More than a year after her death, singer Kate Smith finally will be entombed in a pink granite mausoleum that church officials initially rejected as too ornate. It wasn't until Thursday that officials at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lake Placid, N.Y., consented to construction of the mausoleum.
Although St. Agnes does not permit large headstones and other elaborate memorials on its grounds, the church compromised for Smith's 8-by-10-by-6 1/2-foot mausoleum, which will have a bronze door with stained-glass window.
Helena Steene, Smith's sister and an executor of the singer's will, said the church's decision "will make everything peaceful again ... because we've had such a long fight."
Warhol Case Closed The Manhattan district attorney's office has closed its investigation into the death of artist Andy Warhol. Prosecutor Robert Morgenthau said the investigation showed that a chiropractor who treated Warhol before his hospitalization and a private nurse who looked after the artist while he was in the hospital were not criminally responsible for the heart attack that killed Warhol Feb. 20 after routine gallbladder surgery.
PTL Makes Payroll PTL spokeswoman Linda Ivey yesterday announced that a surge of contributions in response to the Rev. Jerry Falwell's eleventh-hour pleas has allowed the bankrupt ministry to pay all of its 1,350 employes. Right up through yesterday's late-morning "PTL Club" show, Falwell and his aides were telling the faithful that at best, some of PTL's upper-echelon employes would have to wait for their paychecks, but Ivey said Friday's show was taped on Thursday and the "payroll is being met today" after all.
Flynt Death Ruled Accidental Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt's wife Althea, whose body was found June 27 in the bathtub of the couple's home, accidentally drowned after taking drugs, a Los Angeles coroner ruled yesterday.
Laboratory tests showed that Althea Flynt, 33, a victim of AIDS-related complex who had a history of drug use, had taken "several different sedative-type drugs" before drowning. Larry Flynt has said his fourth wife had suffered from AIDS-related complex for about three years.
"We don't know what actually caused her to drown, but the drugs and AIDS were present," said Los Angeles County coroner spokesman Bill Gold. "We can't say how much the drugs and AIDS contributed to the drowning, but both could have had some effect."
Parliamentary Procedure Italian porno film star and member of Parliament Ilona Staller, better known as "Cicciolina" (Little Fleshy One), lived up to her reputation yesterday when she bared her breasts upon arriving at Athens airport.
The 37-year-old Hungarian-born blond, a member of the Italian Radical Party, exposed her breasts for an enthusiastic Greek press as she stood on the steps of the aircraft.
Staller, who was elected to the Italian Parliament earlier this year and has been a focus of media attention ever since, is on a private visit to Greece to celebrate the third anniversary of a Greek film company. She is expected to cruise around the Greek islands for the weekend and depart on Monday.
Foiling the Royals One hopes that Britain's royal family is through with transportation mishaps. This past week, Queen Elizabeth II, who took a ceremonial ride Thursday on a new high-tech driverless railway system, ended up stuck on the computer-controlled train. Minutes ticked by while embarrassed officials located an engineer to drive the train to the $123 million control center of the Docklands Light Railway. That same day, the queen's mother, Queen Mother Elizabeth, was leaving a church concert when her limousine collided with one of her own security vehicles. No one was hurt.
The Bond Benefit Premiere Thursday's sold-out benefit premiere of the new James Bond film, "The Living Daylights," turned out to be a great success. The event, including a champagne and dessert reception at the Grand Hotel, netted roughly $30,000 for Very Special Arts, an international organization founded by Jean Kennedy Smith that provides arts programs for mentally and physically handicapped children and adults. Also benefiting was Facing the Challenge, a public policy group aimed at eliminating social barriers to the handicapped. The latter was created by Ted Kennedy Jr. Among those attending the event were Smith, Kennedy, Albert Broccoli, producer of 15 Bond films, John Kennedy Jr. and Maryam d'Abo, who plays Bond's love interest in the new film.