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Vol. XXXVI No. 3
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THURSDAY, September 17, 2009
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inctnn-Salem. NC 27101 ''lN
Photos by Kc\in Walker
Baker into the
pool using the
Below: As the
A n t h o n y
the honor of
cutting the rib
New pool chair helps people with physical limitations
enjoy benefits of water
BY T. KEVIN WALKKR
THE CHRONICLE . ;
Jt has been more than three decades since Anthofiy A. Johnson stood
upright on his own power.
He was only eight when, a speeding car robbed him of that ability. After
fighting a ferocious battle to live. Johnson, now 41 . has lived most of his life
paralyzed on his right side and relying on a wheelchair.
He's found freedom in the immense indoor pool at the Winston Lake
Family YMCA. The shimmering water gives Johnson's fragile bones and
joints all the support he needs to walk on his own two feet.
"The water helps me up so that I can move freely," Johnson said, his
speech slurred - but his words crystal clear - as a result of his paralysis. "1 am
Sec Pool on A9
Iconic actress recalls breaking color barrier
BY TODD LUCK
*-? . r
ror a generation 01
Hispanic television view
ers. the PBS kids show
"Sesame Street" gave
them their first glimpse of
someone who looked like
When Sonia Manzano
was hired to play "Maria"
on the show in the 1970s,
she knew that she was
venturing into uncharted
Photos' by Todd Luck
Sonia Manzano poses with a young fan on Saturday.
"I loved television but I used to
wonder, 'What am I going to do in
this society that doesn't see me?'
cause I didn't see me
reflected m^any way, in
hooks or in television,"
Manzano told a crowd of
local people on Saturday
morning at the Millennium
Manzano. who is also
an accomplished writer,
was in town for Saturday's
Bookmarks Festival of
Books, an annual one-day
event featuring a host of
Sec Mun/aijp on A5
Mama Mary's House
At 78, Mary ; Shuler is keeping up her legacy of caring for kids
BY LAYl.A FARMER
If Mary Shuler ever wonders
whether the last 29 years of her career
have been well spent, she need only
walk into her kitchen, where an entire
wall is covered with the lives she's
"I raised her. and this one..."
Shuler said, pointing at one photo
graph of a smiling child and then
She has anecdotes about many of
the children she's kept in her in-home
daycare over the last three decades as
well. Although many of her former
clients don't need babysitters anymore,
they'll always be her kids.
"I was at the fair and this big. hand
some dude came up and was hugging
around me just like he was five years
old," she said about one of her former
children "... When 1 see them. I say. 'I
put diapers on you!' It just tickles me
Shuler, 78, has held various occu
pations over the years, but says her
heart has always, been in caring for
children. She raised two children of
her own and two of her late sister's
children and has cared for several fos
ter children and countless relatives and
friends over the course of her life.
"1 have just always loved children."
she related. "I love babies on the tele
See Shuler on AtO
Competency exams had
kept some from setting
high school diplomas
BY LAYLA FARMER
A controversial state mandate that prevented
some high school students from graduating has
Members of the North Carolina General
Assembly recently ratified Senate Bill 202. a
that included a
compon e n t
that did away
with the pas
sage of com
as a gradua
had been in
place for years
as a method of
those who did
not pass them
by the end of
year were not
given a diploma, regardless of their perform
ance throughout high school.
The passage of the bill will allow school sys
tems across the state to retroactively award
diplomas to all those who were denied a diplo
ma because they failed to meet the competency
testing requirement. said Assistant
Superintendent Kenneth Simington.
"Essentially, the directive we've got from
the state is that any student that did not get a
diploma because of the competency tests ... is
(now) eligible," Simington explained. "...Ij's a
minimal effect (for the greater community)
although for some individual students, there
will be a great effect."
The testing component was only a small por
tion of the roughly 300-page document, spon
sored by State Senator Linda Garrou of Forsyth
County. However. Garrou says she is hopeful it
will make a big impression on those who are
affected by it.
"We heard from teachers across the state,
and from parents and students, about the inordi
See Tests on
? ? " ~~ Photos by I .i> la I "armor
Mary Shuler points at alumni of her daycare center.