Sam Carr, right, Haley and Marsha Barbour

Legendary Delta blues drummer Sam Carr, right, is presented with a Heritage Award by Gov. Haley and First Lady Marsha Barbour during the 2007 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts ceremony in Jackson, Miss. (Joe Ellis / Clarion-Ledger / February 16, 2007)

Yelizaveta Mukasei

Soviet spy was based in L.A. in '40s

Lt. Col. Yelizaveta Mukasei, 97, a Soviet spy who worked undercover in the West with her husband, died in Moscow early Saturday, according to Russian External Intelligence Service spokesman Sergei Ivanov.

Few details of her life have been made public by Russian authorities, but an obituary issued by the spy agency said Mukasei, whose code name was Elza, lived in Los Angeles from 1939 to 1943 when she and her husband, Mikhail, were working undercover here.

Born in 1912 in the southern Russian city of Ufa, Mukasei attended Leningrad University. She married Mikhail in 1934, and the couple were sent to California with their two children.

According to a 2009 report on Russian Channel One Europe TV, Mukasei was a radio operator who transmitted information that her husband gathered while working at the Soviet embassy.

The couple returned to the Soviet Union in the mid-1940s and received more training. Mukasei studied German, Polish and coding and worked as a secretary for a Moscow theater. The couple went back abroad and worked as spies from 1955 to 1977 in unidentified countries.

Later, after returning again to the Soviet Union, Mukasei helped train spies and wrote textbooks on spying. She was awarded several state medals.

Her husband Mikhail, whose code name was Zephyr, died last year at 101.

Don Yarborough

His run brought JFK to Texas

Don Yarborough, 83, who was a three-time gubernatorial candidate in Texas during the 1960s and whose challenge to incumbent Gov. John B. Connally was one of the reasons President Kennedy decided to make a swing through Texas in November 1963, died Wednesday at his home in Houston of complications from Parkinson's disease.

Yarborough was born in New Orleans in 1925. He served in the Marine Corps at the close of World War II and received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1950.

A liberal Democrat, Yarborough first ran for lieutenant governor in 1960, then made his first run for governor in 1962 against three-time incumbent Price Daniel and John Connally. Connally won.

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, himself a Texan, was concerned that Yarborough might defeat Connally in 1964 and that his liberal views would drive conservatives into the Republican fold, thus jeopardizing Kennedy's reelection chances in 1964. Johnson convinced Kennedy that a presidential visit to Texas would help unite the famously fractious party.

When Connally was shot while riding in the car with the president -- who was assassinated -- in Dallas, he became a national hero, and he easily defeated his liberal challenger. After losing another governor's race in 1968, Yarborough retired from politics.

Yarborough moved to Washington and was a lobbyist for a group advocating medical treatment for spinal cord injuries. He also supported efforts to cure aging, which he believed was simply a disease like any other. He returned to Houston in 1981.

Sam Carr

Drummer known for Delta blues