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The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina • 1

Charlotte, North Carolina
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PAGE IB 'NASCAR parks Earnhardt Hot new books for kids SPORTS IB LIVING! Cfarto A A wwwcharlottecom TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2 1997 METRO EDITION 500 National Baptist board backs president But some pastors vow to pursue ethics issue Some paparazzi who chased Diana reportedly to be charged 5 i 1 By ANNE SWARDS0N Washington Post PARIS The driver of the Mercedes sedan carrying Princess Diana was legally drunk when he crashed in a roadway tunnel here early Sunday killing Diana companion Dodi Fayed and himself the Paris office said Monday The announcement did not specify his blood alcohol level but news agencies quoted official sources as saying it was three times the legal limit for drivers in France The driver who was identified Monday as Henri Paul 41 had been trained in close-quarter driving on the same type of Mercedes he was handling the night of the accident Paul a former French air force pilot was assistant security director at the Hotel Ritz where Diana and Fayed ate their last dinner The decision that he would chauffeur the couple was made at the last minute according to a Fayed family lawyer who said Paul was called in from home late in the evening In issues of London newspapers there were unconfirmed reports that Paul had taunted photographers before departing from the hotel with Diana and Fayed suggesting that they be able to keep up with the Mercedes Lawyers for the paparazzi photographers who were following the speeding car argued that the revelation shifted responsibility from By DAVID BRIGGS Associated Press DENVER The leadership of the largest black church embraced its embattled president Monday voting to oppose efforts to unseat the Rev Henry Lyons and drop an investigation into allegations that he misused church funds The 200-member board of directors of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc joined by an additional 1000 church leaders in a packed convention ball-r A room approved with no dissenting -A A I votes a motion to drop whole said the Rev EV Hill head of an 18-member Ethics Commission that had investigated the allegations against Lyons Earlier Monday amid some cheers and a scattering of boos the board reported that it had found no misappropriation of church funds or any other reason for the Florida pastor to step down At the same time the Ethics Commission recommended that the church hire a full-time executive officer and not allow any other bank accounts to be opened without approval from the executive board Stressing a biblical theme of forgiveness in song and sermon at the opening of the closed-door meeting Monday one pastor evoked media harassment of the late Princess Diana in calling on church members to support Lyons let us destroy him let us kill the pastor said in an emotional prayer that could be heard but not seen by reporters let white America tell us how to do your The board of the 85 million-member National Baptist Convention USA met behind closed doors Monday to take up allegations that Lyons of St Petersburg Fla used church accounts to buy expensive jewelry a Mercedes-Benz and a $700000 home with a woman he allegedly was having an affair with Lyons and the woman also had signed a contract to buy a $925000 mansion off Fairview Road in Charlotte and put down a $2000 deposit before pulling out of the deal in July On Sunday night a contrite Lyons bowed his head and thanked supporters at a packed prayer meeting where speakers praised him for admitting mistakes in his handling of church funds He denied criminal wrongdoing think going to be the greatest hour for spiritual redemp- Please see LYONS page 5A BEN CURTISAssociated Press A mother and son lay flowers outside St James's Palace in London Monday in remembrance of Princess Diana A portrait of Diana (top) rests amid flowers and cards at the British Embassy in Washington DC The embassy has been a magnet for people mourning Diana lease see DRIVER page 8A Tributes bloom planned that will move coffin from St James's Palace to Westminster Abbey the 13th-century Gothic church where the main service involving some 2000 mourners will be held Later that day she will be buried in a private ceremony at her chapel at St Mary the Virgin Church in the village of Brington about 70 miles north of London A White House spokesman said Monday that no decision had yet been made on who would represent the United States at funeral President Clinton who is scheduled to remain on vacation in Vineyard until Sunday will not attend the funeral presidential spokesman Joe Lockhart said Lockhart said the White PAYING RESPECTS MOURNING: Princess body lay in a closed chapel at St Palace Monday Thousands waited outside for up to six hours to sign condolence books in one room of the palace For the second night in a row an impromptu candlelight vigil began just before dark FUNERAL: On Saturday coffin will be moved to Westminster Abbey in an elaborate one-hour procession Services will be held at 11 am (6 am EDT) with 2000 guests invited Burial will be private at ancestral family chapel 70 miles north of London By DAN BALZ Washington Post LONDON As thousands of mourners paid their respects to Diana Princess of Wales Monday Buckingham Palace prepared for a Saturday funeral that will combine the pomp of a royal service with less-formal touches designed to reflect the extraordinary role Diana played Palace officials described the services which will be held at Westminster Abbey as unique funeral for a unique The arrangement appeared devised to accommodate complex social position as the divorced wife of the heir to the throne Prince Charles as well as her popularity among Britons and people throughout the world The services will include an elaborate hourlong procession ADRIAN DENNISAssociated Press Mourners walk by the many flowers left in honor of Princess Diana at the gates to Buckingham Palace in London Monday Please see TRIBUTES page 8A Do school bells ring too soon? PREVENTING SITE CRIME WEATHER: Partly cloudy High in the upper 80s Partly cloudy tonight Low near 70 NO BUSINESS SECTION TODAY: Stock markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday For construction companies and subcontractors: Make sure materials are delivered early in the day when a supenntendent is on the site and the materials can be secured before leaving for the night Whenever possible take tools home with you Consider installing special switches on heavy equipment to disable It so it can't be hot wired Keep serial numbers and detailed descriptions of all tools and equipment on hand Thieves hammering at construction sites Losses add to costs of new houses By LEIGH DYER Staff Writer some of the most vulnerable places in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties providing abundant opportunities for thieves vandals and even arsonists And as the Piedmont area grows problems at construction sites will only get worse law-enforcement officials say Construction sites for new homes apartments shopping centers and roads are such common places for crimes that they have a separate category on Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reports Tools equipment and building materials vanish from them by the truckload And we all end up paying for it Nationally thefts account for 1 percent to 3 percent of the cost of a new home said Gopal Ahluwalia research director for the National Home Builders Association That rate gets higher in suburban and rural areas where sites have as many neighbors to discourage thieves said Bill Vandell president of the Please see PIEDMONT page 6A he said Although not interviewed in the survey some area parents know exactly how they would use those extra days in August and September if they had them would definitely vacation said Charlotte parent Lisa Boomgarden who would have preferred for school to start later than the Aug 18 opening Debby Wade a parent of an East Mecklenburg High student also gave thumbs-up to a later start with one condition "1 would not want to give up spring But school start soon enough for some others Parent Cheryl McBrayer of Chester SC where school opened Aug 25 mind a year-round school schedule with a shorter summer break "It seems that when kids are not in school they have a tendency to get McBrayer said Some students agree that they would get antsy West Mecklenburg High sophomore Micah Perrell fills her summer with soft-ball basketball and travel Once those activities end ready to go back to class Let summer linger longer say most parents surveyed By CELESTE SMITH Staff Writer If some parents across the country had their way the annual back-to-school ritual kick in until this week The majority of parents participating in a recent national poll said prefer it if school started after Labor Day Charlotte-based Rasmussen Research a public opinion polling firm interviewed 1000 adults from around the country last month Sixty-one percent said school start until after Labor Day 21 percent said they prefer starting before the holiday and 15 percent said it matter The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points The poll ask respondents why they wanted a later start but researcher Scott Rasmussen believes some parents like the "seasonal" feel that an after-Labor Day school start would bring "Labor Day marks the end of summer and somehow it just seems How to contact The Observer 2A Observer Plus 377-4444 News advertising updated all day ro i1 j- Vi tin Lr Hh this newspaper is printed in part on recyr led paper and is recyclable "nWinici 8 Content 1997 The Cherlotte Observer fen Source Cherlotto-Mocklonburg Police I IBJWJI.

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