search and rescue, nonverbal teen lost, project lifeline

Rescue teams near Los Angeles search for a lost teen.

A 16-year-old developmentally disabled teen went on a hike with his mother and sister in the mountains near Los Angeles on the morning of Sunday, April 3 when he ran off into the trees and disappeared. The family called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department for help, but after six hours they still couldn’t find him.

The situation was stressful because the teen is nonverbal and couldn’t call out for help or reveal his location. His family had no idea whether he was injured or how far he had gone into the forest.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department brought together the Montrose Search and Rescue Team, Glendale and Burbank police, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team and the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team to help in the search. They didn’t have much to go on but the boy's mother told Montrose Search and Rescue Deputy Steve Goldsworthy that he had an affection for rocks. “He will go out of his way to kick a rock, pick up a rock, throw a rock," Goldsworthy said.

“Several hours into the search, a Montrose team member heard what sounded like the clinking of rocks together,” the Montrose Search and Rescue Team wrote on Facebook. “Remembering that the missing person had an interest in playing with rocks, he investigated further. He also directed the Burbank PD airship to look down the canyon.”


“I could hear the rocks hit, and a slight echo. I could hear that three different times,” Goldsworthy said.

The search and rescue team found the boy 400 feet over the side of a fire road.

“Our team member went down the mountainside and made contact with the missing person,” the search and rescue team said. The wonderful thing was that the team knew he had developmental issues and approached him with care.

“Recognizing the sensitivity of the situation, he worked to build a rapport with the teenager. After gaining the trust of the missing person, he led him up the mountain to safety. Once at the top, he was treated by paramedics and released to his family,” the search and rescue team wrote.

When they first encountered the boy he was sitting beneath an oak tree.

After the rescuers gained the boy's trust, they were able to walk him up the hill, have him looked over by paramedics and reunite him with his family. “Our Department was thrilled this incident had a happy ending,” the Sheriff’s department wrote.

The Montrose Search and Rescue Team used the situation to promote a program that provides peace of mind for people with developmental disabilities and those who care for them. “If you have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Autism, or other cognitive disorders, consider applying for Project Lifesaver,” the team wrote on Facebook.

People enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits an individualized frequency signal. If they go missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area.

The program is a nonprofit that combines tracking technology that, in partnership with local police, fire and rescue teams, can quickly locate people who have wandered from their homes and families.

Learn more about Project Lifesaver here.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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