Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Sports Stumbling Steelers The Super Bowl champs have been up-and-down in a roller coaster season that could leave them out of the postseason
Thursday, November 26, 2009, Forest City, N.C.
Speaker tells kids character counts
By ALLISON FLYNN Daily Courier Staff Writer
Due to holiday press schedules, The Daily Courier was printed early Wednesday night.
Boxer overcame incredible odds to succeed Page 7
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Stacy Beam, right, works out with Michael Greene at Changing Lives Fitness Center. Three and a half years ago Beam was in a car wreck in Virginia Beach, and doctors said he would never walk alone again or drive a car. Through therapy, Beam has accomplished both and continues to improve.
Thankful for every step Local man gives thanks every day for renewed health Text by Allison Flynn Photos by Garrett Byers
ad doctors been right, Stacy Beam wouldn’t be walking alone. And he certainly wouldn’t be driving a car. Nor would he be playing practical jokes on his mom, Rhonda. But doctors didn’t know Stacy. He’s proved them wrong and aims to continue doing so. Just after midnight July 15, 2006, Stacy and a friend were struck in the car they were driving by a drunk driver in Virginia Beach, Va. A former state and two time world champion kart racer, wrecks
DEATHS Forest City
Roger Silliman Jack Leake Elsewhere Bill Kent Sr. Page 5
Beam and another passenger were struck twice by a drunk driver on July 15, 2006. In a coma for 16 days, Beam initially was given a 10 percent chance of survival.
weren’t unusual for Stacy, so when his dad, Joe, received the phone call saying his son had been in an accident, he didn’t think much of it. “I told them I’d be there some time during the day the next day,” Joe said. “The voice on the other end of the phone said ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea if you want to see your son alive.’” “You don’t wish that on anybody in the world.” Stacy spent 16 days in a coma, with doctors initially only giving him a 10 percent chance to live. In August he was flown from Virginia Beach to CarePartners in Asheville, where he underwent therapy to teach him to do everything
from sitting up, to eating, walking and talking again. “It was exactly like starting over, except he was a grown man,” said his mom, Rhonda. Before leaving Asheville, doctors told the Beams that Stacy would never be able to walk down the street alone, would require 24-hour care and would never drive a car again. “I remember sitting there thinking ‘This is never going to happen,’” Rhonda said. She was right. Stacy began therapy to walk, trembling with each step like a toddler learning for the first time. He came to Rhonda’s house in October 2006, and it was there she knew for sure he was going to beat the odds. “When we got home he Please see Beam, Page 17
You only live once – why would you want to give up? High
61 35 Today, sunny. Tonight, clear. Complete forecast, Page 10
RUTHERFORDTON – As a middle schooler, Donnie Thurman hated the reflection he saw in the mirror. A self-professed nerd, for a time Thurman let his grades slide and back talked teachers in order to appear cool. But after his science teacher put him in afterschool detention, and he saw what it meant to truly be cool, Thurman decided being a nerd might not be so bad after all. “I was told I had always been and would always be a nerd and a punk,” Thurman said, speaking to a group of eighth graders at R-S Middle School Tuesday morning. Thurman was chosen to speak to the students, said Principal John McSwain, to motivate them to do better. Administrators first heard Thurman speak five years ago during a Beta Convention, said Social Studies Teacher Judith Helton. Thurman served as his Beta Club vice president as well as the state Beta Club vice president, and finally as the national vice president of Beta. “We can tell them we love them and want them to do well, but sometimes they need to hear it from somebody outside,” McSwain said. “We’re trying to get them to think about longterm goals – a lot of kids think it’s cool not to do their best.” Please see Character, Page 6
FC lights going on tonight From staff reports
A half million lights will begin to twinkle brightly tonight at 7 when the Town of Forest City throws the switch for the annual holiday display. The honor of turning on the lights this year goes to Natalie Brock, 7. Seeing the Christmas lights on Thanksgiving is a tradition for the Brock family, made even more special this year since Natalie gets to turn them on. By arriving early, participants can listen to music provided by the Thermal Belt Brass Quintet, followed by an appearance by Santa at his Santa House.
Local woman will be on Dr. Oz’s diabetes show By JEAN GORDON Daily Courier Staff Writer
INSIDE Classifieds . . . 15-16 Sports . . . . . . . . 7-9 County scene . . . . 6 Opinion . . . . . . . . 4
FOREST CITY — Pam Whiteside was walking toward Times Square Nov. 11, when she and her niece, Alicia Moss, and sisters were greeted by Dr. Oz and Bob Greene, Oprah’s trainer. Oz and Greene were conducting a diabetic screening at Times Square and they asked Pam to come over to have her glucose checked. Pam, who was diagnosed about five years ago, actually wanted her glucose checked. A diabetic for five years, she has been on a diet and has tried to add walking in her daily life.
Vol. 41, No. 282
Now on the Web: www.thedigitalcourier.com
Please see Show, Page 6
Dr.Oz and Clara Gray, aunt of Pam Whiteside, in New York City.
Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, November 26, 2009
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