- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

Dave Arneson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Dave Arneson, one of the co-creators of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game and a pioneer of role-playing entertainment, died Tuesday. He was 61.

Arneson died in hospice care in St. Paul after a two-year battle with cancer, his family said Thursday.

Arneson and Gary Gygax developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys. It eventually was turned into video games, books and movies.

Dungeons & Dragons players create fictional characters and carry out their adventures with the help of complicated rules. A quintessential geek pastime, it spawned copycat games and later inspired a whole genre of computer games that’s still growing in popularity.

In later years, Dave published other role-playing games and started his own game-publishing company and computer game company. He also taught classes in game design. He was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame in 1984.

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Mike Casey

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Mike Casey, a former Kentucky basketball player, died Thursday. He was 60.

Casey died of heart complications at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., said John Shannon, owner of Shannon Funeral Home in Shelbyville, Ky.

Selected Mr. Basketball in 1966, Casey was the leading scorer at Kentucky as a sophomore in the 1967-68 season. He averaged 20 points and led the team in field-goal and free-throw percentages.

He was chosen to the All-NCAA Mideast Regional team in 1968 and the All-SEC team three times.

Casey sat out the 1969-70 season after breaking a leg. He returned the next year to finish his Kentucky career with 1,535 points, making him the school’s 13th all-time scorer.

Casey lived in Shelbyville and was retired from a company that makes class rings and graduation products.

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Dwight R. “Rocky” Crandell

SEATTLE (AP) _ Dwight R. “Rocky” Crandell, whose persistent tracking of deep layers of mud led to a pioneering reassessment of volcano hazards in the Pacific Northwest, died Monday. He was 86.

Crandell, a U.S. Geological Survey vulcanologist and author of numerous books and research papers, died at a hospice in Wheat Ridge, Colo. from a heart attack. His death was confirmed by James W. Vallance, a research geologist and friend of Crandell at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Wash.

While assigned to map the Puget Sound lowlands southeast of Seattle in the early 1950s, Crandell and his longtime scientific partner, Donal R. Mullineaux, overturned what was then the conventional wisdom that the area’s landscape had been shaped mainly by glaciers.

Filling his notebooks with observations of deep layers of mud beneath the surface from Enumclaw to Auburn, then tracing the mud for years, they eventually found it had come from high on the slopes of 14,411-foot Mount Rainier, the tallest volcano in the 48 contiguous states, previously thought to pose little danger.

They proved that about 5,600 years earlier, the summit of Mount Rainier had collapsed in an eruption that caused a landslide massive enough to reach Puget Sound near Tacoma, filling some valleys up to 400 feet deep. That awakened the recognition that a similar event could endanger hundreds of thousands of people living atop the ancient mudflows.

The approach used by Crandell and Mullineaux formed the basis of today’s volcano hazard assessment methodology and led to discoveries of the violent past and danger posed by Mount St. Helens.

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