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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, December 31, 2015, Image 1

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! jWZ* ? m m ** m ^ ' HOLAK5HIP3 ????BMMMMBBMMMMBBBMBMMMMMMMMMPMMMMMMMBMMMMMMMB Pjl.lD.16 KM OUff MM S SfOffTS One more year to go BR cKSjvSL I ?JIPH11? IIQH LI. UHUH'UI llifl >lll?Himi I !? P^HF N? HP 1.23.16 B^BU]lllUI2iIUllliUlUlUlf2i?KUlB&ifi3^H nh^HS)' * V ^^^BQjHVQVIHVMRIViT^^H W sumrMoscHouynNrs The Chronicle Volume43,Number 17 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. j THURSDAY, December 31, 2015 Guardian answers lawsuit BY CASH MICHAELS FOR THE CHRONICLE A Winston-Salem attor ney who has served as estate guardian on several controversial cases associ ated with the Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court's office has filed a 32-page answer and coun terclaim to a lawsuit that alleges he engaged in . a pattern and practice of fraudulent acts ..." that resulted in the loss of over $1.4 million of a deceased African-American woman's assets. In his answer filed by attorney Molly Whitlatch of Greensboro on Dec. 16 in Forsyth Superior Court and obtained by The Chronicle, attorney Bryan C. Thompson claims no _____ wrongdoing, calling the allegations "... frivolous and baseless," and seeks to have the lawsuit thrown out on various technicalities. Thompson also wants the court to sanction his accusers. Last October, The Chronicle first and exclu sively reported on the law suit filed in Forsyth County Superior Court by plain tiff's attorney Reginald D. Alston of Winston-Salem on behalf of the estate of the late Mary Ellen Brannon Thompson - . administered by her broth er, Calvin Brannon prior to his recent death - against the Forsyth Clerk's office, two insurance companies, and several local attorneys, including attorney Bryan Thompson, who was, according to the lawsuit, "fraudulently" appointed estate guardian and allegedly squandered Ms. Thompson's assets. The suit alleges that attorney Thompson (no relation to Mary Thompson) had someone See Lawsuit on A8 Thompson Photo by Tevin Stinson Members of The Othesha Creative Arts Ensemble perform during the opening celebration of Kwanzaa on Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Winston-Salem Urban League. 'Uplifting the African-American Community' New Urban League leader touts Kwanzaa celebration BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE All week long African-Americans are reconnecting and celebrating their African roots. Last Saturday marked the opening night of Kwanzaa, a seven day holi day that was designed to tout African American values that have helped to sustain African-Americans during their most turbulent times. Over 150 citizens attended a kick off event held at the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL) which was filled with Kwanzaa traditions such as African instruments and dance per formances. According to newly appointed president and chief executive James Perry, the event gives the community a chance to experience their heritage. "Most importantly, this event is about uplifting the African-American community and coming together as one," said Perry. "I think this event is less about teaching and more about the experience." The African American and Pan African holiday was founded by California State University professor Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. Each day is dedicated to a princi ple: unity, self-determination, respon sibility, cooperative economics, pur pose, creativity, and faith. A candle representing each principle is lit dur ing the celebration. Umoja or unity was the theme of the opening night. During the Winston-Salem cele bration, attorney Hazel Mack and Ruth Hopkins were presented with awards for their hard work and dedi cation to the community. Mack, the founder of Carter G. Woodson School of Challenge, said, "Our African ancestors prayed for us to have a day like this. That's why we have to honor ourselves. We shouldn't wait for oth ers to do that." After receiving her award, Hopkins, who currently serves as the director of Carter G. Woodson, said, "The African-American community cannot let racism and hate stop our fight for equal rights." Keynote speaker Dr. Nkrumah D. Lewis discussed a number of social issues including racism, mass incar ceration, global hunger, poverty and others. Lewis currently serves on the Institutional Research Boards at UNC Greensboro and Wake Forest University. During his speech, Lewis said that the African-American community must work together to overcome all social injustices they face every day. Lewis used a number of examples and people from history who came together when times were tough. Lewis said events like slavery, the Civil Rights Movements and more recently, the deaths of Trayvon See Kwanzaa on A3 YEAR IN REVIEW From protests to milestones, 2015 proved to be dynamic BY DONNA ROGERS THE CHRONICLE 2015 began with a question for Winston-Salem: Is racism America's Berlin Wall? Chronicle Publisher Ernie Pitt asked that question at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast Forum. It appears that question is still relevant because of the racism in its various forms that has affected Winston-Salem and Noflh Carolina. However, other events also shaped 2015 for Winston Salem. Voting rights The movie "Selma" debuted at the end of 2014, but the main event it captured - the 1965 voting rights march to from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama - was remem bered in 2015 as thousands of people marched in the streets of Winston-Salem in July. The battle cry was "This is Our Selma!" See 2015 on A2 Question: What is your New Year's resolution? BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE . ? "I stopped making ?** resolutions because I |to|Aiever keep them." J See People on A8 SO Ij ^ || ? I AIjJJUI ILL!?5 k|^^SSi>SS: STORAGE ? of Winston-Salem, LLC ?|U|j|ji^U|iMililiiMiiiMli^l WOMEN'S BASKETBALL * V MEN'S BASKETBALL A 4,

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