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Penguins fan uses sign at game to ask for kidney match

Pittsburgh Penguins fan in need of a kidney took her cry for help to Saturday night's game.

The Lancaster County woman made a sign that she took to PPG Paints Arena, and it got the attention of the team's social media accounts, getting thousands of retweets and reactions.

>> Read more trending news

Kelly Sowatsky held her sign reading, "I need a kidney," with her phone number below it.

“It kind of just exploded and it started being shared left and right,” Sowatsky said.

She told Channel 11 she has just 10 percent kidney function after contracting sepsis a few years ago.

But the response from her sign provides new hope.

The Pens fan said she's received hundreds of messages since the sign went viral, including several from people willing to be donors.

"Many of them have said, 'What do I need to do?' It’s a feeling I can’t really describe," she said.

Instead of calling the number on her sign, Sowatsky asks that potential donors contact Johns Hopkins and provide her name. You can also direct questions to 410-614-9345.

Dog stolen from backyard returned to owner 3 years later

It was a day they always hoped would happen, and was the end of a three-year journey.

Harley is a German shepherd. He was stolen from his backyard in July 2015, WRC reported. But a traffic stop in Baltimore this past weekend has brought a family back together. 

>> Read more trending news 

The people at the center of the fortuitous stop said they found the dog running in the road in Baltimore. But when Animal Control took the dog, they scanned it for a microchip. Officials discovered the dog had been missing since 2015 and that his original owners were still looking for him on social media, WRC reported.

Wednesday night, Harley and his owners reunited.

Harley also has a new job. He’s been named an honorary K-9 for the Howard County Police Department, WJZ reported

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

According to Howard County Police Department’s Facebook post, Harley had started training as a police dog with Carroll County sheriff, but when his handler got injured, Harley couldn’t finish his training. His owner bought him from the sheriff when the dog was 6 months old.

Father trolls engagement moment with 'Say no' sign

It’s recited at countless wedding ceremonies: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

>> Read more trending news

One father in Nevada was having a hard time letting go. When his daughter received a marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend, her father urged her to just say no.

It was all a joke, of course. He actually approves of his daughter’s future marital bliss.

Allison Barron and Levi Bliss of Winnemucca, Nevada, have been dating for two years. Bliss popped the question Saturday, Fox News reported. At that moment, Barron’s father, Jake Barron, was standing off in the distance, holding a sign imploring his daughter to “Say no.”

“This is really just my dad's personality,” Allison told Buzzfeed News, adding that her father was only joking. “We have a very close family and so he's made little jokes like this before.”

Allison said she was in tears when Bliss made his proposal but burst out laughing after seeing the sign, Fox News reported.

“We both know my dad so well, we got the joke right away and found it funny," she said.

By the way, Allison ignored her father’s sign and said yes. On her Facebook page, her profile photo shows her showing off her engagement ring while kissing Bliss.

Alabama woman, 92, rallies from kidney failure to see first great-great-granddaughter

A 92-year-old Alabama woman dying of kidney failure was determined to see her first great-great-granddaughter. On Jan. 31, she got her wish.

>> Read more trending news

Two months ago, doctors had told the family of Jean Roper that the Trussville resident only had a few weeks to live, People reported.

“It was very hard for all of us to think that we were going to lose her,” said Roper’s great-granddaughter, Kayla Tracy. She’s always been the heart of our family.”

Then something remarkable happened.

Tracy’s sister, Amber Harris, was about to give birth to her first child and told Roper the baby girl would be named after her. Roper’s condition began to improve, People reported.

“She was over the moon with excitement,” Tracy told People, “She kept telling everyone, ‘I just want to live long enough to see that baby girl.’”

Roper and her husband, Edward, have been married since 1943. They had three children, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren, but almost all of them are boys.

“To know that she was going to soon have a great-great granddaughter was like medicine for her,” Tracy told People. “It was so amazing to watch her transformation that I knew I had to document it.”

A photographer with her own business, Kayla Tracy Photography, Tracy began to spend more time with her great-great-grandmother and documented her improving health. 

The birth of Magnolia Jean Harris “absolutely helped me to survive and pull through my diagnosis,” Jean told People.

“She helped keep my mind off how weak and terrible I felt,” she said, “and I thought she was the most beautiful baby girl I’d ever seen. She was so tiny and every part of her was just perfect.”

On March 5, the Ropers celebrated another milestone -- their 75th wedding anniversary. The couple met on a blind date in 1941, People reported.

“I thought he was mighty handsome, as well as kind and gentle,” Jean told People.

“And I thought enough of her to ask her on a second date,” Edward Roper told People. “I mean, she was such a doll.”

Dogs rescued from Chinese slaughterhouses find homes in Massachusetts 

A Massachusetts dog rescue shelter is finding homes for dogs that were living in Chinese slaughterhouses waiting to be sold for meat.

>> Read more trending news

Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, based in Hudson, began rescuing dogs from the slaughterhouses and off meat trucks, as well as municipal shelters awaiting euthanasia.

Through multiple transports, the rescue has found homes for about a dozen dogs.

Currently, five golden retrievers are at the Hudson facility, medically cleared and ready for adoption. All of them were rescued from a Beijing slaughterhouse and arrived in Massachusetts last week.

"The dogs basically live in terror in the slaughterhouses, because oftentimes they kill the other dogs right in front of the other dogs living there," said Allyson MacKenna, executive director of Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue. "We look at the dogs, and we know what condition they were in and what they must have gone through, and yet they’ve totally forgiven people. They love. They just want to be part of a home. It’s amazing."

Adoption coordinator Devon Spirka traveled to China with kennel manager Lucille Brooks earlier this year, returning with three rescue dogs, all of which they later placed in homes.

"Most of them have no idea what a toy is until they get here, and they sort of get used to what to do with them," Spirka said. "They just look so different once they get here, and they’re comfortable, and they’re fatter, and they’re just healthier and happier."

The Hudson rescue has traditionally taken in golden retrievers from across New England. In 2015, they began rescuing international dogs, bringing dogs from Turkey.

Recently learning of the plight of many dogs in China, organization officials decided to expand their operations.

It's the friendly personality signature of the golden retriever breed that often works against them in China, where the dog meat industry is profitable, MacKenna said. 

"Some of the meat vendors that our contacts in China have spoken with have said that they specifically like goldens if they can get them, because they have such docile temperaments, it makes their job easier," MacKenna said.

The majority of the Chinese people are against the dog meat industry and many illegal slaughterhouses are being shut down by the government, often pressured by rescue groups and dog advocates, MacKenna said. But there are still thousands in danger.

Just getting the dogs to the United States is expensive. Paying for medical bills, boarding for 30 days, health certifications, flights, a crate, food and other necessities costs $1,500 to $2,000, MacKenna said.

Transporting the dogs is the other difficulty. The five currently at the facility were flown in with a volunteer whose sole purpose in visiting in China was to rescue the dogs.

The rescue is not only seeking donations but also volunteers to help transport the dogs, particularly those who travel internationally. Volunteering requires a few more minutes in customs at the airport but no dog handling abilities; the volunteer doesn't ever have to touch the dog, as the Chinese rescue group brings the dog to the gate, MacKenna said.

To donate, volunteer or adopt, visit

On 18th birthday, woman scratches first lotto ticket and wins $1,000 a week for life

Charlie Lagarde decided to celebrate her 18th birthday with a bottle of sparkling wine and a lotto scratcher.

>> Read more trending news

When she got home March 14, she scratched off the Gagnant à vie! ticket to find that she won the grand prize -- $1,000 a week for life -- on her first game, according to Quebec Lottery officials.

Lagarde plans to do a lot of traveling and to study photography.

“One of my dreams would be to work for National Geographic,” she said. 

NFL star Richard Sherman marries longtime girlfriend

Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has married his longtime girlfriend, Ashley Moss

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

Former teammate Ricardo Lockette shared a video of the couple dancing at their wedding celebration, writing, “Congratulations To the Sherman’s!!!! [sic] #familia”

>> See the post here

>> Read more trending news 

Sherman signed with the San Francisco 49ers this month

>> Richard Sherman reportedly agrees to contract with 49ers

Army, Air Force, Navy: Student receives appointments from 3 academies; which did she choose?

A senior at Glynn Academy High School, in Brunswick, Georgia, has received appointments for three military academies.

The mother of 18-year-old Bliss Hutchings tells Action News Jax, she received appointments to the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy.

>> Read more trending news 

Admissions into all three branches are extremely competitive, according to Prep Scholar. The acceptance rates for the U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy is nine percent, meaning nine of every 100 applicants are accepted. Acceptance rate of the Air Force is 14 percent.

"This is largely unheard of," mother Shayna Hutchings-Dragotta said.

Hutchings has chosen the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

MUST SEE: Baby on way for couple whose engagement, wedding photos with third-wheel went viral 

It’s difficult when your best friend finds the girl of his dreams and gets married. It can be like you’re a third wheel. Mitch Jolliff seems to be an expert in being the odd man out of the relationship.

First it was the engagement photoshoot that Jolliff “crashed.”

>> Read more trending news 

As Kody and Brittney Frysinger announced their impending wedding, with “I do” added to the bottom of their shoes, the photographer, Lindsey Berger, added “n’t” to the bottoms of Jolliff’s boots as he trolled the happy couple, Huffington Post reported.

Then came round two. At the wedding, as the Frysingers sealed their love with a kiss, Jolliff pouted as he sat next to the groom. Brittney had “I won” Photoshopped to the bottom of her boots. Jolliff had “shut up” and a broken heart on his. Berger told Brides magazine that the photo sequel came to be because no one had done a follow-up to the engagement photo. 

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

“I felt it was necessary to show everyone how Mitch was handling the wedding,” Berger told Brides.

Well, a year after the original photo, Country Roads Photography has the latest update for the couple. Brittney and Kody are now expecting a new member of their family, making Jolliff a fourth wheel instead of a third. This time, there are four pairs of shoes. Brittney sports “new baby.” Kody has “due april.” A pair of empty baby boots say “hey Mitch” while Jolliff’s boots say “oh boy.”

Bakery saves the day for nonverbal boy after iPad stolen: 'It's the only way he can communicate'

A Massachusetts bakery is helping a boy with special needs communicate again after his trusty iPad was stolen.

>> Watch the news report here

Three-year-old Hunter Jerrier has Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and because he's nonverbal, he uses his iPad to speak.

Hunter's father, Brian Jerrier, says the gateway to understanding his son's wants and needs is his iPad, which is loaded with special programs to help out his little one.

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

However, on Saturday, during a trip to White's Bakery in Brockton, Hunter's method of communication was stripped from him when someone stole his gadget.

His parents said someone took it from a counter just minutes after they accidentally left it there.

"As a grown, 40-year-old man it made me cry. It was my fault because I put it down. I felt like I let him down because it's the only way he can communicate with us," Brian said.

The Jerriers thought it was a lost cause until they received a phone call less than 24 hours after the theft from a manager at the bakery.

The manager offered to replace the iPad and followed through with his word.

>> Read more trending news 

"There are still good people out there that, in a really crummy situation, made it easier for him, easier for us and did it so quickly," said Amanda Jerrier, Hunter's mom.

Now, the Jerriers said the last way to right this wrong is for the thief to come forward.

"I would like to know how it would feel if you were unable to speak in any type of way," Brian said.

Mom’s nightmare trip to Target calmed by stranger’s kindness

Is there ever a quick trip to Target, especially when you have to take the kids?

Rebecca Paterson was having one of those moments when her two children, aged 2 months and 2 years, went into meltdown mode, KHOU reported.

>> Read more trending news 

First the baby started crying and then the toddler cried harder. But the kindness of a stranger shined a light in the otherwise dark moment for Paterson.

Instead of casting the side-eye looks and complaining about the crying children that many other shoppers could have done, Tiffany Guilory scooped up 2-year-old Jacob and soothed him, walking with Paterson as she finished her grocery shopping for 45 minutes.

Paterson snapped a photo of Guilory that has gone viral.

Guilory told KHOU that’s she’s been there. She has two kids herself.

“It really touched me.” Gilory told KHOU. “I know how it is. I’ve been there. I have two kids, it’s frustrating and that baby is 2 months. You have hormones going...and people are looking at you crazy, and I just wanted to help. God sent me there to help her.”

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

Paterson said she will not forget the woman she is calling her “angel.”

“Kindness and understanding goes a long way, and I think it’s true, because I didn’t feel judged. I had a helping hand, and I needed it at that moment,” Paterson told KHOU.

WATCH: Kindergartner's hilarious 'weather report' takes internet by storm

At 6 years old, Carden Corts of Tennessee is already on his way to a career in meteorology.

>> Watch his viral video here

With a little help from his father, who’s in video production, the kindergartner at Waverly Belmont Elementary School in Nashville is going viral on YouTube for his “weather report," the Tennessean reports.

The hilarious clip, recorded for a school project, has been viewed more than 1.6 million times since it was posted Wednesday.

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

"Today's weather report is brought to you by the letter C and also Pokémon cards," he quips before using his "weather simulator" (courtesy of a green screen and leaf blower, according to the Tennessean) to give his larger-than-life forecast.

>> Read more trending news 

Make sure to watch until the end. #SpringBreak

Read more from the Tennessean.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

George Clooney writes open letter to Parkland students: ‘Amal and I stand behind you’

Student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have taken over The Guardian’s website ahead of the March for Our Lives.

The school’s Eagle Eye newspaper is covering event, in which students will march in Washington, D.C., to advocate for action against gun violence.

>> Read more trending news 

The newspaper reached out to politicians and celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney, who donated $500,000 to the march, for an interview. 

“They turned us down on the interview, but we loved the letter George sent us back,” the Eagle Eye staff said.

Related: George, Amal Clooney donate $500K to Parkland survivors; Oprah matches amount

In his letter to the students, Clooney said he and his wife, Amal Clooney, are “100 percent” behind the movement and will be at the March on Saturday. Clooney also emphasized that the march is for the students, and offered options for coverage.

“Amal and I are 100% behind you and will be marching in DC on the 24th, but we both feel very strongly that this is your march. Your moment,” Clooney wrote. “Young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool. The fact that no adults will speak on the stage in DC is a powerful message to the world that if we can’t do something about gun violence then you will. The issue is going to be this, anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it’s so much more effective if it’s young people.

“You could talk to a dozen kids like the young kids from Chicago and LA that Emma met with. You could take over the Guardian and make it tell the stories of children by children. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to point to this moment and say it belongs to you. You certainly should do what you want but that would be my hope for you.

“Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you. 

“You make me proud of my country again.”

The full letter can be read at

NYPD snowball fight with kids turns into cops’ good deed to keep children warm

The New York Police Department showed that not only do officers have the skills to enjoy a snow day during the latest nor’easter but they also have big hearts for the children of their beat.

>> Read more trending news 

It all started with the kids challenging the officers to a snowball fight. 

When it was all said and done, the cops noticed that the kids didn’t have gloves to keep their hands warm in the snow, WABC reported. Instead they were using plastic gloves to protect their hands.

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

The officers were not going to let that continue so they went to a nearby store and bought new gloves for those who didn’t have them, WABC reported.

The officers’ good deed was posted to Twitter and has gone viral with more than 18,000 views in less than 24 hours.

Girl, bored with sister’s soccer game, makes 65-million-year-old fossil find

An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.

Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.

The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.

>> Read more trending news 

It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.

Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.

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

One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection. 

And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.

Vaughan plans on keeping her find, Oregon Live reported.

French Montana celebrates opening of Uganda hospital 

French Montana is giving back to the country he visited a year ago.

Billboard reported that the 33-year-old rapper celebrated the one-year anniversary of his one-year trip to Uganda with a March 13 Instagram post. He also celebrated the opening of hospital in the east African country.

>> Read more trending news 

“Happy one year anniversary to my family in Uganda,” French captioned his post. “Can’t believe we got so much done in one year !! Thank u for the opportunity.”

The Source reported that the rapper was inspired to help after seeing the lack of health care in the county. He donated $100,000 to the Suubi Health Center, a nonprofit hospital that offers medical services to poor villages around Iganga, Uganda.

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

French’s donation spurred action from others and was matched by Diddy, The Weeknd and others.

The hospital can now serve 300,000 people.

XXL reported that French has since partnered with Mama Hope, which works to equip local people in community led projects, and Global Citizen, an organization that aims to end poverty. In January, he was named a Global Citizen ambassador for his work, becoming the first inn hip-hop to do so. 

Deputies rescue puppy dubbed 'Poncho' from storm drain

A 3-month-old puppy was rescued from a storm drain Tuesday in Riverview by two Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Deputy Tara Quezada said she was flagged down by residents who told her a puppy fell into the storm drain that was filled with water. Quezada called her partner to help. 

Deputy Zachary Shute brought tools and the deputies removed the drain cover.

>> Read more trending news 

The puppy, who they named “Poncho,” was deep inside the storm drain and out of reach, deputies said. 

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

That’s when Shute said he had a plan. Shute used Quezada’s duty belt to lower her head-first into the storm drain. Quezada said she used a net to scoop up Poncho.

Deputies said they were unable to find her owners, so Poncho the puppy was taken to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center

Cat reunited with owner 14 years after hurricane disappearance

Perry Martin probably can’t stop pondering about his cat.

>> See the Facebook post here

In 2004, the orange tabby Thomas 2, or simply just “T2,” disappeared.

It happened when the Fort Pierce man moved into a friend’s house in Stuart after Hurricane Jeanne stormed through the area, according to TCPalm.

>> Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

The retired K-9 officer grieved, but then came to terms with the idea that his cat had moved on to other ventures, or to that great catnap in the sky. 

That all changed on March 9 with a phone call.

“Someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?' I figured it was a mistake," Martin told TCPalm. "It was too crazy to believe."

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

Worn and weary, the fiery feline was found wandering the streets of Palm City.

He was brought into the shelter, where a scan of his skinny shoulder detected a microchip, which eventually led him back to Martin. 

Next thing you know, the tabby, now 18 years old, is back snuggling on his owner’s lap

>> Read more trending news 

The cat is content, but Martin’s questioning persists.

"Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what he's been through?" Martin told TCPalm. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you keep the door shut, Dad?'"

Read more at TCPalm.

Former Make-A-Wish patient now doctor at same hospital that treated her

Jen Pratt used to walk the halls of Children’s St. Paul when she was a child. She was diagnosed and treated for a tumor in her leg. 

She visited the hospital for a year as she received chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor, WCCO reported

Pratt became a Make-A-Wish kid, receiving a trip to Walt Disney World.

She was 11 years old at the time and knew then what she wanted to do with her life when she grew up.

>> Read more trending news 

Pratt wanted to go into medicine, WCCO reported

Flash forward a few years and now Pratt is called Dr. Pratt and she’s now on the other side of the hospital beds, treating the patients at the same hospital that saved her life.

“Some of the nurses that I had during my treatment are still nurses at Children’s, so I actually get to work with them,” Pratt told WCCO.

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

But Children’s St. Paul isn’t the only location from her cancer treatment she’s revisiting. During her trip to Disney, she stayed at Give Kids the World resort. She’s planning on volunteering at the hotel later this fall, WCCO reported.

Click here to learn about volunteering with Give Kids the World.

Principal has musical snow day announcement inspired by Billy Joel

Sing us a song you’re the snow man?

A Kentucky principal has pulled out all the stops with his snow day announcements.

>> Read more trending news 

With yet another storm bearing down on his district, Chad Caddell drew inspiration from Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to tell excited kids and their disappointed parents that there would be no school again this morning, WCPO reported.

This isn’t the first time the Union Point Academy principal put a musical twist to his announcements, WCPO reported. Earlier this year, he did announcements “honoring” Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and Mariah Carey, WCPO reported.

Related video: 

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