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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, January 01, 2004, Image 1

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Winston-Salem ? Greensboro ? High Poini For Reference Not to .be taken from this library XXX No. 18 THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2 Lash tourpey has many standouts - See Page Bl Kwanzaa event looks at economics i - See Page | Massage therapist launches business Church holds gospel show -See Page CI Free At Last, Free At Last Supporters help welcome Darryl Hunt home ffV T. KEVIN WALKKR rm CHRONIC! E To teenage members of the NAACP Youth Chapter, Darryl Hunt has been more than just a man. For their entire lives, his name has been synonymous with injustice in this city, a horror story of what can happen to a black man when good ol' boys are angry and hellbent. On Christmas Eve, Hunt became real to the youngsters, real enough that many of them shook his hand and gave him hugs after Hunt came to Emmanuel Baptist Church soon after he was released from prison. Hunt was serving a life sentence for a crime that DNA and his most loyal supporters say he had nothing to do with. Velma Thumas, head of the NAACP Tntrm Chapter, went to pick up the teens about an hour before Hunt arrived. Hunt sup porters wanted the church's sanc tuary to be packed with as many people as possible in order to give Hunt a warm homecoming. Thomas wanted the young people to witness the event for another reason. "It is sad." she said, "the injustice that black people have to go through. This is histocy..andit is also a lesson these kids need to leam. It is' a hard lesson, but (hey need to learn it." Close to 100 people cheered and chanted "Darryl Hunt is free" as Hunt made his way into the church last week, but there was pain behind the smiles and joy. Hunt's arrest and prosecution for the 1984 murder and rape of white newspaper copy editor Deborah Sykes has left many in this town bitter, angry and aston ished. Hunt was convicted on nonexistent physical evidence and witnesses that were as shaky as an amusement park ride. Even as Hunt took his first steps of freedom in more than 10 years last week, his supporters said they were not ready to for give or forget the system that con victed him twice and took nearly 20 years of his life. "Darryl Hunt is just a micro cosm of a greater problem." said Nelson Malloy. a City Council member and longtime Hunt sup Sc,' Hunt on A6 Photos by Kevi Top (from left): Mark Robil, Hunt's attorney talks to the news media ; Rev. John Mendez talks to Hunt supporters as Larry Little and Imam Khalid Griggs look on; Minister Carolyn Gordon sings with other Hunt supp?rtefo>qsshe waits for Hunt to arrive. Above , Darryl Hunt and his wife, April, take question/ from fheVqews media. Moratorium supporters are buoyed by Hunt case BY T. KEVIN WALKER THE CHRONICLE The release of Darryl Hunt has re i g n i ted fire in the bel lies of local support ers of a statewide death penalty moratori um. The Sutton Hunt case is a textbook exam ple of what is wrong with the criminal justice system, moratorium supporters say. An overwhelming white jury convicted Hunt, an African-American, of mur dering Deborah Sykes, a young, white newspaper copy Sec Moratorium on A6 Call Her Rep. Parmon Grassroots champ has made waves during freshman term BY T. KEV1N WALKER Ull CHRONICLE Earline Parmon has not been County Com missioner Earline Parmon for about a year, but if she had a dime for every lime someone made that mistake she could rival Oprah Winfrey's fortune. But Parmon - who left behind 12 years on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to win a seat in the N.C. House - is not over " There are no permanent enemies, just permanent interests. " - Rep. Earline Parmon ly concerned that her title is sometimes butchered when she is introduced at communi ty events. She said when people stop remem bering that she is an elected official altogether, then she will start to worry. "Having been a local elected official for so many years, it is going to take people some time to reajize that you have moved to another level of government." she said; "It is just an honor to serve people. I don't take it lightly that people have voted for me to serve them." Parmon did not go Raleigh last year as bright-eyed and naive as other freshmen legis lators. She has spent most of her life in politics and community activism. She knows all the angles. She can talk the talk and walk the walk. Parmon has bucked tradition - which calls for freshman legislators to shut up, sit and learn - finishing a term that she and her colleagues call prolific and productive. The first bill signed into law last session was one that Par mon introduced. The bill gave individual school systems the ability to devise creative ways to make up school time missed as a result of inclement weather. "After that. I really got confidence in my ability to be an effective part of the Legisla ture." she said. Parmon also co-sponsored a successful bill along with fellow Forsyth County legislator Larry Womble that repealed the state's contro versial sterilization law. Her plate for next ses sion. which will officially start in May. is already full with items she introduced that are still stuck in committee. One bill that Parmon wants to see pushed through would raise the state's minimum wage to $6. She also is push ing legislation that w^yW increase the wages of the state's teacher assistants. "We have a group of people that have very much an impact on our kids' education, but they are paid wages below the federal poverty level." Parmon said. She has garnered some keen committee assignments. She sits on five committees, including the powerful Appropri ations Committee. She is the vice chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Educa tion. Womble said Parmon's committee assign Sec Pormon on A7 ?- * Photo by Kevin talker State Rep. Earline Parmon waves from a float during the Winston-Salem State homecoming parade. Bryant hopes new financing rule ? will help her keep focus in '04 race BY COURTNEY GAILLARD THE CHRONICLE ' N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant is hoping that the N.C. Judicial Reform Public Financing Program will help her hold on to her appellate seat in 2<XW. Bryan)' is the first judicial candidate to opt in lo the new financing pro gram. which requires candidates to obtain con tributions from registered voters in the state. She said this program will allow her to focus her efforts on her judge ship rather than fund-rais ing. "This seems like a good thing because- of how difficult it is for us as judges to raise money, period." .said Bryant. "Fund-raising takes so Bryant much time and energy. and this is a huge election year in 2(X)4... .Every body is raising money." . This optional finance program act. which is open only to candidates for seats on the N.C. r". Sec Bryont on A7 In Qrateful Memory of Our Founders, Florrie S. Russell and Carl H. Russell, Sr.^ " Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve You Better " ffiugggll ffiumx&l iamt Wishes to Thank Everyone For Their Support 822 Carl Russell Ave. (at Martin I .uther Kins Dr.) Winston-Salem. NC 27101 (336) 722-3459 Fax (336) 631-8268 rusfhome@ The Only Choice for African-American and Community News

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