Friday, Mar. 20, 2009
No less than 13 educators, one from each school district, in Licking County were honored with the “You Made A Difference” teaching award as given out by students.
Two among them are Lisa Preisser and Christina Sommerkamp.
Primary kindergarten teacher Lisa has been making a difference in students’ lives for over 20 years.
She said to be both surprised and humbled by it while her boss called the award well-deserved.
“The award is very well-deserved.
She is a wonderful, wonderful teacher with a really unique program.
— Dana Letts, kindergarten center principal
Christina is a fourth-grade teacher who was nomiated by a 10 year old student.
“She’s a great teacher, and she helps me learn a lot.
I couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”
— Christian Rader, 10, student Licking Heights South Elementary School
As a teacher of primary kindergarten in the Southwest Licking district, Lisa Preisser has been making a difference in countless young students’ lives over the past 20 years.
But this year, her good work with young 5-year-olds has received extra recognition.
Preisser is Southwest Licking School District’s recipient of the Coughlin Automotive You Made a Difference award.
“I was very surprised and humbled by this award,” Preisser said.
“The award is very well-deserved,” said kindergarten center principal Dana Letts. “She is a wonderful, wonderful teacher with a really unique program.”
In the Licking Heights district, student Christian Rader nominated fourth-grade teacher Christina Sommerkamp of Licking Heights South Elementary School.
“I was pleased, surprised, puzzled,” Sommerkamp said.
Rader couldn’t have been more pleased.
“She’s a great teacher, and she helps me learn a lot,” the 10-year-old said. “I couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”
It’s the 10th year that the You Made A Difference awards have been given out.
Recipients are chosen by students for making a difference. They write and hand in an essay about their nomination. The best nominations are in turn given to the disctricts’ superintendent.
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
Dutch information technology executive Filip Lou, 34, was visiting Singapore Sunday when he saw a woman jump into the Singapore River .
Filip didn’t hesitate; he quickly stripped down to his shorts and jumped in after her.
By the time emergency services arrived at the scene he had already brought the woman back to land.
His jump into the water resulted in several cuts on his hands and feet caused by the rough stones at the river’s edge.
After being treated for the superficial wounds at Singapore General Hospital he was then presented with a bill of $90.
After reading about his heroics readers of the newspaper The Straits Times offered to pay the bill on his behalf but they were a bit too late.
Wednesday morning an anonymous donor walked into the hospital and reimbursed Filip Lou for his medical expenses.
The money was later on collected by Filip’s wife as he himself had to attend a business conference.
Filip has been given an award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009
Chesley Sullenberger safely landed an airplane in the New York Hudson River in January 2009.
In doing so he kept 155 people on board alive — but also countless others on the ground in the densely populated city.
The airplane had hit a flock of birds and there was no way it was going to stay in the air.
Chesley is a hero, yes? Yes. Sure, sound thinking, long training helped — but who said that doesn’t make you a hero?
But he’s also a regular guy, a common human being who shares those feelings of dread we’re all familiar with.
“It was the worst sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling I’ve ever felt in my life.
I knew immediately it was very bad.
My initial reaction was one of disbelief…
[As for the first responders] Thank you’ seems totally inadequate. I have a debt of gratitude that I fear I may never be able to repay.”
— Chesley Sullenberger, interview CBS
The emergency landing was perfect with Chelsey easing the plane into the river. Had he hit it hard or at the wrong angle, the plane would have broken up, most likely causing human harm, possibly deaths.
Chesley was a honorary guest at President Obama’s inauguration.
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008
Indianapolis firefighters rescued no less than 20 people from an apartment building blaze yesterday.
When firefighters arrived amidst the flames and smoke, people were leaning out of their windows on the 6th and 7th floor of the building.
A ladder truck was used to rescue the people who had been trapped.
Meanwhile other firefighters entered the building and used the stairs to bring 20 more to safety.
Two people were treated for slight smoke inhalation.
No firefighters were injured.
Monday, Oct. 20, 2008
This September 16 miners became trapped in a mine shaft in the Philippines. Hope was given up until 23 navy divers let standard operating procedure be standard operation procedure and instead did what needed to be done.
Although trained and specialized in deep-sea saltwater diving the men ventured below sea level for the first time in their lives.
“It was a do or die mission. What we did was not in the books. It was our first time to dive below sea level.”
— Marlon Mansueto, Seaman 1st Quartermaster
Their allowed depth is 120 feet: that day they went 700 feet.
Breathing in the oxygen deprived air in the tunnel they felt their way around. It was hard, difficult, dangerous, and Mansueto was concerned about the safety of his men.
“But the look on the faces of the miners’ families pushed us to go on.”
For heroism and extraordinary service to the public the seamen were awarded the Bronze Cross and the Distinguished Navy Cross.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008
It’s the weekend in which senior citizens escape fire.
Mable Williams, 98, was working in her kitchen, cleaning dishes. Looking up out of the window she saw a house which is really close to hers on fire.
“”I began to get nervous. I just kept seeing the light. I went to the front and turned on my alarm and nothing. I began to look outside and I saw all of this.”
— Mable Williams, 98
Her house was judged to be too close to the intense fire and firefighters pulled her to safety.
Williams wasn’t injured; her house is undamaged too.
Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2008
The 2008 “Hero of the Year” Award of the National Association of Letter Carriers was shared by 5 Oakland, California, letter carriers.
Their heroic efforts started with Alan Girard nearing the end of his route October 6, 2007, when he noticed smoke and an orange glow coming from the 2nd floor of an apartment block.
He rushed inside, pulled the fire alarm and started knocking on doors, yelling for people to get out.
4 Colleagues quickly joined him, arriving on the scene “like a cavalry of white postal vehicles”.
Together they led close to 100 senior citizens to safety that day.
Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2008
An Auckland man who survived a 170 metre plunge down a mountain in the Southern Alps, says he owes his life to his mate.
Steffen Poepjes waited in the mountains for two hours while his friend ran for help.
“I thought I was a goner…I was terrified,” says Poepjes from his hospital bed.
The climbing pair videoed their successful climb to the top of Mount Philistine.
But it all went wrong on the way down.
“I was facing the rock, down climbing and just one foothold gave way, and it was over from there,” says Poepjes.
Poepjes is calling his friend, Cameron Walker, a hero.
“He saved my life pretty much. I was pretty sore and pretty cold up the mountain waiting, but if it wasn’t for him, no one would have found me,” he says.
Walker says he feared the worst while climbing down the mountain looking for his friend after seeing him fall.
“I was looking for a blood trail straight away,” he says.
But after finding his friend alive, he was able to raise the alarm.
“I told him to keep his eyes open, and he wasn’t to sleep,” says Walker.
After raising the alert, a rescue chopper was there within an hour and winched Poepjes to safety.
“He secured him in a good little bit of a nook against a rock…he was in a good stable condition,” says Grant Withers, Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot.
The climbing expedition up Mount Philistine was the finale to a South Island adventure trip, but despite the accident, both say they haven’t been put off climbing.
TWO police officers have been praised after they risked their lives and rescued an unconscious man from a burning home.
Constables Colin Leslie and Alex Collins, both based at Culloden police station, were responding to a 999 call when they attended the flat in Ardersier at 6.20pm on Sunday.
There had been reports of a disturbance and when the pair arrived at the High Street property they were faced with flames coming from the door.
They were aware a man was inside the building but attempts to talk him out to safety failed.
A spokeswoman for Northern Constabulary said while the fire brigade were on route to the scene the officers felt any delay in rescuing the man could have resulted in death and further damage to adjoining properties.
Attempts to force the door were made, and with the help of a neighbour, the two officers managed to break the locks and get inside the burning building. They were accompanied by a third police officer, Sergeant Ramsay Aitken.
They used fire extinguishers from the police vehicle to try and fight the flames and a high powered torch enabled them to see through the smoke-filled building.
They eventually found the man, who by this time was unconscious.
He was pulled to safety by the officers and was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics outside before being taken to Raigmore Hospital.
It is understood a woman had also been in the house but escaped.
Constables Leslie and Collins were also treated by ambulance staff and had to go to hospital.
They were praised yesterday for their professional and selfless actions in fighting the fire and rescuing the man.
Chief Inspector Julian Innes said: “Their actions were both brave and commendable and a credit to Northern Constabulary.”
Fire crews from Inverness and Nairn later arrived on scene.
A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets to tackle the fire, which caused damage to the hallway and other parts of the house.
Monday, Jul. 14, 2008
An East County wrecker driver was the last person and only civilian honored for his heroism this week after he and four law enforcement members rescued a man from a burning 18-wheeler after a multi-vehicle pileup on U.S. 59 in November.
The Texas Department of Public Safety presented Timothy “T.J.” Knox with the Director’s Award, signed by DPS Colonel Thomas A. Davis Jr., in New Caney at the office of Precinct 4 Commissioner Ed Rinehart.
Knox was nominated for the award by Trooper Paul Kohleffel, who was also a part of the Nov. 26, 2007 rescue effort. In his letter of nomination, Kohleffel detailed how he and Knox forced open the damaged door of the 18-wheeler and freed the trapped and unconscious driver as flames spread toward the cab of the truck.
“Had it not been for Mr. Knox’s personal disregard for his own safety, I have no doubt that Mr. Bailey would not have survived the accident on that day,” the letter states.
Captain Patrick Mulligan presented the award to Knox, whose children, Dalton and Kaitlyn, and his fiancé, Casey Lawson, looked on.
DPS Sgt. Donald Nance said the award was an excellent opportunity for the agency to recognize a citizen for his assistance.
“(Knox) can’t be repaid by money for his actions, but he’s been recognized by the department and is looked up to as a hero,” Nance said.
DPS Lt. Terry Truitt said the situation was unusual in his experience.
“This is the first incident I’ve been close to when a citizen risked his life in that way,” Truitt said.
He was proud of Knox’s actions and Kohleffel’s, as well.
“We don’t want them to put themselves in unnecessary peril, but sometimes they do in order to get the job done,” Truitt said.
Kohleffel received the DPS Director’s Citation for his heroism.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Rowdy Hayden, Deputy Justin Hamilton and Deputy Duane LeBeau were recognized earlier this month by the Houston/Harris County 100 Club for their role in the rescue.
ANN YORK will soon be making the journey she has always dreamed about – a poignant visit to a Canadian town which has honoured her late father.
She has won the chance to make the trip of a lifetime thanks to a Telegraph competition.
We asked readers to tell us where in the world they would most like to visit and why.
Hundreds of stories came in from across Coventry and Warwickshire, but it was Ann’s moving tale which got the judges’ vote.
The former dinner lady told how she had never been able to see the street named after her father, Frank Woodward, who fought in a famous battle in the Second World War.
Ann, aged 60, of the Hiron, Cheylesmore, Coventry, will now be able to proudly walk down Woodward Crescent in Ajax, Canada.
Her dad was a crew member on the HMS Ajax which, together with HMS Exeter and HMS Achilles, defeated the Graf Spee in the famous Battle of the River Plate in 1939.
The town decided to honour the crews by naming roads after them.
Ann had a letter from the mayor of Ajax six years ago inviting her to attend a tree-planting ceremony in the road.
But she was recovering from cancer at the time and couldn’t make it.
Now she will have that chance thanks to sponsors Birmingham International Airport and its partner airlines and tour operators which will pay for the flights and spending money to cover accommodation and other treats for Ann and a companion.
Ann said she would “jump for joy and probably cry as well” if she won the holiday and that’s exactly what she did.
She added: “I still can’t believe I’ve won – it still feels like a dream.
“I do feel sorry for the other contestants but now I can fulfil the promise to my brother and father which was to walk down that street and pay tribute.
Her father died 17 years ago and mother, Alison, passed away eight years ago. Her brother Howard died three years ago.
Ann said: “Losing my father was like losing my best friend. He meant the world to me and we were so close.
“He would always ask how my children were and see if I was OK and would do anything for me.”
Ann, who is married to Mick and has a son Andrew, 33, will be taking her daughter Alison, 30, on the trip.
Thursday, Jul. 10, 2008
An off-duty Cleveland police officer with 35 years on the job chased down a bank robbery suspect with the help of a woman bystander, and now both of them are being called heroes.
The police union said Jim Simone is the most decorated officer in the history of the Cleveland Police Department, a facto that has earned him the title “Supercop.”
“He loves the city of Cleveland, he loves working for the people, and he loves putting bad guys away,” said union President Steve Loomis.
Simone was off-duty when he happened upon a bank robbery on Wednesday, and he once again sprang into action. But at 60 years old, Supercop is no spring chicken, and 35 years on the job has taken its toll.
“He’s been shot, I think he’s been shot twice. He’s been hit by a car a few times just since I’ve been on the job,” said Loomis.
Simone is still recovering after a man allegedly hit him with a car last month.
The robber of the Fulton Road bank had a head start, and when it looked like Simone wouldn’t catch him, another hero swooped in to help.
Police said the woman, identified only as Tina, was driving by when she spotted Simone chasing the suspect and offered him a ride.
Police said Simone was forced to fire on 35-year-old Robert Hackworth, who was reaching into a stolen pickup truck, a sign of danger for police.
Police said Tina gave Simone the backup he needed.
“If he did catch up to him on foot and he was winded it would have been a tragic situation also, so we just can’t say enough for Tina,” Loomis said.
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008
Wayne Zappone has been called a hero after he helped resuscitate a man who had a heart attack at the wheel of his car.
AS Warren Zappone watched the car in front of him veer across the road and crash into an embankment yesterday morning, he knew something had gone terribly wrong.
He ran down the ditch off Norman Road, North Rockhampton, dialling triple zero before he reached the car.
When he opened the door to the silver Hyundai, he immediately checked the elderly driver for a pulse. There wasn’t one.
“He wasn’t breathing and I knew he must’ve hit his head or something,” Mr Zappone said.
“Another bloke came over and we pulled him out of the car and started CPR.”
The men worked desperately to revive him until the ambulance arrived minutes after the accident, which happened about 9.30am.
The ambulance officers managed to get his pulse going again before he appeared to go into cardiac arrest again.
The 83-year-old Farnborough man, who is believed to have suffered a major heart attack, remained in a critical condition at Rockhampton Hospital yesterday afternoon.
Mr Zappone is a truck driver for Kele Bros.
He was on his way to Yeppoon for work when the accident happened, and he very nearly had one of his own.
“We went very close to having a three-car pile-up,” he said.
“I had to go off to the side as well.”
He said he was relieved to hear the man had survived.
“I’m still a bit shaky now,” he said just hours after the incident.
“It’s not something you come across every day.”
With enough knowledge of what to do, having dealt with the ambulance service through work, Mr Zappone drew praise from officers on the scene.
“The ambulance officers said it was fantastic that I knew all that I did,” Mr Zappone said.
Police yesterday hailed Mr Zappone a hero, and Central Region traffic co-ordinator Inspector Lyle Mitchell said his efforts had certainly not gone unnoticed.
“I am going to make a recommendation for an award of some sort,” he said.
“His actions no doubt helped save the man’s life.”
Keith Kennedy is getting a chance to meet the firefighters who rescued the 25-year-old man with autism from the Wisconsin woods.
Kennedy was missing for a week in the woods near Grantsburg, Wis. after running away from Trade Lake Camp for the developmentally-disabled on June 15. He was rescued June 22 and taken to Fairview Medical Center at the University of Minnesota for recovery.
Kennedy was discharged from the hospital Monday. He had a kidney transplant in 1995, and had been without his medication since June 15. Searchers feared that his kidneys would shut down.
On the last day of organized search, one of the St. Paul firefighters found Kennedy naked in some brush. He was dehydrated, full of ticks and bug bites and suffering from hypothermia.
Kennedy will meet the firefighters following a ceremony to honor the rescuers at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in St. Paul.
The Patriots in the Park annual carnival turned into a tense situation for several children stranded on a ride.
Sometime between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, six children between the ages of 3 and 8 were stranded for about 25 minutes on the Crazy Bus, a children’s ride that goes in circles for several minutes. An electronic problem caused the malfunction, according to Granite City firefighter/paramedic Craig Sykes.
Sykes was one of nine special responders from the fire department who rescued the children by carrying five of the six down a ladder.A child of about 8 was old enough to climb down the ladder by himself, Sykes said.
The children were stranded a little more than 20 feet off the ground in an upright position while they were rescued by firefighters. The rescue took about 15 minutes. No one was injured, Sykes said.
“The youngest one (about 3 or 4) seemed scared. The others seemed fine,” Sykes said.
“This was the first time we had any problems with any of the rides since I’ve been with the Park District,” said Dave Williams, executive director of the Granite City Park and Recreational District. “We’re thankful no one was hurt.”
Williams, who has been the executive director since 2000, said the ride was shut down for the remaining two days of the carnival.
The rides at the Patriots in the Park carnival are owned and operated by Swyear Amusements Company, of New Athens.
Swyear has been providing rides at the carnival for several years, Williams said.