Count Basie Orchestra wins 1997 Grammy Award
A Homebov Chris Murrell Droves vocalist
Murrell (left) with renowned vocalist Tony Bennett
Bennett said that Murrell is one of his favorite
By FELECIA P. MCMILLAN
SpecieL to the ChronieU
The Count Basie Orchestra won the 1997
Grammy in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Per
formance category Feb. 26 in New York. Byron
"Chris" Murrell, a native of Winston-Salem,
became the vocalist for the orchestra in Sep
tember 1991. He was thrilled to be a part of this
great success. "This is the pinnacle of any
musician's career," he said. 'There was a lot of
stiff competition, andit worked our in our
favor. We were very excitfed and very blessed."
The Basie Orchestra won the Grammy for
their album "Live at Manchester Craftsmen's
Guild," which features "the Count Basie
Orchestra directed by Grover Mitchell ? with
the New York Voices." This album represents
the third time in the decade of the 90's that the
band or one of its members ha's been honored
by the Grammys.
In 1996, the Basie Orchestra won the presti
j ^ w - ? ?? w -w r v v vr r r ik^ r
gious 61st Annual "Downbeat" magazine's
readers poll in December as the best Big Band
in the world, in January the Orchestra honored
President Clinton at the 53rd Presidential Inau
gural Festivities in Washington, D.C. Members
of the orchestra received a special edition of the
president's inaugural address with a gold seal
and a copy of Miller Williams' "Of History and
Please see page 2
660SiT5THNs^ #Uq tIB Choice for African-American News and Information
Fate of Reynolds Health Center Divides Community
A Is health care in East Winston between a rock and a hard place or in a win-win situation ?
By BRIDGET EVARTS
Community News Reporter
County commissioners will decide
next month to either go with Baptist
Hospital's proposal to build a new
facility in East Winston or accept an
action plan from Reynolds Health
Center's advisory committee to
So far. the process promises to be
anything but quiet. A recent presenta
tion by Baptist Hospital staff drew
divided reviews from the community
members in attendance.
Reynolds Health Center staff,
neighborhood residents and commu
nity I eaders gathered recently at
Dellabrook Presbyterian Church to lis
ten to Gerald Finley. vice president of
operations at Baptist Hospital, present
plans for a new health care facility to
take the place of East Winston's exist
Some say that without the medical
center's support. East Winston may
not have a primary care center. Others
contend that county control is the best
way to insure continued health care in
Last year, the county dedicated
$4.6 million to assist in the health care
center's operations, less than 2 percent
of the overall budget. Baptist Hospi
tal promises to invest $5 million into a
modern facility on East 14th Street
and reduce county support to $4.1 mil
lion in the first year of operations.
Increased services would be
offered at the new facility in addition
to existing Reynolds departments.
The new building would occupy less
than one-fifth the space taken by the
health center: 25.000 square feet aS
opposed to 142,000.
"(Reynolds Health Center) was
not effectively designed as a primary
care, patient-friendly facility," said
Baptist Hospital conducted a pre
sentation for the Department of Health
before the Dellabrook meeting, but
has not yet submitted a formal pro
"It does not make
sense for an entity
to invest that kind
of money, time and
an area and walk
? Peter Brunstetter
posal to the county staff.
"It's hard for me to respond to
the Baptist Hospital/Bowman Gray
proposal because it hasn't been pre
NAACP president Bill Tatum speaks to the
community at Dellabrook Presbyterian
An audience comprised of health care workers, neighborhood residents and community
leaders listened to a presentation by Baptist Hospital.
sented to the county manager yet,"
said Reynolds Health Center director
Dennis P. Magovern. Magovern said
that the health center's action plan
includes many of the recommenda
tions made to the county by the Tow
ers Perrin consulting firm last year.
Magovern stressed that his staff's
action plan was not a proposal to take
over the health center from the county.
"If the county retains control over
Reynolds Health Center, the county
retains control over its budget, not
some third party," he said.
The action plan offered by
Reynolds staff predicts a decrease in
county funding, between $3 and 3.3
million by 2001. The Reynolds advi
sory committee's action plan would
reduce county funds by increasing
preventative care for at-risk patients ,
like the elderly and pregnant women.
"We have not made any drastic cuts,"
said Bill Tatum, president of the ,
Forsyth County NAACP and chairman ,
of the Reynolds Health Center Advi- ,
sory Committee. r
Many at the community presenta- x
tion seemed receptive to the updated
equipment and modern design 2
promised in the new facility, but some ^
leaders warned that the African-Amer- |
ican community had been mules in the ^
past to similar carrots. ? ,
"The reason you're seeing so
much skepticism tonight," Rep. Larry |
Womble told Finley, "is that we've
been tricked before." Many East Win
ston elders' memories of the old _
"Katie B" hospital, built in 1938, are
[inged with bitterness.
In 1959, African-American voters
were promised a new hospital to
eplace Kate Bitting Reynolds Memo
ial if they lent their support to a bond
eferendum. Just a few years after it
)pened, Reynolds Memorial Hospital
vas turned into a family health center.
Some worry that if Baptist
issumes the role of health care
>rovider for East Winston and ends up
osing money, the medical center will
)ull out and leave the area with no
najor health facility.
"Once you leave something, it's
lard to come back," said county com
Please see page 2
School Administrators' hope:
Zone 4 schools more integrated
By BRIDGET EVARTS
Community New? Reporter
Schools administrators hope that
parents will choose differently with
Zone 4 schools than they did in
"If everybody just chooses their
neighborhood school, the plan is not
going to work," said Sue Carson,
program manager for the school
This is exactly what happened
in 1995, when the school board
implemented the new choice plan in
the southeast. The majority of par
ents chose the closest schools for
their children to attend, upsetting
the plus or minus 20 percent racial
balance the school board attempted
The 30 percent of parents who
did opt to said their children out of
their neighborhoods did not, for the
most part, make selections helpful
to integration goals.
Carson said that the school sys
tem hopes to avoid that avenue this
time by presenting all four of the
schools' themes at each of four
meetings planned for next week.
Parents whose children are ele
mentary students in the redistricted
Zone 4 are invited to attend the
meetings. Each of the meetings will
feature the same presentation on the
Zone 4 elementary schools, said
Carson, and parents are encouraged
to attend meetings at a school other
than the one closest to their home.
School board member Geneva
Brown doubts that this approach
will deter parents from choosing
neighborhood schools. "I 'don't
think that's going to help parents
decide. I think parents already know
where their children will go," said
Brown. She added that the new
North Hills Elementary School may
be the only one with an African
American presence, due to its loca
North Hills will offer a tradi
tional, highly structured environ
ment in which students and teachers
are required to wear uniforms. The
meeting for North Hills, scheduled
for March 17, will be held at
Lowrance Middle School.
Old Richmond will sponsor a
* Please see page 2
Group withdraws request
to add Confederate flag
By BRIDGET EVARTS
C(immunity News Reporter t
A group who wished to have their
insignia, the Confederate flag, displayed on
Walkertown's welcome signs, withdrew
their request one day before a town council
meeting that promised to draw protesters.
Town manager Gary Loo per received a
message March 10 from a member of the
Sons of Confederate Veterans that the
group would not pursue the request.
The Sons, who originally approached
the council eight months ago, renewed their
petition two weeks ago. The latest request
drew widespread response from Walker
.town's African-American community.
John R. Woodard, a member of the
Sons of Confederate Veterans, said he was
notified Monday that the group decided
over the weekend to drop the proposal. "I
can assume they decided because there was
so much opposition raised," said Woodard.
Plans to arrange a meeting between the
Sons and Walkertown's African-American
leaders fell through, said Woodard.
Billy Hairston. one of the African
American leaders contacted by the Sons,
said that he and other members of Oak
Grove Baptist Church decided to forgo the
meeting in favor of addressing the town
council publicly March 11.
Council member Carol Walker stated
last week that she would have voted against
the request. "I don't like to see [anything),
whether it be a sign or whatever, that will
offend another person," Walker said.
Woodard said that hate groups have
appropriated the Confederate flag and
twisted its true meaning, which he said
stood for state's rights, rather than slavery.
"What we're not is Ku Klux Klan, red
neck racists, Neo-Nazis who wave the
flag," said Woodard. adding. "I can't stand
those kind of people."
The Sons adopted the 13-starred Con
federate flag emblem at the group's incep
tion over a hundred years ago.