Good news of 2014

AP Photo: Seth Wenig, File; AP Photo: Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc.; The BostonHerarld.com: Mark Garfinkel, http://aka.ms/SavedHusky; MCT via Getty Images: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
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Good news of 2014

Now that we've hit the three-month mark for 2014, we take a look at some positive stories that were inspirational, heartwarming and optimistic. See gallery

MCT via Getty Images: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
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Child's life saved along busy expressway

When her 5-month-old nephew, Sebastian, suddenly stopped crying in the backseat, Pamela Rauseo turned around to find him pale and unresponsive. She pulled her car to the side of a busy freeway (what city was she in?) and sprang into action. Her quick thinking — and the help of strangers — kept her sister's son alive until he could be taken to an area hospital.


What life-saving procedure did she perform on her nephew?

AP Photo: Seth Wenig, File
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Obesity rate for young children plummets

Being overweight as a kid can mean lifelong health issues (such as this and this and this), so it was a major — and welcome — surprise when federal health authorities reported a serious decline in obesity among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade.


How great was the drop they reported?

Getty Images: Clive Mason
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Russian billionaire saves stray dogs

Efforts to ready Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics prompted organizers to call for a cull of the area's stray dogs, who were considered a danger to tourists. But before the eradication could begin, Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's wealthiest men (how much is he worth?), stepped in to fund the building of a shelter for the unwanted canines in the hills above the city.


How many strays were scheduled to be euthanized?

Getty Images: Maxim Marmur, AFP
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Second baby cured of HIV

A treatment that came about almost by accident (what was the first case?) has been used to effectively cure a second baby born with HIV. Just hours after birth, the infant was given high doses of three antiretroviral drugs. Eleven days later, the virus was undetectable in her body.


How old is the first now-HIV-free baby now?

AP Photo: Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc.
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Buried treasure worth millions found

A California couple out walking their dog stumbled across a buried treasure of mint-condition gold coins (how many did they find?) buried in the shadow of an old tree. The origin of the coins has yet to be determined, but the find is believed to be the biggest of its type in U.S. history.


How much are the coins estimated to be worth?

Corbis: Robert Landau
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Study: Anti-smoking laws have had profound effect

Fifty years after a milestone report on smoking and health was released (who created the report?), the impact on the American public has been profound. Though an estimated 17.7 million people have died from smoking-related causes in the past five decades, the perception of and laws surrounding the tobacco industry have been forever altered.


According to the report, how many lives has tobacco control saved?

AP Photo: Matthias Schrader; Getty Images: Kirill Kudryavtsev
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Sochi 2014: Canada's cross country ski coach restores our faith in humanity

When Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov, a medal contender at the Sochi Olympics, broke a ski during his semifinal race, his hopes for victory were dashed. But a coach from a competitor ran onto the course with a spare ski. The kind gesture (see another example of sportsmanship in the Olympic sport) allowed Gafarov to finish the race, which he did to a standing ovation from the crowd.


Who was behind this heralded act of kindness?

Photos courtesy of David Hickman
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Man reconnects with woman he saved as an infant

In 1955, Dave Hickman (bottom left and inset) came across an abandoned infant while hunting with his grandfather (where did they live?), and took her to a local hospital. Over the ensuing five-plus decades, he didn't have any clue of what had happened to the child whose life he saved, until a dogged investigation by a retired sheriff brought them back together.


See how Hickman and his rescuee were reunited

Alaska State Troopers
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Dog saves man's life after accident

After crashing while riding one of these, Otis Orth was left stranded in the cold with a neck injury and dislocated limbs. He travel companion —a 2-year-old canine named Amber — laid with him through the night and, the next morning, was able to alert passersby to Orth's plight. "I owe that dog my life," Orth later said. "If I had stayed out there one more night I wouldn't have made it."


What breed of dog is Amber?

University of Illinois: L. Brian Stauffer, http://aka.ms/PlasticBags
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Plastic bags could be used for fuel

Of the staggering number of plastic bags Americans throw away every year (how many?), only about 13 percent are recycled. But a recent study reveals a process by which these discarded bags can be converted into a variety of useful products.


What kind of fuel can these plastic bags yield?

Getty Images: Gage
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Breakthrough finds cancer without risky radiation

CT scans can save lives by detecting cancer early, but the high doses of radiation they employ to create images can increase patients' risk of cancer later in life. Researchers at Stanford may have found a solution using an imaging method that doesn't involve radiation exposure.


What does the new method use instead of CT scanning?

Landov: AL.COM
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Brain surgeon walks 6 miles through storm to save patient

During a late January ice and snow storm that left this city (among others) crippled, Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, who was working in Birmingham, Ala., walked six miles in the snow to perform an emergency life-saving operation — something D. Hrynkiw said any good doctor would do.


What field of medicine does Dr. Hrynkiw practice?

The BostonHerarld.com: Mark Garfinkel, http://aka.ms/SavedHusky
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Firefighter learns lesson from pulling husky from frozen river

When Sylvie, a 13-year-old dog, fell through the ice into this body of water, firefighter Sean P. Coyle rushed to her rescue. After pulling Sylvie from the ice, Coyle also fell into the freezing water before being pulled to safety. The story of the rescue went viral and gained Coyle national attention, but he considers Sylvie to be the real hero: "I think she saved a lot of people. The underlying sentiment to all of these emails is, 'You've restored my faith in humanity,' " Coyle said.


What breed of dog is Sylvie?

AP Photo: Town of Beloit Police Department, File
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Infant found alive after 24-hour search

Five-day-old Kayden Powell's disappearance from his parents' house (where do they live?) set off a frantic missing-persons search. And though many feared the worst, Kayden was found a day later in this state, wrapped in a blanket and safe, despite single-digit temperatures.


Who was charged with kidnapping Kayden?

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