Bennett College and GTCC Sign Co-Admission Agreement

Agreement Allows Clear Pathway to a Four-year Social Work Degree

The leaders of Bennett College and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) officially signed a co-admission agreement, giving GTCC students a clear pathway from an Associate in Arts (AA) degree to a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Bennett College. The signing by Bennett President Rosalind Fuse-Hall and GTCC President Randy Parker occurred prior to the start of Bennett’s recent Board of Trustees’ meeting.  Representatives from both institutions were also present.
 After assessing the first major to include in the agreement, both colleges recognized the rising demand and interest in the social work field at their respective institutions and wanted to ensure that a student graduating from GTCC would have every opportunity to continue their education and further their career at Bennett College. 
“Students graduating with a bachelor of social work degree can work in various settings throughout their career, and they are not pigeon-holed into a certain box. Social workers can work with children, families, health care entities, and state and federal government,” said Dr. Jan Laughinghouse, assistant professor and coordinator of the Social Work Program at Bennett. “Social workers are people workers and we see them in such positions as public policy advocates, case managers, therapists, and mediators.”  

President Fuse-Hall is thrilled about this opportunity to partner with GTCC in executing this agreement. “This co-admission offers opportunities beyond the current articulation agreement, including those with other institutions. When a student applies and is admitted into the co-admission program, she will enjoy an expansion of her educational choices, ease of transition between institutions, a seamless admission process, and financial aid and student services support.  We feel sure this process will increase a student’s likelihood of completing her associate and bachelor’s degrees.”

“Today’s co-admission agreement further supports one of GTCC’s major initiatives to increase completion and graduation rates for students through Completion by Design, a Bill & Melinda Gates   initiative that GTCC is leading across the nation and the state,” said Randy Parker. “This co-admission agreement opens more doors for our students and provides them with a clear pathway to a bachelor’s degree at Bennett College and an opportunity to pursue a promising and fulfilling career in the social work field. GTCC is committed to delivering quality educational programs through our partnerships with institutions like Bennett.”

 This is the first co-admission agreement between GTCC and Bennett College and the second co-admission agreement GTCC has signed with an area educational institution within the last year. In March 2013, GTCC signed a co-admission agreement with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s College of Engineering.

Under the new agreement, select students will be co-admitted to both GTCC and Bennett College simultaneously and will offer a variety of benefits including: 

·      Improve student access to undergraduate education
·      Expand educational choices that best meet each student’s academic, social, career, and financial needs
·      Improve associate and baccalaureate degree graduation rates
·      Ease student transition between both institutions
·      Provide ready access to comprehensive support services for student success, regardless of student location
·      Increase individualized assistance for students who are evaluating career opportunities and designing educational programs
·      Coordinate seamless administration for admission, financial aid and other student support services
·      Improve accessibility of information for student success
·      Create greater awareness of connections between Bennett College, GTCC and K-12 partners
·      Share faculty expertise and create joint faculty development opportunities
·      And promote student learning through sound educational practices and expanded educational opportunities.

This partnership also provides the following benefits to students:

         Coordinated federal and financial aid disbursement
         Waived application fee for Bennett College
         Tuition discount at Bennett College
         Special scholarship opportunities for co-admitted students
         Coordinated student and academic services
         Early advising and orientation programs
         Early registration
         Students who maintain established academic standards move seamlessly to Bennett College to complete upper-division coursework
         Develop and support mutual beneficial co-curricular program (e.g. internships, research opportunities, student clubs) to promote engagement and persistence.
         One application
         Joint library service
         On-site academic advising
         On-campus housing
         Access to computer services
         Access to honors program
         Coordinated degree completion

According to Ms. Karen Green, Bennett’s vice president of enrollment management/college registrar, “this is an opportunity for the student to take her education beyond the two-year college degree at an affordable rate. Students will save on tuition by completing the first two years at a community college for a lower cost.” 

Furthermore, Guilford County Schools’ graduates who are accepted to the co-admission program also will have the opportunity to apply for GTCC’s Completion by Design scholarship provided they meet the required criteria. The Completion by Design scholarship was designed specifically for Guilford County high school graduates who have been accepted to participate in GTCC joint admission programs. 

GTCC students interested in the co-admission program with Bennett College must submit a formal application and meet a series of requirements. For more information, please contact the GTCC Admissions office at 336-334-4822.

The co-admission agreement is expected to take effect in the 2014-2015 academic year."
A press release

40 arrested in Human Trafficking, Prostitution sting

"Aug. 26, 2009, Members of the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Special Investigations Division initiated an investigation in response to allegations of organized prostitution in Winston-Salem. Due to involvement of suspects outside of Winston-Salem, Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) RAC Winston-Salem partnered in the investigation. The investigation continued until Jan., 2014.
Throughout this time, the investigation revealed that locations in Winston-Salem and throughout North Carolina were being utilized as part of a network of organized prostitution. Further investigation revealed at least five (5) foreign nationals, including one (1) minor, were identified as victims of Sex Trafficking and were trafficked at locations in Winston-Salem. These individuals were removed from the environment and provided access to services available for victims of sex trafficking. The victims’ names will continue to be withheld.
Throughout the investigation, 40 individuals were arrested and charged with a total of 76 charges at both the State and Federal levels. 30 of these individuals were arrested in Winston-Salem. 25 brothels were identified in North Carolina, nine (9) of which were in Winston-Salem. The following individuals were identified as having key roles in the initiation and/or furtherance of organized prostitution and sex trafficking in Winston-Salem:
Mauro Aparicio Hernandez, H/M, 1-29-1963
    1. Address: 1422 Fitch St, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 1422 Fitch St, Winston-Salem, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     8 USC 1328 Importation of Alien for Immoral Purpose
                                             ii.     NCGS 14-43.11 Human Trafficking
                                            iii.     NCGS 14-39 Kidnapping
  1. Augusto Justino Valverde-Morales, H/M, 10-07-1962
    1. Address: 1438 N Cherry St, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 1422 Fitch St, Winston-Salem, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     8 USC 1328 Importation of Alien for Immoral Purpose
                                             ii.     NCGS 14-39 Kidnapping
                                            iii.     NCGS 14-43.11 Human Trafficking
  1. Carmina Canton, H/F, 4-21-1958
    1. Address: 1825 Boulevard St, Greensboro, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 1825 Boulevard St, Greensboro, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     NCGS 14-204 Maintaining a Dwelling for Prostitution
                                             ii.     NCGS 14-204 Soliciting Prostitution
  1. Deysi Suyapa Rodriguez, H/F, 7-09-1974
    1. Address: 1740 Pleasant St, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 1740 Pleasant St, Winston-Salem, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     NCGS 14-190.18 Contributing to Prostitution of a Minor
                                             ii.     NCGS 14-43.13 Sexual Servitude
                                            iii.     NCGS 20-28 Driving While License Revoked
  1. Fredi Menendes Garcia, H/M, 10-14-1970
    1. Address: 844 Goldfloss St, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 844 Goldfloss St, Winston-Salem, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     NCGS 14-190.18 Contributing to Prostitution of a Minor
                                             ii.     NCGS 14-204 Maintinaing a Dwelling for Prostitution
  1. Lorenzo Espinal Almonte, H/M, 8-10-1979
    1. Address: 4361 Robinhood Rd, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 4361 Robinhood Rd, Winston-Salem, NC
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     18 USC 1952 Use Interstate Commerce to Facilitate Prostitution 
  1. Ondina Lizeht Alonso Hernandez, H/F, 5-05-1981
    1. Address: 4930 Southwin Dr, Winston-Salem, NC
    2. Location of Arrest: 1001 Welch Street,  Taylor, TX
    3. Charges:
                                               i.     18 USC 1591 Sex Trafficking

The following law Enforcement Agencies contributed to the investigation:
Asheboro Police Department
Durham Police Department
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
Greensboro Police Department
Guilford County Sheriff’s Office
HSI RAC Columbia (SC)
HSI RAC Charlotte
HSI RAC Raleigh
HSI RAC Winston-Salem
Kernersville Police Department
Lee County Sheriff’s Office
NC Highway Patrol
NC State Bureau of Investigations
Raleigh Police Department
Robeson County Sheriff’s Office
SC Highway Patrol
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol – Jacksonville (FL)
West Columbia Police Department (SC)

Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office"
A Press Release

Arts Council Teams Up With Wake Forest Baptist, Wexford and Others for May 3 Event

‘b/eats on the street’ will feature food,
music and activities for all ages

"The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is partnering with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, to bring a family-friendly food and entertainment event to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The free event, “b/eats on the street,” will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the parking lot at the corner of North Patterson Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

Co-sponsors of the event are Art Nouveau of Winston-Salem, a group of art leaders under age 40, and the local chapter of Arts for Life, an organization that provides educational art programs to people with serious illnesses and disabilities.  

“b/eats on the street” will feature live musical performances, local food vendors, a family art and activity zone, face painting and “Chalk for Life,” a sidewalk art contest put on by Arts for Life to raise money for critically ill children at Wake Forest Baptist’s Brenner Children’s Hospital.

“Downtown Winston-Salem is developing several complementary districts including the Theatre District, Restaurant Row, the Arts District and the Innovation Quarter. We are just beginning to understand the potential of these areas and to take advantage of opportunities for public events in each of them,” said Jim Sparrow, president and CEO of The Arts Council. “The vibrancy that we have seen in the city center is moving east with the development – both commercial and residential – that is under way in the Innovation Quarter.

“We are particularly glad that Arts for Life is involved in this event,” Sparrow added. “They do great work in using the arts to promote wellness and healing that is both inspirational and pace-setting.”

Additional local nonprofit organizations – including the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, Sawtooth School for Visual Art and Authoring Action – will provide the children’s activities at the event and offer information about summer arts programs and camps for young people.

Winston-Salem’s robust arts community accounts in large part for the recognition the area continues to receive as a great place to live.

“Winston-Salem is known as the City of Arts & Innovation,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Through this partnership, we look forward to generating awareness of the arts in Innovation Quarter.”

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the first locally established arts council in the United States, enriches the lives of area residents every day. It raises funds and advocates for the arts, sponsors events in conjunction with other arts organizations, promotes and funds arts education, creates cultural opportunities, develops social capital and aids economic development. In 2013, The Arts Council made Organizational Support Grants to 19 Funded Partners totaling $1,675,000, and other grants brought the total awarded to $1,905,000."
Submitted by Carroll Leggett

Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen Statement on Attorney General’s Request to Delay Same Sex Marriage Case


"The Guilford County Register of Deeds is a defendant in the Gerber and Berlin v. Cooper complaint filed in U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro on April 9th.  Yesterday, Attorney General Roy Cooper asked Judge Peake to delay this case in order for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on whether Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. 
Guilford County’s response to Attorney General Cooper’s request has been neither to support nor oppose this request based on our position the Guilford County Register of Deeds is prepared to abide by the Court’s decision.  In my capacity as Register of Deeds, I am committed to carry out the law.
  I urge Judge Peake and the Attorney General to act swiftly as possible to resolve this matter based on the serious life threatening medical conditions of three members in the case.   Ms. Pearl Berlin is 89 years old and in increasingly deteriorating health.   Ms. Jane Blackburn has been diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer.   In addition, Major Esmeralda Mejia has experienced liver failure and been unable to take family medical leave because her marriage is not recognized in North Carolina.   This complaint also has a direct impact on the legal protections and potential harm for Major Mejia’s 7 year old son.

The resolution of this complaint is time sensitive and needs to be resolved quickly.   I pray we would all act speedily to uphold what is at the heart of all of our values as a people—that we treat each other the way we’d want to be treated.  In addition, we’d uphold the central value of who we are as a nation: that we are all created equal."
Submitted by Jeff Thigpen Campaign

Bangladesh Garment Workers and Community Supporters Call on VF Corp to Sign Legally Binding Accord to Ensure Factory Safety in Bangladesh

Garment Workers from Bangladesh Come to Greensboro to
Make Their Case, One Survived Building Collapse

"Students and Greensboro community members will hold a Forum to hear from Bangladeshi garment workers who are urging local Greensboro apparel giant VF Corporation, owner of North Face, Wrangler, Jansport and several other well-known brands, to take responsibility for its role in the massive worker safety crisis in the Bangladeshi garment industry. In 2010, 29 garment workers burned alive at a factory called That’s It Sportswear, while producing apparel for VF Corporation. Panelists will echo calls from workers for VF Corporation to make sure the safety of their workers by signing the Bangladesh Safety Accord, a legally binding agreement between brands and worker representatives – now signed by more than 150 brands and retailers – that holds the promise of bringing an end to the mass fatality disasters in Bangladesh garment factories.
For several months, VF Corporation has continued to resist calls from a steadily growing number of major American universities, including Duke, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Washington-Seattle, Penn, Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Rutgers and others, who have required their apparel licensees to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord.
Instead of signing the Accord as these universities have requested, VF has joined forces with Walmart and the Gap to create a company-controlled, non-binding agreement called the “Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.” Panel participants will discuss the shortcomings of this voluntary program – namely, its lack of power sharing with workers and their representatives, and its failure to compel brands to pay a single cent toward the repair and renovation of unsafe factories.

Where: Genesis Baptist Church (2812 East Bessemer Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405)

When: 6pm, Thursday, April 17th

Who: Panelists: Aleya Akter (General Secretary of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation), Aklima Khanam (19-year-old survivor of the Rana Plaza collapse), Pricey Harrison (Democratic Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives) Reverend Bradley Hunt (Youth Minister of New Light Missionary Baptist Church), Travis Railsback (Greensboro Wendy’s Worker), Altha Cravey (Professor of Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill)

Sponsors: Beloved Community Center, Communication Workers of America Local 3607, Genesis Baptist Church, Greensboro Pulpit Forum, North Carolina AFL-CIO, North Carolina Triad Jobs with Justice, St. Philip AME Zion Church, United Students Against Sweatshops, Working America."

Submitted by Jeremy Sprinkle, NC State AFL-CIO

Matheny FEC Report Shows Strong Support: $107K Cash on Hand, $165K Raised in the First-Quarter, $206K Raised to Date


"The Matheny for Congress campaign filed its first-quarter FEC fundraising report yesterday showing $107,221 cash on hand, $165,618 raised in the first-quarter, and $206,040 in total receipts for the campaign to date. The campaign also reported over 335 new donors for the quarter. 
“This strong fundraising report demonstrates that we have the financial support necessary to continue spreading our message that ‘Jobs Are The Focus’ and offer voters a clear conservative choice at the polls on May 6th,” said Zack Matheny.
Matheny outraised his nearest competitor, Phil Berger, Jr., by $57,047.09 in the first-quarter and reported more cash on hand than any other candidate in the race to replace Howard Coble as Congressman in North Carolina’s 6th District.

Zack Matheny has served on the Greensboro City Council for six years and in November was elected to his fourth term. He is the President of White Oak Capital, a firm he founded in 2012 to promote investment and economic development in North Carolina. Previously, Matheny held roles at Bell Partners, A. G. Edwards, and Cone Mills.

Zack graduated from N.C. State University in 1996 with a degree in Textile Management. His wife Lauren and three children, Cam, William, and Lily Grace remain his biggest supporters. More information can be found at"
A Press Release


"In just seven weeks, Clay Aiken’s campaign raised more in individual contributions than his primary opponents did throughout the entire duration of the 12-week quarter, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) first quarter fundraising reports. Aiken reported $233,000 in total fundraising and received almost $210,000 in individual contributions in a 7-week period, after announcing his candidacy midway through the quarter on Feb. 5. The quarter began Jan. 1, 2014 and ended March 31, 2014.

Democratic primary opponent Keith Crisco reported $202,000 in contributions throughout the full 12-week period. Crisco loaned his campaign an additional $266,500 and has just $38,000 cash on hand. Aiken’s campaign averaged $30,000 in weekly contributions since his Feb. 5 announcement, while Crisco’s averaged under $17,000 since the quarter began on Jan. 1. Toni Morris’s report could not be found on the FEC website as of 10  a.m. on Wednesday.

“This is a tremendous performance for a first-time candidate in just seven weeks,” said Aiken campaign senior adviser Gene Conti. “Even more striking is the grassroots support that Clay has received. More than 2,000 contributions have come from individual donors, many of them small amounts donated online.”

Conti said, “This report demonstrates that Clay has what it takes to win in November,” including:

·       2,052 individuals contributed to Aiken’s campaign in the first quarter.
·       The average contribution was $101.85.
·       Online fundraising accounted for $88,335 of the total.

The campaign finished the quarter with $124,925 cash on hand. “We are in a position to make a strong push before the primary,” Conti said.

He added, “We will have the resources we need to carry Clay’s message throughout the district. Clay is a genuine political outsider who can take on the incumbent and then take on the dysfunction and partisanship in Washington. He will represent all the people of the Second District as a Member of Congress.”   

The campaign raised over $70,000 in its first week following Aiken’s candidacy announcement on Feb. 5. Early fundraising was bolstered by Aiken’s 5-minute announcement video that now has over 600,000 views on YouTube.   

Political experts are optimistic about Aiken’s fundraising ability through the duration of the campaign cycle. Following an hour-long meeting with Aiken last week, the nonpartisan and highly respected Cook Political Report took NC’s Second District out of the “Solid Republican” column, noting that Aiken is a serious and qualified candidate and has the potential to raise a significant amount of money in a political environment that is tough for many other candidates.

“In a year when other Democrats in considerably red districts are struggling for money and voters' attention, Aiken shouldn't have a problem obtaining either,” wrote Cook Political Report House Editor Dave Wasserman."
A Press Release

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