Good News Thursday: Boy helps runaway tortoise return to owner, Six-year-old uses talents for charity

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Boy helps runaway tortoise return to owner

Henry Miles and Jan Langton talk about the disappearance and recovery of Langton’s tortoise Fredricka. Miles found the lost tortoise after she went missing from her family’s home for nine months. (KMBC, Family Photo, CNN)

A young boy found his neighbor’s lost tortoise after she had been missing for nine months.

Fredricka, a 17-year-old Russian Tortoise, escaped from her owner’s yard in Lenexa, Kansas by crawling through a gap under a bay window. Owner Jan Langton tried everything to find her tortoise, including offering a $400 reward, using social media, putting up posters and having a bloodhound search the woods behind her house.

Her efforts were unsuccessful, and it was uncertain if Fredricka and Langton would ever be reunited. That is, until seven-year-old neighbor Henry Miles spotted the tortoise just a few houses down from Langton’s home.

Miles and his parents called Langton, who was elated to have her pet back.

“I was at work, and they all thought I won the lottery because I yelled,” Langton said.

Miles received the $400 reward, and said he put $200 in savings and $200 in spending.

Six-year-old uses talents for charity

Six-year-old violin prodigy Juliette Leong plays her violin outdoors. Leong is a violinist and painter who dreams of being a doctor and sells her paintings for charity. (KRNV-DT, Leong Family, CNN)

Juliette Leong, a six-year-old girl from Reno, Nevada, is using her talents to help others. Leong is a talented violinist and painter and sells her paintings to donate money to non-profits.

Leong began painting when she was only eight months old, and said she can take a mental picture of something she sees and remember it clearly to paint it later. Of all her hobbies, painting is her favorite.

“No one tells me what to do and I can just paint whatever I want,” Leong said.

Leong is also an accomplished violinist and has performed at Carnegie Hall.

According to her parents, Leong is very self-driven. She wants to be a doctor and help people with cancer find a donor match.

“I want to be a doctor, violinist, artist, pianist and there’s too many things,” Leong said.

Florida man reunites with woman he rescued at sea

Doug Ritter and Memory Wilks embrace at their reunion. Ritter rescued Wilks and her family 41 years ago after their speed boat started sinking. (WESH, Memory Wilks, CNN)

Doug Ritter recently reunited with Memory Wilks 41 years after rescuing her and her family at sea.

In May of 1982, eight-year-old Wilks was in her family’s speed boat a half mile off Ponce Inlet, Florida, along with four adults and three other children when the boat began sinking.

Ritter ran a concession stand on the beach and kept his Army Surplus LARC, a 35-foot land and sea vessel nearby. He and another man jumped into the vessel and came to the rescue of Wilks and her family.

Ritter said the boat was half sunk and the family was terrified.

“He reached his hand down he said ‘Sweetie I got you, grab my hand,'” Wilks said.

Ritter got everyone on the boat safely back to shore, and even towed the sinking boat in. While Ritter originally bought his boat for fun, he performed a few other rescues with it over the years.

Wilks thought Ritter had been called in by the Coast Guard. When she found a newspaper clipping describing the accident in her parents’ house she contacted Ritter on Facebook and met up with him in person to thank him.

“I’ll never forget him … I can’t thank him enough … He’s truly my hero,” Wilks said.

It was a happy reunion for them both.

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