Day: November 30, 2015

Keizer climber dies on Mt. Jefferson

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A climber who died on a hike on Mt. Jefferson over the weekend was a man with Keizer connections. Tommy Fountain, 32, and wife Alison, 29, were climbing Mt. Jefferson on Sunday when authorities say Tommy fell into a crevasse. Sgt. Chris Baldridge with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said the couple’s vehicle was found at a Marion County trailhead on Sunday. An initial message around 7:30 p.m. Sunday stated deputies in Linn and Marion Counties were organizing a search, with preliminary information indicating one had become injured. Updated information from about 3 a.m. Monday stated Tommy had fallen into a crevasse and was injured. Alison was able to communicate with rescuers searched via text messages. Assisting with the rescue efforts were personnel from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Eugene Mountain Rescue, Marion County Jeep Patrol, Marion County SAR COM team and the Oregon Coast National Guard. Authorities knew where the Fountains were Sunday night, but the difficult terrain slowed rescue efforts. Five rescue climbers from the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Team were delivered about 2,000 feet below the couple by 3 a.m., but estimated it would take several hours to reach them. Around 7:30 a.m. 10 more mountain rescue climbers were flown into the area. Shortly after 9 a.m. rescuers reached the Fountains, but found Tommy deceased as a result...

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Drug use, deaths on rise

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Drug overdoses cause more deaths each year than car crashes and guns. That was one of several sobering details in the recently released 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary. The summary was produced by the Drug Enforcement Administration and written by acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “The trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs pose a monumental danger to our citizens and a significant challenge for our law enforcement agencies and health care systems,” Rosenberg wrote in part. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 46,471 of our citizens died of a drug overdose in 2013, the most recent year for which this information is available. Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States, surpassing the number of deaths by motor vehicles and by firearms every year since 2008. Overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels.” Rosenberg added that the most significant drug trafficking organizations in this country are the “dangerous and highly sophisticated Mexican transnational criminal organizations” that continue to be the principal suppliers of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. “Domestically, affiliated and violent gangs are increasingly a threat to the safety and security of our communities,” Rosenberg wrote. “They profit primarily by putting drugs on the street and have become crucial to the Mexican cartels.” Those conclusions match what...

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