The Western Journal

Equipping Readers with The Truth

'One Miracle After Another': Teen Set to Graduate After Life-Threatening Car Accident and Brain Injury

On Sept. 17, 2021, 17-year-old Stephen Yago from Richmond, Virginia, was driving along a country road when his truck suddenly malfunctioned, flipped, rolled and threw the teen from its twisted remains.

“Eventually, the truck flipped over several times, and in that process, Stephen was thrown out of the vehicle,” Stephen’s father, Chris Yago, told WWBT-TV.

“Really a blessing that he was ejected because the driver’s seat, the cab of the truck was completely crushed on the driver’s side.”

The teen was in such rough shape that a hospice nurse, who happened to spot the accident and stop to help, didn’t think he had much time left.

Her one goal was to keep the boy alive long enough for him to say goodbye to his parents.

Stephen was taken to Chippenham Hospital, but his prognosis was not good. He was unconscious, in critical condition with multiple fractures and bleeding, as well as bruising on his brain.

All in all, it looked like a death sentence or at best a very different future life for the teen, and there was no way of knowing if or how much he would recover.

“When he came in, he was pretty much in a comatose state,” Chippenham Hospital Trauma Medical Director Dr. Stan Kurek said. “The thing with brain injury, you can’t really predict it.”

But Stephen made it clear he wasn’t done fighting. A week after being hospitalized, he tried to take out his breathing tube. It was then removed, and he began to breathe on his own.

“Then he was getting up, and he was standing up, and he was walking around the room,” mom Cathy Yago said. “He’s been one miracle after another.”

It took months of rehabilitation for Stephen to regain many of the functions he’d taken for granted before, but he made a stunning recovery.

On May 18, National Trauma Survivor’s Day, Yago made the trip back to the Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospital to thank the dedicated team for their work and celebrate his progress.

“It’s #NationalTraumaSurvivorsDay 2022,” the hospital posted on Facebook. “In honor of the day we are sharing the story of traumatic brain injury survivor, 17yo Stephen Yago.

“Seven months ago, Stephen Yago’s parents were faced with the possibility that their teenage son would live indefinitely in an assisted living facility after a near fatal wreck.

“On June 3, he’ll be walking at graduation.”

Dr. Kurek said that seeing the teen and how well he’s doing “makes it all worthwhile.”

The fact that Stephen is alive — let alone that he’ll be able to walk unassisted and receive his diploma from Benedictine College Preparatory — is a blessing the family doesn’t take for granted.

As for Stephen, the sobering incident has left him intimately acquainted with the fragility of life.

“You never know when it’s going to be your last breath,” he said.

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Firefighters Find Newborn Elk While Battling Massive Wildfire: 'Didn't Think It Was Alive'

New Mexico has been stricken with a series of massive wildfires that have proven difficult to control. Firefighters from states away have come to New Mexico’s aid, battling multiple blazes over the past few weeks.

One fire that’s still raging is the Hermits Peak and Calf Creek Fire. It has burned over 300,000 acres and was only 42 percent contained as of Tuesday, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Authorities hope that a change in weather — cooler temperatures and less wind — will help them finally stamp out the fire, but there’s no guarantee as they continue their fight.

On May 21, though, a visiting fire crew from the Missoula Fire Department experienced a small reprieve in the form of a heartwarming find.

As they canvassed the Gascon area, looking for any remaining hotspots, they came across a newborn elk nestled in a bed of ashes.

“She was lying quietly in a six-inch deep layer of white ash, surrounded by the blackened remains of fir trees,” firefighter Nate Sink said, according to the Facebook page for the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fire.

“The whole area is just surrounded in a thick layer of ash and burned trees,” Sink elaborated, according to ABC News. “I didn’t think it was alive.”

Hoping the mother would come back for her calf, the crew left the baby alone and watched from a distance for over an hour, but there was no sign of mom or any tracks in the area.

Locals Lisa and Carl Bartley, who run a ranch in Upper Rociada, took in the newborn and contacted their veterinarian for help. The vet advised they feed the baby a mixture of condensed milk and water, and their dog helped, too.

“Our dog, Brylee, was intent on doing his best to mother little Cinder,” Lisa Bartley said.

The calf, named “Cinder,” was eventually transported to Cottonwood Veterinary clinic and has been paired with a surrogate elk at a wildlife refuge near Las Vegas, New Mexico.

If all goes well, in four months the little calf will be big enough to release back into the wild, though veterinarian Kathleen Ramsey said they’ll probably wait until December to avoid elk-hunting season.

The Bartleys have let rehabbers know that they would be delighted to have Cinder released in Upper Rociada once she’s independent enough to fend for herself.

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Twitter Investors Sue Elon Musk, Claim He Unlawfully Drove Down Company's Price

As the drama around Twitter and Elon Musk continues, investors in the social media platform have decided to sue Musk.

Blaming him for stock “manipulation” during the acquisition bid, investors have been unhappy with how Twitter’s stock has taken a downward plunge, Reuters reported.

Filed as a class action suit, investors have claimed that Musk has illegally driven down the stock price and also saved himself $156 million by failing to disclose that he had already purchased more than 5 percent of Twitter by March 14.

The amount of punitive and compensatory damages asked for in this class action suit has not been specified.

Overall, investors are very unhappy with how quickly things moved and how Musk did not disclose all of his moves. Now they are arguing that his process drove down the overall value of Twitter.

“The fair market value of Twitter securities has been adversely affected by Musk’s false statements and wrongful conduct,” the complaint reads,

Some of the allegations in the suit include that Musk worked out the buyout deal “without carrying out any due diligence” and that he then acted unlawfully to drive down the price of Twitter’s stock after Tesla’s stock (which is tied up in the financing for the deal) fell.

“Because Tesla’s stock is worth much less now than when Musk agreed to buy Twitter, Musk is at risk of a margin call or a requirement to put up more cash. Musk quickly acted to attempt to mitigate these personal risks to himself by engaging in unlawful conduct that moved the price of Twitter’s stock down,” the lawsuit reads.

On top of that, the suit also claims that Musk did not file his purchase of his original stake in the company, which tampered with the whole price of the deal.

“By delaying his disclosure of his stake in Twitter, Musk engaged in market manipulation and bought Twitter stock at an artificially low price, in violation of the California Corporations Code,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit sums up that in general, Musk and the actions he took regarding Twitter did not take into account the law or the Americans invested with Twitter.

“Musk’s disregard for securities laws demonstrates how one can flaunt the law and the tax code to build their wealth at the expense of the other Americans,” the complaint reads.

There was already trouble brewing for the deal when reports about the number of bots on the platform came out and Musk announced that the deal was temporarily on hold.

On top of that, the share hold value of Twitter has fluctuated and fallen drastically in the midst of the drama.

Twitter’s stock is now trading at $39.52, CNBC News reported. This is a nearly 23 percent decrease from what it was trading at in April, prior to Musk’s announcement that he would be buying the platform.

Musk and his lawyers have not yet made any comment on the lawsuit filed by investors.

But he has previously stated that he is committed to going through with the deal for Twitter, CNBC News reported.

On Wednesday, a new filing announced that he was fronting another $33.5 billion in his bid, as financing for the deal is still being sorted.

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Texas DPS Confirms Gunman Entered School Through Apparently Unlocked Door, No Police Officer Present

An official with the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Thursday that there was no school police officer present when a gunman arrived at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

A shooter killed 19 young children and two teachers on Tuesday in the horrific incident in the small Texas city.

DPS South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon told reporters that the 18-year-old, now-deceased, shooter gained access into the school through an apparently unlocked door on the west side of the building at 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

“It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect that was making entry. Not accurate. He walked in unobstructed initially,” Escalon said.

There was no school police officer in the area.

Escalon recounted, based on surveillance video footage, that the gunman discharged multiple rounds soon after entering the school.

Do you think this shooting could have been prevented?

At 11:44 a.m. local and school police made entry, Escalon said, and they took fire from the shooter, who had gone into one of the classrooms.

The officers moved back and took cover and called for backup and additional resources.

Law enforcement began evacuating students and teachers from the building.


Approximately an hour after the shooter came into the school, a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene and forced entry into the classroom where the suspect was holed up and shot and killed him.

A Zavala County deputy and a Uvalde police officer participated in the breach of the classroom, Escalon said.

Andrew Pollack — the father of Meadow Pollack, who was murdered in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, high school shooting — said he was “so angry” after learning of Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, because it could have been prevented.

The Floridian offered a three-point plan to make schools safer: have an armed guard, a single point of entry and teacher training.

At least two of his three recommendations were not followed. There was not a single, controlled point of entry, and no armed guard nor police officer was present.

“Even a single point of entry would have prevented it. … This didn’t have to happen today,” Pollack told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Tuesday night.

“It’s the parents. It’s your responsibility where you send your children to school,” Pollack said.

He exhorted parents to go to their kids’ schools and make sure the proper safety measures are in place.

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TX School Shooter Lingered Outside School for 12 Minutes Shooting, Then Walked in Unobstructed

In a dramatic reversal of the narrative of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, a Texas Department of Public Safety official said gunman Salvador Ramos was outside the school firing his rifle for about 12 minutes.

Previous official versions of events had said Ramos was confronted in some manner upon entering the school by a school-based officer. But Victor Escalon Jr., a regional director for the DPS, said at a news conference Thursday that Ramos entered the building without opposition, according to The Washington Post.

Escalon said that during the 12 minutes between when Ramos crashed a pickup truck near the school and he entered, Ramos opened fire on witnesses. During that time, a 911 call reported a man with a gun.

Escalon said witnesses told police the gunman left the truck toting one rifle and a bag. Two people exiting a funeral home across the street were fired upon, Escalon said.

After that, Ramos climbed a fence, shot at the school from a parking lot, and eventually entered the school through an unlocked door, he said.

Escalon said Thursday that officers were “inside making entry” and took cover, but also said, “They don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire.”

“They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover,” Escalon said.

On Wednesday, Texas DPS chief Steven C. McCraw said responding officers “engage[d] the active shooter and continue[d] to keep him pinned down in that location.”

Escalon’s version was different.

“The majority of the gunfire was in the beginning” of the incident, he said.

Escalon said “during the negotiation there wasn’t much gunfire, other than trying to keep the officers at bay.”

This was the first mention of any negotiations with Ramos.

Previously, police spokesmen said Ramos barricaded himself inside a classroom.

ABC reported that a law enforcement official said the police response team that entered had difficulty breaching the classroom door and needed someone to use a key to open the door.

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Child Witness Says Cop Told TX Students to 'Yell for Help'; One Did, and Then the Gunman Shot Her

Community members are questioning the police response to the Uvalde school shooting, with some accounts suggesting that law enforcement was slow to confront and neutralize the shooter.

A fourth-grade student who survived the massacre revealed horrifying new details of the final moments of the shooting, speaking to San Antonio KENS.

“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” said the anonymous student.

“The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”

The same youth recounted the shooter entering his classroom and telling the elementary schoolers, “it’s time to die.”

“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” said the student.

“I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”

A Texas Department of Public Safety official broke down the timeline of the shooting and the police response in a Thursday press conference.

Victor Escalon indicated that police personnel were shot in an initial attempt to neutralize the shooter, and set up a perimeter outside the school to call for additional backup and support.

A group of parents who arrived at the scene had prepared to rush the school themselves.

“There were five or six of [us] fathers, hearing the gunshots, and [police officers] were telling us to move back,” Javier Cazares told The Washington Post.

“We didn’t care about us. We wanted to storm the building. We were saying, ‘Let’s go’ because that is how worried we were, and we wanted to get our babies out.”

Cazares’ daughter Jacklyn was killed in the shooting.

A video of the nightmarish scene outside Robb Elementary School shows police detaining at least one distressed parent.

Ultimately, an off-duty Border Patrol agent breached the school and fatally shot the gunman.

Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez revealed that the Texas Rangers are leading an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting in a Thursday press release.

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