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10 stories that made us smile in 2021

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 17:15:59-05

CLEVELAND — The year is coming to a close and it was another one spent dealing with COVID-19, but some good things happened as well.

Here are 10 stories that made us smile in 2021:

1.) Ohio garbage truck driver adopts puppy he found abandoned in backpack along his route

Aaron Kinsel, a sanitation driver for waste management company Rumpke, was on a Wednesday morning route in January when he made a distressing discovery — a discarded backpack was moving along a Colerain Township road.

2.) 4-year-old sets 2 world records after naming 71 dinosaurs in less than a minute

If you have any children in your life, there's a good chance some of them are really into dinosaurs. But you'll be hard-pressed to find one who loves them as much as Rishabh.

3.) Cleveland couple finds love during the COVID-19 pandemic

In a year when connecting with anyone has been a challenge, finding love is seemingly impossible. But Jennifer Gardner and Jeff Harnden from Cleveland found that even a pandemic cannot stop fate and found each other when they were least expecting it.

4.) Rare 'mono mono' identical twins born holding hands turn 7 years old on Mother's Day

Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite are identical twins developing opposite personalities. Despite their differences, the sisters from Orrville share a remarkable bond and an amazing story that continues to make people smile nearly seven years after their births.

5.) UH doctors ensure Avon High School senior makes her graduation ceremony after having a seizure that morning

On a Sunday in May, Shelby Kane, an Avon High School senior, was making sure everything was perfect as she prepared to walk the stage at her graduation ceremony—having her hair done, getting dressed and preparing to pose for photos on her big day. But while she was getting ready for the ceremony, something happened that she hadn't dealt with in over 10 years. Shelby began talking very slowly and crying, just before she fell to the ground. The soon-to-be grad had a seizure.

6.) Rescued along the Cuyahoga River, Ralph the Rooster is capturing hearts on social media

Hannah Ross Smith was kayaking in July when she came across a rooster named Ralph, perched on a wood plank full of nails.

7.) 96-year-old lifelong Indians fan has bucket list wish to attend home game fulfilled

September was the last weekend that Cleveland's Major League Baseball team would play as the Cleveland Indians. Seeing the team play under the name one last time at home was on the bucket list of a 96-year-old woman from Lakewood, who is a lifelong Indians fan.

8.) 7-year-old Bay Village boy may be youngest person to perform backflip on BMX bike

If you're the parent of young kids, you know all too well that fighting boredom during the lockdown was a daily struggle. So, when parents in Bay Village gave their young son a BMX bike to burn off energy, they’d just hope it stick and keep him occupied. Well it has, and it turns out he may be something of a child prodigy on wheels.

9.) Unique toy store opens in historic firehouse in Cleveland Heights

Tucked away on 3216 Silsby Road in Cleveland Heights’s Cedar-Lee sits what was once, decades ago, a Cleveland Heights firehouse. But now, inside the building, there’s a shop out of any kid’s wildest dreams: S’il Vous Play. The store is the ultimate dream for owners Mariah and Wesley Roj.

10.) New app helps track random acts of kindness in Northeast Ohio

Helping a neighbor shovel snow or buying coffee for the customer behind you in the drive-thru line, doing good can not only change your mood, but it can also create a movement.