CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) _ Frontier Corp. chairman and former chief executive officer Ronald Bittner died Sunday, two weeks after announcing he was leaving his post due to cancer. He was 55.

Bittner spent his entire career at the Rochester-based telecommunications company. He joined in 1963, became chief executive officer in 1992, and chairman of Frontier's board of directors in 1993.

Under Bittner's direction, Frontier grew to become the nation's fifth-largest long distance company. He also created the Open Market Plan in 1995, which made Rochester the first competitive market for local telecommunications.

Lucy Somerville Howorth

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) _ Lucy Somerville Howorth, a lawyer and longtime fighter for women's rights, died Aug. 23 of heart failure. She was 102.

Howorth was a pioneer in the women's movement, breaking new ground in her native Mississippi and later becoming a major political player in Washington, D.C.

In 1961, she was named adviser to the President's Commission on the Status of Women. She joined the forerunner of the American Association of University Women in 1918 and held offices between 1942 and 1956.

She was among the first female appointees by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the U.S. Board of Veterans Appeals.

Mrs. Howorth became the Veterans Administration's legislative attorney and worked her way up to general counsel for the War Claims Commission.

Before going to Washington, Howorth was the first woman from Mississippi to become a U.S. Commissioner for the Southern District, a magistrate judge post.

Chris King

CHESTER, S.C. (AP) _ Chris King, who in May was confirmed as Chester's first black mayor after a wait of more than two years, died of lung cancer Monday. He was 61.

King won the 1995 mayoral race by 62 votes over incumbent Mitch Foster. Foster appealed, alleging that King and his supporters illegally registered voters, improperly obtained absentee votes and threatened witnesses.

The Circuit Court overturned King's victory and ordered a new election, but the state Supreme Court reversed that decision in May.

James R. Martin

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (AP) _ James R. Martin, a former chairman of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., and a key player in the revitalization of downtown Springfield, died Sunday. He was 79.

A native of Peoria, Ill., he joined the Springfield-based insurance company in 1951 and was named president in 1968. Six years later he was named chairman and served in both posts until 1984 when he retired as president. He continued as board chairman until 1987 and retired as a director in 1991.

During his tenure, the company built a downtown Springfield shopping mall, now known as Tower Square, and he helped raise a $16 million mortgage pool from area banks and insurance companies to encourage business to locate in downtown Springfield.

He was also a past chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Regents, the American Management Association, the Business Council for the United Nations and a longtime trustee of Springfield College and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Edwin McConnell

McCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AP) _ Edwin McConnell, the last of the ``Flying McConnell Brothers,'' died Monday after battling leukemia and Parkinson's Disease. He was 76.

The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel was one of three brothers originally from Wichita who joined the Army Air Corps together during World War II.

In 1954, this south-central Kansas base outside Wichita was renamed in honor of McConnell's two brothers. He wasn't included because Air Force bases can't be named after people who are living.

McConnell's younger brother, 2nd Lt. Thomas McConnell, was killed in July 1943 when his B-24 Liberator crashed into a fog-covered mountain while returning to home base after a strike on a Japanese airfield. He was 20.

Captain Fred McConnell, the oldest brother, died at age 27 when his private plane crashed in October 1945 near the Garden Plain Air Force Base west of Wichita.

Shizuka Owada

TOKYO (AP) _ Shizuka Owada, the grandmother of Princess Masako and the mother of the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, died Tuesday, a spokesman for the Imperial Household Agency said. She was 93.

The agency did not give a cause of death. Ambassador Hisashi Owada's mother died in her home in Care Residence Mito, a facility for the elderly in Mito, 65 miles northeast of Tokyo, the agency spokesman said.

The Harvard-educated Masako, who married Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993, last visited her grandmother on Aug. 11 along with her father and other family members, the agency spokesman said.

Owada's husband, Takeo, died in October 1993.

Alice Culler Sims

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) _ Alice Culler Sims, former co-owner of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, died Monday. She was 83.

Mrs. Sims, a graduate of Winthrop College, was the widow of James L. Sims, publisher of The Times and Democrat at the time of his death in 1962. She served on the board of the paper for several years.

She is survived by a daughter, Alice Culler Sims, and several nieces and nephews.