Categotry Archives: Misc.


Joan Kroc


Categories: Misc.

Joan B. Kroc, the billionaire philanthropist, died on Oct. 12 from brain cancer. She was 75.

Joan was a professional musician and music teacher when she married Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds Corp., in 1969. For the past three decades, she made a name for herself as a major contributor to organizations that promote world peace and social aid.

Through the Joan B. Kroc Foundation, she gave money to the St. Vincent de Paul Joan Kroc Center for the Homeless, helped the San Diego Hospice build an inpatient facility for the terminally ill and established the Institute for Peace and Justice. In 2002, the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in San Diego opened after Joan donated more than $90 million to the Salvation Army. Her $17 million in donations to the University of Notre Dame also endowed The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

For her philanthropic nature, Kroc received The Salvation Army’s “Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service” award in 2002.


Elisabeta Rizea


Categories: Misc.

Elisabeta Rizea, a Romanian anti-communist resistance fighter, died on Sept. 6. Cause of death was not released. She was 91.
The communists came to power in Romania in 1945. In response, Rizea joined the resistance and spent four years providing the guerillas with food and money. She was eventually captured by the Romanian militia, sentenced to seven years in prison and branded “an enemy of the people.” When anti-communist leader Gheorghe Arsenescu was arrested in 1961, Rizea’s sentence was extended another 25 years.
During her incarceration, Rizea was tortured for her beliefs. She was hung up by her hair from a hook and beaten unconscious.
“After they took the table from under my feet, they started to beat me with a stick until I bled. They broke some ribs, and I fainted,” Rizea once said.
Under terms of a general amnesty, Rizea was released from prison in 1964. Thirty-five years later, her story was published in Romanian newspapers and featured in documentaries about the communist era.


Brian Florence


Categories: Misc.

Brian Florence, a Virginia man who became famous for taking part in a radio stunt, died on Sept. 25 of a heart attack. He was 38.

In 2002, Florence and his girlfriend, Loretta Lynn Harper, allegedly had sex inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, at the urging of the shock jocks on the “Opie and Anthony Show.” Police heard the show and found the couple in the church vestibule, trying to win a prize for having sex in a public place.

Florence was scheduled to appear in court yesterday to face charges of obscenity and public lewdness. The couple’s attorney said they were only simulating copulation.
WNEW-FM later fired DJs Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia for the stunt.

Hear the Radio Broadcast


Yetunde Price


Categories: Misc.

Yetunde Price, the oldest sister and personal assistant of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, was murdered on Sept. 14. She was 31.

Price was sitting with a man inside an SUV in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles when they became involved in an altercation with local residents. Witnesses say between six and 20 gunshots were heard; police later found an assault rifle at the scene. Shot several times in the chest, she was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Price and her four sisters grew up in Compton, a crime-ridden community known for its rampant gang activity. When Venus and Serena became professional tennis players, the family moved to Florida. Price, however, moved to Corona, Calif., about 40 miles from Compton, where she became a registered nurse and the part-owner of a beauty salon.

[Update – March 22, 2006: Edward Maxfield, 25, pleaded no contest on March 18 to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Yetunde Price. The plea was entered on the day his third trial was scheduled to begin.]

[Update – April 6, 2006: Edward Maxfield, 25, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the slaying of Yetunde Price. Prosecutors said Maxfield fired about 11 bullets from an assault rifle shortly before midnight in Sept. 2003 in order to protect a drug house; one of the bullets struck Price in the head. Maxfield pleaded no contest, which amounts to an admission of guilt under California law, to manslaughter last month. Juries deadlocked on their verdict in two previous trials. A murder charge against a second man, Aaron Hammer, was dismissed after the first trial. Hammer was accused of firing a gun during the shooting but authorities concluded that it did not cause Price’s fatal wound.]


Chief Running Deer

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Categories: Misc.

Donald F. Malonson, head of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, died on Aug. 22. Cause of death was not released. He was 86.
Malonson, also known as Chief Running Deer, was born and raised in the same home where he reared his own children. He only left the area once — to serve in the 61st United States Naval Construction Battalion in the South Pacific during World War II.
He became chief of the Wampanoag in 1952 and headed the 1,000-member tribe for over half a century. After years of lobbying Congress, the tribe officially received federal recognition in 1987. At that time, it was granted 500 acres of tribal lands on Martha’s Vineyard.

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