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Yan Chernyak, a former Soviet intelligence agent who ran an elaborate spy n

February 21, 1995

MOSCOW (AP) _ Yan Chernyak, a former Soviet intelligence agent who ran an elaborate spy network in Nazi Germany for 15 years and helped Moscow develop its nuclear weapons program, died Sunday. He was 85.

As a military intelligence agent in Nazi Germany from 1930 until the end of World War II, Chernyak created a huge intelligence network and recruited several dozen agents.

Information he obtained was used to devise the first Soviet radar, which formed part of Moscow’s air defenses during Nazi raids in 1941, according to a statement from the Russian army’s general staff.

Chernyak also was ``instrumental″ in developing the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons program, the statement said. Details of his spy activities remain secret.

After World War II, and until retiring in 1969, Chernyak was a translator for the official Soviet news agency, Tass. Earlier this month, he received the Hero of Russia award, the nation’s highest honor.

Mildred Mathias

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Mildred Mathias, a renowned botanist whose late-in-life treks through rain forests and jungles earned her almost as much admiration as her scientific achievements, died Thursday from stroke complications. She was 88.

As professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, Mathias authored 200 research papers, articles and books. She specialized in the carrot family and in taxonomy, the science of classification.

Officially retired since 1974, she continued to teach some undergraduate biology courses and lead nature study courses in faraway lands for UCLA Extension, taking hundreds of non-scientists through the jungles of Africa, Central America and Australia.

Mathias also was instrumental in the Nature Conservancy’s acquisition of the 50,000-acre Santa Cruz Island off Santa Barbara. She also chaired the University of California Natural Reserve System, which controls 26 sites around the state where ecologists do field studies.

John J. Phelan

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) _ John J. Phelan, chief executive officer of Stride Rite Shoe Co., died of cancer Friday. He was 64.

Phelan worked for Blue Star Shoe, which merged with Green Shoe Co. and eventually became Stride Rite Shoe. He was executive vice president and treasurer of Stride Rite before becoming chief executive officer.

Bob Stinson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Bob Stinson, former lead guitarist for the Replacements, was found dead in his apartment Saturday. He was 35.

The cause was not immediately determined.

Stinson’s struggle with drug and alcohol abuse led to his ouster from the now defunct Minneapolis-based rock band in 1986, as well as estrangement from his wife, Carleen, and his 6-year-old son, Joey.

Stinson was diagnosed as suffering from a manic-depressive disorder last year and was taking medication to combat intense mood swings.

With the Replacements, he made five recordings: ``Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash″ (1981); ``The Replacements Stink″ (1982); ``Hootenanny″ (1983); ``Let It Be″ (1984), which was named one of the best 100 records of all time by Rolling Stone magazine; and ``Tim″ (1985).

Irwin N. Stroll

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Irwin N. Stroll, a prominent interior designer who was wounded in the 1968 Robert F. Kennedy assassination, died Thursday of AIDS complications. He was 43.

Stroll was shot in the leg at the Ambassador Hotel, where Kennedy had gone to address supporters following his victory in California’s Democratic presidential primary.

Stroll, then an art student and Kennedy volunteer, had been waiting to present one of his works to the New York senator when he and four others were shot. Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of killing Kennedy.

Stroll made a full recovery and went on to establish a lucrative design business. His clients included celebrities Dustin Hoffman, Regis Philbin and Jackie Collins.

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