A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE: Patient released from hospital, teacher surprises students, MLB to return

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 9:15 AM EDT
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The coronavirus pandemic can feel scary and overwhelming, which is why the WITN News at Sunrise team wants to share some good stories happening in our world every Friday morning.

Liz, Jim and Austin will each pick a story highlighting the helpers, the givers or just anything to simply make you smile during this trying time.

The stories will highlight people in our own community, country or around the world.

Here are the stories highlighted on May 1:

Liz's Choice:

As students are out of the classroom and learning remotely, one Pitt County teacher is finding a creative way to let them know she still cares.

Candace Hines, a fourth grade teacher at Wahl-Coates Elementary School, took the concept of "Flat Stanley" from the children's book and instead made a "Flat Mrs. Hines."

She brought a paper cut-out version of herself to 19 of her students (while social distancing.) She included a letter that said, "I miss you so much. I can't stand it anymore. I shrunk myself so I could visit you. You are going on an adventure and I want you to take me with you."

Mrs. Hines then gave her students some ideas for an adventure, like taking a picture of her cut out with their favorite thing, putting her in a silly situation (except dog bowls), going on a nature walk or drawing a picture of their favorite setting and putting her in it.

She says this is a fun way to remind them that she is thinking of them and still cares about them.

Jim's Choice:

As an avid baseball fan, Jim is very excited for the possibility of the season returning.

MLB officials are hoping for a start in late June or early July with at least 100 regular-season games. They are also looking at a plan to split the league into three total divisions for the 2020 season. It's a 10-team plan and teams would only play within their division.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has remained confident there will be a season this year, and sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN that the league views the end of May as a logical soft deadline to have a plan in place to make it happen. This timeline would see MLB b players report for three weeks of preparation before the campaign starts in July.

None of the proposed plans are concrete as the league and the MLB Players Association continue to discuss the logistics of a return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin's Choice:

UNC Lenoir posted a video on social media of a COVID-19 patient being discharged from the hospital after overcoming the virus.

Healthcare workers crowded around the entry way to cheer the patient on.

Austin said, "We've seen videos like this maybe overseas or in other parts of the country. It's so incredible just to see the generosity and love and support."

To that patient, we're glad you're feeling better!

The “A Little Bit of Sunshine” segment will air at 6:45 am on Friday mornings.

If you have an idea you want to be featured, e-mail Liz at or Austin at

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