WS Chronicle http://www.wschronicle.com Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:01:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Winston-Salem mayoral candidate JoAnne Allen to hold a town hall meeting on Aug. 31 http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/winston-salem-mayoral-candidate-joanne-allen-hold-town-hall-meeting-aug-31/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/winston-salem-mayoral-candidate-joanne-allen-hold-town-hall-meeting-aug-31/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:00:12 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34545 Special to The Chronicle The Committee to Elect Jo Allen, 2016 mayoral candidate, will host a town hall meeting at 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at Reynolda Manor Library

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Special to The Chronicle

The Committee to Elect Jo Allen, 2016 mayoral candidate, will host a town hall meeting at 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at Reynolda Manor Library Auditorium, 2839 Fairlawn Drive.

JoAnne Allen recently ended her bid to be an unaffiliated candidate for mayor and will now be running as a write-in candidate.

 

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Smith supporters are undeterred http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/smith-supporters-undeterred/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/smith-supporters-undeterred/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:00:24 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34471 N.C. Supreme Court denies appeal; case is getting national attention in a new MTV series. BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE Even as the N.C. Supreme Court rejects Kalvin Michael Smith’s

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N.C. Supreme Court denies appeal; case is getting national attention in a new MTV series.

BY TODD LUCK

THE CHRONICLE

Even as the N.C. Supreme Court rejects Kalvin Michael Smith’s appeal, the case is getting national attention from a MTV documentary series that activists hope will make a difference in the controversial case.

Smith is serving up to 29 years for the 1995 assault of Jill Marker at the Silk Plant Forest store that left her with severe brain injuries. He has many supporters who were disappointed by the state Supreme Court decision.

“It missed an opportunity to restore the confidence of many in our community in the North Carolina criminal justice system,” said Stephen Boyd, co-chair of The Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee, a group of advocates who believe Smith is innocent.

Smith’s attorney, James Coleman, co-director of Duke University law school’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic, said the case is not over.

“We just lost one issue and as soon as we can draft the papers, we’re going to go back into court and raise additional claims,” he said.

Coleman said the clinic has so far gotten six exonerations. He said normally the prosecutor will agree that there was a wrongful conviction in the case. That hasn’t happened in this case, which has been handled since 2008 by the attorney general’s office of Roy Cooper, who is now running for governor.

The committee continues to advocate for Smith online by posting links to a documentary series featuring his case. “Unlocking the Truth” premiered on MTV last week. The series follows Ryan Ferguson, who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of murder, as he looks into others’ claims of innocence. Smith’s is one of only three cases of alleged wrongful conviction to be shown in the series so far.

Boyd, a Wake Forest University religion professor, said if Smith gets national attention, it should become an state, like HB2 has been to many.

“It will become a national embarrassment, we believe, for North Carolina,” said Boyd. “and then the question is what will the attorney general do about that?”

HB2, a law many believe is discriminatory, is resulting in boycotts of the state. Cooper has refused to defend the law in court. Supporters of Smith, including the N.C. NAACP, have been asking Cooper to do the same with the Smith case and join Coleman in asking for a new trial.

Boyd said that the committee has sent reports to Cooper on the case’s flaws. One was from the Silk Plant Forest Citizens Review Committee, which was empaneled by the City Council to review the original case, which concluded it did not have “confidence in the investigation”  and found no credible evidence Smith was at  Silk Plant Forest. The other was from former Assistant FBI Director Christopher Swecker, who determined a new trial was needed to answer serious questions about the case.

The N.C. Supreme Court denied Smith’s appeal last week, which focused on a 2008 affidavit in which police officer Arnita Miles said Marker identified her attacker as a black man. In Miles’ original report she said Marker was incoherent and could not describe the attacker. Coleman said that he believes prosecutors may have secretly used it to influence the case, though it was not filed in court.

Smith’s appeals also accuse Detective Don Williams of not pursuing a white suspect, Kenneth Lamoureux, after he moved out of town, and instead coerced witnesses to place Smith at the crime scene. Lamoureux died in 2011.

“Unlocking the Truth” airs Wednesdays at 11 p.m. on MTV. It can also be watched online at mtv.com. Check out the schedule at http://www.mtv.com/show s/unlocking-the-truth/tv-schedule.

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Students get head start at new Cook http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/students-get-head-start-new-cook/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/students-get-head-start-new-cook/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:55:28 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34473 BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE While most students in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System are enjoying their last week of freedom before school starts, the students who attend Cook

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BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

While most students in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System are enjoying their last week of freedom before school starts, the students who attend Cook Literacy Model School got a head start on the 2016-2017 school year when they started classes on Monday, Aug. 22.

As part of a new education model that focuses on literacy, the school formerly known as Cook Elementary School will also have an extended day that will begin at 8:15 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m., which is 30 minutes longer than other elementary schools in the district.

According to school administrators, the early start and schedule changes will give students more than a month’s time for extra learning. Principal Paula Wilkins said the goal is to decrease the learning off-time the students experience during both breaks, and summer.

“The fact that we are getting more than a month’s time of additional instruction is just great,” Wilkins said.

When school board officials first announced that Cook would be adopting the federal Restart model earlier this summer, they received a lot of backlash from parents who were concerned about the changes. Many parents argued that they were not being told what was going to happen to the school. At one point, parents even mentioned they heard rumors that the school was going to close.

While admitting they still have to build more trust with parents, Wilkins noted administrators have been working hard to connect with parents, and other stakeholders by host-ing informational sessions designed to let the parents know how the school would operate and to receive feedback.

“We understand that it takes a village to raise a child,” said Wilkins. “That’s why we have spent the entire summer connect-ing with students. We’ve made phone calls and even visited homes.

“We want our students here at Cook to know we care about them when they are at school and at home.”

Cook parent James Thomas said although he had his doubts about the Restart model, after seeing how much effort was put in over the break, he is confident that Cook will improve.

To wrap-up the summer, Cook held a back-to-school cookout during open house for students and their parents. After meeting their new teachers, each student was given a backpack filled with school supplies. On the first day of school, most students walked into classes with a smile on their faces, greeted by teachers they have already seen multiple times over the summer.

Although the effort is still in the early stages, Superintendent Beverly Emory is a strong believer that things will turn around.  She noted after seeing students, teachers, parents and others interact during open house and on the first day of school, she knows officials made the right decision to adopt the Restart model.

“Last week at open house, you couldn’t move because all of the parents, family, and community members who were there to support the students,” continued Emory. “After seeing the support they received, I knew we made the right decision. I am excited to see what the future holds for Cook.”

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Deborah Ross campaigns for U.S. Senate in W-S http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/deborah-ross-campaigns-u-s-senate-w-s/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/deborah-ross-campaigns-u-s-senate-w-s/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:50:20 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34475 Photo by Todd Luck BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross campaigned in Winston-Salem, stopping by the Southside Library and Forsyth County Democratic Party Headquarters on

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Photo by Todd Luck

BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross campaigned in Winston-Salem, stopping by the Southside Library and Forsyth County Democratic Party Headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Ross spoke to a small group of invited seniors at the library about Medicare and Social Security.

She promised to stabilize both programs. Medicare will be insolvent by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and Social Security Trustees predict the same will happen to that program by 2034.

“I care about making sure our seniors can retire with dignity,” she told attendees.

She hit her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr, on his support of increasing privatization in Medicare. She accused him of being influenced by special interests that contribute to his campaign. She said she would do things such as raise the limit on paying into  Social Security so that higher income taxpayers, like millionaires, contribute more, which she says would shore up the program.

At Democratic headquarters, she spoke to a slightly larger, diverse audience with larger, diverse audience with numerous black community leaders in it. Attendees included Forsyth County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Ellison, N.C. Sen. Paul Lowe, Clerk of Court Susan Frye, Judges Lisa Menefee and Denise Hartsfield, City Council Members Denise “D.D.” Adams, Derwin Montgomery and Dan Besse.

The race between Ross and Burr is extremely tight, with a Real Clear Politics average of polls showing Burr up by only 1 point. Ross also raised more than Burr in the second quarter, getting $2.1 million to his$1.6 million.

“People all over the country, they’re giving me money for the race because they want to take back the Senate and they know the road to taking back the Senate goes straight through North Carolina,” she said.

Burr still has a money advantage, with $7 million in cash on hand in June compared to $1.9 million for Ross.

Ross answered questions from attendees on a variety of topics. On mass incarceration, she said reform was needed to keep low-level offenders out of jail, and she promised to stand up to special interests like for-profit prisons. On poverty, she said she’d create jobs with infrastructure projects, and by taking tax breaks away from companies that export jobs, while giving them to companies that bring jobs to the United States.

Ross, a lawyer and former state lawmaker, mentioned her time working with the late Earline Parmon, when they both served in the General Assembly. She talked fondly about working together with Parmon, who she said she felt very close to.

Many have attributed the serious challenge Ross is giving Burr to Republican presidential nominee Donald Tump’s effect on down-ballot candidates. Polls are finding Trump to be trailing behind Democrat Hillary Clinton and to be disliked by voters.

Ross said that she believes that in her race, voters simply dislike Burr, who she says hasn’t been serving North Carolina. She said she expects to get dissatisfied Independent and Republican voters in November because the state is “on fire” for Democrats.

“We’re going to take the state back,” she told attendees at Democratic headquarters.

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North Carolina remembers journalist George Curry http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/north-carolina-remembers-journalist-george-curry/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/north-carolina-remembers-journalist-george-curry/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:45:00 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34477 BY CASH MICHAELS  FOR THE CHRONICLE The untimely death of veteran black journalist George E. Curry has saddened not only many in the civil rights, media and political communities who

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BY CASH MICHAELS 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

The untimely death of veteran black journalist George E. Curry has saddened not only many in the civil rights, media and political communities who knew Curry and his work across the nation, but also across North Carolina.

Curry, 69, who reportedly died of heart failure Saturday, was the former editor-in-chief for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the nonprofit association of over 200-member African-American newspapers.

Ernie Pitt, publisher emeritus of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, was among the many North Carolina  black publishers who mourned the loss of this legendary colleague.

“I have had the pleasure of working with George for more than two decades,” Pitt said. “He was a classic, dedicated and committed journalist. Working with George was so gratifying because he took writing articles and news stories seriously.”

“He was a stickler for getting the story right,” Pitt continued.

“Working with NNPA interns was one of his pleasures. He wanted our young people to develop a zeal for getting the facts right and putting the story together with depth and clear understanding. Our profession will forever miss George Curry.”

The publisher of the Wilmington Journal, another NNPA member paper, also remembers Curry fondly.

“George Curry was a part of NNPA’s effort to gain pardons for the Wilmington Ten,” recalled publisher Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, who is also president of the N.C. Black Publishers Association.  “On the day NNPA announced at the National Press Club our intent to secure those pardons, George interviewed Wilmington Ten leader Dr. Ben Chavis onstage. It brought tears to our eyes, including Ben’s. Later, Ben had to admit that this was the most emotional interview he had experienced and the first time he had cried in public!

“Once we placed the request for pardons on [then] Governor Perdue’s desk a year later,” Thatch continued, “George was there to ensure that our story was being told through NNPA’s newswire service.”

North Carolina U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was one of those elected black leaders who appreciated Curry’s devotion to the truth, and commitment to shining a light on important issues.

“The Congressional Black Caucus joins with members of the press from around the country to mourn the loss of George E. Curry, a pioneer in civil rights and journalism,” Butterfield wrote.

“George E. Curry was a giant in journalism and he stood on the front lines of the Civil Rights era and used his voice to tell our stories when others would not. The CBC offers our sympathies and condolences to his friends and family, his readers from around the country, and to the countless number of individuals he mentored in the art of reporting and journalistic writing until his untimely death.”

Irving Joyner, law professor at North Carolina Central University’s School of Law in Durham, and chairman of the N.C. NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, expressed his respect for a civil rights veteran who built bridges by chronicling history.

“I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the transitioning of this giant in our journalistic world,” Joyner said. “As a  committed African-American journalist, George presented the truth and nothing but the truth in the many articles and news analysis which he authored. He was very committed to his craft and possessed a keen knowledge of the African-American community and never ducked an opportunity to better explain our position and view of things which impacted us and our community.”

Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took time from her run for president

to pay tribute  to the veteran black journalist.

“I am saddened by the loss of an outstanding journalist and supportive friend,” Hillary Clinton said. “George E. Curry was a pioneering journalist, a tireless crusader for justice, and a true agent of change. With quality reporting, creativity, and skillful persuasion, he influenced count-less people, including me, to think beyond their narrow experience and expand their understanding. George may be gone, but he will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.”

George Edward Curry, a media pioneer and longtime advocate for the black press and civil rights, will be laid to rest Saturday, Aug. 27, in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, delivering the eulogy at Weeping Mary Baptist Church, 2701 20th St., Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401.

Dr. Charles Steele, president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and lifelong friend of George Curry, announced the arrangements.  The two leaders grew up in the segregated South at a time when Jim Crow laws were the order of the day. They made a pact early in life to never forget their upbringing and to work to help lift others, Steele said.

“We wanted to tell our stories, because we knew it could inspire and impact others,” Steele said. “We were two fellas from impoverished back-grounds, where African-Americans endured second-class citizenship. We were able to overcome and find success. We will celebrate that success in remembering the life of George Curry this weekend.”

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WSPD takes the stage during Part Two of Black & Blue Town Hall http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/34479/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/34479/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:40:05 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34479 BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE There were few empty seats inside The Enterprise Center last Thursday evening, during Part Two of the Winston-Salem Urban League’s Black & Blue Town Halls.

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BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

There were few empty seats inside The Enterprise Center last Thursday evening, during Part Two of the Winston-Salem Urban League’s Black & Blue Town Halls. Community leaders, community activists and other concerned residents filed into the event hall, with ears eager to hear members of the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) discuss how they are trying to improve community relationships.

During the event, Chief Barry Rountree and Assistant Chief Katrina Thompson took questions from residents, while detailing various ways they are working with community organizations and members to improve relations. Rountree mentioned officers have received additional training on how to deal with civilians. He also mentioned every officer is required to interact with a certain number of residents each day.

“We require our officers to get out and talk to people,” he said. ”We want the people in the city to know that we are here to protect and serve and we can’t do that without them.”

When asked about the over-policing of certain neighborhoods in the city, Rountree said, “Although it may seem we are in certain places more than others, the WSPD has the same number of officers patrolling every neighborhood.”

He also discussed the Winston-Salem Police Foundation. He said his goal is to have a sports league that would give young people a chance to engage with police.

Thompson discussed the training officers received in Mexico, designed to improve the relationship with the Hispanic population in the area.

Following the event, longtime community activist Al Jabbar said although he was glad to see the WSPD engage in open dialogue with the community, more needs to be done.

“These talks are good, but talking isn’t enough,” he continued. “We’ve talked enough. Now it’s time we see some action.”

Part Three of the Black & Blue Town Halls will be held in the fall.

For more information contact the Winston-Salem Urban League at 336-245-2710.

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‘We have everything to lose’ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/we-have-everything-to-lose/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/we-have-everything-to-lose/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:35:23 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34481 What Blacks say they will lose if they vote for Donald Trump BY CASH MICHAELS FOR THE CHRONICLE When celebrity businessman Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in July

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What Blacks say they will lose if they vote for Donald Trump

BY CASH MICHAELS

FOR THE CHRONICLE

When celebrity businessman Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in July 2015, he claimed Mexican illegal immigrants were “rapists … bringing drugs, bringing crime.”

Months later during the Republican primaries, Trump traveled the nation, telling enthusiastic supporters at rallies that if elected president, not only would he build a wall at the United States and Mexican border to keep the ‘illegals” out, but he would also impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States in an effort to combat terrorism.

By the time Republican presidential nominee Trump got around to addressing black people two weeks ago, he was already calling President Obama “the founder of ISIS.” African-Americans, already angry with Trump for claiming that the president was actually born in Kenya, not the United States, rewarded Trump with just 1 percent black support in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll. And yet, that didn’t stop Trump from uttering the following apparently to African-Americans:

“You’re living in poverty, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed,” Trump, talking to African-Americans, said to a mostly white rally in Michigan last week. “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Monday in Akron, Ohio,  Trump continued with what many said was a condescending diatribe toward blacks: “You can go to war zones in countries that we’re fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities … I ask you this. Crime. All of the problems. To the African-Americans who I employ so many … so many people … What the hell do you have to lose? … You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street. You get shot. What the hell do you have to lose?”

And just this week, the Associated Press reported that the personal social media accounts of several paid Trump campaign staffers revealed racist communications that included, “A graphic designer for Trump’s advance team approvingly posted video of a black man eating fried chicken and criticizing fellow blacks for ignorance, irresponsibility and having too many children.”

The angry reaction from blacks to the controversial Republican’s campaign has been unceasing, starting with U.S. rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-nC-1), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Mr. Trump has shown little interest in earning the black community’s vote,” Butterfield said. “His comments made last week in Michigan are further proof that he is not fit to be president and is completely out of touch with the African-American community. Painting the picture that the entire African-American community is living in poverty with no jobs is completely irresponsible.

“Donald Trump asks what the black community has to lose by voting for him?  The answer is simple: We have everything to lose,” Butterfield says.

North Carolina’s only other black congressional representative 12th District U.S. Rep.  Alma Adams, also no fan of Donald Trump, is quoted as telling The Charlotte Observer several weeks ago that she was “scared” of the Republican presidential nominee.

State Rep. Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) also had hard feelings about Trump.

“Donald Trump has no real interest in reaching out to black voters,” Brockman said. “Instead he wants to try and make Americans forget about his divisive, hateful, and racist rhetoric of the past. If he really cared about the issues that black people face, he would actually spend time in our communities and make a real, substantive outreach. Instead, he insults the very voters he claims to be courting with condescension and the echoing of stereotypes.”

In Facebook responses posted for this story, black voters from across North Carolina were uniformly dismissive of Trump’s overture.

“Voting for this idiot could cause more black lives taken,” posted Tee Huff, referring to Trump’s common mantra to white audiences of being a “law and order” candidate who would have no tolerance for the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump has been critical of President Obama’s efforts to build bridges between the police and the black community.

“[Trump] only wants to make America great again for the white man by keep-ing the black man down,” remarked anti-Trumpster Donna Spivey in a nod to Trump’s alleged white supremacist connections and support base.

Veronica Nwosa said, “Not only was he condescending and insulting to all black people, he clearly showed that he had no idea about the problems that black people face or the history of the struggle for civil rights for black people. He wasn’t particularly talking to black people as he was speaking from an audience that was over 90 percent white. He was giving permission to his followers to say that he has reached out to black people. When he loses, then he will blame black people for his loss. It is also a divide and conquer strategy to appeal to black people as he knows that his insults to Hispanics, Muslims, women, the disabled, etc. cannot be glossed over. He is toast.”

Borrowing Trump’s own question to African-Americans,” What do I have to lose by voting for Trump?” Greg “GBaby” Taylor, formerly of Charlotte, answered, “#MyDignity.” Angela Marie Grimes of Raleigh also answered the rhetorical question with, “My mind and my freedom.”

Most political observers agree that North Carolina is one of the key battleground states Donald Trump will need if he’s to have any chance of winning the presidency. But unless he can stop the black vote, which is 91 percent against him, he has little chance of winning.

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Carver dedicates auditorium to its first principal http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/carver-dedicates-auditorium-first-principal/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/carver-dedicates-auditorium-first-principal/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:30:14 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34483 BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY  THE CHRONICLE Carver High School renamed its auditorium in honor of its first principal, Edward Everette “E.E.” Hill, on Tuesday, Aug. 23.  The newly christened E.E. Hill

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BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY 

THE CHRONICLE

Carver High School renamed its auditorium in honor of its first principal, Edward Everette “E.E.” Hill, on Tuesday, Aug. 23.  The newly christened E.E. Hill Auditorium was revealed on Founder’s Day, which is part of the school’s Alumni Round-Up Celebration.

Dr. Kenneth Simington, a Carver alumnus, was the keynote speaker and expressed his appreciation for Hill and his time spent at Carver as a youth.

“Naming the auditorium after him just signifies how important Mr. Hill was to the school,” said Simington.  “He was the first leader and he had the vision and he created a legacy that still sustains today.”

Many individuals witnessed the unveiling of the new auditorium sign, including WS/FCS officials, Carver alumni and former principals of Carver. Carol Montague-Davis, a former principal, said, “Once you are a part of Carver nation, you never leave.”

Many of Hill’s family attended the program as well.  His granddaughter, Denise Marie Hill-Little, gave thanks on behalf of the family. Hill-Little went on to say, “I think he would be extremely proud, and we as the family are extremely proud because we know how hard he looked and the legacy that he did leave.”

Hill was named principal of Carver, formerly Oak Grove Elementary School, in 1936. He was principal during the transition to the current location in 1951. He became president and CEO of Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company after retiring from Carver. He was instrumental in founding the Winston-Salem Sportsmen Club in 1957.

Hill’s daughter, Marie Hill Roseboro, added, “This is something well deserved because he was a pioneer and a worker. I remember growing up his main focus was Carver, Carver, Carver, so it was what he loved doing.  I think he would be proud, I really do.”

A Carver alumnus, Paul Gwyn, created the new sign for the auditorium. He stated he spent an average of 16 hours a day for two months to create the sign.  He said it was an honor for him to be involved in the project.

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Triad Minority Business Expo continues to grow http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/triad-minority-business-expo-continues-grow/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/triad-minority-business-expo-continues-grow/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:25:08 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34485 BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE  Last Saturday, Aug. 20, more than 70 minority businesses gathered inside the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter to network, and promote their various business ventures during

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BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

Last Saturday, Aug. 20, more than 70 minority businesses gathered inside the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter to network, and promote their various business ventures during the third annual Triad Minority Business Expo.

Designed to increase opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Triad, since its inception in 2014 the event has grown in size and attendance every year.

This year entrepreneurs even traveled from Charlotte, Raleigh and other areas to participate in the growing event.

Along with the various vendors at the gathering, attendees also had the opportunity to attend educational workshops on topics, including how to start a business, creating a business plan, marketing your business and various other topics.

Eric Hairston, owner of Creative Genesis LLC, a business that helps music artists book events and get paid for their music, said, he traveled from Greensboro to get tips on how to improve his business plan. He said he also learned a lot from the session on marketing.

“The workshops were great. I learned how the brain works when it comes to marketing and how to better reach my target audience,” Hairston said.

While many who attended the educational sessions were already business owners, others, such as Greensboro native Melissa Counts, came seeking information on how to get their businesses off the ground.

Counts, who is looking to start a cleaning business, said she heard about business expo on the radio. In between sessions, Counts said, “I’m impressed by everything this event has to offer.

“I’ve learned quite a bit just by visiting the various vendors and connecting with the people here,” she continued. “It’s a wonderful idea. I can’t wait to get started with my business.”

Reginald McCaskill, president of Maximum Enterprises and event director, said he is excited about the growth and expansion. He said he hopes the event continues to grow as it has over the past three years.

“The turnout has been phenomenal,” he continued. “We really want the community to recognize and understand the impact that minority businesses make, not only in the city and the state, but the entire country.”

“Minority-owned businesses play an important role in our country, and it’s time we recognize that within ourselves.”

The expo also featured a number of special guests, including actor and entrepreneur Lamman Rucker, actor, and music composer Jullian Brittano, and Petri Hawkins-Byrd, Best known for his role as the bailiff on the hit court TV show Judge Judy.

During a exclusive interview with The Chronicle Rucker, who is best known for his role in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” series, said outside of acting, he has always been an entrepreneur. He mentioned he has a hand in a number of different businesses. He said, “It’s always about business and building relationships.

“That’s why business education and entrepreneurship is extremely important. No matter what field you decide to go into, you have to know how to market and present yourself. That’s why events like this are so important,” he continued. “I am amazed at what Reginald and his team have put together here in Winston-Salem.”

A number of elected officials were on hand to promote small business, including Mayor Allen Joines, who served as the events honorary co-chair.

Joines said the city is fully committed to the development and promotion of minority-owned businesses in the area.

East Ward Council Member Derwin Montgomery, State Sen Paul A. Lowe Jr., who rep-resents District 32 in Forsyth County, and Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke also attended the expo.

For more information on the Triad Minority Business Expo, visit www.maximumenterprisesinc.com.

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‘If you build it, they will come’ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/build-will-come/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/08/build-will-come/#respond Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:15:14 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34528 Forsyth County considers creating new business park BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE Forsyth County commissioners heard plans to turn nearly 170 acres next to Tanglewood Park into a business park

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Forsyth County considers creating new business park

BY TODD LUCK

THE CHRONICLE

Forsyth County commissioners heard plans to turn nearly 170 acres next to Tanglewood Park into a business park during their Thursday, Aug. 18, briefing.

The land, which is off Idols Road, was acquired years ago by a commissioner-appointed park authority that ran Tanglewood before the county took direct control over the park’s management in 2000. The land has been considered for many things through the years, including golf course expansion and equestrian use.

The new plan to turn it into a business park for light industrial use, addresses a challenge that the county has with a lack of available land for business development.

The plan divides the land into six lots of varying sizes. Businesses have already expressed interest in purchasing lots one and two, which are approximately 15 acres and 83 acres respectively.

“The old saying is, ‘If you build it, they will come’ and that’s what happened to this business park,” said Dan Kornelis, county director of housing and community development.

Currently, the site is undeveloped. The county will need to develop the land, installing water and sewer to serve the businesses that will locate there.

A road will also need to be constructed to serve the new businesses. The property is part of unincorporated land and the county is looking to the Village of Clemmons to annex it. The hope is that Clemmons will build and maintain the road, and possibly help pay for development.

In the next couple months, the county will need to rezone the area for light industrial use.

It will also need to approve an annexation and inter-local agreement with Clemmons, along with various other aspects of the development.

County Manager Dudley Watts said the county will make money from selling the land, so the project should pay for itself.

County Commissioner Walter Marshall said that, while county land is a precious commodity, he felt this was a good use of it that will attract businesses to the area.

“It’s a good project,” said Marshall.

County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler also thought it would benefit the county.

“It will bring us more industries, more taxes and be good for the citizens as a result,” said Plyler.

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