Geidar Aliev

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Former Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliev, a former KGB general and Communist Party chief who brought stability to a nation plagued by insurgencies, died Friday at the Cleveland Clinic. He was 80.

Aliev stifled dissent, censored news media and enforced a blockade on archrival Armenia. But he was widely popular in Azerbaijan, where he cultivated the image of a wise grandfather who is not to be crossed, and decorated the streets with his portraits and slogans.

In the 1940s and 1950s, he rose through the ranks of the Soviet secret police to become head of the Azerbaijani KGB in 1967.

From 1969 to 1982, he was the republic's Communist Party leader. He became a candidate member of the national party's Politburo in 1976 and a full member in 1982, reaching the pinnacle of Soviet power.

Mikhail Gorbachev managed to oust him in 1987 on allegations of cronyism, nepotism and high living at party expense.

In 1993 some 45,000 soldiers seized control of about half of Azerbaijan and ousted President Abulfaz Elchibey. Aliev took his place.

Under his leadership, Azerbaijan has had a sometimes prickly relationship with Russia and drawn closer to the United States.

Aliev won easy re-election as president in 1998. However, international observers said the two elections he won were heavily rigged. His son succeeded him in office following Oct. 15 presidential elections in what many claimed was the first dynastic handover of power in a former Soviet country.

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Bob Bogue

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Longtime Nebraska newspaper publisher, Bob Bogue, died Thursday in Yankton, S.D., following a long illness. He was 85.

Bogue and his wife, Shirley, ran four weekly newspapers in northeastern Nebraska for 31 years.

The couple bought the Oakland Independent in 1952 and later acquired the West Point Republican, the Lyons Mirror-Sun and the Madison Star.

Bob Bogue was elected president of the Nebraska Press Association in 1963 and was given the association's Master Editor-Publisher Award in 1981.

After serving as a Navy flight instructor during World War II, he worked for six years at the Fremont (Neb.) Tribune.

In addition to his wife, Bogue is survived by a son and a daughter.

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Eugene Cafiero

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) _ Eugene Cafiero, who was president of the Chrysler Corp. in the 1970s during one of the company's most difficult financial periods, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

Cafiero became president of Chrysler in 1975, when the company was in financial distress and the American automobile industry was beginning to undergo dramatic changes. Under his watch, Chrysler had two profitable years until a recession and the imposition of federal fuel efficiency standards caused sharp losses in 1978. Lee Iacocca succeeded him.

Cafiero entered the car industry with Ford in 1949. He was working for Briggs Manufacturing, a major Chrysler supplier, when Chrysler bought it in 1953.

He became a Chrysler vice president in 1968. Cafiero left the company in 1979, and later was president of several companies.

He was one of the talented pool of automobile executives recruited to help start the DeLorean Motor Company, and served as its president until 1981 when the cars began rolling off the factory lines. DeLorean folded the following year.

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Earl Gillespie

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Earl Gillespie, a longtime sports broadcaster who was the radio voice of the Milwaukee Braves in the team's championship seasons in the 1950s, died Friday of respiratory failure. He was 81.

Gillespie was known for his ``holy cow'' exclamation when one of the Braves hit a home run or made a big play.

A Chicago native, Gillespie became the radio voice of the Braves after the team moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and continued for 11 years, including the team's World Series seasons of 1957 and 1958.

Gillespie also did radio and television commentary for the Green Bay Packers, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin over his broadcasting career.

He worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee from 1963 until his retirement in 1985.

An eight-time winner of the ``Wisconsin Sportscaster Of the Year Award,'' he was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

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Hans Hotter

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Hans Hotter, the world's leading Wagnerian bass-baritone of his time, died Dec. 6. He was 94.

The 6-foot-4 Hotter, whose career spanned half a century, was known for his booming, noble voice.

He mastered such roles as Wotan in Wagner's Ring Cycle, Gurnemanz in ``Parsifal,'' the title role in ``The Flying Dutchman,'' and Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger.'' He also won praise for Schubert lieder.

Hotter started his operatic career in 1930, and sang in Prague and Hamburg and at the Munich Opera, where he became a leading singer in 1937. He remained with the company until 1972. He also was a member of the Vienna Opera from 1939 until 1970.

Hotter created the role of Olivier in the world premiere of Richard Strauss ``Capriccio'' in 1942. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the role of Jupiter in Strauss's ``Die Liebe der Danae'' had been written for him but its premiere was disrupted when all theaters were closed after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in August 1944.

After the war, Hotter began a 12-year association with the Wagner family's opera house at the Bayreuth festival in 1952. The same year, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Dutchman.

He also became a producer. His final production was in 1981 in Chicago of Beethoven's ``Fidelio.''

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Nathan Rogers

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) _ Nathan Rogers, optometrist and co-founder of Texas State Optical, died Thursday. He was 87.

Rogers was the third of four brothers who founded TSO in the 1930s.

From its beginnings in downtown Beaumont, the Rogers brothers expanded TSO into one of the country's largest optical chains.

Texas governors appointed Nate Rogers to numerous terms on the State Board of Examiners in Optometry, and later to the Texas Optometry Board, from the 1940s through the early 1980s.

In the 1970s, Rogers sued the board, challenging the constitutionality of a law that prevented him from advertising under the trade name Texas State Optical.

A lower court sided with Rogers, but he lost when the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case in 1979.

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Bob Ross

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Bob Ross, the publisher of the Bay Area Reporter, which serves the city's gay community, died Wednesday of complications from diabetes. He was 69.

Ross also served for many years on the Golden Gate Bridge District Board and on the board of trustees of the San Francisco Ballet. He was also a cofounder of the Tavern Guild, which helped bar employees overturn the system of payoffs to police that were at one time demanded in exchange for allowing bars to remain open.

Ross was a chef in 1971 when he and a friend, Paul Bentley, decided gays and lesbians needed better community information than that provided by the gossip sheets found in bars. Yet bars were where the gay community got much of its information, so the friends named their new paper the Bay Area Reporter, BAR, and made it available for free atop the cigarette machines of local bars.

In 1989, Ross used eight pages of his newspaper to publish 610 photos of people who had died of AIDS.

In 1998, the paper's banner headline read ``No Obits.'' For the first time since the epidemic began, there had been no AIDS obituaries for a week.

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Frank Schubert

NEW YORK (AP) _ Frank Schubert, the keeper of the Coney Island lighthouse for 43 years and last of the Coast Guard's civilian lighthouse keepers, died Thursday. He was 88.

Night after night, year after year, Schubert ensured that the ocean traffic at the nation's busiest port found safe passage around the pointy end of Brooklyn. He was responsible for maintaining the grounds, light and fog signal at the 80-foot tall lighthouse and keeping its beacon flashing through the rain and surf.

Over the course of his career, Schubert was credited with saving the lives of 15 sailors.

Schubert served in the Army during World War II. At the war's end, he began working at the lighthouse on Governor's Island in New York Harbor.

In 1960 Schubert was offered a choice of jobs at either Staten Island or Coney Island. Since the latter came with a house for his wife and three children, he moved to Coney Island and never left.

Even after the lighthouse became automated by the late 1980s, Schubert stayed on as an ambassador of good will and a reminder of maritime history.

Since its opening in 1890, only five other men have served at the Coney Island lighthouse _ none longer than Schubert. A Coast Guard official currently based in New Jersey will become interim head of the lighthouse.

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Saul Wellman

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Saul Wellman, a combat-wounded veteran who led the Communist Party in Michigan during the McCarthy era, died Wednesday of complications from a stroke. He was 90.

In 1952, Wellman and five other Michigan Communist leaders were indicted on federal charges of conspiring to overthrow the government. They were convicted in 1954 after a four-month trial.

Wellman spent about six months in prison before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1957 that the conspiracy convictions of the ``Michigan Six'' were unconstitutional.

Wellman joined the Young Communist League at age 16, organizing truck drivers in New York.

He volunteered to fight with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. During World War II, he enlisted in the Army and became a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division.

Wellman was wounded in the heart with a piece of German shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge. During his federal conspiracy trial, the Veterans Administration stopped paying his disability pension and ordered Wellman to repay the nearly $10,000 he had received since his 1945 discharge from the Army.

After his conspiracy conviction was overturned, the Supreme Court made the military pay him back all the pension money they'd withheld.

Wellman left the Communist Party in 1958.