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    Clela Rorex, a former Colorado county clerk considered a pioneer in the gay rights movement for being the first public official to issue a same-sex marriage license in 1975, has died. She was 78. The Daily Camera reports that Rorex died Sunday of complications from recent surgery at a hospice care facility. Rorex was a newly elected Boulder County clerk when a gay couple denied a marriage license elsewhere sought her help in March 1975. The then-31-year-old agreed and went on to issue six licenses to gay couples before Colorado’s attorney general ordered her to stop. Colorado legalized gay marriage in 2014. A 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision recognized the fundamental right nationwide.

      A top aide to Russian President Boris Yeltsin who helped prepare and signed the 1991 pact that led to the formal breakup of the Soviet Union has died. Russian news reports say Gennady Burbulis was 76. Burbulis was secretary of state and first deputy chairman of the Russian government from 1991-1992. He was instrumental in steering the new, post-Soviet Russian state. With Yeltsin, he signed for Russia the agreement reached in 1991 with the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus to disband the Soviet Union. He is the third key player to that agreement who has died in the past several weeks.

        One of the giants of post-colonial Caribbean writing has died at 94. George Lamming's novels, essays and speeches influenced readers and peers in his native Barbados and around the world. Lamming’s calling was to address the crimes of history, preserve his native culture and forge a “collective sense” of the future. In novels such as “In the Castle of My Skin” and “Season of Adventure” and in his nonfiction work, Lamming explored the Caribbean’s complicated legacy _ as a destination for enslaved people from Africa, as a British colony and as an uneasy neighbor of the United States.

          Uffe Ellemann-Jensen who was Denmark’s foreign minister for more than 10 years from the early 1980s and was considered one of the Nordic region’s key politicians in the end phase of the Cold War, has died. He was 80. The conservative-liberal Venstre party, which Ellemann-Jensen led for 14 years, said in a brief statement on Sunday that he died overnight “after a long illness." The cause of death wasn’t immediately given.

            Joel Whitburn, who turned his fascination with the Billboard charts into a career cataloging the history of charted music that kept gatekeepers honest about the performance of hits, has died. He was 82. Whitburn published more than 100 total entries of series like “Top Pop Singles,” “Top 40 Hits,” “Top 40 Albums” and “Top 40 Country Hits,” helping the whole industry with reliable chart stats and records. His books were crucial to DJs, publicists and chart nerds. Whitburn also was a collector and kept 150,000 singles, albums and CDs, including every record ever listed in the Billboard Hot 100.

              French film actor and amateur race car driver Jean-Louis Trintignant has died at age 91. Trintignant earned acclaim for his starring role in the Oscar-winning “A Man and a Woman” half a century ago and went on to portray the brutality of aging in his later years. He died in his home in southern France, according to Bertrand Cortellini, who operated a vineyard with Trintignant. French news reports said Trintignant had prostate cancer. During a career that started when he was 19, Trintignant appeared in some 120 films. including starring with Brigitte Bardot in “And God ... Created Woman” in 1956.

              Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation’s oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. Remarkably, no one was reported injured or killed. Superintendent Cam Sholly said Tuesday the only visitors left in the massive park straddling three states were a dozen campers still making their way out of the backcountry. Sholly says the park could remain closed as long as a week, and northern entrances may not reopen this summer.

              The head of a congressional panel says the U.S. failed to take basic steps at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent fraud in a federal aid program intended to help small businesses. Democratic Rep. James Clyburn on Tuesday blamed the Trump administration for problems in the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program amid revelations tens of billions of dollars may have been awarded to fraudsters. The program is overseen by the Small Business Administration, whose inspector general says there was a struggle at the agency about the “need for speed versus the need for controls.” Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, says Democrats are undermining the successes.

              Flooding has wiped out roads and bridges and closed off all entrances to Yellowstone National Park at the onset of the busy summer tourist season. Officials are evacuating visitors from the northern part of the park. And the flooding has cut off road access to Gardiner, a town of about 900 people near Yellowstone’s busy North Entrance. The flooding caused at least one rock slide, cut off electricity and imperiled water and sewer systems in northern Yellowstone, but has affected other areas of the park as well. Flooding also has hit the Yellowstone gateway communities of Red Lodge and Joliet in southern Montana.

              Melody Currey, a former state commissioner, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and the mayor of East Hartford who “touched the lives of so many,” has died. She was 71. The Democrat’s death was confirmed Monday by East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh in a Facebook post. He called Currey a wonderful boss, a great mentor and dear friend. Currey served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1993 to 2006, rising to deputy majority leader and deputy speaker during her tenure. She served as mayor of East Hartford from 2006 to 2010 before being tapped as commissioner of several state agencies, including the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Agriculture and Administrative Services.

              Rep. Jeffery Gifford, a retired paper mill worker who served five terms in the Maine Legislature, has died at age 75. Gifford served four terms from 2006 to 2014 and was elected to another term in 2020. The Republican from Madison, who died Sunday, was unopposed on the Tuesday primary ballot. He's the fourth sitting state legislator to die this year. Reps. Donna Doore, of Augusta, and John Tuttle Jr., of Sanford, in late January, and Rep. Theodore “Ted” Kryzak Jr., of Acton, died in March.

              Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor of film and theater who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s early movies and who memorably hunted down a long-overdue library book in “Seinfeld,” has died. He was 90. Holly Wolfle Hall, the actor’s wife of nearly 40 years, says Hall died Sunday surrounded by loved ones in Glendale, California. She says Hall had been well until a few weeks earlier, and spent his final days in warm spirits, reflecting on his life. Hall played the library detective Lt. Joe Bookman on “Seinfeld” and appeared in Anderson's “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia.”

              A New Hampshire Democrat who ran numerous campaigns, J. Joseph “Joe” Grandmaison has died at 79. His brother said Grandmaison died from Parkinson’s disease Saturday in Portsmouth. Grandmaison ran a number of campaigns over the years and was an informal adviser to others, including President Bill Clinton. The Nashua native cut his teeth working on the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972. That was just the start of many campaigns with his fingerprints on them. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen called him a “political legend.”

              Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, has died. He was 84. The NFL team and the University of New Mexico, where Perkins was a standout player before going to the pros, said Perkins died Thursday. Perkins rushed for 6,217 yards in 107 games while with the Cowboys from 1961-68. He is fourth on the team’s career list behind NFL career rusher leader Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett and Ezekiel Elliott. Perkins is fifth in team history with his 42 rushing touchdowns.


              The Buffalo News has been part of the Buffalo community since XXXX. Our reporters are fellow Buffalonians who live and breathe this city. From tailgating at a Bills game to … (text to be provided by Meredith) Check out these stories that we’ve highlighted below.

              The first female mayor of Rock Hill who was known as a civic booster who was instrumental in building its premier recreational complex and other infrastructure has died. Elizabeth Josephine “Betty Jo” Dunlap Rhea died Monday. She was 91. The Herald reports Rhea was mayor from 1986 to 1997. The newspaper reports she led the city through growth and development of new industries after the region’s textile mills closed. Mayor John Gettys, the city’s current leader, said in a statement that Rhea’s vision for the city has been a benefit for all its residents and visitors.

              Former U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, who served three terms representing Louisiana in the House and treated thousands as an eye surgeon, has died. He was 80. The Republican who served the 5th District from 1997 to 2003 died Saturday. A cause of death has not been released. In a statement, Republican U.S. Rep. Julia Letlow described Cooksey as a selfless and dedicated public servant. She says he was a tireless advocate for the region. The News-Star reports Gov. John Bel Edwards will order flags to fly at half-staff the day of Cooksey's funeral. Funeral plans were pending. He says Cooksey leaves a long legacy of service to the state and will not soon be forgotten.

              Portuguese-British artist Paula Rego has died at the age of 87.  The Victoria Miro Gallery said the artist died Wednesday at her London home after a short illness. Though she lived in Britain, Rego’s work was infused with the colors and stories of her homeland, including her childhood under a dictatorship in Portugal. Major museums have pieces by Rego’s in their collections. Her work spanned styles from naturalism to the abstract, and often included vivid, unnerving depictions of people, animals or both. Among her best-known works are the “Dog Woman” pastel drawings portraying women in a series of canine poses. The Portuguese government has declared a day of national mourning in Rego's honor.

              Foo Fighters will honor the rock band’s late drummer Taylor Hawkins with a pair of tribute concerts in September, with one in London and the other in Los Angeles. The twin shows will take place Sept. 3 at London’s Wembley Stadium and Sept. 27 at The Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, featuring “his bandmates and his inspirations playing the songs that he fell in love with, and the ones he brought to life,” the band said in a statement. Lineups for each show will be announced at a later date. Hawkins died March 25 during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50.

              Song Hae, a South Korean TV presenter who was beloved for decades as the warm-humored emcee of a nationally televised singing contest, has died at the age of 95. Born in 1927 in what is now North Korea, Song escaped to the South during the 1950-53 Korean War and began his showbiz career later in the 1950s. His breakthrough came as a comedian and he became a mainstay in TV and radio shows as a cuddly personality who peppered guests with wisecracks and jokes. Song had emceed KBS TV's “National Singing Contest” since 1988. The show, which airs on Sundays at noon, visits cities and towns across the country hosting amateur singing competitions.

              Jim Seals, who teamed with fellow musician “Dash” Crofts on such 1970s soft-rock hits as “Summer Breeze,” “Diamond Girl” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again,” has died at age 80. His death was announced Tuesday by several people including John Ford Coley, who had formed the ‘70s duo England Dan and John Ford Coley with Seals’ older brother Dan. Seals and Darrell George “Dash” Crofts were Texas natives who had known each other since they were teenagers and had previously been in the Champs. They formed Seals and Crofts in the late 1960s.

              Former Illinois U.S. Rep. John E. Porter has died at the age of 87. In a statement, Porter's family say he died Friday after a recent hospitalization. Porter was a Republican who represented the 10th District in northern Illinois from 1980 until 2001. Porter was a staunch fiscal conservative, a leader on international human rights and a strong supporter of increasing funding for scientific and biomedical research. He also held moderate social views that are almost unheard of in today's Republican party, including support for abortion rights and gun control.

              Nobuyuki Idei, who led Japan’s Sony from 1998 through 2005 and steered its growth in the digital and entertainment businesses, has died. He was 84. Sony says Idei died June 2 in Tokyo of liver failure. Sony is among Japan’s stellar brands, having brought the world the Walkman portable music player. But it had humble beginnings in the 1940s, when the nation was rebuilding from the ashes of World War II. Idei joined Sony in 1960, and worked in its audio and video divisions. He was appointed president in 1995, and became chief executive three years later.

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