The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina on December 29, 1988 · 46
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The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina · 46

Charlotte, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 29, 1988
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9 5 9co p I I I I I 1 raw CI-Imbue Observer Thursday December 29 1988 Driver Says Clown Cause Of Accident Eric Merrell and his family were heading west on Charlotte's Tyvola Road on the evening of Dec 12 The intersection of Tyvola and South Route- yard as usual that time of day and year was chaos 40 Merrell and hi 1 s family spotted something in the road that riveted their at- A11311 tention "It was so no- Norwood ticeable that we talked about it WILMA& aLAPIAL 11 We said 'What's that in the road?' It distracted me just long enough that I no longer had the green light" Merrell pulled into the hectic intersection — and into a three-vehicle wreck Merrell's children 6-year-old Laura and 5-year-old Eric Jr weren't seriously hurt Neither were the folks in the other vehicles thank goodness But the accident did an estimated $6000 in damage and Charlotte's busiest intersections always are potentially murderous Pick up the paper any morning for proof that Charlotte traffic can kill in the blink of an eye What distracted Merrell? A clown Yep a clown Someone dressed as a doggone clown collecting money from motorists at the intersection Merrell wasn't able to confirm which agency or charity the clown was representing But it doesn't matter Soliciting at stoplights goes on regularly especially during the holiday season — and always where traffic is heaviest Merrell's was the first accident I have known to be blamed on a clown in the road But I field complaints from time to time about people soliciting money at stoplights and try as I might I can't think of a convincing argument in favor of the practice On Christmas Eve one of the busiest days of the year I spotted some fellows collecting money on Independence Boulevard at NC 51 in Matthews On Independence now during the last-minute shopping blitz I don't know who they were but I'm absolutely sure of one thing: Not one of those fellows would have allowed his 3-year-old son or daughter to play in that traffic Why I bet most of them taught their dogs to stay the heck out of the street But there they were scurrying from car to car to collect nickels and dimes before the light turned green and the drag race began Lots of the people I field coin-See SOLICITORS Page 4C Inside In Greenville A county legislator says the chief Insurance commissioner should be an elected office Page 3C In Salisbury NC A basketball tournament closes after worries about spreading measles Page 4C IRS Official Offers Tips on Taxes By JOHN MONK Columbia Bureau COLUMBIA — The tax czar of South Carolina couldn't resist a pun "File your tax returns early and make your taxes less taxing" said Don Breihan IRS district director for South Carolina That was one taxing tip offered Wednesday by officials of the IRS the SC Tax Commission and the SC Association of Certified Public Accountants Other advice: Use the gummed address forms the tax agencies send you Use the addressed envelopes The tips handed out at a news conference at the Tax Commission offices doesn't differ much from previous years But it is timely — this week the IRS began mailing forms to 13 million South Carolinians The SC Tax Commission began its mailings last week Taxpayers can expect to receive them in the next two weeks The SC forms are based on the IRS forms A taxpayer who tint 0 South ind - :' ' ' '' -- ' '''-' s44--: :"" ' - -:- :-: ye - ' J ‘: "—:: :::-: :i4 ---" ' — -- -4 : : - ':: - - !N : " :- ) : ::' " :::::: - — :: : — !- k ' 1: ! 1: ' 2 -"":"'7froff-v1PIfr :''' 2411'-1?"!e!litl i ' : ' :: 10'::M' : ri 4-Y'1kf Ai:t-iitcttl‘ :41 ! t 0 r ?!:'-:i: A:: ''-''t''' - f' ''2 &I :'5A ' '"t :k !7jori t0 - -'-' i' e7 A? r-i' 4 - ''- '!'"2!' 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-: -' '1'-'-''-c' -----4:'': ---'':'-: ' -'l''''''-' '''-:''-' '''(- '':':::'-N ' '-' ::---)---' -':i::?'!:Z'44: t '''':':?'':-''i:''':''':'''':Z:i''!''':':g'::i'H!'':4--'tt'::::'' :':::-1'''''''''!----71i:I!1:ts-'::-:'-:'4:: i 1 4aP :'-::-11!::'-'':':5-?s x”k-fo!!!:':: '--------:'- :: '--:'':' 'i:':-: : '::' : :'::-":::" '72- -: --- g : — :-!:'::‘:-'1:::::'::::':: -":(:4-v-'f'::7 -- ::-:::! :-::----:-A :---:--'-::: '-------' :'---:------ --4:-:::t-!: :' ''::p:Ti-::':- y'::'!:: -----::: ':- --:::: -::-Lf--'-':- - -:--: --- -4----- -" ----::-- -:-----:-:- '''''''':::'''''''1'--::L1:--:11-:'''''::':'1''''''::-!:-- - : - :---'--''''-:::::':-----::::---::''"::-:'-'v''':-"':-7-:''-'-:':'''''''':::'::-'----t'":::::::-:k':-'!1!!I:7::'"""'"'""'''''—:- --'":4':::':'''''--i'SH"-'4:'i7-:'"1''''!'-'1-:::':':!'::'':'::': --'---:iti-4f"'s"-- '--:'-':'----:':-:: :::---:':''' -:t:--'-t7:':-:-: '''-::i'-':'::--::::'-'""'::1-- :t-:----- 0:: ":'- : t-:--7--77:-- -4: 4:-' -:---::--'-'-:-: -::::'::-:-:-::A11::::i!-::: :::: -::'s': :l-: ::::-:::: :':': - -ii-::::-r -:- ' ' '-'''''::- -':----':t4A::t''1f-lf-'-:"-''-':-:'-':':'-'-'':::'::1':-:'':'''t!1z:i::::ix::::! :::':0 :'''' :-:::'''-::: 11:7-:-:- --::----:-::-:--:----143:::-r::-::-::-::i--:---4 - -:::-2-----:::--:-::r--:::-: : t4f:-iel-I-4-::-::!::::!::::: t::::::tz1:::::: - - - - Ossie Campbell of Charlotte fights with her umbrella amid high winds Wednesday High Winter Right Behind Warm Wind By ED MARTIN Staff Writer December seemed more like March in the Carolinas on Wednesday as temperatures soared and high winds raced in ahead of an approaching cold front It will all end today as weather returns to more seasonal normals But while it lasted Wednesday's extremes set temperature records and prompted the National Weather Service to issue high wind warnings for much of Western North Carolina Virginia and Maryland At midafternoon Grandfather Mountain was buffeted by gusts to 127 mph Strong but far short of the record I 60-mph winds that have been recorded there Charlotte said meteorologist Carroll Clark recorded peak wind of 38 mph at 11:45 am Other t :::: :: : : : ::::: :: ::: :: :-:::!:: :::--:i::::-::-': 411 1 i: il ' ::: i vii i:izir: It: 4:: : : p: ::: - :i ::::" : r — --: 14: 21 :?:: -::ii15 I:'::''::::i"7::: : -5 - : :1!' : ::- t ' 4!g'4 ' 41'5 t''Ititii - li T :t::1::::::7::: !4:z:i11 :11::J:::::::::::: :7::::::::::: ::::::::k:A1::::::::::::::::::::0:::::7x ::TrIrrro:::::1:t::::::::::4'7:0' :::::::: ::::: : 4t4:-Ir:- - - --::-'1:?-1::::i!:V::: : '( : :-::: ''-: -:l'ist':4-: ?::::::: (:::::: "loe!! r :1:: ?::::-1fi'" - :::: ''i:' :::-:::::zz::-:: 5 0-totr' : r '' ! - : 4- - :!:4 "-:1 i 1 ''''''::- -:-: - -'" : : : : -: : - : -'- : ' v : ' j' 'f- '::'4Itt' - -: v i- - '' i L -p t- :?:-- f 1 4 -40- :"4:'::::: ! : -i y : ' ' ' ":Z""::::::-: '-:!"":"::::- - - 4' : ' '-'" 'tk"4 ': 2 " '' - ' - : ' r ' ::'--7t'''"''''a-'-'"-:'- : : : -- ! : i- '' 1 1 ? -- - - : : - ):z:: -:- ' !'i41 " - - - - ' - : : a444: - : -: Don Breihan district director for changes In the federal tax form ishes his IRS form should be able to do his state form "within 10 minutes" by plucking information off the US form said Tax Commission Chairman Hunter Howard To get a speedier federal refund SC taxpayers expecting money back can file their returns electronically though various tax preparers throughout the state But the same service is not yet available to people filing state returns for a refund state officials w I York Chester Lancaster UP wind warnings Carolinas cities were breezy too: Raleigh-Durham had 38 mph Hickory 41 mph Florence SC 34 mph and Greer SC 22 mph gusts In Raleigh National Weather Service officials said a high temperature of 72 at Cape Hatteras broke the previous high of 71 set in 1982 The Raleigh-Durham high of 74 degrees tied records in 1982 and 1984 In Charlotte Wednesday's high of 67 was above normal but short of the record 77 set in 1971 The warm winds were riding ahead of a cold front that was expected to pass through the Carolinas late Wednesday and early today In its wake the forecast was for clearing and cool today with highs in the upper 40s and lows in the 20s Cloudiness will return Friday with a chance of rain Saturday and clearing for New Year's Day : Anocisted Preys talks Wednesday about the IRS said Taxpayers will see few changes in the federal forms Breihan said Among them: Personal exemptions are up from $1900 to $1950 and job travel is now 24 cents a mile Howard said a major change taxpayers will see on the SC forms is that taxpayers may now round numbers off to the nearest dollar That way there should be fewer mathematical mistakes in the forms Howard said Yolk irollll'll i and Chesterfield Counties JIM ouNDStan were in effect for parts of the PTL Sale A By CHERYL CARPENTER And ELIZABETH LELAND Staff Writers US Bankruptcy Judge Rufus Reynolds on Wednesday set in motion the sale of PTL to Toronto real estate investor Stephen Mernick Reynolds working out of his Greensboro office signed an order formally selling the property to Memick for $65 million Memick now has 11 days to come up with a $325 million deposit If all goes as planned in 41 days Memick would assume joint operational control of PTL Japanese Kids Get Saturday School Associated Press GREENVILLE SC — A Saturday school for Japanese children set to open in April will help strengthen business and cultural ties with Japan officials say The school at Greenville Technical College also will be valued by the Japanese who use it because it will help students prepare for their return to the competitive schools of Japan The school will offer Japanese language mathematics and cultural studies every Saturday said Yuji Kishimoto president of the Japan-America Association of Spra ew Nuclear By BILL ARTHUR Besmear Wash Ineten Bureau WASHINGTON — Rep John Spratt D-SC may lead a new congressional panel to concentrate on nuclear weapons production problems at the Savannah River Plant and other US bomb factories Rep Les Aspin D-Wis chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is considering forming the new panel within his committee It would weigh the nation's need for weapons production versus safety at the plants that produce nuclear material for those weapons "A panel of this kind is being considered" Spratt said Wednesday "I would be in consideration for chairmanship of the panel" Several congressional committees have already investigated the nation's nuclear weapons production system and some have revealed serious safety lapses at the Savannah River Plant and elsewhere But the Armed Services Committee helps write the Pentagon budget and the new temporary panel could be influential in determining how to divide scarce money between safety and production The Savannah River Plant near Aiken SC which is controlled by the US Energy Department is the only US manufacturer of tritium a radioactive gas necessary for nuclear warheads Tritium decays and must be replenished But all three reactors at Savannah River have been shut for months because of safety concerns and estimates vary as to whether the current tritium supply will run Out in six months or two years The cost of cleaning up and making the department's weapons Charity Donors Racing To Beat Year-End Deadline By JOHN WILDNIAN Staff Writer At Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army officials are bracing for a year-end avalanche of donated clothing furniture and housewares At the Crisis Assistance Ministry space already is so overrun with donated clothing that people arriving with more are asked to help sort the bounty It's the annual rush by Charlotteans to give goods to charities before the 1988 tax year ends at midnight Saturday Taxpayers who itemize deductions may de duct the value of the goods "It's a hectic time of year for us but we're very glad to see it happen" said Cindy Harrell Goodwill's communications director Goodwill is adding staff members and lengthening its hours at collection sites today through Saturday to accept an expected daily crush of about 22 tons of goods — more than four times the typical daily haul of 5 tons Goodwill sells the goods at its thrift stores and uses profits to Step Closer Reynolds's signing of the order Wednesday was a formality He already had approved the offer Dec 13 in bankruptcy court in Columbia Still the Rev Sam Johnson pastor of Heritage Village Church at PTL and president of Heritage Ministries said he hasn't given up his hope to buy PTL in Fort Mill SC And there's also a chance Charlotte broadcasting executive Cy Bahakel may contest the sale Bahakel claimed he wasn't given a fair chance to beat Mernick's bid and his attorney Faison Barnes said two weeks ago Bahakel would appeal the order South Carolina which is organizing the school Most Japanese businessmen transferred to America stay three to four years and their children can have a hard time catching up when they return to Japan said Kishimoto an architecture professor at Clemson University Nationwide more than 40 such schools teach about 12000 students said educational attache Tomiji Sugawa in Washington The first was the Washington Japanese Language School started in 1958 for the children of diplomats More than 350 students attend the two Saturday sphools in Ate ' Section C Carolina LivingSC Classified9C Comics28C ay Hea On eapo s plants safe ranges from $50 million to 8200 million over the next 20 years And the department wants to build two new tritium producing reactors in Idaho and Savannah River at a cost of about $9 billion The panel would help set budget priorities Traditionally the Armed Services Committee has stressed the need for weapons production While committee members are still concerned about that their emphasis may be shifting Recent safety lapses led 28 committee members to write the president and Energy Secretary John Herrington last fall urging them to step up safety efforts The letter to Herrington even contained an implicit offer by the committee to approve sufficient money for safety improvements Spratt wrote the letter He also introduced a bill eventually passed that set up an independent board to review safety at the nuclear weapons plants and make public recommendations Spratt might have an inside track on the panel chairmanship since the Savannah River Plant is in his state although not in his congressional district That means he is close to the problem but removed enough to be critical if necessary of a plant that is popular for the local jobs it provides Still questions remain about the new panel's membership and whether chairmen of existing Armed Services subcommittees might claim jurisdiction over nuclear weapons production Environmental concerns are taking a backseat to production concerns at the Savannah River Plant according to Sprat The Associated Press contributed to this article train the disabled and help them get jobs The agency placed 104 disabled men and women in jobs in 1987 At the clothing program at Crisis Assistance Ministry officials pleaded Wednesday for volunteers to help sort clothing which is given to the needy "We are Out of storage space" said program Director ME Wiebler "We really need help processing the clothing" Wiebler said the agency has filled a truck trailer with summer clothes The agency needs maternity and winter clothes Two Charlotte agencies — the Salvation Army and Rebound — sell donated goods through thrift stores to finance rehabilitation programs for men mostly dependent on alcohol or drugs The Salvation Army's program serves 84 men at a Central Avenue facility Rebound assists 138 men at its complex on West First Street "This is our heaviest week of donations of the year but all of See DONORS Page 4C To Reality "Appeal is a definite prospect although no final decision will be made until the order has been studied" Bahakel said Wednesday The order is expected to be filed today in US Bankruptcy Court in Columbia PTL has been in bankruptcy court since June 1987 three months after former leader Jim Bakker resigned in a sex and money scandal Last week Johnson said in an interview that Heritage Ministries PTL's independent religious arm would continue to raise money in case Memick's deal falls through See SALE Page 4C lanta according to Stephen Allen public relations officer for the Consulate General's office in Atlanta Some come from as far away as Alabama he said "Education is so important to the Japanese I think they value it even more highly than we do" Allen said The school also aids the city's recruitment of Japanese business he said The Greenville area has at least 11 companies with Japanese ties Kishimoto said "It's just one of the ingredients that is useful to have And it's a See JAPANESE Page 4C n C 1g5C 3d9C 328C L Is ) mile next tment ritium o and about mdget the e has is pro-mem-t that ing Lem to tter to m imtee to y for wrote even) indefety at sand inside anship lant is in his means a but cal if )ut the and isting dttees er nus are uction River ibuted le ) them :d 104 in jobs at Crifficials inteers ich is pace" has immer the nd — thrift tation The serves 1 at its :ek of all of tY )spect ill be been filed )urt in ruptcy three r Jim and in an stries arm riey in rough 01 Allen 1r the in At- away mt to due it do" city's mess has at panne lients it's a

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