From the aquarium to synagogues, here are the places that have stepped in as Chicago teachers go on strike

(CNN)About 25,000 educators are on strike in Chicago, forcing the country’s third biggest school district to cancel classes and leaving about 300,000 students and their families to figure out where they will go. Many Chicago children depend on the breakfast and lunch provided at school as two of their daily meals. School buildings, parks, and libraries will remain open Though the teachers are picketing, Chicago Public Schools buildings will remain open and will be staffed by principals and non-unionized support staff. According to Chicago Public Schools, students will be welcome at any school that is appropriate for their age. They will be provided breakfast and lunch, as well as a meal to take home. CPS is asking that children be …

Not everything you learned about Christopher Columbus is true

(CNN)We grow up learning all kinds of history about the founding of America, and one of the explorers taught in every classroom is Christopher Columbus. But how much do we actually know about him as an explorer and his famous journey? False: Scholars believe it was Viking Leif Erickson who first came from overseas to America. In fact, they believe Columbus wasn’t even the first European to discover what we know as the Americas.

Explosion at Oktoberfest celebration in California injures 5

(CNN)An underground electrical vault exploded at a restaurant on Saturday in Huntington Beach, California, injuring five people. The first explosion took place around 8:20 p.m. when firefighters “had just barely walked up to the area involved,” Lopez said. “Two additional explosions occurred within minutes,” he said. “Once the other fire crews arrived, they worked to ensure that the fire was isolated to the vault and to search the structure for any remaining occupants.” Video from witnesses shows a giant ball of fire erupting into the night sky. Witness Kyle Nelson told CNN affiliate KTLA-TV that he heard and saw three large explosions in rapid succession emanating from the festival. He managed to catch one of them on camera. At the …

This Tiny Doors art project is making a big impact in and outside of Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN)Scattered across Atlanta are a series of unique doors too small to be opened yet large enough to amass a legion of fans around the world and the attention of businesses like Coca-Cola. In the short time she’s been making tiny doors, Singer has become an unofficial ambassador for the art style. She has fielded dozens of calls from aspiring artists in the US and around the world seeking advice on how to start their own miniature public projects. Tiny doors have appeared in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sydney, Australia, and countless cities in between. One artist who spotted Singer’s tiny doors on social media was McKay Lenker Bayer, a high school art teacher who lives in Provo, Utah. Bayer …

This WWII veteran wants 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday

(CNN)James South is about to hit a big milestone in his life and he’s hoping others can help him celebrate by mailing him a birthday card. South grew up in northeast Texas in a large family of sharecroppers, his son, Jim South, told CNN. He joined the Army in 1940 and was deployed to Normandy seven days after D-Day. During his service, his girlfriend Sophie wrote him a letter every day. “They were married for 55 years until she passed in 2001,” said Jim South, who is the couple’s only child. Since retiring at the age of 65, South has stayed active by woodworking, growing his garden, playing golf, and attending church, his son said. It was only last year …

A sweet social media moment revealed, a wrong text gone right and…a telephone pole?

(CNN)You know what gets a bad rap? Pumpkin spice. That’s probably because it’s infiltrated EVERYTHING. Pumpkin spice hummus, pumpkin spice gum I even saw an ad on Facebook for pumpkin spice cleaning products! Maybe you think that’s going too far, but you know what? I say, let people enjoy things. If getting fall-flavored lattes in September when it’s still 95 degrees outside makes you happy, more power to you! If you want to lather your kitchen in pumpkin spice-scented disinfectant … er, that’s cool too. Just don’t blame your guests when they ask where the pie is. A wrong text at the right moment When Abby Fink accidentally texted a stranger instead of her church friend whose son was gravely …

‘There is nothing here’: The future is uncertain for 70,000 in the Bahamas left homeless by Dorian

(CNN)As the Grand Celebration cruise ship sailed away from the Bahamas on a humanitarian mission carrying nearly 1,500 hurricane evacuees, Ceva Seymour looked back at the hundreds of desperate Bahamians left behind at Freeport Harbour. Seymour, her relatives and all those who stayed behind are among the 70,000 people thrust into homelessness on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands by the strongest hurricane ever to hit the archipelago nation of about 390,000 residents. Young Dorian survivor saw woman get swept away with baby Nearby, in the town of Mudd, the devastation is so complete — homes entirely smashed — that it is difficult for residents to locate where their homes once stood. Local authorities believe there are people buried under …

Bahamas evacuees arrive at a Florida port on a cruise ship after facing Hurricane Dorian’s devastation

Riviera Beach, Florida (CNN)Ceva Seymour says she’s one of the lucky ones. Then, she and 16 family members were able to leave the storm-ravaged Bahamas and make their way to the safety of Florida on Saturday aboard the Grand Celebration humanitarian cruise ship.

Ferry operator apologizes after dozens of Bahamian evacuees were told to get off a ferry headed to the US

(CNN)The ferry boat operator that ordered dozens of Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas off its boat apologized to passengers Monday but said it made the decision after being told more authorization for their travel was needed. Balearia Caribbean said it regretted and apologized for the “hardship and inconvenience” experienced by the 119 passengers from Grand Bahama who were not transported. But it added, “We boarded these passengers with the understanding that they could travel to the United States without visas, only to later having been advised that in order to travel to Ft. Lauderdale they required prior in-person authorization from the immigration authorities in Nassau.” US Customs and Border Protection struck a different tone Monday, pinning the blame for …

The Bahamas’ death toll is rising as 70,000 residents left homeless by Hurricane Dorian seek food and shelter

Great Abaco, the Bahamas (CNN)Volunteers with search dogs continue to scour neighborhoods flattened by Hurricane Dorian, while global relief agencies are rushing to get food and shelter Saturday to some 70,000 people in the Bahamas left homeless on two northern islands. Search and rescue personnel who arrived with cadaver dogs on the Abaco Islands brought body bags and coolers to store human remains, said Joy Jibrilu, director general of the country’s tourism and aviation ministry. Workers also brought equipment to count the dead and to understand the scope of damage, Jibrilu said. Bahamas resident: You can smell the death in the air The smell of death lingered in the air in Marsh Harbour, CNN’s Gary Tuchman reported Friday, as he …

A 6-year-old was saving money to visit Disney World. He spent it on food for Hurricane Dorian evacuees instead

(CNN)Jermaine Bell was supposed to spend his seventh birthday at Disney World. He’d saved up money to take his family on a trip to Animal Kingdom in Florida. Manning the shaded stand in a makeshift apron down to his feet, Jermaine served more than 100 evacuees on Labor Day, his first day out. He told CNN he’s served “a lot” more since then. His grandmother Aretha Grant said she’s watched her grandson pray with a family who weren’t sure how their house would hold up during the storm. “I am very proud,” she told CNN. “We knew Jermaine was very special, but we didn’t know he was special in this way to be such a giver like this.” Jermaine said …

Serena Williams advances to US Open quarterfinals but injures her ankle

(CNN)When it comes to her health this year, Serena Williams just can’t catch a break. It came at 2-2 in the second set after Williams just hit a volley at the net. “I was like, instantly, no, this can’t happen,” Williams said after Sunday’s match. “I’m finally healthy.” And even though the 37-year-old ended up prevailing 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals — her 99th win at the US Open in her career — she worryingly needed a medical timeout. How thus will the ankle hold up as Williams continues her bid to collect a record-tying 24th grand slam title? “So far I’m good,” Williams said. “I have been managing it. We’ll see tomorrow.” In the short term, she’ll face …

‘Straight Pride’ parade in Boston draws counterprotesters

(CNN)A “Straight Pride” parade in downtown Boston attracted counterprotesters — and a heavy police presence — resulting in almost three dozen arrests. Floats and signs expressed pro-military and pro-Trump sentiments, such as “Support our troops” and “Build the wall and crime will fall.” A man in a jester’s hat carried a sign saying “Great to be straight” as he danced down the street. “I’m outraged by the idea that straight people need a pride parade,” said parade watcher Shoshanna Ehrlich, who came with her daughter. “We are not an oppressed majority by an stretch of the imagination. This is full of hate and offensive.” Monica Cannon-Grant of Black Lives Matter Cambridge helped organize one of the counterprotests and said her …

Dave Chappelle hosts benefit concert for Dayton, Ohio, weeks after mass shooting

Dayton, Ohio (CNN)Comedian Dave Chappelle is hosting a free benefit concert for Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday to honor people killed in this month’s mass shooting and to benefit families and survivors. “And we’re not just doing this for our city,” he added. “We’re doing this for every victim of every mass shooting in our country.”

The people behind that Halloween petition want to create a new holiday: National Trick or Treat Day

(CNN)Fear not, Halloween purists: Your beloved holiday will probably remain on October 31. But what’s better than one day of witches and vampires roaming the street? Two days of treats! The association will partner with Party City to launch #ALLoween, a campaign to promote the new holiday that — fittingly — hits stores on Friday, September 13, according to the petition. The association’s campaign to shift Halloween to a Saturday began in 2018. Organizers claimed that the change would make the holiday “safer, longer and stress-free.” After a year languishing on the petition website, it began picking up steam this month. The group didn’t specifically outline just how a Saturday spookfest would make for a better Halloween, but in theory, …

Couple says ‘I do’ minutes before their baby’s delivery

(CNN)A New Jersey couple expecting their first baby had plans to get married in a small civil ceremony two weeks before their child arrived. Their baby, however, had other plans. Gallardo, 45, said they rushed to Morristown Medical Center and were given paperwork to sign listing Gallardo as Margaritondo’s fiance, not her husband. “What really sparked it is when they had brought in the paperwork and said because you weren’t married he wouldn’t be able to be my proxy,” Margaritondo, 44, said.