Good News Headlines 5/15/2023


Photo courtesy U.S. Postal Service

Chief Standing Bear, Native American Civil Rights Icon, Is Honored On A Postal Stamp

by Emma Bowman, NPR

Chief Standing Bear, whose landmark lawsuit in 1879 established that a Native American is a person under the law, is on a new postage stamp. The U.S. Postal Service released a Forever stamp on Friday honoring the Ponca tribe chief, a civil rights icon known for his “I Am a Man” speech. The stamp’s release comes 146 years after the U.S. Army forcibly removed Chief Standing Bear and some 700 other members of the tribe from their homeland in northeast Nebraska. Standing Bear’s son was among those who died of hunger and disease after the tribe’s 600-mile journey on foot to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Twins Walking 20 Miles In All 50 States To Raise Awareness About Foster Care System

by Good Morning America

Davon and Tavon Woods of South Carolina are trekking 20 miles in every state to raise awareness for young people growing up in foster care. The duo have already crossed off more than 20 states and say they won’t stop until their message reaches the entire country. “Davon and Tavon [are] definitely working toward a goal. They really are determined young boys to get their point across,” Felicia Bradshaw, a friend of the brothers, told “Good Morning America.” Shaped by their own time in foster care, the twins say they’re turning their experience into motivation. They founded Foster Kids Matter, an organization which raises support for foster children.

This Georgia Innovator Is Transforming Dilapidated Buildings Into Affordable Housing

by Catherine Garcia, The Week

There’s no building that can scare Marjy Stagmeier — show her a dilapidated apartment complex littered with trash, and she sees the opportunity to provide hundreds of families with affordable housing. It started with the Madison Hills Apartments in Cobb County, Georgia. The 446-unit property was blighted, criminal activity was high, and the kids who lived there went to a failing elementary school. It was clear that the “toxic effect” of the complex was spilling over to the school, Stagmeier, an affordable housing innovator, told The Week. After Stagmeier and her partners bought Madison Hills, they renovated it and formed a partnership with the school.

Norway’s Near-Total Adoption Of Electric Vehicles Appears To Be Going Smoothly, Defying Skeptics

by Peter Weber, The Week

Norway is more than a decade ahead of the U.S. in its adoption of electric vehicles. If the Biden administration’s goal of having 50 percent of new vehicles be electric by 2030 sounds ambitious, Norway passed that mark in 2019, The New York Times reports. In 2022, 80 percent of Norway’s new car sales were electric, and it plans to phase out gas-powered cars entirely in 2025. So far, “Norway’s experience suggests that electric vehicles bring benefits without the dire consequences predicted by some critics,” the Times reports.  Oslo’s air is noticeably cleaner — and much quieter — and its greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 30 percent since 2009

Microbes Discovered That Can Digest Plastics At Low Temperatures

by Helena Horton, The Guardian

Microbes that can digest plastics at low temperatures have been discovered by scientists in the Alps and the Arctic, which could be a valuable tool in recycling. Many microorganisms that can do this have already been found, but they can usually only work at temperatures above 30C (86F). This means that using them in industrial practice is prohibitively expensive because of the heating required. It also means using them is not carbon neutral. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute WSL have found microbes that can do this at 15C, which could lead to a breakthrough in microbial recycling. Their findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.