The Best News of Last Week — May 2, 2022

1. LeVar Burton will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the new children’s Emmys

LeVar Burton, the beloved former Reading Rainbow host, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Children’s and Family Emmys in December, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced this week.

Burton took on executive producer and hosting duties for the PBS kids’ program in 1983. On the show, Burton read books, conducted interviews and explained current events to children. The show aired for 23 years, and has won 12 Daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award.

2. Plastic-eating Enzyme Could Eliminate Billions of Tons of Landfill Waste

An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days.

This discovery, published today in Nature, could help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: what to do with the billions of tons of plastic waste piling up in landfills and polluting our natural lands and water. The enzyme has the potential to supercharge recycling on a large scale that would allow major industries to reduce their environmental impact by recovering and reusing plastics at the molecular level.

3. NAU to provide tuition-free college education for Arizona residents with household incomes at or below $65,000

Northern Arizona University plans to offer free tuition to Arizona residents from households with annual incomes not exceeding $65,000 and who meet the university’s admission requirements.

The “Access2Excellence” initiative takes effect with the fall 2023 semester for first-year and transfer students who attend NAU either at the main campus in Flagstaff or NAU’s other sites elsewhere in the state, officials announced in a statement Thursday.

4. Black cat known for huge eyes, wonky feet to become mayor of Hell, Michigan.

Jinx the cat to become mayor of Hell, Michigan. This little black cat will rule over Hell, located about 20 miles northwest of Ann Arbor.

Anyone can become mayor of Hell for a day. It’s part of the town’s schtick. Pets, though, are another thing. Sunday, April 24 will actually be the first time a cat will make sure all Hell doesn’t break loose.

5. US Army replaces cake it stole from Italian girl in 1945

This one’s adorable. The US Army has given a birthday cake to an Italian woman — to replace one that American soldiers stole from her as it cooled by a window 77 years ago. Meri Mion — who turns 90 on Friday — was 13 when her village of San Pietro, near Vicenza, saw fighting between US troops and German soldiers.

Her mother made her a birthday cake, but it was taken by the opportunistic — and presumably hungry — Americans. Sgt Peter Wallis, who handed over the dessert, said it was “a little awkward” to replace the stolen goods, “but it makes me feel great”.

6. EU reveals plans for the ‘largest ever ban’ on toxic chemicals

Thousands of potentially toxic or harmful chemicals still used in cosmetics, toys and even baby products could soon be banned in Europe under new regulations.

Industry groups say that up to 12,000 different chemicals present in 74 per cent of consumer or professional products could fall under these restrictions. It will be the “largest ever ban” on toxic chemicals, according to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). “The ‘great detox’ promises to improve the safety of almost all manufactured products and rapidly lower the chemical intensity of our schools, homes and workplaces,” says Tatiana Santos, EEB chemicals policy manager.

7. Jacky Hunt-Broersma, a cancer survivor and amputee, sets world record by running 102 marathons in 102 days

On Thursday, the amputee athlete achieved her goal of running 102 marathons in as many days, setting an unofficial women’s world record.

Hunt-Broersma, 46, began her quest on Jan. 17, covering the classic 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) marathon distance on a loop course laid out near her home in Gilbert, Arizona, or on a treadmill indoors. Since then, it’s been “rinse and repeat” every day for the South Africa native, who lost her left leg below the knee to a rare cancer and runs on a carbon-fiber prosthesis.

- She has documented all of her runs (and more) on her Instagram! It’s @ncrunnerjacky

Also, bonus story submitted by an Irish follower: “The first ever large-scale solar farm opened here in Ireland! It’s about 25 hectares and is expected to give power to over 3,600 homes!”

That’s it for this week. Until next week, stay safe and don’t forget to share this post with your friends :)

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