Week In Review: NU grad, soldier survives Afghan insurgent attack | TheUnion.com
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Week In Review: NU grad, soldier survives Afghan insurgent attack

A Nevada Union High School graduate who survived a Taliban attack on a base in Afghanistan is mourning the death of a fellow Army soldier, according to his family.

Patrick "Pat" McTighe was reportedly among a group of U.S. Army forces that the New York Times reported were stationed at an international military base in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

Taliban forces breached the base's outer perimeter after they detonated a truck bomb Aug. 28, according to his mother, Annette McTighe, an administrative assistant at Nevada City School District.

The ensuing battle left four Afghan police officers, two other Afghans and seven insurgents dead, along with injuring dozens, the New York Times reported, as Afghan and Western troops squelched the attack.

"It was a large attack on the base," said Annette McTighe. "I don't know the whole thing and I don't know if I want to."

"That in itself is enough to put you at unease … I don't know the whole thing, and I don't know if I want to."

During the assault, at least three western forces were wounded and one member of the U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, was killed, according to The Express-Times, an Easton, Pa., newspaper.

Ollis was a friend of Pat McTighe's, his mother said.

"I think it's difficult because your mind not only worries about your own son, but also the other family that lost a child," she said.

"That stayed with me for a few days — that it could have been me getting that phone call."

The gift that keeps on giving: more organ donations needed

Four years after Ray and Dorothy Dixon brought Collin Dickey under their roof and cared for him like a son, they lost him on Aug. 18 after he crashed head-on into a truck on his way home from work.

The tragedy of losing the recent Nevada Union High School graduate was somewhat assuaged by his choice to be a donor and the fact that his organs went on to save three people, said Ray Dixon.

"I'd like to impress the importance of organ donoring," Dixon told The Union in the week following Dickey's death. "Signing the donor card was important to him."

Only about 8,000 of the approximately 12,000 medically suitable potential donors nationwide actually donate each year, and only 40 percent of Californians are signed up as donors, reported Sierra Donor Services.

An average of 18 people die every day due to a lack of available organs, coupled with a refusal rate among families of potential donors nationwide of around 50 percent. In 2012, 6,079 Americans died while waiting for a transplant — one person every 90 minutes.

The waiting list for organ transplants grows at the rate of 1,000 per month, with another name added to the list every 13 minutes.

Nevada County debates endangered yellow-legged frog with LaMalfa

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) told approximately 100 of his First Congressional District constituents Wednesday that he plans to impede a federally proposed critical habitat designation for the yellow-legged frog, which he said would impact approximately 20 percent of Nevada County.

"I will be seeking that the critical habitat designation is not needed," LaMalfa said at the end of a two-hour public meeting on the proposed Endangered Species Act protection, hosted at the Nevada County board of supervisors' chambers in Nevada City. The meeting was packed with a mix of diametrically opposed supports and opponents of the frog-saving plan.

After LaMalfa set the stage by voicing concerns regarding private property rights, the meeting started out with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel explaining the proposal and its intended effects on Nevada County land, followed by questions and comments from the public.