Good News Americans #2

At the age of 22, Californian Mike Huss took a job as the night-time custodian at a small elementary school, in his hometown, located southeast of Sacramento, the same school he had attended K-6.  He took the job to support himself and his young wife.  When he would work a double-shift, meaning daytime as well as night, he became friends with many of the students, kind of unusual for a school janitor.  Members of the teaching staff, who witnessed his personality and ease with students, often encouraged Mike to think about switching to teaching.  But that would take a college degree.  With a very young son, now part of the family, Mike’s wife went to work, and Mike decided to go to school!  He enrolled in Sacramento State, an hour’s drive from home, while he continued working nights as the F-T custodian. It was a tough time, with both working and caring for their son. Four years later, Mike graduated and began his teaching career, moving from school janitor one day to teacher the next!  Nineteen years later, with some time as the assistant principal (plus teaching!), he was offered the job as principal of his small school. Proud of his long road of effort and accomplishment, Mike Huss wanted his example to show that “You can change course and achieve something.”  And that course had led him from cleaning school rooms, to teaching in them, and then to running the school!!  A great example of what desire, commitment, dedication, and darned hard work can produce.

Young Kaley Bastine of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, spent her 10th birthday hosting a fundraiser generating money to help with their police department’s canine and handler training.  With pink bathing suit and dunk tank, Kaley made close to $3,800 that day, but over $40,000 for local law enforcement with events her family had planned over the last few years. Great to see some refreshing positive news about our police departments from very appreciative citizens!

Here’s one that’ll create a smile of irony.  In West Virginia, one of those electric vehicles we’ve all been hearing about, broke down right near a coal mine’s access road. Repeat: coal mine!  Apparently (did we know this?), the plastic underside of the car prevents it from being towed?  And here it comes.  “Five coal miners came to push a battery car to the coal mine to charge up”!  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “coal accounts for about 21% of all the electricity generated in the United States, including the power used to charge EV’s.”  And all the power needed to get this particular, embarrassed EV driver back on the road!

On a recent flight, about 30-minutes after take-off, a baby on board stopped breathing. A passenger, a 20-year veteran nurse, responded immediately, “massaging the baby’s chest and legs to stimulate breathing.” Said she, as relieved as the baby’s parents: “When you have to step forward and do what’s right, you do it.”  All on board were thankful when the dad held the baby up smiling for all to see.  Heartfelt thanks to all of those in our health and first responder professions.

In Clinton, Iowa, a grandmother had taken her 8-year-old granddaughter who wasn’t feeling well to a near-by urgent care clinic.  On the way, they stopped for some chicken-to-go.  Early for their appointment, they sat in the car outside the clinic to eat.  At some point, the grandmother got some chicken caught in her throat and was having trouble breathing. Once the granddaughter understood what was wrong, she got up and hit her grandmother in the back.  That didn’t help, so she hit her in the back again, about four times more. That did it.  The chicken piece was finally dislodged. The granddaughter had already run inside the clinic for medical help.  All turned out safe and well.  Recall the granddaughter was just 8-years old!  By the way, for future home first-aid reference with choking cases, the American Red Cross “recommends administering five back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of one’s hand.”

Fourteen-year-old Tyce Rey Diaz Pender, living in Cayce, South Carolina, grew so fond of his caring stepfather over the years that he hoped one day to be adopted by him.  Adoption costs money for legal fees. So young Mr. Pender started his own lawn care business to try to earn the necessary money.  Mom contributed a power lawn mower and volunteered to drive her son (and mower!) to his lawn jobs. He has mowed over 40 yards to the date of this article.  Said young Mr. Pinder: “I think I got my work ethic from him (the stepdad, who has become like a real father to him).  I just want to make him and my mom proud.” We’re quite certain they are mighty proud of your initiative and your desire to become legally adopted by your “dad.”

And, finally, for this edition of Good News Americans, in St. Louis, Vietnam War veteran, Glenn Cook, had passed away.  But he had no surviving family.  So, the funeral home, a local organization, and fellow veterans came together to make sure that he would not be buried alone. Word went out and dozens of folks from around the area made it a point, on that day, to be there to say farewell to Glenn Cook.  No one wanted a veteran to ever have to be buried alone, which was the collective feeling expressed by those attending: “Our hearts are always with our veterans.”


(Custodian to principal via, Cortney Moore, 9-8-22; Birthday girl fundraiser via, Amy Furr, 6-5-22; Coal to the EV rescue via, Bradford Betz, 9-5-22; Baby stopped breathing via, Elsa Buchanan, 9-11-22; Choking case vias, Amy Furr, 9-5-22;  Mowing job to earn adoption money via The Epoch Times, 8-10-22; Strangers attend a veteran’s funeral via, Ethan Letkeman, 8-25-22).