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Mystery of infant found in Ohio phone booth in 1954 solved through DNA testing

The mystery surrounding a baby boy who was found in a telephone booth by bread delivery men in Ohio in January 1954 was solved 64 years later thanks to DNA testing, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reported. The man will be meeting his biological mother for the first time later this month, the newspaper reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Steve Dennis, 64, of Phoenix, said his birth certificate listed his place of birth in a telephone booth outside Yielky’s Drive-In near Lancaster, the Eagle-Gazette reported.

According to the Jan. 16, 1954, edition of the Eagle-Gazette, bread delivery men found a boy “believed to be between four and five weeks old” wrapped in blanket and inside a cardboard box at 7:30 a.m., with a bottle beside the infant.

Dennis said he first heard the story as a teen and never believed it. He does remember his adoptive parents, Stanley and Vivian Dennis, telling him he was adopted, the Eagle-Gazette reported.

"Luckily my parents told me early on that I was adopted, probably from the time I was three," he told the newspaper. "Most of that really had no impact on me. You hear it so much, it doesn’t faze you anymore.”

Dennis was adopted in February 1955 after being placed in a foster home. His family moved to Arizona when he was a child.

Dennis did not give his birth much thought until his daughters bought him an Ancestry.com DNA test, the Eagle-Gazette reported. He got his results back in January, along with a message from a man who said he was Dennis’ first cousin.

“He said 'I think I know who your mother is. We’ve heard throughout our lives that there’s a baby that we’re related to that was left in a telephone booth,'" Dennis told the Eagle-Gazette. "It was this like this hidden secret."

The newly found cousin connected Dennis to his half-sister, who lives in Baltimore. The woman said she had heard the phone booth story, too, and bought an Ancestry.com DNA to confirm the match.

“This deep dark secret of my biological mother, the kids had heard about this, but they weren’t sure if it’s true or not," Dennis told the Eagle-Gazette

The woman contacted Dennis’ biological mother, who is in her 80s and also lives in Baltimore.

“The mother has finally said she wants to meet with me," Dennis told the Eagle-Gazette. "Slowly week by week, she said 'I kind of remember.'”

Dennis said he was told his mother was 18 and forced to give up the infant by his father, the newspaper reported. He was born in a hospital in Kentucky and his parents were returning to Maryland through Ohio when the father took the baby and left him in a phone booth.

He has no other details about his biological father, the Eagle-Gazette reported. His mother married someone else and has two daughters, according to the newspaper. 

“It’s interesting. It’s not like earth-shattering or anything like that," said Dennis, who recently retired as a chiropractor. “My true parents, of course, were my adoptive parents. It would be almost impossible for me to think otherwise.”

Dennis said he is not sure what to expect if he meets his biological mother.

“I’d like to know my actual birthdate but, according to my sister, the mother said she doesn’t remember,” he told the Eagle-Gazette. “I’m not going to make a real big deal about of this. I’ll just take whatever she gives me and leave it at that. I mean you can’t hassle an 85-year-old woman … So whatever she feels comfortable saying to me, I’ll take. It’s more than I had before.”

Boy dying from leukemia wants racing stickers for his casket

A terminally ill Iowa boy who wants to decorate his casket with racing stickers is asking the public for help.

According to the Des Moines Register, Caleb Hammond, 11, of Oskaloosa, was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2017. After months of unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments, a bone marrow transplant and medical scares, including a week in a medically induced coma with heart failure symptoms, he and his family recently decided to stop treating his illness and spend time together, the newspaper reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Now Caleb, a racing fan who loves to visit Southern Iowa Speedway, has a final request: for the public to send him racing stickers.

"We're trying to decorate his casket," his uncle, Chris Playle, told the Register.

Meanwhile, Team Kids With Cancer 46-7 made one of Caleb's dreams come true by getting him behind the wheel of a hobby stock race car. He drove in a six-lap race Saturday, the Register reported.

>> See the family's Facebook post about the event here

If you'd like to send Caleb a sticker, you can mail it to 314 N. J St., Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can also donate to his family's GoFundMe campaign here.

Read more here.

Nick Jonas introduces ‘Future Mrs. Jonas’ in engagement photo with Priyanka Chopra

Musician Nick Jonas confirmed Saturday he’s officially engaged to “Quantico” actress Priyanka Chopra.

>> Read more trending news 

“Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love,” Jonas posted on Instagram.

Chopra expressed her happiness on her Instagram, too.

“The only way to do this ... with family and God. Thank you all for your wishes and blessings,” Chopra posted.

The couple shared the photos after celebrating a traditional engagement ceremony in Chopra’s hometown of Mumbai, India, CNN reported.

Jonas and his parents arrived in India on Thursday night for the ceremony, according to CNN affiliate News 18.

The couple has not yet announced how or where they plan to tie the knot.

Girl secretly buys $350 in toys on mom’s Amazon account; family turns it into ‘teaching moment’

A 6-year-old girl in Pleasantville, Utah, put online shoppers to shame after ordering over $350 worth of Barbies and other toys on her mom’s Amazon account -- and now, her family has turned the impulsive shopping spree into a lesson about caring for others. 

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Katelyn Lunt is entering the first grade this year.

Her mom, Catherine Lunt, told Cox Media Group she ordered a Barbie doll from Amazon for Katelyn as a reward for doing extra chores around the house.

“She wanted to get on and see when it was going to arrive. When I left the room, she went crazy and ordered what she calls a ‘Barbie collection,’” Catherine Lunt said. 

By the time Lunt realized what her daughter had done, she said she was able to cancel a few packages but many had already shipped.

The next morning, Lunt said the family went for a walk and was surprised by the delivery driver when they returned home.

“Right as we arrived back from our walk, the collection of packages showed up,” Lunt said. “It was hilarious so we had to take pictures. Her face pretty much says it all.”

A family member sent the photos to a cousin, who tweeted photos of the moment that went viral.

When it came time to figure out what to do with the ‘Barbie collection,’ Lunt said the family decided to pay it forward.

“We were going to send the packages back to Amazon but we decided to donate them to Primary Children's Hospital where Katelyn spent a week when she was first born,” Lunt said. “Katelyn helped us deliver the packages to the hospital, so I guess we used it more as a teaching moment than a time for punishment.”

A spokesperson for Primary Children’s told Cox Media Group the family dropped off the toys earlier this week, and the hospital was “simply the grateful recipient of their kindness.”

Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino

A 50-year-old man turned a $20 investment into six figures Wednesday, winning $875,527 in a slot machine at a Detroit casino, WXYZ reported.

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The man, who requested anonymity, won after putting $20 into the Wheel of Fortune Double Diamond slot machine at the Greektown Casino-Hotel, the television station reported.

The man was so shocked he was unable to move, the casino said in a news release.

The patro, a frequent visitor to the casino, said he plans to take his family on a trip, WJBK reported.

In 2015, a guest won $2 million while playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine, The Detroit Free Press reported. In 2004, another guest won $1.77 million playing the game, WXYZ reported. 

Aldi to sell wine, cheese Advent calendars this fall

Aldi is selling an adult version of the popular holiday Advent calendar featuring a mini bottle of wine for every day of December leading up to Christmas.

The Germany-based grocery store chain will sell a cheese version, too.

>> Read more trending news 

Aldi will start selling the wine Advent calendar in the United States on Nov. 7, officials told Food & Wine magazine.

The wine calendar will contain 24 miniature bottles of red, white and bubbly -- including pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, merlot, malbec and other blends.

Last year’s wine Advent calendar, sold only in Europe, contained the equivalent of six bottles of wine.

The cheese Advent calendar promises to pair perfectly, containing 24 different cheese samples leading up to Christmas Day on Dec. 25.

Both speciality Advent calendars will only be available for a limited time, an Aldi official told Food & Wine

The wine calendar is expected to sell for $69.99 and the cheese version is expected to retail for $12.99.

Dog stands on two legs to make room for other commuters on busy train

Four legs are good, but two legs were better on a crowded train Wednesday in California. 

>> Read more trending news 

To make room for other passengers, an owner with his Great Dane told the large dog to stand, and in an instant, the dog was on two legs, holding on to his owner. 

"The entire train was taking pictures and laughing about it. It turned an unhappy commute into a positive experience,” Sean Herron, 28, who shared images of the surreal sight on Twitter, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was definitely not the weirdest thing I've seen on BART, but it was definitely the best thing I've seen on BART. I hope to see the dog again."

Baby’s newborn photo shoot shows trials, hope of IVF

A Phoenix couple did everything they could to have a baby. They started in vitro fertilization to help grow their family, thinking that it was going to be an easy process. 

“You think, ‘Oh I’m going to walk in and they’re going to do it and it’ll be done, and in nine months we’re going to hold our baby,” Patricia O’Neill told AZ Family.

But the process was not that simple. 

Patricia O’Neill had a blood clotting disorder that made it difficult for her to conceive. She also miscarried three times. At that point, Patricia and Kimberly O’Neill gave up hope. 

But they gave it one more chance and after four years of trying they can now hold baby London in their arms, AZ Family reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Kimberly came up with the idea to save the more than 1,600 syringes to document the path to parenthood.

Recently they bundled up two-week old London, and the syringes, and took them to Packer Family Photography

Photographer, Samantha Packer, arranged the needles in a heart shape, put the baby girl in the middle of them, and snapped the photo that has gone viral after being shared more than 54,000 times.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The photo will also be a beacon for the couple’s little girl. 

“Hopefully she’ll [London] learn that you never give up on a goal that you have, and that even when you have no hope, hold onto it because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can get there,” Patricia told AZ Family.

 

New York boy who drowned gives life to 3 people via transplants

A 23-month-old New York boy who drowned last month has provided life to three people since his death, WSTM reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Jaxson Finizio died July 27, several weeks after he wandered out of a home and into a pool. His family decided to donate the child’s organs, the television station reported.

According to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, the donated organs “have given life to others.”

Jaxon's kidneys were transplanted into the body of a man in his early 50s who has been waiting for a donation since August 2016, WSTM reported. His liver was donated to a 16-month-old boy, while his heart was transplanted into the body of a 3-year-old girl, the television station reported.

Toledo winners of St. Jude Dream Home contest donate home back to charity

An Ohio couple was one of 40 winners in the nationwide St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, but they did some giving of their own.

>> Read more trending news 

Dianne and Dave Jaeger of Oregon, Ohio, who won the Toledo version of the contest in June, donated the home back to the St. Jude charity, WTOL reported.

Their donation will fund a treatment plan for a child battling cancer, the television station reported.

The Jaegers, who bought 30 tickets for the drawing, said their decision to donate the home was an easy one.

"We have four great, beautiful, grandchildren and we're really thankful for that and we want to help the people that need help,” they told WTOL. “And we're in a position that sometimes we can.”

Rescue says Bruno the cat is 'too cool to be homeless'

An Illinois animal rescue group is hoping to find a home for one cool, chubby cat.

>> Read more trending news 

Bruno is a 7-year-old grey polydactyl who is big, both in size and personality, according to a Facebook post Wednesday by Wright Way Rescue. He weighs 25 pounds, but is on a diet.

Bruno is very chatty, according to his rescuers. The rescue group says Bruno has some quirks. He likes to be petted while he eats. He also has an unusual way of standing, on his hind legs, when he wants food. The rescue says it did not train him to do this.

The rescue posted photos on Facebook of Bruno striking a cool pose, writing that he’s “too cool to be homeless.”

Bruno is a laid-back cat for the most part, the rescue said, but there's one thing he doesn't like: having his big belly touched.

Woman diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer won’t let wedding wait

A Wisconsin couple were getting all of the wedding preparations done, but something wasn’t right. Caroline Ward wasn’t feeling well and was feeling pain in her lower abdomen. 

After going to the hospital, she found out she had stage 4 ovarian cancer, just months before her fall wedding to Ben Olsen. 

“[Doctors] went in and found out I have a huge tumor on my left ovary, and on my uterus, that’s blocking my colon,” she told WBAY.

They found the tumor on Aug. 4. The couple then decided they weren’t waiting for the original date of their wedding which was set for Sept. 29 in near Atlanta, WBAY reported

They moved the date up and decided say their vows closer to home. Not only was the decision to get married now a romantic matter for the couple, who have been together since 2012 and engaged since 2016. It was also a practical one. 

>> Read more trending news 

“We knew we were going to plan on doing it anyways, we might as well do it here and while I have a medical need to have somebody be able to sign for me,” Ward told WBAY. “I wanted my fiance and my rock to be a person who could sign for me and help make decisions for me.”

The hospital rushed in to help get Ward and Olsen married, putting the ceremony together in 48 hours, complete with the “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” donated by the nursing staff.

They adapted where they needed to. 

“We didn’t have an aisle runner, so we came up with the idea of just bed sheets, because we’re in a hospital and why not, “ Kayla Wiesman, who works at Bellin Health, told WBAY.

Now, the newly married Caroline Olsen will begin chemotherapy this week and will still walk down the aisle at their planned ceremony. She said she has a wedding dress fitting this weekend. 

“This wedding that I just had was really special, and I’m hoping to have an equally as special fall wedding at the end of September with friends and family,” Caroline Olsen told WBAY. “I may be short a little hair, but there’s lots of cool things you can do.”

High school principal puts in laundry room to curb bullying

Could clean clothes be the key to stopping bullying? In one high school in New Jersey, the answer is yes.

Akbar Cook, the principal at West Side High School, said that he just wanted to make sure that kids don’t miss school because of being bullied and that some were being picked on because of dirty clothes, WABC reported.

Some students couldn’t afford to keep their school uniforms clean, NJ.com reported.

Cook told NJ.com that students with dirty clothing would be photographed and the photos posted on social media as cyberbullying.

>> Read more trending news 

So instead of punishing the students for missing school, Cook, who has been principal for two weeks, kicked out the football team from their locker room and put in washers and dryers so students can do laundry.

He got a grant for $20,000 to buy five washing machines and five dryers, along with what was needed to change the locker room into a laundry, NJ.com reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Local businesses and families have donated laundry supplies, NJ.com and WABC reported.

He says being there for his kids will correlate to their grades.

>>Read: High school installs showers, laundry facilities for homeless students

“Because the kids feel that and they’ll fight on that SAT or that test the same way you fight for them,” Cook told WABC. “That’s who I am.”

The laundry room will be open for students Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting Aug. 27, before the school year starts. Then it will be open daily starting Sept. 4.

Harvard students launching cafe to help homeless teens discover their potential

Can a cup of coffee and a donut change a life? Two rising sophomores at Harvard University think it can. 

Tony Shu and Connor Schoen are getting ready to open Breaktime, a coffee shop with a mission. 

"Breaktime is a social enterprise that creates cafes to provide stable employment, vocational training and career advising to young adults experiencing homelessness," Schoen said.

>> Read more trending news 

The two are currently converting an 800 square foot site at 1000 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge into a coffee shop that will employ homeless teens.

A volunteer experience at a homeless shelter sparked the idea for Breaktime. They heard many stories from clients about how hard it was to gain employment because of the stigma of homelessness.

"We hope to show other employers that this is a population that has a lot of talent and a lot of potential. They just need some support," said Shu.

Getting that first job opportunity can be life-changing according to Katherine James of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, an organization that helps homeless youth. She said developing some consistency on the job for a homeless youth can show future employers a person is reliable and has developed marketable skills.

Breaktime will be a streamlined operation, reselling baked goods to reduce fixed costs and licensing requirements. "Our biggest goal is to create a template model that can be used in other cities, other places," said Schoen.

The date for opening Breaktime is late October or early November and the students are still raising funds.

She learned it on YouTube: 10-year-old girl helps aunt who unexpectedly gives birth at home

Remembering what she had watched on YouTube helped a 10-year-old deliver her aunt’s baby in the bathroom of a home in Virginia. 

Chloe Carrion’s aunt passed out after giving birth, but what was happening didn’t phase the young girl who was home alone with her relative, WRC reported. She called 911 as she took care of the newborn, remembering what she saw being done on YouTube.

>> Read more trending news 

Chloe cut the umbilical cord, with the help of 911 operators walking her through the steps, and swaddled the baby while waiting for emergency responders to get to the home, WJLA reported.

“I watch YouTube videos about people playing with dolls and I see them care for the babies, so I used stuff I knew from the videos,” Chloe told WRC.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The baby boy was a surprise to family members because Dominique Spann, Chloe’s aunt, kept it a secret. She didn’t realize she was in labor when she started having stomach pains on Monday. 

“She didn’t tell anybody,” Chloe’s mother, April West, told WRC. “I thought that was her regular stomach.”

West got home just before first responders arrived. 

“Chloe was just standing at the front door with the baby swaddled, and she was rocking him back and forth,” West told WJLA.

Spann was so thankful for what Chloe did, she let her niece name her newborn son. Chloe decided to call him Isaac.

Teacher battling cancer runs out of sick days, coworkers donate the rest

A Florida teacher has a battle ahead of him. Robert Goodman was diagnosed with colon cancer. He has had to go through surgery and chemotherapy.

The treatments used up all of Goodman’s sick days, and he thought he would need at least 20 more to complete his chemotherapy.

The Palm Beach Gardens Community High School history teacher reached out on Facebook, asking for help. 

>> Read more trending news 

Other teachers, staff and administrators who all pay into the Florida retirement system gave not only 20 sick days, but 75 days to help Goodman take the sick time he needs, CNN reported.

“Educators all over the country were reaching out to me to donate their sick days, even professors over at Florida Atlantic University,” Goodman told CNN. “I felt guilty because I knew there were people who had it much worse than me.”

But it wasn’t only the other staff members who answered Goodman’s call. 

“Students sharing stories of how I’ve positively influenced them was a good reminder of why I chose to teach and why I can’t wait to get back,” Goodman told CNN.

Teacher donates kidney to student

A Paulding County teacher is giving the gift of life to one of his students. Kaden Koebcke, 12, has needed a new kidney for most of his life.

Tuesday, Kaden underwent a transplant at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. The donor is William Wilkinson – Kaden’s 6th grade technology teacher at Grace Christian Academy in Powder Springs. 

>> Read more trending news 

“There are no words to even begin to describe how this making me feel for Will to give this amazing gift to my son,” said Cami Koebcke, Kaden’s mother in a phone interview from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “There is no greater gift.” 

Last year, Kaden’s family started a Facebook page, Kaden's Kidney Search, to find a living donor. Several people got tested. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

In May, the Koebcke family learned from Kaden’s doctor a match had been made.

At the end of the school year, Wilkinson, who has a son the same age as Kaden is friends with the Koebcke family, stopped by their house. 

Cami Koebcke remembered Wilkinson asking, ‘Would you like to know who the donor is?’ 

Of course, the family wanted to know, but strict privacy rules generally prevent hospitals from sharing personal information about donors, at least initially. Over time, donors and recipients can typically connect if both donor and recipient provide consent. 

So the family responded by saying yes they wanted to know, thinking the donor could be anywhere - perhaps someone in their neighborhood or someone on the other side of the country. 

Well, it’s me, said Wilkinson. 

“We were all so shocked. We almost fell to the floor,” said Cami Koebcke. 

Koebcke was diagnosed with a kidney disease when he was two-years-old. At age 5, he underwent a transplant, receiving a kidney from his father. But it wasn’t successful, and the new kidney had to be removed within days of the transplant. 

For several years, Kaden underwent undergo dialysis at home, but as his condition grew more serious over the last couple years, he has required dialysis three times a week at a clinic. 

Both surgeries were scheduled for this morning. Wilkinson, who is undergoing the surgery at a nearby hospital, will likely be off work for about six weeks. 

Meanwhile, Kaden will likely spend the next 4 to 6 weeks at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

After 7 long years, lost cat comes home

A long-lost cat has finally come home on Cape Cod. 

Tigger escaped through an open door seven years ago and his owner, Rebecca Collins West, thought she would never see him again. 

But thanks to a microchip, the MSPCA on Cape Cod was able to return him home when he was dropped on July 31 by an animal control officer

According to MSPCA Cape Cod’s Facebook post, Tigger was brought in and scanned for a microchip. When they discovered his owner, they were able to ring Collins West immediatley. 

She picked up Tigger within hours of the phone call

>> Read more trending news 

Firefighters dig trapped tortoise out from hole

A group of California firefighters are heroes to a slow-moving victim that found itself in a precarious position. 

Bentley, a 25-year-old sulcata tortoise, had become trapped in a hole in Kern County, California, KABC reported

His owner called for help when Bentley couldn’t emerge from the ground. That’s when firefighters from the Rosamond and Mojave station jumped into action, cutting roots and digging away the dirt that was blocking Bentley from freedom, KABC reported

Once they cleared a path, Bentley was able to crawl out of his confinement on his own after being stuck there for four days without food and water, KABC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Bride, still in wedding gown, rescued from car’s sunroof during flooding

A fairytale wedding has a fairytale rescue, but it wasn’t a prince on a white steed who came to the rescue of a bride. Instead it was police and a Humvee that fulfilled the heroic prince role. 

A bride and her groom became trapped when flood waters rose around their car in Bogota, New Jersey, The North Jersey Record reported.

Police were able to get to the couple using a Humvee. The bride climbed out of the sunroof of her car, holding her dress away from the flood waters, and into the awaiting rescue vehicle. 

And while a wedding day is usually the bride’s day, they couldn’t forget the groom, too, who also got out of the waterlogged car and into the rescue vehicle. 

“They’re in pretty decent spirits considering everything that happened,” Sgt. Geoffrey Cole told the Record

He said the area is prone to flooding because of a brook 50 feet from the road.

Police said in the department’s now-viral Facebook post, “Obviously their day has not gone as planned, so let’s congratulate them on their wedding and give them best wishes for a lifetime of love and adventure, starting now!”

>> Read more trending news 

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