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Black Friday ads in the Journal are available on the day before Thanksgiving

You can buy a copy of Thursday’s Winston-Salem Journal for $4 beginning at noon today. The paper will be available at regular sales locations throughout the region.

The Thanksgiving Day newspaper, with all those Black Friday ads, will once again be available a day early to give readers the best chance to map out their shopping strategies.

For home subscribers, delivery schedules should not be affected.

Because of early deadlines, though, lottery numbers for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday drawings will in Friday’s edition. Obituaries not included in Thursday’s paper will also be in Friday’s edition.

State elections board says WSSU, other UNC system ID cards valid form of photo IDs needed to vote starting in 2020

Students and employees at Winston-Salem State University will be able to use their university-issued ID cards as a valid form of photo identification in order to vote in the 2020 elections, the State Board of Elections said Tuesday.

WSSU is one of the 12 schools the State Board approved, and one of three historically black colleges approved, according to Tuesday’s announcement.

Other area schools whose student IDs were approved include UNC School of the Arts, N.C. A&T State University and UNC Greensboro.

With the most recent round of approvals, all University of North Carolina system student and employee IDs are approved as valid forms of photo ID for voting purposes in the 2020 elections.

In a November 2018 statewide referendum, 55% of the voters approved adding the photo ID requirement to the North Carolina Constitution. Once the law goes into effect in 2020, people will be required to show a valid photo ID in order to vote.

Historically, voter ID laws have been used to target black and low-income voters.

In 2013, the N.C. General Assembly passed a photo ID law that also included other restrictions on voting. However, a federal appeals court ruled that law as unconstitutional because, it said, it targeted “African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

In July of this year, a panel of three N.C. Superior Court judges upheld the most recent iteration of the law — the same law voters approved in November 2018.

In addition to UNC system student and employee IDs, more than 150 types of photo ID are approved for use in 2020.

They include driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, tribal enrollment cards, and military and veteran ID cards.

The elections board approved city of Winston-Salem employee IDs and Wake Forest University student IDs as valid identification for voting purposes on Nov. 1.

For a complete list of state-approved IDs, go to www.ncsbe.gov/voter-id.

People who don’t have an acceptable photo ID can get a free N.C. voter-identification card from their county board of elections. A link to the required form can be found at the website above.

Lawsuit alleging school officials retaliated against Winston-Salem teacher has been dismissed

A lawsuit that claimed school officials retaliated against a former teacher for reporting the physical abuse of students was dismissed.

Telicia Evil, the teacher, filed a lawsuit in 2018 in Forsyth Superior Court, seeking at least $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for several claims, including wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. In September 2018, a Forsyth County judge dismissed most of the claims.

The only claim that was still pending was intentional infliction of emotional distress. But on Nov. 20, her attorney, Reginald Alston, filed a notice dismissing the remaining claim with prejudice, meaning that Evil cannot re-file the complaint. According to court documents, the lawsuit has been settled.

Settlements against public agencies cannot be confidential under state law. Brent Campbell, a spokesman for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, could not immediately get details about how much money for which the lawsuit was settled.

Alston and Joshua Bennett, one of the private attorneys hired to represent the school system, said Monday that they could not comment on the settlement.

The dismissal comes after a brief hearing in October on the lawsuit. At that hearing, Alston requested a continuance, and a new date had not yet been set. The hearing was on a number of motions. In September, the school system had sought to quash several depositions based on allegations of harassing behavior from Alston.

In court papers, the school system said that during a deposition held at the school system’s administration building, Alston harassed a school official and physically blocked him from entering through a door inside the building. This happened during a break when the school official was attempting to talk privately with his attorney, according to court papers.

Judge Angela Puckett of Forsyth Superior Court terminated that deposition but declined to quash other depositions. She issued a warning to Alston not to engage in similar conduct at future depositions.

The lawsuit said that Evil, who started teaching first grade at Elementary School Academy in 2015, had witnessed staff members from Alexander Youth Network, which provided services to students, physically assault students. Alexander Youth Network also was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Evil, according to the lawsuit, saw the staff member lift a male kindergarten student off the floor and throw him into a chair. That same staff member then kicked the legs out from under the chair, resulting in the child falling to the floor, the lawsuit alleges.

Evil reported the incident to her supervisor and to then-Superintendent Bev Emory, who promised an investigation, the lawsuit alleges. In February 2016, a few days after getting a positive work performance evaluation, Evil was suspended with pay, pending an investigation. When she returned in mid-April, Evil claims she was never told the result of the investigation. In May 2016, the school board said her teaching contract would not be renewed, the lawsuit alleges.

She appealed the decision, but was told by Dionne Jenkins, the school board’s attorney, that if she didn’t speak at the meeting in June 2016, nothing negative would go into her personnel file, according to the lawsuit. Despite not speaking, negative things were placed in her personnel file, the lawsuit alleges.

The school system and Alexander Youth Network denied the allegations in court papers. Kent Hamrick, attorney for Alexander Youth Network, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Former drug dealer gives thanks by donating turkeys

Alphonza Mabry is a former drug dealer, and he’s been poor, hungry and homeless, too. So believe him when he says he understands the struggle.

Now, at 32 years old, Mabry has his life together. He owns his own CBD distribution business, is married and has a 2-year-old son. It was just three years ago he went through the Corner 2 Corner Drug Dealers and Street Life conference, a program to deter people from selling or using drugs, and came out the other side determined to live his life legitimately.

On Saturday at Union Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, Mabry decided to give back to the community he used to sell drugs to. He donated 83 Butterball turkeys to the church and Corner 2 Corner, ensuring that 83 families would have the famed bird on their Thanksgiving dinner tables.

“It’s very important I contribute back to the community,” an animated Mabry said. “I poisoned my people for so long because I was young and blind. I was so focused on my own agenda and trying to get out of my own oppressed situation.”

Specifically, Mabry said he feels bad knowing there are kids who will go hungry on Thanksgiving.

“Kids shouldn’t have to starve,” he said. “My son is 2 years old, and just imagining knowing he wouldn’t be able to eat.

About 50 families received their entire Thanksgiving meal Saturday, according to the Rev. Denise Wade. Many of the recipients were elderly, and seemed happy to have something to eat. One person lost their job days earlier and was teary eyed because they wouldn’t be able to feed the family on Thanksgiving without the church’s giveaway, Wade said.

Each meal box contained a turkey, stuffing, fresh cranberries, canned yams, beans, green beans, corn and a cake mix for desert.

Additionally, each box is customized to the size of each family.

For example, Wade said, a family of eight would might receive two turkeys or two boxes of stuffing mix compared to a family of three.

To receive a box, families must have called ahead, Wade said. There are no requirements to qualify for the free meal, only the suggestion that those receiving attend the Saturday morning service at Union Baptist.

In addition to the families attending the service, the Rev. Kezra Marshall preached to about 15 recent Corner 2 Corner graduates who were in attendance to help distribute the boxes. While most people had cars to take them home, some people walked home with their turkey in the pouring rain.

One man left with a suitcase in tow.

Still, everyone involved wore smiles. Those who volunteered were happy to do so, and those receiving a Thanksgiving meal were outwardly grateful for it.

“It feels really good,” Mabry said. “But it feels like I’m not doing enough. It takes a village. You help one person, but the reality is there’s four or five more people that’s going through the same thing.”

As his business, www.therichflower.com, grows, Mabry, who says that he didn’t use illegal drugs, hopes to do even more for next Thanksgiving. Way more.

“I want to donate 800 turkeys,” Mabry said.

special report
Samaritan volunteer honored on 'GMA'

A volunteer from Samaritan Ministries in Winston-Salem will be honored during a segment during the third hour of “Good Morning America” airing at 1 p.m. today on WXLV ABC-45.

Josephine “Chop Chop” Truesdale, 69, has been a volunteer working in the Samaritan kitchen for nine years now, since retiring from Winston-Salem State University, where she handled food preparation.

Before that, she overcame drug addiction herself. “After I got clean from drugs, I said, I want to come help others,” she said. “You have to learn to give to people, and help someone else that’s in need.”

She has been a valued member of the Samaritan community for “her years of devotion and service to our hungry and homeless neighbors,” said Alex Jarrell, marketing and community relations director for Samaritan Ministries.

“She once walked in the very footsteps of our guests, overcame homelessness and now shares her gift of cooking with others,” Jarrell said. “She truly embodies Samaritan’s mission and fills the prep space with endless amounts of hard work, joy and love.”

Her service came to the attention of “GMA,” which was looking for volunteers to honor on the show. And they arranged to fly her up to New York, where the show is taped.

“I never rode on a plane,” said Truesdale on Monday as she was taking a break from her work in the kitchen. She added that she was not nervous about the prospect.

As part of the commemoration, Samaritan’s Soup Kitchen Prep Station is being dedicated in her honor, which is being kept secret from Truesdale until it is revealed on today’s episode.

Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer are the hosts of “GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke,” as the show’s third hour is known.