Huffpost Politics

Retired Couple Save Abandoned Pets

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A retired couple in Eastern Michigan has opened their home and their hearts to desperate cats abandoned by their owners as they were forced out of their houses. Eugene and Nancy Lottie care for the animals, refusing to see them starve or freeze, but are having problems affording food and are now looking for people to take them in. The couple refused to give the cats -- as many as 32 at one point -- to animal shelters, many of which are already filled to capacity and often euthanize the animals, reports Catherine Minolli of the Tri-City Times.

"They lost their houses, I presume through no fault of their own and that's tragic," Nancy says. "But what's not tragic is to leave animals behind. That's just irresponsible. It's heartbreaking."

When the cats left behind began wandering over to Nancy and Gene's barn for food, she couldn't shoo them away.

"They were hungry and I thought 'that's fine,' I couldn't be mean," Nancy says.

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A family of humanitarians in Toledo continues its father's legacy -- to feed and care for the less fortunate. Rev Harvey Savage St. opened the MLK Kitchen for the Poor in 1969 and his four children have carried the torch after he passed away, writes Michael Driehorst of the Toledo Free Press. Savage's children know of no other way of life than to give to others -- a poignant memorial to the Reverend's spirit.

"I grew up in it," said Juanita Savage Person, 55, who's served as executive director for about 15 years.

Person, one of Rev. Savage's daughters, said she started helping at the kitchen when she was 15 years old.

"This is all I know. It's the only job I've ever had."

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A campground in Tennessee has become home for people struggling to remain out of homeless shelters and off the streets. The AP reports that campgrounds offer a flimsy version of permanence for the nearly-homeless as tents and campers replace houses and apartments.

[Tony] Ballard, who at 52 has worked as a songwriter and construction worker, tries to make the best of his situation. Outside a mesh window of his tent, an electric air conditioner blows a cool breeze into the nylon dome, which can heat up like a greenhouse under the Tennessee sun. Wooden pallets covered in carpet scraps cover the floor of the tent keeping his bed, coffee maker, electric two-burner unit and toaster oven off the sometimes soggy ground.

"The cool thing is, it's a place to live and I don't feel homeless as long as I have this," said Ballard, who is behind on campground rent payments. "But we're about to lose this.

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A unemployed man in Detroit has started to ask on the Internet for money to leave his home town, along with its crime, drug use, and crippled infrastructure, reports Ron French of the Detroit News. Sean Bush, 36, started www.helpmeleavedetroit.com to help him flee a city that has become a symbol of poverty and a crumbling economy, and move to California, like some recreation of Dust Bowl dreams.

As of Thursday morning, Bush hadn't received any donations. Like the city he wants to abandon, he's short of funds and low on hope.

"I grew up here," he said. "It's a beautiful place. But the economy, the crime, it's too much. You can only fight so much."

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A man in Southeast Missouri was denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition before receiving third-degree burns on his arms, face and hands. A gasoline explosion burned Darian Egan on a piece of land where he was hoping to build a new house for himself and his pregnant wife. Now all his money is going to medical bills, says Zakk Gammon of local CBS affiliate KFVS, and the future is daunting.

"I don't have anyone to help take care of me, or my wife and the home we're gonna buy and put on this property. Now I'm not gonna be able to work or do anything for several months. She's pregnant, and I want to do the best for my family I can," Egan said.
Even through all of his trouble, though, he says he's thankful he survived. Now he says he's working [on] recovering while trying to find the money to pay for his medical bills.

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Five Massachusetts hospitals ended a surcharge for late-night emergency room visits, reports Elizabeth Cooney of the Boston Globe. The fee, which has become a burden on the uninsured, was attacked this week by a health care union affiliated with local doctors.

"The general feeling is if it could cause one single patient not to seek emergency care, then we don't want it,'' Dr. Richard Wolfe, chairman of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians and Beth Israel Deaconess, said after talking with physicians at the five hospitals. "We've instructed our billing company to no longer bill for that code.''