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The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: Dec. 25-29

The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: Dec. 25-29
The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: Dec. 25-29 02:00

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This is a special year-end edition for Heart-Hustle-Home. Here are some of the stories that represent the heart behind the headline.

Camden students get new opportunities to explore medical field, become EMTs

A group of Camden students has lofty goals as they start a new program learning emergency medicine. 

"We are the future doctors of America," one student said.

The program provides hands-on training with life-like simulations. It's a joint project between the Camden City School District and Virtua Health. 

"Learning about the body and learning the medications and the simple things that can save someone's life," said high school senior Rosa Vicente, who hopes to earn a nursing degree after first working as an emergency medical technician.

"The program is very life-changing," she said.

Once students complete this program they will be CPR-certified and eligible to become EMTs.

Camden students training to become EMTs through partnership with Virtual Health 01:59

This Philadelphia student befriended her bully, and wrote a book about her experience

"BJ stood shamefully with his head down and asked Catherine and Mary, 'why would you get help from me? I have been nothing but mean to you and so many kids at school.'"

"The girls replied to BJ: 'because it was the right thing to do.'"

That's a part of 12-year-old Aleemah Lanier's book "Let's Help the Bully," which is actually inspired by her own story after she experienced bullying when she transferred schools. 

"I was new to the school, and I was really a good reader, so I guess the bully felt intimidated," Aleemah said. 

As a new student, Aleemah, then 10 years old, became the target of painful teasing. Eventually, peer mediation helped resolve the conflict.

As for BJ and the girls from the storybook, "all three of the children began running, playing, and enjoying the beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon."

Focusing On The Future: from bully to buddy 02:09

Why this Bensalem principal is sleeping on the school's roof

The principal of Belmont Hills Elementary School spent one night on the roof of the school after students and families raised $25,000 for new playground equipment. 

Right before classes ended, students packed the front lawn of the school and cheered Principal Kelly McGowan like she was a rock star.  

"Keeping my promise, I'll be sleeping on the roof this evening," McGowan said.   

It all started with a fundraiser for new playground equipment at the school. McGowan said families raised thousands in a little more than two weeks. Sixth-grade student government president Karlton Francis was surprised McGowan went through with her pledge. 

"I thought it was just a little joke, just to get everyone to do it," Francis said.

McGowan estimated new equipment could cost more than $60,000.

Bensalem principal spends night on school's roof to celebrate funds raised for new playground 02:24

How 2 men helped the woman who had her car window smashed in viral Center City video

Generosity is pouring in after a video of a road rage incident involving a mother and her children in Philadelphia has reached more than 1 million views. 

Two men gave back after watching the video of 24-year-old Nikki Bullock's back windshield being smashed in by a biker.

"I felt like who else is going to do it? Felt like it was just my calling," Otto Hernandez, of Otto Glass, said. 

That calling led Hernandez, a glass technician, and cafe owner Thomas Montgomery to gift Bullock a brand new window after enduring a tense moment in Center City while her kids were in the backseat. 

"When you see the kids it's like, 'Oh my God. There are kids in the car.' I think that's when I was like, 'I need to step in and help out a little bit,'" Montgomery said.

Watching Bullock stand up for herself while a gun was pointed at her and carrying her kids from out of the car were images that stuck with Hernandez.

Two business owners lend helping hand to woman who had her window smashed in Center City 01:54

Showing my true self to the world with alopecia: "I wanted to be free, I feel liberated"

A member of our CBS News Philadelphia family, weekend anchor Aziza Shuler, has been hiding something about herself for years. But not anymore. She's opened up this year about a story personal to her.

"How I look is an important part of my job. The makeup, wardrobe, all under the lights in the studio. It's an effort to look perfect when I come on your TV screen to bring you the news.

"But perfection isn't just a part of my job. I've spent much of my life trying to be perfect and that involved hiding two big secrets in my life.

"One is that I have alopecia, it's an auto-immune disease that's caused all of my hair to fall out. I wear a wig every day. But I've come to realize this isn't me. I've decided, I want you all to know the real me and how it all started.

"My hope is to inspire other people to find the confidence and courage to accept themselves, be fearless, be you! That is where true beauty lies."

If you or someone you love is experiencing hair loss, seek out a board-certified dermatologist. Also, know that you are not alone.

CBS News Philadelphia's Aziza Shuler opens up about personal story 04:59

Baby on Broad: Mom, daughter reunite with Temple officers who helped with delivery 10 years ago

More than half of all calls that Temple University police officers respond to are off campus and actually do not involve students. Ten years ago, one of those calls changed the lives of two Temple officers who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Ten-year-old Aamanee Young has waited her whole life to thank Officers Justin Busam and Christopher Derose. It was a meeting they, too, have looked forward to since they last saw her adorable face a decade ago.

Aamanee came into this world in the hands of Busam with the help of Derose. On Aug. 20, 2013, the two were partners on the Temple University police force.

That night, Aamanee's mom Kamille went into labor.

"Once I finally called my girlfriend to take me to the hospital, it was a little too late," Kamille Young said.

It was right on Broad and Oxford Streets where Kamille's best friend Paulette pulled over and waived down the two officers, who delivered Aamanee in the backseat of a red Cadillac.

Mom, daughter reunite with Temple University officers who helped delivery 10 years ago 01:55

Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante captured after 14-day manhunt

A tactical team of Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel closed in on escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante late this summer as he lay in a wooded area of South Coventry Township.

The capture ended a manhunt for Cavalcante, a convicted killer who escaped from Chester County Prison at the end of August and had evaded hundreds of law enforcement personnel for two weeks.

Still armed with a .22 caliber rifle stolen from a homeowner's garage, Cavalcante tried to crawl away through the brush and escape from the tactical units closing in, officials said. Then a K-9 unit bit him and held him down, and he was taken into custody.

"Our nightmare is finally over, and the good guys won," Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said.

The manhunt touched many lives on a deeply personal level, including Ryan, whose work during Cavalcante's murder trial sent the escapee to prison for the rest of his life.

Danelo Cavalcante caught: An updated timeline of Chester County Prison escape 02:44

I-95 collapse: Large truck fire damages roadway near Cottman Avenue exit

A portion of Interstate 95 in Northeast Philadelphia collapsed in June after a large vehicle fire. The fire started under the overpass near the Cottman Avenue exit, police said.  

A commercial truck carrying a petroleum-based product was the source of the fire and brought down an entire portion of the northbound lanes, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said.

The tanker was holding 8,500 gallons of gasoline when it caught fire, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.  

This area of I-95, according to federal transportation records, carries 160,000 vehicles a day on average, and is a main arterial roadway in the U.S. that goes north and south along the east coast, Michael Carroll, the deputy managing director for transportation in Philadelphia, said.

The driver was later identified as Nathan Moody of Merchantville, New Jersey, a father of three who died at the scene. The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office ruled Moody's death an accident.

Preparing for Tropical Storm Ophelia

When Tropical Storm Ophelia started moving toward our region, the CBS News Philadelphia team helped you prepare

Chief Meteorologist Bill Kelly shared updates and tips for getting ready for the storm, which brought heavy rain and wind to the region.

Our reporters kept you informed about when to expect the worst weather, how to avoid flooded roadways and which community events were canceled and postponed.

NEXT Weather Alert: How to prepare for Tropical Storm Ophelia 02:13

Alex Scott: A Stand For Hope Telethon raises over $7 million

The "Alex Scott: A Stand For Hope Telethon" continues to provide just that -- hope. At the CBS News Philadelphia studios, we held our 17th annual telethon benefitting Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

The Great Hall at CBS Philadelphia was transformed, as we had an army of volunteers taking donations and honoring the memory of Alex Scott, the little girl who started it all.

Alex's parents, Liz and Jay Scott, joined us to spearhead the effort.

Thanks to our community and partners, a grand total of $7,179,720 was raised -- the most ever in our 17-year history.

The annual event has raised more than $54 million since it began in 2007.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott. In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer.

CBS Philadelphia's 17th annual Alex Scott: A Stand For Hope Telethon 56:57

CBS Philadelphia's 14th Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon raises just over $1 million

CBS Philadelphia raised just over $1 million during our 14th Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon

It was a wonderful day filled with hope as families, volunteers and sponsors joined CBS News Philadelphia to raise money for seriously ill children in the Delaware Valley.

Before the sun was up, the CBS Philadelphia morning team kicked off the 14th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon with a little help from the New Jersey teen council and Camden Catholic students.

It wasn't long before the first big donation came in as Coca-Cola donated $32,500. Flyers mascot Gritty helped out, and so did Ronald McDonald himself.

All proceeds from the telethon are going to support Ronald McDonald Houses in Delaware, Philadelphia and South Jersey.

CBS Philadelphia's 14th Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon raises $1M 02:44

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