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Published: Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 7:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 7:10 PM
GWINNETT COUNTY, Georgia — A Mill Creek High School student in Gwinnett County says she owes her life, and her graduation, to a stranger she's met only twice: Once as an infant in Iraq and then again Thursday afternoon.
The year was 1996. Awaz Barwari had found herself on Saddam Hussein's kill list. The U.S. agreed to get her out of Iraq. But as she and her then-baby Lava arrived at the border, Awaz was told she could go, but her baby, whose name wasn't on the list, had to stay behind.
Then, soldier Greg Peppin took baby Lava in his arms and announced she had a new name.
"I said, 'My name is Greg, so if the baby's name is Greg it's got to be a relative and that means she can go,'" Peppin said.
Mom and baby ultimately made it to the Atlanta suburbs where Lava would rise through the Gwinnett County school system.
Peppin went on to become Vice President of Boeing International.
The families never saw each other again, but as Lava planned her graduation, she decided she had to track Peppin down.
“It was the first story I ever heard. She's always told me about the man who saved my life,” Lava told WSB-TV’s Tony Thomas.
“The day I got Lava's email was one of those signature days that kind of make your life worthwhile,” Peppin said.
And a reunion 18 years in the making finally happened Thursday between Peppin and “Baby Lava.”
“I'm happy you tracked me down. I wouldn't miss this for the world,” Peppin told Lava.
At Lava's graduation Thursday night, that man who saved her life planned to be there, too.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:22 AM
OYMYAKON, Russia — As Americans continue to brave the winter weather, photos from a remote village in Russia might make them count their blessings that it’s not worse.
According to the experts, Oymyakon in Siberia is the world’s coldest permanently inhabited area. Recent temperatures came in at a bone-chilling -62°C, or -79.6°F.
Oymyakon bottoms out at -62C or -80F. Now that is cold https://t.co/WY9OQvcwVY— Jim Edds (@ExtremeStorms) January 15, 2018
Bit colder than usual in Siberia over next few days. Watch some stations like Oymyakon for -70°F pic.twitter.com/nt9PUa5WUo— Ryan Maue | weather.us (@RyanMaue) January 14, 2018
In fact, it was so cold that the town’s thermometer broke.
That's what happens when the temperature reaches -79°F in Oymyakon, Russia. pic.twitter.com/pXR1Z7NKtI— Dose (@dose) January 15, 2018
A few pictures have indicated that bundling up is no match for the weather.
Anyone moaning about the weather...could be worse, this is village of Oymyakon in Russia where it is currently -62c!!!! pic.twitter.com/6RONaURGSh— Greigsy (@Greigsy) January 16, 2018
Despite this, the weather certainly hasn’t deterred the adventurous.
As temperatures sink to -60C in Yakutia, heroic Chinese tourists take a swim!— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) January 15, 2018
Amazing scenes as Russia’s iciest region of Yakutia plunges to near record lows, and even the thermometer in the world’s coldest village breaks downhttps://t.co/UpCiM5WIZg pic.twitter.com/1lpqOgEFu8
It would seem that besides the thermometer, schools are the only other thing truly feeling the effects of the cold temperatures.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 1:33 AM
MORRIS, Okla. — An entire Oklahoma school district canceled classes Wednesday through Friday after schools reported excessive flu absences among much of the staff.
Morris Public Schools said Monday's absences were at 20 percent, and Tuesday's were at more than 30 percent.
Basketball teams will continue competition in the county tournament.
Wrestlers will need to contact the coach about scheduled meets.
The district asks that ill students stay home when school resumes.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:06 AM
PULLMAN, Wash. — Police in Pullman, Washington, say officers have found Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinkski dead Tuesday in an apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to an apartment to check on the welfare of a football player who did not show up for practice earlier in the day.
When officers arrived, they found Hilinkski, 21, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police said a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a note was found.
Washington State president Kirk Schulz tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family.”
Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning, who recently left for a position at UCLA, tweeted , “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!”
Hilinski, from Claremont, Calif., recently finished his redshirt sophomore season for the Cougars.
He started in place of Senior Luke Falk in the Cougars loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.
Hilinski played 11 games in his Cougars career, passing for 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns.
Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:47 PM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of Haitians living in Central Florida said they're just days away from being forced out of their jobs.
Many of those worried are workers at Disney World.
They were granted Temporary Protected Status after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010.
They’re now finding out their jobs are in limbo, because their work authorizations are about to expire and new applications aren't being processed.
The change affects more than 500 workers at Disney, many of whom have families and homes in Central Florida.
Many were facing the possibility of being forced to leave the country before the administration extended TPS until July of 2019 for more than 50,000 Haitians living and working in the U.S.
But now, they're facing another dilemma.
Wilna Destin has lived in Orlando 18 years.
She's married with two children and she has no idea what will happen next week when her and her husband's work authorization permits expire.
"That hurts, you know. It hurts your family,” she said.
TPS workers in Central Florida said they've learned the administration is not even processing their work authorization applications, which they need to stay employed.
Sano Leger, a union representative, said it affects workers all through the tourist corridor.
"Most of those big hotels, they have people who have TPS working in there,” he said.