Category Archives: Good News

Good News Friday

Spring starts today, which is the best news yet! And here are a few other items from around the internet. Enjoy.

• Target says it will raise its minimum wage to “at least” $9/hour amid a tightening labor market:

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest employer, garnered much attention when it said it would raise entry-level wages to $9 an hour in April and then to $10 an hour by February 2016. The move was expected to have a domino effect among other companies and soon after it spurred TJX Cos., the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, to follow suit.

Analysts have said that Target would have to match those wages in order to hang on to employees amid a tightening labor market. After all, retailers are not duking it out just on price and the specific products they sell, but also on the customer service inside their stores.

Not even close to a living wage in a lot of places but it’s a start.

• The California Dietetic Assn. told McDonald’s to take its sponsorship and stuff it.

• Check out this amazing photo of a bobcat in Griffith Park, with the lights of Los Angeles in the background. Still can’t believe this isn’t a hoax.

• Presbyterians (PC-USA) approved marriages for same-sex couples in the first ever nationwide, grassroots vote on marriage equality by a faith tradition:

The 171 regional presbyteries (local leadership bodies within the PCUSA) have been voting on whether to change the wording to call marriage a contract “between a woman and a man” to being “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” On Tuesday, the denomination reached its needed majority of “yes” votes from at least 86 presbyteries to take effect. The change will be included in the church’s “Book of Order,” part of its constitution, taking effect on June 21.

• Ashley Judd, a feminist who won’t take shit off of anyone, even anonymous Twitter trolls, is my new hero. Here’s her column on being harassed for a simple sports-related Tweet.

• A stray pit bull was found nursing a two-day-old kitten by the side of the road. Both have been saved by animal rescuers but when a vet took the kitten home at night to bottle-feed it, the pit bull started howling. Let’s hope the two can find a home together. They’re in the Dallas area:


• In Hawaii, firearm applications and registrations are down for the first time in eight years.

• “Gun rights” activist and 2nd Amendment Hero Jon Holzwarth will face criminal charges in the November self-inflicted shooting of his 3-year-old son. With rights come responsibilities, people.

• Gay couple who met at the University of Alabama in 1972 and have been together ever since decide not to leave millions to their alma mater over the state’s anti-gay stance.

• After a Christian college canceled a bake sale that was supposed to help homeless GLBT youth, students held an online fundraiser and raised $10,000 — five times more than they had planned.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• A bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker would create the first new Tennessee wilderness area in nearly 30 years. That’s the good news. The bad news is, they’ve introduced this bill four times since 2010. Let’s hope the Tennessee Wilderness Act passes this time.

Watch the video that has the gun loons losing their shit:


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Good News Friday

Bumper crop of good news from Tennessee this week. Don’t know why … it’s just what crossed my radar. Enjoy your weekend!

• Set your alarms: tomorrow will be the best Pi Day ever!

• A jury has decided that “Blurred Lines” really is a rip-off of a Marvin Gaye song. Yes, fuck that song. By the way, this is also a piece of Tennessee good news as the lawyer representing the plaintiffs is based in Nashville.

• Body-shaming is no longer a thing on Facebook.

• Nationwide, gun ownership is actually declining. It’s actually fewer gun loons buying more guns. That explains so much about the push to mainstream that which should never be normalized — mainly, carrying your gun everywhere. Eagerly look forward to the day when these people are all put out of business.

• Related: gun carry permits dropping in Minnesota.

• Sorry, wingnuts: the best state for business is California:

Since January 2011, when Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr., became governor for the third time, the 63 publicly traded California companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 produced the best total return among the five states with the largest populations. California companies in the S&P 500 delivered returns of 134 percent; the closest big-state challenger was Florida, whose S&P companies had an 82 percent return, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Texas-based companies delivered 52 percent during the period.

Companies domiciled in California also outperformed the S&P 500 during the past four years by a margin of 23 percent. Among the California industries making the state No. 1 in business are health care, returning 267 percent, consumer staples (302 percent), specialty pharma (235 percent), energy (30 percent) and biotech (333 percent).

Maybe high taxes and strong regulations don’t daunt business leaders if well spent and well aimed. Places that prepare for big 21st-century challenges such as urbanization, climate change and globalization are likely to be the most successful. California companies lead the U.S. in confronting these risks with superior results for shareholders and bondholders. The corporate performance coincides with growing confidence in the state under Governor Brown, now in his fourth term. That’s shown by the biggest four-year drop in the cost of state credit default swaps, a kind of insurance against bondholders’ losses and a way to speculate on creditworthiness.

Sorry, Texas and Tennessee. You lose.

• The result of the recent media attention to police shootings? A nationwide change in how these incidents are being investigated.

• After 30 years in prison for murder, Cathy Woods has been exonerated by DNA evidence. This part really gets me:

The charges against Woods, originally brought in 1980, were based on a confession that prosecutors now evidently believe was false.


Woods made the confession that led to her imprisonment in 1979 while she was a patient at a psychiatric hospital in Louisiana, claiming that she killed “a girl named Michelle,” the Reno-Gazette journal reports. She later recanted, and now says she doesn’t remember making the confession, her public defender Maizie Pusich said.

“I’m told it was a product of wanting to get a private room,” Pusich told the AP. “She was being told she wasn’t sufficiently dangerous to qualify, and within a short period she was claiming she had killed a woman in Reno.”

Cheese and rice, people. How on earth is a “confession” made at a psychiatric hospital sufficient evidence for a conviction? Thank God she wasn’t executed.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• A bill working its way through the state legislature would require all Tennessee law enforcement officers to wear body cameras.

• Efforts to end gun background checks on some purchases and legalize open carry without a permit have failed.

• Go you chicken fat, go! MTSU agricultural science team drives cross country on used chicken fat and cooking oil from the university’s kitchen. All hail the “Southern Fried Fuel Expedition.”

• Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting gay marriage.

• Successive cold winters have been good news for East Tennessee’s hemlocks, which have suffered from a destructive Asian insect called the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. The hard winters have taken a toll on the pests.

• Three Tennessee plants get Energy Star certification.

• Violent crime is down 14% in Jackson.

• A Hamilton County circuit court judge (who happens to be a former chair of the Hamilton County GOP) has ruled that the state’s cap on non-economic damages is unconstitutional. This was Gov. Haslam’s shining achievement which was supposed to spur economic activity, under the ridiculous notion that companies don’t operate here because of “frivolous lawsuits.” Umm … no.

This week’s cool video, courtesy of Snoop: He wants you to unload your investments from gun manufacturers:


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Good News Friday

Good news, weird news, funny news: we’ve got it all. Enjoy!

• McDonald’s says it will no longer sell chicken raised on antibiotics.

• “Mind your own uterus” say glitter-bombers to aides of anti-choice Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Ha ha ha.

• Ringling Bros. circus announced it is dropping all of its elephant acts and 13 elephants will be retired to its 200-acre sanctuary in Florida.

• A mild El Nino has formed in the Pacific, which means warmer, wetter weather. After the winter we’ve had, all I can say is, bring it on!

• The Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.

• Better late than never: an 82-year-old billionaire is performing his “first major act of philanthropy” by selling his extensive art collection to give money to the Harlem Children’s Zone. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but if you’re 82 years old and a billionaire and just now thinking about some major acts of philanthropy you’re kind of a dick. But at least something finally trickled down to the Harlem Children’s Zone.

• There are now 57 Amur leopards in the world, up from 30 in 2007.

• On Monday a federal judge ruled that Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

• Congratulations, Michael Jordan: the world’s newest billionaire.

• Tea Party cries Uncle on Dept. of Homeland Security funding. Do you think they’ve finally got the message that government shutdown after government shutdown, ad nauseum, is not a tactic that inspires confidence in their ability to govern? Probably not.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s Metro Council voted to ban chaining dogs outside, as well as other pet-tethering restrictions.

This week’s cool video comes from the Memphis Zoo, where their polar bear, Payton, is having the time of his life enjoying a rare snowfall. I am absolutely obsessed with this video. It almost makes the snow seem worthwhile:


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Good News Friday

Sorry I’m a bit late with this. A few little pieces of good news. Enjoy!

• The internet is saved!

• A Berkeley researcher working on another problem has accidentally found a cure for color blindness. This should help all of those people who see this dress as white and gold. It’s blue and black, people. Duh.

• The Democratic National Committee unanimously voted to adopt a resolution calling for a “Right-to-Vote” Amendment to be added to the U.S. Constitution.

• Still more economic good news, this time it’s growth in GDP.

• The Dept. of Justice admits it has been misinterpreting the “derivative citizenship” statutes of U.S. immigration law since 2008, leading to the improper deportation of U.S. citizens.

• Obama vetoed the Keystone pipeline bill.

The era of processed junk food is over.

• Morgan Stanley will pay $2.6 billion for its role in the 2008 global financial meltdown. Not nearly enough … not nearly enough. But it’s something.

• Virginia has agreed to compensate the remaining victims of its forced sterilization program.

• This:

Seven medical specialty societies, the American Bar Assn. and the American Public Health Assn. on Monday joined forces to declare gun-related injuries, which annually kill an average of 32,000 Americans and harm nearly twice that number, “a public health crisis” that should be studied and solved “free of political influence or restriction.”

Duh. But it wasn’t too long ago that these groups would have been too scared and intimidated by the NRA shouters and screamers to even dream of supporting such a logical idea.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Though built in the early ’70s, it was recognized as a cultural resource. The Ryman Auditorium, which has long been associated with the Grand Ole Opry, was recognized in 2001.

• Despite losing to the Minnesota Wild last night, my beloved Nashville Predators are the top team in the NHL. In the whole friggin’ National Hockey League, you guys! This has been such a long time coming. We are playoff-bound, and I smell a Stanley Cup!


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Good News Friday


There, I said it. And we’ve got another ice storm headed Nashville’s way today, too. Ugh. Okay, enough of that, here’s your weekly dose of good news.

• We need more kids like Tommy Adams.

• Wal-mart announced it’s upping its minimum wage for hourly workers and will make changes in how workers are scheduled.

• A so-called “bathroom bill” targeting transgender teens in Kentucky failed to get enough votes to pass out of a Senate committee.

• Attorney General Eric Holder has called for a national moratorium on the death penalty.

• Researchers say an experimental molecule has blocked the HIV virus in monkeys, another big step toward finding an HIV/AIDs vaccine.

• Old and busted, helicopter parents. New hotness, Free Range Parents.

• A student at Dalhousie University says he’s invented a tattoo removal cream.

• Nestle says it will remove the artificial ingredients from its candy.

• Plastic bag bans are catching on in Texas.

• To make a statement about marriage equality, this Huntsville, AL synagogue welcomed gay couples to say “I do” during “Wedding Week.”

• The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed protecting close to 40,000 square miles of habitat to protect the severely endangered North American Right Whale.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s North Branch Library, one of the few Carnegie Libraries still open and operating, celebrated its 100th anniversary this week.

• When the Monroe County animal shelter lost its power this week, the good people at the Monroe County Friends Of Animals Thrift Store stepped in to house the shelter’s large dogs. Let me add: if you’re a dog in a rural animal shelter, your prospects are not very good. Please consider adopting from a rural shelter.

This week’s video: Riley and Willie playing tuggie in the snow. Riley gets pretty vocal when he plays tuggie but it’s all in good fun. And I love how it takes Riley a minute to realize he actually won, and then he does his happy dance. He cracks me up.


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Good News Friday

Some happy news to close out the week. Been a tough week with losing Quinn, and then this morning I had to take Willie to the vet because he’s stopped eating. He hoovers up everything in sight and has a serious shoe fetish so I’m worried it will be one of these scenarios. On top of that, I’m coming down with a sinus infection. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Blech. So, happy thoughts.

• PA’s governor has put a moratorium on the state’s death penalty.

• Bipartisanship! A bill to help veterans with PTSD has been signed into law.

• After a Los Angeles Times report detailed horrific conditions in the Mexican agricultural industry that supplies America’s supermarket chains, Wal-Mart announced that it’s teaming with the Mexican government to improve farmworkers’ conditions. Also:

The group represents growers and distributors that handle 90% of Mexico’s produce exports to the United States, which have tripled over the last decade and now exceed $7.5 billion a year.

Separately, Wal-Mart said it is taking action to ensure that workers are treated with “respect and dignity,” reminding its in-house buyers that they should buy produce only from farms that meet the company’s standards for decent treatment of workers.

Wal-Mart also said it will ask outside suppliers to certify that they have visited “any new facility they plan to use for Wal-Mart production” and that the facilities meet company standards.

Wal-Mart said it would send a team of senior leaders to attend meetings with growers involved with the new initiative, called the International Produce Alliance to Promote a Socially Responsible Industry. Senior executives have also been assigned to examine ways to partner with other groups to improve conditions.

• Apple Inc. announced a 25-year, $848 million deal to buy solar power from First Solar, in what has been called the solar industry’s largest corporate power purchase agreement.

• Southern states are seeing Obamacare signups increase from 80-100% over last year. As these are some of the unhealthiest states in the entire U.S., this is very good news.

• A St. Petersburg, FL man tore down his home-made gun range that he’d built in his front yard.

• Net neutrality may actually happen.

• A Detroit-area man who walked 21 miles to work every day for 10 years has been given a new car, and a crowdfunding campaign will pay for the maintenance and insurance.

• Justice: the Montana man who set a trap and ultimately shot and killed a German exchange student, then tried to use a “castle doctrine” defense, has been sentenced to 70-years in prison.

• Justice 2: the police officer who assaulted an Indian grandfather visiting his grandson in a Huntsville, Alabama suburb has been fired and arrested for assault. Horrible story, and it all started because some neighborhood idiot called in about a suspicious “skinny black guy.”

• On Monday Alabama became the 37th state where gay marriage is legal.

• Tesla batteries could soon power your home.

Mars, bitches!

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

Congrats to Kingsport native and Paralympian Blake Leeper, who will play in the Celebrity All-Star Game during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Leeper won the silver medal in the 400-meter dash during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

This week’s video is a trip into the cultural memory hole. How we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance:


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Good News Friday

Got your good news! Huzzah!

• Jobs, jobs, jobs: the past three months have seen the U.S. economy produce jobs at a rate not seen since 1997.

• The 10 Safest Cities In The World: if you are surprised that New York City was the only American city to make the list, join the club.

• Useful idiot: Unlicensed open carry legislation is dead in Texas after the head of Open Carry Tarrant County threatened legislators who voted against the bills with death “for treason.”

• A Kazakh herder in Northern China found a 17-pound gold nugget while resting in the mining area of Altay.

• Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage.

• Asia Pulp & Paper, which in 2013 committed to halt rainforest deforestation, appears to be making good on that promise, according to the Rainforest Alliance.

Republicans’ filibuster chickens have come home to roost. Good news? Maybe not, but after 8 years of Republican obstructionism I think we’re entitled to a little schadenfreude.

• U.S. energy efficiency is on the increase, coal is dying, and renewable energy is surging: there’s a lot of good news on the American energy front.

• Harper’s Lee’s first novel, thought lost, has been found and will be published this summer. Can’t wait.

• The CIA agent who’s been in prison for blowing the whistle on the U.S. torture program is now fulfilling the remainder of his sentence at home with his family.

• Not good news, but file this under weird news: in 2008 the Pentagon authored a report claiming Vladimir Putin has Asperger’s Syndrome:

The research was conducted by the Office of Net Assessment, a secretive, internal Pentagon think tank. It defined Asperger’s syndrome as “an autistic disorder which affects all of his decisions.”

The analysis is solely based on videos of Putin’s public actions, dating back to the year 2000. The researchers did not claim to have access to any data from scans of Putin’s brain.

According to the report, “Putin’s neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy.”

The study also hypothesizes that Putin suffered an “insult” to his brain while he was still in his mother’s womb and that she may have suffered a stroke while pregnant with him. Researchers theorized that may have affected the way Putin thinks and moves the right side of his body.

“His primary form of compensation for his disorder is extreme control and this is reflected in his decision style and how he governs,” the report says.

Hmm. Video diagnoses? Wonder if ex-Sen. Bill Frist was involved?

• Ten Frank Lloyd Wright buildings have been nominated to the list of World Heritage Sites by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mr. Beale and I are huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans. We’ve seen five of the 10 nominated sites. Yes, we’re geeks.

• In the mother of all ironies, the Tea Party group True The Vote, which challenges voter eligibility, found that 59% of the voters stricken from Kansas’ voter rolls in a recent “anti-voter fraud” purge are actually eligible to vote. Major fail all around.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s canine units get protective vests.

• The Tennessee State Supreme Court has ruled against Barrett Firearms over a land dispute. It’s an interesting case with a lot of moving pieces to it, but basically Barrett was hoping the State of Tennessee would in essence bail them out of their obligations on an access road. Corporate welfare, etc.


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Good News Friday

Well, crap. WordPress ate my earlier post where I whined about killing the blog. Whatevs.

• Researchers in Australia have made a breakthrough in curing peanut allergies.

• A 70-year-old North Carolina man has been exonerated after serving nearly 40 years of a life sentence for double murder.

• The free hand of the market has spoken and it does not like the death penalty: Ohio postpones all executions after state is unable to obtain lethal injection drugs.

• A rare Sierra Nevada red fox seen in Yosemite National Park, the first of its kind seen in the area in 100 years.

• Arkansas high school football star invites girl with genetic disorder to prom. Let’s hope this isn’t Carrie II.

• The Church of England ordained its first female bishop. Congratulations, Libby Lane.

• “Literary time capsule” now readable thanks to science: a new technique will allow scholars to read brittle papyrus rolls found in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius.

• House Republicans drop their 20-week abortion ban bill over concerns from female Republican lawmakers.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Congratulations, Chelsey Davis of Pellissippi State Community College, who was invited to the State of the Union address as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.


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Good News Friday

A day late and a dollar short: here’s a smattering of good news, sorry it’s not up to my usual standards. Life, you know.

• Attorney General Eric Holder has curtailed the use of civil seizure.

• Harry Potter fans won a long battle to get Warner Bros. to use only fair trade or UTZ-certified chocolate in Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. stores.

• They found the missing Beagle 2 Mars rover.

• In a stunning rebuke to the NRA, Michigan’s Republican governor vetoed two pro-gun bills that removed protections for domestic violence victims at risk.

• New York City bans foam packaging, the largest U.S. city to do so.

• Major victory for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and all who oppose the revoling door between Wall Street and government regulators: Antonio Weiss has withdrawn from consideration to be the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department.

• South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

• Wendy’s to drop sodas from its Kid’s meals.

• Hero Maine Coon cat saves abandoned Russian baby from freezing to death. Just … wow.


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Good News Friday

Our last good news post for the year! Looking forward to 2015, I’ve gotta say. 2014 sucked on a lot of levels. Good riddance, and don’t let the door hitya …

• The U.S. economy’s growth last quarter was its strongest in 10 years.

• The Feds have issued indictments against Freedom Industries, including the company’s former president, in regards to a chemical spill that contaminated the water supply serving 300,000 people.

• A panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted to strike down North Carolina’s heinous ultrasound law.

• Washington State’s new background check law netted a wanted man who attempted to buy a gun at a gun show.

• In Montana, a jury found the shooter of a 17-year-old German exchange student guilty of murder, despite the state’s “castle doctrine.”

• Elton John and David Furnish were married in the UK on Sunday.

• A federal appeals court struck down Florida’s law requiring welfare recipients be tested for drugs. Tennessee has a similar law. Of course it does.

• The Tennessee Valley Authority has dropped a rule whereby it would have cut down any tree in its easement area that would grow higher than 15 feet. This affects a seven-state area.

• NASA e-mailed a wrench to the International Space Station. Cool.

• Scientists discovered a brand-new fish in the Mariana Trench, 26,000 feet under water. Amazing that we’re still finding stuff.

And here’s this week’s cool video: I’m just cynical enough to wonder if this video isn’t a hoax, which is pretty sad. It’s billed as “douchy internet prankster wonders what homeless people do with the money you give them, gets humbled by the answer.” Real or not real? You decide:


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