- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

Joseph P. Albright

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Albright, a former House of Delegates speaker who became the most consistent anchor for the high court’s opinions, has died. He was 70.

Albright was flown to Pittsburgh Friday with complications from esophageal cancer and died at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, his daughter Lettie Muckley said Saturday.

The Wood County Democrat first won a seat in the state Legislature in 1970. A Notre Dame Law School graduate, Albright had served as Parkersburg’s city attorney and an assistant county prosecutor. He was edged out during the next election, but was returned to the House in 1974.

He rose to chair the House Education Committee in 1977, and to chair of the influential Judiciary Committee the following term. Delegates elected him the House’s 52nd speaker in 1985.

In 1995, then-Gov. Gaston Caperton appointed him to fill an expired term on West Virginia’s sole court of appeals. Targeted by labor groups after affirming changes to the workers’ compensation system, Albright lost the 1996 primary.

Albright twice sought to rejoin the high court, winning a full 12-year term in 2000. As justice, he wrote more than 120 majority opinions. He served as chief justice of the five-member court in 2005.

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Billy C. Clark

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) _ Appalachian author Billy C. Clark, who wrote about Kentucky’s Big Sandy River region, has died. He was 80.

Clark died Sunday at his home in Farmville, Va., David Puckett of the Puckett Funeral Home in Farmville said Friday.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Clark was known as “the chronicler of the Big Sandy region” through his 16 books and numerous short stories and poems.

He was probably best known for 1960’s “A Long Row to Hoe,” the story of a poor family living where the Big Sandy and Ohio rivers come together.

Clark became writer-in-residence at Longwood University in Farmville in 1986.

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Walt Poddubny

THUNDER BAY, Ontario (AP) _ Former NHL player Walt Poddubny has died. He was 49.

The cause of his death Saturday wasn’t known. The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal reported that a person close to the family said Poddubny collapsed at his sister’s house, where he was living.

Drafted 90th overall by Edmonton in 1980, Poddubny played 11 NHL seasons for the Oilers, Toronto, the New York Rangers, Quebec and New Jersey. He had 184 goals and 238 assists in 468 games and topped the 30-goal mark three times.

After finishing his playing career in the American Hockey League with the Worcester IceCats, Poddubny coached the Anchorage Aces in the West Coast Hockey League.

He returned home in 2003 to spend time with his children and was involved in coaching and hockey celebrity appearances.

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