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OLYMPIC UPDATE / 1 DAY TO THE GAMES | MISCELLANY

Some Leave After Security Problems

July 18, 1996|Staff and Wire Reports

Olympic security officials scrambled Wednesday to stem an exodus of disgruntled international law enforcement officers, who have begun leaving the mammoth force assembled to protect the Games.

The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games reported that within the past 10 days as many as 150 foreigners dropped out of an 1,100-member volunteer security force deployed to help guard sports venues and other sites. The main complaints were about cramped and insect-infested dormitories at Morehouse College, an inner-city campus ringed by some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.

According to press reports, officers also complained about lax training and job postings that failed make full use of their experience and language skills.

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Having failed to persuade Georgia leaders to rid the state flag of its Confederate battle emblem, civil rights groups are taking their campaign to an international audience with daily protests at the Olympics.

"It is a sad day when the Olympic flag stands side by side with the world's best-known symbol of racism," said Frank Jackalone, a leader of the Georgia Coalition to Change the Georgia Flag.

Beginning Monday, the coalition will rally against the Georgia flag daily at noon, carrying signs, singing, delivering speeches and handing out flyers.

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Wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, a two-time gold-medalist and this year's Sullivan Award winner, was chosen to carry the American flag during the opening ceremonies.

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Dick Pound, one of the most powerful officials in the Olympic movement, barely survived a key vote Wednesday that may have dented his prospects of becoming IOC president. Pound, the Canadian lawyer who negotiates TV rights for the IOC, was elected vice president of the IOC by only two votes over India's Ashwini Kumar. Among 12 new appointees to the IOC was basketball federation president George Killian, who becomes the third IOC member from the United States.

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The case against a Texas woman accused of defrauding journalists out of $1 million that they thought they were spending on housing for the Olympics will go to trial.

Meggen Mills, president of Atlanta Corporate Key, is charged with six counts of theft by deception. She is free on $100,000 bond.

Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Catherine Malicki said Tuesday there is enough evidence to take the case to a jury.

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