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Bargain Purchase Leads to Hidden Civil War Treasure

Kevin Wells

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On an average Saturday in Missouri City, Texas, a suburb of Houston, Emil Knodell strolled through an estate sale. This was a common pastime for Knodell, a retiree who frequents estate sales and considers bargain shopping a hobby. He’s come across a few interesting items in his time that had interesting or inspiring stories, but none top the day he purchased an “empty” antique dresser. That dresser had a story all its own.

At this particular sale, the shine of gray marble topping an antique dresser caught his eye; it was a family heirloom that was estimated to date back to at least the 1890s. With its ornate finishes and unique design, Knodell intended to place it in his dining room. His expertise told him that the dresser was a steal—the price had dropped from $300 to $100 for the third and final day of the sale.

With the purchase complete, Knodell enlisted Jeff Allen and Nathan Taylor, employees of Premier Estate Sales Network, to help loading the dresser into his truck. As they hoisted the furniture up into the truck, all three men noticed the unexpected sound of metal scraping against the inside of the dresser.

They could tell there were items inside the dresser that they couldn’t access, but it took a lengthy examination to find the hiding place. A board on the back of the dresser near the base revealed a secret drawer, hidden so well that for generations no one had noticed its presence. Unless it was carefully inspected, the drawer looked like it was part of the structure of the dresser.

Inside the drawer was an estimated $15,000 worth of coins, jewelry, and military medals. They even discovered a lock of hair. Some of the items dated back to the Civil War, and all looked like they had lay hidden in the drawer for quite some time. It’s likely that the items had remained in the drawer undisturbed for years, including at least one move from to Texas from a family home in Michigan. The man selling the dresser claimed to have no idea that the dresser contained a hidden compartment or how long the items had been there.

Knodell said that he never once considered keeping the items. “I bought the chest drawers. I didn’t buy those things. If I kept them, I would never feel right about it. There would be a cloud over the whole thing. It’s a feeling more than anything else.” Others that witnessed the discovery confirmed that Knodell’s first reaction was excitement for the dresser’s former owner who would get to enjoy the items they’d uncovered.

Representatives from Premier Estate Sales Network said that discoveries of this kind are not unheard of at estate sales, which often include antique items with long, often unknown histories. Still, Knodell’s find ranks up among the most memorable, both for the interesting items he found as well as his generous attitude toward his new treasure.

Emil Knodell may have returned the treasure he discovered, but he gained a unique, memorable story. And the dresser, already filled with decades of history, now has one more tale to add to its chronicles.

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Why women make capable firefighters

Renee Yates

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It’s unfortunate that the idea persists in society that women are not capable of working as firefighters. As women have become increasingly prominent in other industries that have been traditionally dominated by males such as construction and logging, their numbers on the ranks of firefighting squads continue to remain low. 

Take the Fire Department of New York as an example. In 2018, five women succeeded in graduating from New York City’s Fire Academy. While some progress has been made for women in the FDNY since the fire department lost a gender discrimination lawsuit back in 1982, there are still fewer than one percent of firefighters for the department who are female. While fire departments in cities such as Seattle, Minneapolis, and Miami have more women, the average for fire departments across the nation is only about five percent female. 

Historically, women have long been successfully putting out fires in this country. Back in 1815, Molly Williams volunteered to serve at the firehouse fo New York City’s Oceanus Engine Company No. 11. Williams was a female slave working with a company that was not only all male, but all white as well. Williams was offered a job after she single-handedly handled a call when every man in the company was unable to handle the call because of being infected by the flu. 

Another early female firefighter in the US was Emma Vernell. She was 50 years old when she became the first woman to work as a firefighter in the state of New Jersey. 

Some people continue to wonder if women are really capable of working as firefighters. One needs only look at statistics to find an answer to this quandary. Consider statistics from the national Candidate Physical Abilities Test that firefighters need to pass. In 2008, 70 percent of all women who took the exam passed. This figure is not significantly far behind the percentage of men who passed the exam. In the same year, 75 percent of men passed. This shows that women are not statistically far behind men in taking the exam and passing or failing is more a matter of individual capabilities than a question of gender. 

It’s likely that women remain underrepresented in the firefighting profession because of traditionally perceived gender roles. Fire departments all over the country have been found to have testing and qualification procedures that not only discriminate against women, but also against minorities as well. Available equipment is often designed to fit men rather than women. Also, harassment toward women is rampant in some departments. 

Nevertheless, women succeed in careers as firefighters. In fact, hundreds of women have attained the rank of captain or lieutenant in their careers as firefighters. In fact, the city of San Francisco fire department was led by a woman, Chief JoAnne Hayes-White, as of 2004. 

It’s important that people realize that females are perfectly capable of serving as firefighters because, as a female Wisconsin firefighter once remarked, “No one cares if you’re a woman when their house is on fire”. 

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The Inspirational Account of a Young Woman’s Success!!

Kevin Wells

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This is a true account of how a young mother persevered and went on to become a lawyer.  The concurrent story here is how an empathetic judge came to her rescue while conducting her swearing-in ceremony.  Read on for the heartwarming details.

The young lady in this feature is Mrs. Juliana Lamar of Tennessee.  Juliana had three main goals in life.  She wanted to be a wife, a mother and an attorney.  Little did she know that all three were going to come true within a relatively short time span. 

Not long after marrying, Juliana enrolled in law school.  The facility she had chosen was “Belmont University College of Law,” which was located in Tennessee.  While she was plugging along and religiously attending all of her classes without interruption, she became pregnant.  However, Mrs. Lamar did not let that slow her down. 

Throughout her pregnancy, Juliana worried about what would happen when it was time to deliver her baby.  Would she have to miss her classes?  How would she make up that time?  Like a true champion, she resolved all of her issues.  In October of 2018, Mrs. Lamar delivered her precious baby boy, Beckham.  Much to the surprise of her loved ones and professors, she was back in the classroom the very next day. 

Fast forward a little bit to the recent past.  At only 27 years old, Juliana Lamar was about to be sworn in as a lawyer during an impressive ceremony.  At the Tennessee Supreme Court she was preparing to do just that.  As her family and friends gathered to attend her big day, her son Beckham (who was now 1 year old) became incredibly fussy.  Nobody else could calm him down, Beckham wanted Mommy.

The good Lord only knows if any other judge would have done this; however, Judge Richard Dinkins was an extremely compassionate judge.  He spotted little Beckham in the crowd and noticed the baby was particularly fussy.  So he went into action.

This kind judge went right over to the baby and picked him up.  Judge Dinkins said aloud that this was an important day for Beckham too and he needed to take part in it.  So the judge held the baby boy all through the ceremony as he swore in Juliana.  How fantastic was that?  Mommy became a lawyer and baby Beckham was comforted by the very judge that performed the service. 

One lesson can be imparted from Juliana Lamar herself.  That is to all young women, even those who are experiencing motherhood, do not let anything stop you.  Have goals and dreams for yourself and do not allow anyone or any issues deter you from making them all come true.  Whatever those dreams are – GO FOR THEM ALL!!!

This is for the other adults in the lives of those young women.  That is to provide unequalled love and support for them.  Help young women, and young men too, achieve their goals and dreams.  Using Judge Richard Dinkins as an inspiration to yourself, go above and beyond your duties to help someone else succeed.  Make their success a team effort.

No matter what walk of life you come from, no matter what has gone on in your world, you can turn that around and become successful.  You CAN definitely dare to dream and do everything in your power to make those dreams come true.  Take control of your life and live it well.

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Routine Traffic Stop Turns into Heartwarming Occasion Thanks to Officer’s Kind Gesture

Shannon Jackson

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Getting pulled over can be a stressful situation. You may not know right away why you were asked to stop, but you probably have a good hunch that it’s not for a good reason.

More often than not, that premonition we have about being pulled over turns out to be accurate and we have to be involved in a less than ideal situation. It’s why many of us dread stopping to talk to an officer so much.

Andrella Jackson may now have different thoughts about being asked to stop by an officer though.

Not too long ago, Jackson was spotted by Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman and was asked to pull over. Officer Zimmerman requested that Jackson stop because she had the wrong registration for her car.

As he approached the vehicle though, something else caught the eye of Officer Zimmerman. To be more specific, he saw that there were three kids in the backseat of Jackson’s car and two of them were still very small, WTMJ-TV reported. He also noticed that the two small children in question were not in car seats.

Officer Zimmerman then asked Jackson why the small kids were not placed in car seats and she said that she did not have the money to pay for those essential pieces of safety equipment at that time. Jackson mentioned that with winter on the way, she was saving up to buy her children new coats and boots.

A shortage of money is the same reason why Jackson had failed to get her vehicle registered properly.

Per the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are laws in every state dictating that children should be in car seats or restraints.

It would have been easy for Officer Zimmerman to issue Jackson tickets for her violations, but he opted to handle things a different way. Instead of adding to her problems, he went about solving one of them.

Officer Zimmerman soon made his way to a nearby Walmart, and after learning how much the kids weighed from Jackson, he went ahead and purchased two car seats using money out of his own pocket. He even stuck around to install the car seats himself.

By the way, the police officer did more than just give Jackson and her kids new car seats. According to this report from CNN, Officer Zimmerman also made a stop at the police department to pick up a few things – children’s books and stickers – that he also gifted to Jackson’s kids.

The police officer explained why he went the extra mile to help out Jackson. Officer Zimmerman shared that he has kids of his own. He hinted at how frightening the thought is of his own kids moving around in a vehicle with no car seats and how they can be placed in grave danger if an accident occurs.

Officer Zimmerman also said that he was always taught to “do the right thing even if no one is looking.” In this case, both Jackson and the Milwaukee Police Department wanted to make sure that Officer Zimmerman would receive the recognition he deserved even if he wasn’t looking for that.

The generous act touched Jackson, prompting her to shower Officer Zimmerman with numerous “thank yous.” Her kids got in on the chorus of generosity as well.

Jackson called Officer Zimmerman “awesome” and that she is appreciative of the kindness he showed. She added that with the car seats now purchased and installed, she will be able to allocate a bigger budget that will then be used to buy those new coats and boots that her kids need.

What could have turned into an even more trying situation for Jackson and her kids became a shining example of humanity at its best and that is thanks to the generosity exhibited by Officer Zimmerman.

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Common Sense Solutions To Remain Hydrated Every Day

Shannon Jackson

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Have you heard that your body is made up of 50%water? This perhaps is the reason why you need to drink at least eight, eight ounces of water per day. My husband, two sons, daughter, and yes, even our family pets challenge each other (excluding the pets) to drink the allotted number of glasses of water per day for adults. This number is reasonable for everyone. 

The water requirements for children are calculated a bit differently. A child’s water intake tapers upwards according to age. For instance, 

  • A child five to eight years of age need to drink about five eight-ounce glasses of water per day.  
  • A child nine to twelve years of age needs to drink around eight to ten glasses of water per day.
  • A child 13 years of age and up needs about eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day.

Some medical experts say that a child should drink water according to their ages. For example, two-year-olds need two eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Three-year-olds, three glasses and so on. 

Mom and Dad Are Coffee Geeks

The dad in our family counts coffee in his allotment of water per day. And, if that is not funny enough the kids think they can count soda pop into their allotment of daily water. This mom refused to buy any more soda until the kids showed her they drank their allotment of water. Some medical professionals claim that coffee, soda, and such beverages are good hydration drinks and can be added to the overall fluid requirements. Mom says, “Use your common sense, you know what is good and not good for your body and soda is on the list of beverages to avoid. 

Mom, being a nurse knows better and quickly removes all soda and allows dad and herself no more than two cups of coffee per day. Of course, she says, we allow ourselves more, but we drink one eight-ounce glass of water for every cup of coffee beyond our allotted two cups. This mom quickly tries to educate everyone in the family on the importance of drinking water and healthy optional hydrating beverages.

Coffee is a natural diuretic as it removes the water from your body. If you want to become dehydrated quickly, drink just coffee all day like mom and dad sometimes do and forego the water. In mom’s opinion, there is no nutrition in soda or coffee.

*There are instances where the normal eight, eight-ounce glasses of water are contraindicated such as in the event someone has kidney disease, cardiac issues, or the doctor limits the person’s water intake. In these cases drink water in the amounts that the doctor recommends. 

I will be the first to admit that I do not like plain water. Our whole family has a difficult time drinking water in the amounts that are recommended because we just do not like water. However, there are still options so that we can continue to hydrate our bodies as needed. If you have a difficult time choking down water try these options.

  • Mom enjoys flavored, non-carbonated water or lemon water with Stevia. Research finds that lemon water makes you feel fuller, hydrates, increases metabolism and helps to decrease pounds. 
  • Dad enjoys flavored water packets.
  • Our daughter likes plain lemon water. She has found that lemon water is contributing to some weight loss. She says her skin looks clearer and her hair is taking on a great shine.
  • Our sons, both enjoy drinking a mixture of energy drinks, flavored water, and beverages such as Gatorade, or G drinks.

Other healthy options include,

  • Coconut Water
  • Aloe Water
  • Maple Water
  • Watermelon water
  • Pure Spring Water
  • Vitamin Water
  • Gatorade
  • Milk

There are negatives to drinking too much water such as water intoxication. Too much water removes too much of the electrolytes in the body like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. An electrolyte imbalance can cause health concerns like heart irregularities.

Not drinking enough water also causes health problems such as an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Possible symptoms of dehydration include headache, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, dry eyes, muscle cramps, fever, dark-colored urine, and death if dehydration continues. 

Adequate fluid intake is easy when you chose healthy beverage options that you enjoy drinking. Drinking adequate fluids every day contribute greatly to enhanced health and wellness.

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190-Pound Mastiff Floyd Has No Shame Being Rescued Down a Mountain

Kelly Taylor

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Grandeur Park:  a Popular Summit for Amateur Hikers 

Grandeur Peak is an 8,299 feet summit located on the east side of Salt Lake Valley, and anyone who makes it to the top gets great views of the valley and the surrounding mountains. As far as the local mountain peaks go, this one is relatively fast to summit, so many people enjoy taking one of the trails to get to the top.

There are two choices of easier trails to get to the top of Grandeur Peak: hikers can choose Church Fork Trailhead, which is wide, well-marked, and easy to follow. The beginning of the trail is at the Church Fork Picnic Area in Mill Creek Canyon. The other trail is the Grandeur Peak Trail, which follows a stream into the forest and then climbs to a saddle by way of switchbacks. A saddle is a low part of a ridge between two higher points, and switchbacks are places that go up and down on the path. Going up and down quickly could cause a climber to get more tired.

Floyd the Mastiff Goes on a Hike

Floyd was one 3 years old when he took the hike up Grandeur Pike Trail with his dad. He enjoyed exercise, and his dad didn’t have any reason to think Floyd wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of the trail.

Unfortunately, after hiking for several miles, Floyd realized he simply couldn’t go any further. Floyd made it two miles up the Trail before he lay down and refused to move again. He simply couldn’t take anymore. 

Floyd is a Big Dog

If Floyd had been a regular-sized dog, his dad would have probably picked him up and carried him back down the mountain. Unfortunately, Floyd weighs 190 pounds, and his dad wasn’t able to do it.

He couldn’t leave him behind, so Floyd’s owner decided the only thing to do was get ready to spend the night on the mountain. He was ready mentally, but he was worried about the temperature. It can get cold at night, especially if you are two miles up a mountain. If it got too cold, it could be dangerous, but the later it got, the harder it would be to leave. Climbing down in the dark would be difficult if not impossible.

Rescue!

Even though they didn’t ask for help, help came for Floyd and his dad anyway. Some of the people who passed by Floyd and his dad were worried and they told the police what was happening. 

To their great surprise, an entire rescue crew showed up to rescue Floyd and his dad. They brought medical equipment, emergency gear, and a stretcher big enough to carry a 190-pound mastiff. The rescue crew strapped Floyd safely in and, with one person in front and one behind, carried him down the mountain.

An Act of Kindness

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team is made up entirely of volunteers. They didn’t hesitate for a second, even when they knew they were going to help a dog. They showed up and helped because that’s the kind of people they are.

For his part, Floyd is a good boy and he appreciated the help. He might have been all right to finish the hike if he and his dad hadn’t gotten turned around on the trail. Floyd is just happy to be back home getting all the love and attention he needs.

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