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Missing bunny returned after Publix employees comb through landfill to find stuffed animal

If you’ve seen “Toy Story 3,” you know what happens to toys at a landfill, but this story has a happy ending thanks to employees at an Alabama Publix. 

Madison, 3, forgot her stuffed bunny in a shopping cart last week. Her mom, Jenna Rachal, went back to the store in hopes of finding her daughter’s toy, but it wasn’t turned in, WPMI reported

She did what almost any mother in this day and age would do: turned to Facebook for help. 

The manager of the store, Mike Gayhart, saw the post and what he did eventually helped Madison be reunited with her toy, WKRG reported

Thanks to security cameras, Gayhart tracked Madison and her bunny’s movements from the store, the parking lot, the cart and eventually a trash can and a dumpster. It then went to a trash compactor before being dumped into a garbage truck and driven to a landfill, WPMI reported

The story could end there, with Madison getting the bad news that her friend was gone forever. 

But Gayhart and three other employees went to the landfill and started digging, WPMI reported. Against all odds, they found him.

>> Read more trending news 

Gayheart then took the bunny home and washed him three times, so he could be returned to Madison, WPMI reported

“These guys did not tell me they were going to the dump. I did not ask them to do that either,” Rachal told WKRG

Rachal said that the bunny still has a smell, but Madison doesn’t care. She hasn’t let go of him and says he smells fine. 

Rachal says she will call Publix corporate offices to tell them what the employees did for her family, WPMI reported.

“Such kindness and above and beyond for their customers, community. Awesome people deserve to be recognized,” she told WKRG.

City helps teen get permit for hot dog stand instead of permanently shutting him down

After someone filed a complaint about a non-permitted hot dog stand in Minneapolis, the city health department took the only step it could: They helped the teen entrepreneur get the legal paperwork he needed instead of forcing him to close up shop.

Jaequan Faulkner, 13, has been running Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs, off and on, for a couple of years. It all started back in 2016 when the teen found a hot dog grill at his uncle’s house. But this year someone called the Minneapolis Health Department and filed a complaint about the pop-up food stand, the Star Tribune reported

The health department took the extra steps of guiding Faulkner through the proper way to serve food to the public and made sure he had the equipment he legally needed to run his shop: thermometers, containers, hand sanitizer and cleaning stations for utensils. They also walked him through the correct way to handle food.

>> Read more trending news 

Faulkner passed his health inspection, and the city issued him a special event food permit. The teen didn’t pay for the permit, but the inspectors themselves chipped in the $87 fee, the Star Tribune reported.

Business leaders also helped Faulkner develop his plan on making the hot dog stand profitable.

Faulkner planned on using his profits for extra spending money, the Star Tribune reportedCNN reported that he was also using the money to buy new clothes and shoes.

But Faulkner said that he’s not doing  it just for the money. “It’s just something I enjoy doing,” he told the Star Tribune.

Next year, though, he wants to help others with the money he earns. He plans to put 25 cents of every hot dog sale to raise awareness about youth suicide and depression, the Star Tribune reported.

Faulkner’s permit is good for 10 days after issue, then he will move the stand to new locations including in front of an area police station which sponsored his next permit. Other organizations will pay for the permits to get through the rest of the summer, CNN reported.

Teacher in awe as strangers on plane donate $530 to her low-income students

A Chicago charter school teacher's heartwarming story of how strangers on a plane donated hundreds of dollars to her low-income students is going viral.

>> Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

According to WMAQ, Kimber Bermudez, who teaches at Carlos Fuentes Elementary School, was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida last week when the passenger next to her sparked up a conversation about her job. After learning that Bermudez is a teacher, he asked her about the greatest challenge she faces at her school.

"I told him that working at a low-income school can be heartbreaking," Bermudez wrote in a Facebook post. "We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without. In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything."

He then asked for Bermudez's contact information, saying his company often donates to schools like hers.

But the acts of kindness didn't stop there.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"The man behind me tapped my shoulder," Bermudez wrote. "I turned around and he apologized for listening in to my conversation, and he handed me a wad of cash. He told me to 'do something amazing' and sat back down. I was in complete awe that I had touched a stranger. I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500."

After the plane landed, another man who overheard the conversation gave her $20, while another handed her $10, Bermudez said.

>> Read more trending news 

"I started crying on the plane," she wrote. "I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on. I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need."

Bermudez said her "heart is in complete shock and awe."

"This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need," she wrote. "I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!"

Read more here or here.

>> See Bermudez's Facebook post here

Lip sync challenge: Watch Charlotte police officers get down in hilarious viral video

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina released a video of officers and staff getting down in a lip sync challenge Tuesday.

>> Watch the video here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Chief Kerr Putney even took part in the fun

The department has been posting about the video it was putting together for several days.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Police officers compete in viral lip sync battle

The friendly lip sync competition has been heating up on social media among law enforcement agencies across the country.

Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home.

Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty. 

>> On Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna posthumously promoted to sergeant

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is providing the first $100,000 toward the mortgage and is challenging others to support the family through the initiative.

Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children.

>> On Court docs: Man stood over Weymouth officer and shot him 10 times

The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

>> Read more trending news 

Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement.

Click here if you’d like to donate.

6 nurses in same unit discover they are pregnant at same time

Six nurse practitioners at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, were surprised to learn they are pregnant at the same time.

>> Read more trending news 

The women are known as “The Fabulous Six Pack” among their patients at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The six nurses work for an outpatient hematology/oncology unit at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Two of the women will be first-time moms, and the other four already have one child, said hospital spokesperson Eryn Johnson.

The women’s due dates range from the end of July to December. 

Johnson said that all of the nurses enjoy sharing their pregnancy journeys and tips with each other.

“It's exciting because, you see these people every day and they're a part of you family, and now they're your pregnant buddies,” said assistant nurse manager Katie Carlton.

“It’s quite the bond that’s been established,” Johnson said.

The expectant mothers told WXII that while most of them were planning to get get pregnant, it was a surprise when it all happened to all of them at the same time.

One thing that wasn’t anticipated -- six nurses taking maternity leave at the same time.

Johnson said there is a plan in place to cover the nurses’ work during maternity leave. 

Brother of bride swaps places with sister for ‘first look’ photos with groom

A Phoenix bride wanted to calm the nerves of her groom, so she decided to do one thing: skip the first look photos. 

For some couples, the decision for her not to show up for the iconic photos would be a deal breaker, but Heidi Zherelyev figured it would put her groom, Val, more at ease, KPNX reported

Zherelyev sent her brother, complete with wedding gown, in her place.

>> Read more trending news  

Zherelyev’s brother was brave enough to put on her perfume and even her deodorant so he would smell like his sister.

Tucked away inside her room she watched from behind curtains as the swap happened, KPNX reported

Zherelyev said the prank worked and she could see Val become comfortable for the real photo shoot. 

Photographer Nichole Cline said that moments like this are what is important.

“The dress fades, the cake is eaten, the flowers die,” Cine told KPNX. “I love what I do. Those moments are frozen in time and that lasts a lifetime.”

Couch caper: Abandoned sofa in Palm Bay becomes viral outdoor living room

It was fun while it lasted, but it appears a couch that sat abandoned along a busy road in Brevard County, Florida, for weeks, attracting a comfortable social media following, has been taken away.

For weeks, the solitary sofa – with no living room to call home – nevertheless found a following, if not a home without walls, windows, rugs or even a roof. 

Palm Bay residents say the couch had been sitting empty along on Palm Bay Road. For most, it was a roadside eyesore – until the community decided to showcase it.

Soon there was a table, mini-fridge, artificial plants, more furniture and even a TV.

Not to mention lots of onlookers.

>> Read more trending news 

With the couch’s new-found fellow furniture came real-life visitors, who came to see the spontaneous setup and just had to stop for a picture.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said Palm Bay visitor Diane Monroe. “I had to come down and see and take pictures so I can go home and show my grandkids.”

The Palm Bay Couch, as it’s now called, even has its own Facebook page with more than 5,000 followers.

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Visitors to the Facebook page commented Monday evening that volunteers had cleaned it up and taken it away. It’s not clear who took it or where exactly it’s going.

People who have stopped for photos have been sharing their stop at the sidewalk sofa.

Despite the roadside couch comfort, it also brought controversy. Some nearby business owners said the couch created a traffic nuisance. City leaders in Palm Bay and West Melbourne were also trying to figure out whose city limits control the couch creation.

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The Saint Jones River Water Management District was also notified because of the couch’s proximity to a canal.

Still, an abandoned couch's ability to bring strangers together is an incredible thing.

“It’s so much better following something fun and cute… rather than all the negative,” said couch visitor Charlene Palazzo. 

Man walks nearly 20 miles to get to job after car breaks down, boss gives him his own vehicle

A man in Alabama no longer has to walk where he needs to go. 

Walter Carr was all set to start a new job with Bellhops Moving, but his car broke down. Instead of calling off, or borrowing a set of wheels, he started walking, starting at midnight, to get to the job nearly 20 miles away, WBMA reported.

Pelham police officers saw him walking, offered him a ride and took him to breakfast before taking him to the moving job. 

Carr had been walking for about four hours when police offered him the ride, WIAT reported.

Jennifer Lamey hired Bellhops Moving, and Carr, and posted to Facebook about his dedication. His story made it all the way to the home office and the company’s CEO Luke Marklin.

>> Read more trending news 

Marklin made sure that his employee would not have to walk to work again and gave him the keys to his own car, a 2014 Ford Escape. 

Lamey also started a GoFundMe campaign in the name of Carr. She had hoped to raise $2,000, but in one day, raised more than four times that amount.

Bartender's heartwarming act of kindness for homeless man goes viral

A Tennessee bartender's generous act has gone viral.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to a Facebook post by Dawn Wilt, an unidentified homeless man recently walked into Huey's, a popular Memphis restaurant, with only $2.

>> Read more trending news 

He asked the bartender what he could get with such a small amount of money. The post said the bartender immediately said he could get a burger, even asking if he preferred onion rings or fries. 

>> Read the Facebook post here

The post has been shared more than 1,100 times. 

Massachusetts man plays same lottery numbers 9 times -- and wins

A father of two from Brockton, Massachusetts has won $900,000 in the state’s Mass Cash drawing after playing the same lottery numbers nine times at nine different ticket locations.

>> Read more trending news 

Robert Lundstedt told the Bridgewater Independent that he has played the same five numbers -- 1-7-11-26-30 -- in the state lottery for the last 26 years.

He told Mass Cash that he felt lucky on Monday, so much so that he purchased nine different tickets with the same numbers -- each worth $100,000 each.

Before Monday night’s drawing, Lundstedt gave one ticket to his daughter, Kristen Lundstedt, and one ticket to his son, Brian Lundstedt.

According to the Massachusetts state lottery, Lundstedt didn’t realize he won Monday’s drawing until he stopped by the store to buy paper towels the next day.

The trio stopped by the lottery offices to pick up their prizes on July 11. 

The Lundstedt children each received $100,000 before taxes. They both told Mass Cash they plan to use the money to pay off their student loans.

Lundstedt, a carpenter, took home about $700,000 before taxes. 

He said he planned to use the money to pay off the mortgage on his home. 

Missing Oregon woman whose Jeep plunged down Big Sur cliff found alive

A 23-year-old Oregon woman missing for more than a week was found Friday, injured but alive after her vehicle plunged nearly 200 feet down an oceanside cliff south of Big Sur, The Mercury News of San Jose reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Angela Hernandez of Portland was found by authorities after they responded to a report of a white 2011 Jeep Patriot with Oregon plates “over the cliff,” the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said. She was flown by helicopter to a hospital, the Mercury News reported.

Two people walking in the area found the wrecked vehicle partially submerged and called 911, KGO reported.The sheriff’s office posted photos of the Jeep in a Facebook post.

Hernandez told police she used a radiator hose from the Jeep to siphon water from a stream nearby and stay hydrated, KGO reported.

Monterey County sheriff’s Cmdr. John Thornburg said Hernandez injured her shoulder,  but was alert and walking on a remote beach when she was found, KPIX reported.

Hernandez had been missing since July 6. Her last known whereabouts were in a parking lot in Half Moon Bay, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Hernandez’s last known whereabouts were in a parking lot behind a Safeway in Half Moon Bay. She texted her sister the morning of July 6 that she had slept there the night before and was getting back on the road, authorities said.

She was driving from Portland, Oregon, to Lancaster, California to visit her family, the Mercury News reported.

Her relatives told police they thought she was driving on a dangerous winding road south of Big Sur,  the Chronicle reported.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office originally handled the case but handed it to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, as surveillance video from a business showed Hernandez traveling into Monterey County, the Mercury News reported.

“I just want to thank everybody that helped,” Hernandez’s sister, Isabel Hernandez, told KGO.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office originally handled the case but handed it to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, as surveillance video from a business showed Hernandez traveling into Monterey County, the Mercury News reported.

“I just want to thank everybody that helped,” Hernandez’s sister, Isabel Hernandez, told KGO.

New wheelchair allows Massachusetts boy, 12, with cerebral palsy to enjoy beach

12-year-old Massachusetts boy with cerebral palsy got the red carpet treatment as he rolled up to the beach in a special kind of wheelchair.

>> Read more trending news 

Dave Foss and his son, Will, haven't been able to make the trip to the beach for years, even though they live just two miles away.

Will's cerebral palsy normally prevents him from enjoying the beach, with the rocky sand at Peggotty Beach creating a problem when Will uses his walker.

It's been a long time since he's been to the beach," Foss said. "We go to Florida, and he goes to the beach a little bit, but it's hard to carry him from the parking lot to the water."

Now, Will has a new wheelchair to use, made especially for beach use. With the help of his father, Will got to be like any other kid at the beach.

"It totally opens it up for everybody," Foss said. "It's hard as a parent of somebody who has special needs in so many ways, and just to have some normal activity that others are doing, and do it with them, is a great thing for a family."

Michelle Anne Murphy, the vice chair for Scituate's Commission of Disabilities, said the town now has two beach wheelchairs for its five public beaches.

"When you live here, on the South Shore, part of living here is living the life of the beaches and having fun," Murphy said. "Our whole role is to make Scituate more accessible and to advocate for those citizens and people that need help."

The biggest challenge now for the Foss family? Trying to get Will off of the beach, rather than on.

"I would have never been able to do that without this thing," Foss said. 

The beach wheelchair will stay at Peggotty Beach, but if anyone needs to use it at any beach, they can call the town and ask to reserve it.

High-heeled Crocs cause uproar on Twitter

It’s Friday the 13th, which can bring about bizarre events -- including Crocs’ launch of a high-heeled version of its divisive shoe.

The Cyprus Heel, which mixes the classic Crocs look with an open toe and chunky heel, is now for sale on Amazon.

>> Read more trending news 

Prices range from $80 to $225.

The shoes come in various colors including black, white and pink. There are also some available in leopard print.

The new shoes are getting mixed reviews from users on Twitter.

Crocs-inspired platforms have been bravely stepping onto the fashion runway since 2017.

Balenciaga’s version of the platformed Crocs sells for over $850 on its site.

‘See ya’ later, suckas!’ 5-year-old dying of rare cancer writes own obituary

“See ya’ later, suckas!”

Garrett Matthias’ final message to the world held the same gusto with which the 5-year-old lived his life, which ended July 6 following a 10-month-long battle with cancer.

The Van Meter, Iowa, boy wrote his own obituary, with help from his parents, Emilie and Ryan Matthias. Emilie Matthias told the Des Moines Register that she and her husband began writing down things Garrett would say as he talked about his wishes, particularly after learning in mid-June that his cancer was terminal. 

The Register reported that Garrett was diagnosed in September with alveolar fusion negative rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that began in the temporal bone of his skull, his cranial nerve and his inner ear. He underwent grueling treatments in the hope of beating the disease but, by the time he died, his treatment-resistant tumors had invaded the lining of his brain, causing painful headaches and backaches. 

>> Read more trending news

His parents decided he would get the funeral he wanted, complete with a bouncy house for every year that he lived. Garrett’s memorial, scheduled for Saturday, will also have snow cones, carnival treats and fireworks.

Garrett, nicknamed “Great Garrett Underpants” for his dislike of pants, will also have a Viking sendoff: A local archer will shoot a flaming arrow onto a small boat carrying his ashes across a neighbor’s pond. 

“I’d say things like, ‘When I die, I want to turn into a star,’” Matthias told the Register. “He’d say, ‘I want to be burned like in ‘Thor,’ and then I want to become a gorilla.”

The topic of death arose multiple times over the months Garrett fought cancer, as his parents attended funerals of other children who had succumbed to the disease. Matthias said he would see them come home from the services filled with sadness.

“He would say, ‘Why are funerals so sad? I’m going to have bouncy houses at mine,’” Matthias told the newspaper

When the Matthiases learned that Garrett’s condition would not improve, they came up with a questionnaire and began compiling his answers. That questionnaire, recreated below, turned into a portion of his obituary.

My name is: Garrett Michael Boofias.

My birthday is: I am 5 years old.

My address is: I am a Bulldog!

My favorite color is: Blue...and red and black and green.

My favorite superhero is: Batman…and Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and Cyborg.

When I grow up: I'm going to be a professional boxer.

My favorite people are: Mommy, Daddy, my sister ‘Delcina’ (Delphina); the grandparents with the new house (Fredric and Cheryl Krueger); the grandparents with the camper (Daniel and Nita Matthias); my cousins, Grady, ‘that guy I took down that one time’ (Luke) and London Marie; my auntie Janette and stinky Uncle Andy (Andrew and Janette Krueger); those two guys, you know, my uncles (Kristopfer Krueger and James Taylor); Batman!!

The things I love the most: Playing with my sister, my blue bunny, thrash metal, Legos, my daycare friends, Batman and when they put me to sleep before they access my port. 

Things I hate: Pants, dirty stupid cancer, when they access my port, needles and the monkey nose that smells like cherry farts. I do like the mint monkey nose at Mayo Radiation, and that one guy that helped me build Legos (Randy).

When I die: I am going to be a gorilla and throw poo at Daddy!

Burned or buried: I want to be burned (like when Thor’s mommy died) and made into a tree so I can live in it when I’m a gorilla.

Big or small funeral: Funerals are sad. I want 5 bouncy houses (because I’m 5), Batman and snow cones.

The obituary noted that Garrett’s parents would honor his wishes -- and that a symbolic “Asgardian” burial ceremony and fireworks will be held just after sunset Saturday.

“A private burial of Garrett’s ashes will be held at a later time once his parents figure out how the hell to get his ashes made into a tree and locate a nature preserve, so his tree resides in a protected area,” the obituary read

Though the questionnaire portion of Garrett’s obituary was somewhat light-hearted, the Matthiases pulled no punches when it came to writing about what their son had been through. 

“The reality for Garrett and so many other children is pediatric cancer is an ugly, nasty beast that leaves a path of destruction,” the obituary read. “For Garrett and many others before him -- cancer kills. Those that are ‘lucky’ enough to survive endure long-term, debilitating side effects and the constant fear of relapse. 

“We will fight for a cure until no other kids are robbed of their childhood, no other siblings lose their best friends and no other parents have to bury their babies.” 

Read Garrett’s entire obituary here

Matthias told the newspaper that Garrett’s doctors were always frank about the realities of his treatment. 

It’s not those beautiful commercials with these kids with bald heads that are smiling and everyone is cured,” Matthias said. "They were upfront that chemo is poison; radiation, burns. The other way is to cut it out. You choose and make hard decisions about poisoning, burning and cutting your child. Those are things nobody should have to do. Those shouldn’t be the ways we treat our kids.

“Cancer is horrible. This kid is awesome, and he died of cancer.”

Matthias’ cousin created a GoFundMe page for the family to help pay Garrett’s medical and funeral costs. As of about noon Friday, it had raised $40,000 of the $75,000 goal. 

The family also encouraged people to make donations to several nonprofits that helped Garrett during his fight, including the Little Al Foundationthe Pink Tractor Foundation and the University of Iowa Dance Marathon

Diver finds couple's lost wedding video in ocean 1 year later

It might be the best one-year anniversary gift a couple could get: memories of their wedding day.

A Gainesville, Florida, couple thought the pictures and videos of their big day were lost after their GoPro fell into the water during a paddle boarding mishap, WFLA reported.

 >> Read more trending news 

"It's murky water around that area, and deep. There was no way I was going to get back. I was just, ‘Aww, well, there it goes,’" bride Angel Wilson told WFLA.

One year later, diver Jeffrey Heim told WFLA that he found their GoPro lodged in between rocks in the ocean near Venice. The memory card remained intact. 

>>Watch: Clip of couple's lost wedding video

"I knew the pictures were pretty sentimental, and myself having lost three Go-pro's previously with lost footage on them, I knew they'd probably want it back," Heim said.

Heim tweeted the video, and after countless re-tweets, he found the couple and returned their wedding memories, WFLA reported.

"You've just got to give people the benefit of the doubt. Because there's a lot of good people out there, and this is just a good example of one," groom Tim Wilson told WFLA.

Watch: Will Smith, Ciara join ‘In My Feelings’ challenge dance-off in epic fashion

Will Smith just upped the game in the #InMyFeelings challenge on social media.

It’s part of the latest craze to sweep the internet, inspired by Drake’s hit “In My Feelings” from the “Scorpion” album.

>> Read more trending news 

Originally dubbed #DoTheShiggy on Instagram, over 2.3 million tweets have been shared, dedicated to the #kikichallenge, #DoTheShiggy, Kiki and Keke.

Ciara and Russell Wilson followed up with their own epic version while vacationing in Cape Town, South Africa.

New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. jumped out of a car to pull of his dance.

Drake even put his own spin on it on stage during a recent show.

Drake’s “In My Feelings” is currently number 6 on the Billboard hot 100 chart.

A glamorous Goodwill mystery: Who are the strangers in these slides?

The lights dimmed and the mystery unfolded, frame after tantalizing frame.

The lady of the house dazzles in a strapless evening gown, pink gloves and glittery choker. There’s a champagne coupe in her right hand — Veuve Cliquot, it appears from the label behind her — and a mink stole drapes over her left arm. Where did she go that night?

Muscular chrome beauties line the driveway, a 1953 Pontiac with a car cooler affixed to the window and a 1955 Buick with portholes gleaming down its sides. Their owners apparently are world travelers, too, trekking to a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where almost no visitors are allowed. How?


The lights came back on. We were still in the dark.

“I’m just falling in love with this sweet family,” said Kristie Baeumert, the accidental guardian of their memories. “I’m fascinated. I want to know more.”

The Fairburn mom of five often shops for kids’ clothes at the Tyrone Goodwill store, and she was browsing there the other day when a sturdy contraption on the electronics shelf caught her eye. The Argus 300 Model III slide projector would be perfect for viewing the boxes of slides she’d inherited from her grandmother, she thought. She didn’t notice the original owner’s slides until later.

“I was instantly obsessed,” she said. “I made my whole family look at them. My friends came over and I was like, ‘We’re going to look at these slides!’ ”

The Argus appears to have been a valued possession; someone etched on its serial number. The carton it came with says “Kansas” in pencil and there’s a Colorado tag on one of the cars. What are these heirlooms doing in Georgia?

Some frames suggest global travel. One shows tourists at Nagasaki Peace Park in Japan (thanks, Google Image Search), one was snapped in what appears to be a tropical setting and one is marked “Wake Island,” a tiny, tightly restricted spit of land in the Pacific Ocean mostly used as a stop for refueling military planes. Was this a military family?

There are no pictures of people in uniforms, but there’s a cultural clue that suggests that might be the case: The family is African-American but some of their photos show black and white kids playing together.

“I don’t even think schools were integrated yet,” Baeumert observed.

The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way to school integration with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, years after President Harry S. Truman’s 1948 banning racial discrimination in the U.S Armed Forces.

There’s no telling who the donor was. Goodwill of North Georgia operates 59 donation centers and 60 stores in the 45 counties it serves. Last year it took in 2.8 million items and served 7.4 million shoppers. Sometimes items for sale at a particular store were donated there, sometimes elsewhere.

Eager to find the family the slides depict and learn more about them, Baeumert shared a few images on her Facebook page. Her post has been shared more than 160 times but so far, no dice.

“I was kind of sad about that,” she said. “If this was my family, I would want these.”

We met up with Baeumert at the Hapeville library this week, where the staff let her set up the Argus in the conference room. The slide show was a painstaking process, nothing at all like zipping through the scroll of snaps we all have on our phones. Unlike the zillions of selfies we preen for or the meals we feel compelled to document, they reflect a level of care in posing and composition.

“As far as photography goes, this person knew what they were doing,” she said. “They weren’t just randomly snapping.”

Having viewed them so many times now, the strangers in the slides have started to feel like friends.

“My grandmother had a velour sectional like that.”


“Someone probably made that skirt.”


“These girls matched, all the time, down to the shoes and everything, even when they’re just playing in the yard. Awww. I love them.”


Someone wrote on the border of this frame, a photo of a little girl posed sweetly in the front yard:

“Perfect Pic,” it reads. “The best of my baby.”

The note scrawled in pencil, maybe by another mother decades ago, clutches at Baeumert’s heart.

“They just look so happy,” she said. “They wanted to take pictures together all the time. I feel like I know the family now.”

Our thanks to friend and former colleague Mark Davis, now with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, for his help identifying various indigenous American species depicted in the slides: the vintage automobiles. 

AJC photographer Alyssa Pointer took the photos of Kristie Baeumert and the photos of slides projected onto the wall during an impromptu slideshow at the Hapeville library this week. We don’t know who took the original photos. Yet. We hope to.

Premature baby delivered by same staff who attended his father

A premature baby born in a New York City hospital was a case of deja vu for the doctor and nurse who delivered the child. After all, they delivered the child’s father -- who was also born premature -- 18 years ago, WABC reported.\

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Josiah Valentine is now 5 pounds and left the hospital for the first time Thursday, three months after his birth. He was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces, WABC reported.

Josiah’s father, Javon Valentine, also was delivered at the Bronx hospital where his son was born.

"The dad's mother came and she recognized everybody," Lazaro Lezcano told WABC.

Lezcano and nurse Editha de Leon have worked at the hospital for 30 years, the television station reported.

"It's a great feeling," de Leon said. "This is why we get up in the morning and come to work, they give us a reason to be here every day."

Miniature horse rescued from rooftop after flooding in Japan

She may be small, but a 9-year-old mare got on her high horse last week and moved to a rooftop when flooding devastated western Japan.

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Leaf, who is used for animal therapy at the Life Town Mabi facility for the elderly went missing July 6 along with her colt, Earth, when flooding hit the Machibo district of 

Kurashiki, reported.

Officials believed the horses had drowned, but on Monday the mare was found on a roof a few miles away by Peace Winds, a disaster relief charity, The Japan Times reported.

The horse was caked in mud and lost her footing, falling more than 6 feet to the ground, The Japan Times reported.

Leaf suffered only minor injuries to one leg, reported.

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