Uber driver rallies community to care for 89-year-old vet
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga.— An Uber driver has rallied her community in Georgia to care for an 89-year-old veteran she met on the job.
Lauren Mulvihill took Ronald Dembner home from the hospital this month and learned that he has no surviving immediate family. She walked him inside his house and found it in serious disrepair. She asked if anyone checks up on him, and he said no.
Then she took action: She started cleaning and fixing his home herself, and then posted a plea on Facebook , getting hundreds of responses from people willing to volunteer. They even helped care for his dog.
Nearly $3,000 has been raised for Dembner, who says he’s incredibly grateful for these people who stepped up to help a stranger.
Airbnb offers ‘Around the World in 80 Days’
LOS ANGELES — A lucky few will be able to live the adventures of Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s classic “Around the World in 80 Days.”
Hosted by Airbnb, a small number of guests will travel across 18 countries using eight modes of transportation, including a hot air balloon, to promote a new collection of available bookings called Airbnb Adventures.
The experience is meant to mirror Fogg’s journey from exploring the Galapagos islands to hiking mountain ranges in Australia, said Joe Zadeh, Airbnb’s vice president of experiences.
“We thought that the notion of circumnavigating the globe and visiting all these different cultures and communities in 80 days is just a really fun and interesting premise,” he said.
Starting June 20, guests can book the 80-day trip, which comes with a price tag of $5,000 and includes all travel, lodging, activities and meals. Guests will depart from London on Sept. 1, 2019. The company did not say how many of the packages would be available.
Zadeh said the company chose to recreate the story of “Around the World in 80 Days” because it encompasses the spirit of the new program, focused on giving travelers an experience that is difficult to find anywhere else, especially for the price tag.
Mississippi dropping below flood stage
The Mississippi River is dropping below flood stage along many of Iowa’s riverfront cities after nearly three months of record highs caused by melting snow and torrential rain.
The National Weather Service says the river dropped below flood stage at Guttenberg, Iowa, early Tuesday, and was more than a half-foot under flood stage Thursday morning at one Dubuque gauge. The river’s been above flood stage in Dubuque for a record 85 days, breaking the old mark of 34 days set in 2011.
The river remains around 2.5 feet above flood stage at Davenport, where floodwaters surged into downtown after a barrier failed April 30.
Missouri River levels also have dropped but are expected to remain high for much of the summer.
178 cats removed from Detroit home
WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Authorities say a couple has been charged after animal control officers removed 178 cats from deplorable conditions in a suburban Detroit home.
Oakland County authorities say Jonathan and Jennifer Klein were arraigned Monday on one felony count each of abandonment or cruelty to animals.
If convicted, they could face four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and community service.
The Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center says the animals were found when an animal control officer went to the home in West Bloomfield Township in April to perform a welfare check on cats at the home. At least 60 had to be euthanized because of medical problems.
Base for migrants was internment camp
OKLAHOMA CITY — A U.S. Army base in Oklahoma that the federal government says will temporarily house children crossing the border without their parents was used during World War II as a Japanese internment camp.
Historical data from the National Park Service and private organizations show Fort Sill was among at least 14 Army and Department of Justice facilities nationwide where Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants were interred. The Army’s War Relocation Authority held about 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans in “relocation centers” during the war with Japan.
Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho, an organization that documents the history of the United States’ internment of Japanese people, referred to Fort Sill as “a place layered in trauma.” He pointed to its use as a boarding school for Native American children and as a prisoner-of-war camp for Apache tribal members.
“Sites like this need to be permanently closed, not recycled to inflict more harm,” Ikeda said Wednesday in a statement. “We need to stay vigilant and we need to be showing up at these places in protest. No one showed up for Japanese Americans during WWII, but we can and we must break that pattern now.”
The Obama administration also used Fort Sill to house unaccompanied migrant children during a migration surge in 2014.
Passenger carry-on bag ignites at airport
CHARLESTON — Authorities at a West Virginia airport say a passenger’s carry-on bag ignited as it was going through a security checkpoint.
The Yeager Airport in Charleston says two lithium batteries attached to a charger in the bag caused a small explosion Wednesday. Airport police extinguished the flames, and the airport said there were no injuries or flight delays. The passenger continued on to the flight.
Airport Director Terry Sayre said passengers should review Transportation Security Administration regulations regarding prohibited and regulated items before flying.
The airport says in a news release that lithium batteries with more than 100 watt hours may be allowed in carry-on bags with airline approval but are limited to two spare batteries per passenger.
Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked bags.