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Obituaries in the News

July 3, 2006

Israel Kantor

MIAMI (AP) _ Israel Kantor, the Cuban musician who was part of the Grammy-winning Tropicana All Stars orchestra, died Saturday of cancer, his publicist said Sunday. He was 56.

Kantor died at his southwest Miami home, according to a statement from publicist F & F Media Corp.

He was born Wilfredo Israel Sardinas in Alturas de Canasi, a town in western Cuba between Havana and Matanzas. He changed his name to Israel Kantor in 1984 in New York City, on the suggestion of Puerto Rican musician Johnny Pacheco.

As leader of the group Los Van Van, Kantor became popular in Cuba for his vocal style. But after several world tours with the Cuban musicians, he decided to abandon the group in search of greater freedom and career possibilities.

In 2003, Kantor joined the Tropicana All Stars orchestra, formed by 22 musicians from Miami. The group was nominated for two Latin Grammy awards and two Grammy awards for their albums ``Recuerda a Benny More″ and ``Tradicion.″


Roderick MacLeish

BOSTON (AP) _ Roderick MacLeish, a journalist, filmmaker and author, has died. He was 80.

MacLeish died of natural causes late Saturday night at a retirement home in Washington, D.C., according to his family.

``Everywhere I go, I meet all these people that interned for my father and they all say how wonderful he was,″ his son, Roderick MacLeish Jr., said Sunday. ``He loved to teach.″

The elder MacLeish was news director for WBZ radio in Boston in the early 1950s and later moved to London where he was assigned the job of establishing a foreign news department for Westinghouse Broadcasting Co.

He also covered the Sinai War between Egypt and Israel, wars in the Belgian Congo and Vietnam, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Later in his career he was a commentator and news analyst for National Public Radio.

He would sometimes mischiveously mislead strangers, telling them he was a wild animal trainer from Kenya or a former prisoner in Siberia, rescued by a pair of huskies.

One day, his former wife and lifelong friend, Diana MacLeish, was sitting on her front steps with her two dogs. A stranger approached and asked, ``Are these the two huskies that saved Rod MacLeish from the prison in Siberia?″

Without missing a beat, she answered that they were.

``When I think back over my career, I know that my father was a tremendous inspiration,″ said his son, an attorney, who represented hundreds of people who claimed they were abused by Catholic priests and helped negotiate an $85 million settlement with the Boston Archdiocese.


Howard More

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Howard More, who founded what became known as the Ski Sunrise resort and helped popularize the sport in the Southern California mountains, has died. He was 91.

More died June 10 at the Mountain View Estates care center in Altadena from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said his daughter, Carol.

``The man was a force of nature. He also took stubborn to a real high,″ said Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry Association. ``And that’s what it took in the early days to get going.″

More took over the Table Mountain resort in 1943 and by the early 1950s had built a lodge from locally harvested timber.

In 1973, four years after he was disabled in a freak accident at the resort, More sold the facility to a group of four investors, who renamed it Ski Sunrise. He reacquired it in 1993 when the investors defaulted on their loan.

Business suffered in recent years, however, because the resort did not have snow making capabilities. More sold the 100 acres of mostly beginner and intermediate terrain two years ago to neighboring Mountain High for $375,000, according to ski industry reports.

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