Woman found wet, mostly naked – says she is a mermaid


FRESNO (KSEE) – A woman was found near Table Mountain on Tuesday morning, and she doesn’t seem to know who she is, the Fresno Police Department said.
“She was wet, she said she had been in the lake, said she needed help and needed to be taken to the hospital,” said Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson.
The woman was found about 3:15 a.m. walking in the middle of the street on Millerton Road (Friant Road) about a mile south of Table Mountain.
When she was found, her hair was wet, and she was mostly naked. She told officers she had been in the water.
She answers, “I don’t know” to most questions, police said. She has claimed to be a mermaid named “Joanna.”
“We did go through records after fingerprinting her and we still did not come up with her identity,” said Hudson.
She is 5-foot-4, weighs 150 pounds and has webbed feet.
“There are some strange things that happen up here,” said neighbor Karon Renwick. “We’re in the mountains.”
Anyone with information on this woman should call (559) 621-2455 or email the missing persons unit Detective Paul Hill at paul.hill@fresno.gov.

Dutch men walk hand in hand for solidarity after gay couple attacked


Hundreds of people have walked hand in hand through Amsterdam to show solidarity with two gay men who were badly beaten at the weekend in the eastern city of Arnhem.
The peaceful march on Wednesday was part of a national outpouring of emotion over the beating of the married couple, who were attacked on the way home from a party in the early hours of Sunday morning. Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes told police the confrontation started because they were holding hands.
Five suspects, all in their teens, would be charged on Thursday with causing serious bodily harm, prosecutors said, adding that they were still investigating the motive for the attack.
Marcher Marion van Hees said she had campaigned for gay rights during the 1960s. “I thought we were finished with it, that we had achieved it. But that is not the case, and that is very sad,” she said. “So I’m going back on to the barricades.”
Sjag Kozak, who married his husband in Amsterdam and has lived in the city for 21 years, said he wanted to show solidarity with the beaten men but also “show the world that it is possible to walk hand-in-hand in Amsterdam”.
Politicians had given prominence to the show of defiance, with Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Democrats D66 party, and his finance spokesman Wouter Koolmees arriving hand-in-hand for coalition talks in The Hague on Monday.
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, condemned the attack. “It’s terrible what happened. Awful,” he said, adding that addressing homophobic violence would be a “top priority” for his new government.
The action was sparked by journalist Barbara Barend, who tweeted a call for “all men (straight and gay) please to just walk hand in hand”. The hashtag #allemannenhandinhand took off from there and was followed by images from the Netherlands and across the world of Dutch men showing solidarity.
Associated Press contributed to this report.

I owe her my life: Mum hails off-duty police woman who saved choking son while on Ards shopping trip

A Co Down mum has hailed the quick-thinking actions of an off-duty police officer who saved her choking son, saying she owes the woman her life.

Lynsey Hagen was on a visit to Ards Shopping Centre when suddenly her son Lucas began choking on a soft mint close to the entrance.
The four-year-old turned pale as he struggled to breathe. Mum Lynsey panicked and screamed for help.”I’ve had the first aid training course but I just froze,” she told the Belfast Telegraph, “I suppose when it’s your own child it’s different.”
As people gathered around it was then that the off-duty police officer came forward. “She was so calm. She put him over her knee and tried slapping his back and then she tried to get her arms around him to squeeze his stomach, but his knees kept buckling and it was tough to do,” Lynsey continued.”She called for an ambulance and I really feared the worst. I just knew that if we waited on an ambulance then he would be dead… But thankfully she managed to dislodge it.”
Newtownards woman Lynsey said that such was her relief that her son was ok, that she only managed to say a quick thank you to the officer before they parted ways. She says her son, as with most little boys, is over his ordeal although he was shocked.”I owe her my life and my son’s and I just want her to know how grateful we are for it and would like to acknowledge that,” the 26-year-old said.”It’s your worst fear, but she was there in the right place at the right time and able to step in and be so calm, we would love to thank her properly.”

Posting on Facebook, PSNI Lisburn praised the woman. “Never Off Duty… You know who you are. Well Done!”

Never Off Duty A shout out to our colleague who put her quick thinking and first aid training to good use yesterdsy whilst at Ards Shopping centre.
You know who you are. Well Done!
#NeverOffDutyPosted by PSNI Lisburn on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
 

Online Editors

Austin man pays off outstanding traffic tickets for disabled woman


AUSTIN – A random act of kindness inside an Austin courtroom shocked not only the judge but other workers at the Austin Municipal Court on Monday.
The Austin man, who only wants to be known as Bruce, told KVUE’S Jenni Lee by phone that he was touched by 57-year-old, Carlotta Davis’ discussion with Judge Alfred Jenkins.
Bruce was waiting to see Judge Jenkins to discuss a traffic ticket when he overheard Davis tell Jenkins she couldn’t afford to pay the $790 on her disability. She suffers from a variety of health issues, including kidney disease and Type 2 Diabetes. She said the latter led to her legal blindness.
Bruce paid for her tickets in full.
When Davis discovered what Bruce had done, she was overjoyed.
“I was kind of like, whoa! Oh my God! And I says, ‘oh thank you, Jesus! And I just started praising the Lord,” Davis said.
Workers at the courthouse couldn’t help but notice Davis’ excitement, like Austin police officer, Johnny Washington.
“And she started hugging everybody and she was going through the lobby,” said Washington.
He said everyone is still talking about what happened inside courtroom one.
Davis said others with tickets were envious.
“She said uh, I wish I had a friend like that to pay my ticket. And I said he’s not my friend. I don’t know him. I don’t know nothing about this white man. I said he just wanted to pay my ticket. And she said she still wished he paid her ticket too. And then I walked back over here to him. And I was so excited. I had grabbed him and kissed him. Before I know it and he just started crying… tears were welling down his face,” Davis explained.
Judge Alfred Jenkins has presided over courtroom one’s bench since 2004. And out of the thousands of cases he has heard, he has never seen generosity to this extent, even inspiring him.
“It makes me want to be a better person,” said Jenkins, “To see this person do a selfless act like this is something that is rare.”
“People just don’t do that nowadays… people don’t seem to care and cold hearted – but there was someone that did. There was someone that said I’d do it,” said Davis.
Bruce declined our request for an interview because he wants the good deed to speak for itself and doesn’t want attention for it. He did say he hopes this inspires others to pay it forward too.

Indian federal government Allows transgender people to use public toilets of their choice


While the Donald Trump administration in the US recently rescinded Obama-era guidelines that allowed transgender students unrestricted access to bathrooms matching their gender identity, the Indian government has moved to allow the members of the community to use toilets of their choice.
In a significant move, the Ministry of Sanitation on Monday (April 3) issued guidelines to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilet of their choice (men or woman), according to a report in Scroll.in.
Under the heading of ‘Inclusivity,’ the statement said that a “conscious effort” should be made to ensure that members of the community are “recognised as equal citizens and users of toilets”.
The guidelines on gender issues in sanitation also stated that there were examples from across India where those belonging to the third gender have played a significant role in taking the “message of Swachhata” to other households in their community.
“Where suitable, their support can be enlisted in engaging communities, and their efforts duly recognised and honoured to break any stigma around them, and also to enable them to use facilities without any embarrassment.”
In another move to ensure public toilet access for transgender people, the Madras high court on Tuesday (April 4) ordered the Tamil Nadu government to build public toilets for members of the community in parts of the city where they live in larger numbers.
According to a PTI report, Census 2011 indicates that there are around ten lakh people in Tamil Nadu who identify as transgender.
Even as the high court’s mandate was issued in response to a PIL, according to a Ladies Finger report, the 2014 Supreme Court judgment recognising transgenders as ‘third gender,’ which also included an order for separate toilets for members of the community in public places, is yet to be implemented.
The directive, according to the report, has only been followed by Mysore, which also has only one such separate toilet.
The government has before made efforts towards ensuring equality to transgender people when accessing public services. According to the Times of India, the urban development ministry has a “non-discriminatory clause” under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which allows anyone, including transgender people, to buy property in a complex.

Random Customer Surprises Popeyes Employee by Paying for Her Nursing School Education

One Popeyes employee in Kansas City received the surprise of her life when a customer raised $14,000 for her to attend nursing school and pursue her dreams.

Donald Carter, a retired Kansas City cop, explains that he ordered some fried chicken at the drive-thru from employee Shajuana Mays and noted the “spark” of determination from the “polite and respectful” young woman.

“As I messily crunch on some really untasty fried chicken, I get this idea,” Carter said. “What if I got some friends together and we put this girl through school to get her CNA license?”

That’s exactly what he did. Carter set up a GoFundMe page and over the course of a little over a week, raised $14,300, about ten times the amount it costs to take a CNA Course, pay for taking the test, and get a license. The extra funds could help her become an RN, which requires more education and will eventually pay a higher salary.

“You kind people who are reading this helped it, made it happen,” Donald said on the GoFundMe page. “You are still making it happen. You are the ones who are changing the life of one young lady and the lives of others and your own life in the process. You are changing the world — your world.”

Watch the video of Mays’ reaction below:

High School Junior Takes 93-year-old Grandmother to Prom

They might just be the most precious prom dates ever.

Connor Campbell, a junior at Pinewood Prep in Summerville, South Carolina, took his 93-year-old grandma, Betty Jane Keene, to his school dance.

“It was wonderful. It was really great,” Keene told ABC News of her fabulous evening at Middleton Place Plantation on April 1. “He had told all his friends. Every boy and girl. It was about 100 children at that dance and it was so lovely and they all came up and shook my hand and then I got Connor to dance with me. He’s not a dancer, but I am.”

The Summerville Journal SceneConnor Campbell, a junior from Summerville, South Carolina, took his grandmother, Betty Jane Keene, as his prom date.

Connor was insistent all year that his grandma would be his prom date.

“Connor had asked her last year to go with him this year,” his mom, Jacqueline Campbell, recalled. “He promised her a year ago. He said, ‘April 2017 I’ll take you.’ For the whole year he kept saying it.”

When the time finally came, Keene picked out a lovely long, pale pink gown from her favorite catalog.

“I’ve always shopped at Draper’s and Damon’s and so I had a catalog and I flipped and I saw this pale pink long dress with a light jacket, and I thought I looked good in pink,” said Keene. “I was a blonde in my day and I always wore soft colors. I said to Jackie, ‘I think this will be great but tell Connor to look at it.’ And he screamed, ‘Tell her to get it.’”

The Summerville Journal SceneConnor Campbell, a junior from Summerville, South Carolina, took his grandmother, Betty Jane Keene, as his prom date.

She treated herself to the fancy gown and Connor got matching pale pink duds.

“I had a wrist corsage with pink roses. He had a pink rose boutonniere,” Keene said. “He had a pink tie and vest with his tuxedo. He’s such a handsome boy.”

Keene was over the moon to also get her makeup, nails and hair done for the special occasion.

Jacqueline CampbellConnor Campbell, a junior from Summerville, South Carolina, took his grandmother, Betty Jane Keene, as his prom date.

“My daughter found the best shoes at Belk, with these pretty, pretty stars on the toes,” the proud prom date recalled. “Jackie did my face and made me up. And I had my hair done Saturday and my nails done. I was really dressed up for a 93 year old.”

But her favorite part of the whole evening?

“Dancing with Connor,” she said. “I thought that was great.”

Jacqueline CampbellConnor Campbell, a junior from Summerville, South Carolina, took his grandmother, Betty Jane Keene, as his prom date.

“It just warmed my heart,” said Connor’s mom. “They both had a good time. It wasn’t like anyone’s arm was twisted to go. Both of them had a wonderful time and they both said it was the best thing ever.”

Will Keene be Connor’s date next year too?

“I won’t go next year,” she said with a laugh. “I want him to find a girlfriend.”

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar commits $100m to fight 'fake news' and hate speech


The billionaire founder of eBay is to donate $100 million to fund investigative journalism and to combat the spread of misinformation online.
Pierre Omidyar, one of the world’s richest men, aims to tackle the “global trust deficit” by giving money to projects around the world.
The funds will be dispersed over the next three years through the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm which he and his wife founded in 2004 and which has committed more than $1 billion to good causes.
The first recipients include the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the group behind last year’s release of the Panama Papers, which will receive $4.5 million.
The Anti-Defamation League will also receive a grant towards the building of a new centre in Silicon Valley to fight the growing threat posed by online trolls.
“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months particularly has been an increase in distrust – distrust in government institutions, in the media and in social media,” said Stephen King, partner at Omidyar Network.

College President tells students he doesn't deal with demands


The white president of a college in Virginia just gave a Black Lives Matter group a real hard pill to swallow when they showed up in his office with a list of demands.
“I don’t deal in demands,” said College of William & Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III. “I don’t make demands of other people. I don’t expect to receive demands from people. I love to get suggestions, recommendations, strong arguments.”
“When you approach other people with a demand, instead of their ears opening and their spirit being unusually receptive, you get defensive walls erected,” he continued in the live video streamed on Facebook. “So, I think you all need to think about it.”
A student spoke up after this and said Reveley made an “interesting point” about making suggestions and added, “But I’m going to disagree.”
Reveley wasn’t fazed and reminded them, “That is the beauty of the First Amendment.”
In typical BLM fashion, the students saw their president as clueless and tried to tell him that making suggestions is too nice and makes them “not necessary.”
“No, no, no, that’s not the way the world works,” Reveley retorted. “It is not effective, in my opinion, to approach other people and say ‘we demand’ unless you have the capacity to demand.”
“We are students, and we pay tuition to be here,” someone said. “That is the reason why we are able to write these demands.”
Another said, “So, you have an issue with the way that we are phrasing this? … I think you’re missing the point … We’ve tried to be nice … It’s not working.”
They demanded he listen “to students of color when they tell you this is what needs to happen.”
Unlike those in the room, you will LOVE Reveley’s response:
The disgusted group left the meeting disheartened, with one of them posting the video to Facebook and complaining:
This is what being censored looks like. This is what white supremacy looks like. This is what patriarchy looks like. This is what condescension looks like. This is what being told “you, your issues and your life don’t matter” looks like. THIS is why we say #BlackLivesMatter… [He] is not a benevolent grandpa, he is a man with an agenda that excludes students of color. Call it what it is.
We will call it what it is: a college president with balls big enough to confront a group of anti-American bullies. Let us hope more follows his lead.

“Blankets to spread love” -Abington girls honor mother’s memory by spreading kindness

Abington residents Angela, 18, Christina, 16, and Mia, 7, started Annie’s Kindness Blankets to spread love to others after their mother died.

Anna Burgess The Enterprise – Angela, Christina and Mia Varney spent their Sunday in the hallways of South Shore Hospital, delivering fleece Annie’s Kindness Blankets to the hospital’s youngest patients.The sunny, breezy day would have been their mother Anne Varney’s 38th birthday. Varney, of Abington, died by suicide two years ago.Her three daughters are on a mission now to spread their mother’s kindness to remind others they are not alone, Angela said.“I think this is so much better than doing nothing and just mourning the fact that she’s not here,” Angela said.Anne Varney was described as a loving wife to the girls’ father, Steven, and a wonderful mother and friend with an infectious laugh, but she had struggled with depression for years.When she died, the girls were devastated. As they dealt with their grief, they realized that reaching out with kindness would make their mother proud and help others who might be struggling.“Our mom was honestly like a one-in-a-million person,” Angela, 18, said. “She was the sweetest person ever, and I guess this started because we wanted to show how far niceness can get you.”“We thought of blankets because people can wrap kindness around themselves,” said the girls’ aunt, Barbara Buckley. “What Annie would have actually done would be hug people until they felt better.”For more than a year now, the three girls have led the effort to spread kindness and caring, helped by Buckley, her daughter Aubrianne, and her friend Lisa Palmer.Mia, 7, Christina, 16, and Angela have given out nearly 1,000 blankets to area hospitals, homeless people and anyone who reaches out via their Facebook page. Blankets have been sent to the Ronald McDonald House in Texas, to Portugal and to Australia.Mia said she especially likes giving the blankets to sick children. Asked why her family started the project, Mia said, “so it can make people better.”Into every blanket, their grandmother Maryann Hall sews a message of kindness, reminding the recipients they are loved.Buckley said hundreds of recipients have expressed their gratitude. One woman struggling with depression said receiving the blanket saved her life.“It shows someone you care and you’re supporting them,” Christina said. “Even if it’s just a blanket, it goes a long way.”The girls also made a depression and suicide awareness video in which they remind people they are loved and would be missed if they were gone.“This is our never-ending story,” their message in the video reads. “It is our goal to never make it yours.”Asked if they were happy with how they spent their mom’s birthday, Angela and Christina answered together, “definitely.”“I love doing this,” Angela said. “I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way.”