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Uplifting

    Leyana had planned her birthday to a T. She even picked the right outfit. Then, the waiting began. Despite handing out invitations to everyone in Leyana’s class, no one showed up for the first-grader’s party, except for the actress who was hired to portray Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.” >> Read more trending news  Now, Lindsay Robert, who has been dressing up as Elsa and appearing at birthday parties, has reached out on Facebook to tell Leyana’s story. 'It was soul crushing. When I open the door, I’m used to all the kids running up to me. But she was just all by herself. Just looking down. Just so sad and she just launched herself into my arms,” Robert told KDVR. During the time  she was scheduled to arrive, there was supposed to be a house-full of kids. But it was only Leyana so she and Robert danced, sang and formed a friendship, KDVR reported. “I wasn’t kidding when I told you that every princess is smart and brave and kind, and you are all those things,” Robert told Leyana while KDVR videotaped the pair’s reunion. Robert took to Facebook to tell Leyana’s heartbreaking story. Not only is she sending a fairy garden to the little girl, “Because Elsa will never let you down,” she also visited Leyana with her “sister,” an actress playing Anna, and is planning another surprise for the 7-year-old.
  • Nearly a week after the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, George and Amal Clooney have announced they will participate in The March For Our Lives on March 24 and have donated $500,000 to the group. >> Read more trending news  The celebrity couple made the announcement in a statement from George Clooney. People reported the donation was made in the name of the couple’s 8-month-old twins Ella and Alexander. “Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School,” Clooney said in a statement. “Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it.” Related: Gabrielle Union, Kim Kardashian, more celebs call for gun control after Florida school shooting On Tuesday afternoon, Oprah Winfrey said she is “joining forces” with George and Amal Clooney indicating that she will match their donation: “George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.” The March for Our Lives event was announced by Students David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky, Jacqueline Coren and Emma Gonzalez, five survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. On Feb. 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school, killing 17 people. Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. The March For Our Lives march will be in Washington, D.C. According to the group’s website, “the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end this epidemic of mass school shootings.”
  • Tahirah Lamont Brown made history in 2002 as the first African American woman hired by FedEx to be a pilot. Brown works with the company as an Airbus captain and line check airman. According to a Feb. 2 post on the FedEx blog, Brown first stepped into a cockpit in 1992. >> Read more trending news  “I still remember it vividly as it was exhilarating. I was 20 years old. My first flight was in a Cessna 172, a four-seat single-engine prop plane,” Brown said. “My instructor in college was with me, along with my supportive, yet reluctant father in the backseat. We took off out of Long Island and flew to Greenwich, Connecticut. I was on top of the world. I could not believe that my view was the sky.” To make her dream a reality, she had to work two jobs to pay for college and for flight training. She even asked her family for money at one point, promising she would pay them back after. Brown credits another history maker for helping her on her career path. “I met Bill Norwood, the first black pilot at United Airlines, while in Tuskegee, Alabama, at Operation Skyhook and he introduced me to OBAP, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals,” Brown said. “That introduction provided me with the guidance I needed, and also helped me with scholarships for flight training.” “I felt like the world had no limits,” Brown said.  Read more about Brown’s experience at the FedEx Blog.
  • A former Texas jail guard still becomes emotional when he thinks about the day several prisoners helped save his life when he suffered a massive heart attack. >> Read more trending news “Instead of overtaking me and taking my gun, and killing me or taking a hostage and escaping, they looked at me as a human being,” Gary Grimm told WFAA.  Grimm, 52, was guarding prisoners in a basement holding cell at the Parker County District Courthouse on June 23, 2016, when he suffered the heart attack. “I just slumped and went out,” Grimm told WFAA. “Next thing I remember is looking up at the ceiling in the ER (emergency room).” The incident was captured on a courthouse surveillance video. 'They thought I was kidding,' Grimm told WFAA. 'I wasn't.' Inmates began shouting and banging on the holding cell walls, eventually breaking free from the cell. Their noise was heard by deputies in the courtroom, who called for paramedics after investigating the ruckus. Grimm, who worked for more than 20 years at Texas prisons and jails, retired in December because of his heart condition. He said he always treated most inmates with respect. “I don't care if they're a drug user, hot check writer, or child molester. They're still a human being. I don't have to like what they did, but it's not my position to be the judge and jury,” Grimm told WFAA. Grimm said he will undergo open heart surgery this week and will have a left ventricle assistance device installed. 'I need that for at least six months, and then maybe we can have a transplant,' Grimm said.  He will get the chance for surgery thanks to the inmates that did not take advantage of Grimm’s incapacity. 'I get emotional. If they wished harm for me, all they had to do was sit there and do nothing,” Grimm told WFAA.  Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help the family with extra expenses as Gary Grimm awaits a possible transplant.
  • In a recent interview with The Project, 49-year-old music legend Céline Dion got candid about the 2016 death of her husband and manager René Angélil. Dion described what it felt like to lose Angélil — who died at age 73 after a cancer battle —after decades of marriage. >> Read more trending news  “For three years, my husband did not have a sip of water or food. He was eating through a tube,” Dion said. “The only thing I hoped while he was in three years of agony: I wanted him to live in peace. I wanted him to feel so light and no worries. He had a little heart attack. It’s so quick; he didn’t even feel anything. I thought that he was like liberated from his pain.” “He’s the only man I’ve seen. The only man I’ve loved. The only man I’ve kissed,” the Canadian added. Angélil — with whom Dion shared sons René-Charles Angélil, 17, and twins Eddy and Nelson Angélil, 7 — died two days before his 74th birthday and days before the death of Dion’s brother, Daniel Dion. As Dion’s longtime music manager, Angélil had always had a role in her life personally and professionally. Dion has a bronze replica of Angélil’s hand that she brings along to every one of her performances. With two Las Vegas residencies that combined have spanned well over a decade and counting, she’s had many performances with his hand in hers since his passing.  Dion put her residency on hold during her husband’s bout with cancer, but it was Angélil’s constant support even through his illness that quickly led Dion back to the stage. “I shake my husband’s hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show,” Dion, 49, told The Daily Telegraph. “Even after he’s gone, I still talk to him.” A month before Angélil’s death, the longtime couple celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. “My husband wanted me to go back onstage before he passed; that’s what he wanted the most,” Dion said. “So I went back onstage while he was still alive; he wanted to make sure I could keep going. So I did prove to him (that), yes, I could keep going. I told him I’ve got the kids and that he’s got to trust me, he’s got to relax. “He taught me so much. He did a great job; what he had been giving to me all his life and all my life will always be with me. He gave me his all. He mortgaged his house to pay for my first album. I guess before he left he wanted to make sure I was fine. I’m trying to prove to him every day I’m fine. Our kids are growing. We feel strong. We’re good.”
  • A Kentucky girl with Down syndrome qualified for a regional spelling bee, WLKY reported. >> Read more trending news Sosie Smith, a second-grader at Christian Academy of Louisville's Providence School, qualified after winning the bee in her class, with “joyous” the word that gave her the championship. She will compete in a regional event next week, WLKY reported. Sosie’s mother, Tara Smith, told WLKY that her daughter has always loved words and reading. 'My job as a mom is to find those little gifts and accentuate them and try to bring them out as best as I can,' she said. Smith told WLKY that she hopes Sosie's story will encourage other special-needs children. 'She keeps hitting these milestones and exceeding my expectations,' Smith said. 'I just hope to open their eyes a little bit and enlighten them that the capabilities are there.
  • The last thing Robert Crain remembered was visiting the emergency room to have his nagging cough checked out. >> Read more trending news That was on Oct. 3, 2017. Sixty-one days later, the 47-year-old woke from a medically induced coma. And on Feb. 14, 2018, he was discharged from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York. 'For me, it just seemed like I woke up from a nap,'' Crain told Syracuse.com. 'Then I realized I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that time with my family.' Crain’s lungs and kidneys had shut down in October. He lost 50 pounds during his time in the hospital and now must use a cane to walk, Syracuse.com reported. “It was awful,” said Crain’s wife of 10 years, Marcela Crain. “My brain heard them say he wasn't doing well and wasn't improving, but my heart wouldn't accept it. I went to the chapel every day at the hospital and prayed, and my daughter and I prayed every night.” Robert Crain was kept alive by a heart/lung bypass machine, spending more time on it than any other patient in the hospital’s history, Syracuse.com reported. Crain said he remembered nothing from Oct. 3 until Jan. 8. His doctors pulled him out of his coma gradually. When he came to, Crain said he was “stunned” when a nurse told him what day it was, Syracuse.com reported. Robert Crain’s recovery and discharge from the hospital was a banner day for his wife and their 8-year-old daughter, Isabella.  'This is the most amazing, special day,'' Marcela Crain said. “Never give up hope. I always believed he would come back to me.' Marcela Crain said the family put Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas on hold, refusing to celebrate it without Robert. She told Syracuse.com the family would celebrate all three holidays into a single day when he is stronger.
  • A family’s pit bull protected a 9-year-old boy who was home alone, scaring off a burglar Wednesday afternoon, according to police.  >> Read more trending news The boy, who is not being identified, was upstairs while his mother went to pick up his siblings from school around 5 p.m. when the burglar entered the front door, according to the Linconl Journal Star.  The boy came downstairs thinking his mother had returned, only to lock eyes with the intruder.  “He started chasing me upstairs and I called my dog down and they started to fight when my dog got downstairs,' the boy told KLKN.  That’s when Baby Girl, the family’s pit bull, sprang into action. She jumped between the boy and the burglar, who ran from the house without taking anything, according to KLKN. 'The dude pulled the blinds down on my dog's head and then ran away and shut the door,' the boy told KLKN.  The boy ran to a neighbor’s house and called police.  Lincoln police said the parents of the 9-year-old will not be cited for leaving the child home alone.  Baby Girl was treated to a lollipop for her heroic actions.
  • Even the toughest of firefighters have a soft spot for babies.  Members of the City of Decatur, Georgia, Fire Department helped a fellow firefighter find out if he’s having a boy or a girl.  >> Read more trending news  As the YouTube post said, only the pump operator knew as buckets of blue-tinted and of pink-tinted water sat nearby. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  Firefighter Tubbs and his wife manned the hose that first shot out normal water, then quickly changed to pink as the rest of the fire crews waited and recorded the special moment.  It’s a girl for The Tubbs family.
  • An 8 -year-old boy is being called a hero when he noticed a classmate was choking on a piece of candy. Andrew Ramirez knew just what to do when his friend Makayla Annis was in trouble. “My desk partner made me laugh too hard when I ate a gummy bear and then I kind of tried to swallow it and I started choking,” Makayla told KFSN. >> Read more trending news  Andrew said he saw her choking and grabbing at her neck so he gave her the Heimlich maneuver.  But his dad didn’t believe the story that Andrew told him. His dad’s a doctor in the area and was surprised that not only was the story Andrew told him confirmed by Andrew’s mother, but also that the boy knew what to do. Dr. Rene Ramirez said he didn’t realize that Andrew had practiced doing the Heimlich. “If they’re choking you get them right around here and you just push back like you’re giving them a really big hug,” Andrew explained to KFSN. And the medical knowledge Andrew already has may be the first step in a medical career. “I would like to be a doctor very, very much,” Andrew told KFSN. “I did let him know if he is to be an emergency doctor, he got his first save,” Rene Ramirez told KFSN.
  • As state capitals go, Oklahoma does pretty well. So say the ranking wizards at WalletHub, which looked at such factors as affordability, economic well-being, quality of education and health, and quality of life. OKC did best in affordability, ranked at number 2 in the whole nation, and was around average, give or take, in economic well-being and quality of life, for an overall ranking of 14 out of 50. Not too shabby. Oklahoma City does struggle a bit in education and health, ranked at 36. The top 3 capitals were Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; and Boise, Idaho. Bottom 3 were Jackson, Mississippi; Hartford, Connecticut; and Trenton, New Jersey. You can see the full list from WalletHub here.
  • Leyana had planned her birthday to a T. She even picked the right outfit. Then, the waiting began. Despite handing out invitations to everyone in Leyana’s class, no one showed up for the first-grader’s party, except for the actress who was hired to portray Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.” >> Read more trending news Now, Lindsay Robert, who has been dressing up as Elsa and appearing at birthday parties, has reached out on Facebook to tell Leyana’s story. 'It was soul crushing. When I open the door, I’m used to all the kids running up to me. But she was just all by herself. Just looking down. Just so sad and she just launched herself into my arms,” Robert told KDVR. During the time  she was scheduled to arrive, there was supposed to be a house-full of kids. But it was only Leyana so she and Robert danced, sang and formed a friendship, KDVR reported. “I wasn’t kidding when I told you that every princess is smart and brave and kind, and you are all those things,” Robert told Leyana while KDVR videotaped the pair’s reunion. Robert took to Facebook to tell Leyana’s heartbreaking story. Not only is she sending a fairy garden to the little girl, “Because Elsa will never let you down,” she also visited Leyana with her “sister,” an actress playing Anna, and is planning another surprise for the 7-year-old.
  • A judge sentenced 63-year-old Stanley Vernon Majors on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for gunning down his Lebanese neighbor in front of his south Tulsa home. The jury that convicted Majors earlier this month recommended that the life sentence not carry the possibility of parole, and the judge concurred. Prosecutors say Majors killed his neighbor near 91st and Memorial after bombarding him with racial insults for years.  Defense attorneys argued that Majors showed signs of dementia and appeared to have problems with his long-term memory.  
  • If there’s one thing no traveler wants, it’s to be stuck on the same vacation with this family. >> Read more trending newsAccording to the Sydney Morning Herald, at least 30 passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship traveling to Melbourne were injured after a series of brawls. What is now being called the “the cruise from hell” led police to “remove a family group of passengers” when they left passengers scared and bloodied. It was reported that 23 members of one family left the 10-day cruise in the South Pacific early because of their behavior. Six men and three teenage boys were removed by police while the other 14 passengers, women and children, followed suit. “This is all over a thong, not a foot, a thong being stepped on and being instantly apologized for. What happened there and then was apologized for,” revealed a family member, who was identified only as Zac. “My nephew was threatened as he was returning a soccer … when four or five blokes walked up to him and said, ‘Don’t worry we’re gonna get ya.'” Videos show men and women engaging in the fight, as well as security kicking the entangled men on the floor. WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers. The man argued that security on the ship aggravated the situation by following them at “every possible moment.” “The first hit was thrown by security towards, not just my daughter and my sister-in-law, but my wife as well,” he argued. WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers. “They were looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship,” a passenger identified as Katie told 3AW. David Barkho told the station that his son called him from the ship after being injured. “He said, ‘Please Dad, please, call the Federal Police,'” the father recalled. “I could hear a lot of screaming, crying in the background.” The cruise line explained its actions in a statement: A video shows that the family remained rowdy even in the removal process. At least one man thought to raise his middle finger toward the cheering onlookers after being loaded onto a separate vessel by authorities. Link to that video can be found here. Carnival initially released the following statement in response to the incident: Carnival Legend is currently on a 10-day South Pacific cruise scheduled to be completed in Melbourne tomorrow where the ship is currently homeported. The cruise has reportedly offered the other passengers a 25 percent refund on their tickets.
  • “Trump has arrived. Have you?” shout the barrage of glossy front-page advertisements in almost every major Indian newspaper. The ads, which have run repeatedly in the past few days, herald the arrival not of the American president but of his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who is in New Delhi to sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in a Trump-branded development outside the Indian capital. The newspaper ads promise that buyers who order apartments in the development by Thursday will get “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. a day later. President Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts. While the projects that Trump Jr. is promoting in India were inked before his father was elected, ethics experts have long seen the use of the Trump name to promote even existing business ventures as tricky territory. The distinction between old and new projects can be hazy, they note, and new deals can be shoehorned into old.  Donald Trump Jr. posed for photos Tuesday morning in New Delhi with Indian developers building complexes in four cities. Among the business partners accompanying him was Kalpesh Mehta who heads Tribeca, the firm described as the main Indian partner for Trump brand real estate projects.