North Carolina Newspapers

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The Chronicle
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Volume43,Number27 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C ?THURSDAY, March 10, 2016
Cooper ignores Smith backers
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Student organizers from Wake Forest University,
Winston-Salem State University and Salem College went
to the offices of N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper on
Monday to deliver a letter and a banner, imploring Cooper
to help free Kalvin Michael Smith.
Smith is a 44-year-old black man many say was falsely
tried and convicted of the Dec. 1995 brutal beating of the
manager at the Silk Plant Forest store. Smith was nowhere
near the store at the time of the crime, his supporters and
subsequent reviews have shown, and police, who did have
a white male suspect, inexplicably arrested and charged
Smith. He has served 19 of a 29-year sentence.
What they said
Read the letter the Concerned Students for Kalvfn
Michael Smith wrote to Attorney General Roy
Cooper on Page A7.
Monday, student organizers unveiled a long banner in
front of the N.C. Department of Justice that had the signa
tures of over 200 students from all three schools, several
from the Winston-Salem community, plus the signature of
Alicia Garza, a founder of the Black Lives Matter move
A letter accompanied the banner, asking Attorney
General Cooper to join with Kalvin Smith's defense team
in asking the court to vacate his previous conviction and
petition for a new trial. The demonstrators also want
Attorney General Cooper to personally meet with former
FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, who looked into
the case at the request of the Silk Plant Forest Committee,
and wrote in his report that it was one of the "sloppiest"
police investigations he'd ever seen in his experience.
Swecker told The Chronicle exclusively a few weeks
ago that a member of Cooper's staff did briefly speak with
him by phone about his report after it was released in
2012, but beyond that, no face-to-face meetings were had.
"The report's so detailed, and it speaks for itself that
... if [the Attorney General's Office] read the report ...
See Smith on AM
vote early,
in county
Thousands of Forsyth County residents have already
cast their ballots in the March IS primary.
The early voting period, which began on March 3 and
ends Friday, March 12, is the first time voters across the
state^qll be asked to show a
As of Tuesday, 8,213 CAMPAIGN
people in Forsyth County ^
have cast their ballots in T g ?
early voting, according to ' I *
ejection officials.
Ahead of the start of
early voting, Forsyth
County's newly appointed elections director Tim Tsujii
confirmed that poll workers received additional training
to implement the new voter ID process. A number of poll
workers told The Chronicle that the training they received
helped them prepare fa* the changes and issues that may
arise at the polls.
Sylvia Jones said although not everyone was aware of
See Vote on A2
fboto by Tbvin Slinvir
Drama students from Parkland High School perform a skit during the dedication ceremony on Friday,
March 5.
Parkland auditorium
renamed to honor
BY sttnson When asked about desegregating a community,
the chronicle _ - ? Anderson said she didn't have any^ fears before her
Last weekend Flonnie Anderson, a ?
retired English and drama teacher in the I
ssystem, received a birthday present that I
she will never focget5
On Saturday March 8, Anderson's I
86th birthday, the auditorium at Parkland I
High School was renamed to honor I
Anderson, who taught drama and English I
for 34 years before retiring in 1989.
"I can't think of a better way to cele- ?
brate my birthday," Anderson said.
During her tenure with the school sys- I
tern, Anderson taught at Atkins, Anderson
and Parkland high schools. In 1970
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stage to perform "Take Me Higher," a
piece written by one of her students.
"I knew there would be people who
wpuld object, but I didn't have any reser
vations," she continued. "During that time
there were some people who would not
support desegregation at all and that's
what I told my students."
The production of "Thke Me Higher"
wasn't the first time Anderson used the
atre arts to fight segregation in the city.
She was also the fust black actress to per
form with the Little Theatre of Winston
Salem, now the Twin City Stage, located
/uwcrson oroneuown racial earners wiuunuic w?rv? on Coliseum Drive. . ,
when she became the first teacher to direct a production During the ceremony, a number of Anderson s for
that featured both white and black students following
the integration of schools in the late 60s. See Aadtraoa on Ato
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of Winston-Salem, LLC
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Question: Have you voted yet?
Robyn Spearman
"Yes. I
participate in
early voting
because it's less
hassle and the lines
aren't as long"
See People on A2

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