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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gwyn asks Pilot Mtn (NC) board to remove plaque

PILOT MOUNTAIN (By Mondee Tilley, The Pilot) — One Pilot Mountain area resident has mounted an effort to have the name of a former police officer taken off the Pilot Mountain Police Department.

Sandra Gwyn spoke to Pilot Mountain commissioners Monday night about the issue that she has plagued her family for years. She asked commissioners to remove the plaque honoring James Thomas Jr., that was put up on the police department in 2009, who was honored with the plaque as an officer killed in the line of duty.

She said that Thomas was not a hero and should not be honored because he attempted to beat her brother, Donnie Heath, to death on June 2, 1966. Gwyn said her brothers, Donnie and Jimmie Heath, had gone to a dance where Pilot Knob Park is now and were arrested and taken to jail by Thomas. She said Thomas put Jimmie Heath, who was 17, in a cell and started to hit him, but then Donnie, who was 21 at the time, yelled for Thomas to come fight with someone his own size. She claims that Thomas then went to the cell where Donnie Heat was being held and began to beat him. She said her brother begged for his life and finally managed to get the gun away from Thomas then shot him in the chest, killing him instantly.


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