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Alexander Miroshnichenko

May 20, 2003

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) _ Olympic boxing medalist Alexander Miroshnichenko died after falling at his apartment building. He was 38.

Police said Tuesday that Miroshnichenko’s body was found at the entrance to his building in southern Kazakhstan on Monday evening, after he apparently fell nine floors. The death appeared to be accidental but the investigation was ongoing, police said.

Miroshnichenko was the super-heavyweight bronze medalist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

James Francis Smith

BOSTON (AP) _ James Francis Smith, a retired senior broadcast sales executive for The Associated Press who expanded its New England membership by hundreds of stations, died Monday. He was 86.

Smith, who marketed the AP’s television and radio services for 35 years, built the AP’s New England broadcast membership from 20 stations to more than 250 when he retired in 1982. Smith was well-known in broadcast circles for his encyclopedic knowledge of the industry, and remembered for a keen intellect and a raucous laugh.

The elder Smith began his career in journalism after high school as a reporter for the Worcester Evening Post, then became the Milford correspondent for the Worcester Gazette until he joined the Navy in World War II, seeing duty at the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific.

After his discharge from the Navy, he joined the AP’s Boston bureau as a radio news writer. In March 1958, Smith became regional membership executive for New England.

Smith contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a potentially debilitating nerve disorder, but overcame it and went on to counsel others with the illness.

His wife, Joanne C. Smith, died in 1999. He is survived by two other sons, Paul J. Smith and David C. Smith, who run a Waltham-based family concrete company; his brother, Charles J. Smith of Framingham, and sister, Joan T. Smith of Milford; and six grandchildren.

Barb Tarbox

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) _ Barb Tarbox, a cancer victim who spent her last months traveling across Canada to deliver a powerful anti-smoking message to thousands of teenagers, died Sunday. She was 42.

A former model, Tarbox was diagnosed with incurable lung and brain cancer in September after 30 years of smoking. She then began giving speeches to young smokers that described in painful detail what she was enduring.

She often was hugged afterward by weeping teenagers who vowed to quit.

Federal Health Minister Anne McLellan called Tarbox a fearless fighter against smoking, while Alberta provincial Health Minister Gary Mar described her effect on those who heard her message.

``Students wrote to her to declare they would never use tobacco and vowed they would convince their friends and family to stop smoking,″ Mar said. ``Adults said Barb’s story made the difference in their decision to give up tobacco.″

Donald Wilson

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ Donald Wilson, the former president of Pittsburg State University who left under fire from the Kansas Board of Regents, died Friday of a heart attack in Thailand, where he was working. He was 65.

Wilson became the president and chief executive officer of Pittsburg State in 1983. He resigned in 1995 after the regents gave him the choice of resigning or being fired in light of various allegations that led to an 18-month investigation.

The investigation resulted in two felony theft charges. The charges stemmed from allegations that he improperly provided full tuition waivers or in-state residency to international students. A Crawford County district judge dismissed the case, saying Wilson had not violated any state law because he did not benefit personally.

Under Wilson’s administration, the university launched two major fund-raising efforts, changed athletic affiliation in 1989 from NAIA to NCAA Division II and created a master plan for capital construction for the entire campus.

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