobby in wildlife photography, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Weber said the climb was tougher than he expected. At points, he wondered if he would make it and thought, "If I croak while I’m doing this, at least I’ll die doing something I wanted to do, and I’ve had a good and long run,” Weber told the Casper Star-Tribune.
A 75-year-old Wisconsin man is giving new meaning to catnaps.
Terry Lauerman, of De Pere, has been volunteering at Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay for the last six months, and photographs of him fast asleep while several of the shelter’s cats snuggle up to him on couches have gone viral, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
Since then, Lauerman has been nicknamed “The Cat Grandpa.”
"I've always liked cats and I always had cats when I was kid, and I loved them," Lauerman told the Press Gazette. "In many ways, I see my old cats in these cats here."
Since posting the photos on its Facebook page, the shelter’s website has received more visitors and more than $20,000 in donations, Safe Haven founder Elizabeth Feldhausen told the Press Gazette.
Lauerman was shocked to hear the Facebook post had so many views -- more than 56,000 as of Friday morning, WITI reported.
"Now if all of those people would just donate $5 to help the kitties, that would make such a big difference," Lauerman said.
A 94-year-old Iowa native has been sweet to residents in his small town for more than 15 years. Bob Williams is known as the “Candy Bar Man” in Long Grove, and his kindness has been a sweet story to many residents.
Williams, who taught psychology in nearby Davenport for 39 years, stocks his refrigerator with 500 candy bars, the Des Moines Register reported. He makes a weekly trip to a Dollar General store, where he buys two cases for $45 on $5 discount days.
“Some wise people say you can’t take it with you. Do you believe that?” said Williams, who turned 94 on Sunday.
Williams got the idea to hand out candy bars after reading several newspaper stories about people who would “pay it forward,” the Register reported. Daily, he’d eat half a bar along with a banana and a glass of milk.
On one occasion, he bought three chocolate bars, so he handed out the others to random people in Long Grove, a town of 850 people. That was 6,000 Hershey bars ago, the Register reported.
“You’d think I’d given them keys to a new car,” Williams told the newspaper. “Honest to God, these people were thunderstruck.
“It made me feel warm.”
Williams played football at the Iowa State Teachers College (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) during the 1940s but went into the military during World War II, the Register reported.
Williams was wounded in western Czechoslovakia and got “40 percent disability, though my wife says I was closer to 80 percent.”
He married Mary Elizabeth Blazer on Sept. 9, 1944, in Ottumwa, Iowa, and delighted in giving her chocolate. They were married 68 years before she died in DeWitt, Iowa, on Sept. 18, 2012. She was 88. He visits her daily at a memorial bench along a bike trail in Long Grove, the Register reported.
Every Saturday, Williams buys some Hershey’s milk chocolate bars. He hands two to the cashiers, one to the person behind him in line, and then heads out to pass out the rest, CNN reported.
Williams said people are grateful to receive them.
“I’ve only had three people decline in 15 years,” Williams told the Register. “One was a little girl in the store with her dad. On the way out, I complimented her father for training her right — to suspect old men.”
“It puts a smile on their face,” Williams says in a video that Hershey’s made about him. “It just makes me feel good.”Hershey’s also gave Williams $1,500 so he could keep buying the chocolate bars, the Register reported, and a company official joined him for his birthday party last weekend.
“I came out smelling like a rose,” he told the newspaper. “And I get a lot of hugs. I’m 94. So those hugs are welcome.”
Hershey’s chief marketing officer, Jill Baskin, told Ad Age that Williams’ example of kindness “sort of became our North Star.”
Jan Hartwig-Heggen, a retired second-grade teacher, loves the idea of Williams’ acts of kindness.
“I just think there is no barrier then,” Hartwig-Heggen told the Register. “It just takes that smile on his face to radiate on another person’s face. It doesn’t stop with chocolate. It opens the door to establishing friendships.”
Williams is a major part of that sweet story.
“A lot of people have said we need more sharing and smiling and patting people on the back,” Williams told the Register. “I hope everybody picks up on that. We need to lighten up and smile a bit more. Share whatever you can with people. There is no charge for that last bit of advice.”
Two people who fought one of life’s hardest battles together are now celebrating one of life’s most wonderful gifts: love.
Joel Alsup and Lindsey Wilkerson Alsup met 25 years ago at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The pair became fast friends and comforted each other while undergoing months of treatment.
Fast forward several years: their bond became even stronger when they accepted positions at the hospital where they’d met.
Joel works in the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities communications department, while Lindsey works as a patient liaison assistant.
The couple exchanged vows on Sept.1, 2018, at the very place they say saved their lives.
The video is called "The Westbrook Family." Nina lets out the news they're having twins 2:12 into the video. Russell mentions they will be girls at the 2:28 mark.
The couple already have a 1-year-old son named Noah.
Russell had arthroscopic knee surgery last week. The seven-time All-Star and former MVP is expected to miss preseason and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. The Thunder's first game is Oct. 16 at Golden State.
Members of the United States Coast Guard rescued 10 furry friends from floodwaters that came during Hurricane Florence.
USA Today reported that beagles were in cages as a trailer was underwater in Riegelwood, North Carolina.
The dogs’ owners, Josephine Horne and her husband, Jackie Horne, were rescued first, brought on board a 16-foot Coast Guard punt boat. Another boat came by and Coast Guard member Mitchell Moretti rushed to rescue a beagle.
“If we would have gotten here just a few minutes later, I don’t know if these guys would have made it,” Moretti said.
Soon the boat was filled with the dogs.
“We got a boat full of beagles!” crew member Tyler Elliott said. “This is the best day of my life!”
Horne told USA Today she and her husband initially evacuated to a relative's home, but went back to their trailer once it looked like the storm died down.
“It looked like everything was fine. It was fine,” she said. “It’s like this came out of nowhere all at once.”
A neighbor’s four pit bulls were also rescued.
A Tennessee truck driver is being hailed as a hero after he rescued 64 shelter dogs and cats ahead of Hurricane Florence.
According to the Greenvale News, Tony Alsup, 51, from Greenback, Tennessee, drove a school bus to South Carolina last week as the deadly storm strengthened in the Atlantic. Once there, he stopped in Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon and North Myrtle Beach, picking up 53 dogs and 11 cats from area animal shelters.
“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup, of Tony's Emergency Animal Rescue and Shelter, told the Greenvale News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”
He drove them to a shelter in Foley, Alabama, which will distribute the animals to other shelters across the nation, the newspaper reported.
Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown praised Alsup in a Facebook post Tuesday.
"It's all true," the post said of Alsup, who also has saved animals from hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. "Tony swooped in at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning to pick up our 'leftovers' – the dogs with blocky heads, the ones with heartworm. The ones no one else will ever take. And he got them to safety. Not the most conventional evacuation, but surely the one with the most heart."
A California teen is being lauded for doing the right thing.
Rhami Zeini, 16, was going home after school last week when he saw a black purse in the middle of a road, KCOY reported.
Instead of ignoring the purse, he grabbed it and looked for any identification that would tell him who owned the bag. He also found it stuffed with cash to the tune of $10,000.
He took the purse to police after speaking with his parents.
“To me, I figured this is the right thing to do if I take it and find whoever’s purse it was because if the roles were reversed and I had lost something with a significant sum of money inside, I know I would want it back for sure,” Zeini told KCOY.
Police were able to track down the owner of the purse.
For Zeini’s troubles and honesty, she gave him a $100 reward, KCOY reported.
Sheriff’s deputies say that the woman was going on a hike and left her purse on the roof of her car and drove away, KCOY reported.
While a Lawrence police officer was making sure his community was safe on Thursday as gas explosions were happening throughout the area, his own home went up in flames.
Officer Ivan Soto saw his own home get engulfed in the fire but said once he knew his family was safe, he went right back to work.
"We didn’t know how many more houses were gonna blow up," Soto told Boston 25 News. "I knew my family was OK, so as long as they were OK, I wanted to make sure everyone else’s family was OK."
One of Soto's daughters was home from school when she heard the explosion and saw smoke filling the basement.
"While I'm on the phone with her, she panicked because she felt the explosion," Veronica Soto, Ivan Soto's wife, said.
The daughter escaped the fire, but sadly, the family lost their two cats.
"We lost everything material, which can be replaced," Veronica Soto said. "We did lose our fur babies, which that, that’s the hardest part."
Neighbors created a GoFundMe for the Soto family, raising more than $55,000.
While Ivan Soto's house was burning to the ground, he was out trying to help other families.
He was one of the first responders who tried to save 18-year-old victim Leonel Rondon, who died after getting stuck under a chimney when a house exploded.
"We jumped on the car, and we were trying to pull the chimney," Ivan Soto said. "We just want to get it off of him, you know. We wanted to save him."
The teen died at the hospital, and while Ivan Soto appreciates the donations and support coming in for his family after losing their home, he hopes the community shares the love and helps the teen's family after the tragic death.
"I just wanna make sure that Leo's family is taken care of, too, and people can donate," he said.
Soto said he's going to share a GoFundMe for the Rondon family after the death.
A North Carolina couple whose wedding was rescheduled due to Hurricane Florence have made sure their flowers won’t go to waste.
The couple, along with their florist, donated the floral arrangements to patients at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute in Concord, WSOC reported.
As each patient finished their chemotherapy or infusion treatment, they were given their pick of the arrangements.
“Anytime anyone does anything nice for someone who’s going through cancer, it’s wonderful,” said patient Patricia Riser. “And flowers, of course, are just great. And everybody, everybody loves flowers, and I love flowers, too.”
Riser sent her thanks to the couple.
“I think it’s wonderful that you thought enough of someone else, especially during this time that you’re going through because you had to cancel your wedding, that you were thoughtful enough to think of someone else. It’s just amazing that people can do that when they’re going through things too, and we learned that not only are we going through something but other people go through things, too,” Riser said.
Atrium Health’s Laura Blackwell called it a bright spot for patients, WSOC reported.
“The patients were thrilled when they saw all the beautiful flowers being brought in. We’re happy to know that they were going to (be) able to get those flowers when they left today from their infusion,” she said.
While North Carolina remains under the cloud of now-Tropical Storm Florence, the patients who took home those fresh flowers will have a reminder that there are good things in the world.
“To think they would be so generous that they would want to contribute to the community and be so concerned about the joy of people they didn’t know is pretty special,” Blackwell said. “That doesn’t happen very often and it’s always a blessing to be able to see that.”
A reporter for a North Carolina television station interrupted a Facebook Live video to rescue a dog in knee-deep floodwaters, CNN reported.
Wilson can be heard asking the woman, who said her name was Tasha, “"Do you think that is safe?"
"It's my daughter's therapy dog. I have no choice," the woman said.
Wilson continued to report during her live feed but stopped when she saw Tasha having trouble moving the dog, WTVD reported.
"Can we pick this one up?" Wilson asks in the video, handing the camera to Tasha while picking up the dog.
"You are OK baby girl," Wilson said to the dog as she carried her to safety, WTVD reported. "Nobody is leaving the dog in this mess. That's what we are doing out here."
Ariana Grande is commenting for the first time on her friend and ex-boyfriend Mac Miller since his death on Sept. 7.
In a Friday Instagram post, the singer, who has turned comments off on her page since Miller’s death, expresses disbelief that he’s gone.
“I adored you from the day I met you when I was nineteen and I always will,” Grande wrote. “I can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. I really can’t wrap my head around it. We talked about this. So many times. I’m so mad, I’m so sad I don’t know what to do. You were my dearest friend. For so long. Above anything else. I’m so sorry I couldn’t fix or take your pain away. I really wanted to. The kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. I hope you’re okay now. Rest.”
The caption accompanies a video post of Miller in a black hoodie that contains the phrase “Everything will be OK” in a small white font across the front.
In the video, Miller starts to tell a story but stops and laughs with Grande when he realizes she’s recording him.
Miller was found dead in his California home at age 26. He and Grande dated for nearly two years before breaking up in May. Grande has since gotten engaged to Pete Davidson.
Grande had previously spoken publicly about her efforts to be there for Miller and support him in his sobriety. Miller frequently rapped about his struggles with drugs.
An official cause of death has not been announced.
A Taco Bell employee’s act of kindness has gone viral after he bought dinner Thursday for a homeless man who had stopped at the restaurant.
A man, apparently homeless, walked out of the restaurant’s bathroom carrying three bags, including one that contained a comforter.
Brandon Stephenson saw the man and asked him to take a seat before buying him something to eat.
Brandon then sat and talked with the man and asked about him. Brandon also told him about himself and that when he was younger, he knew what it was like to go without food.
The homeless man ate, thanked Brandon and asked him about a job. Brandon explained how to apply and that if he did not have a computer, there were some at the library.
"My grandma Kelly raised me to do that and I think people should treat people that don't have much better, than they are now. So I try to help people when I can," Brandon told KSNF.
Amanda Vanderford was having dinner at the Taco Bell.
“This is what we need in this world. More people like him,” Vanderford wrote on Facebook. “More people who are kind, not because they have to but because they want to.”
For some, there is one car that will never compare to all the other vehicles they own.
For Wesley Ryan and his family it was a 1993 Mustang GT he used to ferry around his growing family.
It was called “Christine” after the 1983 Stephen King movie.
But when his wife, and high school sweetheart, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the car had to go once medical bills started piling up, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
“I came home one day. I walked into the garage, looked at her and said it was time for her to go,” Ryan told San Antonio Express-News. “I remember seeing her drive off and I was trying to be the big man and not let it bother me.”
Ryan’s children, who were toddlers when their dad sold his beloved car, never forgot how much the car meant to him.
So years later they did what they could to track down “Christine.”
The found it and the big reveal was captured on video. Ryan was speechless when he saw his precious “Christine” roll up on a trailer. After tears and a few “choice words” of surprise, Ryan walked over to the car to check it out as the song “My Old Man” played in the background. As Ryan walked around his car to take in the sight and greet his old ride, the appropriate line from the Zac Brown Band song played: “I know one day we’ll meet again.”
Ryan told San Antonio Express-News that the car shows “the power and strength of what family can do.”
Ryan and his son plan on working on “Christine” to bring her back to life.
A South Carolina store owner helped his community before the winds and rains from Hurricane Florence hit the area.
Mike Patel is the owner of Sea Merchants Grocery Store. He wanted to make sure his local customers had what they needed before the storm.
Patel posted on his store’s Facebook page that all meat and frozen food was buy one, get one free. He was going to keep the doors open to the store through early afternoon Wednesday, WECT reported.
“I’m here because of community,” Patel told WECT. “They have helped since I bought (The Sea Merchants). We are not a highway location. I’m not here because of tourists. I’m here because of the community and this is a way to give back.
He also cut prices of water to prepare for the hurricane.
Local residents praised Patel for making supplies affordable as they prepared for potential disaster.
Thanks to a Georgia teen's quick thinking and training with Cobb County police, he was able to save his two Target co-workers who were stabbed by an alleged robber Sunday night, authorities said.
Mario Alexander, 17, acted quickly until officers could arrive to the Cobb Parkway store, Cobb County police Sgt. Wayne Delk said.
When Alexander saw one of his his co-workers bleeding profusely from a stab wound in his arm, he used his Target shirt and materials in the store to create a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Alexander then applied gauze and direct pressure to another co-worker’s neck wound.
“He continued to check on both of his fellow employees until medical personnel and police officers arrived on scene to take over,” Delk said.
Authorities later arrested Michael Leon Thornton, 27, on charges of two counts aggravated assault and one count of armed robbery.
Alexander credited his training with the Cobb County Police Explorer Program, which trains high school students on general police work that includes rendering first aid.
“The Cobb County Police Department and our partners at Marietta Police Department thank Corporal Alexander for his quick thinking and would like to recognize him for putting to use the knowledge he has gained from the Cobb County Police Explorer program,” Delk said. “His actions more than exemplify our commitment and dedication to public safety.”
A Wendy’s employee took extra steps to make sure two customers got what they needed at a Albuquerque, New Mexico, location of the fast-food chain.
The moment that Richard Wise-Attwood helped a blind couple eating at the restaurant was photographed, with the images posted to social media, Fox News reported.
“I just took over the situation. I just asked them what they would like to drink, helped them get their drinks, sat them down,” Wise-Attwood told KRQE.
He also made sure they had their food so they knew who had what burger, got them the ketchup they needed and checked on them through the meal, KRQE reported.
Another customer, Cindy Griswold, snapped a few photos and posted them to Facebook.
Wise-Attwood told KRQE that he was just being himself.
“They were cool. They were real nice. Didn’t bother anybody. They didn’t ask for help. I just did it because I knew they needed it,” he told KRQE.
Wise-Attwood didn’t know the photos were being taken.
“I’m hoping that it does show people that even if you do work at an establishment such as Wendy’s or McDonald’s customer service will show somebody a good day and they’ll pass it on to someone else,” Wise-Attwood said.
A high school varsity football kicker not only won the game for the team but also took home the crown as homecoming queen.
Kaylee Foster’s Friday will be one to remember not only for her but also for her school.
Foster’s big night started before the game, when she was named homecoming queen for Ocean Springs High School. Dressed ready for a dance rather than a football game, Foster accepted her crown before kickoff, The Sun Herald reported.
She then swapped the gown for shoulder pads, cleats and a helmet to take her place with the rest of her team for the game.
She started her kicker career with the Greyhounds football team in 2017. Prior to Friday night’s game, she successfully hit all 11 extra point tries and made one of her two field goal attempts this season, hitting her longest kick of 42 yards, The Sun Herald reported. She’s also a soccer star at the school.
She put 6 points on the board in last week’s game with two field goals, but it was in overtime when Foster put her kicking prowess to the test, getting the extra point needed to break the overtime tie, Gulf Live reported.
After winning the game for her team, she stopped for a photo op that shows both sides of the high school senior.
Foster told Gulf Live she was more nervous waiting to hear who got the crown than kicking the winning extra point. Hands down it was the homecoming announcement that was more nerve-wracking.
“I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be homecoming queen, but I was pretty sure I was going to make that kick,” Foster told Gulf Live.
A 5-year-old cancer patient from Indiana received a special police escort to a hospital for her next-to-last chemotherapy treatment, WLS reported.
Sammy got a ride to an Indianapolis hospital by officers of the Hammond Police Department. She arrived Monday morning at the police station, wide awake and ready to make the trip in a police car, the television station reported.
Sammy's mother, Diana Barr, said her daughter was excited to make the journey.
"She laughed, she said, 'Mommy, have you ever been in a cop car?' I said, 'Nope, I guess this is a first time for everything,'" Barr told WLS.
Sammy was diagnosed with eye cancer when she was 3 months old. After having one eye replaced, the cancer returned, the television station reported.
Police officers said they hope to take Sammy to lunch and then on a shopping trip, WLS reported.
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