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Obituaries in the News

June 16, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ John N. Krier, a leading movie industry analyst whose box office reports were closely watched by Hollywood moguls and film fans alike, died Saturday. He was 89.

Frequently quoted by the news media, Krier was owner and president of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., the nation’s oldest box office tracking firm, established in 1974. The company tracks box office performances of movies for studios, theaters and news media.

Krier began his movie industry career in the 1930s in the theater business. After managing a growing chain of theaters, he was named vice president and general manager of Intermountain Theatres in 1955. He moved to the ABC California theater company in 1972 and held the same title.

In 1978 he joined Exhibitor Relations Co., and took over as president in 1982.

Prentice Palmer

CONYERS, Ga. (AP) _ Prentice Palmer, an award-winning investigative reporter for The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, died Sunday of kidney failure. He was 65.

Palmer, who retired in 1988, shared a 1984 Associated Press award with Jim Wooten, now Journal editorial page editor, for their coverage of former Gov. George Busbee’s actions regarding his state pension.

Palmer had revealed that Busbee, governor from 1975-82, was seeking a $57,000 pension under an involuntary separation clause, claiming he had been involuntarily separated from state employment because he was limited to two terms under state law. In 1984, a judge ruled Busbee was not entitled.

Palmer worked for the weekly Warrenton Clipper before and after Army duty in Korea from 1953-55, then went to work full-time for the Augusta Chronicle in 1962.

He joined the Journal in 1970.

Carlos Salazar

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) _ Jon Carlos Salazar, a longtime Albuquerque Tribune sports editor, died Sunday of congestive heart failure related to diabetes. He was 73.

Salazar spent 52 years at the newspaper, 40 of them as sports editor and about 10 as obituary writer. He was the only journalist ever inducted into the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame.

Salazar joined The Tribune in 1946 as a temporary sportswriter.

In 1967, Salazar broke the national story that boxer Muhammad Ali would refuse induction into the military.

He became community service editor in 1986 and retired officially in 1992, though he kept on writing.

Evan Whallon

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Evan Whallon, music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for 26 years, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack on Friday. He was 74.

Whallon, who led the orchestra from 1956-1982, started in 1951 as music director of the Springfield Symphony. He moved to Columbus five years later.

Whallon appeared on podiums of symphonies and opera companies around the world. He guest conducted for the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Budapest and Prague symphony orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestras and the San Francisco Symphony.

He led productions for the Cleveland Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Fort Worth (Texas) Opera.

Fred Wiche

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Fred Wiche, the popular ``Weekend Gardener″ who dispensed advice on everything from aphids to zinnias on radio and television shows, died Monday of cancer. He was 66.

Wiche’s daily gardening reports on WHAS-TV and radio turned into a cottage industry with newspaper columns, books, calendars and a lawn and garden exposition.

Wiche’s broadcasting career at the Louisville stations began four decades ago. During the first half of his career, his focus was news and included covering the General Assembly and politics and anchoring the news.

But it was his gardening reports that made him an institution in Louisville and beyond. Wiche turned his gardening hobby into a job in 1979 when he became the farm and garden director.

Wiche’s ``Gardening Almanac″ sold by the thousands, and he did numerous public appearances.

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