Former longtime Nebraska Sen. Dwite Pedersen dies at 79

LINCOLN, Neb. | A former longtime Nebraska state lawmaker died Tuesday at the age of 79.

Dwite Pedersen of Omaha served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1993 to 2009. Pedersen was a leading advocate for alcohol and drug rehabilitation and worked with troubled youth and prison inmates.

Pedersen represented the Elkhorn area of Omaha and ran unsuccessfully for Omaha City Council in 2017. He worked as a counselor focused on youth and was a recovered alcoholic who had been sober for 40 years. He also was known to help prison inmates, including those who rarely got visits from others.

Pedersen died in his sleep. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, of Omaha, recognized his work and legacy Wednesday on the floor of the Legislature.

Famed Tiffany jewelry designer Elsa Peretti

dead at age 80

NEW YORK | Elsa Peretti, who went from Halston model and Studio 54 regular in the 1960s and ‘70s to one of the world’s most famous jewelry designers with timeless, fluid Tiffany & Co. collections often inspired by nature, has died. She was 80.

She died Thursday night in her sleep at home in a small village outside Barcelona, Spain, according to a statement from her family office in Zurich and the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation.

Peretti’s sculptural cuff bracelets, bean designs and open-heart pendants are among her most recognizable work. She lent her classical aesthetic to functional goods, too, including bowls, magnifying glasses, razors and even a pizza cutter done in sterling silver, a metal she favored and helped popularize as a luxury choice.

Leeds record goalscorer Peter Lorimer dead at age 74

LEEDS, England | Peter Lorimer, the record goalscorer and youngest-ever player for English soccer club Leeds, has died. He was 74.

Leeds announced Lorimer’s death on Saturday, saying the former Scotland international had been suffering with a long-term illness.

Nicknamed “Hot Shot” and “Lasher” because of his powerful strike of the ball, Lorimer scored 238 goals in 705 games in all competitions across two spells at Leeds after joining in 1962.

When he made his debut, he was 15 years and 289 days — still the club’s record for youngest player.

Al Smith, longtime journalist and KET host, dies at 94

LEXINGTON, Ky. | Longtime Kentucky journalist and political TV host Al Smith has died. He was 94.

Smith was the host of KET’s “Comment on Kentucky” when the show began in 1974 and remained host until 2007. Smith died at his Florida home on Friday after declining health in recent weeks, The Courier Journal reported.

Smith served as co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from 1979 to 1982.

Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor dies amid COVID struggle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. | Kent Taylor, founder and CEO of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, has died. He was 65. His family and the company say he took his own life after suffering from symptoms related to COVID-19, including severe tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a common condition involving ringing or other noises in one or both ears. Experts say the coronavirus can exacerbate tinnitus problems.

Taylor opened the first Texas Roadhouse restaurant in 1993 in Clarksville, Indiana, coming up with the idea on a cocktail napkin. It currently operates 610 restaurants in 49 states and 10 other countries. Texas Roadhouse is based in Taylor’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

Charles Lewis, former DC chief at AP and Hearst, has died

WASHINGTON | Charles Lewis, a former Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press and The Hearst Newspapers who tirelessly advocated for the release of AP journalist Terry Anderson from kidnappers in Lebanon, died Saturday. He was 80.

Lewis, of Arlington, Virginia, died at a hospital from complications from cancer. He had been fighting a series of illnesses the last several years, according to his wife, Vivian Chen.

Open and friendly as a newsman, but tough and by the book in his personnel duties, Lewis was a journalist for four decades. He became known for his dedication to Anderson’s release even when it meant walking a fine line at times.

Acclaimed Polish poet Zagajewski dies at age 75

WARSAW, Poland | Adam Zagajewski, the celebrated Polish poet whose melancholy reflections on the erosion of the world came to express an unfathomable moment of shock and loss after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., has died in Krakow. He was 75.

Zagajewski’s death on Sunday, which was UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, was confirmed by publisher Krystyna Krynicka of the a5 publishing house. No cause of death was given.

Zagajewski’s “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” was written well before the attacks, but took on new and historic meaning because of them. Translated into English by Clare Cavanaugh and published in The New Yorker just days after the 2001 tragedy, the poem was a tender look back at happier moments and an acknowledgement of the world’s ongoing cruelties.

You watched the stylish yachts and ships;

one of them had a long trip ahead of it,

while salty oblivion awaited others.

You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,

you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.

You should praise the mutilated world.

Zagajewski used to say that what interested him the most was the intertwining of the “historic world with the cosmic world that is static, or rather moves in a totally different rhythm.”

Media in Sweden said he was repeatedly mentioned among candidates for the Nobel Prize in literature.

Writers worldwide praised Zagajewski.

He was awarded a number of Polish state distinctions and France’s Legion of Honor in 2016.

Elgin Baylor, Lakers great and aerialist pioneer, dies at 86

LOS ANGELES | Elgin Baylor changed the very direction of basketball when he joined the NBA and brought his vertical feats of athletic brilliance to a largely horizontal game.

He filled scoresheets and sparked young imaginations with his trailblazing aerial style, and every high-flying player of the past 60 years has followed his path.

Although the Lakers’ first superstar in Los Angeles never won a championship ring, Baylor still looms high above the franchise and the game he loved.

The Hall of Fame forward died Monday of natural causes in Los Angeles with wife Elaine and daughter Krystal by his side, the team said. He was 86.

Former federal circuit court judge Kermit Bye dies at 84

FARGO, N.D. | Former federal circuit court judge and North Dakota native Kermit Bye has died.

Bye, 84, died Saturday at Sanford Health in Fargo, following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to family members.

President Bill Clinton nominated Bye in April 1999 to fill the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seat left vacant by the death of Judge John Kelly, Bye’s former law partner and close friend. Kelly died in October 1998 just three days before his official swearing-in ceremony.

Bye served as an active judge on the 8th Circuit for 15 years before taking senior status on the court in 2015. He retired a year later.

‘Virginia Woolf,’ ‘Goldbergs’ star George Segal

dies at 87

LOS ANGELES | George Segal, the banjo player turned actor who was nominated for an Oscar for 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and worked into his late 80s on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs,” died Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California, his wife said.

“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” Sonia Segal said in a statement. He was 87.

George Segal was always best known as a comic actor, becoming one of the screen’s biggest stars in the 1970s when lighthearted adult comedies thrived.

Dubai deputy ruler, famed horseman Sheikh Hamdan dies at 75

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates | Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai and an internationally renowned horseman, has died, his brother said Wednesday. He was 75.

Sheikh Hamdan served as the finance minister of the United Arab Emirates and deputy ruler of Dubai under his brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the hereditary ruler of the city-state who also serves as prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.

Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski dies in avalanche at 40

PARIS | Julie Pomagalski, a former Olympic snowboarder from France, has died in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. She was 40.

Pomagalski competed in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2006 Turin Games. She won gold in the snowboard cross at the world championships in 1999.

The French ski federation said Wednesday that Pomagalski died Tuesday but did not specify the location. French and Swiss media widely reported that the avalanche took place on Gemsstock mountain in the Swiss canton of Uri.

The federation said a guide, Bruno Cutelli, also died in the avalanche.

Uri police said that four people from France were free-riding on the descent from Gemsstock. Police did not identify the victims. The rescue team included two avalanche search dogs.

Blues hockey great Bob Plager killed in car accident

ST. LOUIS | Former St. Louis Blues defenseman Bob Plager was killed Wednesday in a car crash in St. Louis. He was 78.

Police said Plager was alone in his vehicle when it collided with a vehicle carrying two women on Interstate 64 in St. Louis about 1:30 p.m. One of the women sustained minor injuries. No other details were released.

Plager was an original Blue, moving over from the New York Rangers when the NHL expanded in 1967-68. He played 11 seasons for St. Louis — teaming for a stretch with brothers Barclay and Bill — and later worked for the organization in a variety of roles. He coached the team for 11 games in 1992.

Morris Dickstein, influential critic-historian, dead at 81

NEW YORK | Morris Dickstein, an influential educator, critic and cultural historian who wrote often about the intersection between art and society, has died at age 81.

Dickstein, a professor emeritus at the CUNY Graduate Center, died Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. His daughter, Rachel Dickstein, told The Associated Press that he died of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Brock was an official with his family’s Brock Candy Co. when he turned to politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962.

He then gained wider prominence on the national stage in 1970 when he defeated veteran Democratic Sen. Albert Gore Sr., the father of the future vice president. Later, in the 1980s, Brock served under President Ronald Reagan as U.S. trade representative and then U.S. labor secretary.

Dickstein was a longtime New Yorker whose essays appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications.

Acclaimed French director Bertrand Tavernier dies at age 79

PARIS | French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, who directed acclaimed movies such “A Sunday in the Country,” “Captain Conan” and “The Judge and the Assassin,” has died, according to his family. He was 79.

Tavernier’s wife and children said he Thursday that he died in Sainte-Maxime, located in France’s southerly Var region. Along with his family, the Lyon-born director left behind a legacy of 30 films that included performances by stars of French cinema such as Romy Schneider, Isabelle Huppert and Dirk Bogarde.

Born April 25, 1941, Tavernier wore various caps during his career in cinema. He worked as an assistant director, press officer and critic before he began his turn at directing. It proved to be the decision of his life.

Brock was an official with his family’s Brock Candy Co. when he turned to politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962.

He then gained wider prominence on the national stage in 1970 when he defeated veteran Democratic Sen. Albert Gore Sr., the father of the future vice president. Later, in the 1980s, Brock served under President Ronald Reagan as U.S. trade representative and then U.S. labor secretary.

Former GOP Chairman, Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock dies at 90

NASHVILLE, Tenn. | Former Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock, whose long career in Washington included a key role in rebuilding the Republican Party after the Watergate scandal, died Thursday morning. He was 90.

Brock had been hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, due to pneumonia last week, said Scott Golden, the Tennessee Republican Party chairman.

Brock was an official with his family’s Brock Candy Co. when he turned to politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962.

He then gained wider prominence on the national stage in 1970 when he defeated veteran Democratic Sen. Albert Gore Sr., the father of the future vice president. Later, in the 1980s, Brock served under President Ronald Reagan as U.S. trade representative and then U.S. labor secretary.

‘Arrested Development’ actor Jessica Walter dies at 80

LOS ANGELES | Jessica Walter, whose roles as a scheming matriarch in TV’s “Arrested Development” and a stalker in “Play Misty for Me” were in line with a career that drew on her astringent screen presence more than her good looks, has died. She was 80.

Although Walter’s photogenic appearance qualified her for standard leading lady roles, she claimed no regrets about being viewed as a character actor.

She loved playing difficult women because “those are the fun roles. They’re juicy, much better than playing the vanilla ingénues, you know — Miss Vanilla Ice Cream,” Walter said in an AV Club website interview.

Stan Albeck, longtime NBA coach, dies at 89 in hospice care

SAN ANTONIO | Stan Albeck, the former San Antonio, Cleveland, New Jersey and Chicago head coach during a long NBA career, died Thursday in hospice care at son John’s home. He was 89.

John Albeck told the San Antonio Express-News his father entered hospice care Thursday after having a stroke March 14. He also had a stroke in 2001 while an assistant coach with Toronto.

Albeck coached the ABA’s Denver Rockets in 1970-71, then directed Cleveland in 1979-80, San Antonio from 1980-83, New Jersey from 1983-85 and Chicago in 1985-86 — with Michael Jordan in his second season.

He took San Antonio to consecutive Western Conference Finals in 1982 and 1983. The Spurs had a moment of silence to honor Albeck before their game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

—From AP reports

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