WS Chronicle http://www.wschronicle.com Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Carlisle to lead local NAACP http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/carlisle-lead-local-naacp/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/carlisle-lead-local-naacp/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:00:45 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35765 BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE  The local NAACP branch elections went over without any issues as candidates ran unopposed in races for leadership roles and the executive committee. The Rev.

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BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE 

The local NAACP branch elections went over without any issues as candidates ran unopposed in races for leadership roles and the executive committee.

The Rev. Alvin Carlisle was elected president. He had announced his candidacy months ago, saying former N.C. Sen. Earline Parmon, who died in March, inspired him.

At this crucial time for American democracy, and following last year’s local NAACP controversial election that had to be supervised by state NAACP officials after allegations of foul play, a quiet election is exactly what the local branch needed.

According to branch members, Carlisle will be the first president in some time to begin his tenure with the local branch in good standing with the state board. In years pass, delegates were unable to vote during the state convention.

Other newly elected officials are, Dan Piggott, vice president; Tonya McDaniel, second vice president; the outgoing president, Isaac “Ike” Howard, third vice president; and Jannette Piggott, treasurer. No one was elected for secretary, assistant secretary or assistant treasurer. According to interim secretary Linda Sutton, those positions will be filled at a later date.

Those chosen to serve on the executive committee are James W. Shaw, Rev. Keith Vereen, Walter Marshall, Stephen Hairston, Patrick Thomas, Jamie Transou, Doris S. Herrell, Mittie Glymph-Cooke, Stuart Cooke and Dr. Richard Wyderski.

During an interview with The Chronicle, Carlisle said that during his term as president one of his main focus points will be improving underperforming schools in the area.

“Our biggest focus will be improving the performance of our children in the public school system,” continued Carlisle. “Years ago, the NAACP sponsored after-school programs that were geared toward improving reading scores, and we’re looking to get back to that.”

Carlisle said he will also look to promote black entrepreneurism, and build the connection between the community and elected officials. He said a lot of people believe there is a divide between politicians and the African-American community. Under his watch, the NAACP will look to be a hub where elected officials and community can come together and find solutions to the issues that impact everyone.

“Hopefully, the NAACP can be that mechanism that makes sure community and those in political power are working together,” Carlisle said.

To focus on his new position as president, Carlisle said he will no longer serve as the third vice president of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity. Carlisle said although he will still be an active member of the organization, his main focus will be reviving the local NAACP branch.

The Ministers’ Conference will hold elections to replace Carlisle and other officers on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Bishop Todd Fulton, president of the Ministers Conference, said as president of the local NAACP branch, Carlisle will galvanize the community and bring structure back to the organization. Fulton mentioned Carlisle has a track record of bringing people together.

“Reverend Carlisle is a real community organizer. Throughout my tenure as president he was there by my side every step of the way,” said Fulton. “I’m confident  he has what it takes to turn the local NAACP branch around and bring this community together.”

Many of the local branch members seem to be confident in Carlisle ability to lead as well. When Carlisle first announced he would be throwing his hat in the race for president longtime branch member Jimmy Jordan said Carlisle was the right man for the job.

“I think Reverend Carlisle has what it takes to turn this chapter around,” said Jordan. “We need to get more going and I think Carlisle will do that for us.”

The local NAACP branch will hold the last meeting of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 27. New officers will be sworn in during the meeting on Jan. 31.

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Tour emphasizes ‘buying black’ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/tour-emphasizes-buying-black/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/tour-emphasizes-buying-black/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:30:05 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35767 Photo by Tevin Stinson Shoppers explore the minority-owned business scene in W-S BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE  Last Saturday, the Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce marked “Small Business Saturday,” the

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

Shoppers explore the minority-owned business scene in W-S

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

Last Saturday, the Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce marked “Small Business Saturday,” the counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, by taking shoppers on a “Shop Small Bus Tour” of minority-owned businesses in the area.

American Express founded Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010.

Every Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Black Chamber rents a bus, and invites shoppers to go on a guided tour of the businesses in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County that are owned and operated by men and women of color. This year, more than a dozen passengers boarded the bus to discover some of the city’s hidden gems.

Throughout the voyage, organization President Randon Pender highlighted more than 30 different minority-owned ventures.  As the bus traveled through the city, Pender served as the tour guide, calling out various locations where you can “buy black.”

Pender mentioned when the organization started host-ing the tours in 2013, the goal was to persuade local shoppers to take a chance, and shop small not only during the holiday season but year-round.

“We aren’t trying to tell anyone how to spend their money, but we want the people to know there are options,” she said.  “You don’t always have to go to the big name stores to find quality products. There are a number of small businesses in this area that many people don’t even know about, and we hope to change that.”

Along the way, the bus made a number of stops so those on the tour could shop and explore. One of the first stops on the tour was at the newly opened Village Town & Country Produce Store, which specializes in providing fresh fruits and vegetables at a price cheaper than most grocery stores.

While boarding the bus after buying a bag of fresh greens at the Ogburn Station store, Shelia Bailey applauded the Black Business Chamber for putting the event together.

“I think this is just wonderful,” she smiled. “I am really enjoying this.”

The tour also made stops at Zael’s Florist, Popcorn Fanatic, Body and Soul, Kingz Convenience Store, and Malone’s Restaurant for lunch. A number of business owners and entrepreneurs even took the time to personally thank shoppers for stopping by.

The owner of Kingz Convenience, Keith King, said he was grateful for the support from the Black Business Chamber and the busload of shoppers. King mentioned his store, located near the bus station downtown, has been in the same spot for a decade.

“I am really thankful for the Black Business Chamber and everything they do to support minority-owned businesses in the area,” said King. “It really means a lot to know that you have the support of the community.”

When measuring the success of the tours, Pender said a number of people have requested that tours be held throughout the year. She said they are now looking to hold a tour in the summer to accommodate those who are out of town during Thanksgiving each year.

Andrew Lindsay, Black Chamber member and owner of AKS Gifts & Promotional LLC, said the event has grown to become one of the organization’s biggest events. He said the event is so important because if we don’t support our minority-owned businesses, they will go away.

“The more businesses we have in our community, the stronger it will be,” continued Lindsey. “If we’re going to have strong communities, we have to support our businesses.

“For us to be successful, we have to support each other, family support-ing family,” he said.

For a complete list of minority-owned ventures highlighted during the Shop Small Bus Tour contact the Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce website, www.wsblackchamber.com.

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Shalom Project wants to bring workforce housing to W-S http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/shalom-project-wants-bring-workforce-housing-w-s/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/shalom-project-wants-bring-workforce-housing-w-s/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35769 BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE The site of the Budget Inn on Peters Creek Parkway may be transformed into workforce housing. That’s the hope of the Peters Creek Community Initiative

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BY TODD LUCK

THE CHRONICLE

The site of the Budget Inn on Peters Creek Parkway may be transformed into workforce housing.

That’s the hope of the Peters Creek Community Initiative PCCI, which is a subsidiary of the Shalom Project. The Shalom Project at Green Street Church is well known for its outreach programs to the economically disadvantaged.  The PCCI has been working for years to revitalize the section of Peters Creek that runs between Silas Creek Parkway and Broad Street.

Last week, the city approved $15,000 for a feasibility study PCCI wants to do on the corner of Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street, which currently contains the Budget Inn and a former Ford dealership currently being leased by the Salvation Army. The motel has had issues with crime and urban blight for years.

PCCI would like to acquire both properties, which are up for sale. It would like to use the properties for workforce housing, some retail space and a new location for the Shalom Project and its services, like its free medical clinic, pharmacy and food pantry.

“The hope is we’d be removing a really negative aspect along Peters Creek and replacing it with something positive,” said Shalom Project Director Lynn Brown at a Nov. 10 City Council finance committee meeting.

PCCI has helped businesses acquire funds from the city’s Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas (RUCA) program to help make improvements. PCCI Chair Kelly Mitter said those funds stimulated investment in the West Salem Shopping Center, resulting in improvements at the plaza. There’s a push at the plaza to try to attract new businesses, like a grocery store, to serve neighborhoods near it.  He said that the presence of the Budget Inn across the street is making it hard to convince businesses to locate there.

Mitter said that the project would act as a catalyst for development around the intersection. It’ll also provide workforce housing near downtown, which he said is greatly needed.

“One of the criticisms of downtown’s revitalization is that there hasn’t been a lot of housing developed for folks who work downtown or who work in our community,” said Mitter.

“We’ve developed an awful lot of high end lofts and that kind of stuff, which is great, but we also need to create housing for folks who are working there who can’t afford that. So this is a missing piece, I think, in the housing picture around downtown.”

The city grant, along with a $5,000 BB&T grant and possible additional funds, will pay for a feasibility study by the National Development Corporation, which will work in collaboration with the North Carolina Housing Foundation. The study will begin this month and is expected to last sixth months. It will be used to determine what form the project will take, including how many units of housing might be put on the property.

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NCCU alums remember Chancellor Saunders-White http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/35771/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/35771/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:22 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35771 BY CASH MICHAELS  FOR THE CHRONICLE The proud Eagle Nation of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) continues in deep mourning for the loss of its leader last Saturday, Chancellor Debra

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BY CASH MICHAELS 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

The proud Eagle Nation of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) continues in deep mourning for the loss of its leader last Saturday, Chancellor Debra Saunders-White, the first permanent female chancellor in NCCU’s history.

Dr. Saunders-White, 59, died Nov. 26 after a courageous battle with kidney cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2015. She took a medical leave last August.

“So many of you have told me how strong I am with kind adjectives to reinforce it. While I am immensely appreciative of your kind expressions, I must say that as a child of God, I am only here today because of His continued grace and mercy, along with the reassurance of you all,” Saunders-White wrote to all of her supporters in an open letter in October. “Please know that my head is still held up high, delighted to continue to serve my Master as humbly as I know how. I am incredibly grateful for your compassion and love.”

She signed it, “Deb.”

The 11th chancellor in NCCU’s history, Saunders-White came to the school on June 1, 2013. Avon Ruffin, a member of the NCCU Trustee Board until 2015, served as vice chair of the Search Committee, and remembers how impressed the panel was with her commitment to educational excellence.

“In the interview process, we realized that there was something there, and we thought that [she] would be a tremendous asset for North Carolina Central University. So she quickly rose to the top of our list as we looked at potential candidates.”

“It’s a tremendous loss for us,” said Ruffin, a 1975 alumna and widow of a UNC System Board president, the late Benjamin Ruffin. “As a person, she was a sweet spirit. I believe that she had faith …  and her caring for the students of North Carolina Central and that university, and all that she did to pull us out of some really tough times, is an example of the greatness of her leadership.”

Mable Stevenson, president of the NCCU Winston-Salem Alumni Association, recalled how Dr. Saunders-White always walked the Durham cam-pus, meeting and encouraging students. And when she was in her office, she always made time to meet with people who wanted to speak with her.

“She was always very warm, and she made you feel that you were important,” Stevenson, a 1963 alumnae, recalls. “I can see her now, running up the steps at football games. It’s a big loss. She accomplished so much.”

Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson, like many other leaders of HBCUs throughout the state and nation, mourned the untimely death of his friend and colleague.

“As an alumnus of NCCU and a good friend of Debra’s, I mourn alongside the NCCU community and her family,” Dr. Robinson said in a statement. “Her commitment to students and her passion for education was evident as she led my alma mater to even greater distinction.

“The WSSU community offers its condolences to Dr. Saunders-White’s family, friends and the entire North Carolina Central University family.”

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Dr. Saunders-White earned her bachelor’s degree in history in 1979 from the University of Virginia, and a master’s in business administration from The College of William and Mary in 1993. In 2004, Saunders-White earned a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.

In addition to her academic credentials, Saunders-White spent 15 years in the corporate sector, working at IBM in 1979 as a systems engineer, rising to marketing and management before she left. She later taught college preparatory math in Newport, R.I.

In 1999, Saunders-White became provost for technology at Hampton University, and in 2006 she went to UNC-Wilmington to become vice chancellor of information technology systems. While there, Saunders-White improved emergency communications for campus safety and cost effective classroom technologies.

Saunders-White accepted an appointment by the Obama Administration in May 2011 to serve as deputy assistant secretary for Higher Education Programs (HEP), administering more than 60 programs totaling nearly $3 billion annually.

In February 2015, she was chosen to become the first permanent female chancellor in NCCU’s history, assuming the post in June of that year.

“Chancellor Saunders-White was an effective leader, steering the University toward innovative teaching with a renewed focus on STEM programs,” says U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1). “She always encouraged her students to strive for ‘Eagle Excellence.’  Her vision for NCCU and passion for uplifting all HBCUs left a lasting mark on the future of our students.

“Chancellor Saunders-White will be sorely missed, but her legacy will not be forgotten.”

A memorial service was held on the NCCU campus Monday evening, followed by a candlelight vigil with students, faculty and administrators.

In her honor, a ‘Celebration of Life Tribute’ will be held on Friday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in NCCU’s McDougald-McLendon Arena. Saunders-White’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (414 Buckroe Avenue, Hampton, Virginia 23664) in Virginia.

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Forsyth board continues canvass amid recount request http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/forsyth-board-continues-canvass-amid-recount-request/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/forsyth-board-continues-canvass-amid-recount-request/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35776 Photo by Todd Luck BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE The Forsyth County Board of Elections (BOE) dismissed election protests and continued its canvass into this week as Gov. Pat McCrory

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Photo by Todd Luck

BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

The Forsyth County Board of Elections (BOE) dismissed election protests and continued its canvass into this week as Gov. Pat McCrory has requested a statewide recount in his re-election contest.

Attorney General Roy Cooper leads McCrory by more than 9,800 votes as of press time. It’s a small enough margin to qualify for a recount, which McCrory requested last week. The recount will be done after the state completes its canvass. Forsyth, along with other counties, extended their canvasses to yesterday. The state must wait for all counties to finish their individual canvasses before doing its own.

“Staff spent a lot of time on its research … it’s not something that can be done quickly,” said Forsyth BOE member Stuart Russell about the work to verify the roughly 1,800 provisional ballots cast in Forsyth.

The McCrory campaign and the N.C. GOP have been alleging widespread voter fraud. Protests were filed in 52 out of 100 counties in the state, alleging dead people, felons and those who had already voted cast ballots.

The State Board of Elections (BOE) is appointed by the governor and, in turn, appoints members of county election boards. All BOEs in the state have majorities that reflect the governor’s political party, meaning they’re currently Republican controlled. Despite that, most have been unreceptive to the protests.

Forsyth BOE held a hearing on Tues, Nov. 21, for a protest filed by Forsyth GOP Vice Chair Linda Petrou, claiming two felons voted, which was dismissed when no one showed up for the hearing. Felons are prohibited from voting, but are allowed to register and vote if they completed all the terms of their sentence.

Four other protests never made it past a preliminary hearing. Two were protests also filed by Petrou. One claimed two ballots were cast for dead people. The other claimed that using printed tapes of results instead of the memory cards from five precincts on election night was improper. Though the memory cards should’ve been turned in on election night, they were later retrieved and staff confirmed they matched the information on the tapes. There was also a protest by Michael Brandon Jones claiming one voter returned an absentee ballot late.

Forsyth BOE continued its canvass on Tuesday, Nov. 21 by counting some absentee and provisional ballots. Lawyers associated with both gubernatorial campaigns were present to observe. During the meeting, there were seven instances of double votes, where it was believed someone voted using someone else’s identity. In each case, the board accepted the ballot it believed was cast by the actual voter and discounted the other one.

The board also announced last week that write-in mayoral candidate Jo Anne Allen got 3,150 votes. Mayor Allen Joines won that contest with 86,948 votes. Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein received 444 votes in the county.

A hand recount done at two randomly chosen precincts found no discrepancies between the tabulated results and the marked ballots. There were 175,712 ballots cast in Forsyth County, which had a 68.59 percent voter turnout.

On Monday, the N.C. State BOE instructed county boards to dismiss any remaining voter eligibility protests unless they could affect the outcome of a race and to count votes dismissed because of protests after ruling the complaints had been filed too late. McCrory is also offering a deal for a recount in Durham County in place of a statewide recount, but the State BOE hadn’t issued a decision on that as of press time. If Cooper’s lead surpasses 10,000 votes, the race will no longer qualify for a recount.

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N.C. NAACP pledges mass protests if election is subverted http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/35774/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/35774/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35774 BY CASH MICHAELS  FOR THE CHRONICLE If state lawmakers insert themselves into deciding North Carolina’s next governor, or changing the state Supreme Court to nullify Justice-elect Mike Morgan’s victory, there

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BY CASH MICHAELS 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

If state lawmakers insert themselves into deciding North Carolina’s next governor, or changing the state Supreme Court to nullify Justice-elect Mike Morgan’s victory, there will be mass demonstrations and civil disobedience, promises N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber II.

“We believe either attempting to stack the Supreme Court or deciding the governor’s race in the legislature is, and would be, a major civil rights violation of the right to vote and equal protection under the law,” Barber told hundreds of demonstrators during Monday night’s Moral Monday march and rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh. “We pledge to fight with every legal and moral tool we have, including, if necessary, mass civil disobedience.”

Barber joined the ranks of those concern that the Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly would appoint two new justices to the state’s High Court in order to offset the 4-3 Democratic majority Morgan’s Election Day victory resulted in. Thus far, GOP legislative leaders claim that they haven’t discussed it with their caucuses.

Barber’s warning comes as the State Board of Elections posted new unofficial number tallies in the gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory, and his Democratic challenger, state Attorney. Gen. Roy Cooper. With all but 13 counties reporting in, Cooper leads McCrory by 9, 716 votes of 4.7 million cast, what some observers are saying is an insurmountable lead for the governor to overcome despite his legal action demanding a statewide recount, and specifically a recount of over 90,000 ballots in Durham County, which were tabulated hours after polls closed on Nov. 8 because of mechanical problems.

McCrory wants those Durham ballots recounted by hand, but the Durham Elections Board previously rejected his campaign’s petition. At press time, the state Board of Elections was scheduled Wednesday to decide whether to order the Durham Board to proceed with the recount.

Meanwhile, the conservative Civitas Institute has filed a federal lawsuit, which will be heard in court Friday, seeking to stop any certification of early voting ballots from same-day registrations, claiming that the addresses on those registrations were not confirmed before the ballots were cast.

During his remarks at the Moral Monday demonstration, Barber blasted what he saw was a deliberate manipulation of the election process by Republicans to deny communities of color their voting rights. He said N.C. NAACP lawyers would be in court Friday to challenge the Civitas lawsuit.

Barber also demanded that McCrory stop his attorneys from interfering with the post-election vote canvassing process with their many challenges and, thus far, “bogus allegations” of voter fraud.

“Pledge that after the  canvass and recount, you will not try to get the legislature to take steps to unconstitutionally decide the governor’s race,” Barber added, noting that if the final margin of victory for Roy Cooper is below 10,000 votes, state law allows the Republican-led legislature to decide who the next governor will be.

Barber also warned that he expects the N.C. General Assembly to follow the ruling of the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals to redraw the congressional and legislative voting lines when it reconvenes in January. A federal court on Tuesday ordered North Carolina lawmakers to redraw the state’s legislative districts by March and ruled that a special legislative election must be held in 2017. The decision comes after the federal court ruled this summer that lawmakers had unconstitutionally gerrymandered 28 legislative districts along racial lines, but allowed the already scheduled 2016 legislative elections to proceed under those unconstitutional maps.

Earlier this year, a separate court case found that lawmakers had unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state’s congressional maps in 2011 and ordered them to be re-drawn, necessitating a special June 2016 primary for North Carolina’s congressional races.

“We will be watching to see if the legislature continues to contemptuously thumb its nose at the federal courts,” Barber said. “We will go back into court with the first sign the legislature delays justice again, because justice delayed is justice denied.”

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‘Peace Toys for War Toys’ set for Dec. 17 http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/peace-toys-war-toys-set-dec-17/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/peace-toys-war-toys-set-dec-17/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35779 SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE The 24th annual citywide “Peace Toys for War Toys” will be held Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Education Building.

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SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

The 24th annual citywide “Peace Toys for War Toys” will be held Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Education Building.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and registration ends at 12:30 p.m.  Admission is non-perishable foods to stock the pantry at AIDS Care Service. Items will be collected by the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Youth 3 -14 years old must be accompanied by a parent. Youth may exchange violent toys and video games for peace toys such as basketballs, footballs, puzzles and video computer games.

Youth will also have an opportunity to win bicycles and other special prizes that promote fitness, education and peace.

Unwrapped toy donations may be given to Ben Piggott or staff at Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center at 3521 Carver School Road.

High school students only can register for a chance to win a computer donated by Venable Tax Services.

Contact Ben Piggott at 336-727-2580 or Lee Shapiro at the Fairgrounds Annex at 336-734-1582 for more information.

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County commissioners approve new jail program and react to election http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/county-commissioners-approve-new-jail-program-react-election/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/county-commissioners-approve-new-jail-program-react-election/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:30:47 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35781 BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE A new program to help those in jail with mental illness and substance abuse issues was among the items Forsyth County commissioners voted on during

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BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

A new program to help those in jail with mental illness and substance abuse issues was among the items Forsyth County commissioners voted on during their Monday, Nov. 28, meeting.

Stepping Up is an initiative by the National Association of Counties that uses case management and intervention to reduce recidivism among the mentally ill and substance abusers in jail. Commissioners voted unanimously to execute the necessary documents to receive a $82,500 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to fund a local Stepping Up pilot program for women in the Law Enforcement Detention Center.

The funds, along with a $36,363 Winston-Salem Foundation grant and $50,000 of county money, are being used to hire a program manager and part-time peer support position and cover the costs of programing and operations.

County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt, who spearheaded the effort to bring the program to Forsyth, said in a commissioner’s briefing last month that she expects the program to eventually expand to men in jail.

“I’m just overwhelmed by the support that the community has given us on this program,” she said. “I anticipate it will be extremely successful.”

Amber Humble, who has worked as a Mental Health Court liaison, was expected to start as program manager this week. The program is expected to start its services in the spring or summer of next year.

Also during the meeting, Walter Marshall and Everette Witherspoon – who are the only African-Americans on the Board of County Commissioners –addressed calls they’d received from constituents fearing what Donald Trump’s election means for minorities. Trump’s campaign promised mass deportations, increased scrutiny on Muslims entering the country and implement-ing stop and frisk in black communities.  White nationalists celebrated his victory and there have been increased reports of hate crimes.

Both commissioners said that minorities shouldn’t live in fear and hoped the country wouldn’t move backward.

“At the end of the day, the United States is bigger than one man,” said Witherspoon. “There’s accountability systems in the United States government to hold people in check.”

Witherspoon, who supported progressive Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary, said Hillary Clinton’s loss was the “chickens coming home to roost” for the Democrats. He said his party stopped looking out for working people by supporting trade deals that sent jobs overseas, cuts in welfare and policies that resulted in mass incarceration of African-Americans. He hoped U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, a fervent Sanders supporter and brother of Forsyth County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Ellison, would be named as the new chair of the national Democratic Party.

“It’s time for Democrats to get back to being Democrats,” said Witherspoon.

Also during the meeting:

*Funds for the county’s pay-go projects, paid for with surplus money from last year’s budget, were approved. Commissioners will approve contracts for each individual project in future meetings. This includes $1.5 million for Old Salem to renovate its historic boy’s school.

*A new lease was approved for the public defender’s office at Liberty Plaza on West Third Street. The three-year lease for 9,172 square feet costs $116,058.40 in the first year, $119,554.72 in the second and $123,126.36 in the third. The office should soon be moving from its current location at 8 West Third St.

*A commissioner participated remotely for the first time ever as Don Martin, who was attending a meeting in Denver, Colorado, called in over speaker phone. Martin listened and voted, but said that he had a hard time hear-ing and at times was unresponsive as he was checking into his hotel.

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City discusses legislative agenda http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/city-discusses-legislative-agenda/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/city-discusses-legislative-agenda/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:00:46 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35784 City discusses legislative agenda BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE The ability to release police body camera footage, moving local municipal elections back to odd- numbered years, juvenile justice and gender

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City discusses legislative agenda

BY TODD LUCK

THE CHRONICLE

The ability to release police body camera footage, moving local municipal elections back to odd- numbered years, juvenile justice and gender equality were among the things considered for the city’s current legislative agenda.

During its meeting on Monday, Nov. 21, the City Council considered the legislative agenda it’ll ask state lawmakers representing Forsyth County to champion. The proposal contained:

*An act that would once again make the body cam and dash cam footage of Winston-Salem Police Department officers public record. The proposed legislation would allow for requests for an officer’s footage to be released or reviewed. It would give the local district attorney’s office and the officer five days to get a court order to prevent its release if it jeopardized a legal proceeding. Once that legal proceeding is over, the footage would have to be released. This is in response to a state law passed this year that prohibits the release of police body and dash cam footage without a court order.

*An act to move the city’s mayoral and City Council elections back to odd-numbered years. The next election would be 2020, with it returning to its old schedule in 2023. This was the first year these races were held on an even-numbered year, because of action by the General Assembly.

*A resolution asking for the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in North Carolina to be raised to 18 years old. North Carolina and New York are the only two states in the country where teens 16 and older are tried as adults.

*A resolution asking the General Assembly to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees equal rights for women. In the late 1970s, it passed both houses of Congress, but failed to be ratified by the 38 states it needed to become an amendment.

*Legislation to allow the city to recover the cost of publishing housing code complaints and orders in local newspaper if the owner doesn’t pay by making it a lien on their property that could be collected through tax foreclosure.

*A resolution eliminating part of the city charter that requires unaffiliated candidates to get signatures equal to 25 percent of residents eligible to vote in that contest. A state requirement that unaffiliated candidates need signatures equal to 4 percent of eligible voters already overrides this provision.

Council members said the body cam legislation would let the city release footage when the public has questions about police conduct. This is what happened locally after Travis Page died in police custody. Body cam footage of the incident was released earlier this year to help alleviate public concerns after it had been investigated. City Council Member Denise “D.D.” Adams said the current body cam law would’ve prevented that.

“The way the state has written the law, we would have had no ability at all to release the tapes to a community that may be on edge,” she said.

Robert Clark, the sole Republican on the council, said most of the items would be “dead on arrival” and said that moving the City Council elections back to odd-numbered years, when far less people vote, was “voter suppression.”

Many other council members took exception to the words “voter suppression,” saying it evoked Jim Crow laws and the recently overturned state voter ID law. They said the City Council race got drowned out by the presidential race and other contests on a lengthy ballot.  Adams and City Council member Dan Besse, who have had challengers in previous elections, said they had none this time, something they attribute to it being a presidential year.

Ultimately, the legislative package was divided. At the request of City Council Member James Taylor, the resolution on juvenile jurisdiction was voted on separately in order to get unanimous consent on it. The item on election timing was sent back to committee to consider a suggestion by Clark that the election should be moved to mid-term years.  The rest of the pack-age, along with sending that one item back to committee, passed 6-2. Council members Vivian Burke and Molly Leight voted against it. Leight didn’t think the election item should have been removed and Burke felt Clark’s issues should have been brought up originally in committee.

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WSSU receives $400,000 NSF grant to create psychology program http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/wssu-receives-400000-nsf-grant-create-psychology-program/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/12/wssu-receives-400000-nsf-grant-create-psychology-program/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:30:48 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=35787 SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in

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SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduate programs and professional fields.

The three-year grant, under the NSF’s Targeted Infusion Project (TIP), will establish an honor’s curriculum in the Department of Psychological Sciences (DPS) for psychology undergraduate majors.

Dr. Naomi Hall-Byers, assistant professor of psychological sciences, said this will be only the second program of its kind at a historically black college and university (HBCU).

“The project is designed to keep underrepresented students engaged in scientific discovery, provide an avenue for focused student-faculty interaction, and expose students to current and emerging technology,” said Hall Byers. “Meeting these goals and objectives will create a paradigm shift within the DPS and improve the preparation and success of underrepresented students entering into STEM graduate programs and/or professional fields.”

The program will create three new research-focused courses and a summer cultural neuroscience institute that will immerse students in mentored research.

The first cohort of honors psychology students will begin taking courses in spring 2018, and the institute will begin in summer 2017.

In addition, the grant also will fund:

* Renovations and upgrades of lab spaces at Coltrane Hall.

*The establishment of a psychology colloquium series, which will bring a diverse group of researchers and scholars to WSSU, helping to encourage interest in psychology on campus, Hall-Byers said.

According to NSF statistics, African-American students make up only about 5 percent of STEM graduate enrollment nationwide.

According to a White House report, the United States will need to add 1 million more STEM professionals by 2022.

HBCUs, engines of economic growth and ladders of advancement for generations of African-Americans, are seen as critical to help meet the need for STEM professionals.

A 2011 report from the National Science Foundation found that 24 percent of Black doctorate recipients received their bachelor’s degree from an HBCU.

Hall-Byers is the principal investigator (PI) on the grant; Dr. Michele Lewis, associate professor and chair of Psychological Sciences Department and Dr. Nelson Adams, professor of behavioral sciences and social work, are co-PIs.

Senior personnel are Dr. Jill Keith, associate professor of life sciences, and Dr. S. Maxwell Hines, professor of education.

Students who are interested in the program should contact Dr. Hall-Byers at 336-750-8800 and or hallna@nullwssu.edu.

WSSU’s Department of Psychological Sciences offers a structured curriculum that helps students develop a thorough understanding of concepts and principles that attempt to explain human behavior and mental processes.

For more information, please visit www.wssu.edu/casbe/academics/departments/ps/.

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