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Valentine’s Day: This amazing love story begins with a blind date and wedding days later

LaNelle and Perry Holland’s love story begins with a blind date on a winter evening in 1968.

A mutual friend invited LaNelle to join him in a gathering at Perry’s house in Kennesaw, Georgia. By the time LaNelle arrived, the roads were slick with ice. It was too dangerous to drive anywhere.

>> Read more trending news 

The Hollands’ first date never left a living room couch.

Instantly smitten, LaNelle and Perry stayed up through the night talking about music, politics, sports (they were both passionate Georgia Tech football fans).

Just a few days later, Perry proposed. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Sometimes people wait years, even decades, to find The One. For this lucky couple now in their early 70s, they were struck by Cupid’s arrow on a quiet winter evening and then tied the knot after knowing each other just two weeks.

What they didn’t know back in 1968 is how they would grow together and develop a passion for teaching and caring for children in their community. They would speak up, even march for social justice.

Read more about their amazing love story and how they would build a family beyond their own here at myajc.com. 

WATCH: United Airlines plane loses engine cover on way to Honolulu, makes emergency landing

Passengers aboard what one woman called the "scariest flight of my life" are breathing sighs of relief after making a safe landing following a midair engine problem.

>> Watch passenger video from the flight here

According to CNN, United Flight 1175 from San Francisco lost an engine cover over the Pacific Ocean less than an hour before it was set to land in Honolulu.

>> DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

"There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking," passenger Allison Sudiacal told KHNL. "It was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom."

Passenger Maria Falaschi tweeted several photos along with the caption, "Scariest flight of my life."

The Boeing 777, which was carrying 363 passengers and 10 crew members, "declared an emergency due to a vibration in the right engine" before safely landing about 40 minutes later in Honolulu, the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to KHON. Emergency personnel were "standing by as a precaution," the Hawaii Department of Transportation said.

>> Read more trending news 

"Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft," United said in a statement, according to KHON. "The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally.”

The FAA said it is investigating the incident.

Westminster Dog Show 2018: See the best in show, group winners

The Westminster Kennel Club has a new best in show for 2018. Flynn the bichon frisé was crowned top dog Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

>> MORE: Complete list of winners Photo gallery

>> Read more trending news 

Photos: Westminster Dog Show 2018: Bichon frisé Flynn crowned best in show

Flynn the bichon frisé won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, a choice that seemed to surprise almost everyone in the crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York.

DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation received 18,148 complaints about air travel in 2017.

It was a year when airline incidents were in the headlines, including a United passenger dragged from a plane and a Delta passenger mauled by an emotional support dog.

>> Read more trending news 

The number of complaints about air travel to the federal government last year — which included complaints about airlines, tour operators and other travel industry companies — was up 1.3 percent from 2016, according to statistics for the year released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The DOT logged 851 complaints about treatment of disabled passengers in 2017 and 98 complaints about discrimination, according to the department’s air travel consumer report.

>> On AJC.com: PHOTO GALLERY: Air travel complaints by category

Spirit Airlines, an ultra low-cost carrier, had the highest rate of complaints. A total of 11,570 of the complaints were about U.S. airlines, down slightly from 2016, while more than 6,000 complaints in 2017 were about foreign airlines.

Here’s the ranking of U.S. airlines based on the rate of complaints received by the DOT in 2017:

Airline — Complaints per 100,000 passengers boarding planes

  1. Southwest — 0.47
  2. SkyWest — 0.53
  3. Alaska — 0.57
  4. ExpressJet — 0.73
  5. Delta — 0.92
  6. Hawaiian — 0.95
  7. JetBlue — 1.14
  8. United — 1.89
  9. Virgin America — 1.92
  10. American — 1.96
  11. Frontier — 2.78
  12. Spirit — 5.59

Source: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics

School under fire for rule telling students they can't say 'no' when asked to dance

A Utah school is facing backlash after reportedly telling sixth-grade students that they must accept requests to dance at the upcoming Valentine’s Day dance.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KSTU, Natalie Richard was convinced her daughter had misunderstood Kanesville Elementary School’s rule when she came home saying that she could not refuse if a boy asked her to dance. However, after speaking with her daughter’s teacher, Richard realized the sixth-grade girls had in fact been told they couldn’t say “no.”

>> Valentine's Day 2018: 6 ways to eat for free or cheap

“The teacher said she can’t. She has to say yes. She has to accept, and I said, ‘Excuse me?’” Richard recalled of hearing the news, after which she took the issue up with the principal. “He basically just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long time, and they’ve never had any concern before.”

>> On Rare.us: School blocks single mom from attending father-daughter dance

A spokesperson for Weber School District confirmed the rule’s existence but explained that it’s intended to teach the students to be inclusive.

“Please be respectful, be polite. We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance,” Lane Findlay said, adding that the students will fill out cards before the voluntary dance with the names of five people they want to dance with and can speak up if they feel uncomfortable with anyone who has requested to dance with them. “If there is an issue, if there’s students that are uncomfortable or have a problem with another student, I mean, that’s certainly something that can be addressed with that student and parents.”

>> Read more trending news 

Richard, however, believes rejection is a learning experience and a part of life. She said there are other ways to educate the children on being tolerant and accepting that don’t include forcing girls into unwanted dances with boys.

“[The rule] sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say ‘yes’; [it] sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say ‘no,'” she said. “Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying, ‘I can’t say “no” to a boy.’ That’s the message kids are getting.”

Read more here.

Woman has 14 tiny, wriggling worms pulled from her eye

This is definitely not for the squeamish, but a woman in Oregon has become the focus of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report for having 14 tiny, wriggling worms removed from her eye.

Abby Beckley said that she thought her eye was irritated by an eyelash back in 2016, but instead of a piece of hair, she pulled out a small, clear worm that was about a half an inch long and moving, CNN reported.

Despite it being nearly two years later, Beckley’s story is just coming to light after the CDC used her infection as a case study published Monday.

The CDC said that Beckley is only the 11th person documented to get an eye worm infection, and it was a new species of cattle worm that has never been seen to infect a person.

At first she thought it was a salmon worm, since she had been working on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Alaska. The symptoms started a couple of weeks after she started her job. 

>> Read more trending news 

“My left eye just got really irritated and red, and my eyelid was droopy. I was getting migraines too, and I was like, ‘What is going on?’” Beckley told CNN.

Her case was so rare that doctors were not only surprised, but also had to figure out how to remove them. 

“I just kept pulling the worms out of my eye at home, but when I went into the office, they would flush, and nothing would come out,” Beckley told CNN.

She also was wondering what would happen to her health: Could the worms lead to a brain infection, cause paralysis or affect her vision?

But doctors tried to put her at ease, explaining that the worms were only on the surface of her eye.

The worms are introduced to an animal’s eye when an infected fly lands near an eye and transmit larvae which live between the eye and eyelid. As they reproduce, the new larvae leave the host via tears, which the flies ingest, completing the circle and spreading the larvae, CNN reported

Beckley said she doesn’t remember if a fly landed near her eye.

But doctors believe she was infected not in Alaska, but rather she contracted the worms near home, before she traveled north. Doctors also were not able to treat her with anti-parasitic drugs because they were afraid one would die and stay in her eye causing scarring. So for 20 days, she pulled live worms out of her eye. Since the last one was removed, she said she has not had any medical complications from the infection, The Associated Press reported.

Photos: Mardi Gras steps off before the season of Lent

Mardi Gras marks the last blowout before Lent season begins. Take a look at the parades that bring in the fun before the Holy season begins.

Flu kills 15-year-old Georgia high school student

A DeKalb County, Georgia, student died from the flu on Sunday, the second teenager in metro Atlanta killed by the virus.

>> Watch the news report here

School district officials are reminding students and staff to continue taking precautions as flu season may not have reached its peak.

District officials confirmed Monday afternoon that the 15-year-old Cross Keys High School student died Sunday. Principal Jason Heard sent a note Monday morning, shortly after classes started, to inform staff of Miguel Jaimes Martinez’s death.

>> Texas teacher dies from flu after spurning medicine that cost $116

Heard said counselors would be making classroom visits and students who needed immediate attention could receive it at the school’s media center.

“The entire DeKalb County School District is saddened by the news that one of our own has passed away due to illness,” Superintendent Steve Green said Monday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family, loved ones and peers in this unfortunate and trying time.”

>> How does the flu kill healthy people?

The teen, a sophomore, is survived by his mother and three siblings.

His death is one of only a handful of confirmed flu deaths of children in metro Atlanta. Coweta County officials confirmed that 15-year-old Kira Molina died in late January of a flu-related illness. Five-year-old Elijah Snook died in late January after being hospitalized Jan. 13 with flu-like symptoms, WSB-TV reported.

At least 66 Georgians have died during this flu season, and schools have seen absences spike in recent weeks. Some districts have asked teachers to help clean common areas to limit contamination and spreading the virus.

This season’s predominant flu strain is H3N2, which causes the worst outbreaks of the two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses that are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

>> When can you go back to work or school if you have the flu?

“Of the viruses we hate, we hate H3N2 more than the other ones,” said top CDC flu expert Daniel Jernigan. “This strain, which has been around for 50 years, is able to change more quickly to get around the human body’s immune system than the other viruses targeted in this year’s seasonal flu vaccine.”

JoAnn Harris, DeKalb Schools’ lead nurse, said the district is using guidelines from the county’s health department and advising parents to keep children at home as symptoms present themselves. In the case of a fever, officials suggest keeping the student home at least a day after the fever breaks and a day after using fever-reduction medication.

The number of flu hospitalizations in Georgia surpassed 1,000, with 120 of those patients hospitalized last week alone, according to figures released Friday by the state Department of Public Health. In Georgia, flu had killed two people between ages 5 and 17; seven between 18 and 51; eight between ages 51 and 64; and 49 people 65 and older.

>> 5-year-old Georgia boy dies from flu complications

Although this year’s flu vaccine is far from perfect, experts urge people to get it if they haven’t yet. Although it’s believed to be less effective than those from other years, it can lower the severity of the flu if you do get sick.

Hospitals, swamped with flu patients, are asking people to be prudent.

Some people need to be in the emergency room, but some just need a doctor or clinic, and some need home treatment.

A group representing Georgia hospitals on Monday cautioned people to check their symptoms for real emergency signs before they drive off to the emergency room.

“Those who do not have the flu, but go to the ER, risk catching it from those who do,” the Georgia Hospital Association said in a press release Monday. “However, anyone who is concerned about a serious or life-threatening illness should go to the ER.”

>> Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds

The state Department of Public Health has been getting calls from hospitals that they’re inundated, a GHA spokeswoman said. People are crowding hospital ER’s that don’t have the warning signs for ER treatment. The hospitals, in turn, are having to spend money and work staff more to deal with the influx.

Emergency warning signs for people to go to the ER include:

• trouble breathing

• chest pain

• persistent vomiting

• flu-like symptoms that improve, but return with fever and worse cough

There is more information listed on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

>> Read more trending news 

“There is, I don’t want to say panic, but extra concern out there this year,” said the spokeswoman, Erin Stewart. “Of course, always be safe. Go to the CDC website, assess your symptoms.”

If people are unsure whether they need more care, they can contact their doctor or a clinic.

“Hospitals are working diligently to make sure each patient receives timely and efficient care,” said GHA President Earl Rogers.

WATCH: Police officers rescue freezing puppy found under Florida bridge

Police in Daytona Beach, Florida, released video of two animal control officers rescuing a pit bull puppy who was left under a bridge in freezing temperatures.

>> Click here to watch

In the video posted on the Daytona Beach Police Department’s Facebook page, you can see the puppy shaking uncontrollably because she was so cold. The animal control officers did everything they could to warm her up.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

A passer-by called police after seeing the puppy in the cold water.

The animal control officers found her under the Seabreeze Bridge in mid-January when the temperatures had fallen to below freezing.

>> Read more trending news 

One of the Daytona Beach police officers adopted the puppy, now named River, and she is safe and in a loving home.

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