Kids & Teens

Teenage Boy Turns Hero in House Fire

In Milwaukee a 14 year old boy rescued his two younger sisters.

A grease fire had filled the house with smoke.

The boy called 911 and then was able to not only crawl out of his own bedroom window but the break the window of the room his younger sisters were in. He helped them out and got them to safety.

Authorities say the combination of the working smoke detector and the boy’s quick thinking and reaction has saved the live of all three children.

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The scene of the fire.

Quick-thinking hero teen rescues angler

A QUICK-THINKING teenager has been hailed as a hero after hauling a pensioner out of perilous waters.

Sixteen-year-old Will Hughes was fishing with his grandfather at an angling pool near Worcester when an elderly fisherman fell in.

Will, a student at North Bromsgrove High School, quickly jumped in after the man and pulled him out. “The man went in backwards and only his head and hat was visible. He couldn’t get himself out because of the weight of his clothes,” said Will.

“I got a bit of an adrenalin rush, and my heart was thumping, but I just did what anyone else would have done.”

After the drama, which happened at the Newton Works waters in Hallow, the lucky man, 75-year-old Brian Waldron, from Charford, Bromsgrove, went home with his wife none the worse for wear.

A grateful Mr Waldron said: “If it hadn’t been for Will’s actions, it could have been a much different story. He jumped in beside me almost as quickly as I hit the water. There was no way I could have got out on my own.”

Mr Waldron said he has been ordered by his wife to fish by the shallow end in future. As a thank you, the couple presented Will with a £30 gift voucher and the Newton Works Angling Society awarded him free membership for a year. Will’s mum Cheryl said: “I am very proud of Will. Young people generally get a bad name, but this action shows that they are not all bad.”

Southern tier teenager hailed as hero

A southern tier teenager is being hailed as a hero after pulling a two-year-old out of Chautauqua Lake.

A toddler’s life hinged on the efforts of 14-year-old Josh Sweatman.

Josh Sweatman said, “I gotta get him out before his dies.”

“When I got him out, he was choking up all the water he swallowed.”

Last Sunday, police say a twelve-year-old was pushing his two-year-old cousin around in a stroller at Celeron Park in The Town of Ellicott.

When the twelve-year-old got too close to the edge of the Chautauqua Lake, the two-year-old went under.

Josh Sweatman dove into action.

“I put down my stuff and ran over the tires from the stroller was sticking up so I grabbed it and I pulled him out.”

Josh’s father says he and his son were out fishing that day.

“I was fishing out at the Pier and I heard a little boy calling for help, and Josh my son was running over to the short dock where they were and I see him pull a stroller out with a two-year-old child in it.”

Town of Ellicott Police Officer Matt Kubinski said, “Luckily, the child was not hurt badly.”

Officer Kubinski says they’re still unsure why a child was pushing another child in a stroller, and why the two were so close to the lake without an adult supervision.

Authorities charged the toddler’s mother Kristen Anderson with endangering the welfare of a child. She’s expected to answer to those charges in a Town of Ellicott courtroom, next week.

In a small community where news spreads fast, just about everyone is calling Josh a hero.

Even Josh is starting to believe it.

“I’m a hero…”

Life

In the 1930s, a sweet miracle took place in Whitman, Mass.

Too bad sainthood is not generally conferred on bakers, for there is one who is a possible candidate for canonization.

She fulfills most of the requirements: (1) She’s dead. (2) She demonstrated heroic virtue. (3) Cults have been formed around her work. (4) Her invention is considered by many to be a miracle. The woman: Ruth Graves Wakefield. Her contribution to the world: the chocolate chip cookie.

One day in the 1930s, Wakefield, an owner of the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Mass., was busy baking in her kitchen. There are many legends of the fateful moment, some crediting accident and some crediting design, but the result – Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies – became the culinary mother to an august lineage that is still multiplying and, in some cases, mutating.

The humble chocolate chip cookie is the baker’s crucible. So few ingredients, so many possibilities for disaster. What other explanation can there be for the unfortunate misinterpretations that have popped up everywhere – eggless and sugarless renditions; cookies studded with carob, tofu and marijuana; whole-wheat alternatives; and the terribly misguided bacon-topped variety.

Eighty years later, has anyone trumped Ruth Wakefield? To find out, a journey began that included stops at many bakeries as well as conversations with some doyens of baking. The result was a recipe for a consummate cookie, if you will: one built upon decades of acquired knowledge, experience and secrets.

The first visit was to the City Bakery, on West 18th Street in Manhattan, owned by Maury Rubin. When asked about the secret to his cookies, he said, “We bake them in small batches every hour so they’re always fresh.”

Why, in his view, does almost everybody say they prefer homemade to bakery bought?

“It’s the Warm Rule,” he said. “Even a bad cookie straight from the oven has its appeal.”

It’s an opinion expressed by every baker visited. Jacques Torres, who has three branches of his Jacques Torres Chocolate in Manhattan and Brooklyn, has a small warming tray set up near the register so customers can get their cookies soft and gooey.

Given the opportunity to riff on his cookie-making strategies, Rubin revealed two crucial elements home cooks can immediately add to their arsenal of baking tricks. First, he said, he lets the dough rest for 36 hours before baking.

Asked why, he shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “They just taste better.”

Why dough resting is key

“Oh, that Maury’s a sly one,” said Shirley O. Corriher, author of “CookWise” (William Morrow, 1997), a book about science in the kitchen.

“What he’s doing is brilliant. He’s allowing the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid – in this case, the eggs – in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency.”

A long hydration time is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving, she said. Making matters worse, the butter coats the flour, acting, she said, “like border patrol guards,” preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients. The extra time in the fridge dispatches that problem. Like the Warm Rule, hydration – from overnight to a few days – was a tactic shared by nearly every baker interviewed.

To put the technique to the test, one batch of the cookie dough recipe given here was allowed to rest in the refrigerator. After 12, 24 and 36 hours, a portion was baked, each time on the same sheet pan, lined with the same non-stick sheet in the same oven at the same temperature.

Going the full distance seemed to make the biggest difference. At 36 hours, the dough was significantly drier than the 12-hour batch; it crumbled a bit when poked but held together well when shaped. These cookies baked up the most evenly and were a deeper shade of brown than their predecessors. Surprisingly, they had an even richer, more sophisticated taste, with stronger toffee hints and a definite brown sugar presence.

The second insight Rubin offered had to do with size. His cookies are six-inch affairs because he believes that their larger size allows for three distinct textures.

“First there’s the crunchy outside inch or so,” he said. A nibble revealed a crackle to the bite and a distinct flavor of butter and caramel. “Then there’s the center, which is soft.”

“But the real magic,” he added, “is the 1 1/2-inch ring between them where the two textures and all the flavors mix.”

Testing once again bore out Rubin’s thesis, which might be called the Rule of Thirds. The 24-hour and, especially, the 36-hour cookies developed the ring Rubin enthusiastically described. The crisp edge gave way to a chewy circle, with a flavor similar to penuche fudge, surrounding a center as soft as that of the first batch.

His theory on the impact of size on texture so delighted Corriher that she wanted to include it in her new book, “BakeWise” (Scribner, $40), due out in October.

And what would a chocolate chip cookie be without the wallop of good chocolate? According to most of the bakers, only chocolate with at least 60 percent cacao content has the brio to transform the dough into the Hulk Hogan of cookies.

Many, like Rubin and Torres, have their chocolate made exclusively for them. Others use high-quality imported brands, like Callebaut or Valrhona, and shoot a ratio of chocolate to dough of no less than 40 to 60.

Break apart a Torres cookie and a curious thing happens. Inside aren’t chunks of chocolate, but rather thin, dark strata.

“I use a couverture chocolate, because it melts beautifully,” he explained, something traditional chips don’t do. Couverture is a coating chocolate used, for instance, for covering truffles.

To get his trademark layers, Torres has his chocolate, which is manufactured by the Belgium company Belcolade, made into quarter-size disks – easily five times the volume of a typical commercial chip. Because the disks are flat and melt superbly, the result, he said, is layers of chocolate and cookie in every bite.

Dorie Greenspan, author of several baking books including “Baking: From My Home to Yours” (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), was asked to fill in any blanks left by the master bakers during the quest for the ultimate cookie.

Improving upon a winner

Although unsure she could bring anything new to the party, she went through the usual checklist: read through the recipe first, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature, use the best-quality ingredients you can find, don’t overmix.

Then she hit upon something everyone else had missed, and some home bakers are nervous about: salt.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of salt in sweet baked goods,” she said. Salt, in the dough and sprinkled on top, adds dimension that can lift even a plebian cookie. To make the point, she referred to her recipe for Sables Korova, a chocolate chocolate-chip cookie with a hefty pinch of fleur de sel, from her book “Paris Sweets” (Broadway Books, 2002).

After weeks of investigating, testing and retesting, the time had come to assemble a new archetypal cookie recipe, one to suit today’s tastes and to integrate what bakers have learned since that fateful day in Whitman, Mass.

The recipe included here is adapted from Torres’ classic cookie, but relies on the discoveries and insights of the other bakers and authors. So, in effect, it’s all their cookie – the consummate chocolate chip cookie.

Newspaper carrier rescues senior stuck in bathtub 2 days

The observations of a woman delivering newspapers led to the rescue of an elderly Moncton resident who was stuck in her bathtub for two days.

Bonnie Moore thought it was a little odd to see the elderly woman’s front door wide open at 3 a.m. one morning last week.

But the next morning around 4 a.m., Moore saw the front door still open, with the previous day’s paper lying right where she had dropped it the day before.

She knew something was amiss.

Moore called the RCMP and asked them to check on Lorraine LeBlanc. “I didn’t want to sound paranoid, but it really bothered me,” Moore says.

Her instinct was correct. LeBlanc had been stuck in her bathtub without food or water for two days.

LeBlanc, 85, decided to take a bath last Thursday night after a day working in her garden.

Normally she would give herself a sponge bath because last time she took a bath she got stuck. A hip replacement and bad knee have made it hard for LeBlanc to walk. But last Thursday, she says she wanted to get her “butt in the water.”

While she is still suffering some pain from her ordeal, it hasn’t affected her sense of humour.

LeBlanc laughed when a reporter called about the incident.

“You’re not going to put that in the paper, are you?” she said with a hearty laugh.

She says she tried numerous times throughout the harrowing experience to climb out of the tub, but her legs simply weren’t co-operating.

Animals

Rescued Eagle Chicks Getting ‘Feisty’

Two bald eagle chicks that were rescued from Lake Oahe are said to be growing and getting “feisty.”

Pierre veterinarian Virginia Trexler-Myren is caring for the eaglets for now.

Wildlife officials rescued them when the rising level of the lake threatened to flood the nest. It was build in a dead tree standing in the lake near Akaska in northern South Dakota.

The adult eagles had abandoned the nest, possibly because of the disturbance from boaters who had found it.

Veterinarian Trexler-Myren says the chicks will go next to a large wildlife center and hopefully be released later into the wild.

Firefighters rescue injured horse

On Tuesday firefighters came to the rescue of an injured horse found near the fire line of the Soda Complex, burning on the Mendocino National Forest near Lake Pillsbury.

At around 8 a.m. Tuesday, firefighters working on the western and southwestern edge of the Mill Fire came across an injured horse as crews were constructing containment line and preparing for a backfire operation, according to Forest Service spokesperson Marc Peeble.

Firefighters assessed the injured horse and found that he sustained injuries to his front legs and abrasions, said Peebles. The horse also appeared to be very dehydrated, weak and may have been in this condition for several days.

Peebles said they suspect that the horse may have been spooked and ran off during the initial lightening storm several weeks ago.

Incident Commander Dave Fiorella of Southern California Incident Management No. 3 ordered his Management Team to find a local veterinarian and for firefighters to prepare for a rescue mission, Peebles said. Dr Sherry Cronin D.V.M. of Covelo was flown by helicopter into the area to assess the horse’s condition prior to rescue.

The horse got some special tender loving care from his firefighter friends, who fed the horse apples from their fire line sack lunches and gave him water to help him recover, according to Peebles.

After a couple of hours, the horse began to show signs of improvement, Peebles said, and Dr. Cronin determined the horse’s injuries were minor enough that firefighters could walk him to a ranch a few miles away.

Peebles said the firefighters on the line affectionately dubbed the horse “Mr. Ed.”

Officials offered a special thanks to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter for helping to locate Dr Cronin and a temporary shelter location.

Hero dog saves owner from snake

A dog has been hailed a hero after saving its owner from a deadly snake that attacked her in her home.

Rodica Sterescu’s pet, Maria, saw off the 1.8m (6ft) snake that slithered into her house while she watched TV.

‘I’d probably be dead if it wasn’t for her,’ said Ms Sterescu, from Slatina.

Hero Dog Saves Family From Fire

Fire ripped through a home in the 1700 block of Northwest 14th Avenue early Monday, and the family pet saved the day, literally.

Junior, a 14-month-old shih tzu mix, started barking and wouldn’t stop when flames erupted in the home where his owner, Madelous Davilmar and six others live. The smoke detectors were going off, but they didn’t wake up Davilmar.

“Junior’s a quiet dog and he started making a lot of noise,” Davilmar said.

The barking woke him up. And he found the house filled with smoke.

Davilmar rushed through the house, trying to awaken his relatives, some of whom were visiting from Orlando.

Everyone had made it out safely.

Investigators have deemed the fire suspicious. Davilmar said he’s just thankful everyone is alive, thanks to Junior.

“He’s a hero. I will definitely treat him better now,” Davilmar said.

Miracle terrier survives in eight-inch underground pipe

A dog survived an incredible seven days trapped inside an eight-inch underground pipe after running away during a walk.

Amazingly, Timmy the Terrier was rescued in almost perfect health from the narrow pipe.

The pet had gone missing after running off to chase rabbits during a walk near his home in Cheshire on 4 July.

Mrs Whittle and her husband Mark frantically searched fields surrounding their home in Whitchurch Road, Combermere, Cheshire, but for seven days there was no sign of Timmy.

After seven days, The couple decided to use their other dog Meg in the search and she led them to a sewerage pipe next to a riverbed.

Mr Whittle said: ‘Angie was sure she could hear Timmy inside, so we phoned a friend who is an ex-fireman and he came down with us to try and get him out.

‘Along with the farmer whose land it was, we managed to dig down 10ft and found the 8in wide steel pipe.

‘It was only when we cut the pipe that we realised the sound had travelled and Timmy was actually about 20m or 30m away from where we thought he was.’

After five hours of trying unsuccessfully to rescue the dog, the couple called in the RSPCA and the Fire and Rescue Service.

RSPCA officer Claire Davis said: ‘I assessed the scene and verified there was really an animal in the pipe and soon afterwards a fire crew arrived.

‘They started work at 10.15pm and Timmy was finally pulled out unhurt by one of the firefighters at about 1.30am.’

Timmy was immediately treated by an emergency vet for a slight eye infection, but was otherwise unharmed by his ordeal.

Mr Whittle added: ‘It was my birthday on Friday July 11 – the day we got him out of the tunnel – and getting Timmy back was the best birthday present I could hope for.’

Beagle lost for five years found 1,350 km away

Rocco, a beagle who strayed from a New York City yard five years ago, has been found 1,350 kilometres away in Georgia and reunited with his owners.

Randy Durrence, the supervisor at the Liberty County Animal Control in Hinseville, Georgia, told the New York Post that someone dropped off the pooch on July 5.

A microchip embedded under Rocco’s skin helped trace him to Jorge and Cristina Villacis, his family in Queens.

The couple’s daughter, Natalie, who was five years old when Rocco disappeared, was ecstatic.

Durrence says the shelter reunites many families with their pets, but “it’s unheard of” after so many years.

Firefighters rescue injured heron

A crowd of several dozen people cheered firefighters yesterday after they rescued an injured heron from a sycamore tree in Cherokee Park.

Several people had called 911 during the morning to report that the bird, a black-crowned night-heron, had become tangled on a piece of line near a bridge on Scenic Loop over Beargrass Creek.

The heron had injured its right wing and lost a few feathers, but it was conscious when it was taken away by Eileen and John Wicker of Raptor Rehab of Kentucky.

Nate Paulson and Capt. Kent McCauley of Louisville Fire & Rescue climbed a ladder to reach the heron, then carried it down just before noon. The bird appeared to have been caught on a piece of kite string or fishing line, and it was unclear how long it had been there.

“At the very least, it has a dislocated shoulder,” Eileen Wicker said.

The Wickers gave the bird fluid before putting it in a cage in the back of their van. It was the second one they had rescued the same day; another found off Eastern Parkway.

The Wickers were taking the herons to a woman who has worked at the Louisville Zoo and said she would nurse them back to health.

Black-crowned night-herons are common in the St. Joseph neighborhood and in other parts of the metro area. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, they have a wingspan of about 45 inches and produce a loud, harsh squawk.

Dogs rescued from blaze

Firefighters rescued 15 dogs from flames that ripped through a workshop at a dog grooming parlour in Chorley.
The blaze started in a microwave at a workshop at All Breeds grooming parlour on Bolton Road, Chorley, at around 8am on Friday.

The owner of the dog parlour was unavailable to speak about the ordeal but neighbours said they saw fire engines arrive at the address.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fire started in a microwave and almost spread in the inside of a workshop.

“The dogs had to be taken to safety but were not injured.”

In an unrelated incident, the inside of a disused restaurant on Bolton Road in Anderton, near Chorley, was destroyed in a fire at 8.07pm on Friday (July 11).

Fire crews were equipped with breathing apparatus and used three jets, two ventilation units as well as a triple extension ladder and thermal imaging camera to deal with the blaze.

There were reports that people had been inside the former restaurant at the time of the fire, although no one is said to have been injured.

Lovebird swans reunited on water

It was a scene that could have come straight from any screen classic – a loving couple reunited after being forced to spend 10 days apart.

But the stars of this romantic tale were a pair of Shropshire swans which had to be separated after the cob suffered devastating injuries in a dog attack.

The pair had lived happily together on the pools in Court Street in Madeley, Telford, for seven years until the male was attacked by a loose dog on July 4.

He sustained severe injuries to his left wing and had to be rescued in an operation including firefighters using their rescue boat and RSPCA officers.

He was given emergency treatment by a vet before being nursed back to health at Much Wenlock’s Cuan House wildlife rescue centre.

After making a full recovery, the swan was released back to his devoted partner, who was waiting on the water, today by animal collection officer Elaine Williams.

Rescues

Neighbor Rescues Woman from Burning House

Neighbors rescued a woman from her burning home early Monday morning, and three firefighters were hurt putting out the flames in Green Bay.

The fire was discovered around 4 o’clock at a three-story home in the 800-block of South Quincy Street on the city’s east side. Investigators say 68-year-old Mary Taylor lives there with her two dogs.

“I got out of bed and went to the front window and could tell somebody was yelling, ‘Fire!'” Curt Dworak said.

When he realized what was happening just a couple houses down from his own, he threw on some clothes and ran to his neighbor’s aid.

“I was just hoping Mary wasn’t in there, and her car was in the driveway so I knew she was, so I just reacted,” he said. “I just busted the glass. It all started falling. I ripped the screen out and then went in the window.”

Dworak yelled for Mary but got no response. As he searched, the fire grew and debris started falling around him.

“I didn’t know what to do. I yelled for her a couple more times, and then I heard her.”

Disoriented and incapacitated, Mary was sprawled on the floor in the back of her house, so Dworak picked her up and carried her to safety.

While others call what Dworak did heroic, he says anyone would’ve done the same.

“They would’ve all done the same thing. Mary’s a nice lady, and how could you live with yourself if you didn’t do something like that?”

Mary was up and talking before she was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Dworak escaped without a scratch.

Three firefighters putting out the fire were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

“Always tough for us. The gear we wear is basically like winter clothes, and it holds a lot of heat, so that was definitely a concern. They rotate crews quite frequently to make sure we stay hydrated and cool,” Nick Craig, Green Bay Fire Department, said.

Garden hose aids police in rescue

Two police officers used a garden hose to douse flames so they could enter a burning building and rescue a man.

Northern Constabulary said the constables were responding to a report of a disturbance at a property in Ardersier’s High Street on Sunday.

After unsuccessfully trying to encourage the man inside to leave, they used the hose and a small powder extinguisher to fight the fire.

Assisted by a third officer, the pair managed to reach and save the man.

He was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

Police said a man had been charged in connection with the incident.

Praising the officers, Ch Insp Julian Innes said: “Their actions were both brave and commendable and a credit to Northern Constabulary.”

Hero angler rescues girl from river

A young girl who fell from a boat into the River Nene was just seconds from death when she was snatched from the water by an angler who spotted her plight.
The child, who is thought to be about four years old, was underwater and drowning when angling match organiser Ken Wade raced to the scene and slithered down the river bank on his stomach to reach down and get hold of her wrist.

Today, Mr Wade (57), The Evening Telegraph’s angling correspondent, shrugged off any suggestion that he was a hero and said he was delighted to save the child’s life because he has a grand-daughter of his own.

The drama began on Saturday (12 July) at 7pm as Mr Wade was pegging out for a major fishing match which took place in the city yesterday.

Mr Wade, of High Street, Fletton, Peterborough, was walking along the riverbank – close to the Key Theatre on the Embankment – when he saw two young girls playing on the deck of a moored boat.

He was shocked seconds later to hear piercing screams from the elder of the two girls, and he realised the younger child had vanished into the water.

Mr Wade said: “I had seen them joking around on the boat and thought nothing of it.

“But then, out of the corner of my eye, I realised I had seen what could have been the girl slipping off the boat, and I could hear the other girl screaming.

“I rushed to the boat, fell on to my front, and slid along the bank until I could grab the girl, who was under the water.

“I reached under and managed to catch hold of her wrist. She was a tiny little thing and she was completely submerged.

“I pulled her up on to the river bank. The other girl, who I presumed was her older sister, was still screaming for help.

“A man, who I took to be the girl’s father, was inside the boat. He came out and laid her on the bank and he managed to resuscitate her.

“I then left the family to it. They all looked very shaken.

“The oddest thing about it was a group of Polish men, who had seen what had happened, they ran over to me and started to slap me on the back, calling me a hero.

“They even offered me a drink of beer.”

But Mr Wade, who is the secretary of the Peterborough and District Angling Association, said it wasn’t until he got home that the traumatic incident really hit home.

He added: “I have a grand-daughter myself, and it was when I thought of her that I realised how serious the situation had been.”

Mr Wade’s daughter, Paula Ramsden, said: “We couldn’t believe it when he told us what happened. We are proud of him.”

Mr Wade said today that he hoped the child had now fully recovered from her brush with death.

The ambulance service said there was no record of a 999 call-out.

Charity

Their field of dreams

Whether it’s Little League or the majors, there’s nothing like watching a ball game on a warm July evening. This summer there are 60 children playing a game they’ve never played before. The Miracle League for disabled children has expanded to Sioux Falls and those involved say it’s truly a field of dreams.

Sioux Falls, S.D. — It’s hard to count just how many miracles there are on this field. For Ron Griebel the miracle is the field itself.

Griebel heard about the special field about a year-and-a-half ago.

There are Miracle Leagues in Rochester and the Twin Cities. Griebel wanted one in Sioux Falls.

The field is made from a special rubber surface with a painted baseball diamond. Griebel raised $400,000 through private donations and got the city to donate land.

“When we approached the city of Sioux Falls, we said we didn’t want to be tucked away in some corner,” Griebel said. “We wanted to be where other ball fields were, because we want them to play when other kids were playing, so they feel like they’re part of the whole group and not shoved away somewhere.”

The Miracle League field is part of a youth baseball complex just down the street from the local minor league stadium.

Griebel says he wanted the field so his 17-year-old daughter Sammi could experience the joy of baseball.

Sammi has cerebral palsy and Griebel’s eyes glisten with love as he talks about his daughter.

“She loves to be outside and to play,” he said. “She was patient and she’d always go to her sister’s ball games. Now they get to come and watch her play.”

Griebel says playing baseball makes his daughter happy and that makes him happy. The feeling is contagious.

On the field, nine players in team t-shirts are in position. Each player has a ball buddy, a volunteer who helps make plays.

Sometimes that means handing them the ball to throw or showing them where to throw it. The buddies also assist with batting and moving the players in a wheelchairs to their base.

On the field, each players is unique. One claps her hands for every play. Another gets the ball and stands, frozen, as everyone yells together, “throw it!”

Umpire Lyle Smith also serves as pitcher and all-around cheerleader. He calls each child by name. Smith is the executive director of the Sioux Empire Baseball Association.

“I think it’s a great opportunity just to get involved with something, to interact with other children, to be in a situation to enjoy participating in a degree of physical activity,” he said. “They play a game, but that is a very loose term.”

The rules are simple. Everyone gets a hit. Everyone gets on base and everyone scores. There are no strikes or outs or errors. For Lyle Smith, the act of playing is the miracle.

“I have been involved with baseball all my life,” he said. “I have always worked with the upper level kids college kids who had a shot at the majors. These are the bravest people I have ever seen.”

Parents in the stands cheer for every play and every player. For them it’s a miracle to be there.

They don’t even know the team names – someone says they’re all named after a major league team, but it doesn’t really matter. Randy and Julie Briggs watch their son Scotty. He has Down syndrome.

“Sometimes you feel a little short changed or left out. This makes you feel good,” Julie Briggs said.

“It fills that gap you have of never being able to go to a game and watch our son play ball,” said Randy Briggs.

It also means that Julie Briggs can play a role she never thought she could.

“We live by a big ball complex and you can hear all the cheers, and it’s like, ‘Oh man, we never get to do that.’ And now we do,” Briggs said. “I told my friend now I’m a baseball mom.”

Some people at the field just come to watch baseball. They cheer or just observe in quiet amazement.

Lyle Smith says the miracles will continue as the league grows, more kids with disabilities sign up and more volunteers act as ball buddies.

“I just think people enjoy being around there and trying to make someone else’s life a little more bearable in an hour of fun,” Smith said.

At the end of the game, on this field, every player is a winner. Umpire Lyle Smith says it goes further than that, because these teams share their miracle with anyone who’s got a warm summer evening to watch a ball game.

Heroes

Rescued climber calls friend a hero

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.

Wrecker driver honored for being a hero

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.

Supercop, Bystander Called Heroes In Bank Robber Chase

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.

Cops

Police risked their lives in fire rescue

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.

Miracle League

Camp hits a grand slam

The bag of potting soil was too heavy for Bradly Fisher to carry alone.

When Gaven Urban saw Fisher struggling to carry the bag, he was more than willing to lend a helping hand.

Together, the two carried the bag to one of the three pots campers with Camp Grand Slam were filling with soil and flowers Tuesday.

Fisher said he likes flowers and likes to plant them, most of the time.

“I don’t like flowers with bees in them,” he said before getting started.

Camp Grand Slam (social learning and maintenance) is a camp to serve school age to post-school age kids and young adults with multiple disabilities from all over the county. It’s held annually by the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center.

“It’s something out here for the kids besides pure academic summer school and is an extension of our program,” said Rhonda Carley, camp coordinator and multiple disabilities teacher at John Glenn High School.

The three day-a-week, four-week summer camp has 24 campers this year that are participating in activities like horseback riding, visiting local parks and lakes, making pizza, bowling, a field trip to The Wilds, swimming and other activities.

Planting flowers in three large pots at the Miracle League Field behind the Starlight School was their community service project for the summer. Last year as a community service project, campers wrote letters to troops.

“It gives kids the exposure in the summer because they have so much structure throughout the school year. They can reunite with friends and do summer activities they don’t always get to do,” said Diana White, a kindergarten through second-grade multiple disabilities teacher at Tri-Valley Local Schools and a camp staffer.

This year’s camp is Kate Geiger’s first, but a little more than one week into it, she was having fun.

“I like it. It’s a lot of fun. The kids are always in a good mood and they seem to like to come,” she said.

As a multiple disabilities teacher at Dresden Elementary School for third- through fifth-graders, she said it’s not only good for them to have something to look forward to in the summer but it also helps develop their social skills.

“It definitely helps all their social skills. They’re out in the community with people they don’t normally interact with. They’re not around their typical classmates and have to socialize with different peers,” she said. “Social skills are usually the most difficult for them. The more we can have them in a different environment, the more it will help them.”

Kolton Roush, a senior in the Muskingum Valley program, and Amanda Wells, who is post-school age, are camp counselors this year.

Mark Bellew’s favorite part of camp this year was getting Olive Garden for lunch, but said he also liked planting flowers at the field.

The flowers were donated by Timber Run Gardens LLC.

“I love Camp Grand Slam,” he said. “I have always enjoyed camp and love coming here.”

Faith

Christian cowboy uses roping, riding to spread good news

For Steve Friskup, roping, riding and religion go together like prayer and praise, horses and sweat, families and fun.

Friskup remembers exactly when he met the Lord.

“It was December 3, 1995, one o’clock in the morning, on the first exit on I-40 at Elk City, Oklahoma, driving my pickup. I pulled over and said, Lord, I need some help,’ and he did.”

Friskup, who now works as a livestock auctioneer when he is not spreading God’s word at the Muleshoe Cowboy Fellowship, was then a cowboy and auctioneer who was adrift with no fulfillment. Even though he was a husband and father, he felt a desperate need to fill his otherwise empty existence with something that mattered. He knew there had to be more to life than always buying the first round at happy hour.

The first two years after Friskup asked for God’s help were the hardest time in his life.

“It’s hard to put old wine in new skin,” he says.

In 2002 Friskup and his wife, Robin, were in Canyon spreading the Gospel when he received a call from Gary Morris asking him to come to Muleshoe to help with a roping clinic and come every Thursday and give a message. Friskup felt drawn to move to Muleshoe and make it permanent. When he told Robin that the Lord wanted them in Muleshoe, she hesitated a minute and said, “Well, go ask him again.”

But move they did, and now neither one of them can envision living anywhere else. In those six years, Steve has seen the Muleshoe Cowboy Fellowship congregation grow to around 250 members. But his other labor of love is the Christian Roping Camp and Horsemanship Clinic that he helped with before moving to Muleshoe. The Cowboy Fellowship has held the clinic now for the past seven years at the Good Times Roping Arena north of Muleshoe.

“This camp could change your life!” declared the headline on the newspaper ad for last year’s clinic, which encouraged families and individuals alike to attend. Each day’s activities began in the Tabernacle, an open pavilion near the roping arena, with a round of prayer and singing to start the day in a positive way. The day always ended on a positive note as well, with supper followed by fellowship in the tabernacle.

Just like last year, families and individuals are welcome, prayer, praise, and meals will begin and end the day, and the roping clinic is still open to all ages and levels of ability and is geared toward team roping. Everyone helps with the ground work and helpful hints on becoming a better roper. Friskup’s two daughters, Kaci Morris and Kelsi Friskup, teach the horsemanship, which is usually geared to the younger riders.

This year the clinic is calling itself by a new name, the Cowboy Camp Meeting, and will focus on daily Bible study interspersed with lots of roping and riding sessions. Gary and Sheryl Morris’ Good Times Arena and the Friskup’s nearby family arena will be in full swing every day.

Friskup sees the roping clinic as the Cowboy Fellowship version of vacation Bible school. They ask $100 per family, but as the ad says, “If you don’t have $100, come anyway.” Friskup says experience has shown him that people tend to get more involved when investment is a factor, so that works in the camp’s favor, but no one has ever been turned away. The money helps with the cost of food and expenses, but making money is not the objective of the camp. The trick, Friskup jokes, is to get people to come for the roping and then introduce them to the word of God.

Last year about 35 families learned about roping and riding, enjoyed meals together, and shared testimonies at evening fellowship. The final service at last year’s clinic witnessed the baptism of a young roper who wanted to commit his life to Christ. An oval aluminum horse trough served as a handy baptismal pool at the arena.

Miracles

Misfire miracle – Businessman dodges death as gun jams three times

Three times he pulled the trigger, three times the gun apparently jammed. A Manchester businessman narrowly escaped death yesterday when a gunman held him up outside his home in Christiana, stole a bag containing more than $1 million and then tried to shoot him.

“He (the gunman) pointed a gun at me and I heard three clicks, which meant that he tried to fire three shots. But the gun jammed,” the businessman, whom The Gleaner has chosen not to identify, said yesterday.

Mercy of God

“I believe in God and he is the only reason I am here now because I could have been lying in the morgue.”

He added: “I was opening my garage to leave my house, so I put my bag down with my bank lodgements. I then heard a voice saying, ‘Give me the bag! Give me the bag!’ The man who was behind me then grabbed my bag and ran off. While running, he pointed a gun at me and I heard the three clicks.”

The robber later ran into a nearby gully with the bag containing about $1.3 million.

Well-orchestrated plan

The store operator believes he was the victim of a well-orchestrated plan.

He said the execution of the plan began about 6:30 a.m. when he observed a green Nissan motor car parked some distance from his home.

“I was looking at the car through my window and a man came out and flew his bonnet like he was repairing something. He did this for over an hour and then he drove off to the top of the road like he was waiting.”

After which, the store operator decided to leave home, which was when he was attacked.

No plans to relocate

The Mandeville businessman’s miraculous survival comes just over a week after corporate Jamaica loudened its cry against crime, proposing drastic measures to curb the violence affecting the nation.

The businessman said this was the second time he had fallen victim to robbers, but noted he had no thoughts of moving.

“I have been living in this community since 1983 and have been operating my store for 25 years now, and I am not planning to move right now,” he said. “What I would love to see is greater police vigilance in the community.”

The police have so far taken statements from the businessman, but no arrests have been made.

“I haven’t heard anything else from them since this morning, no arrests or anything,” he said.

Found

Owners get stolen car returned, 14 years later

A stolen car has been returned to its rightful owner after being missing for 14 years.

Milos and Spomenka Jokic from Bosnia left their car on a Belgrade street during a holiday in 1994.

When they returned hours later, they discovered their Mark II Golf was missing.

Fourteen years later, the Bosnian couple was surprised to receive a knock on their door from a police officer who said they had recovered the car.

During a routine roadside check, police realized the car was stolen after they ran a trace on it.

Milos says the car drives as well now as it did before it was stolen.

Alzheimer

Tomatoes may harbour Alzheimer’s cure

Besides making pasta’s curry tangy, the plump and red tomato has far more serious benefits – the humble fruit can be a suitable carrier for an oral vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease, says a group of researchers.

The study, conducted by HyunSoon Kim from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) in Korea and colleagues from Digital Biotech Inc. and the Department of Biological Science at Wonkwang University, is currently in the early stages.

However, it is a promising first step towards finding an edible vaccine against the neurodegenerative disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and it progresses over a long period of time.

It is thought to be caused by the accumulation of human beta-amyloid, a toxic insoluble fibrous protein in the brain, which leads to the death of neurons.

Reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid may inhibit the degeneration of the nervous system and therefore prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. One approach is to stimulate the immune system to reduce beta-amyloid in the brain.

In the study, the researchers’ aim was to develop a plant-derived vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease, since beta-amyloid is toxic to animal cells.

Tomatoes are an attractive candidate as a vaccine carrier because they can be eaten without heat treatment, which reduces the risk of destroying the immune stimulation potential of the foreign protein.

In the study, the scientists inserted the beta-amyloid gene into the tomato genome and measured the immune responses to the tomato-derived toxic protein in a group of 15-month-old mice. They immunized the mice orally with the transgenic tomato plants once a week for three weeks, and also gave the mice a booster seven weeks after the first tomato feed. Blood analyses showed a strong immune response after the booster, with the production of antibodies to the human foreign protein.

The authors conclude: “Although we did not reveal a reduction of existing plaques in the brain of mice challenged with tomato-derived beta-amyloid…this study represents a unique approach in which transgenic plants expressing beta-amyloid protein are used to produce a vaccine.”

Fatherhood

Woman keeps promise to war hero dad

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.

Reunited

Friends meet up after 38 years

Two Shropshire school friends who had not seen each other for 38 years renewed their long-lost friendship after meeting up at the 80s concert held in Shrewsbury Quarry.

Pauline Kemp, of Ketley Bank, Telford, and her best friend in school Dorothy Chipchase, of Castlefields, Shrewsbury, last saw one another in March 1970 but managed to get back in touch through the Friends Reunited website.

Pauline, who attended the Here and Now: Magic of the 80s concert on Saturday with her husband Martin as a birthday present, said herself and Dorothy, both 53, had rolled back the years by sharing their memories at the event.

She said: “We were both at Meole Brace Secondary School and then she left at 15 while I was a bit younger and spent my last two years at Church Stretton School doing a CSE.”

She added: “We lost touch and hadn’t seen each other for years and then one day I had an e-mail come through and it was her.

“She had found me on Friends Reunited and she phoned me and asked me if I remembered her and I said ‘of course I do we were best friends in school’.”

Dorothy said it had been a fantastic reunion and said they now planned to keep in touch regularly.

She said: “It was brilliant and the concert was excellent as well. She recognised me straight away anyway.

“It was really strange seeing her after such a long time. We’re going to meet up again and are definitely going to stay in touch.”

After leaving school Pauline, who is originally from Condover, later moved to Kidderminster and then Telford and has worked at the Asda store in the town for the past 15 years.

Dorothy, on the other hand, has lived in various parts of the country including Suffolk and York, before returning back to Shrewsbury with her husband who works for the prison service.

This article was posted on July 14, 2008 a

Angel Food Ministries

Church helps to feed families on $30 a week

The dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. Gas prices are high, food prices are rising, and families say they are feeling the effects.

So, what can one Charlotte church do to make a difference? Community of Christ congregation members will do their part by bringing Angel Food Ministries to Charlotte this month.

The nonprofit program got its start in the early 1990s when a group of families in Georgia decided to team up in an effort to purchase quality food at wholesale prices. Today, the program is run out of various churches in 35 states, with local sites including Potterville and Mason.
Offered to anyone

The monthly food menus can feed a family of four for one week and cost $30. Unlike other outreach programs, Angel Food is offered to anyone, regardless of income.

“We felt this was a community outreach, and that’s what churches are about,” said Donnie Gallimore. “The ability to stretch the food dollar is a hard thing to come by in this economy.”

Vera McDonald and her husband, Harold, congregation members for the past 50 years, are helping to organize the program at their church.

She said she was “shocked” when she learned how much food people can buy for $30. “To get that much for such a little amount is a surprise,” she said.

The Rev. Debora Crowley said Angel Food secures “restaurant quality” items, including meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables. She said the congregation’s new location on Lovett Street is perfect for the distribution of food.

“Since we’ve moved in here, we’ve anticipated that God will open doors for community outreach, and He has,” Crowley said. “This is the perfect location for this.”

Community of Christ had its first order placement Saturday. Those items will be distributed at the church July 26. Every month, orders will be taken from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month, with pick-up on the last Saturday of the month.

An estimated 15 volunteers already have been enlisted by the congregation to distribute food this month. Organizers hope the church will become a resource for local families.

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