PORTLAND, OR - Bruce Campbell, 64, spent $100,000 for his home in 1999 and had it transported to a suburban Portland 10-acre lot which he had purchased years before. But it's not a mobile home he lives in. It's a retired Boeing 727! He has spent over $200,000 in the past 15 years remodeling it. Now he has all the comforts of a regular home (sort of): kitchen and living area, bathroom, even a laundry area. It's just a skinnier version!
DOYLESTOWN, PA - Thomas Rusert, a pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, near Philadelphia, goes to a local "coffee place" every Thursday morning. He gets a cup of coffee and sits down to read. But what is out of the ordinary is the sign next to him. It reads, "FREE PRAYER". He was nervous in the beginning and didn't get many "customers" but talked or prayed with any who took him up on his offer. Now, less than a year later, he has ministered to hundreds of people. Many look for him on Thursday mornings and why not... the price is right!
VOORHEES, NJ - Twin sisters Stephanie Edginton and Nicole Montgomery - both married - got pregnant around the same time. Stephanie's due date was on February 5 and Nicole's was on February 14. But it wasn't until February 8 that Stephanie experienced contractions and she made plans to go to the hospital right away. Nicole, unaware that her sister was heading to the hospital, also went to the same hospital with contractions. Later that day, they both gave birth naturally to baby girls... just 6 minutes apart!
BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Agnes Zhelesnik, of Watchung, New Jersey, teaches Home Ec. in Sundance School, located in Bridgewater, a few miles away. She currently works 35 hours a week and has been teaching for the past 21 years. Agnes teaches elementary children how to cook, bake, and sew, among other things. She loves her job and does not expect to retire anytime soon. She also is America's oldest teacher. How old? 102! That's right... 102 years old, or should I say 102 years young! She just had her birthday on January 12. And she has only been teaching for 21 years? Yes, because Agnes started teaching when she was 81, and she hasn't looked back yet. She just keeps on going. Her daughter, who teaches art at the same school, picks her up every school day. Agnes hardly misses a day because she rarely calls in sick. When asked what her secret is, she said that you just have to be happy in what you do. Everyone calls her "Granny", including the teachers, and she doesn't mind because she has outlived all her peers. To her, the 70 and 80-year-olds are youngsters!
FRESNO, CA - Lynea Lattanzio, 67, bought a 4,200-square-foot 5-bedroom home in the early 90's when she was single and without any children. She loved the 6-acre property near the Kings River. She started taking in cats in 1992 and by the end of that year, the total was 96. Lynea found homes for all 96 cats. She became a vet tech in 1993, and received even more cats. Lynea says today, "I'm going to say that I'm at the top of the list of the eccentric crazy cat ladies."
Just how "crazy" is Lynea? She currently has over 1,000 cats living in her house, along with some dogs. She had to move out of her big beautiful house, since the cats have taken ownership. Wanting a cat-free zone, she moved into a small mobile home on the same property. The cats have free roaming in the house and property, which is now called "Cat House On The Kings", California's largest no-cage, no-kill sanctuary for feral and abandoned cats. What about her mobile home? It houses another two dozen cats and dogs. So much for the cat-free zone. But Lynea doesn't mind at all.
What about the cost? The expenses to run the Cat House, which include food, litter, mainte-nance, payroll, vet and medical supplies, total over $1.5 million a year! She currently has 7 vet techs on staff and a cat hospital and ICU on the property. In the beginning, Lynea paid for everything, even selling her car and jewelry. Now she receives outside financial help. Without it, she would have to close. In the 24 years that she has lived there, Lynea has taken in and lived with over 28,000 cats! Wow, now that is crazy!
BARNAUL, RUSSIA - With a population of over a million, Barnaul's residents voted this December for a new mayor to run this large city. It was no contest; it was a huge landslide. The people were tired of all the political corruption so, of the six cadidates, there was one clear winner with 90% of the vote... Barsik! That's right, Barsik the Siamese cat. And here I thought Russia had gone to the dogs.
JASPER, IN - The election in Jasper, Indiana for mayor this November, between Terry Seitz and Wayne Schuetter, had no clear winner. That is because it ended in a tie! A recount was held in December and Seitz was determined the winner because one vote for Schuetter was invalid due to a lack of signature. That's too bad... I was looking forward to a coin toss. Actually, the city council would have voted between the two candidates.
MONROE COUNTY, GA - Deputies surprised 54 motorists this December when they pulled them over. Expecting warnings and/or tickets, drivers were handed $100 bills instead. Some thought it was a trick or joke, but it was no joke. An anonymous donor had given the Sheriff's Department fifty-four $100 bills to spread good cheer and to help them connect in a positive way with the citizens of this Georgia county. It worked.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - A video surveillance camera on one street corner in St. Petersburg caught an elderly driver exiting his car momentarily as the car was still running. Then what appeared to be a male teen on a bike entered the scene, circled the car, and then ditched the bike. The boy quickly got into the car and took off as the 89-year-old driver stood nearby. It happened in a matter of seconds. After an investigation, they arrested the culprit, but he wasn't a teen. Police arrested a 12-year-old boy! Arrested a 12-year-old? That's right! And for good reason. The boy has been arrested over 20 times before for stealing cars!
TOMBALL, TX - George Pickering II, 59, was released from prison this December, having served time because of a stand-off with police in a Houston area hospital on January 10, 2015. His son, George Pickering III, 27, was in the critical care unit at Tomball Regional Medical Center following a massive stroke and was put on life support. Since his son could not respond, George Sr.'s ex-wife was placed in the position to make healthcare decisions on their son's behalf. Even though he was the father, George Sr. had no say in the matter.
George Sr. overheard the hospital staff using words like "brain dead" and "vegetable" and was greatly concerned. His ex-wife and other son agreed with the doctor, who ordered a "terminal wean", a process to slowly remove someone off of life support. He also heard that a staff member had notified an organ donor organization. Things were moving too fast. That is when George Sr. got his gun and ordered everyone "out of the room." He "knew" his son was not ready to go yet. After a stand-off with police, a SWAT team was called in. Several hours elapsed before George Sr. finally surrendered, but not until his son had showed signs of life and responded by squeezing his hand. The hospital continued life support for George Jr., who recovered fully and was released.
George Sr. remained in jail until recently, when father and son were united again. George Jr. said that had it not been for his dad and what he did, he would not be here today. George Sr. admits that he should have handled things a little differently, but if, in the future, his son's life was in danger, he would do it again in an instant!
BEVERLY, MA - Judy Brown, 47, has been married to her husband, Jason, for over 22 years. They did not have any children - not that they didn't want any, but it just didn't happen. And now that she's getting older, her body is changing. She has less energy and has packed on a few pounds like most people approaching 50. But in the beginning of November, Judy was having some abdominal pain and it was getting worse. Thinking that it might be a blockage of some kind, she went to the hospital on November 4. After examining her, the doctor said he had some good news for her. There was no blockage!
That was a relief. But he also said that immediate action would have to be taken. Why? Because she was pregnant and the baby was coming right away! Since Judy had never been pregnant before, she didn't realize there was a baby inside her. Shortly after that, Carolyn Rose was born - a healthy 8-pound gift from God!
STATEN ISLAND, NY - A 13-year-old autistic boy, Brandon Wiliams, saw one of his classmates (Jessica) choking terribly. Brandon rushed into action, performing the Heimlich Maneuver, and most likely saving her life. One of his teachers asked him where he had learned to do that. Brandon quickly responded, "SpongeBob SquarePants".
ROCHESTER, WA - Veronica Castillo was playing a casino game called Jurassic Riches at the Lucky Eagle Casino. She kept playing for hours, spending nearly $100. But towards the end of her time she started to rack up the points and the dollar amount kept increasing until she stopped playing. The final total was $8,589,298.89! Wow! She spent $100 and won over $8.5 million! Not bad for a day's work! Wait a minute. Hold everything. A casino official told her that the machine had malfunctioned. The casino spokesman said that the maximum jackpot on that game was $20,000. Well at least Veronica got $20,000, right? Wrong. The casino ended up giving her only $80! She actually lost money. Now she has a lawyer because the casino wasn't going to do anything else about it. Time will tell if the casino's gamble pays off. I think not.
LANTANA, FL - After getting something in her eye, Katie Gaydos, a single mother, asked a friend to get the tube of Visine eye drops that was in her purse. The friend instead grabbed a tube of super glue and applied a few drops in Katie's left eye. Katie immediately closed her eye in pain and cried, "Call 9-1-1!" Within seconds her eye was sealed shut! She was taken to the hospital, treated, and was told to come back a few days later to see what could be done. When Katie came back, she was turned away because she had no money and no means to get any. If this is what the "affordable" national healthcare is, what good is it? Another doctor who saw the report is treating her for free.
ANGLETON, TX - 12-year-old Katelyn Thornley started sneezing a month ago and hasn't been able to stop since. She sneezes up to 12,000 times a day! She can barely eat or talk. She can't go to school and has to stay in her house most of the time. Katelyn only gets relief when she is fast asleep. Doctors, who ruled out allergies and viruses, are trying to figure it out.
LARGO, FL - Justin Lansford married Carol Balmes, his girlfriend since 2011, on October 3rd of this year. Justin lost his left leg in an IED explosion in 2012 when he was stationed in Afghanistan. He went through many months of procedures and therapy at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Carol was working for the Warrior Canine Connection at that time. WCC is an organization that pairs wounded soldiers with therapy dogs. Justin and a golden retriever named Gabe were paired together in 2013, and have been inseparable ever since. Gabe became Justin's best friend and "right hand man". Both Justin and Carol loved Gabe very much. So no one was surprised to see Gabe in the wedding as the ring bearer... and as Justin's best man!
JAPAN - Diners in a restaurant in Japan got a scare in October. Japanese love their fresh fish, and one raw fish delicacy named sashimi displays a fresh fish on a plate. This particular fish was partly eaten before it started to twitch. Then in one motion it flopped off the plate. It was all recorded on camera. The diners screamed and fellow diners were scared and ran out of the room. You can have your sushi; I like my fish fully cooked!
BOCA RATON, FL - Richard Davis, 66, usually played the multi-state lotteries in times past because they pay out bigger jackpots, but he has never won. So Richard decided to play his state's lottery instead, because he thought that the odds of winning were higher. He is correct, but both the multi-state lotteries and single state lotteries' odds are slim to none. Not knowing what numbers to play, Richard did what some others do. He used the numbers from a fortune cookie he had gotten when he ate out earlier this year... 16, 26, 29, 39, 45, 46. He continued to use those numbers, until August 22. That day was different than other days... he won!
How much? $10 million! Okay, after taxes, more like $7 million. There is one sure thing you can count on in state lotteries... the government always wins!
CHARLOTTE, NC - Shelly Cawley was at a Charlotte hospital, moments away from having her first child. Shelly and her husband, Jeremy, were happy. But that all changed. Shelly was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section. During the operation, a blood clot in her leg broke, resulting in Shelly's lungs filling up with fluid. Shelly went into a coma! It was hard to continue to get oxygen to her brain, and her blood pressure was extremely low. The doctors did what they could.
A week passed, but Shelly was still in a coma, and getting worse every day. She was only staying alive by machines, and seemed to be giving up. Jeremy, with his newborn daughter, Rylan, in his arms, couldn't do anything but hope and pray. Head nurse, Ashley Manus, knowing that Shelly probably had hours to live, had an idea. Jeremy laid Rylan on Shelly's chest. Then Jeremy and Ashley waited for Rylan to start crying. Minutes passed by. Finally Rylan started to cry. As she continued to cry, Shelly awoke out of her coma! It worked! It still took some time before Shelly was fully recovered, but now, months later, they are one happy family... glad to all be alive!
DOUMA, SYRIA - Well over 100 people were killed in the bombing of a public marketplace on August 16. One of the presumed dead was Mohammed Rayhan who was in the middle of the marketplace when it was shelled. He never came home. 36 hours later, his family, who had been in mourning, started the funeral. Shortly after that, Mohammed, who had been buried under the rubble and knocked out for awhile, came to. He started walking back home since he was not seriously injured. With dust still on his head and clothes, he showed up at his own funeral! Needless to say, the mourning turned to joy after a brief moment of disbelief.
CINCINATTI, OHIO - Chad Groeschen, 39, wore extended-wear contacts, called Night and Day contacts, to help with his vision. One day in July, Chad woke up with a sore left eye and wasn't feeling well, so he went to an eye doctor. Chad thought that it was no big deal wearing the contacts for a week straight. He understood that he could wear them up to a month at a time. The doctor told Chad that his eye was infected with a type of bacteria caused by sleeping with his extended-wear contacts. Now a month later, Chad is blind in one eye. Far too many people have this same problem every year. The best way to avoid this is to avoid sleeping with contacts in, and to stay away from water when you are wearing them.
RAJURA, INDIA - Janabai Sakharkar, 85, has an on-going dispute with her stepson, Suresh, with neither one giving an inch. So Suresh trained his parrot to shout obscenities at Janabai every time she came by. The police came and detained the parrot at first and then sent the bird to prison... in the care of forest department officials for rehabilitation.
BAKER LAKE, WA - There were dozens of beer cans scattered everywhere at a campsite this past month. Drunken campers, no doubt. Nope, a drunken bear! A large black bear downed over a case of beer, puncturing the cans with his claws and teeth. The bear was discovered near the empty cans... passed out, drunk!
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - The annual Rubik's Cube World Championship was held this July. Feliks Zemdegs, 19, of Australia, won the world title for the second time in a row, with a time of 5.695 seconds! But that is not the world record. That is held by American Collin Burns, a home-schooled 15-year-old, who in April solved it in 5.253 seconds! Collin also beat out Feliks in the 2014 Rubik's Cube US Nationals, when he was 14.
SEATTLE, WA - When David Veatch didn't hear anything from his daughter, Autumn, 16, or his wife's parents, he feared the worst. The small plane piloted by Autumn's grandfather was last seen on Saturday, July 11. Now, three days later, the plane, along with Autumn and her grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, was missing. Then, miraculously, on Monday, July 13, Autumn emerged from a thick wooded area, several miles from the crash. She had tried in vain to save her grandparents from the fiery crash and decided to leave the site after the fire went out and no help came. She knew that the only hope for survival was to try to find help.
With no major injuries, Autumn followed a creek which led to a river, drinking only small amounts of flowing water. She spotted a trail the next day which led to a road. Two men driving down the road stopped and picked her up and drove her to safety. Autumn was immediately taken to the hospital for minor injuries and dehydration. She said that she learned how to survive the elements by watching the show Survivor. Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol said of real-life survivor Autumn, "It's a miracle, no question about it!"
James Lowe of Vermont had to appear for jury duty on June 9. But he had work and family obligations he had to tend to. If he was picked to be a member of the jury, it would be hard on his family financially. How could he get out of it? He showed up in a mock prison outfit. It worked! The judge immediately threw him out, and James went home, elated.
Christian Pham of St. Paul, Minnesota, was an average poker player. So when he signed up for a tournament this past June, for $1500, he hoped for the best. When it was time to play, he sat down and soon realized he was not playing Texas Hold'em, as he had thought, but something called no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball. What?! That's what Christian thought, "What?! Oh no! What have I gotten myself into?!" Not knowing how to play, he learned "on the fly" and from helpful fellow players, who told Christian the rules of the game and basic strategy. He survived the first day... and found himself at the top of the leader board! Two days later, he played in the finals and beat everyone! He won $81,314 and the coveted gold bracelet.
Jennifer Daniel, of Modesto, California, was hurrying back to work because she had to use the bathroom. Not being able to "hold it" any longer, she stopped at a CVS on the way, to relieve herself. On her way out, she put $20 in the Ultimate Riches Scratchers machine. Before leaving the store, she scanned her ticket to see if she had won anything. She had... $5 million!
It's raining spiders! That's right. It has been reported in southern Australia that spiders are raining from the sky... by the thousands, even millions! Sounds like a plague similar to the ones Egypt faced in Bible times when Moses contended with Pharaoh. During those days, a massive amount of hail fell from the sky, destroying what was left of Egypt after a vast amount of flies and locusts ruined most of it. Even though these plagues brought great destruction, they can all be scientifically explained away. But there was one plague that can't be explained scientifically... the plague of lice. All the dust in Egypt turned into lice and infested all the Egyptians and their livestock. Even Egypt's magicians and wise men said, "This is the finger of God."
So, what about the raining of spiders? It sounds kind of biblical to me, and is certainly creepy. There also have been reports in the past several years of raining spiders in Texas and Brazil, among other places. It can all be explained. When too many spiderlings are hatched in the same area, they have to move and "set up tents" elsewhere so there can be enough bugs for all to catch. The migration occurs like this: the young spiders make a silk sail and then the wind takes them by the thousands (like little airboats) and distributes them in other locations. This phenomenon is called ballooning and it has been happening for years, almost everywhere on this planet. The strange part is when millions of spiderlings migrate at the same time, but it's certainly not extremely rare. Next time, take notice when someone says, "it's raining cats and dogs"!
There also have been many strange reports of loud, harrowing, and eerie sounds coming from the sky or earth lately. Some have said that the sounds are haunting and supernatural. I watched some of the YouTube clips and it is definitely unusual. Except for a few clips, most cannot exactly be explained, scientifically or militarily. One listener said, "it sounds like the planet is in pain." That is not too far off. It says in the Bible (Romans 8:22), "the whole crea-tion has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." What is this world coming to?!