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John Dobson, amateur astronomer who taught many how to stargaze, dies at 98

John Dobson, 98, a former monk and self-taught stargazer who developed a powerful, inexpensive telescope that almost anyone could build and showed thousands how to do it during five decades as one of public astronomy's most influential evangelists, died Jan. 15 in Burbank, Calif.

William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke, 65, the husky-voiced lead singer of popular reggae band Third World, died of leukemia Feb. 2 in Orlando. Third World was known for fusing reggae with soul and pop music, and was occasionally criticized for that by reggae purists.

Arthur Ortenberg, 87, who teamed up with his wife, the designer Liz Claiborne, and a third partner to build Liz Claiborne Inc. into a billion-dollar enterprise clothing career women in stylish but casual outfits at moderate prices, died of pneumonia Monday in New York.

Maxine Kumin, 88, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose spare, deceptively simple lines explored some of the most complex aspects of human existence — birth and death, evanescence and renewal, and the events large and small conjoining them all — died Thursday in Warner, N.H.

Otis G. Pike, 92, a nine-term New York Democratic congressman who was a persistent critic of Pentagon overspending and in 1975 led one of the first congressional investigations of abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, died Jan. 20 in Vero Beach. The Pike committee called for central congressional oversight over intelligence operations, a prohibition of CIA-sponsored killings and more transparency in the intelligence budget.

John Dobson, amateur astronomer who taught many how to stargaze, dies at 98

02/08/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:34am]
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  1. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan

    War

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  2. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    Jason Jerome Springer, 39, is accused of threatening to kill a U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich, according to a federal indictment.  |Hernando County Sheriff's Office photo]
  3. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments

    Editorials

    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.
  4. Superior Uniform acquires Los Angeles-based PublicIdentity

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — A subsidiary of Seminole-based Superior Uniform Group has acquired Los Angeles-based branded merchandise company PublicIdentity Inc.

    Superior Uniform Group CEO Michael Benstock
[Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Money is the issue as Hillsborough strains to fix school air conditioners

    K12

    TAMPA — With more than 200 repair requests tumbling in every day, school officials in Hillsborough County are broadening their circle of air conditioning mechanics as they struggle to control a debilitating cycle of breakdowns and sweltering classrooms.

    Hillsborough school officials want to expand the number of contractors who work on broken school air conditioning systems. But it all gets rolled into a workload that has increased by 40 percent since 2011. "With no increase in budget, no increase in equipment and no increase in manpower, and as the equipment gets older and needs more maintenance, this is going to continue to grow," said Robert Weggman, general manager of maintenance." [iStockphoto.com
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