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Chihuahua, postal carrier’s friendship is a social media sensation

Lisa Laskey takes a video of her Chihuahua, Frannie, with mail carrier Dan Larsen on Feb. 9 in Hoffman Estates. Laskey has many social media followers on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube that follow the escapades of Frannie and Larsen.
Brian Hill/

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published by the Daily Herald during the previous week:

About 10:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday, a charmer named Frannie — dressed to the nines in outfits supplied by her 730,000 social media followers — waits impatiently by the door of the Hoffman Estates home she shares with Lisa and Dwayne Laskey for postal carrier Dan Larsen to pull up in his mail truck.

When he arrives, Lisa Laskey cracks open the door and Frannie sprints toward Larsen. He scoops up the long-haired Chihuahua, who proceeds to shower the 40-year U.S. Postal Service veteran with kisses, as she has done since Laskey introduced them about 2½ years ago.

The pooch and the postal carrier met shortly after Laskey and her husband adopted the purebred.

“I handed him Frannie and she went nuts,” Laskey recalls. “She kissed him and he laughed.”

After capturing their interactions on video, Laskey asked Larsen if she could share them online as a way of lifting the spirits of people struggling during the pandemic.

Larsen agreed, and Laskey posted their first video on TikTok on Oct. 8, 2021. A few days later, it hit 1 million views, said Laskey. Today, the relationship between pup and postal worker is a social media phenomenon. Their videos have received hundreds of millions of views.

“People like seeing a dog with a mail carrier,” she said of the self-described Frannie Nation members who tell her “they can feel the love coming right through the camera.”

For the full story, click here.

Blind travel adviser brings unique perspective to planning your vacation

Travel advisor Brandon Yaniz is the fifth generation in his family to own a business on the 100 block of East Chicago Street in Elgin. Legally blind, he opened The Adept Traveler in 2021. While he has unique insight for accessible travel, he says most of his clients aren’t in need of that expertise.
Rick West/

When Brandon Yaniz, who is legally blind, opened The Adept Traveler, a travel agency in downtown Elgin, he considered specializing in accessible travel ― for those who have disabilities ― but decided it would limit his market.

“I believe that anything meant to help somebody should be applicable to everybody,” Yaniz said. “My disability helps me help all people travel better, not just people with disabilities.”

A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Yaniz started his own technology company when he was 19. He later worked as a business consultant for many years before his vision got so bad that it was affecting his ability to attract quality clients.

“My disability gives me a different outlook, because a minor inconvenience to you when traveling could be a major disaster for me,” he said. “So when I plan trips, I plan as if I’m planning for myself and I try to identify as many potential problems along the way and either mitigate them in the planning phase, or have plans to deal with them if they come up. It takes the stress out of travel for able-bodied people and people with disabilities.”

As part of his business approach, Yaniz does a video series that he posts on his website and social media about travel news and education, traveling with disabilities and discussions with travelers on places they’ve enjoyed, among other topics.

The videos have earned Yaniz the international Magellan Award in 2022 and 2023 from Travel Weekly for marketing client education.

For the full story, click here.

Lego exhibition at DuPage Children’s Museum celebrates ‘Awesome Black Creativity’

“Awesome Black Creativity,” a celebration of Black figures in Lego bricks, is on display through March in the Good Show! Gallery at DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville.
Courtesy of DuPage Children’s Museum

“Awesome Black Creativity,” a celebration of Black figures in Lego bricks, is on display through March in the Good Show! Gallery at DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St. in Naperville.

This interactive exhibition of 26 Lego brick-built figures, an A—Z series, will inspire museum guests to think about building in new, innovative ways while providing the opportunity to make and display their own creations alongside Lego Masters.

“Using a classic childhood medium such as Lego bricks provides an easy entry point for families to engage,” said Dustin Thacker, DCM’s Arts & Maker Specialist. “The ‘Awesome Black Creativity’ exhibition is innovative and informative. Guests will find themselves using Legos to express their own creativity in clever styles.”

“Awesome Black Creativity” celebrates contemporary and historical Black creatives across disciplines such as contemporary dance, photography, music, film, culinary arts, activism, and more.

On Saturday, March 2, the creators of “Awesome Black Creativity” will be at the museum hosting open workshops from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to work alongside these Lego Masters and create their very own self-portraits from Lego bricks.

For the full story, click here.

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