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‘Who doesn’t love free stuff?’: Meet the luckiest woman in Newfoundland

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PARADISE, N.L. — Kirbie Humber could be the luckiest woman in Newfoundland.

She has been on a hot streak for a year, winning at least one contest a month, and sometimes more.

“It’s like, ‘How is this even possible?”‘ joked the 31-year-old woman from Paradise, N.L.

“Obviously I love it, because who doesn’t love free stuff? But now it’s kind of ridiculous.”

Humber, who works as a salesperson at a flooring store, appears to have a knack for snagging prizes, mostly through social media and radio station contests.

Her bounty includes dinners from local restaurants, tickets to a Tim McGraw concert, a Christmas-themed rug, clothing, skin care products, chocolate and a barbecue.

Other swag is more peculiar: A unique succulent holder made from a Troll doll, and a portrait of herself created using rainbow-coloured Sharpies, both made by local artists.

“Sometimes it’s sort of things you wouldn’t normally seek out, like this, you know, succulent holder — the kinds of things that if you were going to a craft fair you might splurge on because it’s kind of quirky,” she said.

The first contest she recalls winning was in 2015. A car dealership selected her selfie to be displayed on the side of a vehicle for a few weeks and gave her a $250 prepaid credit card — the day before her birthday.

Humber’s biggest win to date was a trip to Daytona Beach, Fla., for a country music festival a few years ago, where she saw Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, among many others.

The country music enthusiast said it was quite the thrill, since Paradise — a town of roughly 20,000 people in eastern Newfoundland — doesn’t attract too many big names.

“I listen to them on the radio now and I’m like ‘Wow, I actually I saw them’,” she said.

Humber said she enters about two contests per day, but it’s usually as simple as liking, sharing and commenting on a Facebook post, requiring only about 30 seconds of her time.

She’s not sure what’s behind her good fortune, but surmised it could have to do with computerized tools used to randomly select winners favouring her unusual name.

To add to the curiosity, she said she’s even had repeat wins from the same business.

“I still don’t understand how I’m so lucky, but I’m glad it’s me,” said Humber.

On Tuesday night, Humber bought a break-open ticket for a dollar and won $100.

But despite the winning streak, she said she’s not interested in upping the ante on her lottery habits.

Humber said she only participates in contests that have little or no cost, as she is well aware of the dangers associated with gambling and addiction.

“I’ve seen people literally ruin their lives because it’s a little bit of a high when you win something, so you want to see what the next thing is,” she said.

“I don’t want to be that person and expect to win. It’s just all a little bit of fun.”

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LIFESTYLES

Nobody would give this teen with autism a job, so he started a business

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A 17-year-old Australian teen with autism started his own business cleaning garbage bins after he was rejected for other jobs.

“I searched and applied for jobs for two years and did not get one interview,” Clay Lewis told CTV News Channel from his home in Brisbane, Australia.

As of January, his business, Clay’s Bin Cleaning, has made more than AUS$6,000 and has roughly 70 clients.

He charges AUS$10 for the first bin and AUS$5 for each additional bin. He regularly offers free bin cleaning to local charities.

“I’m very proud of him,” his mother Laura Lewis told CTV News Channel. “I knew that he could do it.”

She added that employers were unable to “see past their own judgments” and made “unfair assumptions” about Clay’s competency because of his disability.

Clay said that he is looking forward to attending his high school prom and may put some of his earnings toward funding a trip to Abu Dhabi to watch his first Formula 1 race.

Lewis said that Clay’s story has given hope to a lot of people, particularly parents of children with autism.

“All Clay is doing is living a 17-year-old’s ordinary life: working, going to school, having a girlfriend and hanging out with friends,” she said.

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Meet Jelly Bean, the deaf canine contender for World’s Most Amazing Dog title

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CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV London’s Sacha Long


Published Friday, February 22, 2019 7:50PM EST

A deaf Ontario dog is in the semi-finals of the World’s Most Amazing Dog competition, an interactive Facebook Watch show where dogs compete for a US$100,000 prize.

Jelly Bean, a three-year-old Australian cattle dog who lives in London, Ont., can catch and pass a ball with his front paws and jump on a stranger’s back. He follows the instructions of his handler, Melissa Mellitt, by sight because cannot hear.

“He is so highly intelligent,” Mellitt told CTV London. “He has no idea that he’s deaf. He doesn’t care. He’s just as happy as any other dog.”

Mellitt adopted Jelly Bean from the Deaf Dog Rescue of America when he was five months old. He has since gone on to travel across Canada as a professional stunt dog and works with Mellitt as an assistant to help rehabilitate fearful dogs.

“We knew that he had this potential,” she said. “This is exactly what I knew he was going to be.”

Mellitt hopes that Jelly Bean’s performance in the competition will help shatter some of the stigma around deaf dogs, who are often believed to be ill tempered and incapable of being trained. Mellitt said breeders euthanize many of them at birth, but she believes that Jelly Bean’s inability to hear is his “cool factor.”

If Jelly Bean wins the competition, Mellitt said that she plans to give half of the winnings to the Deaf Dog Rescue of America.

Viewers of the World’s Most Amazing Dogs competition get to vote on who should move to the finals.

“I think he could go all the way,” Mellitt said.

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Funeral held for sailor in V-J Day Times Square kiss photo

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NEWPORT, R.I. — The sailor photographed kissing a woman in Times Square at the end of World War II was mourned Friday at a funeral in Rhode Island.

George Mendonsa’s funeral was held at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, and he was buried at St. Columba Cemetery in Middletown.

Mendonsa died Sunday after he fell and had a seizure at an assisted living facility, his daughter said. He was 95 and leaves behind his wife of 72 years.

Mendonsa kissed Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform, on Aug. 14, 1945, known as V-J Day, the day Japan surrendered.

The two had never met.

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photo of the kiss became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century. First published in Life magazine, it’s called “V-J Day in Times Square,” but is known to most as “The Kiss.”

Another photographer, Victor Jorgensen, who was in the Navy, also captured the moment in a similar photo. The moment has been shared widely and is often seen on posters.

Several people later claimed to be the kissing couple, and it was years before Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple.

Mendonsa enlisted in the Navy in 1942, after high school. He served on a destroyer during the war.

Mendonsa was on leave when the end of the war was announced. When he was honoured at the Rhode Island State House in 2015, Mendonsa said Friedman reminded him of nurses on a hospital ship that he saw care for wounded sailors.

On Monday, a statue depicting the kiss in Sarasota, Florida, was vandalized. The phrase “.MeToo” was spray-painted on the leg of the statue.

Friedman said in a 2005 interview with the Veterans History Project that it wasn’t her choice to be kissed.

“The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed,” she told the Library of Congress.

She added, “It was just somebody really celebrating. But it wasn’t a romantic event.”

Friedman fled Austria during the war as a 15-year-old girl. She died in 2016 at age 92 at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, from complications of old age.

After the war, Mendonsa became a commercial fisherman, like his father, and worked until he was 82. He died two days before his 96th birthday.

Survivors include his wife, Rita; and his children, Ronald Mendonsa and Sharon Molleur, and their families.

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