RALEIGH — The Winston-Salem Journal won 11 first-place awards and placed second in General Excellence on Thursday in the 2017 News, Editorial & Photojournalism Contest sponsored by the N.C. Press Association.
Journal photographer Allison Lee Isley won the Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year award, the Press Association’s highest photography honor. Courts reporter Michael Hewlett won the N.C. Media and the Law award.
The Journal and its staffers together won 33 awards in the annual competition.
The Journal staff received five first-place awards for Best Community Coverage, Appearance and Design, Feature Section Design, Headline Writing and Sports News Reporting. The staff also won third place in News Section Design.
“This is a fantastic way for the staff of our newsroom to receive recognition within our industry and in direct competition and comparison with other newspapers in the state of North Carolina,” said Alton Brown, the publisher of the Journal.
In addition to the Hugh Morton award, Isley took both the first- and second-place awards for Photo Page or Essay, a first-place award for General News Photography and a second-place award for Sports Feature Photo.
Reporter Jenny Drabble won first place in Feature Writing and third place in Deadline News Reporting. Drabble and former reporter Bertrand Gutierrez shared a third-place award for Election/Political Reporting.
Graphic artist Cassandra Sherrill won both first and second place in the Illustration/Photo Illustration/Graphics category.
Reporter John Hinton and former reporter Jordan Howse shared a first-place award for Beat News Reporting, and Hinton also won second place in Deadline News Reporting.
Photographer Andrew Dye won first place for Spot Photography and third place for Sports Feature Photo.
Reporter Michael Hastings won second place in Arts and Entertainment Reporting, and Gutierrez won second place in Beat News Reporting.
Reporter Lisa O’Donnell won second place in Best Lede and third place in News Enterprise Reporting.
Reporter Fran Daniel won second place in Business Writing, and former editorial page editor John Railey won second place in Editorials. Photo Editor Walt Unks won second place in Spot Photography.
Reporter Tim Clodfelter won third place in Arts and Entertainment Reporting, and sports reporter John Dell won third place in Sports Feature Writing. Columnist Mick Scott won third place in Editorials, and former reporter Arika Herron won third place in General News Reporting.
The Winston-Salem Monthly magazine, published by the Journal, won first place for Best Niche Publication, and Spark magazine won third place.
Journal Managing Editor Andy Morrissey said the number of awards won by the paper reflects the dedication and work of the newsroom staff, and that the diversity of the awards show the breadth of the Journal’s strengths, with honors for writing, design and photography.
“This year’s awards show a tremendous amount of teamwork that happens all the time in the newsroom,” Morrissey said. He added that more people than ever are engaging with the newspaper in print or online.
“People want to know what is happening in their community, and the Journal is still the largest, most significant source of local news in Forsyth County and Winston-Salem,” Morrissey said.
Brown, who has been at the Journal since last May, said the awards confirm the strengths of the staff that he saw when he arrived.
“I’m very proud of our staff, and I look forward to the great journalism that will continue to come forward from our newspaper,” Brown said.
The Rev. Billy Graham may have been larger than life for many, but for Jonathan Lotz, he was “granddaddy,” someone Lotz saw on holidays and summers.
“He was the same man in public as he was in private,” Lotz said of his grandfather. “He was warm, gracious and full of humility.”
Lotz, 48, is the son of Graham’s daughter Anne Graham Lotz. He lives in Mocksville and manages a Chick-fil-A in Clemmons, though he is also an ordained minister.
Graham died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat at age 99. A procession will be held from Asheville to Charlotte on Saturday, before his body will lie in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from Wednesday through Thursday. A funeral will be held for Graham on March 2 in Charlotte.
“I cried when I got the news,” Lotz said. “I was sad, but I’m glad he’s no longer suffering. His last breath on earth was his first breath in heaven.”
Lotz recalled the biggest impact Graham had on his life — a day that led him to accept Jesus as his savior. Lotz was 8 years old and at home in Raleigh, watching his grandfather hosting a crusade on TV.
“I heard God loved me, and my relationship with sin was broken,” Lotz said.
He said that even at 8 years old, he was a troublemaker, doing such things as pulling on his sister’s pigtails. “I took to sin like a duck to water,” he recalled.
“That night, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and he changed my life,” Lotz said.
As an adult, Lotz would work for Graham, from 1994 to 2002, doing preliminary work for Graham’s crusades, Lotz said.
“I lived all over the country, and went to Amsterdam and Moscow,” he said. “I would live in a city for a year before a stadium event. My work would end as his began to preach the gospel.”
Lotz saw little of Graham during that time, getting to occasionally dine together when Graham would arrive in the cities before he would hold a crusade.
He instead saw Graham every Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer, Lotz said. He learned valuable lessons from his grandfather.
“I want people to know Jesus. That’s what my granddaddy had communicated to me,” Lotz said. “He tore down barriers between blacks and whites. He said that it’s a religion for all people; he had a heart for the people. That’s what I desire to do as well.”
He said Graham had a passion for what he did, but harbored misgivings about something, as well.
“He had a heart for people, but he had a regret he didn’t spend more time at home,” Lotz said.
Graham’s wife, Ruth, was often alone for months at a time while Graham was preaching, leaving her to raise the children.
Lotz moved on to other careers when Graham stopped traveling for his crusades, he said. He found employment with other Christian-based work, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and with a ministry in Africa, before moving to the Triad, where his wife, Jenny, is from. He began working with with Chick-fil-A in 2012 and said he loves his job.
“I get to serve and encourage people, and it’s closed on Sundays,” he said.
On his day off, Lotz, who is an ordained minister, fills pulpits wherever he’s needed, mostly in the Southeast.
Locations have included YMCA events, high school assemblies and Bible events.
He said he’s glad he’s gotten so much inspiration from a great man in his family.
He plans to be in Asheville for the processional this weekend and in Charlotte for the funeral services with his family next week. Lotz was with his mother and sisters on Wednesday.
“There is joy knowing my granddaddy is in heaven, but the pain is knowing we’re not there yet. There will be the first birthday, the first Christmas without him. That’s part of being human,” Lotz said. “I know I will be with my granddaddy. He’s there with Jesus. We’ll be together again, cheerfully rejoicing.”
Former county commissioner and school board member Beaufort Bailey, a pioneering black elected official in Forsyth County, died early Thursday at the age of 83.
Bailey had a recurrence of cancer that he had fought previously, according to Forsyth County Commissioner Ted Kaplan, who said that Bailey was checked into hospice several days ago.
Bailey and the late Walter Marshall, another county commissioner, both Democrats, for many years were the voices of the black community on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Bailey died on the same date as Marshall, one year later.
Where Marshall was forceful, Bailey took a more conciliatory approach in pursuing the issues of importance to his constituents, people were saying Thursday.
A graduate of Winston-Salem State University and a former employee of the university, Bailey always kept the school’s interests close to heart, friends said.
Commissioner Dave Plyler, the Republican chairman of the board, said Bailey was willing to work across party aisles during his time as a county commissioner.
“Beaufort always said we need to have as much transparency and as much of an exchange of views as we possibly can,” Plyler said. “Beaufort fought for minority representation on construction, fought for teacher pay, and he was willing to work with Republicans. He looked for what was best for the common good rather than what was good for the Republican or Democratic party.”
During Bailey’s time on the board, he and Marshall often worked to try to gain money for the Downtown Health Plaza in the face of budget-cutting efforts. Although the subsidies were ended in 2006, Bailey mounted an unsuccessful attempt to restore some of the money.
Perhaps the most famous Bailey episode as a commissioner was when the board convened at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2010 to approve a $40 million library bond proposal. Bailey was in the hospital with an intestinal blockage, so the board came to him for the vote. It was needed, since the plan passed 4-3 with Bailey’s support.
“He was willing to go anywhere and do anything if it would work,” Plyler said.
Marshall’s widow, Paulette Marshall, said Bailey and her husband were a contrast in styles but worked together well on the county board to help their district.
Bailey “had a more playful spirit and attacked a problem in a different way ... but my husband didn’t deal that way,” she said. “They still had mutual respect for each other, and when they were on the board, they talked and tried to collaborate.”
Bailey served from 1994 to 1998 as the president of WSSU’s National Alumni Association.
Tim Grant, who got to know Bailey when Grant was a student at WSSU and Bailey a teacher, called Bailey a mentor — and close friend. Grant was at WSSU from 1976 to 1980, and Bailey was in charge of the media center and yearbook and took pictures of life at the university.
“Because he took an interest in students, he was one of those staff people on campus that just gravitated to the students and became interested in knowing you better,” Grant said. “Over the years, we remained friends. He was very caring and passionate, and would offer his advice to you.”
Grant himself was a teacher and coach at WSSU from 1982 to 1995. That time overlapped with some of Bailey’s years of service on the school board, and Grant said that during that time Bailey talked about his political approach:
“I remember him saying that a lot of people talk about making a difference,” Grant said. “From my perspective, he was not one that would talk about doing stuff. He would do it. He understood that you solve a lot of issues before the meeting. He was always willing to listen to other peoples’ viewpoints and to be able to have a positive dialogue.”
And Bailey was a jokester, Grant said.
“He loved to laugh,” Grant said. But at the same time, he added, Bailey would speak up if he felt that something going on at his beloved university wasn’t going right. Bailey sometimes clashed with school administrators over their actions and priorities.
“You didn’t have to worry about him not speaking up,” Grant said. “We became friends in 1976 and remained friends until his passing. I can’t thank God enough that I had people like that as part of my growth into manhood.”
Bailey was born in a log cabin in Stokes County, and moved with his family to Winston-Salem, where he graduated from Atkins High School in 1952.
A teacher for 11 years after he graduated from WSSU in 1957, Bailey worked for the university from 1968 to 1993 as an education-media specialist after he got his master’s degree, later serving for a time as adviser to the university’s yearbook staff.
Bailey and his wife had six children.
Bailey was elected to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education in 1974. He was not the first black person elected countywide to a school board: That was Lillian B. Lewis, elected to the county school board in 1960. But Bailey was the only black member of the city-county board during his terms.
Defeated in 1978, Bailey ran again unsuccessfully in 1978 and in 1980 before winning another term on the school board in 1982.
Bailey was re-elected in 1986, then defeated in his 1990 run.
He was elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in 2002, and won a second term in 2006.
He was defeated in A loss in the May 2010 Democratic Party primary ended his bid for a third term.
Gregory Hairston, who worked as alumni director at WSSU during Bailey’s tenure at the national alumni group, recalled how he worked to give alumni a chance to get a custom license plate through the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ personalized or special license plate program.
“He helped fund the national entertainment for our alumni ball, and that boosted attendance,” Hairston said, noting that the musical acts brought to the event with the help of the national association included the Spinners and Jeffrey Osborne.
“He was an ambassador for the university,” Hairston said. “He wanted to serve as a bridge from our university to our alumni population.”
Victor Bruinton, the current president of the alumni group, said that Bailey taught him darkroom techniques when Bruinton was a student at WSSU and Bailey was in charge of photography and the yearbook. Later, when Bruinton came to head the alumni group himself, Bailey was there for support.
“He and I would talk about political issues,” Bruinton said. “He was a very courageous man. He would say what others were thinking but maybe didn’t have the courage to say. He was willing to stand alone if that is what it took to bring about change.”
A few months before Gary Green took the helm at Forsyth Technical Community College in 2001, the planned merger of Wachovia and First Union banks was big news locally.
“You had that change that occurred in the financial services sector that was really important to this community,” Green said. “The only thing that is certain is change.”
On Dec. 31, Green will say goodbye to the job he has held for nearly 17 years. He is the longest serving president at Forsyth Tech.
Alan Proctor, chairman of Forsyth Tech’s Board of Trustees, announced Green’s retirement Thursday during a news conference at the college.
“Dr. Gary Green has well-served Forsyth Tech as its president, leading some of the school’s most sweeping changes in its history,” Proctor said. “During his tenure, he tremendously evolved the educational experience for our students, adding an array of new curricula, leading more than $100 million in facilities expansions, raising more than $33 million over two significant capital campaigns, and turning the school into a national educational model for biotechnology, cybersecurity and motorsports technology.”
Edwin L. Welch Jr. of I.L. Long Construction said that Green had a vision and made it happen as he focused on students’ futures.
“Countless individuals have been given phenomenal educational opportunities that have greatly enhanced their quality of life,” Welch said. “Employers in the area, as well as industries across the region, have been assured of a skilled work force due to the excellent training programs available at Forsyth Technical Community College.”
Welch and Ann Bennett-Phillips of Capital Development Services will co-chair a search committee. They’ll follow State Board of Community Colleges procedures to identify a new president, whom they expect to have in place in January 2019.
Jennifer Haygood, acting president of the North Carolina Community College System, said Green’s service has been an asset to Forsyth Tech and the entire community college system.
“He has provided great leadership as chair of the Legislative Committee of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents, strongly advocating for the collective priorities of all 58 community colleges,” Haygood said.
Green, 67, said in an interview that friends told him that he’d know when the time was right to retire.
“The time is right, both for me personally and for the college, to have transition to a new leader here,” he said.
He said that Forsyth Tech is on a good path.
Today, the community college has 7,500 credit and 20,000 non-credit students, 550 full-time and 1,100 part-time employees and a budget of $100 million.
“We’ve just completed a very successful capital campaign to provide for the capital technology and equipment needed for future enhancement of our students’ support needs,” Green said. “In 2016, we had the county bond referendum that provided capital for facilities that the college will need through the early 2020s.”
As the college focuses on the success of its students, he believes it has enough momentum to carry over into the future.
“Our board is certainly committed to that,” Green said.
Green became president of Forsyth Tech on July 1, 2001, succeeding Desna Wallin, who retired that summer.
He was previously the executive vice president of Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Ala.
His goal was to align Forsyth Tech’s programs with the changing economy, with a focus on achieving high student success and completion rates.
In an article in the March 2, 2001, edition of the Winston-Salem Journal, Bill Dean, who was then president of Winston-Salem Idealliance, the group originally tasked with marketing and developing what is now the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, called Green a “go-to” person.
Dean, who had worked with Green at the Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Ala., said, “He’s one that will set out a vision and try to adapt. He’s very aware of the surroundings and takes advantage of those opportunities.”
Green said that Forsyth Tech has been adaptive to change.
“One of our core values is the responsiveness to the community, and that means responsiveness to change,” he said.
He said that technology has been the biggest driver of change in education over the past 17 years at the college, in terms of Forsyth Tech’s programs, as well as how the college delivers instruction and engages with students.
“This is how students want to deal with the world,” Green said holding up his iPhone. “They expect to engage with the college through mobile devices — smartphones, iPads, tablets.”
The college currently has a number of programs that are fully online and some have a classroom and online component.
“We have a comprehensive learning management system that all of our classes feed into that provides a digital format information about our classes,” Green said.
Part of Forsyth Tech’s goal for nearly 17 years has been to ensure that the college is part of the local community when it comes to defining and working toward the future of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County and Stokes County, Green said.
“The community partners that we have developed have been absolutely essential to any success that we have had over that period of time,” Green said.
Nancy Hawley, executive vice president of operations for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., has worked with Green on the Forsyth Tech Foundation for six years. She was the past chairwoman and is currently a member of the foundation’s board.
She said Green’s retirement is a loss to the college, but she is happy for him.
“I think he is a great leader of the college, very forward looking as to how the world is changing and how the college needs to evolve to ensure they are providing the right workforce to meet the changing technology needs in the marketplace,” Hawley said.
She said that Forsyth Tech has worked closely with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco as the company’s technology has evolved, “helping to ensure that we have the right type of students.”
Financial resources and time have been the biggest challenges for the college over the years, Green said.
“It has continually been a challenge for us, to be able to recruit and to retain the very best people, to have the technology that’s needed in classrooms and shops and labs and clinics and so on, and to support students. Often times, we have the students who have the least economic means to pursue higher education and we have to support that in a variety of ways. “
In terms of time, he said, “There is always more to do than there is time to do it.”
In talking about how proud he is of Forsyth Tech, Green said, “I think we have worked very hard to make sure that the programs that we are offering to our students are aligned with the needs of the community.”
Examples, he said, are the college’s biotechnology program, the expansion of its clinical health programs to include a new program in health information technology.
“The transformation that we have made in manufacturing education to now focus on advanced manufacturing technologies, the manufacturing that’s driven by science and technology,” he added.
He is also proud of the work the college has been doing the past few years on student retention and completion “to make sure that all of our students are moving toward completion and retention equally.”
Green spoke of how excited and appreciative he has been to have had the opportunity to come to Forsyth Tech.
“It’s a great community to be doing this community college work, providing people the opportunity to improve the lives of sometimes their children or themselves by providing opportunities to improve their careers or to develop new careers,” he said.
He said that being president of Forsyth Tech has been the highlight of his professional life.
“I will always be grateful to the board of trustees for this opportunity,” he said. “I have been fortunate to work with faculty and staff who are exceptionally committed and passionate about student success.”
But he is also looking forward to more time for himself and spending time with his family.
“It’ll be an opportunity for my wife and I to be out more, maybe to travel a little bit,” he said.