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Top 5 at noon: How Henry Lyons cheated a Temple Terrace church and a wealthy charity; in death, Martin Luther King Jr. inspired change around Tampa Bay; and more

Reverend Henry Lyons poses for a photo in his study in his Tampa home in June 2017. [Times files]
Reverend Henry Lyons poses for a photo in his study in his Tampa home in June 2017. [Times files]
Published Apr. 3, 2018

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

HOW HENRY LYONS CHEATED A TEMPLE TERRACE CHURCH AND A WEALTHY CHARITY

Before he was sent to prison nearly 20 years ago, the Rev. Henry Lyons apologized for a litany of sins. But the former St. Petersburg pastor who once presided over the nation's largest black religious organization never said a word about Rochelle McCanns. McCanns is a convicted prostitute who rose to an administrative position at Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based philanthropy that is one of the world's wealthiest charitable foundations. In the 1990s, records show, Lyons secretly funneled thousands in National Baptist Convention U.S.A. money to McCanns, including $10,000 donated by the Anti-Defamation League for the rebuilding of black churches damaged by arson. Now a Tampa Bay Times investigation finds the relationship between the two continued decades later in a new Lyons' scheme.

IN DEATH, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. INSPIRED CHANGE AROUND TAMPA BAY

Fifty years ago this week, just days after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead in Memphis, Askia Muhammad Aquil, a student activist leader, struggled with what to say as keynote speaker at a USF event memorializing the slain civil rights giant. "How do you eulogize such a man?" said Aquil, now 71. In his final draft, Aquil focused less on what King had achieved and more on what needed to be achieved. Honor King with actions, not tears, he said. It was a message civil rights leaders throughout the area preached and that in the immediate aftermath of the April 4, 1968 assassination helped their push for equality. And 50 years after King's murder, they hope that is the legacy around Tampa Bay from that tumultuous time.

'I'M READY TO DO IT AGAIN,' GEORGIA MAN SAID AFTER 2005 POLICE SHOOTOUT

Timothy Orlando Wyatt came to Tampa with guns blazing. The Georgia fugitive sprayed police officers with bullets during a high-speed chase down Interstate 275 on Sunday and continued firing even while attempting to hijack a young woman's SUV, Tampa police reported. That's how the 41-year-old murder suspect lost his life, in a barrage of gunfire from four Tampa police officers. But it wasn't his first rodeo. Nearly 12 years ago, Wyatt surrendered after a similar showdown with law enforcement in Clayton County, Ga.

WHOLE FOODS TO MOVE AND EXPAND N DALE MABRY STORE AT NEW MIDTOWN TAMPA PROJECT

Whole Foods Market plans to move its N Dale Mabry store to a bigger space in the recently announced Midtown Tampa project just south of Interstate 275. With the move, announced today, the Whole Foods will grow from 32,000 to 48,000 square feet, making the new store the organic food retailer's largest in the Tampa metro area. The lease for new space at 1001 N Dale Mabry Highway also will make Whole Foods the first major tenant announced for Midtown Tampa.

RAYS RANKED AMONG BASEBALL'S LEAST WATCHABLE TEAMS

Aside from their late comeback win on opening day, the Rays haven't exactly been captivating to watch this season. Three consecutive losses in which they averaged a run a game dropped them into last place in the AL East after just four games. And, having discarded most of their run-producers from a season ago, there's not much reason to think their scoring will improve a whole lot. So it shouldn't be surprising that one major sports site ranks the Rays among the least watchable teams in basebal. According to SI.com, only the Tigers, Padres, Marlins and Royals are harder on the eyes this season.

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