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Florida man, 19, wins $15 million playing lottery scratch-off ticket 

A 19-year-old Florida man claimed a $15 million top prize in a new scratch-off game, Florida lottery officials announced Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

Quinn Kofler of Bonita Springs won the top prize in the Florida 100X the Cash scratch-off game, lottery officials said in a news release.

The scratch-off game, which costs $30, debuted on Feb. 26 and features eight top prizes of $15 million, which lottery officials said is the largest scratch-off jackpot in state history. There are also 20 prizes of $1 million.

Kofler traveled to lottery headquarters in Tallahassee and decided to take his winnings in a lump sum of $11,175,000, according to the statement. He bought the ticket at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Bonita Springs.

7-year-old cat who walked 12 miles to owners who gave him away finds forever family

A 7-year-old cat given away by his family walked 12 miles back home -- only to be given away again. reported that, according to an April 4 Facebook post from the SPCA of Wake County, Toby, a fluffy orange and white cat, was given to another family but found his way back to his home.

>> Read more trending news 

“When he arrived, he was met with heartbreak,” the post said. “The family he thought had loved him took him to a shelter and asked staff to euthanize him. The shelter called us at the SPCA to ask if we could take him in and help him find a new family. Of course we said YES!”

The animal shelter said it took Toby in from a county shelter at the end of February.

Toby was adopted by his new mom, Michele, on Friday the 13, SPCA of Wake County communications manager Tara Lynn said in a blog post.

“It’s funny. He’s very sweet, but he didn’t get along with his (feline) roommate,” Lynn told People Pets. “We thought he’d need to be adopted out as the only cat in a home, but his new family has two other cats and he’s fine with them. He’s just been through a lot and wasn’t settled yet.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Lynn told People that she wasn’t sure if Toby, who is FIV-positive, was given up by his family because of his disease, but it didn’t seem to impact interest from potential adopters.

“It’s cool, people were interested in him despite his FIV,” Lynn said.

Toby’s life with his forever family is captured on his own Instagram page, The page has more than 15,000 followers and includes a post supporting the SPCA of Wake County’s annual Dog Walk, which benefits all animals in the shelter.

Texas high school senior takes his mom to the prom

Taking your mom to your high school prom would raise eyebrows around school, but for a Texas high school senior it was a no-brainer.

>> Read more trending news

Joe Moreno said his mother, Vanessa Moreno, missed her prom because she dropped out of high school to give birth to him. When this year’s prom was scheduled at Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi, Joe made good on a promise he made years ago, KIII reported. Mom went to the prom as Joe’s date.

"I'm trying to persuade him, 'Hey, take somebody else. Take somebody. This is your prom. Like, we can have our memories somewhere else,'” Vanessa told KIII. “And he kept on. 'No, I'm taking you.'" 

Vanessa said her son has been saying he was going to take her to the prom since he was very young, but she never thought he’d go through with it.

"I really love talking about my family,” Joe told KIII. “It's something that I'm really passionate about. I'm really passionate about who I am. I love who I am; so, when I bring my mom, everyone knows I love my mom.

“I tell them about it, and they are all really supportive and really loving of the idea.”

Joe tweeted photos from the dance, and they went viral. His tweet has been retweeted more than 31,000 times and has more than 180,000 likes.

"Twenty likes. Then 100. Then 200. It just blew up. It was crazy,” Joe said. “To 1,000! Then when I woke up the next day, 12,000! That whole day just went crazy.”

Vanessa told KIII she has received many positive responses from friends and from mothers nationwide.

"I've had so many messages (from) mothers that can relate to my story, and say that I've raised a good gentleman, and that made me feel good," she told KIII.

Joe will graduate in May and plans to go to college to become an oncologist, KIII reported.

Cancer survivor finishes Boston Marathon 13 hours after start

The Boston Marathon showed great stories of perseverance, including a husband and wife team that crossed the finish line just after midnight – 13 hours after starting the race in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Mary Shertenlieb is a cancer survivor who ran to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the doctors there that saved her life.

>> Read more trending news 

Just after midnight Tuesday, Shertenlieb crossed the finish line with her husband, Rich.

Shertenlieb said with Monday’s brutal conditions, she went into a medical tent in Wellesley around the 15.5-mile mark with purple lips, shaking, worried about hypothermia.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Shertenlieb said her husband convinced her to come home, get warm, have a nice meal and then, if she was up for it, to go back out together after the rain.

Around 8:30 p.m. they took a cab to the spot where Shertenlieb had to stop earlier in the day and finished the nearly 11 remaining miles of the course together, and where greeted at the finish line by cheering family and friends.

“Oh my goodness, that was crazy,” Shertenlieb said. “You can do anything. It may not be how you imagined it playing out, but you can still get it done.”

Smithsonian National Zoo celebrates baby gorilla’s birth

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is celebrating a new arrival that was almost a decade in the making.

Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, had a baby boy Sunday evening.

The Smithsonian made the birth announcement on its social media platforms Monday morning, WRC reported, and the video of mama caring for her baby boy is going viral.

>> Read more trending news 

The zoo has named the baby Moke, which means junior or little one in Lingala language. 

Zoo officials said on Twitter that mom and baby are bonding and that she is cradling and caring for her new arrival. They told WJLA that they are hopeful that he will do OK.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Moke, pronounced mo-KEY, is the first gorilla birth at the zoo in nine years, WRC reported. Meredith Bastian, the zoo’s curator of primates at the Conservation Biology Institute, told WRC Moke is “very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole.” The western lowland gorilla is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Boy with autism builds 26-foot long Titanic replica out of Legos

Brynjar Karl Bigisson played with his first Lego bricks when he was five.

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By the time he was 10, he fused his interest in the Titanic with the interlocking bricks, developing an idea that eventually became a 26-foot long model of the doomed liner.

It took 700 hours, 56,000 bricks and more than $10,000, donated by family and friends, to build. His grandfather, an engineer, helped him with the blueprints.

The giant, scale model took Brynjar, 15, who is from Reykjavik, Iceland, all over the world touring with the ship and talking about overcoming his autism.

“This whole journey has helped me out of my autistic fog. Although I’m still autistic and will always be, I have trained myself to be ‘as normal as possible,’” he said. “I was totally unable to communicate when I started the project and now I’m standing on stage and giving interviews. It has given me confidence. When I started the building process I had a person helping me in school in every step that I took, but today, I’m studying without any support. My grades have risen and my classmates consider me as their peer. I have had the opportunity to travel and explore and meet wonderful people.”

The Titanic Lego ship has been on display at the largest mall in Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Hamburg, before finding a final resting place at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

“I never imagined my project would make such an impact,” Brynjar said. “Things just evolved and we followed the flow. But I’m very honored and happy that my project was an inspiration to so many others -- also motivation to follow your own dreams.”

Brynjar said his Lego building days are behind him but not his fascination with ships.

“I never built anything after the Titanic,” he said. “I turned more towards exploring ships and their stories because I’m interested in becoming a captain when I grow up.”

NFL player returns to hometown to take family friend to prom

Don Jones II took a break from the NFL to fulfill a promise to the daughter of a family friend. 

The San Francisco 49ers defensive back took Lindsey Preston to her prom, WBRC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Lindsey’s mom is friends with Jones and his family and has stayed in touch over the years. Last year she had a big favor of Jones -- if he would take Lyndsey to the dance. He said yes, and recently returned to Moulton, Alabama to fulfill the promise.

“Anything I can do to make some kids smile, I would be more than willing to do,” Jones told WBRC. “i think the most fun was all of the guys. I showed the guys about five or six new dance moves.”

“All of the guys followed me around all night and I was just glad I could dance and put smiles on the kids’ faces,” Jones told WBRC.

Big pig rescue: Ohio firefighters pull Winnie from cistern

Ohio firefighters had to rescue a 180-pound potbellied pig on Saturday after the animal fell into a cistern.

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Winnie was unhurt after firefighters retrieved her, WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

Goshen Township Fire and EMS Station 18 posted photos of the big pig rescue on social media.

Kids skip school for Cubs home opener, run into school-missing principal at ballpark

Two boys from Illinois did what almost any diehard Cubs fan would do: They skipped school to get to the home opener this week.

Tucker and Gunner Speckman tempted fate with a sign that caught a lot of attention, WQAD reported. It said “Skipping school. S-h-h-h, don’t tell Principal Versluis.” The sign was intended to get them on television. It did its job and got the attention of the MLB, which posted it to its Twitter account.

But Tucker and Gunner weren’t alone at the game Tuesday . Little did they know Principal Patrick Versluis, the same principal on the sign, also skipped school. He actually called off sick so he could take his son to the first home game of the season.

>> Read more trending news 

As much as the boys probably didn’t want to see the administrator, he didn’t want to see his students either.

“I saw him and I was kind of ducking down,” Versluis told the Chicago Sun Times. “I didn’t want him to see me either. I’m here with my son, Aiden, who’s in the fifth grade and I called out sick for the day.”

Versluis is part of a group of guys who share season tickets. This year he was the lucky one to get the opening day game. He said that while school and learning are important, so are some experiences that you can’t pass up.

“Attendance is important. But, we also learn from these experiences in life. Who’s giving up opening day? Come on,” Versluis told WQAD.

The boys are apparently good students, too. WQAD said they were given the tickets by their parents for straight A’s.

Tucker and Gunner did meet up with Versluis and snapped a photo of the trio of skippers.

The Cubs fell to the Pirates 8-5.


Father running in Boston Marathon to support center that treated daughter

Thousands of people will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday, all with their own reasons. But for one girl from Scituate, Massachusetts, and her father, the motivation is giving back.

>> Read more trending news

Maeve Kendall was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with a form of leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen, or ALLA.

“At first I was just worried about it. I was like, am I going to die?” said Maeve, now 12.

While ALLA is highly treatable, it was a long road for Maeve and her family with years of treatment.

“Injections in her spine to make sure the cancer doesn't go to her brain; a kid that age shouldn't have to go through that stuff,” said her father, Mike Kendall.

The family got through those difficult days with love, hope and the support of the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

“I love doing everything they have there, they have crafts. It just makes the experience more easier,” Maeve said.

She’s now cancer-free, but Maeve’s bones are still weak from the treatment. Her dad is her strength.

“He's kind of like my legs, because I can't run. So that's what's cool about it,” she said.

Now her father’s legs are going to carry him 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston to raise money for Dana-Farber.

He his running “to make sure that the next kid or the next man or woman who comes along has a better chance and a better quality of life as their going through treatment,” Kendall said.

Seeing Maeve at the finish line will make it all worthwhile.

“I think about that moment a lot when I'm out there running. That's exactly what I'm doing it for to have that fulfillment at the end,” Kendall said.

The Kendalls are hoping to raise $15,000 for Dana-Farber. To learn more about Mike’s run and donate, visit the Run Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge website.

Clark Howard visits fallen officer's family, delivers nearly $40K in donations

After a Georgia police officer was killed in the line of duty in February, listeners of WSB Radio in Atlanta started asking how they could help.

>> Read more trending news 

And it was not long until WSB traffic reporter/talk show host Mark Arum and WSB-TV consumer adviser Clark Howard, host of the nationally syndicated "Clark Howard Show," jumped into action.

>> On Officer killed in line of duty was young father expecting 2nd child any day

Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox was a five-year veteran of the force who left behind a son and an expecting wife, Alex.

Days after Maddox's death, Alex gave birth to the couple's second child, Bodie.

The Maddox family's story touched the hearts of people across Henry County, North Georgia and around the country.

>> On Hundreds gather to remember Officer Chase Maddox

Our hearts broke knowing the struggle that Alex Maddox will have now raising two boys on her own.

Arum spearheaded the effort, and partnered with Howard to set up a fund to assist the boys with their future education or other needs.

"My talk show listeners were looking for ways to help the Maddox family and the kids – now and in the future," Arum said. "There's no one better than Clark to handle the trust and the investments. He'll work with Alex (Maddox) to make sure the funds are properly invested and that she and the boys will get the most out of your donations.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Last week, Howard drove to south Spalding County and visited with Chase Maddox’s immediate and extended family.

>> Get consumer advice on

Following WSB Radio's campaign, the Maddox family put the fundraising dollars into Clark-Smart investments for the future.

– WSB Radio is owned by Cox Media Group.

Georgia goat forced to ingest whiskey, cocaine begins new life as therapy animal

Kyla Jones has seen a lot of abused animals during her years in pet rescue.

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Animals that have been starved or physically and sexually abused by humans have crossed her path. She thought she had seen it all.

Then came Whiskey. 

The goat of unknown age or origin made news headlines when Sergio Palomares-Guzman, 28, a horse trainer from Grayson, Georgia, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after posting a video on social media in which a goat was being force-fed cocaine and whiskey.

Jones, president and founder of SNAP2IT pet rescue in Atlanta, heard about the incident but didn’t watch the video. It would have made her too angry, she said. “Cocaine and whiskey is a first,” Jones said in a telephone interview. “Most people want to save that for themselves.”

She immediately contacted animal control and told them she would take the goat. They dropped the animal at her farm the next day.

When he arrived, the first order of business was to give him a name. 

“We tried to think of all kinds of names. We named him Whiskey. It just suits him,” Jones said with a chuckle. 

At the time, Whiskey was undernourished and wary of people. He was scared and didn’t want to get off the truck, Jones said. SNAP2IT volunteers were eventually able to talk to him, rope him and get him out. 

“He was severely underweight when he came in. You could see his backbone, ribs and hip bones,” Jones said. They had to beg him to eat. Volunteers tempted him with quartered apples and lots of veggies. His weight has since increased from a low of about 40 pounds to about 65 pounds.

“Now, he loves his veggies. He loves salad and lettuce and apples and grapes, anything we can give him he loves,” said Jones, who spends about $50 to $70 a day on fresh apples, bananas, grapes, lettuce and celery for Whiskey and her other two goats, Bonnie and Clyde. 

In general, Whiskey is recovering well. He just went through another round of deworming and Jones said they are ready to start feeding him a daily cup of sunflower seeds to help address his mineral deficiencies. 

In a few months, one of the local veterinarians who provides free services to SNAP2IT animals will come out to the farm and give him a full checkup, she said. 

“We want to make sure he is healthy and make sure he doesn’t have any residual effects,” Jones said. 

Socially, Whiskey is also adjusting well. Jones has owned her 5-year-old goats Bonnie and Clyde since they were babies. When Whiskey arrived, she worried about him getting a little too close to Bonnie. Fortunately, Whiskey was too tall for that pairing to work, but that didn’t stop Clyde from playing the jealous boyfriend. “Bonnie was paying so much attention to Whiskey,” Jones said. Now all three goats peacefully coexist and share a picnic table for meals. 

It took a little more time for Whiskey to warm up to people, but he has learned to trust humans again. 

When a group of students came out to the farm for the annual Georgia State University Cares day to volunteer their time, Whiskey showed just how comfortable he had gotten with people. 

Everyone was paying a lot of attention to Mr. Banks, the potbellied piggy who had rolled over to let them scratch his belly. Whiskey watched all the action and came running over. 

The student visitors were freaked out until Jones explained that Whiskey was jealous of the attention being given to Mr. Banks. Whiskey just wanted to give them kisses, said Jones who is leash training Whiskey now and will train him as a therapy animal for kids.

“He is a love bug,” Jones said. “He is the sweetest goat.” 

Man, 20, wants to interview every surviving WWII veteran

A California man is trying to capture history before it fades away.

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Rishi Sharma wants to interview as many living World War II combat veterans as he can to document their stories. Since beginning his quest four years ago, Sharma, 20, has traveled to 45 states and Canada and has interviewed 870 veterans, CNN reported.

"They've given us the world that we have," the Agoura resident told CNN. "It's truly amazing."

Sharma is facing a daunting task. According to the the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 558,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were still alive in 2017. The youngest of them are in their late eighties, and some are more than 100 years old. The VA estimates an average of 362 of them die each day, CNN reported.

Sharma was a sophomore in high school when he began his project. He first interviewed a decorated veteran, Lyle Bouck, whose outmanned unit had held off a German battalion during the Battle of the Bulge, CNN reported.

Sharma then began biking to retirement homes to visit veterans in his hometown.

He records the interviews on video and burns them to DVDs, which he gives to the veterans, CNN reported. He also has begun posting the interviews to his YouTube channel.

In 2016, Sharma founded Heroes of the Second World War, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving interviews with WWII combat veterans for future generations. He also set up a GoFundMe account to pay his expenses. CNN reported. So far,he has raised more than $182,000, which helps pay for his travel expenses and video equipment.

His age prevents Sharma from renting cars or checking into many motels.

"I live out of the car when I'm on the road," he told CNN. "(It) makes my job a lot harder."

Sharma realizes he cannot interview every surviving veteran, so he doesn’t mind a little help. He told CNN that anyone who is interested in his work can contact WWII vets in their communities and record their stories.

"We don't need to use iPhones to take selfies," Sharma said. "We can actually document history with them."

Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When, where and how to watch

The annual Lyrid meteor shower, named after the constellation Lyra, is just around the corner and expected to peak on April 22.

It’s the second meteor shower of 2018.

>> Read more trending news 

Here’s what you need to know about the Lyrid meteor shower and how to watch the celestial spectacle:

What are Lyrids?

The Lyrid meteors are named after their radiant, defined as the point in the sky from which they appear to come from, the constellation Lyra.

According to NASA, Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers and have been observed for 2,700 years. The first recorded sighting of a Lyrid meteor shower dates back to 687 BC by the Chinese.

What causes the meteor shower?

The meteors’ particles come from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, named after A. E. Thatcher, who first discovered it on April 5, 1861.

The Lyrids occur as the comet passes Earth and leaves behind “a trail of comet crumbs” or space debris.

What’s the difference between a meteoroid, a meteor and a meteorite?

Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, told that a meteoroid is essentially space debris. For example, the “crumbs” left behind from Halley’s Comet trail are meteoroids.

These “crumbs” can also be left behind by asteroids, such as the 3200 Phaethon.

Once the meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, they become meteors, or shooting stars.

Though most meteors disintegrate before hitting the ground, meteors that do strike the surface of the planet are called meteorites, Cooke said.

When will the Lyrid meteor shower peak?

The Lyrids are expected to illuminate the night sky between April 16 and April 25, but the shower will peak on the morning of Sunday, April 22. According to NASA, the shower will be active April 21-22.

How many meteors will I see?

With no moon in the sky, stargazers typically notice about 10 to 20 Lyrid meteors per hour.

Cooke told that this year, you’re likely to see about 18 meteors per hour.

But in the past, people have reported that they experienced as many as 100 meteors per hour during the Lyrids.

How bright will the meteors be?

The Lyrid meteor shower is known for its bright fireballs, but isn’t as luminous as August’s famous Perseid meteor shower.

What is the best time to see the meteors?

According to NASA, the Lyrids are viewed best in the Northern Hemisphere after the moon sets and before dawn.

Where can I watch the meteor shower?

Clear skies are essential for prime meteor shower viewing. Skyglow, the light pollution caused by localized street lights, will block out the stars and negatively affect your viewing experience, so head somewhere far from city lights.

NASA recommends viewers lie flat on their back, with their feet facing south, looking up at the sky. Viewers should give themselves 30 minutes for their eyes to adapt to the environment and bring warm clothing, a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair and leave telescopes at home.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seek charity donations over wedding gifts

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle don’t want wedding gifts. The couple, according to E! News, requested charitable donations instead.

Kensington Palace announced Monday that the couple has “personally selected” seven organizations well-wishers are asked to support. The organizations, the news release said, reflect the pair’s “shared values.”

>> Read more trending news 

“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill shown to them since the announcement of their engagement and are keen that as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit,” Kensington Palace said in a news release. “The couple have therefore asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion considers making a donation to charity, rather than sending a wedding gift.

“Prince Harry and Ms. Markle do not have any formal relationships with the charities chosen. The couple have chosen charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women's empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces. Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.”

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engaged: What to know

The organizations include Children’s HIV Association, or CHIVA; homeless charity Crisis; the Myna Mahila Foundation, which provides affordable menstrual hygiene items; Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports British Armed Forces children who have lost a parent; StreetGames, which aims to make sports available to disadvantaged youth; marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage; and The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the benefits of wild nature.

The royal wedding will be May 19 at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel. More information on each of the charities can be found at the Royal Household website.

Baby’s first photos have connection to fallen soldier father

She never will be able to meet her father, but he will always be part of her life. 

Christian Michelle Harris was born after her father gave his life for his country.

Army Spc. Chris Harris was killed on Aug. 2 by a suicide bomber, six weeks after Christian’s mother, Brittany Harris, found out she was pregnant. 

>> Read more trending news 

She was born March 17, the “Today” show reported and was named after her father: Christopher Michael Harris.

Despite his death, Chris Harris and the Army have been part of little Christian’s life from even before she was born. 

Brittany Harris called in her husband’s platoon to help reveal the baby’s gender. She sent his fellow soldiers, the men that he considered his brothers, confetti poppers to help announce whether she was having a boy or a girl. 

>>Read: Soldiers help with gender reveal for the baby of one of their fallen

One of the servicemen, Joel Crunk, posted with the gender reveal video, “Chris Harris laid down his life for our country. His newly wed wife was expecting their first child. The reveal is in Afghanistan with the men who fought by his side. We are happy to welcome the new member of our company.”

Now Harris is memorializing the connection between father and daughter with a series of newborn photos that will break your heart,  “Today” reported.

Christian was photographed next to a photo of her father and his empty boots sitting nearby. 

A second photo shows the little girl sleeping next to the flag that was given to her mother at their Fayetteville, North Carolina home, after her father died.

In the third photo, the newborn is wrapped in his camouflage shirt, the arm of the uniform wrapped around Chris Harris’ little girl. 

“As soon as I saw the very first preview of the photos, I cried,” Brittany Harris told “Today. “The picture of Christian wrapped with Chris’ uniform is my favorite. It makes me feel like he’s holding her.”

Brittany Harris wants to make sure Christian never forgets the hero her father was.

“I want her to light up and smile when she talks about him instead of feeling sad that he’s not here. I want her to always brag about who her father was and the sacrifice he made,” Brittany Harris told “Today.”


Charlotte officer, Hornets player surprise brothers hurt by gunfire with tickets to game 

Two brothers, who were shot while they were asleep in their North Carolina apartment in December, were surprised Saturday with floor seats to the Charlotte Hornets’ final home game Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Officer Caleb Costner, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was the first officer to respond to the call Dec. 21 after someone fired seven shots into the west Charlotte apartment.

Darryl Ervin, 11, and Jeremiah Ervin, 9, were shot in the arm and hip, respectively.

Costner will take the brothers to Sunday’s Hornets game against the Indiana Pacers.

"One of the worst calls you can get as a law enforcement officer is any kind of harm done to a child. You hear that, your heart sinks because you don't know the outcome," Costner said.

Police are still investigating the shooting, and no suspects have been arrested.

Costner continues to check on the family, intending to build trust with community members.

“At the time, we weren't quite sure if they were going to make it or what exactly the outcome may be, especially when you see that much blood and that much trauma," Costner said. "To see where they've come through the journey, it puts a smile on my face. I know it puts a smile on mom's face. These are some strong kids."

Costner had conversations with Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in an effort to secure the tickets for Darryl and Jeremiah.

"I ended up meeting him and I reached out to him and said, ‘Hey would you ever be willing to help out with the youth in the community?’ I said, ‘I'm really big with helping the community,’ and he said, ‘Sure, let me know,’ and I was like, ‘OK, wow that normally doesn't happen.’"

Tamaker Thompson, Darryl and Jeremiah’s mother, said she is thankful for Costner’s efforts to put smiles on her sons' faces.

"As much as my kids went through, and for someone to put a smile on their face, this is wonderful to us," Thompson said.

Man helps younger brother with epic first date in viral Twitter thread

First dates can be nerve-racking. Luckily, one man helped ease his younger sibling’s jitters, sharing the best moments from the event in a viral Twitter thread.

>> Read more trending news

Kinglsey Morgan of Jamaica pulled out all the stops earlier this month when his 16-year-old brother, Keneil, asked him to prepare a home-cooked meal for a special occasion.

“My little brother has a crush on this girl and he invited her over for dinner. I’m the chef and I’m geeked,” he tweeted

He then proceeded to document the whole experience and cheered his brother on all night. 

“We have a very close relationship. He considers me his role model and we do everything together,” he told Blavity. “I study with him, we swap stories, he teaches me the latest dance moves in Jamaica, we cook together, go to the movies together — like I said, everything.”

Morgan, 25, created the young girl’s favorite dish: coconut-curried chicken and lemongrass white rice, which she loved.

But Morgan wasn’t the only one to pitch in. Their dad lent an assist, too, by setting the mood with some music. 

“It was clear that he was trying to impress his date, which meant the onus was on myself and my family to share that responsibility as well,” he said. “I wanted him to spend time with her, so dad took on his weekend chores and I took on the cooking from dad.”

The night was a success -- not just with the teen’s date but also with thousands of people online. The Twitter thread received more than 3 million impressions and over 75,000 likes. The first tweet alone has more than 75,000 retweets. 

Morgan was excited about the huge outpouring.

“The response from online,” he said, “has only affirmed that a lot of people still value this kind of treasured and chivalrous approach to dating even with the advent of social media where almost everything is ephemeral.” 

Plus, he was thrilled for his little brother and promised to keep everyone updated on the couple.

Take a look at the full thread here

Mini luxury cars donated for pediatric patients at South Florida hospitals

Abigail Sporke stepped up to a red Ferrari just outside a South Florida hospital, lifted the scissor doors and stepped into the driver's seat.

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“I wish I was small so I can drive this thing,” said Craig Kelley, a board member of nonprofit Little Smiles.

Abigail is 5. And the Ferrari? About 2 feet tall.

Little Smiles donated the mini-luxury car to pediatric patients at Palms West Hospital, near West Palm Beach, Saturday afternoon. Despite its size, the car is impressive. It can travel up to 12 mph, has a working radio, shifts gears and is push-to-start -- a bit different from the toy Jeeps children are used to.

“I can’t wait to see the red paint on the walls when the kids are drifting in the hallways,” Kelley said with a laugh.

Kelley, a luxury car connoisseur, envisions kids riding the convertibles around the hospital to treatments and for fun. And when they’re finally discharged.Earlier that day, Kelley and Brian Murphy, another board member at Little Smiles, dropped off a yellow mini McLaren at Bethesda East Hospital in West Palm Beach.Little Smiles, based in Palm Beach Gardens, donates toys, electronics and even trips to hospitals and families with sick kids. But Saturday was the first time the nonprofit donated mini-sports cars, built by Go Baby Go, a nonprofit that swaps wheelchairs for motorized toy convertibles.

“It makes a kind of uncomfortable situation that much better,” he said.Abigail was at Palms West for four days before the convertible arrived. She has a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome, which causes your body to excrete too much protein in your urine. The medication she’s on caused a bout of salmonella poisoning.“It’s tough because kids don’t want to be stuck in a hospital room for days without anything to do but watch TV,” said Caroline Sporke, Abigail’s mother. “I think the kids will love playing in that car though.”Abigail sure did. Wearing a medical face mask and wrist wrapped in bandages from an IV earlier, the 5-year-old stepped in and out of the red convertible several times Saturday. She couldn’t drive it — it needed a 12-hour charge before she could — but she couldn’t resist pushing the buttons and turning the wheel.Abigail’s father will be jealous, Sporke said. “She’s the first one to get into a Ferrari, let alone drive one.”

Jason Aldean visits Las Vegas shooting survivor

Country music star Jason Aldean paid a visit to a special fan Friday.

Jovanna Calzadillas, 30, is a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting that occurred Oct. 1. The attack, carried out by lone shooter Stephen Paddock, killed 58 and injured hundreds.

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Calzadillas was shot in the head during the attack, and has spent the last several months recovering from her injuries. Calzadillas and her family were at the Barrow Neurological Institute Friday where she met with Aldean. The country superstar was the headliner of the Route 91 Harvest Festival and had just taken the stage when the shooting began.

Medical experts have called Calzadillas' recovery "nothing short of miraculous," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Not expected to survive at first, her husband says his wife came to him in a dream and said it would be OK. He made the decision to keep her on life support and she slowly began to heal from her extensive injuries.

Calzadillas has regained the ability to talk, eat and walk with the assistance of a walker. She faces several more months of rehabilitation for physical therapy and to work on restoring her memory, doctors said.

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