One of America’s most precocious, budding young journalists scored the interview of a lifetime at a January campaign stop by Joe Biden in Salem, New Hampshire. Biden took questions from only one reporter, and that reporter was 11-year-old Claire, a fifth-grader at Dallin Elementary School in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Claire, who was covering the campaign stop for Scholastic Kids Press, is no stranger to politics — she’s also class president at the Dallin School. Biden also isn’t the first big name she’s interviewed She’s sat down with Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, author Megan McDonald and illustrator Peter Reynolds of the bestselling “Judy Moody” book series, and popular Arlington Animal Control Officer Diane Welch.

The experience has been “very positive, a unique opportunity,” Claire told Patch.

Read Alex Newman’s story on Arlington Patch:

Arlington’s Biggest Political Insider Is 11 Years Old

Claire Handler interviews presidential candidate Joe Biden. (Courtesy of Eric Handler)


Women Helping Women: Veterans Fix Up Anacostia Women’s Shelter

It was a real women helping women effort Thursday, when a group of 80 female veterans helped give a makeover to an Anacostia shelter dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of homelessness. Read Michael O’Connell’s story on Washington, DC Patch.

Mission Continues volunteered at Calvary Women’s Services’ Anacostia home this week. (Patch photo by Michael

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Rescued I-287 Trucker’s Daughter Calls Troopers ‘Guardian Angels’

A family in Ohio is forever grateful to two New Jersey State Troopers who pulled Ron Hickman out of a burning tractor-trailer just seconds before it exploded on Monday on Interstate 287 in Bridgewater.

“God put them where they needed to be,” said Tabatha Finnegan, daughter of Hickman of the two troopers. Read Alexis Tarazzi’s story on Bridgewater Patch.

Ron Hickman and his family. (Courtesy of Tabitha Finnegan)


Newark Families Keep ‘Human Dignity’ With $172M Apartment Rehab

It wasn’t long ago that Garden Spires and Spruce Spires, two of Newark’s most maligned affordable housing complexes, were “nearly uninhabitable” to the families who live there. But after a massive, $172 million rehab effort – largely done with state funds – about 650 households have managed to hold on to some “human dignity.” Read Eric Kiefer’s story on Newark Patch.


Adorable Baby Goat Finds A New Home

A baby goat was taken to Tri-City Animal Shelter in Fremont, California, last week where Fremont Fire Department HazMat Inspector Erika Michelotti agreed to provide a foster home for him. Rumor has it he’s a pretty good snuggler. Read Bea Karnes’ story on Fremont Patch.

A social media post landed this adorable baby goat a new home. (Courtesy of Aisha Knowles)


Animal Advocate Enters Photo Contest To Help Shelter Dogs

A photo can save a shelter dog’s life. Just ask Gabrielle Stroup of the North Fork Animal Welfare League in Peconic, an ardent animal lover and talented photographer who has featured homeless pets’ photos and stories on social media for years to help find them forever homes. Read Lisa Finn’s story on North Fork Patch.

Gabrielle Stroup’s photos of shelter dog Cinnie helped find her a forever home. (Courtesy of Gabrielle Stroup)


Emory Johns Creek Hospital Welcomes Leap Day Babies

Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Georgia welcomed two babies on Leap Day, Feb. 29. The babies born on this day, known as “leaplings,” will have to wait another four years to celebrate their birthdays. Read Kathleen Sturgeon’s story on Johns Creek Patch.


21-Foot-Tall Pink Flamingo To Make Big Impression At Airport

What could be more representative of Florida wildlife than a pink flamingo? Now visitors will be greeted by 21-foot sculpture of this Florida icon as they disembark at Tampa International Airport and walk through the airport’s main terminal. Read D’Ann Lawrence White’s story on Tampa Patch.

“Home” by Matthew Mazzotta is a massive floor-to-ceiling sculpture that depicts a hand-crafted resin and fiberglass flamingo. (Courtesy of TPA)


The Power Of Organ Donation: Plainfield Woman Shares Her Story

Lakisha Bray is an incredibly strong and resilient woman who is spreading the importance of organ donation through her story of losing her daughter and sister within 6 months of each other. Bray of Plainfield, New Jersey, will also be participating in both NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence in June and the 5K at the Transplant Games in the Meadowlands this July to honor them. Read Alexis Tarazzi’s story on Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch.


And Finally, A Southern Ocean Man’s Losing Lotto Ticket Becomes $1 Million Prize

James Wood’s losing lottery ticket turned into a golden ticket. The Little Egg Harbor man was among many who qualified for the New Jersey Lottery’s Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Drawing. Every contestant started like him, with a losing lottery ticket. But only Wood went home with $1 million as the event’s grand-prize winner at Asbury Park Convention Hall. Read Josh Bakan’s story on Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch.

James Woods won $1 million through New Jersey Lottery’s Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Drawing. (Courtesy of New Jersey Lottery)


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