Election Day is Tuesday, May 17

​​Kings Mountain area voters will go to the polls Tuesday, May 17 and poll watchers say chief interest in the Primary are local and county races.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
Polling places inside the city are KM North, Patrick Senior Center, 909 E. King Street, and KM South at Mauney Memorial Library, 100 S. Piedmont Avenue. Other polling places: Bethware- Bethlehem Baptist Church Activities Center, 1017 Bethware Road; Oak Grove Baptist Church fellowship hall, 1022 Oak Grove Road; Grover Town Hall, 207 Mulberry Road, Grover; Waco, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 235 AW Black Street, Waco, KM voters in the Gaston County area of Kings Mountain, vote at the Patrick Center or Crowders Mountain Church.
The city election, where incumbents Mike Butler, Ward 2 councilman seeking a 5th four year-term, and Tommy Hawkins Ward 3 councilman, seeking a 4th four-year term, is shaping up to be the race to watch. Butler is challenged by Patty Hall and Hawkins is challenged by Jim Larson.
Cleveland County voters will also decide at the Primary election whether businesses can sell beer and wine countywide.
County Commissioners voted unanimously  on  Nov. 2, 2021, to put beer and fortified wine sales on the ballot to give businesses in unincorporating areas to have the same opportunities to sell in their businesses as the other 11 towns and cities in the county.
Eleven candidates are vying for four seats open on the county board of education and four candidates are running for two open seats on the board of commissioners.
In the board of education race, Meghan Hoppes, Democrat, is challenging the three incumbent Democrats Philip Glover, Coleman Hunt, and Dena Green, all of Shelby, while Republicans in the Primary are Aaron Bridges, incumbent Danny Blanton, Annette Fain, Ronnie Grigg all of Shelby, Dale Riviere Kings Mountain, Walter Scott Spurling of Lawndale and Glenda Womack, of Mooresboro, all Republicans.  The Primary voters will determine candidates on the ballots in November.
No Democrats are running for county committees. The number of Democrats was insufficient to require a Primary election. The three incumbents Philip Glover, Dena Green, and Coleman Hunt and Meghan Hoppes, challenger, will appear alongside the four winners of the Republican Primary election on May 17.
In the board of commissioner’s race David White of Shelby and Malarie Thompson, Lawndale, are challenging incumbent Republicans Deb Hardin and Doug Bridges, both of Shelby, in the Primary. Voters at the. The Primary will determine which two candidates will be on the ballots in November.
If a second Primary is needed it will be on July 5. The general election is scheduled for November 8.
Jeff Gregory of Cleveland County was one of 7 people filing for the US House District 10 Congressional seat.
Seventy-six candidates filed for local, county, state, US Senate, US House, Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court Associate justices during the filing period from Feb. 24-March 4.

Meet the candidates

Candidates running for election in the Kings Mountain City Council, County Board of Education, and County Board of Commissioners were asked to submit their platforms to share with our readers. Their answers are below. Candidates are listed alphabetically.

CITY COUNCIL
WARD 2


MIKE BUTLER
I am asking for your support and vote on May 17. I have lived in Ward 2 for 50 years with my wife, Kathy. I will work for you to serve your problems with the city.
New Economic Development includes the following:
• City council approved agreement with Equus Partners for a new 100,000 square foot building for a new industry.
• City council approved agreement with Benestar Brands new 125,000 square foot building, 129 jobs at $41,969 average salary.
• City Council state approved grant for Cryton renovation of 114,815. Square feet, 10 new jobs
• City Council approved matching grant to Appalachian Gear company downtown showrooms and plant, up to 25 jobs.
•  City Council approved agreement with TKCMLC new 1,200,200 square feet industry building.
• Biscuitville and Starbucks on York Road, both completed.
Thank you for your past and continued support. If you need a ride to vote, please call me.

PATTY HALL
“I take any job I undertake seriously and that’s my pledge to voters in Ward 2 if they elect me,’’ says Patty Hall, candidate for Ward 2 city commissioner.
Since September 1993 Hall has been head of the City of Cherryville Water Department and has served and certified for over 20 years as an examiner of tests submitted by water treatment plants.
“I have a great staff at the water plant, and I don’t ask them to do anything I can’t do,’’ she added. During her career in the water treatment industry, she also worked for six years at the Bessemer City water plant. For over two years she worked with Division of Social Services working with disadvantaged children.
Patty and Stanley Hall were married in 1977. They like to spend time with family and spoil their nieces and nephews.
    The Halls are active in Tabernacle Baptist Church.

CITY COUNCIL
WARD 3


TOMMY HAWKINS
A lot of good things are happening in Kings Mountain for all of us and I want to continue to be part of the excitement while working with council and staff to see those projects successful and bring the best quality of life for all our citizens.
I thank you for your friendship and support as I have served 12 years as representative of Ward 3 on City Council and I ask for your continued support and friendship.
   I was born and raised in Kings Mountain and my wife, Kay, and I raised our three daughters here and they have given us three precious grandchildren.
Educated at Kings Mountain High School and Gaston College, I am retired after 42 years with Campbell Soups and am operating my own business, Tommy’s Birdhouses. I have been a member of First Wesleyan Church on N. Piedmont Avenue for 58 years and active in Kings Mountain’s Chapter of Gideons International.

JIM LARSON
Born in Memphis and later relocating to Ohio, Jim married his high school sweetheart Penny. Now married 41 years, Jim and Penny have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. The family home is within Ward 3 in Kings Mountain.
Jim served 11 years in the military serving in the United States Marine Corps, honing his leadership skills, and studied at Coastal Carolina University and Eastern Carolina University while stationed in the Carolinas. Since leaving the Marine Corps, Jim has had a 37-year career in advanced technology working in a variety of engineering field service and sales roles.
For the last 22 years Jim has worked for the Walt Disney company as a leader in their critical facility organization. Jim was a member of the core team that selected Kings Mountain as the location for Disney’s largest technology center. Jim has been the site’s operations leader.
   Drawn to Kings Mountain’s charm and attributes, Jim moved his family to town in 2012 and became active members of Central United Methodist Church and leads the church-wide Sunday School class at Central. He enjoys hunting and spending time with his family.
“Kings Mountain offers so much to the residents and visitors and it’s where my family calls home,’’ says Jim. He says he looks forward to serving the community as the Ward 3 representative to Kings Mountain City Council.

BOARD OF
EDUCATION


DANNY BLANTON
• Our teachers and students come first.
• I will be transparent with taxpayers.
• I vow to closely monitor spending and ask questions to get answers for taxpayers.
• I believe curriculum should be personalized to meet individual student needs including preparing them for entry into the workplace.
• Being a leader sometimes requires making difficult decisions. I will approach them with common sense for our teachers and children’s best interest and safety.

AARON BRIDGES
• My name is Aaron Bridges, born and raised in Cleveland County.
• I am a parent, a concerned citizen and graduate of Cleveland County Schools.
• I see the direction of the Educational System in America and it has motivated me to run here for our local school board. I see other school systems across the US and want to ensure Cleveland County gives our students the best educational experience possible. I want my children and the children of Cleveland County to have the resources they need at their disposal to help make them successful.
• I am one individual attempting to make a difference and will work to the best of my ability if elected to the Board of Education.
• Please vote for Aaron Bridges for Cleveland County Board of Education in 2022. Thank You.

ANNETTE FAIN
• I WILL be your voice for the children that come first, for the parents to be heard and for the educators.
• I WILL put an end to CRT/TSEL and SEL and make sure the 3R’s and our factual American History stories are taught.
• I WILL make sure our students are served nutritional meals and make sure all schools follow the same policy manual for Cleveland County Schools.
• Take a chance to make the change! Vote for Annette Fain for the Cleveland County Board of Education.

RONNIE GRIGG
• Make that change May 17. Our children come first! Your vote is your voice.

DALE RIVIERE
• I Serve God.
• I served 7 years in the US Marine Corps.
• I serve as a baseball coach at the local YMCA.
• I serve on international mission trips.
• I serve as a husband to my beautiful wife.
• I serve as a father to my incredible children.
• I want to serve our school system and community.
I will bring sound and logical leadership to the Board of Education and work together with our existing members to accomplish what is best for our children. I promise to be a champion in parent choice based on my faith in Christ and the morals and ethics that I have held true to since becoming a servant of God. This school system means so much to us (Cleveland County) residents and with a Board of Education that can work together for good we can put the job of teacher into the teacher’s hands, the job of staff into the staff’s hands, and the job of parents in parents’ hands like it should be and move past politics into common sense decisions and making for the well-being and education of our students, our children.

WALTER SCOTT SPURLING
Walter Scott Spurling is a native of Belwood, NC. He graduated from Burns High School in 1985 and Nashville Auto Diesel College in 1986. In November 1987 he entered the US Army, completed basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri and Advanced Individual Training at Redstone Arsenal, Fort Belvoir, VA (where their oldest son, Lee, was born), Germany (where their youngest, Dustin, was born), Fort Eustis, VA, Japan, and Hawaii.
Walter has been to many countries in the Middle East, including England, Poland, Austria, France, Turkey, Iraq, just about all the countries in the Middle East, South Korea, Australia and more.
He retired on Jan. 1, 2014, and returned to Cleveland County. He taught at Crest High School for 3.5 years and is currently teaching at Cleveland Community College.

GLENDA WOMACK
I am a Christian Mom who wants to protect all the children from the craziness that’s sweeping our nation.
I believe that:
• Schools should be open with no mandates for masks or Covid shots to attend.
• Every student should be taught History from a viewpoint how and why we became the greatest nation on Earth and worth defending.
• Parents need to be involved by knowing what their child is learning and attending board meetings to express their concerns for the schools and their children.
• People should be judged by their character and not the color of their skin.
The name “Restroom Roy” on bathrooms, if  so named, should be changed to make them unmistakably understood the difference in which God made us.
• Support the teachers to create a good work environment for them to teach.
Born and raised in South Carolina, I graduated from Crest High School and USC Spartanburg with BS in Business Administration. I became a stay-at-home Mom after the birth of our second child. John Womack and I have been married 16 years and our three children will be attending Boiling Springs, Elementary, Crest Middle and Crest High next school year. We live in Mooresboro.  Our family is active in Camps Creek Baptist Church,
Many parents across the US are battling obstacles concerning their child’s education, and some schools closed. Children got behind in their studies. Students were indoctrinated at all levels with critical race theory to further divide races, peoples, and religion. Gender identity issues have been promoted in such a way that rules have been made that cross the line and create unsafe places for kids to thrive.
I decided to run for the school board to give parents a voice in the decision making of our board. I ask for your vote at the polls on May 17.

BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS


DOUG BRIDGES
   It is an honor to serve as a Cleveland County Commissioner. I have been involved in many programs to make our county a better place.
   Economic development, public safety and community wellness are only a few of the services. We weathered a pandemic, recreated new jobs, adopted a land use plan, and cut taxes. We have made our county stronger but there is still work to do.
Please vote for Doug Bridges for County Commissioner.

DEB HARDIN
From a dying county in 2016 to topping 100,000 in the census released in 2021, Cleveland County continues to prosper. Even with prosperity we still have work to do.
Public safety is of utmost importance. New construction added a new EMS base in Casar. The very first day 9-1-1 received a call of a pediatric seizure. The response time was 2 minutes.
Open market for commercial waste haulers is now a reality, ending a one hauler franchise. We now have 16 haulers participating.
Economic development from December 2018 to December 2021 was over 265 million and created over 1,000 new jobs.
Manufacturing continues to grow, and we hope to focus not only on blue collar but white-collar workers as well.
County taxes were cut 3.25 cents, below revenue neutral in 2020.
I would like to thank the citizens of Cleveland County for trusting me to serve this term and I am hopeful with your vote and support to continue working for you, making Cleveland County a better place to live, work, and play.

MALARIE THOMPSON
I am a Christian Conservative Republican looking to represent all voices in Cleveland County.  I will put the needs of the community first and invest in our current county residents. I am a resident of Upper Cleveland County and will work to represent the views of our townships and unincorporated areas. I truly care for our community and keeping our county heritage strong. Vote Thompson for Cleveland County Commissioner.

DAVID WHITE
It would be an honor for me to serve as County Commissioner for Cleveland County.
•If elected, I promise to listen to the people of this great county and do my best to serve you.
•I would like to see a growth in economic development throughout the county while supporting our local businesses.
• I would also like to see an increase in our promotion of bringing more tourists to this beautiful county we live in.
• Further, I would like to dig deeper into finding funding for programs that help support local farmers and continue to support our recycling program.
•  I also believe that our future, the youth of Cleveland County, need programs to provide them with the skills and education to thrive in this world and to become upstanding adults.
• I firmly believe in being transparent with anyone and I would appreciate your vote on May 17th.

WARD 2

MIKE BUTLER
PATTY HALL

WARD 3

TOMMY HAWKINS
JIM LARSON

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

DOUG BRIDGES
DEB HARDIN
DAVID WHITE

MALARIE THOMPSON
 

BOARD OF EDUCATION

AARON BRIDGES
DANNY BLANTON
ANNETTE FAIN
RONNIE GRIGG
DALE RIVIERE
W. SCOTT SPURLING
GLENDA WOMACK

FIVE CANDIDATES RUN UNOPPOSED

DAVID ALLEN
TIM MOORE
ALAN NORMAN
KELLY HASTINGS

TED ALEXANDER


Running unopposed for re-election are At-Large City Councilman David Allen, NC House Representative for Cleveland County Tim Moore, who is also Speaker of the NC House of Representatives, Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman, NC Rep. Kelly Hastings, and Senator Ted Alexander, all Republicans.
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Mayor Scott Neisler being sworn as president of NCLM. Photo by NCLM

Mayor Neisler leads NCLM
as President

Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler will lead the North Carolina League of Municipalities as president over the next year.
Neisler was chosen by representatives from cities and towns across North Carolina via electronic vote held April 15-20, with his selection announced Thursday at NCLM’s annual conference, CityVision 2022, held in Wilmington, NC.
Joining Neisler as officers for the organization are Fuquay-Varina Town Commissioner William Harris and Durham Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton, first and second vice presidents, respectively, and Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander as immediate past president.
CityVision 2022 included in-depth sessions, presentations and discussions of key topics including community development, affordable housing, the federal American Rescue Plan, leadership, climate resilience and other key issues facing municipalities.
   Neisler’s selection as president follows a long tenure of public service. Neisler served one term on the King’s Mountain city council beginning in 1989, and three terms as mayor beginning in 1991. He was then re-elected mayor in 2015. In addition to his elected positions, Neisler worked 37 years in his family’s textile business, Dicey Fabrics, and he is presently the general manager of radio station AM 1450 WGNC in Gastonia.
   In his remarks at CityVision, Neisler lauded the accomplishments of his peers, and spoke of his vision for the future of the organization.
   “The successes of our state and our cities and towns did not happen by accident. This next year will be no different as we tackle our biggest issues, move our state forward, and continue to serve our communities,” said Neisler.
   League Executive Director Rose Vaughn Williams said Neisler, through his experience and commitment to public service, will bring strong leadership to the organization.
   “It is due to local leaders like Mayor Neisler that our state is as strong as it is, and that our organization is as robust as it is. I could not be more proud to have Mayor Neisler, Commissioner Harris, and Mayor Pro Tem Middleton, along with the entire Board of Directors, lead the NC League this coming year,” said Williams.
   In addition to NCLM officers, newly elected members of the Board of Directors, chosen for either a first term or additional second term, are:
Mayor Elizabeth Morey, Southern Shores; Mayor Terry Mann, Whiteville; Councilmember TJ Walker, Rocky Mount; Alderwoman Sona Cooper, Spring Lake; Mayor Mike Horn, Lewisville; Mayor Pro Tem Phyllis Harris, Mount Holly; Councilmember Leonardo Williams, Durham; Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, Greensboro; Councilmember Larken Egleston, Charlotte; Councilmember Owen Thomas, Lumberton; Mayor Pro Tem Martha Sue Hall, Albemarle; Councilmember John Ellen, Kure Beach; Tasha Logan Ford, Manager, High Point; Brenda Blanco, Clerk, New Bern; and Karen McDonald, Attorney, Fayetteville.
   The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a member-driven organization representing the interests of cities and towns in the state. Through their collective efforts, League member cities and towns better serve their residents and improve quality of life.
   For more than 100 years, the League has been one voice for cities and towns working for a better North Carolina.
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National Day of Prayer 
May 5 at  City Hall

Thursday,
May 5, 2022
12 Noon



The ministers of the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association along with the Mayor and the City Council of Kings Mountain extend an invitation to the citizens of Kings Mountain and surrounding communities to attend the observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5 at 12 noon at City Hall to pray for our nation.  The theme this year is “Exalt the Lord, Who Has Established Us” based on Colossians 2:6-7.
     Our honorable Mayor Scott Neisler will call us to a season of prayer followed with the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag, the National Anthem, other special music, and then a time of prayer for our community and our nation.  You are invited to be part of this prayer gathering as we join our fellow citizens across America as we exalt the Lord remembering that it is He who has established and sustains us as a nation.
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Dr. George Plonk with his wife Esther Muench Plonk at his 100th celebration at the American Legion. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Dr. George Plonk
dies at age 103

By Loretta Cozart

Dr. George Plonk, 103, passed away on April 24 in the very hospital that he took care of so many Kings Mountain citizens since 1957.
Dr. Plonk grew up with nine siblings on a farm between Kings Mountain and Cherryville. His education took him from the one-room Plonk schoolhouse to Kings Mountain High School, to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his certificate from the American Board of Surgery declaring that he was a Board-certified surgeon in 1952.
He served two years in the US Army during World War II as a physician in Europe, then worked in general practice in Murphy, NC and Raleigh, NC until he returned to Kings Mountain in 1957 to become Kings Mountain Hospital’s first resident surgeon. He retired from his practice in 1984.
Dr. Plonk was well-known for his ability to tell a good story and he continued that tradition throughout his lifetime. According to his family, “He told a story with passion, humor, and humility making it interesting and endearing regardless of topic or timeframe.”
During his career, Dr. Plonk tended and mended the citizens of this region as one of its most respected doctors for over forty years. In an interview when he was 95-years old, Dr. Plonk spoke about the doctors who came before him, namely Dr. James Wright Tracy and his role in founding the City of Kings Mountain. He also described the doctors of his childhood.
Dr. Plonk still knew how to tell a delightful story and amused many with his observations on life. He earned a good education and saw the world while serving his country. He returned to Kings Mountain and raised a family, and he served the community here during his lengthy career in medicine.
Dr. Plonks funeral was April 30 at Advent Lutheran Church.
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Who’s Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience

Concert Series kicks off this weekend

First Concert
of the Year:
Saturday, May 7
in Downtown
Kings Mountain

The City of Kings Mountain welcomes Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, May 7, 2022.
Covering the King of Pop’s catalog of hits, Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience’s stage show celebrates the life of one of the greatest entertainers in music history.
Named #7 tribute band in the country, Who’s Bad is sure to be a show you will not forget.
The Party Prophets with Gene Pharr and Cindy Floyd will open the show at 6:00 pm followed by Who’s Bad at 8:30 pm. Look for DJs Tony Cutlass, Eric Bowman, and Johnny B too.
Don’t forget our Cruise-In.
It begins at 5:00 pm. All makes and models are welcome.
Great food, inflatables for the kids and much more!
Best of all, the concert and cruise-in are FREE.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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City of KM Special Events
hosts Cruise-In Saturday

Cruise-In
coincides with
Concert Series,
set to kick off
May 7

Get your motor running!  Some very cool rides are heading to Downtown Kings Mountain as the City of Kings Mountain kicks off its annual Live at Patriots Park Cruise-In on Saturday, May 7.
Local car enthusiasts will fill the streets in the Downtown with their favorite street or stock cars, trucks, and motorcycles too. The Cruise-In, will coincide with the 2022 Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series scheduled to kick off the same day.
Both the Cruise-In and Concert Series are scheduled to run monthly May-October. The dates of the events include May 7, June 4, July 16, September 10, and October 1.  Roads impacted during the events will be Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street and a portion of West Mountain, and South Cansler Streets.
The Cruise-In will start at 5:00pm each night of the Concert Series.
With live music, cool rides, and great food, you do not want to miss this series.
Want to participate in the Cruise-In? All makes and model are welcome! No fee required. It’s FREE!
For more information on the Cruise-In or Concert Series, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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Servants Voices

Harris Funeral Home Free Annual Spring Concert

Harris Funeral Home will hold their Free Annual Spring Concert on their lawn, May 7 at 6:00 p.m. Servants Voices will be the featured group. Christian music, fellowship and a celebration of Mother’s Day will be enjoyed by all. Bring your lawn chairs.  Harris Funeral Home is located at 108 S. Piedmont Ave., Kings Mountain.

(Photo provided)
 
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The petting zoo is fun for all ages. (Photo by Loretta Cozart)

Earth Day celebration
draws thousands

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s Earth Day, sponsored by Gateway Trail, City of Kings Mountain Special Events, and Mauney Memorial Library, kicked off at 11 a.m. on April 30 at 807 South Battleground Avenue just south of downtown.
At 12:15 p.m. Mayor Neisler, assisted by Councilmen Dave Allen and Mike Butler, released Painted Lady butterflies. Children participated with individual butterfly releases using packets handed out to as many as the supply would accommodate.
After the butterflies were released, packets of red sand were distributed to the crowd to support the Red Sand Project, an organization that sheds light on human trafficking. Kings Mountain High School Interact Club has taken on the project, and it was incorporated into the event. To raise awareness, guests spread the red sand between the cracks of the sidewalk as a reminder of how those being trafficked are often overlooked.
An estimated three thousand guests visited the Gateway Trail trailhead, enjoying a variety of events until 3 p.m. Activities included an appearance by survivalist, Spencer Bolejack of Discovery Channel’s Hillbilly Blood. Tonal Spectrum, Crest High School’s Acapella group, also performed.
Artisan vendors and demonstrators offered a wide variety of items, many for free, to guests as they shopped beneath a canopy of trees.
Both young and old enjoyed music, food, face painting, balloon art, petting zoo, and entertainment throughout the early afternoon.
Both young and old enjoyed music, food, face painting, balloon art, petting zoo, and entertainment throughout the early afternoon.

Page and Teague plead guilty
for $4 Million Ponzi scheme


The founders of a fake “hedge fund” appeared in court today and pleaded guilty to federal charges for orchestrating a $4 million Ponzi scheme, announced Dena J. King, U.S.  Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Austin Delano Page, 26, of Grover, N.C., pleaded guilty to wire fraud, and Brandon Alexander Teague, 26, of Belmont, N.C., pleaded guilty to securities fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler accepted the defendants’ guilty pleas, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of NC.
   North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall, Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, join U.S. Attorney King in making the announcement.
See GUILTY, Page 5A
From Page 1A
According to filed plea documents and the plea hearings, from October 2020 to December 2021, Page and Teague engaged in an investment scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors, some of whom were at or near retirement age, of more than $4 million. Court documents show that the defendants falsely represented to victims that Page and Teague were running a hedge fund in Kings Mountain, N.C., D&T Investment Group (D&T), that invested in various securities, including stock of well-known companies like Apple. Contrary to representations made to victim investors, D&T was not a hedge fund and it did not hold any securities licenses or registrations. Also, Page and Teague were not licensed to sell securities and did not have a background associated with the sale of securities. In fact, prior to orchestrating the investment scheme the defendants sold campers.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, Page and Teague required investors to sign, among other documents, an investment contract with D&T. These documents contained false information, including that D&T would guarantee 100% of the investors’ initial investment, and that investors would receive 70% of the trading profits. In reality, the investors’ money was not guaranteed, and the purported “profits” investors received were Ponzi-style payments, whereby the defendants used new investors’ money to make payments to existing investors. To cover up the fraud, Page and Teague sent victim investors monthly statements that reflected fictitious trading gains. When certain investors and D&T employees began to question the legitimacy of D&T’s operations, Page created fictitious screenshots of various financial accounts that reflected inflated D&T account balances. For example, Page created a fake screenshot of a D&T brokerage account that reflected a balance of over $16,000,000, when in reality the account had a balance of less than   $7.00.
   Contrary to representations made to victims, their money was not generally invested in securities. In addition to making Ponzi payments to investors, a significant portion of the funds was used to pay excessive salaries and other compensation to D&T employees, including to members of Page’s family. For example, Page paid several D&T employees annual salaries of over $100,000 and also paid certain employees several thousand dollars each for getting the D&T company logo tattooed on their bodies. The defendants also squandered victims’ money on personal expenses such as clothing, jewelry, travel, luxury car rentals, and to make cash withdrawals.
   On December 2, 2021, as the fraudulent scheme was collapsing, the defendants traveled to Italy. On the same day, Page informed D&T employees, who did not know that D&T was a fraud, that they would be closing the company. The pair was arrested on New Year’s Eve at JFK Airport in New York upon their voluntary return to the United States.
   The defendants were released on bond with home detention and location monitoring following the plea hearings. Page pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Teague pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date for the defendants has not been set.
   In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State, the FBI and USPIS for their investigation of the case.
   Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, oversees the prosecution.
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Bring your lawn chair and join the fun at Pickin’ at the Park on Thursday nights.

Pickin’ at the Park
resumes May 19

Thursday nights in Downtown Kings Mountain will sound much sweeter this Summer as the City of Kings Mountain and the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame partner to host Pickin’ at the Park.
Pickin’ at the Park is an acoustic jam session which will run every Thursday night at the Gazebo located in Patriots Park. Kick-off to this FREE series begins May 19th at 6:00 pm.
• Bring your lawn chair and join the fun.
• Want to participate? All pickers are welcome!
• Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on Pickin’ at the Park, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame at 704-860-4068.
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Early Voting Thursday,
what you need to know

The hours for Early voting ahead of the May 17 Primary Election are 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. weekdays beginning April 28 and Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life and Conference Center, 909 E. King Street, Kings Mountain.
• No photo is required to vote.
• If you haven’t registered, you can register, vote, and make address changes all in the same day.
• 17-year-olds can vote in the Primary if you will be 18 by Nov. 8. You can’t vote in the county-wide beer and fortified wine referendum nor in the Kings Mountain city election.
• Republicans must vote a Republican ticket, Democrats must vote a Democrat ticket, Libertarians must vote a non-partisan ticket, Unaffiliated may choose a Republican or non-partisan ballot.
• Deadline to request absentee ballot from the Cleveland County Board of Elections, Shelby, is May 10.
• The Primary Election is May 17.
• If a second Primary is needed, it will be held on July 5. The General Election is Nov. 8, 2022.
See early voting information and sample ballots on page 2A.
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Scene from last year’s Butterfly Release. (Photo provided)

City of KM Special Events hosts
Earth Day April 30
at Gateway Trail

If you are eager to get outside and enjoy the natural environment around you, make plans to attend the annual Earth celebration on Saturday, April 30, 2022. The City of Kings Mountain will host the Earth Day celebration in partnership with the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. Various community organizations and vendors will provide free activities. Festivities will include, a Drum Circle, Animal Petting Zoo, Instrument Petting Zoo, Balloon Art, Face Painting, Chainsaw Art, Food Vendors, Upcycle Artisans, Entertainment and so much more!
Survivalist and star of the Discovery Channels Hillbilly Blood, Spencer Bolejack will be on hand for meet and greets. Enjoy music provided by Spencer’s band, Spencer and Company and Vintage Vibe as well.
Ed’s Dinosaurs Live will bring some very cool dinosaur friends to the trails.
The Butterfly Release is by far a crowd favorite! Crowds will gather to participate as we release 10 dozen butterflies back into their natural habitat. This activity supports the national and environmental cause to save our pollinators.
Extra parking is across the street from the trailhead and along Quarry Road. Come out, celebrate our beautiful earth, and enjoy a walk on the trail!
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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Will Ayers and Cole Freeman welcome customers to their anniversary on May 5. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Second Appreciation to
celebrate fourth anniversary

By Loretta Cozart

Second Appreciation, at 108 W Gold St in Kings Mountain, will celebrate their fourth anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo craft event on Thursday, May 5 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and have an Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye) FREE Make It or Take It activity hosted by Tammy & Marie Lafitte. The kit comes with yarn, sticks & how-to instructions.
Owners Cole Freeman and Will Ayers started Second Appreciation after meeting at Catawba Antique Mall in Belmont. “We combined inventories and began our adventures together with this store,” said Cole.
When you walk into the store, you are greeted with an eclectic collection of things, from household items, vintage clothing, and repurposed items, the most interesting pieces of which have been acquired or found.
“We used barnwood to decorate the store, and Will made console tables and other pieces of furniture from that wood,  as  well,” said Cole.
“We even found a chair on the side of the road and kept it for a while until we found some retro fabric and reupholstered it. It is one of our favorite pieces.”
It is not unusual for customer to comment, “This is what Aunt Bessie had,” said Will. “People love the store because what we have is different and unique. We enjoy giving pieces a second life.” And that is why they named their store “Second Appreciation.”
“Seventy-five percent of the items in the store found us, or we found them,” Cole said. “Real wood furniture is hard to come by these days, so we try to refinish it or just oil it. On occasion, we will paint the item if it is laminated. But those instances are rare.”
“We do not do consignment anymore, but sometimes local artists reach out to us. That is how we met Tammy Lafitte and we have some of her work on display, including tapestries and mixed media.”
In addition, they have an old icebox from the Paul Neisler home on Gaston Street. “We were also given an aluminum cabinet with a cast iron top by the new owners of that house, and we now use it,” said Will.
 “We cater to folks who are looking for interesting and unusual items you just do not see in the stores anymore, and for those who appreciate upcycling when they decorate their homes. Of course, folks can always stop in and take look around.” said Cole.
   One thing is for certain, when you walk through their store you will find an item that transports you back in time. 
 

Roadwork continues near the casino

By Loretta Cozart

Roadwork near the casino and I-85, Exit 5, continue as work continues work on the bridge and infrastructure nearby. Trenches are being dug along the roadway to accommodate stormwater pipes that are staged nearby. Trees have been cleared, and a road cut. on land currently owned by E5 Holdings, the future home of planned hotels across the road from Catawba Two Kings Casino. The new sign has been in place for months and announces to visitors that they have arrived at North Carolina’s newest casino.
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New light poles going up

New light poles are going up on Shelby Road at the intersections of Castlewood Drive and Roxford Road. Take extra precautions in the area as traffic lights are being installed.

Photo Loretta Cozart
 
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City announces road closures during concert series

The City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department will kick off the 2022 LIVE Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Several roads in the Downtown area will be impacted during the events. Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets will be closed beginning 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 7th, 2022 and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 pm. Further information regarding road closures is listed below.
• Partial barricade placement will begin at 8:00 am – some roads will still be accessible during this time but vehicles must be moved by 2:00 pm
• Additional barricade placement will begin at 2:00 pm
• Roads closed at 2:00 pm and remain closed until 11:00 pm (All unauthorized vehicles will be towed after 2:00 pm)
• Arrival time for Cruise-In participants will begin at 4:00 pm with the Cruise-In beginning at 5:00 pm. Concert will begin at 6:00 pm
• Participants in the Cruise-In and concert goers, must use thoroughfare King Street to Cansler Street for access to Railroad, Mountain and Gold Street
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
For more information on the Concert Series or
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Candidate forum Thursday Night

By Lib Stewart

A candidate forum for Republican candidates for county commissioner and county board of education will be held Thursday, April 21, by Cleveland Community College.
The forum for commissioner candidates is at 6:30 p.m. and the board of education forum for candidates is at 8 p.m.
Tune-in to C19TV on Spectrum Cable and to stream online at www.c19tv. Repeat telecasts will be aired over the following weeks leading up to election day May 17.
Seating at Cleveland Community College is limited to one guest per candidate. Seats will be available on a first-come basis.
Four  candidates are running for two seats for county commission  and  seven candidates running for four seats for school board.
 

Early voting starts
next Thursday 

By Lib Stewart

Early voting for the May 17, 2022, Primary Election begins Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life & Conference Center, 909 East King Street, Kings Mountain.
The hours are 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Elections Director Clifton Philbeck reminds that all Cleveland County registered voters are eligible to vote in the upcoming May 17 Primary election. Two parties - Republican and Democrat - have primary elections, the City of Kings Mountain has a municipal election and Cleveland County is holding a beer and wine referendum.
Philbeck reminds that the Republican and Democrat Primaries are semi-closed which means that registered Republicans must vote a Republican ballot, registered Democrats must vote a Democrat ballot, registered Libertarians must vote a non-partisan ballot, registered Unaffiliated can choose a Republican or Nonpartisan ballot. 17-year-olds can vote in the May 17 Primary if they are 18 years old by November 8, 2022. 17-year-olds cannot vote in the non-partisan races – Kings Mountain municipal election or Cleveland County beer and wine referendum.
The deadline to register to vote and make any changes to current registration is April 22 at 5 p.m. with the Board of Elections. If someone misses this deadline, they will be allowed same day to register and vote and make changes during early voting.
Deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 10, 2022, with the Cleveland County Board of Elections, 215 Patton Drive, Shelby, NC 28150.
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Pictured at the April 11 Share Change presentation (L-R) Melissa McSwain, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County; Trent Troxel, Vice President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority; Dwayne Rogers, a council member on the Catawba Nation Executive Committee; Catawba Nation Assistant Chief Jason Harris; and Peter Bagley, Executive Director of Children’s Homes of Cleveland County. Photo Catawba provided by Two Kings Casino

Catawba Two Kings Casino
makes donations of $7,000
to local nonprofits

The Catawba Two Kings Casino Share Change program has raised a total of $7,000 for two organizations: the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County and Children’s Homes of Cleveland County.
Share Change, the Catawba Nation’s charitable initiative through the casino, enables patrons to donate the remaining change on slot vouchers by dropping them in wishing wells and large ticket barrels located on the casino floor. Each organization received $3,500, with the funds being raised from January through March 31, 2022.
“The Share Change program is an important initiative to help the Catawba Nation and Catawba Two Kings Casino make a positive change in the community,” Catawba Assistant Chief Jason Harris said. “We are thankful for our generous casino patrons and are happy to support these worthy organizations.”
Since its founding in 1962, the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County has advocated for the needs of adults and children   with   psychiatric  and emotional difficulties in Cleveland County.
The mission of the organization is to promote mental health in the community through education, advocacy, and support. It strives to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and create an informed community of citizens, who then promote mental health and defend and support the rights of those persons impacted by mental illness.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous contribution from the Catawba Two Kings Casino,” said Melodie McSwain, executive director for the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County. “As a small organization, this donation will go a long way toward helping us accomplish our mission of helping individuals and families facing mental health challenges in Cleveland County.”
   Children’s Homes of Cleveland County is a human services agency that began in 1969 as a shelter home serving homeless youth. It has evolved to include two group homes, an outpatient therapy clinic, adoption services, parenting and coparenting classes, supervised family and sibling visitation, and independent living readiness. It also offers residential options for youth aging out of the foster care system. All programs and services are trauma-informed and evidence-based and are available to the community at large.
   “We are so grateful for the support of Catawba Two Kings Casino and their patrons,” said Peter Bagley, executive director of Children’s Homes of Cleveland County. “The generosity is helping to meet the daily needs of abused and neglected children, in addition to supporting and restoring families, to helping kids find new forever homes, to helping people of all ages with their mental health needs. It will help young people successfully transition from foster care to full independence and is the kind of collaboration that makes Cleveland County such a great place to be.”
   The casino launched the Share Change program several weeks after its July opening, and new charitable recipients are designated every three months. The program has now raised $27,000 for local organizations.
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KMPD Welcomes Officer Hoyle

Kings Mountain Police Department welcomes Officer Robert Hoyle. Pictured L-R: Assistant Chief Chris Moore, Officer Hoyle, Chief Lisa Proctor and Lt. Lance Hamrick.

Photo provided
 
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Keep that stormwater flowing

To help keep the city’s stormwater from having a negative effect on the quality of water flowing to downstream neighbors, and to help meet the mandates of the Federal Clean Water Act, the City of Kings Mountain Storm-
water Department asks that all yard waste (grass, weeds, flowers, limbs, and leaves) be placed behind the curb and out of gutters, ditches, or roadway for collection.
Leaves and grass must be bagged and placed behind curb, except during Leaf Season which runs from Mid-October until Mid-February. They also ask that when cutting your grass, you do not blow grass onto street or in ditch lines. If you use a lawn service, please advise them of these rules so that we can keep the stormwater system clear and prevent flooding conditions which can occur when catch basins and ditch lines are covered by debris.
If violations are found, a door hanger will be placed at the resident’s home to make them aware of these rules. The city thanks you in advance for your cooperation in keeping the stormwater system clean.
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Easter Egg Hunt
returns to KM

April 16 at Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park

Kings Mountain’s Easter Egg Hunt is back! Hop on down to Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park, April 16 for a HOPPY good time! More than 10,000 prize and candy filled eggs will be hidden across 3 sections of the park.
The City of Kings Mountain is proud to partner with King City Church and Big Red’s Cafe to bring a Spring Carnival filled with Special Needs EGGcessible activities to the Kings Mountain YMCA as well. The Spring Carnival will open at 10:00 a.m. at the YMCA Walking Track. Look for inflatables, music, food, sensory activities, train rides and a lot more fun. Wendell the Easter Bunny will be there too.
The EGGcellent Egg Hunt will be separated into three age categories - 2 years and under, 3-5 and 6-12 years old. Scoop Kings Mountain and Subway, Cleveland Mall are proudly sponsoring a golden egg in each category. Inside each golden egg, a lucky egg hunter will  find  gift certificates redeemable at Scoop Kings Mountain and Subway.
The EGGstravaganza will include a petting zoo, compliments of Son Ridge Farms, music, and a visit from the Wendell the Easter Bunny himself! Along with all the fun, Battleground Community Church will be providing free hotdogs and local businesses such as, Child Care Connections, Cleveland County Partnership for Children, Kings Mountain YMCA and Scoop Kings Mountain will offer activities for participants.
   The City of Kings Mountain will also partner with King’s City Church to offer special needs and differently-abled children some fun attractions at the Deal Park Walking Track.
   The event begins promptly at 10:00 AM.  Don’t forget to bring your basket and camera!
The Rick Murphrey Children’s Park is located next to the Kings Mountain YMCA at 211 Cleveland Avenue, Kings Mountain.
   For more information, you may call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.
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Sheriff needs help
identifying this man

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is looking to identify the male in this image. They believe the individual may have been involved in a larceny in the Lawndale area. If you have any information, please call 704-484-4822.
 
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Nicole Vasquez

Sheriff needs help
finding missing person

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate Nicole Vasquez, 22. Vasquez was reported missing on 4/3/2022 from the Stony Point Rd. area.
They have received information that she may be in Charlotte, and she may be wearing black shorts, a black graphic shirt, and brown sandals.
If you have any information about her whereabouts, contact the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office at 704-484-4822.
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Francois Bernard Johnson

Silver Alert issued
Missing Cleveland County man

Cleveland County Sheriff's Office is trying to locate Francois Bernard Johnson. Johnson was reported missing on April 5, and he has not been seen since April 2. A silver alert has been issued.
The Sheriff’s Office received information that Johnson may be attempting to travel to Minnesota.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Mr. Johnson, please contact the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

Sheriff’s office seized
$700K in drugs in KM

On April 7, 2022, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Community IGAnterdiction Team (CIT) was conducting a driver’s license check station on South Battleground Ave. in Kings Mountain. While conducting the check station, an approaching vehicle made several attempts to evade deputies. When deputies approached, the operator of the vehicle did not have a driver’s license. Further investigation led deputies to believe there were illegal narcotics inside the passenger area. After a K9 alerted on the vehicle, approximately 22 pounds of Methamphetamine was seized from inside the vehicle.
The following individuals were arrested for the following charges:
Wesly Youger Garcia - DOB: 7/17/2001, 110-21 Saulletel Ave. Corona NY. Charges: 2 counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine. Bond:
$250,000.00 secured.
Edwin Valadimir Hernan Carpio - DOB: 6/19/2001, 3117-3 104th Street , East Elmhurst NY. Charges: 2 counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine. Bond: $250,000.00 secured.
Carlos M Brioso Canelo -  DOB: 2/27/2001, 4953 N 5th Street, Philadelphia PA. Charges: 2 counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine. Bond: $275,000.00 secured
“I would like to thank the Community Interdiction Team for the hard work they do each and every day. These deputies work in the communities of Cleveland County everyday fighting crime, problem solving through community policing, assisting community leaders in organizing community watches, and many other hats. The drugs they seized had an approximate street value of $700.000.00. I have no doubt that these deputies stopped these drugs from ending up on our community’s streets. These drugs were not on our interstates; they were being trafficked on our community roads,” said Sheriff Norman.
“The Sheriff’s Office will continue to make drug investigations a high priority,” Sheriff Alan Norman said. “Statistics have shown for years that drug use leads to other crimes, in particular breaking and entering and larcenies, where users have to steal to fund their habit.”
"The violence associated with drug dealing is also a huge concern of mine, and those dealers who possess guns during drug transactions will be a very high priority.”
The Sheriff’s Office takes complaints of drug sales very seriously, Norman said, and requests that anyone with information on drug dealers in their neighborhood contact the Vice/Narcotics Division at 704-484-4987.
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Woman’s Club 
Spring Vendor Fair

By Loretta Cozart

GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club announces their Spring Vendor Fair, scheduled for Saturday April 23, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at their Clubhouse at 108 East Mountain Street. Vendors of all kinds will participate, including Arts & Crafts, Handmade Goods, and Independents. This event supports local artists in the community. Hot dog plates will be available for sale starting at 11 a.m.
More information can be found at the club’s Facebook page. Just search for GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club and homemade treats by members of the Woman’s Club will also be available for purchase.
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Guest strolled through the show from noon until 7 p.m. According to ALA members, things ran smoothly throughout the day and the event was a success for both the Auxiliary and their vendors. Photos by Loretta Cozart

Auxiliary Spring Fling Craft
and Vendor show a success

By Loretta Cozart

On April 2, the area around American Legion Post 155 at the Post at 613 E. Gold Street in Kings Mountain was abuzz with activity from early morning until 7 pm. At 9 a.m. the Legion sponsored their Veteran’s Breakfast, held monthly on the first Saturday. Seventy veterans and guests enjoyed a made to order breakfast, fun, and fellowship until 11 a.m.
At the same time, the Kings Mountain’s White Plains Shrine Club, part of the Oasis Shriners, held a barbecue from 9 a.m. until noon in the parking lot of American Legion Post 155. They did a brisk business selling BBQ Pork Butts and Chicken. The members setup on Friday evening and usually sell out by noon. This year was no exception.
American Legion Unit 155 held their inaugural Spring Fling Craft and Vendor show from noon until 7 p.m. More than 30 local vendors signed-up and a steady stream of shoppers kept them busy throughout the day. Vendor types included baked goods, jewelry, woodwork, metal arts, t-shirts, plants, candles, along with other crafts. The Auxiliary also sold hot dog plates.
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City employees, consultants, and contractors met with downtown stakeholders regarding the Downtown Streetscape project that began April 11. Road closures begin on Monday, April 18 and will remain until this section of the project is completed, around July 31. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Downtown Streetscape work has begun, road closures
start April 18

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain kicked-off the Streetscape Project on April 11, but demolition will not begin until April 18. A Streetscape meeting held by the city introduced the contractor and discussed phasing and sequencing for Phase 2A, specifically the work being done between April 11 and the end of July.
Between now and April 18, Greene Building Construction will place a work trailer on the city owned parking lot between the old Fulton’s Department Store and Martin’s Electric, according to Nick Hendricks.
Richard Flowe, of N-Focus, explained that the initial phase will address the area of West Mountain Street between Battleground and Piedmont Avenues. Construction will also occur along Cherokee Street from the City’s parking lot entrance going North, through the intersection with Mountain Street, and continuing behind the police station. Construction will stop at the last building on the left behind UnCommon Artisans.
The traffic signal at Cherokee and Mountain Street will be decommissioned and the intersection will become a 4-way stop.
Project Manager Mike Loveless of Greene Building Construction explained that his company has done work like this before as the contractor for City of Shelby’s Washington Streetscape. The firm also specializes in hospitals, including projects for Atrium Health, as well as industrial projects.
According to Loveless, the first week of the project will include underground marking, setting up the work trailer, fencing the area, and other related work before demolition.
The roads will close on April 18 between Battleground Avenue and Cherokee Street. Initial demolition will begin at Battleground Avenue and move East toward Cherokee Street.
Another road closure includes Cherokee Street behind the Police Department down to the public parking lot. Near Dellinger’s Jewel Shop, they will try keep access to that parking open, and there is significant storm water and electrical work that needs to be done in that area.
When Cherokee Street opens in July, it will be a one-way street from Mountain Street down to the public parking lot. However, it will be a two-way street from the entrance going South down to East Gold Street. This phase of the work will take until the end of July to complete.
   Once this area is complete, Greene Building Construction will move to Phase II and begin work between Cherokee Street up to Piedmont Avenue.
   Owner of 133 West, Iris Hubbard, asked when sidewalks would be demolished in Phase I. Loveless replied, “We move faster when everything is closed. This section will be completely closed, sidewalks and road. We won’t mill the road until sidewalks and curbs have been replaced. Once we mill the road and replace the pavement, we’ll open the road.”
    David Stone of StoneWright Realty, Inc. asked if owners might have access to the road for deliveries of construction materials. In reply, Loveless said, “We will work with owners who need access to their buildings for deliveries.” The project manager will be in the trailer every day, and people can coordinate with him.
   Businesses, like ScissorSmith & Co. Salon, at the corner of West Mountain and Cherokee may have a bigger challenge due to their parking, specifically when new curbing is going in, according to Richard Flowe. There may be times when access may be difficult due to project work and coordination will need to happen.
   Cosmetologist Natalie Newsome shared her concern for elderly customers with walkers and wheelchairs regarding accessibility. She explained, “There are women that need their hair done who can’t use steps.” Nick Hendricks offered, “We’ll need to sit down and discuss. It may be that we add a temporary ramp back there.” The Salon is open long hours sometimes, often from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., according to Newsome. Nick Hendricks suggested that the salon coordinate with the Project Manager.
   Director of the Tourism Development Authority, TDA, asked if there were plans for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations downtown? Hendricks replied, “We are considering that.” Flowe added, “Not on the public street, right now. But we are evaluating them as far as the project.”
   Flowe thanked those who attended, saying “On behalf of the city, I want to extend my appreciation for your tolerance. This team who has worked on this for so long understand how important it is get a project done and understand how important it is to minimize the impact on you.”
   Hendriks added, “This section of street, the area we are starting with first, is the most challenging.
   Jackie Falls asked, “How are you going to communicate with building owners and business owners on this street? It would need to be timely, because I understand project management and how quickly those schedules to change.”
   Loveless asked owners to share their email addresses so he can communicate directly with them on updates and changes in a mass communication. Hendrick added that it would be on the city website as project updates.
    Falls added that those who are working in downtown, or have buildings being worked on, need a weekly or daily update, or notices as changes occur.
   Loveless then clarified that communications should go directly to the city and the city would communicate with Greene Building Construction. Direct communication wouldn’t occur directly with them unless it was regarding temporary ramps, or similar challenges.
   Hendricks said, “I don’t want to sugar coat it. Once they block this road (in Phase I), it’s going to be a disaster area. It’s going to be dug up piles of dirt.” He explained, “It is going to be noisy, with heavy machinery, jack hammers and backhoes. It is not going to be pleasant.”
   “But this is something we’ve asked for 10 or 15-years,” Falls added. Newsome agreed saying, “The end result is exciting.”
   Before closing, Loveless shared that the typical hours of construction will be Monday through Friday, 7-7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Community Easter
Sunrise Service April 17

The Kings Mountain Ministerial Association will be leading in an Easter Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, April 17, at 7:00 A.M. at Mountain Rest Cemetery in Kings Mountain. The service will be held around the huge white cross. Rev. Ron Caulder, Pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, will bring the message. Special music will be provided by Mr. Bill McMurray and Mr. Jonathan Frady.  Mr. Rev. Scott Whitney, Pastor of the East Gold Street Church will be assisting in the service.
Everyone is invited to come and worship as we celebrate the greatest event in history—the Resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!
In the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved to Eastside Baptist, 308 York Road, Kings Mountain.
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KM’s Streetscape Project
kicks-off on April 11

By Loretta Cozart

Weather permitting, City of Kings Mountain’s Streetscape Project will kick-off on Monday, April 11. This work involves construction on the streets and sidewalks outside downtown businesses on West Mountain Street between Battleground and Piedmont Avenues.
It is suggested that business with rear entrances urge their customers to use them to access their establishments. However, not all businesses have rear entrances. Access to those shops will be provided during the construction so those businesses can continue to serve their clients.
Keep the merchants along this thoroughfare in mind and support them with your patronage during the construction. The inconvenience experienced now will bring the reward of a beautiful street come summer.
With this construction, the two-block span of West Mountain Street will become a jewel in the crown of downtown as the area becomes a destination spot to visit, work, and play in the months and years ahead.
City of Kings Mountain urges everyone to drive with caution near the construction zone and to visit www.cityofkm.com for project updates and potential street closings.

Albemarle Corporation held Town Hall meeting March 29

By Loretta Cozart

In a Town Hall style meeting held on Monday, March 29, Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle) executives opened dialogue with citizens about the possibility of reopening the lithium mine just south of downtown Kings Mountain.
Crowds filled council chambers and spilled over into the lobby of city hall. Those in attendance listened patiently for over an hour as Albemarle presented their plans. The challenge during this meeting was that nothing has yet been decided and testing of the mine needs to be conducted before that decision can be made.
The original mine, known once as Foote Mineral, opened in the 1930s and continued in operation under various names until the mid-1980s. After the mine closed, the property was left as it had been during mining operations, and a deep lake formed in the pit. Albemarle acquired Rockwell Lithium in 2015.
In time, some land was given to the Gateway Trail. Cardo-Hill was made from an area just north of the pit that overlooks the property. Four miles of the current trail pass through the mine and incorporates the bridge over I-85.
Mayor Neisler welcomed guests to the meeting and said, “We want to get in front of rumors of things that are happening so facts can actually get brought out. This is an exciting venture for Kings Mountain. It’s a good venture for Kings Mountain. I applaud everyone for your interest in this mine.”
Albemarle sees an opportunity to create a U.S. lithium supply chain to ensure security, efficiency, and sustainability. And Kings Mountain is an advantaged location given its industry, infrastructure, and proximity to southeastern U.S. EV manufacturing.
Eric Norris, president of lithium operations at Albemarle confirmed this saying, “It’s time to localize our supply chain.” He also
told the  group  that “Kings  Mountain could supply materials for up to 1.5 million electric vehicles.”
In December of 2021, President Biden set a lofty goal that half of all the vehicles sold in America in 2030 will be electric. And the only way politicians are going to get behind that goal is for a more secure supply chain to exist, according to Albemarle executives. That is where Kings Mountain fits into the picture.
Due to recent announcements by Toyota, Volvo, Ford, and newcomer VinFast of Vietnam, more lithium is needed to meet the demand for batteries here in the Southeast. And it is likely those numbers will only grow, given Biden’s challenge to America.
   Guests listened attentively to Trevor Chesal, manager of mine environmental permitting, as he addressed their concerns. Air and water quality were high on the priority list of questions guests brought forward. Traffic and dust also concerned the group. Because this meeting was held before any testing has begun, answers to a number of questions posed are unknown. A prefeasibility study to determine impacts to air and water quality was discussed and Chesal estimates that study will take two-years.
In the interim, Albemarle plans quarterly Town Hall meeting to continue, keeping the information flowing and allowing citizens the opportunity to ask questions throughout the process. If Albemarle decides to move ahead after the prefeasibility study is completed, pulling permits could take an additional two-years.
What is known is that the mine will impact the Gateway Trail. Four miles of the current trail, and likely including the bridge over I-85, could revert to mine operations.
Cardio-Hill, the Plateau, and the Bamboo Trail will remain a part of the Gateway Trail. Albemarle’s intent is to have the new trail constructed before the old section of the trail is closed.
Citizen Diane Boatwright asked if there would be an impact to water in wells around the city. While Albemarle does not anticipate a regional impact, they do expect that wells near the mine will need to be monitored. Assessments regarding that will be made in the prefeasibility study.
A large contingent of guests inside the council chambers were from Lake Montonia. Because the lot next to their neighborhood was purchased by Albemarle, residents were concerned regarding what is planned on that property since it is situated near the community’s dam. Alex Thompson, vice president of lithium resources, said, “There are no plans for that property today.”
He concluded the meeting saying, “We would rather address these issues openly, this is not a done deal. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have not even begun training for that marathon.”
While the next meeting time and place have not yet been determined, Albemarle executives said they would inform the community once the date and time are known. A larger meeting space is being sought out to accommodate the larger crowds so everyone can ask questions of executives and hear better.

Early voting starts April 28

Early voting for the May 17, 2022, Primary Election begins Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life & Conference Center, 909 East King Street, Kings Mountain.
The hours are 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Elections Director Clifton Phlbeck reminds that all Cleveland County registered voters are eligible to vote in the upcoming May 17 Primary election. Two parties - Republican and Democrat - have primary elections, the City of Kings Mountain has a municipal election and Cleveland County is holding a beer and wine referendum.
Philbeck reminds that the Republican and Democrat Primaries are semi-closed which means that registered Republicans must vote a Republican ballot, registered Democrats must vote a Democrat ballot, registered Libertarians must vote a non-partisan ballot, registered Unaffiliated can choose a Republican or Nonpartisan ballot. 17-year-olds can vote in the May 17 Primary if they are 18 years old by November 8, 2022. 17-year-olds  cannot  vote
 in the non-partisan races – Kings Mountain municipal election or Cleveland County beer and wine referendum.
The deadline to register to vote and make any changes to current registration is April 22 at 5 p.m. with the Board of Elections. If someone misses this deadline, they will be allowed same day register and vote and make changes during early voting.
Deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 10, 2022, with the Cleveland County Board of Elections, 215 Patton Drive, Shelby, NC 28150.
 
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Cobb Lathi serves Daniel coffee to-go in her shop last Saturday. Photo by Loretta Cozart

To-go breakfasts now an option
in downtown Kings Mountain

By Loretta Cozart

UnCommon Artisans, at 124 W Mountain Street in Kings Mountain, began opening early on March 28, to serve hot coffee, cold brew coffee, and breakfast to-go.
Owner Cobb Lathi said of the new offering, “I would like to eventually become a hub for people in downtown Kings Mountain, and beyond. My hope is to create a space folks can come and shop if they want or sit and enjoy the space while drinking a fabulous cup of coffee.”
“I met a gentleman from Gastonia who owns and operates Gold Medusa Coffee Company, a direct trade coffee company. He has family in Columbia that sends him fresh coffee, then he grinds to order for his customers. It is a superior coffee.”
Also offered is a selection of to-go breakfast foods - hot tea, croissants, bagels, muffins, boiled eggs, juices, smoothies, and more. No food is prepared on site – it is all ready to go.
Customers can order online at their website and use pickup curbside or in the store. Or customers can just walk in and select what they want. The shop also delivers to downtown businesses at no extra charge. Shop hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
UnCommon Artisans sells a variety of fabulous art from local artisans and has been known for doing that since opening its doors downtown. “With this new offering, I just saw to-go coffee and snacks as a need for downtown. I hope folks will stop in to see me,” Lathi said.

Albemarle Corporation makes presentation at City Council Meeting

The Council Chamber was packed as more than 100 people turned out to hear Albemarle Corporation’s presentation regarding opening the old lithium mine behind the Gateway
Trailhead. Well thought out questions were asked of Albemarle executives by citizens. Details of the meeting will run in next week’s Herald.    


 Photo by Loretta Cozart
 
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Councilman Jay Rhodes and Mayor Neisler accept T-Mobile grant check. Photos by Christy Conner

City receives grant
for community garden

Kings Mountain received a $44,449 grant from T-Mobile to create ADA access points into the Community Garden, a joint project between Mauney Memorial Library and the Patrick Senior Center for a community garden for all Kings Mountain citizens.
Last April, T-Mobile announced T-Mobile Hometown Grants, a $25 million, five-year initiative to support the people and organizations who help small towns across America thrive and grow by providing funding to kickstart important new community development projects. Hometown Grants are given every quarter to up to 25 small towns.
“Since we launched T-Mobile Hometown in April 2021, the Un-carrier has given more than $3.3 million to support projects that are strengthening economic opportunity in small towns in 35 states and it’s been amazing to see how local leaders and businesses are using these funds to transform their communities,” said Jon Freier, President, Consumer Group at T-Mobile. “Today, we’re honored to add another 25 small towns to the list of communities we support, and we look forward to announcing 25
more every quarter through 2026.”
Towns across American with a population of fewer than 50,000 people are eligible for Hometown
Grants. Every small town with a vision for how to make their community even stronger than it is today is encouraged to apply.
To select Hometown Grant recipients, T-Mobile works with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, two organizations that have decades of experience helping build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. Together, they assess applications from small towns based on level of detail and completeness, potential community impact, project viability and other factors.
Mayor Neisler said, “Councilman Jay Rhodes heard about the grant and shared that information with City Manager Marilyn Sellers. Library Services Manager Christina Martin initiated the paperwork and applied for this grant. Thanks to them, all the people if Kings Mountain will be able to enjoy the Community Garden.”
   “The T-Mobile Hometown Grants provided to these communities represent a commitment to investing in historic assets, community gathering places, and the expansion of facilities and technologies for residents,” said Smart Growth America’s President and CEO Calvin Gladney. “Smart Growth America applauds these efforts as we continue to support scores of towns and cities in rural places.”
   “We’re proud to work with T-Mobile and Smart Growth America to support these innovative projects in rural communities across the country” said Main Street America’s President and CEO Patrice Frey. “These grant recipients represent the creativity and passion for place we’ve long seen in Main Street communities, and we are excited to see how the projects positively impact these areas in the coming years.”
   Hometown Grants are part of the Un-carrier’s massive 5-year commitment announced in April 2021 to bring 5G to rural America, open hundreds of new stores and support economic development in small towns by providing $25 million in funding. In addition, the Un-carrier unleashed T-Mobile Home Internet, a new broadband service available to more than 10 million rural households across the country.
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KIDZ Around program suspended for 2022-2023 school year

By Loretta Cozart 

During the Cleveland County School Board’s March 15 meeting, KIDZ Around, the before and after school program, was cancelled for the 2022/2023 school year. The Finance/Personnel Committee recommended ending the program because it was no longer financially feasible. Cleveland County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Fisher stated, “The function is not financially sustainable.”
Finance/Personnel Committee Chairman Joel Shores noted that $100,000 was transferred to the program earlier this year, due to lack of funds. He added that parents were asked if they would support an increase in their weekly payment, from $50 to $65? He said there was no support for the increase.
Philip Glover then noted a representative from Boys and Girls Clubs was in attendance. “I appreciate the partnership they are going to give through Cleveland County Schools. I’m excited about it, that ya’ll have that partnership and are going to step-up to provide some good services for our kids in the morning and in the afternoon.”
Dr. Fisher said transportation for most schools providing KIDZ Around had already been worked out. “Whether it is worked out through Boys and Girls Club option or other partners, there are a few questions still out there.”
During board discussion, member Danny Glover commented that he was against the motion, however the motion to approve the Finance and Personnel Committee’s recommendation to allow outside community partners to support all after-school programs and daycare services carried unanimously.
   KIDZ Around is a school-age child care service designed especially for the children of working parents in Cleveland County Schools. The program provides supervised enrichment and recreational activities for students.
   During normal operation, KIDZ Around operates according to the school calendar on Mondays through Fridays from the end of the school day until 6 p.m. If a site is closed, parents may place a child in another site that is open. Centers are closed on Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (two days), Christmas (three days), New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Holiday, and Easter.

Legion Auxiliary craft and vendor show April 2

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion Unit 155 is hosting their Spring Fling Craft and Vendor show on Saturday, April 2 from noon until 7 p.m. at the Post at 613 E. Gold Street in Kings Mountain.
More than 25 local vendors have signed-up. Vendor types include baked goods, jewelry, woodwork, metal arts, t-shirts, plants, candles, along with other crafts. All vendor spaces have been filled.
Hot dog plates will also be for sale by the Auxiliary. Come support local veterans and artists.
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Legion Auxiliary craft and vendor show April 2

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion Unit 155 is hosting their Spring Fling Craft and Vendor show on Saturday, April 2 from noon until 7 p.m. at the Post at 613 E. Gold Street in Kings Mountain.
More than 25 local vendors have signed-up. Vendor types include baked goods, jewelry, woodwork, metal arts, t-shirts, plants, candles, along with other crafts. All vendor spaces have been filled.
Hot dog plates will also be for sale by the Auxiliary. Come support local veterans and artists.
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Stock Photo- this is not the actual suspect vehicle. Photo Bessemer City Police Department

19-year-old killed on I-85
Police seek public’s help

On Tuesday March 22, at 5:42 pm, local law enforcement officers responded to a reported shooting on southbound Interstate 85 near exit 13. When officers arrived on scene, they found one victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to Caromont Regional Medical Facility by Gaston Emergency Medical Services where he succumbed to his wounds.
The victim was identified as Uriah Diondreus McCree, 19, of Kings Mountain.
Officers from the Bessemer City Police, Gastonia Police, Gaston County Police, Kings Mountain Police and Gaston County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the incident. Bessemer City Fire Department also assisted on the scene.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still unclear at this point. Police are currently looking for a 2012 or later white Dodge Charger. The vehicle was observed traveling southbound on Interstate 85 where it took exit 10 towards Kings Mountain/Shelby on Highway 74. with dark tinted windows, spoiler, and possibly factory chrome rims that was involved in the homicide. Police are seeking the identity of the occupants and request the public to provide any information they have that can lead to the resolution of this case.
This is an active investigation. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Det. J. L. Henderson with Bessemer City Police Department at 704-629-2235 or Det. S. J. Brogdon at 704-866-3320. Information leading to the identification of the suspect(s) can be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00 through Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000.
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April 16 at Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park
Easter Egg Hunt comes
back to Kings Mountain

Kings Mountain’s Easter Egg Hunt is back! Hop on down to Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park, April 16 for a HOPPY good time! More than 10,000 prize and candy filled eggs will be hidden across 3 sections of the park.
The EGGcellent Egg Hunt will be separated into three age categories - 2 years and under, 3-5 and 6-12 years old. Scoop Kings Mountain and Subway, Cleveland Mall are proudly sponsoring a golden egg in each category. Inside each golden egg, a lucky egg hunter will find gift certificates redeemable at Scoop Kings Mountain and Subway.
The EGGstravaganza will include a petting zoo, compliments of Son Ridge Farms,  music,  and  a  visit  from the Wendell the Easter Bunny himself! Along with all the fun, Battleground Community Church will be providing free hotdogs and local businesses such as, Child Care Connections, Cleveland County Partnership for Children, Kings Mountain YMCA and Scoop Kings Mountain will offer activities for participants.
The City of Kings Mountain will also partner with King’s City Church to offer special needs and differently-abled children some fun attractions at the Deal Park Walking Track.
The event begins promptly at 10:00 AM.  Don’t forget to bring your basket and camera!
The Rick Murphrey Children’s Park is located next to the Kings Mountain YMCA at 211 Cleveland Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information, you may call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.

City of Kings Mountain Announces
2022 “Live at  Patriots Park”
concert series line-up starts May 7

Bands to take the stage at Liberty Falls Amphitheatre
beginning May 7

Live entertainment is back at Patriots Park! The City of Kings Mountain is proud to bring live music back to Downtown Kings Mountain with the 2022 “Live at Patriots Park” Concert Series.
The series, brings a diverse group of entertainers to the Liberty Falls Amphitheatre covering Beach, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Classic Rock and much more!
“The only thing that is better than music - Live music,” says Christy Conner, Special Events Director with the City of Kings Mountain. “We have a top-notch diverse group of talent scheduled to hit the stage. They are some of the hottest bands currently trending in the entertainment industry.” 
Each concert will begin at 6:00 PM. The line-up for this series includes:
• 5/7 - Who’s Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience-Opening Act, Party Prophets with Gene Pharr and Cindy Floyd
• 6/4 - A1A-The Official and Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show-Opening Act, Blackwater 
 Rhythm and Blues Band
• 7/16 - Tell Me Lies - The Fleetwood Mac Experience-Opening Act, The Tonez
• 9/10 - Freebird - The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute-Opening Act, Dirty Grass Soul
• 10/1 - The Prince Experience-Opening Act, New Local
A concert series would not be complete without a cruise-in. Each night of the series, local car enthusiasts will line Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street with their favorite street or stock cars. Special guests will be on hand to make these cruise-ins even more special. The cruise-ins will start at 5:00pm each night of the concert series. All makes and models are welcome.
Great food and a beverage garden will be available for concert goers each night of the series as well.
For more information on the concert series or cruise-in, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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The lithium mine in Kings Mountain has been closed since the mid-1980s, but the new owners are considering reopening it and want the public’s input at a scheduled community meeting. (Photo provided)

Albemarle Lithium invites citizens to community meeting on March 28

By Loretta Cozart

Albemarle Lithium invites the public to a community meeting on March 28 at 7 p.m. at City Hall in Kings Mountain to discuss the possibility of reopening the lithium mine just behind the Gateway Trail/Hounds property along Battleground Avenue.
The original mine was open from the 1940s until it closed in the 1980s. It went by various names over the years, Foote Mineral, most recently Rockwell Lithium, which was acquired by Albemarle Lithium.
The company’s property stretches from the Gateway Trail down to Tin Mine Road and is bounded on both sides by Battleground Avenue and I-85. That property encompasses approximately eight hundred acres. Another four hundred acres lies across I-85 on Galilee Church Road, North of Carolina Power Partners.
The demand for lithium for energy storage has skyrocketed due to the nation’s goal to make significant strides toward electronic vehicles by 2030, and the increasing popularity of Electronic Vehicles (EVs).
Recently, Toyota announced its Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, where Toyota will build a $1.29 billion, first-of its-kind battery factory to meet demand for its growing fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles. Manufacturers are now looking for a U.S. supply chain for lithium. And Kings Mountain’s Lithium deposits are ranked among the top ten in the world.
During the community meeting, Albemarle Lithium will share with citizens the history of the mine. The company will soon begin a viability study to determine if they should resume mining in the  original  mine  to start. In addition, they plan to discuss details on permitting and drilling and community input is a part of that process.
Alex Thompson, VP, Lithium Resources said, “It is important we do things in the right way according to the most responsible mining standards out there. We want to work collaboratively for the best outcome to make people aware and invite community participation.”
Another part of the process is to conduct an environmental study and resource characterization to determine what product remains in the mine.
According to Glen Merfield, Chief Technology Officer for Albemarle Lithium in Kings Mountain, “In my opinion, the Ford F-150 is an EV game changer. In the beginning, EVs focused on fuel economy. With the Ford F-150, the focus shifted to performance.”
“Here in Kings Mountain, we have a Technology Center for Advanced Material Development (built in 2012). There we have our R&D organization that focuses on advanced, or novel forms, of lithium to make batteries even better. Automobile manufacturers are asking how we can make batteries have longer range.”
“In July of 2021, we announced our new Battery Materials Innovation Center (BMIC) where we produce two key products: forms of lithium salts and forms of lithium metal used in products like hearing aids and pacemakers utilizing single-use lithium batteries. We are working on different metals for the future of rechargeable lithium batteries that will perform 50 percent farther,” Merfield said. “This is a big deal and opens up a lot of application space.”
Beginning September 2, 2021, Albemarle Lithium announced it had begun an independent, third-party assessment using the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining at the company’s lithium brine extraction site, located in Northern Chile in the Salar de Atacama. While the Kings Mountain is a hard rock mine, the standards for IRMA remain the same for the assessment.
IRMA is globally considered the most comprehensive and rigorous certification standard for assurance of responsible mining. The organization specifies objectives and requirements with the greatest depth, breadth, and specificity for environmentally and socially responsible mining practices.
According to a press release from Albemarle Lithium, prior to beginning the independent audit with ERM CVS, Albemarle was the first lithium producer to complete and submit IRMA’s self-assessment process at the Salar Plant in February 2021. The third-party assessment covers 26-areas, including water management, human rights, greenhouse gas emissions, fair labor, and terms of work. Public input plays a significant role in IRMA certification.
Albemarle Lithium anticipates the need for two hundred new employees once the mine becomes fully operational.
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Assistant City Manager/Energy Services Nick Hendricks discusses the placement of sewer lines and pump stations with Dixon Community resident Eric Moore. Photos by Loretta Cozart

Citizens attend second
Project South meeting

By Loretta Cozart

The second informational meeting for Project South, the proposed wastewater treatment facility in the Dixon Community, was held Tuesday, March 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Senior Center in Kings Mountain.
Citizens from the Dixon Community and other impacted areas questioned municipal employees from Grover and Kings Mountain, along with consulting engineers, regarding the placement of rights-of-ways and planning behind the location of the proposed project.
Not all attendees left the meeting satisfied. Most guest questioned the placement of pump stations and the location of the wastewater treatment plant itself. That decision has not yet been made. Other residents are concerned for the type of waste the project will process, along with odors the plant produces.
The new wastewater treatment plant will allow for further growth in Kings Mountain and the Town of Grover and facilitate expansion of both industrial and residential growth in that area.
According to Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks, no other meetings are planned to discuss the project at this time. Hendrick  also  explained  in an  email, “The estimated project timeline that was part of the first meeting materials is only a guide to show timelines of items. These dates are in no way intended to be guaranteed dates because dates and timelines can, and probably will, change due to many factors when addressing construction or approvals beyond our control.”