Kelly Urich

Students rallying around principal battling cancer

Last month, a principal in South Burlington, Vermont named Patrick Burke was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Luckily this particular form of cancer is treatable, and he's been getting A LOT of support from his students throughout his plight.

Patrick has been the principal at South Burlington High School for 12 years and is much respected among his students. When they heard he was going through chemo, the entire student body wanted to do something to support him.

First they made a video lip synching to the Pharrell Williams song "Happy," where they danced through the school, holding up "get well" signs.

Then they designated this past Tuesday "Bald for Burke Day," where about 30 students and faculty had their HEADS SHAVED in the school's auditorium. As a result, the students raised $2,500 for the American Cancer Society!

That morning, Patrick was getting his second round of chemo, and sent out several tweets thanking them for planning it. Then he showed up to have HIS head shaved, and to promise his students he's going to BEAT the disease.

- Kelly Urich
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Locations : South BurlingtonVermont
People : Kelly UrichPatrick Burke


Blue Valley High School students come together to honor Reat Underwood

Just two days after the Jewish Community Center tragedy, students returned back to Blue Valley High School, which is where Reat Underwood was close to finishing up his freshmen year.

While it was tough for many students to return back to class, many said they are inspired and driven to live their lives with the same joy that Reat did.

To honor Reat, students at Blue Valley High wore white to symbolize the life and vitality that Reat had. Additionally, students at Shawnee Mission West and Rockhurst high schools also wore white, along with much the local communities.

The Blue Valley High students held a vigil and dedicated softball and baseball games in his honor. Before the games begun, there was a moment of silence and a release of white balloons in his honor.

"They were up there a little ways and for about 10 seconds, they actually were in the shape of a heart," said Blue Valley senior Ryan Casey. "He's looking down at us and telling us that he's all right."

Reat's rendition of the National Anthem was played to open the games as a way to remember his love for music.

"Every time he went up on stage, you could tell he loved singing," said junior Madeline Wadley. "He had the biggest smile."

Tonight, the Blue Valley High School men's choir has a competition that they want to for Reat.

- Kelly Urich

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Dog waits outside of hospital until owner is discharged

Late last month, a homeless man in Brazil named Lauri da Costa showed up at a hospital after someone hit him in the face with a ROCK.

This, however, turned out to be a GOOD thing, because after he checked in, doctors realized he also had SKIN CANCER. So they did surgery to remove it, and he's still recovering.

Though, the real story is about Lauri's DOG, Seco. Ever since Lauri checked into the hospital over two weeks ago, Seco has been WAITING for him outside!

Eventually, one of the staff members noticed, and started giving the dog food and water. Last week, eight days after Lauri checked in, his doctors let a nurse wheel him outside to say hi.

- Kelly Urich
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Kelly UrichLauri da Costa


Honoring Reat Underwood

14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood, the boy whose life was tragically taken yesterday, was a freshman at Blue Valley High School.

Reat's pastor, Tim Howy of Grace Church, said he was a very talented young man. "He's a fantastic young man," he said. "Funny. Very willing to be the life of the party. Incredibly gifted, artistically, in every way. He could pretty much do anything. And he was well liked by his community. I just can't say enough good things about Reat."

Reat's friends have taken to social media, pouring out their hearts and support by retweeting many moments from Reat's life--including him singing the National Anthem:

Plans have been assembled on social media to honor Reat, specifically with a Twitter campaign trending to get students to "wear white on Tuesday for Reat!"

From Reat's Twitter motto, he importantly reminds us, quote, "Live life to the fullest and never give up!" Certainly words to remember to live by on this day of mourning and loss.

- Kelly Urich

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Nelson-Atkins Art is taking over Paris, France

After four years of hard work, an art exhibit from the Nelson-Atkins Museum is being showcased internationally in, of all places, Paris, France!

This week, The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky debuted at the Musée du quai Branly, which is also a world-class art museum.

Rewinding back to 2010, the president of Musée du quai Branly was visiting the American Indian galleries at the Nelson-Atkins and was so dazzled that he requested the exhibit to be spotlighted at his museum.

"Of course, everyone knows them from their movies and a few pictures but not so much about the real identity and the real lifestyle over the course of their history," Stéphane Martin, the president of the Musée du quai Branly said. "So we wanted to address that and we were looking for the right way to do that," Stéphane continued to say.

The exhibition will remain in Paris this spring and summer. It will return back at the Nelson-Atkins Museum from Sept. 19 through Jan. 11, 2015.

For more about the exhibit, click here.

- Kelly Urich

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Locations : Paris
People : Kelly UrichMartinNelson-Atkins Art


Man goes back to pay his tab 73 years later

When you feel guilty about something, it tends to stick in your mind, even if it's something small – ESPECIALLY if it's small! This is a story of just that…

Last Tuesday, an anonymous woman walked into a restaurant in Salt Lake City called Lamb's Grill, and told a waitress she was there about a crime her FATHER had committed.

As it turns out, the last time he'd been there was in 1941 when he was ten years old. After her ten year-old father finished lunch with a friend, they realized they didn't have enough to cover their ONE DOLLAR tab. So as any ten year-old would do, they dined and dashed.

Apparently he's felt EXTREMELY guilty about it for the past 73 years, because the daughter explained that he was still so embarrassed, he chickened out at the last minute, decided to wait in the car, and had HER go in and pay!

So the daughter ended up handing over $5 to cover it, and left. It turns out, however, a different person owned the restaurant in 1941, so the current owner is trying to track them down and give them the five bucks.

And the kicker… when you adjust for inflation, a dollar in 1941 is the equivalent of $16 today. So in other words, the 83-year-old has still only paid about a THIRD of his bill.

- Kelly Urich

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Locations : Salt Lake City
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Dog missing since Hurricane Sandy finally reunited with owners

Back in 2012, a four-year-old yellow lab named Wesley went missing in Hillsborough, New Jersey, right before Hurricane Sandy hit.

When he didn't turn up, his owners assumed he either didn't make it through the storm, or someone else took him in. Regardless, they didn't expect to see Wesley ever again.

Then last Tuesday, they got a call from a police department about 15 miles away, telling them they'd FOUND Wesley! The cops also said that when they tried to catch him, he immediately jumped into the back of their cop car.

Coincidentally, last Tuesday happened to be April Fools' Day, so at first, the family assumed it was a mean PRANK by one of their friends.

It turns out it WASN'T a prank and the cops had gotten their contact info from Wesley's microchip. The following day, they drove to the station and picked him up, 17 MONTHS after he went missing.

It's not clear where he was the whole time, but apparently someone was taking good care of him, because he managed to GAIN 20 pounds while he was gone.

- Kelly Urich

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Locations : HillsboroughNew Jersey
People : Kelly Urich


Local Community Taking The Plunge Against Cancer


5 month old Landon Shaw is at Children's Mercy Hospital battling a rare childhood cancer. Landon's parents, Brandon and Alyssa Shaw, have taken a leave of absence from their jobs so they can be by his side, while also supporting their three other children.

Landon's mother, Alyssa, said that he began getting sick when he was about 2 month old. "Things were just getting worse. He kept gagging and throwing up so we decided to come down here," she said. Sadly, Landon has now been diagnosed with cancerous tumors all throughout his body.

Doctors have been able to remove Landon's tumors, but he still needs weekly chemo and radiation treatment for the next year.

Luckily, the Shaw's are a part of a small town community in Tarkio Missouri who are rallying together to support Landon and his family. One of the many ways they are showcasing support is through fundraisers.

The Cold Water challenge is one of these fundraisers, which involves people jumping into a chilly body of water. You can find more on the Plunge for Landon page at this link.
It is the intent of this fundraiser that it would become viral on social media, gaining support beyond their small community.

If you would like to show your support, donations and get-well cards can be mailed to Flower Mill, 606 Main St., Tarkio, MO, 64491.

- Kelly Urich

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Locations : MissouriTarkio
People : Alyssa ShawBrandon ShawKelly UrichLandon Shaw


Homeless to playing Carnegie Hall

24-year-old James Matthews is a music student in Pensacola, Florida, and he's been playing piano since he was three years old. He almost had to give it up a few years ago when he became HOMELESS.

Now, it's not clear why, but his parents aren't in the picture. After high school, he got into the music program at Florida Southern College, but couldn't afford a dorm.

So he spent more than a year and a half LIVING in the school's 24-hour piano studio, where he practiced up to 10 hours a DAY.

Eventually his teacher found him sleeping there, but instead of kicking him out, he got him into the music program at the University of West Florida, where they DID give him a dorm. Next year he will graduate with a degree in music.

James has also entered the American Protégé International piano competition this year, which is actually a big deal. Sadly, he didn't win it, but he was an "honorable mention," which means that on April 20th, he'll get to perform at CARNEGIE HALL in New York.

According to James, he decided that if he refused to give up on his dream, good things would eventually come his way.

- Kelly Urich

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Man's wife passes away, wins the lottery

Timothy McDaniel is a 55-year-old truck driver from Marysville, California. Sadly, he lost his wife to a heart attack last week. It is possible that he may be smiling today, and here's why:

The day after his wife passed, Timothy stopped at a gas station and bought a $1 scratch-off lottery ticket. Now, normally you're happy to win 20 bucks on one of those things, but Timothy's ticket ended up being worth $650,000!

He decided to take the lump sum of $375,000, and plans on to buying a house and a truck with it, with the rest going into the bank.

Timothy says his wife must have had a hand in it. Quote, "I think she just kind of sent me this money so I could continue taking care of the [family]."

- Kelly Urich
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Locations : CaliforniaMarysville
People : Kelly UrichManTimothy McDaniel