7 Good News: Bill Murray Feels Pretty Pretty, Plus

ACROSS AMERICA – It’ll put a smile on your face, and it certainly will for the residents of New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood when Bill Murray – yes, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ Bill Murray – offered a surprise concert.

“I feel pretty,” Murray sang.

He also sang other songs, but it was Leonard Bernstein’s song from “West Side Story” that caused the buzz.

The impromptu gig in Washington Square Park promoted “New Worlds,” Andrew Muscato’s documentary about Murray’s performance at Atlanta’s Acropolis. By Gus Saltonstall for West Village, New York, Patch

(Andy Kiss/Getty Images)

The Ultimate A

Apurva Mishra got a perfect score, and not just any test. The 17-year-old from Davis, Calif., passed the notoriously difficult college entrance test – something achieved by only a fraction of the 1.5 million students who take the annual test. A perfect score is 1600; the median score is 1083. “I wanted to get there, and I got there, and it was the most amazing thing for me,” he said. By Michael Wittner for Davis, California, Patch

She don’t need just any dog

Jaella DaSuta, a 12-year-old from Dedham, Massachusetts, needs a dog. She doesn’t need a pet, but an assistance dog to help her live her life to the fullest, despite an intellectual disability, low muscle mass and fatigue that affect her balance. Jaella has been approved for a service dog trained by the group 4 Paws for Ability, but it will cost $17,000, and her mother, Jennifer Kerivan, just needs help making it happen. By Mary Ellen Gambon for Dedham, Massachusetts, Patch

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kerivan)

Ending homelessness, 1 child at a time

Jennifer Friend knows better than most what homeless children need. She’s been there, done that. Now, as Executive Director of Project Hope Alliance, she is able to help end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, Calif. — and, ultimately, the country — a child at a time. By Ashley Ludwig for Los Alamitos-Seal Beach, CA, Patch

(Photo courtesy of Project Hope Alliance)

free the minds

The NFL awarded a new grant to the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop in Washington, D.C., a group that works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults, as part of the league’s Inspire Change social justice initiative. . The organization uses literary arts, workforce development and trauma healing to connect DC residents who were sentenced to long prison terms as young people with their communities upon their return to the city after their incarceration. By Mark Hand for Georgetown, DC, Patch

(Photo courtesy of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop)

bittersweet goodbye

It’s always a bittersweet moment for members of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s sea turtle rehabilitation team when they release a sea turtle they’ve spent long hours caring for in the ocean. This week, the team had had nine of those moments. This is the number of sea turtles that aquarium staff have successfully treated and given the green light to return home to the wild. By D’Ann Lawrence White for Clearwater, Florida, Patch

(Photo courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium)

Save the African Penguins

The Florida Aquarium observed Penguin Awareness Day by helping a South African nonprofit band together to treat the endangered bird. The aquarium helps all kinds of endangered species, but supporting the conservation of African penguins is central to its mission. The aquarium fulfilled its mission with the purchase of two hydraulic veterinary tables for the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds. By D’Ann Lawrence White for Tampa, Florida, Patch

(Photo courtesy of Florida Aquarium)

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