WS Chronicle http://www.wschronicle.com Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:36:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Students to Raymond: ‘Uncle Tom!’ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/students-raymond-uncle-tom/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/students-raymond-uncle-tom/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:00:06 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34830 BOE denies WSSU voting site for 2016 BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE The Forsyth County Board of Elections voted for a final time that there will no 2016 voting site

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BOE denies WSSU voting site for 2016

BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

The Forsyth County Board of Elections voted for a final time that there will no 2016 voting site at Winston-Salem State University, which was met with a racially charged chant from some attendees. The Anderson Center at WSSU was a longtime early voting site before the board became majority Republican in 2013. Since then, it hasn’t been used as a site, becoming a point of contention at meetings as students, residents, community leaders and even elected officials have requested early voting return to the historically black university. The board’s sole Democrat, Fleming El-Amin, said 53 people have requested that Anderson Center be used for voting during the board’s public comment sessions.

The Tuesday, Sept. 20, BOE meeting was the last chance for WSSU to be a voting site this year, as Election Day polling place changes were considered. El-Amin proposed that Anderson Center be used as a voting site for Precinct 405 since construction on U.S. 52 is making it difficult to cross that highway to get to its current polling place at Sims Community Center. The measure was voted down 2-1 with Chair Ken Raymond and Stuart Russell, both Republicans, voting against it.

A chant of “Uncle Tom” rang out among the many WSSU students in the audience during the vote. Raymond, who is black, struck his gavel and told them to stop, saying he could clear the room as the chant grew loud enough to drown out the board members. El-Amin calmed the crowd down, telling them to not be discouraged, and to come out and take advantage of the Saturdays during early voting. The audience applauded and was silent as the board moved on to the next item and a security officer arrived.  The students in the audience promptly left after that.

At the end of the meeting, Russell said he was disappointed a “racial slur” was directed at Raymond, even if it was by black students. Raymond said he felt it was part on an attitude that all black people have to think alike and can-not be Republicans. Fleming said Raymond handled the situation well, not telling security to arrest anyone or make them leave, which he has the authority to do under statute.

The two Republican board members said they wanted to keep Sims as the polling site because N.C. DOT assured them that traffic access across 52 would return to normal after the construction, which is scheduled to end next summer. They said they didn’t see a reason to permanently move the site for a temporary situation. El-Amin said that doesn’t help the majority of voters in the precinct, who live on the other side of 52, in this election.

“It’s not going to be open for November at all,” he said.

El-Amin also argued that the board should listen to the overwhelming public outcry for the site, and that ”prejudice” against WSSU was the only reason he can think of for continuing to deny a voting site at Anderson.

The other site changes the board considered went off without incident. The board voted unanimously to keep First Alliance Church in Precinct 602 when a suitable alternate site couldn’t be found. The board voted unanimously to move the polling place in Precinct 709 from Ward Elementary School to Hope Moravian Church because it has better traffic access and parking.

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New playground coming to East Winston neighborhood http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/34838/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/34838/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:45:52 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34838 Playground Build Day set for Sept. 24 at 14th Street Recreation Center BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE  The kids in East Winston will soon have a brand new playground to

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Playground Build Day set for Sept. 24 at 14th Street Recreation Center

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

The kids in East Winston will soon have a brand new playground to enjoy. This weekend, community members, volunteers, and local organizations will come together to build a new playground that will replace old equipment at the site near the 14th Street Recreation Center that hasn’t been updated in more than 20 years.

Ahead of “Playground Build Day” set for Saturday, Sept. 24, children in the community had the opportunity to design the new playground during a event held at the recreation center. According to project mastermind Sean Hawkins, more than a dozen children submitted drawings of what they thought the playground should look like.

“It was really wonderful to have the children be involved in this process,” said Hawkins. “The playground is for them, so we thought it was important that they be included in making decisions on what the finished product would be.”

Hawkins, who serves as the president of the Rose of Sharon/Dreamland Neighborhood Association, said after running into a few road blocks in the early stages of planning, key partnerships with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the City of Winston-Salem and “KaBoom!”, a non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, helped turn his idea to bring a play area to East Winston into reality.

“Although we started slow, we just kept moving forward. When you have a goal, you don’t stop because you run into interference,” he continued. “You’re always going to run into interference, but we stayed persistent and continued to push.”

While most of the overhead expenses have been taken care of by the City and Kate B. Reynolds, the neighborhood will have to raise $8,500 to complete the project.

According to Hawkins, although they are still working to reach their goal, a number of organizations and individuals in the community have already pledged to make donations. During an interview with The Chronicle earlier this week, Hawkins noted Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is one of the organizations that has stepped up in a major way.

“I can’t say enough about the help we have received from Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. They have done everything to make sure this project is a success,” he said.

A number of organizations have also volunteered their services for construction duty on the morning of the event. Crosby Scholars, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, the East Winston Neighborhood Association, Slater Park Neighborhood Association, and countless others have already inked their names to help put everything into place on Playground Build Day.

Hawkins said, “We want everyone to be a part of this. Although the playground is at 14th Street, we want it to serve all the neighborhoods in that area.

“Although we live in different neighborhoods, we are all working to make East Winston a better place,” he continued. “This is going to benefit a lot of people. I’m excited to be a part of this project.”

Later that day, after construction is complete, city officials will join more than 200 volunteers to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the project. Playground Build Day is set to begin at 7:30 a.. on Saturday, Sept. 24. On Thursday, Sept. 22, volunteers will meet at the site to make necessary preparations for the event.

To volunteer for Playground Build Day or to make a donation, contact Sean Hawkins by email at dreamland-parkassoc@nullgmail.com.

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City takes precautionary measures http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/city-takes-precautionary-measures/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/city-takes-precautionary-measures/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:30:40 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34835 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE After missing a fuel delivery earlier this week because of the Colonial Pipeline Co. oil spill in Alabama, Winston-Salem city officials

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

After missing a fuel delivery earlier this week because of the Colonial Pipeline Co. oil spill in Alabama, Winston-Salem city officials suspended the operation of all non-emergency vehicles as a precaution Monday afternoon.

The Colonial Pipeline sprung a leak last week, affecting southeastern states such as North Carolina.

Meanwhile, everyday drivers across the community and the state were met with colored plastic bags and signs. According to AAA Carolinas, the oil spill also caused prices to increase.

The average cost of gasoline is currently $2.16. Last week’s average was $2.05

According to a press release, “Colonial Pipeline operators are currently working to repair the pipeline and expect to re-start the movement of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas and Louisiana refineries to a number of Gulf Coast and southeastern states sometime this week.” The Colonial Pipeline disruption could contribute to the availability of supply and North and South Carolina may see higher prices until normal shipments resume.

“We want to remind motorists that this issue is temporary and to continue normal habits at the pump,” said AAA Carolinas Public Relations Manager Tiffany Wright.

The city’s Emergency Management Director Mel Sadler offered similar advice to local drivers. He said, “We want to remind everybody to not be overly apprehensive and start hoarding gasoline.

“We don’t want anyone storing gasoline in your home or in your automobile. That could lead to a very dangerous situation,” he said. “We want to ask everybody to be careful and not be too apprehensive.”

At least one gas station in Winston-Salem has been accused of price gouging and is subject to prosecution.

Assistant City Manager Derwick Paige said about 1,000 city owned vehicles would be parked until a shipment is received. Paige noted while police officers, first responders and sanitation workers will not be affected by the gas shortage, non-essential services such as inspections, recreation and parks field maintenance, and minor street and building repairs would be suspended as a result of the gas shortage.

“With the current fuel we have on hand, it will get us through the next three days,” said Paige. “We expect those services to be back in their normal routines after the next shipment we are expecting as early as Wednesday.”

Paige noted although the city has enough gas to last, they wanted to be prepared and felt the need to take precautionary measures. As of Monday, the city had 91,000 gallons of fuel. He mentioned police and sanitation only use about 11,000 gallons a week, while fire trucks and other similar vehicles use diesel fuel.

According to Paige, the line that supplies diesel fuel was not damaged.

“We would rather be safe than sorry,” he said.

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Kennedy High reconstruction going inside and out http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/kennedy-high-reconstruction-going-inside/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/kennedy-high-reconstruction-going-inside/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:15:00 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34841 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE  A lot has changed at Kennedy High School since 2010. That year Carter High School, which serves Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ special

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

A lot has changed at Kennedy High School since 2010. That year Carter High School, which serves Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ special needs students, was moved from their location on South Main Street to Kennedy on Highland Avenue.

At the same time, construction began to move the Career Center, an extension of the county’s high schools that offers advanced placement courses and other classes, to the campus as well. While the changes to the exterior of the school were major, the most drastic change at the school happened inside the classroom.

Once known as an alternative school for high school and middle school students with behavior issues, today Kennedy offers a unique opportunity that students can’t get anywhere else and is near the top of the county’s list of senior graduation rates.

In 2015 Kennedy saw the largest growth in graduation rates in the entire district. The past two school years, Kennedy has also exceeded growth expectations, and most of those improvements are directly related to the school’s new education system.

Thanks to a grant, Kennedy now operates under a new educational system that focuses on Career and Technical Education (CTE) that offers hands-on experiences and the opportunity to receive a technical certification to go along with their high school diploma.

Although students still have the same graduation requirements as other high schools across the state and county, incoming ninth graders at Kennedy have the opportunity to choose between four Career Academies: Creative Enterprises, Construction and Design, Health Science (Pharmacy Technician) or ProStart (Restaurant Management).

The ProStart academy created by the National Restaurant Association gives students a taste of what it’s like to work in the food industry, one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Students who choose the Creative Enterprises academy explore the creative arts, such as graphic design, photography and other visual media.

Construction and Design exposes students to a number of facets of the construction industry, while the Pharmacy Technician pathway prepares our future doctors and nurses to take on the ever-changing world of healthcare.

Senior Krista Gomez who is currently enrolled in the Health Science Academy said she decided to attend Kennedy because she wanted to get a head start on reaching her goal to become an anesthesiologist.

During an interview with The Chronicle last week, Gomez said now that she has taken courses in the field since she was a ninth grader, she is confident that she has the background knowledge to achieve her goal.

She also noted that the small class sizes was another reason she decided to attend Kennedy. Gomez mentioned the smaller class sizes allow teachers and students to really connect with each other.

“The teachers here have grown with us,” said Gomez “Teachers here get to know students on a personal level. They’re not only our teachers, but they are like our mentors as well.”

The school’s principal Keisha Gabriel said when she got the word that she would be leaving her position as assistant principal at East Forsyth earlier this school year, she was excited about joining the Kennedy Family.

“I got lucky to be here with this wonderful staff,” said Gabriel. “The faculty and staff here have worked tirelessly not only to change the image of the school, but to change the students as well.”

“Everything we do here at Kennedy is student centered. Our new focus as a district is on the core values and one of those values is to be more student centered, but Kennedy already has that here,” she continued. “Whatever works best for the students is what we do. The staff here will go out of their way to make sure students have what they need to be successful.”

Gabriel mentioned she identifies with the students at Kennedy because as a high school student in Atlanta, she was just like them.

“I was that at-risk child in every way you could imagine,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the support of teachers who took me under their wings and showing me different options, then I don’t know where I would’ve been.

“Working here at Kennedy is a rewarding experience. It’s the work I know all parents would want their children to experience. All schools in the district do their best to reach students, but Kennedy is a great place to be to see students grow.”

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James Worthy delivers financial words of wisdom http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/ames-worthy-delivers-financial-words-wisdom/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/ames-worthy-delivers-financial-words-wisdom/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:00:41 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34844 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE  More than 200 business professionals, elected officials and other members of the community had a lunch they will never forget on

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE 

More than 200 business professionals, elected officials and other members of the community had a lunch they will never forget on Wednesday, Sept. 14, as they enjoyed a meal with basketball legend and member of the Hall of Fame, James Worthy, at the Benton Convention Center.

“It’s imperative in our community that we teach our kids early. We have to teach them about living within your means,” Worthy said.

A native of Gastonia, Worthy’s talents earned him a scholarship to play for the UNC Tar Heels. After earning the Most Outstanding Player award for the NCAA Final Four in 1982, Worthy was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers where he would go on to have a stellar career, complete with three NBA championships in 1985, 1987 and 1988. He was also named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1988.

At the time of his retirement in 1994, Worthy was known as one of the most decorated players in NBA history. In 1996 he was selected as one of the leagues top 50 players of all time, along with other greats such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.

Worthy’s visit to the city was part of the Financial Pathways of the Piedmont’s (FPP) annual luncheon designed to raise funds for the non-profit agency that provides professional consumer education and comprehensive financial and housing guidance to all members of the community.

Over the years, FPP has directly helped more than 10,000 families resolve debt, learn to budget, and to use credit wisely.

As he stood before the hundreds of people in attendance to deliver the keynote address, Worthy applauded FPP for everything they do to ensure residents know how to deal with debt, lost jobs or low wages, and most importantly, how to save. He said as a member of the L.A. Lakers coaching staff, he tries to instill the same lessons into young up and coming talent in the NBA.

“The NBA needs a program like Financial Pathways. I hate to see young kids get a contract and the first thing they do is buy five Mercedes Benz,” continued Worthy. “They think they’re making a million dollars, but they don’t understand that after taxes that’s only about $490,000.”

Worthy noted his college coach, the legendary Dean Smith, understood that and prepared his players for life after basketball. He said Smith would say all the time that making it to the NBA was the easy part, staying there and managing your finances was the hard part.

“Finances are things that trickle down. If you are somewhat financially sound and your credit score is good, you are a healthier person,” said Worthy. “But if you are struggling a little bit or spending outside of your means, it’s always a challenge. You get stressed.”

Before leaving the stage, Worthy said when dealing with finances, you have to listen, learn, understand, and put forth some effort. He said, “No one expects us to be tax returners, but we should know what we want and what our goals are. That requires a lot of commitment to the philosophy,” he continued. “When you talk to your financial adviser, you have to take time to understand what the play is. Sometimes listening is the most important thing.”

Using his playing days with the Tar Heels as an example, Worthy said Smith was real big on listening. He said when you listen, you get details, and knowing the details allows you to put a plan in motion to reach your goal.

“I didn’t understand everything Coach Smith asked me to do, but I had to commit to something, even without understanding,” he said. “That’s the same way you should be when talking with you financial adviser.”

After his address, Worthy took questions from the audience about his playing career and the current state of professional basketball. Following the event, Ashley Rusher, member of the FPP Board of Directors thanked Worthy for his words of encouragement.

“We are grateful that Mr. Worthy took the time to come speak with us today. I took a lot of things away from his speech that I will look to implement into my everyday life.”

For more information on Financial Pathways of the Piedmont or to learn how to become more financially stable, visit their website at www.financialpaths.org.

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Procedures used in scandal not in Winston-Salem, Wells Fargo managers say http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/procedures-used-scandal-not-winston-salem-wells-fargo-managers-say/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/procedures-used-scandal-not-winston-salem-wells-fargo-managers-say/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:45:38 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34847 BY CASH MICHAELS  FOR THE CHRONICLE It is a scandal that takes the veil off of greedy banking practices that set unsuspecting customers up for the fleecing, and now many

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BY CASH MICHAELS 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

It is a scandal that takes the veil off of greedy banking practices that set unsuspecting customers up for the fleecing, and now many are suing.

However, at least one branch manager assures that the problem is not in Winston-Salem, while another says she works hard with her team to deliver straightforward services to help their customers.

The Wells Fargo banking scandal is far from over, even though 5,300 employees – including bank managers and supervisors – in the community banking division of one of the nation’s major financial institutions have been fired for reportedly setting up unauthorized sham bank and credit card accounts in the name of customers who had no idea what was happening.

Many of those customers were subsequently hit with unexplained insufficient funds fees. A federal class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo, accusing it of fraud and reckless behavior, was filed last week in Utah, and hundreds of thousands of customers are expected to join it. It could be the first of many lawsuits to come.

The incentive? Earning sales bonuses and incentives. According to a consent order between the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Wells Fargo Bank, N. A., “[Wells Fargo] employees opened 1,534,280 deposit accounts that may not have been authorized.” Of those, 565,000 were credit card accounts. All were done just to meet sales quotas. The practice, which yielded only a reported $2.4 million in fees, allegedly happened over a five-year period.

North Carolina State Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth-District 32) said, “The Wells Fargo bank scammed many of its customers with new accounts and hidden fees.  The bank was only fined a little less than $200 million. Further, the bank also had the privilege of not admitting they were at fault. Poor people, working people and honest citizens were hurt by this egregious action.  It would be interesting to know how much the bank really made off of this scam.”

Moody’s Investors Service determined that Wells Fargo encouraged, “…pervasive inappropriate practices” and its managers didn’t provide oversight of employees.

The Chronicle called five local Wells Fargo branches Tuesday for comment from their head managers, in an effort to clear up any questions our readers might have.

Out of the five, which included the main branch at North Main Street in downtown (a spokesperson there said the branch didn’t have a manager and they wouldn’t be commenting), two were available to speak on the record.

One branch manager, Tamelia Keaton of the 701 N. Martin Luther King Drive Wells Fargo branch, was available to speak, and she assured that despite the headlines, none of those 5,300 fired Wells Fargo employees worked at her branch, or even in Winston-Salem.

“Our customers shouldn’t be concerned,” Keaton told The Chronicle. Here at Wells Fargo, we strive to make sure that all of our customers are taken care of financially, and the situation that happened, happened in [other areas]. Those employees that were there have already lost their jobs within the past five years this has been going on. So all of those are out of the company now, so there shouldn’t be a concern because we’re going to make sure that we take care of you guys financially.”

Keaton reiterated that none of her branch’s customers were affected by the scandal because the phony practice did not take place in the Winston-Salem market. Nor should there be any concern about their local Wells Fargo bankers  “… because they have relationships with [them], and they are still here.”

Keaton added that she has been with the company for seven years.

Paula Williams is manager at two Winston-Salem Wells Fargo branches, one at 300 S. Hawthorne Road. She told The Chronicle that she’s not aware of any local customers having any of the problems that have been reported in the press, but she’s glad to meet with any who come in and want to review all of their accounts “on at case-by-case basis” to ensure that everything is in order.

“That’s our commitment to our customers all of the time,” Williams, who says she’s been with the company for 10 years, told The Chronicle.

Some critics are saying given the large number of Wells Fargo employees terminated, there is little question the problem was systematic, proving that this is what happens when banks become “too big” to manage and regulate. Customers eventually find themselves paying large fees for services they literally have no control over in many cases.

Wells Fargo, which is headquartered in San Francisco, reportedly earned over $86 billion in total revenues in 2015. In terms of total assets, Wells Fargo is the nation’s third largest bank.

Because of the scandal, the company has been fined $185 million in penalties by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and two other banking regulators, and will pay $5 million to affected customers.  It reportedly has been subpoenaed by U.S. Attorney’s offices in North Carolina, New York and San Francisco, indicating that criminal prosecution could be forthcoming, if not civil fraud charges.

Several Democratic U.S. senators, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Massachusetts] and Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], have demanded an investigation.

Brown has called this “a massive fraud.”

Warren says, “Wells Fargo proved that giant banks still think the rules don’t apply to them. They think they can cheat their customers, stuff their pockets with money, and still walk away.”

At press time Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee was conducting a hearing , where Wells Fargo CEO/Board Chairman John Stumpf apologized. The House Financial Services Committee is also looking into the matter.

While Stumpf says while he’s sorry for what happened, he will not resign because of it, and will lead any corrective action. According to published reports, the Wells Fargo senior vice president in charge of the unit that allegedly committed the fraud, will be retiring at the end of the year, taking with her a whopping $125 million in stock options and retirement funds.

Published reports indicate the Wells Fargo board of directors could “claw back” at least $17 million of that compensation from unvested stocks.

Richelle Messick, a spokes person for Wells Fargo, called The Chronicle to assure that any customer impacted by the scandal has already been contacted, and refunded any fees they were erroneously charged, generally an average of $25.00

Messick could not say whether the scandal involved any North Carolina customers or employees, but asked any customers who have questions about their accounts to come into their local branch for a full review.

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Editorial: Help keep President Obama’s legacy alive http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/editorial-help-keep-president-obamas-legacy-alive/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/editorial-help-keep-president-obamas-legacy-alive/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:30:45 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34869 President Obama is making the rounds as he nears the end of his presidency. We’ve seen him fired up and ready to go, but no more than on Sept. 18

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President Obama is making the rounds as he nears the end of his presidency. We’ve seen him fired up and ready to go, but no more than on Sept. 18 when he spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 46th Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner. This was his last speech to that group as president.

Add to this the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, and you have a powerful speech to Black America. You have a “double-dog dare you” speech to Black America.

In historic elections, Obama was elected president the first time in 2008 then again in 2012. His legacy could be said to be mixed, but there were some historic moments: helping to keep the United States out of a depression, saving the U.S. auto industry, killing Osama Bin Laden like he said he would and getting the Affordable Care Act passed, to name four. Obama is working to make sure people remember him in a positive light just as all presidents who near the end of their terms do.

What better way to keep hope alive than with Hillary Clinton. Clinton, Obama’s former rival, was honored at the dinner. She is now embracing his legacy and has said she would continue working on matters that matter to black Americans, such as justice reform.

Obama said this at the dinner (see https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/09/18/remarks-president-congressional-black-caucus-foundation-46th-annual):

“In fact, if you want to give Michelle and me a good sendoff – and that was a beautiful video – but don’t just watch us walk off into the sunset, now. Get people registered to vote. If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration — that’s on the ballot right now!

“And there is one candidate who will advance those things. And there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done.

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote. And I’m going to be working as hard as I can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do.”

Obama clearly points out the high stakes in this election. It’s monumental, possibly more important than the last two elections.

The president asks you to go vote for Hillary Clinton. He was once her rival, yet he appointed her secretary of state. He is embracing her candidacy. Whatever you have against Clinton, you have to know that the alternative is much more dire.

Help keep the president’s legacy alive. A group of students urged Michelle Obama to stay four more years. Mrs. Obama said “No,” but you can say “Yes.” Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue the fight Obama started. Otherwise, we had better be prepared to go back in time where it won’t be comfortable.

Go to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture after it opens in Washington, D.C., this weekend and see what it was like.

President Obama ended his speech this way:

“And what an inspiration all of you are — especially the young people who are here.

“That’s why I am still fired up.  That’s why I’m still ready to go.  And if you are, too, if you’re ready to continue this journey that we started, then join me. Register folks to vote. Get them to the polls. Keep marching. Keep fighting. Keep organizing. If we rise to this moment, if we understand this isn’t the endpoint, this is the beginning, we’re just getting going, we’re just getting moving – then I have never been more optimistic that our best days are still ahead.”

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WSSU Football Classic more than a game http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/wssu-football-classic-game/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/wssu-football-classic-game/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:30:11 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34850 Photo by Tevin Stinson Inaugural event gives local students slice of college life BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE Last week Winston-Salem State University Athletic Department partnered with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

Inaugural event gives local students slice of college life

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE

Last week Winston-Salem State University Athletic Department partnered with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System to host the inaugural Winston-Salem Football Classic.

The three-day community-centered event began on Thursday, Sept. 16 and was highlighted by the Ram’s match-up with Virginia Union at Bowmen Gray Stadium last Saturday evening. The festivities began with the Youth “TRAMSformation” Tour, which brought more than 700 seventh graders from middle schools across the county to campus to get a taste of college life.

During their visit, the middle schoolers had the opportunity to interact with WSSU student-athletes and professors, while touring various departments and key locations on campus, like the campus radio station, the School of Health Science, the Diggs Gallery and others.

Before the tours began, WSSU athletic director Tonia Walker welcomed the students to campus during a ceremony held inside K.R. Williams Auditorium.

“We want to make sure you know about WSSU and what we have to offer,” Walker told the students. “Use this time to learn from students. Learn what they did to get where they are in life.”

On Friday, members of the WSSU football team and the Panthers of Virginia Union volunteered at various schools across the county. Later that day, legendary football coach William “Bill” Hayes was honored during the Winston-Salem Football Classic Banquet.

Hayes served as the head football coach at WSSU from 1976 to 1987. During his tenure, the Rams won three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) titles and made two Division II playoff appearances in 1987 and 1988. After leaving WSSU in 1987, Hayes went on to compile a 195-104 record at North Carolina A&T State University from 1988 to 2003.

On Saturday a block party was held for the students who participated in the Youth TRAMSformation Tour and WSSU students. The six-hour event featured games, vendors, exhibition booths, food trucks, and performances. Just before kickoff, the Red Sea of Sound led a parade to the stadium.

Although the Rams lost to the VUU Panthers 38-14, in a press release Chancellor Elwood Robinson noted the Winston-Salem Football Classic is about more than the battle on the field.

“The game is just one part of a great weekend that gives some of the best and brightest students from our local public schools exposure to a slice of college life,” he said. “The Winston-Salem State University Football Classic is about more than football.”

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Main Street Academy receives top ranking http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/main-street-academy-receives-top-ranking/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/main-street-academy-receives-top-ranking/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:15:42 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34856 SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released its ranking of all schools in North Carolina on Sept. 1. All alternative schools in North Carolina were

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SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released its ranking of all schools in North Carolina on Sept. 1.

All alternative schools in North Carolina were ranked based on the following formula: 20% -Student Persistence; 20% -School Achievement based on EOG and EOC test scores, the ACT test results, the 4 and 5 year graduation rate, and math course rigor; and 60% on Student Growth developed in conjunction with EVASS, which is a growth model for both students and teachers.

Main Street Academy received the highest ranking of “Progressing” as assigned by the Department of Public Instruction based on an improvement of at least three points from the 2014-15 school data. The school, under the leadership of Ronald Travis, principal, has been showcased at the local Collaborative Learning Conference and the statewide Alternative Schools Conference as one of the most progressive alternative schools in the state. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, all alternative schools in the district achieved “maintaining” or “progressing” status during the previous rating period.

Main Street Academy accepts students in grades 6-12 who are assigned by the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools who have violated the Student Code of Conduct. The school houses a Day Treatment Program and several character education programs including its site based “Jaguar Time” program and a new Youth Development Initiatives program beginning in the 2016-17 school year. Travis feels that it’s a team effort:  “While I understand the importance of intelligent, competent leadership in the form of the principal, it’s more important to have caring teachers who understand and believe in our students.”

Ronald Travis is beginning his third year as principal of Main Street Academy. He previously served as assistant principal and principal of Carver High School.

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City Council OKs Rolling Hills help, holds off on New Hope Manor http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/city-council-oks-rolling-hills-help-holds-off-new-hope-manor/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/09/city-council-oks-rolling-hills-help-holds-off-new-hope-manor/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:15:26 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34853 BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE The Winston-Salem City Council lent its support to a $7.8 million rehabilitation of Rolling Hills, but delayed action on a loan for renovating New Hope

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BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

The Winston-Salem City Council lent its support to a $7.8 million rehabilitation of Rolling Hills, but delayed action on a loan for renovating New Hope Manor during its Monday, Sept 19, meeting.

Rolling Hills has made headlines in the last months for its substandard conditions and multiple housing code violations. The council unanimously approved an endorsement of $7.8 million in housing revenue bonds for Steel Rolling Hills LLC to acquire and rehabilitate the 110 unit apartment complex. The bonds do not involve city funds, nor is the city liable for repayment.

The council previously approved bonds of up to $5.6 million for Rolling Hills, when it was estimated it would take up to$17,000 per unit for rehabilitation. The council revisited the issue when it became apparent that might not be enough to get the units up to code and keep them that way. The property has a history of having the minimum done to get the apartments into code compliance, only to have them fall below that standard again. City Council Member Derwin Montgomery said he felt the new bond amount, which allows for $42,000 per unit, will make meaningful change to the complex.

“It will go far to make sure the quality of housing for those individuals who reside in Rolling Hills will be something that the entire community will be proud of,” he said.

Montgomery didn’t believe the same was true of a $1.6 million loan to the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem to acquire New Hope Manor and rehab the units there so they stay up to code.

“This is, in my opinion, a Band Aide on issues that exist on the property,” he said.

HAWS’ plan for the distressed property is to demolish seven of the 18 buildings there that are unfit for habitation and rehabilitate the remaining 79 units, spending $1.2 million, or about $15,000 per unit, on rehab. HAWS would also apply for a federal Choice Neighbors grant that would allow it to demolish and rebuild the complex in a few years. Montgomery said that it may be better to look at other ways to get residents into affordable, quality housing rather than spend money to fix apartments that will be demolished.

City Council member Robert Clark wanted to approve the measure, saying that HAWS had a good reputation for turning around properties. City Council Members Jeff MacIntosh and D.D. Adams also had concerns about if the amount was enough to fix the units and if the $2.6 million appraisal of the property is current and accurate.

Ritchie Brooks, director of community and business development, said that city staff has not done a visual inspection of the apartments to confirm if the amount of money HAWS is planning to spend will be enough.

HAWS Director Larry Woods assured the council it was not a “Band Aide job,” with extensive renovations that include replacing floors, cabinets and refrigerators. He said residents where also asked about problems in individual units that need fixing. New cameras and off duty police officers will be used for security. He said that if HAWS got the Choice Neighborhood grant the city would be paid back.

Woods said the amount HAWS is spending on renovations is lower than Rolling Hills because the units it’s not demolishing are in better shape.

“This is not Rolling Hills, this is in a lot better condition than Rolling Hills,” he said.

Ultimately, the item was sent back to the finance committee for further discussion next month.

Also during the meeting, the council approved leasing property in Kimberley Park to Goler CDC for a new hydroponics facility by 7-1. Clark was the only “no” vote, saying he didn’t think it was a good use of park land, that the city shouldn’t be “getting into the lettuce business” and that he felt the job training there wouldn’t be transferable to other jobs in the area. The facility will grow vegetables in water and provide fresh produce to the Kimberley Park community, which is a food desert. The City Council has already approved $962,000 for the project.

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