California

10 Good News Stories From 2020

The year 2020 wasn't all bad. In the midst of a global health emergency and news of doom and gloom, and death and destruction, stories of good deeds and kind acts across the Golden State offered rays of light in the darkness.

Here's a look back at 10 good news stories from this year's headlines that made us smile, laugh and maybe shed a (happy) tear or two.

1. Watch: Large Bear Hits the Jackpot in California Campsite Raid

A large bear with a big appetite turned a California family's campsite into its own personal buffet, going back for seconds and thirds in a cooler raid caught on camera.

The Orange County family was camping over an October weekend in the Mammoth Lakes area high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when they captured the video from inside a tent just a few feet away.

A camper says this bear came back three times in a search for food. Video broadcast Friday Oct. 16, 2020 on Today in LA. Credit: Leah Estrella

The bear can be seen fumbling with a cooler as dogs bark in the background at the campsite about 300 miles north of Los Angeles. The bear came back three times, eventually taking off with the good stuff — steaks and Longganisa, a homemade Filipino dish. 

See the full video here.

2. California Fighter Jet Flyover to Salute Frontline Workers

Four fighter jets with the California Air National Guard were part of a flyover this spring in a tribute to health care workers, first responders and others on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The F-15C Eagle jets with the guard’s 144th Fighter Wing based in Fresno took off at 10 a.m. The pilots flew over medical facilities in the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, the Bay Area and parts of the Central Valley before returning to Fresno.

Originally, the flyover also included Southern California, but the schedule was altered, with a note that "the Thunderbirds will be in SoCal on Friday."

Read the full story here.

3. Doorbell Camera Captures Moment Nobel Prize Winner is Told He Won

It was the middle of the night in California when the Nobel Committee, based in Stockholm, Sweden, tried to reach Stanford professor Paul Milgrom to tell him he won the Nobel Prize in economics.

When the committee couldn't reach him, his neighbor and fellow winner, Robert Wilson, took matters into his own hands, NBC News reports. Footage from Milgrom’s Nest doorbell camera shows Wilson knocking on Milgrom’s door at about 2:15 a.m. to get his colleague’s attention. The exchange is heard through the doorbell's intercom.

Stanford professor Paul Milgrom's Nest doorbell camera captured the moment his neighbor and fellow winner, Robert Wilson, alert him of their Nobel Prize win.

“Paul? It’s Bob Wilson,” he said. “You’ve won the Nobel.”

Read the full story here.

4. Glowing Dolphins Up the Wow Factor With Streaks of Neon Light Off the SoCal Coast

Streaks of electric blue light cut through the water in mesmerizing video of glowing dolphins captured in April off Newport Beach.

The video was captured just after sunset by Newport Coastal Adventure. The dolphins, bathed in a neon glow caused by bioluminescence, swam next to the boat, leaving streams of light in their wake.

Biolumenescence was in spectacular effect when dolphins glowed through the water off the Southern California coast. Video broadcast Friday April 24, 2020 on Today in LA.

Bioluminescence is a biochemical emission of light by organisms. The chemical reactions within those organisms, like marine algae and fireflies, give them a sparkle.

Read the full story here.

5. Man Buys Out Vendor's Cart to Combat 'Idiots' Seen in Videos Robbing Vendors

A Riverside County man who was moved to action after witnessing attacks on street vendors in Southern California on social media decided to make a change.

Obadiah Baldwin bought out one local vendor's entire cart for the day.

Baldwin said over the past few months he's been disturbed by videos that show street vendors being harassed. In some cases, the vendors were physically attacked and robbed.

The Perris resident said he was trying to show his 13-year-old son what the right thing is to do versus the wrong. Tony Shin reports July 20, 2020.

"I came down here from the driveway and stopped him," Baldwin said of the spot outside his Perris home where he stopped street vendor Miguel Lopez earlier this month.

With his 13-year-old son following behind, he started buying out the corn for $80. Then, he bought all the chips for $40.

"How much? $120. Lets get it," he can be heard saying in the video.

Read the full story here.

6. Hey There, Big Tuna. A Monster 360-Pound Fish Was Netted in Orange County

This certainly deserves the buggy-eyed emoji.

A 361-pound tuna fish was captured off the Orange County coast, becoming the largest captured off fishing fleet vessels since 1958, according to Newport Landing Sportfishing in Newport Beach.

Giant Tuna Sets Record in Orange County

The big tuna was caught sometime in October on an overnight trip.

A whopping 11 Bluefin Tuna were caught aboard the vessel hosting 24 guests.

Read the full story here.

7. Couple Flying Home With Adopted Girl Receives an Impromptu In-Flight Baby Shower

Love was in the air when a couple flying from Colorado to Southern California with their newly adopted baby received a spontaneous mid-flight baby shower.

There were no cards or gift-wrapped baby items for Dustin and Caren Moore during their flight from Denver to Long Beach Airport. Instead, the Orange County couple received handwritten notes on napkins from other passengers -- strangers whose kindness was deeply appreciated by new parents flying with their baby.

Love was literally in the air when this couple was flying home with their newly adopted baby, thanks to the passengers and crew aboard their flight. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.

A flight attendant named Jenny cleared space for them at the back of the plane, Moore said. As he returned to his seat, another flight attendant asked the couple about their daughter, and the Moores shared their adoption story, he said.

That flight attendant, Bobby, then made an announcement, welcoming the Moores' adopted daughter aboard as a special guest, that brought cheers from the cabin. He then passed around napkins and pens so passengers could write inspirational messages and warm wishes for the Moores.

Read the full story here.

8. San Francisco Post-it Hearts Become Contagious as People Reach Out to One Another

Trapped inside during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, Nick Munro of San Francisco covered his window with a heart made out of Post-it Notes. The small but uplifting gesture turned out to be contagious.

Soon, Post-it hearts were popping up in windows across the city.

In San Francisco people are posting hearts made of post-its in their windows as a kind of emotional SOS, a simple way to connect in these trying times. Lili Tan reports.

Read the full story here.

9. Stop in the Name of Love: 93-Year-Old Man Hitchhikes For His Love

Seniors have been encouraged to stay indoors during this pandemic so they don't expose themselves to the virus, but one San Diego County man couldn't stay inside if it meant breaking a tradition he has shared with his love for almost two decades.

Real estate agent Richard Farmer met 93-year-old Mike Cain in late April hitchhiking on the side of the road near his retirement center in Lake San Marcos.

"I paused and I was like, 'Is that guy hitchhiking?' So, I made a U-turn, immediately went back and asked him if he was OK," Farmer said.

The friendship only began six days ago, but the story will touch your heart. NBC 7's Priya Sridhar has more.

It turns out, Cain was trying to go to the 99 Cents Only store, which was about 1.5 miles away from where he lived, to buy Hershey's chocolate bars for the love of his life, Do Jerman.

Read the full story here.

10. Stories of Corona Kindness

Have you found or witnessed kindness in the time of coronavirus?

From kids sharing encouraging messages in chalk on the sidewalk to neighbors turning the Free Little Libraries into free pantries for those who are struggling with financial hardship due to COVID-19, we've highlighted some of these stories.

We revisit some of the people that have been helping health care workers since the beginning of the pandemic. Hetty Chang reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2020.

Read the full story here.

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