Longtime Allegheny County councilman, labor leader John ‘Jumping Johnny’ DeFazio dies | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Local elected officials mourned his passing, both in statements and on social media.

“John was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and a guiding voice who taught me about what it is to be an elected official,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a statement Friday. “For all of us who served on that first Council, he taught us about this new government that he had helped shepherd in that so many of us now take for granted. And as part of that education, he stepped to the side and pushed us, his colleagues, into leadership positions. I would not be County Executive today if it were not for John’s influence and encouragement.”

Source: Longtime Allegheny County councilman, labor leader John ‘Jumping Johnny’ DeFazio dies | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bob Kudzma, Former KDKA-TV Chief Meteorologist, Dies At 81

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a sad day for us here at KDKA-TV and for our viewers who spent more than three decades planning their lives around the daily forecast from former KDKA-TV chief meteorologist Bob Kudzma.

Kudzma died Thursday morning, just a few weeks shy of his 82nd birthday.

Source: Bob Kudzma, Former KDKA-TV Chief Meteorologist, Dies At 81

Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70 | Fox News

Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show. “Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,” she said. “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time.”

The radio icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump then presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment on the heels of his devastating cancer diagnosis.”

Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during the address.

Source: Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70 | Fox News

Britney Spears’ father loses bid to retain control of delegating her investments

Britney Spears’ battle to remove her father’s conservatorship over her estate continued Thursday as a judge denied her father’s objections to how her conservatorship will be delegated.

Britney Spears filed a petition with the court last year to remove her father and to place a financial institution as the sole conservator over her estate. Her attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, argued last year that the singer was afraid of James “Jamie” Spears and would rather a professional financial institution take over her estate.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny denied the singer’s petition last year but appointed Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator along with James Spears.

Objections raised by James Spears’ attorney, Vivian Thoreen, on how the co-conservatorship would be delegated were rejected Thursday. One objection raised by Thoreen asked that James Spears have the power to delegate investment powers, an issue that was a point of debate between the two attorneys Thursday.

Ingham told the court that the nature of a co-conservatorship is that James Spears’ powers as sole conservator, appointed by the court in 2019, would be reduced. Thoreen argued that the court orders should be consistent with the 2019 order that gave him sole conservatorship.

“There’s no intent or desire to create unequal power or decision-making as between the two, your honor,” Thoreen argued. “This is a way to make it consistent and to not take away powers that Mr. Spears as a conservator had.”

Source: Britney Spears’ father loses bid to retain control of delegating her investments

Chick Corea, Groundbreaking Jazz Pianist, Dead at 79 – Rolling Stone

Chick Corea, the virtuosic keyboardist who broadened the scope of jazz during a career spanning more than five decades, died on Tuesday from a rare form of cancer. A post on his Facebook page confirmed the news. Corea was 79.

“Throughout his life and career, Chick relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do,” his family wrote in a statement. “Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.”

“Chick Corea was the single greatest improvisational musician I have ever played with,” John Mayer, who had appeared with Corea onstagewrote on Instagram. “Nobody was more open, more finely tuned to the moment, changing his approach with every new offering by the musicians around him. If you hit a wrong note, he’d immediately pick it up and play it as a motif so as to say ‘all of this has value, whether you see it or not.’ What an immeasurable loss in so many ways.”

In the early Sixties, Corea established himself as an A-list pianist, working with Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, and others. Later in the decade, he joined Miles Davis’ band and played a key role in helping the trumpeter make the transition to a more contemporary, plugged-in sound on albums like Bitches Brew. Following his work with Davis, he formed his own groundbreaking electric band, Return to Forever, which played some of the most vibrant and dynamic music of the fusion era. In the ensuing decades, Corea threw himself into countless projects, showing off his limitless range — from a refined duo with vibraphonist Gary Burton to his trendsetting Elektric Band. His most recent album, the 2020 live solo disc Plays, showed off his wildly diverse skill set and body of influences, touching on classical pieces, bebop, and more.

Source: Chick Corea, Groundbreaking Jazz Pianist, Dead at 79 – Rolling Stone

Bruce Springsteen Faces Drunken Driving Charge in New Jersey | Newsmax.com

Bruce Springsteen is facing a drunken driving charge in New Jersey.

Springsteen was arrested Nov. 14 in a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area on the New Jersey coast, a spokesperson for the National Park Service confirmed Wednesday.

The park is on a narrow, beach-ringed peninsula, with views across a bay to New York City. It is about 15 miles north of Asbury Park, New Jersey, where Springsteen got his start as a musician and bandleader and later made famous with his debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.”

Springsteen received citations for driving while under the influence, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area. The spokesperson said Springsteen was cooperative.

Source: Bruce Springsteen Faces Drunken Driving Charge in New Jersey | Newsmax.com

Kobe Bryant helicopter crash investigation finds pilot was disoriented in clouds – YouTube

The National Transportation Safety Board announced the probable cause of the helicopter crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in the hills north of Los Angeles last year. Federal investigators said the pilot, Ara Zobayan, became disoriented in the clouds. CBS News’ Chris Martinez reports from Los Angeles.

Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champ who beat Muhammad Ali, dead at 67 – CNN

Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, best known for defeating Muhammad Ali in 1978, has died at the age 67, according to a statement from his publicist.

Source: Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champ who beat Muhammad Ali, dead at 67 – CNN

Christopher Plummer Dead: ‘Sound Of Music,’ ‘All The Money In The World’ Star – Deadline

Christopher Plummer, who starred in The Sound of Music, won an Oscar for Beginners and was nominated for All the Money in the World and The Last Station, died peacefully today at his home in Connecticut, his family confirmed. Elaine Taylor, his wife and true best friend for 53 years, was by his side.

Along with becoming the oldest person to win an Oscar, Plummer also won a pair of Emmys and two Tonys during a nearly 70-year career.

Christopher Plummer Remembered: Ridley Scott, Chris Evans And Many More Pay Tribute

Lou Pitt, his longtime friend and manager of 46 years, said; “Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humor and the music of words. He was a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots. Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us.”

Plummer spent the past nearly 70 years as a stalwart of stage and screen, including more than 200 films and TV shows. He is best known for starring as Captain George Von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews’ Maria in Robert Wise’s 1965 classic The Sound of Music. The beloved musical won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, beating David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago, among others. The movie’s soundtrack, which features such classic songs as “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and the title track, spent two weeks at No, 1 in the U.S. and an astounding 109 weeks — more than two years — in the top 10.He won his Oscar for the 2010 film Beginners and most recently was Oscar nominated for the Ridley Scott-directed All the Money in the World. In that film, he replaced Kevin Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty after Spacey had an #MeToo downfall. Plummer most recently co-starred in the ensemble of the Rian Johnson-directed Knives Out.

Born on December 13, 1929, in Toronto and raised in Montreal, Plummer began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English. After his New York debut in 1954, the actor went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway and London’s West End, winning accolades on both sides of the Atlantic.

Source: Christopher Plummer Dead: ‘Sound Of Music,’ ‘All The Money In The World’ Star – Deadline

Dustin Diamond Dead: ‘Saved by the Bell’ Actor Dies at 44 – Variety

Dustin Diamond, known for playing the lovable geek Samuel “Screech” Powers on the hit sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” died due to carcinoma on Monday morning in a Florida hospital. He was 44.

The actor was diagnosed with the cancer and hospitalized just three weeks ago.

“In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution,” the actor’s agent, Roger Paul, said in a statement. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”

Source: Dustin Diamond Dead: ‘Saved by the Bell’ Actor Dies at 44 – Variety

Cloris Leachman Dead: Actress Dies at 94 | PEOPLE.com

Cloris Leachman, the decorated actress of stage and screen best known for her role as the annoyingly perfect landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died. She was 94.

Leachman’s manager, Juliet Green, confirms to PEOPLE that the actress died Wednesday of natural causes.

“It’s been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. There was no one like Cloris. With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh till the tears ran down your face. You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic,” says Green.

“She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously. A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals,”

According to TMZ, which first reported the news, she passed away at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter, Dinah, beside her. The actress had a Hollywood career for the history books. Seven decades in the business. One of the original members of the famed Actors Studio in New York City. An Oscar. A Golden Globe. And over 20 Emmys nominations and nine wins — more trophies than any other television performer in history.

Born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa, as the eldest of three sisters, Leachman was bit by the acting bug at an early age — appearing in children’s plays at Drake University when she was just 8. Her mother, also named Cloris, encouraged her daughter’s early interest in entertaining and served as an inspiration for Leachman’s sense of humor throughout her career.

Source: Cloris Leachman Dead: Actress Dies at 94 | PEOPLE.com

Larry King, broadcast pioneer and legendary talk show host, dies at 87

“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,” the statement said.

King, with his trademark suspenders and iconic voice, spent more than 60 years in the spotlight. He hosted CNN’s “Larry King Live” for 25 years, interviewing everyone from world leaders and icons to criminals and conspiracy theorists during 6,000-plus episodes of the show from 1985 to 2010.

“Instead of goodbye, how about so long,” King told viewers when singing off from his final CNN show in 2010.

King went on to work on a variety of projects following his CNN tenure, including co-founding Ora TV in 2012.

King’s historic career began on local radio back in Miami back in 1957 as a talk show host and disk jockey. His passion for free-flowing interviews began in 1958 when he an on-location interview program from Miami’s Pumpernik Restaurant, where he literally spoke to whoever entered the door. He eventually added to his skill set by providing color commentator for Miami Dolphins’ broadcasts and landed on television by 1964. Around the same time, King started writing columns for newspapers including The Miami Herald, The Miami News, and The Miami Beach Sun-Reporter.


Legal and financial issues nearly derailed his career in the 1970s but recovered to launch the Larry King Show” on Mutual Broadcasting Network in 1978, which paved the way for his highly successful CNN program.

Born Lawrence Zeiger on November 19, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, he started going by Larry King early in his career. He battled lung cancer, lived with Type 2 diabetes, survived multiple heart attacks and underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 1987. The broadcasting legend promised to help others and established the The Larry King Cardiac Foundation (LKCF) in 1988, which helps facilitate critical treatment for people who would otherwise be unable to receive care because of either financial or insurance issues.

The non-profit organization was funded from the proceeds of King’s books, speaking engagements, and from entertainment galas conducted in New York City, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, according to the LKCF website.

King wrote “Taking on Heart Disease” to help educate victims of heart disease. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, won a pair of Peabody Awards for Excellence in broadcasting, 10 Cable ACE awards and was honored in 2008 by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California, among many other awards and milestones.

The longtime Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers fan was regularly seen at Dodger Stadium cheering on his favorite team. He was married eight times, to seven different women, but had been single since filing for divorce from actress Shawn King in 2019.


King lost two of his five adult children when Andy, 65, and Chaia, 51, died within weeks of each other in 2020. Andy had a heart attack while Chaina had been battling lung cancer.

Source: Larry King, broadcast pioneer and legendary talk show host, dies at 87

Hank Aaron, longtime baseball home-run king and Hall of Famer with Braves, dies at age 86 – CBSSports.com

hank-aaron.jpgHank Aaron, legendary slugger and Hall of Famer, died at the age of 86, the Atlanta Braves announced Friday morning. CBS46 in Atlanta first reported the news.

Aaron established himself as an inner-circle all-time great during the course of his 23-year career with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers from 1954-76.

In said career, Aaron hit .305/.374/.555 (155 OPS+) with 624 doubles, 755 home runs, 2,297 RBI, 2,174 runs, 3,771 hits and 240 stolen bases. He retired as the all-time home run leader and held the record for decades. He’s still the all-time leader in RBI and total bases. He also holds the record for the most All-Star games at 25 and the most seasons as an All-Star at 21 (for a stretch, MLB held two All-Star games per year).

The 1957 NL MVP, Aaron also won three Gold Gloves and two batting titles while leading the league in home runs four times, RBI four times, runs three times, hits twice, doubles four times, slugging four times and OPS three times. He won the World Series with the 1957 Braves and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first try in 1982.

The biggest moment most remember of Aaron’s career was surpassing Babe Ruth’s 714 career home runs on April 8, 1974. Here’s the great Vin Scully on the call:

Source: Hank Aaron, longtime baseball home-run king and Hall of Famer with Braves, dies at age 86 – CBSSports.com

Do Palm Beach residents want Don Jr and Kimberly to move in? 

Thirty people currently living in the pricey Admirals Cove development near Jupiter, Florida, have written to the manager of their owners’ association to express concern about the Trumps.

  • Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle are relocating to Palm Beach County
  • The pair have bought two waterfront mansions in Admirals Cove near Jupiter
  • They are likely to relocate from New York in March but locals are unimpressed
  • The general manager of the property owners association received 30 messages
  • Some said their arrival was a ‘nightmare’ and would bring ‘disharmony’
  • Others were concerned about security threats and ‘notoriety’
  • Ivanka and Jared are also moving to Florida, with a new home near Miami 

Source: Palm Beach resident DON’T want Don Jr and Kimberly to move in 

‘Beatles’ Music Producer Who Murdered Actress Dies at 81 – YouTube

To know him was to loathe him.

At least that’s the impression you get from heeding the accounts of many of those who worked with Phil Spector, the legendary record producer who died Saturday at age 81 while serving a prison sentence for murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.

His conviction for that crime solidified Spector’s reputation as a monster. But for years before that, artists in his orbit — Darlene Love, Leonard Cohen, the Ramones and especially his ex-wife, Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes — spoke of his abuse and his manipulations; others simply hated what he did to their music, including Paul McCartney, who famously re-released the Beatles’ “Let It Be” minus Spector’s trademark embellishments.

And yet, McCartney’s scorn aside, Spector is widely — and rightly — regarded as one of the most consequential figures in pop history: a sonic visionary whose so-called wall of sound greatly expanded the dramatic scope of the three-minute love song.

Source: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-01-18/phil-spector-producer-abusive-male-genius

Remembering Joanne Rogers: Friends of Joanne talk about her legacy that reaches beyond Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH —Joanne Rogers embodied kindness while out volunteering, on the red carpet, and celebrating the legacy of her husband of more than 50 years, Fred Rogers.

The 92-year-old died on Thursday. A devastating loss for those in the Pittsburgh-area and beyond.

“The world is a little less fun now without Joanne in it,” said Paul Siefken. “Joanne Rogers is a very special, very wonderful person.”

Siefken is the CEO of Fred Rogers Productions. He shared a picture of him and Mrs. Rogers from 2018 at the unveiling of a U.S. Postal stamp honoring Mr. Rogers, who died in 2003.

“After Fred’s passing she showed the world that she was an amazing person,” he said. “She’s had a chance to kind of introduce herself to America and I think America really fell in love with her.”

David Newell played Mr. McFeely on the show that aired first in 1968. Newell said he, Joanne and Fred were friends for more than 50 years.

“She was Joanne in her own way,” he said. “When you talked to her you were getting the real person and the same with Fred.”

He received a phone call on Thursday that Mrs. Rogers had died.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Newell said.

He said the Rogers were a part of his family. He shared what he will miss most about the woman who lit up every room she entered.

“What I’ll miss is her sense of humor and how much fun she used to have,” Newell said.

Source: Remembering Joanne Rogers: Friends of Joanne talk about her legacy that reaches beyond Pittsburgh

Jean Connelly, former WTAE personality, dies

Connelly became one of the original employees at WTAE in 1958 where she launched her own talk show “The Jean Connelly Show” from 1960 through 1973.

Connelly enjoyed a wide variety of roles including anchoring the news, hosting Women’s Championship Bowling and landing big interviews for her hit talk show.

She decided to leave her on-air schedule in 1975, becoming WTAE’s director of public service for the next 13 years.

In 2002, Connelly was the first woman from western Pennsylvania to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

She is survived by her three children and five grandchildren.

Her family said a celebration of Jean’s life is planned for the spring when it can be done safely together.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, where Connelly served on the board for 25 years.

Source: Jean Connelly, former WTAE personality, dies

Larry King has been hospitalized with Covid-19 – CNN

Legendary talk show host and former CNN interviewer Larry King has Covid-19, according to a source close to the family.

King, 87, has been hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for more than a week, the source said. Due to protocols at the hospital, King’s three sons have been unable to visit him, according to the source.
King, who has Type 2 diabetes, has confronted a series of medical issues over the years, including several heart attacks and quintuple bypass surgery in 1987. In 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. He also underwent a procedure in 2019 to address angina.
His own medical issues inspired him to start the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, a non-profit aimed at helping those without health insurance afford medical care.

Source: Larry King has been hospitalized with Covid-19 – CNN