The week's good news: May 6, 2021

·4 min read


After being separated for almost six decades, Martin Hauser was finally able to meet his younger brother, Joe Shaw, for the first time last month — and the happy occasion was made even sweeter by the fact that it took place right before Shaw's wedding. Hauser was adopted as a baby in 1962 in North Carolina, and after he started having his own children, decided to learn more about his biological parents and any siblings he might have. He took DNA tests and visited ancestry websites, but kept coming up short. Last December, the Children's Home Society tracked down Hauser's biological father's death certificate, and listed as his next of kin was Shaw. Within 15 minutes, Hauser found Shaw on Facebook and sent him a message, and they were soon chatting on the phone. Hauser told WXII he hopes his story will inspire others who are struggling to find information about their biological families. [WXII]


Monyay Paskalides now celebrates two birthdays: the day she was born and the day she was officially adopted by Leah Paskalides, her former caseworker. Monyay, 19, of Bradenton, Florida, spent most of her childhood in foster care. Six years ago, Leah became her caseworker, and she told Good Morning America that they "just clicked." Leah couldn't adopt Monyay while she was still in the foster care system, as it would be a conflict of interest, but after she watched a documentary about a man who was adopted as an adult, she approached Monyay to see if she was open to the idea. "I wanted to make sure she knew that she had somebody who loved her and who would have done this years ago and still would as an adult," Leah said. Monyay told GMA she was overjoyed, as "that's the one thing I've wanted my entire life, to have a mom." The adoption was made official on April 27. [Good Morning America]


Not wanting other military spouses to have a hard time finding work like she did, Michelle Penczak launched Squared Away, a company that connects the wives and husbands of service members with jobs that can be done remotely. When Penczak's husband was deployed, she attempted to land a job, but because military families often move a lot, it was difficult to find a company willing to hire someone who might not be in the area for long. Her company, Squared Away, connects military spouses with companies that need personal assistants or other workers that don't have to be in an office. It's a perfect fit because "as a military spouse and mom, you are managing calendars, you are balancing everybody's activities," Penczak told CBS News. "If you can handle that, I guarantee that you can handle working with a few CEOs and their teams." Through Squared Away, Penczak has helped hundreds of people find work. [CBS News]


The Delmar College of Hair and Esthetics in Alberta, Canada, welcomed a nontraditional student last week — a 79-year-old man who asked for hair and makeup lessons in order to help his wife of 50 years. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, told the beauty school staff his wife was losing her eyesight and burning herself with a curling iron, and to keep her safe, he wanted to start doing her hair. Over the course of an hour, a student showed the man how to use a curling iron and apply mascara. Director Carrie Hannah told SWNS that the man kept pulling pictures of his wife out of his wallet and talking about her different talents. It was "very brave" of him to come in and ask for help, Hannah said, and the team was "touched by his devotion." The man returned to the school with his wife to thank everyone, and Hannah said the woman's hair looked "great." [People]


As of Tuesday morning, the U.S. earthquake early warning system can issue earthquake alerts to cellphone users in California, Oregon, and Washington. Launched in Los Angeles in late 2018, the ShakeAlert early warning system aims to let people know about incoming shaking, so they can have at least a few seconds to find a safe spot to ride out the earthquake. The alert system is successful because communications systems are now faster than the speed of shaking waves moving through the ground, the Los Angeles Times reports. The earthquake sensor system is about 70 percent finished, and alerts will come out faster once more sensors are placed in rural areas. Developers are also tweaking the computer software system that analyzes incoming shaking, to make it faster with more accurate alerts. [Los Angeles Times]

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