It wasn't all bad
August 16, 2019

When planning his trip home from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Charleston, West Virginia, Sgt. Seth Craven had no idea storms in Philadelphia would almost keep him from his son's birth.

Craven's wife, Julie, was scheduled to have a caesarian section last Friday. Craven, who serves in the West Virginia National Guard, gave himself three days to make his way to Charleston. After flying from Kabul to Kuwait to Philadelphia, Craven was in the home stretch last Wednesday, until storms in Pennsylvania canceled his flight. He scored a seat on a flight out Thursday morning, but right before takeoff, a maintenance issue was detected, and everyone had to deplane.

After several more delays, passengers were told they would have to wait until Friday morning to catch a flight to Charleston. Craven realized he wouldn't make it in time for the C-section, but his other option, driving, wouldn't work because the storms caused a run on rental cars. He told his story to a few people, and one woman, Charlene Vickers, approached. Along with two colleagues, Vickers was headed to Charleston for a program that started Friday at noon, and she couldn't be late.

Her car was nearby, and Vickers was prepared to drive eight hours to Charleston. "I'm going to West Virginia tonight, come hell or high water," she told Craven. "So are you willing to join this crazy party of ours?" They jumped into her SUV and headed to West Virginia, with Vickers dropping Craven off at home around midnight — several hours before his son, Cooper, was delivered. "If it wasn't for Charlene, I never would have made it," Craven told Metro News. "All she wanted in return was pictures of the baby." Catherine Garcia

August 14, 2019

Jack Wietbrock just wants to keep all the turtles in West Lafayette, Indiana, safe.

Along with his mom and younger brother, the 8 year old recently saved a baby turtle that was stuck crossing a road called Cherry Lane. Wietbrock's mother, Michelle, told Good Morning America there are several ponds in the area, and often turtles are hit by cars. After rescuing the turtle, Jack thought it would be a good idea to send a letter to West Lafayette's mayor, John Dennis, asking him to do something to help the town's reptile population.

Jack requested that "Turtle Crossing" signs be installed on Cherry Lane, and he even drew an illustration showing how he saved the baby turtle. Dennis thought this was an excellent idea, and there are now two turtle crossing signs up on Cherry Lane — proof that kids can enact change. "We hope it encourages people to make a difference," Michelle Wietbrock said. Catherine Garcia

August 12, 2019

Preliminary results show that two new Ebola drugs appear to be highly effective when it comes to treating people with the virus.

Scientists studied four experimental drugs, and found that a compound developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and another created by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) "may be able to improve the survival of people with Ebola," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH told The Associated Press.

The drugs are both antibodies that block the virus, and researchers found a mortality rate of 30 percent for those who received the treatments; the mortality rate for another drug, ZMapp, was 50 percent. When patients received the treatments earlier, mortality rates dropped to 6 percent with the Regeneron drug and 11 percent with the NIH compound, compared to 24 percent with ZMapp.

Over the last year, Ebola has killed more than 1,800 people in Congo, and all treatment centers in the country now have access to these two drugs. "Getting people into care more quickly is absolutely vital," Dr. Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization told AP. "The fact that we have very clear evidence now on the effectiveness of the drugs, we need to get that message out to communities." Catherine Garcia

August 12, 2019

After spending decades wondering about the baby he rescued 22 years ago, retiring FBI agent Troy Sowers was finally able to give Stewart Rembert — now a corporal in the Marine Corps — a hug.

In 1997, a woman pretending to be a nurse abducted a newborn Rembert from the hospital. Sowers had only been with the FBI for a few months when he was tasked with finding Rembert, and after tracking down the woman, Sowers and other law enforcement officials were able to get her to reveal that she had left Rembert in a box behind a restaurant in Tacoma, Washington. "It's crazy to think that without his efforts, I wouldn't even be here today," Rembert told NBC News. "I wouldn't be a Marine. My family wouldn't be the same."

Sowers is now based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and wanting to give him a special send-off, his colleagues found Rembert and invited him to Sowers' retirement celebration on Friday. Rembert said he was "honored" to meet Sowers, and Sowers called this "probably one of the best surprises I've ever had." They shook hands and shared a hug, with Sowers remembering that after Rembert was found, a senior agent told him, "You'll never do anything better than that." Catherine Garcia

August 9, 2019

After fearing the worst, scientists were excited to discover baby corals slowly growing along the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers from Florida State University and Texas A&M University wrote about the underwater mountain range, which was damaged in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s by trawling. That fishing practice, which involves dragging nets along the seafloor, disturbed the area, severely harming deep-sea corals and sponges.

One of the study's authors, Amy Baco-Taylor, told Earth.com that it's been "hypothesized that these areas, if they've been trawled, that there's not much hope for them. So, we explored these sites fully expecting not to find any sign of recovery. But we were surprised to find evidence that some species are starting to come back to these areas."

The researchers sent an underwater vehicle and submersible down four times, and took 536,000 images of different parts of the seamount in order to take a close look at what's growing. They spotted evidence of sponges and tiny corals in the trawl scars, and as this area is federally protected, Baco-Taylor said it shows that "long-term protection allows for recovery of vulnerable species." Catherine Garcia

August 9, 2019

Brad Ryan has made his grandmother's dreams of seeing mountains, the ocean, and sand dunes come true.

Joy Ryan, 89, lives in Duncan Falls, Ohio, and never did much traveling. After Brad Ryan, now a vet at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., graduated from college, he started going on more and more trips, and his grandmother shared that she regretted not going on adventures when she was younger. That's when Brad decided it was time for his grandmother to see cacti, ocean waves, and mountain peaks in person, not through a television screen.

In 2015, they went on their first trip, a spur-of-the-moment trek to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He wanted to take Joy to all 61 U.S. National Parks, so Brad set up a GoFundMe to help cover costs, and they have since traveled to 29 parks, covering 25,000 miles in 38 states. "We've seen grizzly bears, we've been charged by a moose ... we've had all these dramatic experiences and seen all this wildlife that she's never set eyes on in Ohio," Brad told CBS News. During their visits to the parks, Brad said he's realized that for his grandmother, she's seeing a lot of things for the first and last time, "and that has dramatically changed the way I live my life as well." Catherine Garcia

August 8, 2019

When Dr. Walter Piper saw a pair of loons taking care of an orphaned duckling, he was "flabbergasted."

Piper runs The Loon Project, which studies the species in northern Wisconsin. He's been researching loons for nearly three decades, and told Good Morning America that mallards and loons are "usually enemies," and a loon couple raising a duckling has "never been reported before."

This unusual family was spotted by Piper and his team on a Wisconsin lake in mid-June. "It's touching and crazy and undeniable but these loons love this duckling and vice versa," he said. While observing the trio, they saw that the loons were "fiercely protective" of the duckling, and noticed it was picking up loon behaviors, like diving for food and standing on its parents' backs. The researchers believe the loons likely had a chick that died, and they decided to raise the lost duckling as their own.

Piper said that since this is uncharted territory, he has no idea what to expect from this pairing, but his team is looking forward to watching what happens. Catherine Garcia

August 8, 2019

Katie Stellar believes that getting a haircut can be a transformative experience.

"When you feel good about yourself, it can inspire you to do so many things," she told KARE 11. Stellar owns the Stellar Hair Company in Minneapolis, and as part of her Red Chair Project, she puts one of her salon chairs in the trunk of her car and drives around the city, offering free haircuts to people she meets who are homeless. While she's out, Stellar also passes out bags filled with food and other essentials. "When you have the ability to give, it's a responsibility to give," she said.

Stellar provides haircuts to new people and trims to those she's already met, and has been told by some that it's been decades since their last professional cut. Stellar was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a child, and at 18, underwent surgery to remove her large intestine. Her hair started to fall out, and she soon realized "what a big part of my identity it was," she said. "That's probably my main motivator — I don't do hair because I'm naturally good at it. I became good at it because I saw it was a way and a vessel to connect and care for people." Catherine Garcia

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