(CBC News) The Christmas spirit came early to Halifax on Sunday after a woman from Caledonia, N.S. mobilized a group of children from her community to dress up lamp poles with winter clothing to provide warmth to the homeless. Every year, Tara Smith-Atkins reaches out to her community asking for donations of coats.
She took the plea to Facebook this year calling for people to bring them coats and winter items in good shape. Smith-Atkins says the family left their porch open over the past few weeks and the community responded.
“Before long, the bags just started flowing in,” she said.
Read the full story HERE>
(ABC News) In classrooms across the country, the school day almost always starts off with some kind of routine. Announcements, a run-through of the day’s calendar or maybe the Pledge of Allegiance. But in Chris Ulmer’s classroom, the day starts off with 10 minutes of compliments. In a video posted to Facebook that’s been shared more than 8,000 times since it was posted on Sunday, Ulmer takes the time to pay several compliments to each and every one of the eight students in his special education classroom at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. “I love having you in my class. I think you’re very funny. You’re a great soccer player. Everyone in here loves you,” Ulmer says to the kids as they each take their turn standing in front of the class, facing Ulmer.
See a video and read the full report HERE>
(USA Today) Anyone who has ever had a backyard garden is familiar with the startling difference in taste between a homegrown vegetable and one they’ve purchased in a store. A growing trend makes it possible to exult in this just-picked freshness by dining at organic farms with their own on-site restaurants. The restaurants below — both here at home and in popular travel destinations — take the farm-to-table movement to heart, with the farm in some cases being only a stone’s throw away from the dining room.
Check out a full list of top, on-site, dining destinations HERE>
(Winston-Salem Journal) The N.C. Commerce Department said Thursday it has achieved a $1 billion surplus in the state’s unemployment insurance benefits fund for future economic downturns. The surplus, achieved a few months ahead of projection, triggers the suspension of a 20 percent surcharge that N.C. employers pay as a tax on each worker — a potential $240 million to $270 million in annual savings. The surcharge will end in January. Employers had been paying that surcharge since 2005, according to the governor’s office.
Reaching the surplus goal comes after the state finished paying off in May — also ahead of schedule — a $2.8 billion debt to the U.S. Labor and Treasury departments. The state borrowed the money to pay extended state UI benefits from 2008 to 2011. (About $2.5 billion of the debt payback occurred under Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration.)
“The trust fund has gone from bankruptcy to solvency in 30 months,” said Dale Folwell, assistant Commerce secretary who is responsible for the N.C. Division of Employment Security (pictured). “Thanks to changes in policy, process and the innovative ideas from DES employees, I’m certain that North Carolina will never have to deal with this again.”
Read the full story HERE>
(Reuters & Good News Network) Navy combat veteran Chris Ring is swimming the entire length of the Mississippi River on a quest to become the first American to complete the 2,552 mile-long span from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
The veteran has been in the water nearly seven hours every day to bring honor and awareness to his fellow solders killed in battle and their “Gold Star” Families.
After starting his swim on the anniversary of D-Day in June, the veteran is hoping to complete his mission in early December–swimming past ten states on his way to the finish line of the fourth longest river in the world.
Watch the video report HERE>