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Age 7 Girl Battling Deadly, Incurable Condition Made Honorary Firefighter: 'This Was My Dream All Along'

Western Journal

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Plenty of children are in awe of firetrucks and firemen. The lights, the sounds, the excitement, the heroism — all of it dazzles young hopefuls.

Hanford Fire Department Chief Steve Pendergrass has no doubt met many of these young men and women who are eager to join the cause and has given them words of encouragement.

When he met the daughter of Councilwoman Amanda Saltray, 7-year-old Penny Saltray, who expressed her eagerness to become a firefighter, he told her that if she worked hard then one day she could become one.

What Pendergrass didn’t know was that Penny has been fighting for her life, suffering from an incurable condition, and in reality — no matter how hard she works — becoming a firefighter simply isn’t in the cards for her.

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After learning this sad truth, Pendergrass decided to do something for Penny to help her achieve her goals. On Tuesday, at a well-attended ceremony, Penny was sworn in as an honorary firefighter.



“She doesn’t deserve the life she’s been dealt, and for one moment on one day she got to experience something so good,” Amanda Saltray told The Hanford Sentinel. “It’s so amazing because she’s such a beautiful little girl, with such a beautiful, bright spirit, no matter what happens.

“It’s not possible for Penny to be a firefighter, but this is our way around. We got to see people come together, who don’t always get along, and smile. She brought everyone together and brought peace. It’s amazing. We’re very thankful.”



Penny was understandably excited to be made a firefighter. She also was given gear and badges to complete the look.

“This was my dream all along and my dream has come true by the firefighters,” the 7-year-old said.

Penny’s ceremony begins at the five-minute mark in the video below. Her swearing-in begins at the nine-minute mark.



On Friday morning, the California-based fire department had another treat in store: At 11:00 a.m., they had a line-up and inspection that Penny was part of, and everyone was invited to celebrate the newest honorary firefighter.



Amanda Saltray shared the story on her personal Facebook page, again thanking those involved in making a very special memory for her daughter.

“Yesterday, was a blessing beyond measure!” she wrote. “As most of you know Penny has had a hard life and the restrictions that her health condition poses on her, prevent her from enjoying the everyday things that most people take for granted. More times than we can count Penny’s life has been in jeopardy but she is a survivor and our reliance and our trust in the Lord has seen us through the toughest of times.

“Thank you to all who have been lifting her up in prayer. God is good! I am so grateful to live in this awesome community that came together as a joint effort to recognize the struggles and challenges that my Penny has had to endure and will continue to endure.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Surgeon Fired After Speaking Against School Mask Mandate: ‘Professionals Such as Myself Are Being Silenced’

Western Journal

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A Minnesota doctor is paying the price for standing up to authority.

On Oct. 11, Dr. Jeffrey Horak told the Fergus Falls school board that parents, not school officials, should be in charge of deciding whether their children wear masks to school, according to Fox News.

Nine days later the surgeon was informed by Lake Region Healthcare, a hospital in Fergus Falls, that he could either resign or be fired.

At the meeting, the school board decided to put in place a mask mandate for elementary school students as a two-week experiment, according to KFGO-FM.

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Horak spoke out against the mandate.

“I’m used to wearing masks. I’m not trying to do it while I’m running or playing in the gym or all that other stuff. These masks, you want to stop the virus. The example of it is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence, good luck,” he said, according to KFGO-FM.

Horak said parents are the ones who should be making decisions about masks.

“Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids … to their parents, and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence,” he said.

Horak said he was then told his “views were no longer congruent with that of Lake Region Healthcare” and he had to choice to quit or be fired, Fox reported.

“We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that,” Horak said in a post-dismissal statement published by KVRR-TV.

In his statement, Horak said there were many possible reasons for his termination, adding “perhaps my termination is because I was empowering the parents.”

Dr. Greg Smith, the president of the Medical Group Board for the Lake Region Medical Group, said the board made the “decision to discontinue Dr. Jeff Horak’s employment contract after a thorough review process,” according to a statement given to Fox.

“The reasons for Dr. Horak’s separation are a confidential matter,” Smith said. “To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak’s peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery.”

Local residents rallied on behalf of Horak.

“This isn’t a conservative vs. liberal, or vaxed vs. unvaxed, or mask vs. no mask issue,” rally organizer Angie Brown said, according to Fox.

“This is an issue of right vs. wrong, and I am so happy that so many in our community recognized this wrong and were willing to show up, both to support Dr. Horak, but to also, in a peaceful way, voice their disagreement with Lake Region Medical Group,” she continued.

Horak spoke at the rally, noting that in the current climate, freedom is in danger.

“One, you’re becoming aware that your freedoms are being taken away. Two, professionals such as myself are being silenced, and then so are you. If it happens to me, it can happen to all of us,” Horak said. “And third, you’re afraid. We’re all afraid. Today I want to empower you to say, ‘I stand up with Dr. Horak. Truly, I stand with you.'”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A Minnesota doctor is paying the price for standing up to authority. On Oct. 11, Dr. Jeffrey Horak told the Fergus Falls school board that parents, not school officials, should be in charge of deciding whether their children wear masks to school, according to Fox News. Nine days later the surgeon was informed by Lake Region Healthcare, a hospital in Fergus Falls, that he could either resign or be fired. At the meeting, the school board decided to put in place a mask mandate for elementary school students as a two-week experiment, according to KFGO-FM. Horak spoke out against the mandate. “I’m used to wearing masks. I’m not trying to do it while I’m running or playing in the gym or all that other stuff. These masks, you want to stop the virus. The example of it is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence, good luck,” he said, according to KFGO-FM. Dr. Jeffrey Horak, a surgeon in Minnesota, told the Fergus Falls school board on Oct. 11 that parents should make the decision about whether or not their children wear masks. He says he was dismissed from his job nine days later. (Video credit: Calvary Chapel Fergus Falls) pic.twitter.com/MUEh3OSdiZ — Paul Best (@KincaidBest) October 27, 2021 Horak said parents are the ones who should be making decisions about masks. “Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids … to their parents, and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence,” he said. Horak said he was then told his “views were no longer congruent…

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Massive Caravan Doubles to 4,000 Migrants, Including 500 Children, as Group Nears US Border

Western Journal

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A massive migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the southern border of the U.S. has now grown to 4,000, including 500 infants and children.

Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins posted updates to Twitter on Wednesday as the migrant caravan continues to grow in size on its way to the border.

“Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants,” Jenkins tweeted.

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An earlier post showed the size of the traveling group of migrants in a video from Wednesday morning. The group is ignoring warnings from Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard that they won’t be allowed to cross the border, as the Mexico Daily News reported.

The caravan has doubled in size since Monday, when it included 2,000 migrants pushing north, with one migrant warning, “Tell Biden we are coming.”

“The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying ‘Tell Biden we are coming…'” Jenkins tweeted.

The crowd impeded much of the vehicle traffic that was passing through the area. Jenkins noted this was the third day since the group had departed from Huehuetán.

Jenkins posted a video update on Sunday after the group had walked approximately 15 miles on its second day to rest by a river.

Jenkins also shared a video of the migrants from above on Sunday that shared the visual impact of the massive group.

The migrant caravan departed on Saturday from Tapachula, Mexico. Some migrants carried signs with President Joe Biden’s name.

Tapachula is located in the southern part of Mexico near the border with Guatemala.

The caravan’s progress comes as Customs and Border Protection recently announced 192,001 encounters at the southern border in September. The number was a 9 percent decrease compared to August, but marked the third consecutive month of at least 170,000 encounters.

The number of unaccompanied children reported in September was 14,358. The number was a 24 percent decrease from August but remains high, with an average of 772 unaccompanied children taken into CBP custody per day.

The September numbers were also affected by more than 15,000 migrants who crossed at Del Rio, Texas.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A massive migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the southern border of the U.S. has now grown to 4,000, including 500 infants and children. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins posted updates to Twitter on Wednesday as the migrant caravan continues to grow in size on its way to the border. “Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants,” Jenkins tweeted. CARAVAN SIZE: Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants @FoxNews #BorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/6Z0hc1Hfaf — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 27, 2021 An earlier post showed the size of the traveling group of migrants in a video from Wednesday morning. The group is ignoring warnings from Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard that they won’t be allowed to cross the border, as the Mexico Daily News reported. DAY 5: As dawn breaks the Migrant Caravan marches again towards the US undeterred by Mexico’s FM Marcelo Ebrard @m_ebrard telling them they will not succeed @FoxNews #bordercrisis pic.twitter.com/Su8to02WIL — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 27, 2021 The caravan has doubled in size since Monday, when it included 2,000 migrants pushing north, with one migrant warning, “Tell Biden we are coming.” “The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying ‘Tell Biden we are coming…'” Jenkins tweeted. DAY 3 The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying “Tell Biden we are coming…” @FoxNews #BorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/Oqv1aLJ3I5 — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 25, 2021…

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