Obituaries in the news

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Augustus "Gus" Barber, a former meat cutter who built a frozen-food business that provided jobs to thousands of immigrants, died Friday. He was 87.

The founder of Barber Foods died at Maine Medical Center after going into cardiac arrest, relatives said.

The son of immigrants who fled Ottoman rule, Barber grew his business from a kitchen-based operation to a company with a work force of 800. He began by offering cut-up chicken parts and later shifted to stuffed chicken entrees.

More than 40 percent of the company's employees are immigrants, many of whom take English courses on site, the family said. More than 50 languages are spoken at Barber Foods, according to the company's Web site.

Barber retired in 2002 as chairman of the company's board of directors.


Betty James

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Betty James, who co-founded the company that made the Slinky and beat the odds as a single mother in the late 1950s to become a successful executive, died Thursday. She was 90.

She died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a hospital spokeswoman said.

In 1945, James and her husband at the time, Richard, founded the company that would later make Slinky, the toy for which she was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001.

She took over management of James Industries Inc. 14 years after the company was founded, after her husband left her to follow a religious cult in Bolivia. Richard James died in 1974.

Initially, James would leave her six children with a caregiver from Sunday through Thursday while she oversaw operations in Philadelphia. But in 1965, she moved the company to her hometown of Hollidaysburg, where although it was sold in 1998 to Michigan-based POOF Products Inc., it remains today.

Hundreds of millions of Slinkys have been sold worldwide.


Glenn Sample

CINCINNATI (AP) - Glenn Sample, who coached baseball at the University of Cincinnati for 21 years and was an official scorer at Cincinnati Reds games for 29 seasons, died Friday. He was 77.

The Reds said Sample died at a Cincinnati hospital. The cause of death was not released.

Sample played baseball and football at the University of Cincinnati, where he became wrestling coach and assistant athletic director. His baseball teams won the Missouri Valley Conference championship twice and played in four NCAA Tournaments.

Sample was a fixture in the press box at Reds games since 1980.

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