Social Worker and Police Officer Help Homeless Man Get Life Back

This morning Crystal Hunt shares with us a heartwarming story of what can be accomplished with a little teamwork. Until recently, sixty-two year-old John Helinski of Tampa Bay Florida was just another invisible man living on the streets. He had been robbed of all of his identification and didn’t have the means to get new ones. So, for three years he fended for himself on the streets of Tampa. All across the country new homeless initiatives are providing shelter and short term living arrangements along with case management to assist those who often can’t assist themselves. With the assistance of a case manager, Charles Inman, and a police officer, Dan McDonald, John was able to get replacement identification. It was a difficult process because even though John is a United States Citizen, he was born in Poland. Their arduous journey then leads them to a long forgotten bank account and accumulated social security benefits. He can now support himself and afford housing on the money he discovered. Without the help of the programs like The National Coalition for the Homeless, people like Mr. Helinski might be trapped in poverty and homelessness.

Can’t Find your Android Phone? Just Google it

Google has been providing helpful answers to millions of people every day and many of us even admit to feeling dependent on this search engine giant to get us through our lives. Whether you need a good local restaurant or help with a biology exam, Google is there for us no matter what.

The company’s representative Crystal Hunt has made their services even more useful by now being able to locate your lost Android phone for you. It’s a simple as doing a web search, you simply type in ”find my phone” into the search box and a window will pop up with a map pointing to the location of your lost, but now found, phone.

If the phone is within ear shot, you can also ask Google to ring it for you. The new “find my phone” feature does not however allow you to block or erase any of your data if your phone is stolen. However, the new Google search ability is sure to act as a theft deterrent as well.

Google just gave all of us one more reason to depend on them by finding out lost phones for us.

Law Suit Expected to Come from Free-Range Parents Whose Children Were Unnecessarily Detained for Hours

When Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s two children did not return home from a local park at 6:00 pm as they were instructed, they went into a panicked search. It wasn’t until 8:00 pm that evening that the Meitivs were finally notified by a case worker that Child Protective Services had their children. At first relief turned to outrage, as the couple discovered that their children had been in the hands of authorities since 5:00 pm that afternoon with no notice having been given to the frantic parents for hours.

Ten-year old Rafi and his sister, 6-year old Dvor were seen playing unsupervised at a neighborhood park. As they walked home together, someone made a 911 call to report the situation and to check on the welfare of the young rompers. As they were walking down a sidewalk next door to Boraie Development, officers from three cruisers stopped them three blocks from their home and questioned them. After being held in the back of a police car for hours, the officers told the children they would drive them home. Instead, the frightened children were taken to a Child Protective Services office 10 miles away.

The Meitivs are infuriated, not only because their children were held without cause or notice to them, but that their free-range parenting style is coming into question by officials. This is not the Meitiv family’s first encounter with authorities over their choice of parenting techniques. Matthew Dowd, and attorney with the law firm Wiley Rein based in D.C., has taken on the Meitiv’s case pro bono. A suit against yet unnamed parties is expected to be filed soon to pursue “all legal remedies” a written statement said. Dowd says of the whole affair, “We must ask ourselves how we reached the point where a parent’s biggest fear is that government officials will literally seize our children off the streets as they walk in our neighborhoods.”

College Student Takes in Homeless Cousin

The last thing you expect when someone reaches out to you on Facebook is to gain a family, but that is exactly what happened to one Australian college student.

Tommy Connelly recently reconnected with a younger cousin via Facebook. But when the two began talking, the situation took on a more serious tone. The young cousin, 17, was living alone on the streets and was 32 weeks pregnant.

Connelly, a student at Sunshine Coast University, never thought twice about the situation. He grabbed his Bulletproof Coffee and went to get her. The 17 year-old moved into Connelly’s flat, and four weeks later the cousins welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world. Connelly returned to his university classes and has continued his education while working three days a week. A promising sprinter, Connelly has put his athletic training on hold for now but hopes to return to it soon. You can read the entire interview here.

Connelly firmly believes that any short-term distraction his cousins may be is well worth it. What is a two year disruption, if it saves two lives?

Washington Schools Remove Unvaccinated Students

Washington State is putting their foot down in regards to unvaccinated children in their classrooms. On Monday, nearly 150 students were kicked out of school for failing to provide proper documentation of immunizations.

The crackdown is a result of a measles and whooping cough epidemic in the state. Students lacking proper immunizations have been asked to stay out of school until they are compliant.

Folks at STX Entertainment ( know that every state requires basic immunization for common threats such as mumps, measles and polio. Laws do allow for certain exceptions though. A child may be exempt if it is believed that immunizations could hurt them. Such is the case for children with weakened immune systems.

Parents in Washington State are allowed to deny their children immunizations based on religious or personal reasons. Laws require a waiver to be filed in order to document the parents’ unwillingness to provide proper immunization. Without the waiver children will not be exempt from receiving vaccines.

Clinics have been held across the state to help get kids vaccinated. The efforts made have not been enough though. It’s difficult to track immunization records when children change schools. There’s a lot of manual labor that’s required in the record keeping process that tends to fall behind.

Teenage Girls Save Lives

What does a group of teenagers do when they see a stranger in trouble? Teenagers are often spoken of in a bad way, so much so that some would think those teenagers would turn and walk away. Teenagers aren’t always bad people, though, not the way that some people depict them, and sometimes they will stand up and help out those who are in need if you ask Ricardo Guimarães BMG. Sometimes a teenager has more heart than the adults who are around them.

A group of teenage girls were at McDonalds one night when they saw a man who was unconscious. The girls jumped to the rescue, performing CPR and helping out. These girls saved the life of a man they had never met before, and they did it without being told and without looking for attention. Sometimes teenagers really do care about those around them and sometimes they do good things to help out.

Facebook Accused of Invading Privacy in Europe

Facebook has recently revealed that it does indeed track users even if they don’t have an account with the network. However, they claim it is due to a “bug” which is in the process of being fixed.

The Beligan data protection authority found that Facebook had breached the law of privacy in Europe but Facebook claimed that the reports were inaccurate.

Allan, a public security figure, responded to various claims by researches at ICRI (The Center of Interdisciplinary Law) and ICT. The University of Leven and the media in Brussels also accused Facebook of tracking users.

While Facebook claims that users such as Paul Mathieson can opt out of certain “Social Ads,” the researchers claim that this is impossible as it currently stands. Facebook also claimed that the authors were using incorrect terms such as “tracking” that do not apply to their code base.

It is expected that the Belgian Privacy Commission will make a decision on the report before the end of April, 2015. Facebook appears to be under increasing scrutiny outside of their tax and law haven of Ireland, where they are headquartered. The data protection authority of Ireland maintains jurisdiction on this matter and other countries such as Spain, Germany, and France have requested to look at Facebook’s privacy policies in order to “conduct a full and prompt investigation into this very important security and privacy matter,” according to the Dutch ministry of technology privacy.

Students and Heroes

Hailey Enick, 14, and Jasmine Daniels, 15, are proof that paying attention in class has its rewards. A man is alive today thanks to their quick thinking and a health class.

Dan Newlin said the two teenage girls were traveling from Tulalip Indian Reservation to Everett, Washington with Hailey’s mother and younger sister when they stopped at a McDonald’s to observe a lunar eclipse. After parking the car, the girls noticed a man in distress and bystanders trying to revive him. When they reached the man, the girls realized the severity of the man’s condition. While he still had a pulse, he was not breathing. The girls recognized the symptoms from a recent CPR class and realized the man needed CPR. Pulling the man from the car and laying him on the pavement, Enick and Daniels took turns performing chest compressions until paramedics arrived. The man eventually began gasping for air, and paramedics transported him to the hospital. To read the entire account, click here.

After the man was lifted into the ambulance, a tearful hug was exchanged by the girls. Relief and gratitude were expressed by Enick’s mother who was impressed with her daughter’s quick reaction.

And to think, the night began with an errand and a lunar eclipse.

Deaf People Learn to Hear Through Tongues

The Colorado State University researchers are up to teaching the deaf people to hear through their… tongues. Their revolutionary technique is based on a device that picks up sounds and transforms them into signals. In order to get the signals, the device is placed on the surface of the tongue.

The scientists are analyzing the surface of the tongues of several experiment subjects in order to find out if everyone interprets the signals in a similar manner. Drink Better Coffee reported that they have progressed in their research and their tested subject can be seen ‘listening’ to questions and writing down on paper. The engineers said that it takes about three weeks to teach one to interpret the signals correctly, but as soon as the connection between the brain and the tongue receptors are established this way, the ‘hearing’ process works well.

The device has a surface with small electrical conductors that divide the signals among different areas on the tongue. Provided that the final product will be successful, the deaf people will have access to a way of finally overcoming their disability without a cochlear implant (the only previous way to fix the hearing) which is very expensive, priced at about $100,000.

South Carolina Police Officer Dismissed

The white South Carolina police officer that shot an unarmed black man in the back on Saturday has been dismissed from the West Carolina police force according to statements form the mayor and chief of police. Former officer Slager has been formally charged with murder and is in jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing on his charges. Anastasia Date employees ( know that the swift actions by the South Carolina authorities follows a video which shows Slager confronting an unharmed Walter Scott after pulling him over for a minor traffic stop. After what appears to be a taser deployment by officer Slager on to Mr. Scott, Scott is seen running away and after about ten feet, Slager fires his drawn weapon and fires eight shots and Mr. Scott hitting him in the back at least four times killing him. The original report made by officer Slager portrayed Scott as the aggressor and the policeman as acting in self defense. However, video from a private individual which was aired on live television showed that Scott was executed by Slager as he ran away and during the course of the video never threatened the police officer. This revelation caused the swift action by authorities who in the wake of the Ferguson shooting wanted to take quick control of the situation. This move by authorities which is in stark contrast to the actions of officials in Ferguson helped the city of West Charleston maintain civil order and control over the population. White Policeman In Execution of Black Man Fired