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Military father reunited with three daughters at Penguins game

While the Pittsburgh Penguins may be on a four-game losing streak, one moment outshone what was happening on the ice Monday night at PPG Paints Arena.

Sgt. Daniel Lehman has been deployed for the past 11 months in Kuwait as part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. 

But Lehman is back on U.S. soil, much to the surprise of his three daughters, who thought he was going to be coming home at Christmas.

Lauralyn, 12, Rayanne, 8, and Janelle, 6, went to the Pens vs Buffalo Sabers game with their mom Mary, who was in on the plan. 

The reunion happened during the first TV timeout in the first period. The girls, who thought they were there as part of a promotion where three families of deployed military members were invited to a game, were playing a game with the in-arena host. 

They apparently needed a little extra help solving the puzzle, so they turned around to see their dad waiting behind them with open arms ready for his father/daughters hug. 

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Lehman said he’s a lifelong fan of the Penguins and got his wife and daughters hooked so they watch games together at home as a family. Monday’s game was his daughters’ first in-person hockey game.

'Bus driver from heaven' helps save children in California wildfire

A bus driver is being regarded as a hero after he saved 22 elementary students as the Camp Fire burned across Paradise, California.

CNN reported bus driver Kevin McKay spoke with Ponderosa Elementary School principal Ed Gregorio about evacuating students whose family hadn’t made it to the school.

>> Read more trending news 

McKay, 41, was on the bus with the school children, kindergarten teacher Abbie Davis, 29, and second-grade teacher Mary Ludwig, 50, taking the stranded children to safety. As fires burned in pockets all around, the bus ended up in gridlock traffic, getting sideswiped by another vehicle on the way out of danger.

“It was very scary. It felt like Armageddon,” Ludwig told CNN Sunday.

Related: California wildfires: See a map of major fires

Students began to worry. Davis and Ludwig comforted them. The adults also came up with a contingency plan, pairing up the children, taking roll, getting phone numbers and reviewing emergency procedures.

“It was so crazy, and there were fires left and right everywhere you looked,” fourth-grader Charlotte Merz, 10, told CNN. “There was smoke everywhere and people trying to get out and it was, like, really hard.”

As the smoke began to fill the lungs of the students, McKay improvised.

The bus driver took off a shirt and ripped it into pieces. He and the teachers used a single water bottle to douse the pieces, handing them to the students as filters to breathe through.

Five hours later, they reached safety.

“We had the bus driver from heaven,” Ludwig said.

McKay remained humble.

“Safety is such an important part of a bus driver’s role,” McKay said, referencing training before the job. “I must’ve paid close attention.”

Houston firefighters rescue horse from septic hole

Firefighters in Houston rescued a horse stuck inside a septic hole near Texas Southern University on Sunday afternoon, KHOU reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The black horse was stuck in a 6-by-6 hole filled with muddy water when firefighters found it, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Firefighters worked for more than an hour to rescue the horse, which has been left in the custody of animal control, according to KHOU. As crews worked, the horse’s owner arrived and became belligerent with emergency responders, KPRC reported. The Houston Police Department was called and the man was arrested, the television station reported.

People reach out to help homeless woman in St. Louis

A homeless woman’s harrowing description of life on the streets of St. Louis has resulted in an outpouring of sympathy and assistance for her and her 1-year-old son, KTVI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Melena Johnson cried as she described her life over the past year when she was interviewed by the television station Nov. 2. She said she was sleeping in vacant buildings until police boarded them up, forcing her to sleep on the sidewalk. She said she is facing fines for sleeping outdoors.

"I could give up, man. I've been running for a long time. There ain't nowhere to go. They're not helping me,” Johnson told KTVI. “St. Patrick's, you have to call a hotline to get a place to stay out of the cold. Why do they need your identity, Social Security card or birth certificate to stay warm?

"There is nowhere to go. I have a warrant for sleeping on the sidewalk. I didn't have anywhere else to go but the sidewalk. He said that 'if you come back, I'll write you up.' I went back to the heat and sat there to get warm. He wrote me a ticket. I said that before I go to jail for sleeping on the sidewalk, the jail system won't get a dime from me. You'll have to catch me first before I pay you for sleeping on the sidewalk.”

Johnson’s interview has been seen by thousands of people and several have reached out to help, KTVI reported.

One person made a 90-minute drive to pay Johnson’s accommodations for a week at a downtown St. Louis hotel, the television station reported. The man bought her groceries, clothes and other items. 

“He’s been a blessing to me,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that a woman traveled from Chicago and bought her a box of clothes and food, while people from Philadelphia also traveled to help her.

"I never thought that people on this Earth loved me in these 40-something years. It turns out to be something different,” Johnson told KTVI. “I don't think I should think like that anymore when there is someone out there caring for me, and they don't even know me.”

Photos: New FAO Schwarz toy store opens at 30 Rockefeller Plaza

Images of the opening of the new FAO Schwarz toy store in New York.

Joe Biden adopts rescue dog, a German shepherd named Major

There's a new addition to the Biden family.

According to the Delaware News Journal, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, adopted a rescue dog Saturday from the Delaware Humane Association after fostering the pooch, a young German shepherd named Major, for eight months.

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

Major will join the Bidens' other German shepherd, Champ.

"Today is Major’s lucky day!" the shelter said in a Facebook post. "Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official. Best of luck and thank you for being one of our Friends for life!"

>> See a photo here

Major and five other puppies had been exposed to "something toxic" in their previous home before they were brought to the shelter earlier this year, the post said

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"The puppies were surrendered to our care due to financial constraints, and working with a local veterinary emergency center, we were able to provide them with lifesaving medical care," the post said.

All six puppies are now in "loving homes," according to Patrick Carroll, the shelter's executive director.

Read more here or here.

>> See the Facebook post here

Good Samaritan couple finds, returns bag filled with $25,000

A good Samaritan couple found and returned a business owner’s deposit bag that was filled with $25,000. 

>> Read more trending news 

Jeff and Michelle Green recovered the bag, which belonged to Gautambhai Patel, the Rincon Police Department said

“We always encourage citizens to do the right thing both morally and legally, because if you find property that is not yours and do not attempt to find the owner, it is called theft of lost or mislaid property,” the department wrote in a social media post

Teacher wins $30K for self, $70K for school in national skilled trades contest

A nationwide contest awarding cash prizes to the top skilled-trades teachers in the country named a Gwinnett County welding teacher as the first-place winner.

>> Read more trending news 

Charles Kachmar, who teaches metals and welding at Maxwell High School of Technology in Lawrenceville was awarded the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, earning him and his school $100,000 as part of $1 million awarded nationally

The school will receive $70,000 for the its skilled trades program and $30,000 goes to Kachmar. 

“The creativity and hands-on projects that Mr. Kachmar and the other winning teachers bring to their classrooms is an inspiration,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “This is education at its best, and we are humbled to honor these teachers and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education.” 

Two other $100,000 first-place prizes were awarded to a construction trades teacher from Michigan and an industrial diesel mechanics teacher from Ohio. Another 15 second-place winners across the country received $50,000. Harbor Freight Tools donated $34,000 to 34 semi-finalists. 

The prize was started in 2017 by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt to recognize extraordinary public high school skilled trades teachers and programs with a proven track record of dedication and performance. The prize is awarded by Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, a program of The Smidt Foundation. 

“These incredible teachers are an inspiration—to their students, to their communities and to us,” said Eric Smidt, Harbor Freight Tools founder. “They are masters of their trades and instill in their students a passion for the skilled trades that gives them a path to a meaningful, good-paying career. These are local jobs in every community across America, building and repairing homes, fixing cars and appliances, and so much more. We're honored to be able to recognize these teachers for inspiring and developing the future workforce our country needs.” 

Charles Kachmar has been a teacher for 23 years, following a career as a marine insurance underwriter. He has taught metals and welding at Maxwell High School of Technology since 2012. Kachmar has rebuilt and revitalized the skilled-trades program at the school by raising the curriculum standards and developing career opportunities for students through a dual credit program with Gwinnett Technical College, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor. 

“It’s all about showing students the doors to a future. That is my love,” Kachmar wrote in his application for the prize. “And I have never been so completely fulfilled in my profession as I am as a welding instructor.” 

Under his leadership, Kachmar has changed the image of the welding program at Maxwell High from a class of last resort to one of the most popular classes in the school. Kachmar’s students give back to the community by building beds for local homeless women and children in need of emergency shelter. With the same fanfare as signing ceremonies for college-bound athletes, Kachmar holds a signing ceremony for his graduating seniors to announce where they will go on to school or employment. 

“The students become my forever kids,” Kachmar said. “I keep in touch with a majority of them through social media to follow their personal growth. Their success is what gets me excited.” 

Photo of Utah police officer cradling baby goes viral

A photograph of a Utah police officer cradling a baby while the infant’s mother filed a domestic violence report has gone viral, KUTV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

One of the clerks at the West Jordan Police Department snapped a photo of Officer R. Lofgran holding and bottle feeding the baby and caring for the woman’s other young children, KSTU reported.

“He spent hours on this call. Thank you for your service,” one person wrote on the West Jordan Police Department’s Facebook page.

The photos and posts have been shared more than 370 times and have been liked by nearly 3,000 people since it was posted on Thursday.

Homeless man dives into dumpster to retrieve lottery ticket worth $4.82M

A homeless Michigan man who realized he won the state’s Lotto 47 game dived into a dumpster to retrieve the winning ticket, WFMY reported. 

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, was one of two people who split the $9.64 million jackpot with the winning $1 ticket he bought for the Oct. 10 drawing, the television station reported. He bought the winning ticket, worth $4.82 million, at a convenience store in Munger, WSMH reported.

“I have been playing the same numbers on Lotto 47 for more than two years,” the man told WDIV. “I always use the same playslip to buy my tickets. In fact … I accidentally threw it away and had to climb in a dumpster to get it back. I am so lucky that I found it.”

On Oct. 11, the man was out for a walk when he checked the winning numbers. He said he was stunned when the six numbers matched.

"Winning this prize has turned my life around in an instant. It means I can finally get some medical procedures that I couldn't have afforded before. This will undoubtedly improve my quality of life," he told WDIV.

The man went to Lottery headquarters Thursday and decided to take a lump sum of approximately $3 million, the television station reported.

Winnie the Pooh brings smile to face of child with cerebral palsy

Jessie Barber took her disabled 18-month-old son to Disney and a video of an interaction between the boy and Winnie the Pooh has become an internet honey pot. 

>> Read more trending news 

Barber and her wife traveled from Kentucky with their four adopted children to the Orlando theme park this week. 

The toddler was born with cerebral palsy that stems from a brain injury at birth and functions at a 4-to-6-month-old level, Yahoo News reported

In the video, while the child sits in an adaptive stroller at a character breakfast at The Crystal Palace at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Winnie the Pooh comes over, holds his hand and nuzzles his face. 

The child smiles.

"For those of you who have disabled children know the (feeling) when people look but aren't sure how to interact with your kiddo,” Barber wrote in a post with a video of the interaction on Facebook. “This Winnie the Pooh melted my heart and knew exactly what to do! He spent 10+ minutes with our little guy and he loved every second of it."

They bought a Winnie the Pooh pin and stuck it to his stroller to commemorate the experience.

"This was his first time at Disney World," Barber told WTSP. "I had no idea the video would go viral. We were just hoping to reach other special needs families to show this amazing interaction and that it is worth the trip to Disney."

They saw Pooh again the next day, which brought a smile to the child’s face.

“Our son recognized Pooh and started smiling,” Barber told Yahoo News. “We wanted to make sure he or she was recognized.”

Batkid cancer-free 5 years after battling crime in San Francisco 

It has been five years since Miles Scott, known as Batkid, swooped in and battled crime on the streets of San Francisco. But on the fifth anniversary of the day Make-A-Wish made Miles’ wish come true,, the foundation wanted to share the good news, that Miles is officially cancer free.

>> Read more trending news 

Miles, according to Make-A-Wish, has beat leukemia. He’s a 10-year-old fifth-grader who plays Little League baseball and helps on his family farm.

Miles had fought against leukemia since he was 1 1/2 years old. He has been in remission for five years and only has to see his oncologist once a year, the foundation said.

His wish to become Batkid was a celebration of the end of Scott’s treatment, Make-A-Wish said.

Miles’ mother, Natalie, recently asked Make-A-Wish to allow her to pay it forward and volunteered to be a wish granter.

Warner Bros. has also made a documentary telling Miles’ story called “Batkid Begins.”

Woman who needed soap cleans up with $200K lottery win

A North Carolina woman who forgot to buy soap while shopping decided to buy a lottery ticket when she walked back into the store.

>> Read more trending news 

Doralee Preston-Price cleaned up big time, winning $200,000 on a holiday scratch-off ticket, WRAL reported. 

While driving home after shopping, the Fayetteville resident realized she didn’t buy soap, the television station reported.

“I figured it would be cheaper to go to the Dollar Tree nearby (to get the soap),” she said. “They were closed, so instead I went back to Food Lion.”

Preston-Price did not immediately scratch off the winning ticket she bought Monday, leaving it in her purse for a few days. She said that Wednesday. She was folding laundry and watching a movie when she remembered that she had the scratch-offs and a $5 Mega Bucks ticket, the television station reported.

“I scratched the first ticket and didn’t win anything. I scratched this ticket and got through the first row but went back to watching the movie because it was a dance scene,” Preston-Price told the Fayetteville Observer. “I almost threw the ticket away, but then something just said, ‘Look back down.’”

Preston-Price did, and called her mother to confirm that she had the winning numbers. Assured that the ticket was a winner, Preston-Price and her mother drove to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to validate the ticket, WRAL reported. 

After taxes, Preston-Price will take home $141,003, the television station reported. 

She said she planned to use some of her winnings to go on a Disney cruise with her husband and son.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl feeds barbecue to California firefighters 

This was a call for Dave Grohl, and the Foo Fighters’ lead singer responded in a big way for firefighters battling the blazes in Southern California.

>> Read more trending news 

Grohl used the resources from his company, Backbeat BBQ, to feed firefighters battling the Woolsey Fires in Southern California on Monday night, KSWB reported.

“To all the @losangelesfiredepartment and @lacountyfd heroes we met last night. … thank you,” the drummer wrote on Instagram. “It was an honor to cook for you.”

One of the firefighter’s wives also posted on Instagram. “How cool is this?” she wrote. “Dave Grohl and his family brought home cooked BBQ to babe’s station last night.”

Firestation 68 also thanked Grohl with an Instagram post, writing that it was “awesome” to get a visit from the rocker.

MInnesota great-grandma marries boyfriend she rebuffed in 1954

It took more than six decades, but a Minnesota great-grandmother finally wed her teenage sweetheart.

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Janet Skillingstad, 82, married Gene Ertel, 81, on Oct. 26 -- 64 years after she broke off their engagement, KARE reported.

“Not too many people get a second chance,” Ertel told the television station.

In 1954, Skillingstad returned the engagement ring Ertel gave her, telling him she wanted to concentrate on nursing school.

“I didn't want to tie him down for three years,” Skillingstad told KARE. “I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.”

The couple moved on, marrying other people and raising families. Both of them lost spouses -- Ertel became a widower twice -- but the teenage boy never forgot his girl.

“I never stopped thinking about her,” Ertel told the television station.

When Ertel was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, he decided to find Skillingstad. He hired a private investigator, who produced a telephone number, KARE reported.

“When I called her, I said, ‘Don't hang up, this is not a prank call,’” Ertel told the television station.

The couple talked for 90 minutes. That blossomed into a visit from Ertel, and then a date.

Two months after the ice-breaking phone call, Ertel gave Skillingstad a ring. This time, she kept it, KARE reported.

Skillingstad’s daughter, Ruth Beniek, said her mother would not reject Ertel this time.

“‘(She said) ‘I couldn't turn him down a second time, that would be devastating,’” Beniek told the television station.

Rapper Young Dolph returning to Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys

A rapper is giving back to the city that he says made him who he is today. 

Young Dolph will make a guest appearance for teens and young adults from Memphis Athletic Ministries on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

>> Read more trending news 

Students from all five ministry locations will be bused to a Memphis community center to hear a message delivered by Young Dolph. This event is not open to the public. 

Afterward, Young Dolph will be making sure several Memphis families have a turkey on their table for Thanksgiving Day. 

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

According to a news release, Young Dolph will be donating Thanksgiving turkeys to the community.

Butterball turkeys will be given to the residents of Castalia Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods at the MAM-Hamilton Community Center from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. 

The release doesn't detail how many turkeys will be given away. In past years he has donated them by the hundreds. In 2016, 300 turkeys were given away. In 2015, Dolph bought 200 extra turkeys when demand was so high that they ran out of the first round of items.

Couple offers refuge to 93-year-old evacuee who escaped California wildfires 

Tracy Grant was handing out hamburgers to wildfire evacuees when she met Lee Brundige standing by himself in the parking lot full of people. 

>> Read more trending news 

The 93-year-old man lived alone in a house he built years ago for himself and his wife in a neighborhood that is likely destroyed by the Camp Fire, which has been one of the most destructive in state history. 

“When I first met him, I knew he was special," Grant told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He was the only person in this parking lot who was by himself with no one else with him. I made it my mission to keep my eye on him. When the rangers came, I went up to him and said, 'You're coming with me.'"

After some hesitation, Brundige joined Grant. They went to her house in Oroville, where Brundige was able to change out of his two-day-old clothes. Grant called her boyfriend, Josh Fox, to let him know they were housing an evacuee. He brought home bags of new clothes for Brundige.

“They hit it off when Lee said he was the littlest guy in his unit so they made him be the tail gunner over the South Pacific," Grant told the Chronicle.

Brundige was able to contact his son, who is in his 70s, and let him know he is safe. 

Brundige has also bonded with Axle, the couple’s dog. 

"I thought, ‘If that were my grandpa, where would I want him to be?" Grant told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We told him this could be his forever home but that is totally up to him."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Grandmother who won mega Powerball jackpot donates huge chunk to veterans group

A grandmother from Iowa is sharing her good fortune after hitting a mega Powerball jackpot. 

Lerynne West won half of almost $700 million in the Powerball lottery last month, The Associated Press reported. Her portion came to $343.9 million, the Des Moines Register reported.

West had misplaced the ticket she had bought that turned out to be the winner. It was found a day after the drawing on the floor of her sister’s pickup truck. 

None of her relatives believed that she was one of only two winners, the other coming from New York, the AP reported.

>>Read: Iowa grandmother claims $343.9 million Powerball jackpot

But it was true. West chose the cash option so, instead of the $343.9 million, she walked away with $198.1 million before taxes, the AP reported.

She said she would share her windfall with her daughters and other family members. She was also going to help pay for her grandchildren’s college educations. West had one more thing that she wanted to do with the money, so she set up The Callum Foundation, named after a grandson who was born premature and only lived for a single day, the AP reported.

The foundation will provide financial help for those who need it.

West made good on her promise on an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired Wednesday. 

She told DeGeneres, “When I won the lottery, I thought, ‘I have a responsibility to do good for other people and to help other people out, as well.’”

West announced that she is giving $500,000 through the foundation to a group that helps wounded veterans, the Register reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Why did she decide to help The Travis Mills Foundation? West told DeGeneres that her father was a Vietnam veteran and her three brothers also served in the military, the Register reported.

The Travis Mills Foundation helps vets and their families by using long-term programs to help overcome physical obstacles and to strengthen their families. It also gives them rest and relaxation. 

Vietnam veteran receives high school diploma 56 years later

It was a long time coming – 56 years – but a veteran from Pennsylvania finally got something he's waited decades for: his high school diploma.

>> Watch the news report here

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

"It took a long time to get here because people asked why I didn't come before – well, I was too busy making a living," said James Neal. "My friend was talking about the class reunion; I said I never did that because I never graduated."

>> Man finds Korean War soldier's battlefield love letters, searches for family

And before that he was busy serving our country, in Vietnam in the Navy.

But he had unfinished business.

As a junior, Neal withdrew from North Allegheny Senior High School and never got to graduate with his class of 1962.

When the school district recently heard about it, they set to work to change it with the help of a Pennsylvania law, "Operation Recognition." 

>> Read more trending news 

"I am at the end of the law," Neal said. "It went from WWII to Korean veterans to Vietnam veterans. I guess the law will run out when the Vietnam veterans are gone."

Operation Recognition allows districts to give diplomas to honorably discharged veterans whose service in World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam interfered with their schooling.

Men rescue shivering horse in backyard pool hiding from Camp Fire

Two California men helped save a horse he found tangled in a backyard pool while trying to find a safe spot as the Camp Fire raged through the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Jeff Hill of Paradise was checking on a neighbor’s house Saturday when he found the horse, shivering and tangled in a pool cover.

"There's no telling how long she was there but she was shivering uncontrollably," Hill wrote on Facebook. "She was all caught up in the pool cover but her being suspended by it prevented her from drowning."

>> California wildfires: How to help victims and firefighters

Hill added in his post that he and a friend unhooked the pool cover and guided the horse out of the shallow end of the pool.

When the horse scrambled out of the pool, it “loved on us for a few minutes as a thank you," Hill wrote.

>> Sandra Bullock donates $100,000 to help animals impacted

Hill and his friend called for help and waited for authorities to escort the horse out of the fire zone, CNN reported.

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