10 firefighters who were trailblazers

October 4, 2008 

This year marks the 50th anniversary for 10 men who joined the Durham Fire Department on October 1, 1958. The men were Walter Thomas (deceased), Elgin Johnson (deceased), George King, Velton Thompson, Robert Medlyn (deceased), John Lyon, Nathaniel Thompson, Sylvester Hall (deceased), Thomas Harris and Linwood Howard (deceased).

The firefighters were all assigned to Fire Station No. 4, which at that time was a brand-new station located at the corner of Pekoe and Fayetteville streets.

The firefighters were selected after a physical exam and vigorous training.

They lived together, ate together and, of course, fought fires together.

The African-American firefighters' struggle was a legitimate push for social recognition and a desire to assume a basic civic duty -- to serve and protect their community and families.


IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs awarded the Council for Senior Citizens a ThinkCentre M57 desktop computer, which will be used for the organization's Congregate Meal program.

This grant was awarded through an IBM 2008 Technology Grant in collaboration with Triangle United Way. IBM is one of the largest corporate contributors of cash, equipment and people to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

The Council for Senior Citizens is a private nonprofit that operates eight senior centers in Durham County. The Council offers programs, activities and services to seniors in Durham County to keep them healthy, active and independent in the community.


Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz, a Duke University Medical Center researcher, was awarded a National Medal of Science in Washington, on Monday for his contributions to the biological sciences.

Lefkowitz, who holds the title of Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the medical center, received the honor at a White House ceremony for medal winners, Duke announced.

He was recognized for his work in discovering a series of receptors on membranes surrounding cells. The seven transmembrane receptors are the targets of almost half of the drugs on the market, including antihistamines, ulcer medications and beta blockers for heart disease.

According to a medical center news release, Lefkowitz and his group first identified, purified and cloned the genes for these receptors in the 1970s and 1980s. Their research revealed the structure of the receptors as well as their functions and regulation.


Achievements and achievers within the Durham community recognized.

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