ACROSS AMERICA — From the air, an SUV buried deep in snow by a monster California snowstorm looked like a rock. But when a California Highway Patrol helicopter swooped down for a closer look, police found the 81-year-old man who hadn’t been seen in more than a week.

He was holed up inside his Ford Escape for nearly a week, surviving on snow and some croissants.

“I just really believe it was a miracle,” Joe Jouret told Patch’s Renee Schiavone, on March 3, a day after his brother was found.

Find out what’s happening in Across Americawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The helicopter was almost out of gas and were about to go for fuel when they saw Jouret’s brother stick his hand out the window and wave. » A Patch Exclusive by Renee Schiavone for Across California Patch

Love Skywriting

In Manhattan, Illinois, an eager groom stole the show at a local Irish festival when he hired a pilot for a different kind of mission. “Faye, will you marry me? I (heart) you,” read a banner trailing from a small plane flying overhead. “Oh my gosh, that’s so cute for someone! How cute is that?” Emily Faye Brown recalled thinking. She told Patch’s Lauren Traut she had no idea the question was for her until she saw Adam Seidler had dropped to one knee with a ring in his hand. » A Patch Exclusive by Lauren Traut for New Lenox Patch

Find out what’s happening in Across Americawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Dishing Up More Than Scoops

An ice cream shop in Lake Barcroft, Virginia, is dishing up more than cool treats. With each scoop, Jake’s Ice Cream parlor illustrates the importance of investing in people, so they can work to their full potential. Robin Rinearson, an optometrist, named the ice-cream parlor after her nephew, Jake, who has cerebral palsy. He had held his job for eight years, and when he and 17 coworkers with disabilities weren’t accommodated during the COVID pandemic. Rinearson, who has worked with disabled people in her eye practice, told Patch’s Emily Leayman she was infuriated by that and made up her mind to employ disabled people at the ice cream store she opened in 2021. Now, 21 of the 25 employees have disabilities, about half of them are paired with job coaches and Rinearson has expansion plans. “Hire somebody with a disability,” she said. “Train them in the wintertime before you get ready to open. Hire them. They will be model employees.” » A Patch Exclusive by Emily Leayman for Falls Church Patch

(Photo courtesy of Robin Rinearson)

Smart Doesn’t Begin To Describe Her

Satori Cannon isn’t just smart. The 9-year-old from Ellicott City, Maryland, was recently named one of the brightest students in the world by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She has been homeschooled since the pandemic temporarily shut down her public school kindergarten, and Satori was one of those kids who thrived in at-home school because “it allowed her to go at a much faster pace, cover a wider range of material and explore areas of interest” she would be able to pursue in a traditional school, her mom, Laura Cannon, told Patch’s Kristin Danley-

Greiner. Satori has always been advanced. She had an extensive vocabulary by the time she was 2. At 6, she surprised her family by fixing a broken mechanical Christmas ornament without any supervision. Can you guess her career goal since she was 5? » A Patch exclusive by Kristin Danley-Greiner for Ellicott City Patch

(Photo courtesy of Laura Cannon)

‘Because A Girl In California Loves You’

Helping Ukrainian refugees and now soldiers replace necessities they left behind when they left their homes for safety or to fight in the war isn’t a passing fancy for Lexi Pendola, a senior at California’s Calabasas High School. Through a crowdfunding campaign, she has raised the equivalent of more than $1 million to help people displaced by Russia’s war. “They ask, ‘Where does the money come from?’ ” Julia Pais, Pendola’s volunteer emissary on the Ukraine end of the humanitarian effort, told Patch’s Beth Dalbey. “When I say, ‘The money comes from a teenager, a very pretty girl from California who loves you,’ it brings tears that somebody on the other side of the world is thinking about them and cares for them.” » A Patch Exclusive by Beth Dalbey for Calabasas Patch

(Photo courtesy of Julia Pais)

It’s No Urban Myth

It’s one of those classic depictions of firefighters, a good deed that you often see in fiction but not in real life: A firefighter climbs up in a tree to rescue a cat (top photo). A week ago Friday, it happened in real life for a New Jersey family. “Well, yes it does actually happen, not just in the movies!” the fire company said in a post on the department’s Facebook page. “Ladder 2205 and our firefighters did a great job today helping this kitty out of a tree and returned safely to his owner!” » By Karen Wall for Brick Patch

Kings Of Monee

If you’ve been keeping up on the story of King, the dog abandoned outside a Monee, Illinois, Burger King without his owner’s knowledge or permission, it has a delicious new chapter. “From one (Burger) King to another, we want to send you some love!” the chain wrote to South Suburban Humane Society, the shelter that helped reunite King and his person. The chain sent some Burger King treats to the shelter staff, a care package to King’s mom, and pledged support to the shelter’s upcoming fundraising gala. » By Lauren Traut for Manhattan Patch

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