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Vol. XXXV No. 19 THURSDAY, January 8, 2009
?See Page Hi
- SA- Page A3
Tragedy opens hearts
Family devastated by fire receives outpouring of support
BY LAYLA FARMER
When Shannon McCrimmon
received word last year that her
family had been chosen as the
beneficiaries of a Christmas giv
ing program at the - Women's
Wellness and Fitness Center in
Winston-Salem, she was relieved
to have the burden of gift buying
lifted from her already challenged
budget. She had no idea then hqw
much she would soon come to
need the members of the fitness
McCrimmon, who works part
time at Wake Forest University
Baptist Medical Center, was the
chief breadwinner for her family
of six, which included four chil
dren, ages 14. nine, eight and
four. and husband James
McCrimmon, who suffered from
kidney failure and was unable to
James McCrimmon. 32, affec
tionately known to his children as
"Poppy," died suddenly of a heart
attack just days after the family
had learned that they* would be
adopted by the Fitness Center, In
addition to the shock and over
whelming grief she suffered at the
loss of her high school sweetheart
and husband of eight years,
McCrimmon was faced, with the
added financial .burden of footing
the bill for her husband's funeral.
Photo by Lay la- Fanner
Shannon McCrimmon, center, is flanked by Helen Naples (right), Linda Rich (left) and other supporters.
'Because of his renal failure,'
he 4id not have (life} insurance,"
she explained. "That left me with
Just when McCrimmon
thought things couldn't get" any
worse, her sister Tanja Cash's
family was also struck by tragedy.
A fire broke out at Gash's resi
dence just days - after
McCrimmon's funeral, claiming
See Fundraiser on ,\4
What Foreclosure Feels Like
i ' ' _ ?
BYT KEVIN WALKER
THE CHRONICLE .
The news media has steadfast
ly covered the who, what, when
and why of the nation's mortgage
collapse, but readers and viewers
are too often asking themselves
"how" c%t\ so many people
their economic footing so swiftl^
Rita Hash Maxwell Tucker
knows how - unfortunately. She
spends most days in her ^jorth
Winston-Salem home waiting -
waiting for the next court date,
-the next past-due house note.
She'sj-mostly content, ready to
accepi whatever tomorrow may
bring, even if it is homelessness.
"Don't think that I have not
had my down days. I have," she
said on Christmas Day from her
favorite chair in a living room
filled with family photos and var
ied Biblical figurines. "After
awhile, you just come to a place
where you have to face reality."
Her reality is that she owes her
Phoio by Kevin WalktT
Rita Hash Maxwell Tucker chuckles at one of the many, many fami
' ly photographs that adorn her living room walls. >
mortgage company mofe than
$10,000, a figure that increases,
almost daily with penalties, taxes
and legal costs. Tucker has turned
to Legal Aid of North Carolina for
help. The agency, which provides
pro bono legal services to those
who qualify, is working with the
N.C. Banking Commission and
N.C. Bar Association to hammer
out negotiations between home
owners and their lenders.
Legal Aid Jias bought Tucker
some time, if nothing else. She
expected to be booted from her
spacious six-bedroom home in
September, and then again in
November. December came and
went and she was still living
there, but she feels she has spent
her last Christmas in the house
that she-has called home for near
ly 15 years.
She bought the home,^ which,
from the outside, appears much
smaller than it actually is - soon
after she took an early retirement
settlement from R.J Reynolds.
The settlement did not make her
rich, but it was enough to live
comfortably and easily hindle her
30-year mortgage payments. Over
the years, she also had help.
Relatives, .including Tucker's
daughter and her late sister, lived
See Foreclosure on All
Business legend Bob Brown will
receive an award. _
BY L.AYLA FARMER /
THE CHRONICLE J/
Winston-Salem's Awn Maya Angelou
is among^an elite group of 25 black dig
nitaries A'ho will be honored with
"Keepers of the Flame" awards at the
African American Church Inaugural Bail
on Jan. 18" in Washington. D.C.
The prolific ppet is one of four hon
orees who have strong ties to North.
Carolina. Bob Brown. C*EO of High
keting firm B&C
Dr. Johnnetta B.
Cole; and Duke
Professor Dr. John
also being recTff
by national leaders' from African
American churches of diverse denomina
tional backgrounds, the Inaugural Ball
was designed to celebrate the accom
plishments of President-elect Barack
Obama, while recognizing the efforts of
those who made it possible for a black
man to rise to such extraordinary heights,
explained Event Planner Phanalphie
Rhue Still. Still is president and CfiO of
Square One Communications, a Broken
Arrow, Okla. -based strategic marketing
and public relations agency.
"The church has always played a sig
nificant role in issues that affect the
African American community ... and
civil rights concerns." commented Still,
a native of Lilesvrlle, North Carolina.
See Awards on A4
Photo by Todd Luck
known for his
speaks at the
Mayor says he
wants to stay put
Joines withdraws name from state post, plans run for third term
BY LAYC.A FARMER
If home is where tti$ heart is, then
Winston-Salem will always be home for
Mayor Allen Joines. .
"It's such a special place, so much
history, so much wonderful diversity
that's here," declared the Wilkes County
native. "I really care about this commu
nity and I think we're poised to do a lot
of good things."
Joines, now in. his second term, has
seen many changes come to pass during
his tenure. He is credited with helping
to land the contract that enticed Dell,
Inc. to set up shop in the area, bringing
with it hundreds of technological jobs
and ushering in a new kind of employ
ment it) the wake of crippling layoffs
from the textile, furniture and tobacco
industries that had once sustained the
Downtown revitalization has been in
full swing in the last eight years, and the
* > See J oines on A9
In Memory of
"Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve fou Better "
jRuasell Jfutteral Home
Wishes to Thank Everyone For Their Support
822 Carl Russell Ave .
(at Martin Luther King Or.)
Winston-Salem , NC 27101
Fax ^336) 631-8268
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