City of KM and  KM Gateway Trail host Earth Day Celebration April 20

The City of Kings Mountain in partnership with the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail will celebrate the 54th Anniversary of Earth Day by hosting an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 20, 2024.
Free activities will be provided by various community organizations and vendors.
Dino Encounters by Ross plans to bring some very cool dinosaur friends and fossils to the event. Woody the Owl will be there too.
Other attractions will include Son Ridge Farms’ Petting Zoo, Woodworking, Live Encampments, Upcycle Artisans, a Music Jamboree presented by The Dancing Fleas, and a live performance by Bright Star Touring Theatre called Gus Goes Green.
The Butterfly Release is by far a crowd favorite! Make plans to help release 300 Painted Lady 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! This special event will begin at 11:00 am.
The Kings Mountain Gateway Trail is located at 807 South Battleground Avenue.
For more information on Earth Day, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Marketing, Tourism, and Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.


Accident on I-85 leaves one killed, another injured

By Loretta Cozart

One truck driver was killed, and another injured after two tractor-trailers collided on I-85 South on Sunday, April 14, afternoon around 3:35 pm, according to WCNC. Three hours later, I-85 South was reopened.
According to troopers, one tractor-trailer was in the far-right lane, attempting to move onto the shoulder of the road with a flat tire, when the second truck merged into it at full speed and both trucks then caught fire. The fire engulfed a tractor-trailer involved in the crash, and the blaze emitted thick, black smoke.
According to troopers, the truckdriver traveling at full speed died. The other driver also sustained injuries.
Crowders Mountain Fire Department, Gastonia Fire Department, Tryonota Fire Department, Gaston Emergency Medical Services, Gaston County Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Kings Mountain Fire Department and Bessemer City Police Department all responded to the crash and subsequent fire.

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This photo of Julie Yawn, left, and her staff was taken two weeks after the restaurant opened in 2004. Photo Herald Archives

Chat-n-Nibble to
celebrate 20th anniversary

By Loretta Cozart

The Chat-n-Nibble restaurant at 415 N. Piedmont Avenue in Kings Mountain is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, April 23, starting at 6 a.m. Customers can enjoy cookies, punch, and giveaways on this special day. The restaurant's Special of the day will be their delicious deep fried pork loin, a popular dish among the customers. Julie Yawn, who owns the restaurant with her husband Jerry, shared her excitement about the anniversary.
Two decades ago, the Yawns lived in Gastonia and decided to go into the restaurant business. Julie's parents ran a restaurant for 20 years in their native Kentucky, so the commercial kitchen wasn't new to her.
A friend who worked in sales noticed the empty building on North Piedmont Avenue. So, Julie visited, loved the place, and decided to start her business there.
The Herald featured Chat-n-Nibble in an article two weeks after it opened in 2004, reporting that customers were flocking to the new restaurant. Even after twenty years, customers still visit the restaurant, which is a testimony to their good food and friendly atmosphere.
On their tenth anniversary, the Yawns decided to upgrade the restaurant. They removed three layers of carpeting from the dining room and discovered hardwood floors. They sanded and sealed the hardwood floors, which looked great and were easy to keep clean. Recently, the Yawns bought new chairs for the dining room, which matches well with the blue and white checked tablecloths, making the restaurant inviting and cheerful.
Chat-n-Nibble posts its weekly menu on Facebook so customers can check out the available options, including their very popular deep fried pork loin, hamburger steak, grilled chicken breast, fried chicken strips, and fried flounder. They also serve a variety of sides, salads, and more, so there is something on the menu to suit everyone.
When asked what she loves the most about her restaurant, Julie answered without hesitation, "The people." The customers have become like family, and that's what makes running the restaurant very rewarding for the Yawns.
   Julie invites everyone to come and celebrate the 20th anniversary with them on Tuesday, April 23. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, customers can call 704-734-0100.
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Come on out to the Outdoor Yard Sale on April 27. You never know what treasure you might find.

Senior Center Outdoor Yard Sale fundraiser April 27

The Patrick Senior Center in Kings Mountain is holding an Outdoor Yard Sale on Saturday, April 27, from 8 am to 1 pm. The general public is welcome to shop.
If you are age 55 or over and want to sell items that day, please come by the Patrick Center during operating hours to pay the $5 fee and reserve your spot. Space is limited space. Sellers are responsible for their tables and chairs.  
Proceeds from the space rentals will go toward the Patrick Center Pet Food Pantry, which is located at 909 E. King Street in Kings Mountain. For more information, please call 704-734-0447.
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KM Farmers’ Market opens on May 4

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Farmers’ Market will open on May 4, from 8:00 a.m. to noon, at 125 S Battleground Avenue, in the old Wells Fargo parking lot.
Anyone interested in participating in the market this season should apply online at the Foothills Farmers Market website
This year, the KM Farmers Market will partner with the Patrick Senior Center and Albemarle Corporation to assist our seniors. The first Saturday of each month during the season will be Senior Day, during which the Patrick Center will provide transportation for seniors to the market, while Albemarle will provide seniors with vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
Shoppers can also use their SNAP/EBT cards each week at Kings Mountain Farmers’ Market. When you use your EBT/SNAP card you can get up to $10 extra in Market Moolah to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.
   How It Works:
• Bring your EBT/SNAP card to the Information Booth to redeem as many $1 tokens as you would like.
• Each purchase receives up to an extra $10 in Market Moolah to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Use your tokens to shop at food tables throughout the market.
• SNAP tokens do not expire.
We look forward to seeing you at the Kings Mountain Farmers’ Market!
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Gaston Christian

The new sign that reads “Gaston Christian School” was placed over the doorway of the former Central School at 105 E. Ridge Street in Kings Mountain on April 2. A school has occupied this property for ninety-eight years, since 1876. In the Fall, Gaston Christian School – East Cleveland will open its doors to kindergarten through eighth-grade students, continuing the educational tradition valued by the community for nearly a century.
  • Photo by Gaston Christian School – East Cleveland
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Building a hopeful future together
Recognizing the role everyone plays in helping North Carolina’s children reach their full potential, Governor Roy Cooper declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This Child Abuse Prevention Month, community organizations, government agencies, businesses, faith groups and other stakeholders will come together to focus on creating partnerships to prevent child maltreatment from occurring and the importance of building hope for children and families.
This year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign theme is “Building A Hopeful Future Together.” The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina (formerly Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina) recognize that every single child is filled with tremendous promise, and all North Carolinians are responsible for defending and nurturing that potential.
“We want North Carolina families to have access to supports they need, when they need them, so children can grow up in nurturing environments with hope for the future,” said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being Susan Osborne. “Policies and programs that put families first are critical to ensuring parents and caregivers have the resources they need to keep children safe within their own communities. We are continuing to work to transform the many systems that directly impact child and family well-being to build a North Carolina where everyone can thrive.”
Children who live in families with access to economic and social support are less likely to experience abuse and neglect. Too often, people think of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone, but it takes community resources and partnerships to help lighten the burden of care and strengthen families. All North Carolinians share the responsibility of creating more positive outcomes for children by working together to address the underlying causes of health and social inequities in our communities.
In collaboration with statewide partners like NCDHHS, Positive Childhood Alliance NC (PCANC) is championing a new theory of change in North Carolina, which aims to build the well-being of our state’s children and families.
“At Positive Childhood Alliance NC, we are committed to challenging the status quo and advocating for policies prioritizing the well-being of all North Carolina children and families,” said PCANC President and CEO Sharon Hirsch. “By offering data-driven coaching and professional development, building public understanding, and advocating for systemic change, we’re working toward a future where every child has more positive experiences filled with hope and joy, supported by caring relationships and connected communities.”
   During Child Abuse Prevention Month, PCANC and NCDHHS are joining the national effort to reshape the narrative around child maltreatment prevention and increase investments in programs and policies that prioritize children and families. This month and all year long, communities and individuals can help NCDHHS and PCANC advance family-centered prevention programs and policies by acting in the following ways:
• Attend a Pinwheel Planting hosted by NCDHHS and PCANC on Tuesday, April 2, 11:30 a.m., at the NC State Farmer’s Market (1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh, NC 27603). Learn more.
• The public and media are invited to attend. Speakers include Lisa Tucker Cauley, Division Director, Human Services Child, Family, and Adult, Regional Support; Sharon Hirsch, President & CEO of Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina; and Heather McAllister, Family First Prevention Services Manager in the Division of Social Services. Food and drink will be provided on a first-come-first serve basis.
• Participate in digital advocacy day on Tuesday, April 16, to advocate for increased federal investment in community-based child abuse prevention grants that provide states and communities with the resources to implement community-based solutions to prevent child abuse and neglect.
• Follow PCANC on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Threads and X (Twitter) and share our posts throughout April. Encourage friends and family to do the same. Click here to follow NCDHHS on all social media platforms.
• Plant a pinwheel as a visual reminder of the world we want – for all children to grow up happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed.

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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – At the March 26th City Council meeting, Mayor Rob Wagman read a Proclamation recognizing April 14 through 20 as
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. During this special week, the Kings Mountain Police and Fire Department recognize their public safety telecommunicators for their dedication to the city's citizens. The mayor thanked the city’s telecommunicators for their hard work and dedication. Photo by Susan Mosk
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Woman’s Club, KMPD
Plant Pinwheel Garden

GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club, in partnership with the Kings Mountain Police Department, planted a pinwheel garden on April 1 to inform citizens of the need to prioritize child abuse prevention.  According to NC Child, 114,806 child abuse cases were investigated across NC in 2022 (most recent data), and 19,639 were substantiated. That is a rate of 7.6 cases per 1,000 population of children investigated in a single year. (Photo by GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club)

Cherry Blossom Festival & Antique Car Show coming to Cherryville

 Join the Spring festivities as downtown Cherryville comes alive on Friday, April 19, for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Held at the Gazebo Mini-Park on 219 East Main Street from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, the event promises an evening of music and fun for the whole family. Live entertainment by Dirty Grass Soul will be the highlight, accompanied by various food vendors, rides, and attractions. Don’t miss the Miss Cherry Blossom Pageant, adding to the festive atmosphere. The public is invited to enjoy this delightful outdoor venue with a charming gazebo and a picturesque picnic area. The Cherryville Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsors the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Gear up for the 23rd Annual Antique and Classic Cars & Trucks Show located at 111 North Mountain Street in Cherryville, on Saturday, April 20,  hosted by the C. Grier Beam Truck Museum and Gift Shop. From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, this prestigious judge’s show will showcase classic cars and trucks aged 25 years or older. Trophies in various categories will be up for grabs, including Modified & Original Cars & Trucks, Most Unique Vehicle, Best Hotrod, and Club Participation.
The event, sponsored by Michael Beam & FleetNet America, will also feature Eating Contests, Bounce Houses, Arts & Crafts, and a range of Food and Beverage Vendors. In case of rain, mark your calendars for the rain date on Saturday, August 31.
The Annual Antique and Classic Cars & Trucks Show is held in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival, offering a double dose of entertainment for attendees.
Admission is free. Register now to display and showcase a car in the show at a discounted rate of $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the show. Visit for registration and further details.
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Solar Eclipse, Devil Comet, and Nova Outburst present sky shows over KM
By Loretta Cozart

Join the community for an unforgettable experience, witnessing the solar eclipse on April 8. The event will commence at 1:30 pm at the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail at 807 S. Battleground Avenue. Weather permitting, stargazers will gather in the parking lot for an optimal view.
The Cleveland County Astronomical Society will be present to share valuable insights and offer telescopic views of this celestial event. Additionally, the Mauney Memorial Library will provide eclipse-themed activity books for children, while Albemarle Kings Mountain will distribute free viewing glasses while supplies last.
From our vantage point in North Carolina, spectators will witness a partial eclipse, determined by the alignment of the moon’s orbit with the Sun and Earth. The moon will obscure up to 83% of the Sun as it moves across, presenting a captivating visual spectacle. The eclipse will commence around 1:54 pm and reach its peak just before 3:12 pm.
While this eclipse will be more pronounced in other regions of North America, Carolinians are poised to enjoy clear views if weather conditions cooperate. However, to avoid severe eye injuries, participants must refrain from directly looking at the Sun before, during, or after the eclipse.
Inexpensive protective glasses can be obtained to safely observe the eclipse from local retailers such as Staples, Target, and BestBuy or ordered online through leading vendors. Additionally, nearby Warby Parker offers free solar eclipse glasses while supplies last. The American Astronomical Society and other reputable sources provide a list of vendors selling ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses online for those seeking alternatives.
Another safe method of viewing the eclipse is using a homemade pinhole camera-like viewer made from cardboard. Instructions for constructing these viewers can be found easily online. This simple device projects the eclipse image onto a surface, allowing viewers to observe the phenomenon without risking eye damage.
Other remarkable celestial events will soon follow April’s solar eclipse.
Stargazers hope to catch a glimpse of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks as it gradually brightens over the coming months, possibly becoming faintly visible to the naked eye by the time of the eclipse. Bill Cooke, who heads the Meteoroid Environment Office at the National Aero Space Agency NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, sheds light on the phenomenon:
“Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is an intrinsically bright Halley-type comet that experienced an outburst in July. The pressure exerted by sunlight has caused the gas and dust surrounding the comet to form a horseshoe shape, which some observers have likened to a devil with horns. The upcoming spring will present two celestial events that would have struck fear into our ancestors—a solar eclipse turning day into night and a ‘devil’ comet. It’s sure to be thrilling!”
Dubbed the Devil Comet for its horn-like shape, enthusiasts of interstellar exploration have also noted that the distorted appearance of the central coma of this sizable comet resembles the iconic Millenium Falcon from the STAR WARS movies. 12P/Pons-Brooks, categorized as a Halley-type comet, last ventured into the inner Solar System in 1954. Its next closest approach to the Sun, known as perihelion passage, is scheduled for April 21, 2024.
Then, prepare for another celestial spectacle as a star system located 3,000 light-years away from Earth will soon become visible to the naked eye in the night sky. According to NASA, this event could offer a rare viewing opportunity, as the nova outburst occurs only every 80 years. Known as T Coronae Borealis, or T CrB, the last explosion of this star system took place in 1946, and astronomers predict it will happen again between February and September 2024.
Ordinarily, T CrB shines at a magnitude of +10, too faint for the unaided eye to perceive. However, during the event, its brightness is expected to skyrocket to magnitude +2, similar to the same brightness level seen by the North Star, Polaris.
Once it reaches its peak brightness, T CrB should remain visible to the naked eye for several days and through binoculars for over a week before gradually dimming again, possibly in another 80 years.
The event will occur in the constellation Corona Borealis, or the Northern Crown, a small, semicircular arc located near Bootes and Hercules. The outburst will manifest as a “new” bright star in the night sky.
T CrB’s recurring nova phenomenon is one of only five in our galaxy because T CrB is a binary system comprising a white dwarf and a red giant. The stars are located close together, and as the red giant becomes unstable due to increasing temperature and pressure, it begins to shed its outer layers, which the white dwarf then collects onto its surface. Eventually, the dense atmosphere of the white dwarf heats up enough to trigger a runaway thermonuclear reaction, resulting in the nova observed from Earth.
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City of KM Needs YOU!

Did you know that as a City of Kings Mountain citizen, you are eligible to participate in YOUR local government? The city offers many opportunities for you to be involved by serving on our advisory boards and commissions. This is a great way for citizens to be involved in decisions that may directly impact them and their community. Serving also allows you to contribute your special expertise or training to the public process. Being a member of an advisory board gives citizens the unique opportunity to serve their community and positively impact their local government.
   Here is a complete listing of the City’s boards and commissions:
• Planning and Zoning Board
• John H. Moss Reservoir Commission
• Mauney Memorial Library Board of Trustees
• Patrick Senior Center Advisory Board
• Kings Mountain ABC Board
• Kings Mountain Tourism Development Authority
• Kings Mountain Transportation Committee
Currently, there are vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Board for one resident of the Cleveland County ETJ and one for Gaston County ETJ. These seats are open for application through the County in which you reside and are appointed by the county’s Board of Commissioners. Individuals appointed to serve on behalf of the ETJ are also appointed to the City’s Board of Adjustment. We encourage you to take this opportunity to serve your community. Please contact the City Clerk at 704-734-0333 for information on how to apply.
For more information about the various boards, meeting times, and vacancies, and to apply, please visit the City’s website at You may also pick up an application in the Office of the City Clerk at City Hall. Applications are retained in an application pool and reviewed as vacancies occur. Remember, terms for each board are staggered, so if there is not currently a vacancy on the board to which you have applied, there will be in the near future. Your application is a step towards a brighter future for our community.
Human Trafficking: it is closer than you think
By Loretta Cozart

In a Facebook Post by Gaston County Police, North Carolina consistently ranks within the top 10 states for human trafficking. Charlotte ranked #1,
How often and how many? In a 1-year period, from July 2020 to June 2021, a total of 368 human trafficking victims were served by state-funded sexual assault agencies, according to the NC Department of Administration.
In 2022, the state Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force received a total of 18,873 cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 48% increase from the year 2021. Even more shocking, this is a 383% increase since 2019.
According to a brochure by the North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition, Human Trafficking is one of the most prevalent crimes and forms of victimization in the world. Human Trafficking is the second most prevalent crime in the United States, second only to narcotics.
According to the FBI, between 60% and 70% of trafficked children in the US come from child social services or foster care programs.
According to the US Department of Justice, the average age a child first becomes a victim of sex trafficking is between 12 and 14 years old. And 84% of those in sex slavery were first sexually abused as children.
To fight human trafficking, you need to know the warning signs:
• Appearing malnourished
•  Showing signs of physical injuries and abuse
• Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement
• Seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction
• Lacking official identification documents
• Appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions
• Working excessively long hours
• Living at the place of employment
• Checking into hotels/motels with older males and referring to those males as boyfriend or “daddy,” which is often street slang for pimp
• Poor physical or dental health
• Tattoos/branding on the neck and/or lower back
• Untreated sexually transmitted diseases
• Small children serving in a family restaurant
• Security measures that appear to keep people inside an establishment – barbed wire inside of a fence, bars covering the insides of windows
• Not allowing people to go into public alone or speak for themselves
Everyone has a role to play in combating human trafficking. Recognizing the signs of human trafficking is the first step to identifying a victim. Remember to SEE. CALL. SAVE.
Do not at any time attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to your suspicions. Your safety, as well as the victim’s safety, is paramount. Instead, call local law enforcement directly by dialing 911. Or, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.
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Legion breakfast  for Veterans, Sat., April 6

American Legion Post 155 invites all veterans for a free Veteran’s Breakfast on Saturday, April 6, from 9 am to 11 am at the Otis D. Green Post home on East Gold Street.
Breakfast includes made-to-order eggs, bacon, liver mush, gravy, grits, biscuits, toast, coffee, and juice.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast on the first Saturday of every month. Others are welcome to attend for a small donation that will help fund future breakfasts.
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Auditions for Liberty Mountain April 6 and 7

Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. Founding Sponsors Gilbert and Jancy Patrick, and Presenting Sponsor Albemarle announce upcoming auditions for Liberty Mountain – The Revolutionary Drama. Director Jeremy Trent Homesley and Assistant Director Ashley DeMar urge everyone interested to come join the fun of participating in the production of this historical drama by playwright Robert Inman.
 Liberty Mountain depicts the dramatic events leading up to the October 7th, 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain. It brings to life the story of the Carolina Backcountry patriots, who with their victory helped secure our nation’s liberty. The indoor drama features immersive action, music, epic battles, an special effects. The cast and crew of approximately 35 has onstage and behind the scenes opportunities for actors of all ages. Actors and technicians receive a salary for the seven-week commitment from late August thru early October. Performances are each weekend beginning September 13th, 2024 and ending October 6th, 2024. More specifics at
 Audition dates are Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 PM at the Joy Theatre, 202 S. Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain, NC. There are opportunities for lead and supporting actors, ensemble, musicians, backstage, and technical positions. There are roles for 5-10 women, 15-20 men, 5-10 pre-teen aged actors.
Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. is a volunteer based, 501c3 tax-exempt community theater. It owns and operates the Joy Theatre and the Liberty Mountain Garden.
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(Right) The restroom addition to the Joy Performance Theater is moving right along. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Joy Performance Center addition continues

By Loretta Cozart

Construction of the restroom addition to the Joy Performance Center, located on Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain, is underway. A doorway has been created from the former women's restroom, which will allow access to the new ADA-compliant men's and women's restrooms. These facilities will also be accessible from the garden during outdoor events. Although there isn't a specific completion date set, progress is being made.
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Runners of all ages participated in the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Runs. Photo by Doug Satterfield

Scenes from the 2024 Gateway Trail Bear Run 5K and 10 Miler

By Loretta Cozart

The Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Bear Run 5K and 10 Miler was held on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The weather was cool and rainy but that didn’t curb the enthusiasm of the dedicated supporters. This was the largest year ever with a total of 200 registered runners. 132 runners participated in the 5K and 68 participated in the 10 Miler.
Following several requests from previous Gateway Trail runners, the Gateway Trail Board decided to mix things up a bit this year. The 5K started at 8:30am, and the 10 Miler started at 9:15am. This change provided a new challenge. By separating the start times, runners had the option of running both races and completing a half marathon. 19 runners took advantage of this opportunity!
Caleb Overman, 18-years-old from Ellenboro, NC was the fastest male overall in the 5K with a time of 19:32:53. This time was closely followed by 42-year-old Chad Lenox from Mount Holly, NC and 41-year-old Wesley Gurley of Marion, NC, with times of 19:47:15 and 20:00:26 respectively.
Wendy Koeck, 52 years old from York, SC, was the fastest female overall in the 5K with a time of 25:58:00. Her time was followed by E. Hollifield of Cherryville, NC with a time of 26:09:86 and A. Shelton of Kings Mountain, NC with a time of 27:25:58.
Troy Lee, 37 years old from Charlotte, NC, was the fastest overall male in the 10 Miler with a time of 1:07:13. Chad Lenox, 42-years-old, from Mount Holly, NC, followed in 2nd place with a time of
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1:10:39. Steve McClure, 49 years old from Lincolnton, NC finished 3rd with a time of 1:14:55.
    Angela Congelli, 45, from Belmont, NC, finished as the fastest overall female in the 10 Miler with a time of 1:23:44. McCayley Pettus, 28, from Charlotte, NC, finished second with a time of 1:30:27. 25-year-old Brittany Teller, from Concord, NC, finished third with a time of 1:32:53.
   Congratulations to ALL who braved the elements to support the Gateway Trail. We would like to acknowledge and thank each and every participant. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors and volunteers. Without you, this event would not be possible. Your contribution to the Trail helps make it what it is today, and they are greatly appreciated.

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Chief Greg W. Main

City of KM hires new Fire Chief 

Chief Greg W. Main is the new Fire Chief of the City of Kings Mountain. He recently retired from the Evansville Fire Department after serving for 38 years and held various ranks such as Lieutenant, Captain, Fire Inspector, District Chief, Chief of Operations, and Chief Fire Marshal.
Chief Main has a Master of Science degree in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University. He has also completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and the International Associations of Fire Chief’s Fire Service Executive Development Institute. Additionally, he has the honor of being designated as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center of Public Safety Excellence and is a member of The Institution of Fire Engineers as a MIFireE.
Chief Main has been inspired by his two children, who have contributed to the success of his career. His daughter, Jacqueline, is a social worker and has two children of her own, Grace and Hunter, residing in Evansville, IN. His son, Zachary, is a Paramedic Firefighter with the Lexington Kentucky Fire Department and has been serving for 11 years, currently assigned to Ladder #7.
Chief Main is excited to serve and work for the people of the City of Kings Mountain.
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Member of City of Kings Mountain’s city council and executive leadership team listened to a presentation by City Manager Jim Palenick during its Strategic Planning Session. Photo by Loretta Cozart
City of Kings Mountain holds
Strategic Planning Session

By Loretta Cozart

The City of Kings Mountain’s city council and executive leadership team held their annual strategic planning session at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte on March 8 and 9. The public was invited to observe as Kings Mountain’s leadership team discussed topics impacting our community for the next decade and beyond.
The overreaching theme for this year’s meeting was “Catalysts and Cornerstones – How to Embrace Rapid Change.” When City Manager James Palenick took the job one year ago, he predicted that change would come to Kings Mountain within five years. This year’s strategic planning session addressed those issues.
The topics of conversation Friday included servant leadership, catalytic leadership and cornerstones, staffing and analysis for future growth, budget and finance for future growth, and renewable natural gas.
Resuming on Saturday, topics included municipal electric utility, signage restrictions, special and limited land uses, imagining a vastly expanded Gateway Trail Loop, Moss Lake – an underutilized Gem, and the future of the KM Tourism Development Authority (KMTDA).
The meeting concluded with an exercise in which the city council and staff were given limited budgets to accomplish various tasks. They could allocate all their resources individually or partner with others to accomplish larger goals.
The strategic planning session was recorded and will soon be available to the public. Check the city’s Facebook page for information on when the video will be released and how to view it.
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Little Annie WAFFLES AND WILDFLOWERS food truck team (L-R): Taylor Geissenger, Brooke Jeffries, Christy Conner, Kylie Tomberlin, Abby Walker and Debralee Tomberlin (not pictured). (Photos provided by Christy Conner)

Little Annie opens
this Sat., March 16

By Loretta Cozart

Little Annie Gourmet Waffles and Wildflowers will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, March 16, from noon to 6 p.m. at Eva’s Garden Center, 736 Stony Point Road in Kings Mountain.
As Christy Conner approached retirement, she dreamed of opening a food truck called Little Annie in honor of the founders of her family (her grandparents Annie and Aaron  Conner), where the charm of Mawmaw Annie’s kitchen met Pawpaw’s favorite breakfast, waffles!
As the former Director of Special Events for Kings Mountain, Christy retired early from her role in city government because she knew in her heart that another adventure awaited.
The concept of Little Annie blossomed from a dream to expand her family’s business, Eva’s Garden Center, at the intersection of Stony Point Road and Oak Grove  Road  and elevate the
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customer experience by envisioning a space where customers can shop, savor sweet treats, sip refreshing drinks, and even enjoy special activities. So, she and her family embarked on a mission to honor her grandparents through this endeavor.
Various gourmet waffles will be offered, along with specialty drinks, including seasonal ones throughout the year. Many of the waffles offered are creatively named after the likes of her family.
Her team is made up of family members, including Brooke Jeffries, Kylie Tomberlin, Abby Walker, Debralee Tomberlin, Taylor Geissenger, and, of course, Christy Conner.
“This dynamic team brings a whirlwind of excitement, fresh ideas, and vibrant energy to create a memorable experience for each and every customer,” Christy shared. “I’d like to thank the incredible team behind our concept’s creation, my mother whose unwavering belief in me and her encouragement to make it happen have been the driving force behind it all. And last but certainly not least, Sayphon Thongsamouth, my supportive husband who believed in my dream and helped get it to the finish line. Welcome to our world of waffle wonders!”
Christy invites you to visit her social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and Tick-Tok, for her days and hours of operation.”

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KM Gateway Trail 5K and 10-mile
runs  to be held March 23

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Gateway Trail announced its 5K and 10-mile runs for March 23 this year at 807 S. Battleground Ave. in Kings Mountain. Runners can sign up at
The runs are professionally managed on the day of the run, on Facebook, and at the website
Sponsors for the run receive a thank you letter and complimentary runner forms to give to runners. Complimentary run shirts are given to the runners, and nice trophies are awarded to winners of all ages and run categories. Run Shirts have the sponsor names on the back, and a large banner is placed with sponsor names on the front of the trail building. They are listed on the trail website each year.
The trail opened in 2009 and began having annual 5K and l0-Mile runs for a fundraiser, exercise, and getting folks to Kings Mountain. Many local folks from a large area around Kings Mountain come to participate in a healthy event, giving runners something to look forward to and having lots of outdoor fun.
Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Director Shirley Brutko said, “2024 marks the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail’s 15th year, and all the runs have been a big success. We usually have anywhere between 180 to 230 runners participating and approximately 150 attending and watching the event.”
“It supports tourism and economic development for Kings Mountain, the county, and the region. Sometimes we have out-of-town runners who stay at our local hotels,” she continued. “We have been able to give pottery leaves and beautiful pottery disks for trophies, which are very popular with our runners. We run in all weather and have sometimes had rain, snow, ice, and sunshine. We serve refreshments at the event and have a large tent to shelter runners if needed. All sponsor dollars are used to pay for the run expenses and to help with trail needs such as upkeep, etc.”
   To sign up, visit For more information, call 704-685-3549 or 704-739-9663.
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Lib Stewart, right, reminisces with Linda Quinlan. Photo provided by Linda Quinlan

Lib Stewart’s fond memories as ALA National President

By Linda Quinlan

During a recent late winter afternoon, Linda Quinlan, the current North Carolina American Legion Auxiliary Historian, visited Elizabeth (“Lib”) Stewart, American Legion Auxiliary Past National President 1999-2000. Linda knew that Lib would soon commemorate the 25th anniversary of her August 1999 election as National President and thought it seemed like an opportune time for a visit since Linda lives in Shelby – just ten miles away from Lib’s hometown of Kings Mountain.
Upon arriving at Lib’s country home, Linda and her husband, Jim, were warmly welcomed. They enjoyed a long visit reminiscing about Lib's many warm memories from her year as President.
Curious about the happenings Lib experienced during her tenure and how things may have changed during the past 25 years, Linda peppered her with many questions. An energetic woman in her 60s when she was elected National President, Lib’s mind, is still sharp as a tack 25 years later. She has attended every National Convention since 1975 but has missed the last four due to health issues.
First joining the American Legion Auxiliary in 1969 through the eligibility of two brothers in the Navy and USAF, she immediately became involved and was elected North Carolina Department President in 1976. Lib recalled, “I attended my first Department Convention in 1969 and the first National Convention in 1975”. Mary Sue Jarrett, a good friend who lived a mere 13 miles away, was elected National President in 1974 and encouraged Lib to pursue a path toward the presidency herself. Lib enthusiastically continued her service to the organization and filled many roles in the National Auxiliary from 1980 onwards. She held National appointments in the Southern Division and later as chairperson of the National Community Service, Public Relations, Poppy, and VA&R committees, to name a few. She was elected National Historian in 1993 and National Vice President 1998-1999.
National President Stewart said during her tenure that “… it was a time to celebrate America; to celebrate the new millennium.”  After being elected, the National Auxiliary Headquarters provided her with a cell phone and a laptop, which she took with her everywhere. They also provided her with an apartment in Indianapolis to stay in while in town for meetings and in between trips. Back then, there was no such thing as virtual meetings and Zoom, so she was on the road or in the air quite a bit.
During her term as National American Legion Auxiliary President, Ms. Stewart stressed unit revitalization. Her membership theme was “TNT” – The New Threshold, and at the turn of the century, Lib recalled that the ALA had nearly 1,000,000 members. She also used her office to spread awareness of breast cancer. A 35-year survivor of the disease, she was passionate about informing audiences far and wide about the disease. She encouraged women and men to take advantage of early detection and screening procedures. Lib mentioned a humorous incident during the 19th Annual Awareness Assembly in March 2000.
“There were several American Legion Past National Commanders and NECmen at a large reception, and they provided a unique fashion show to raise money for breast cancer awareness,”  Lib said. She was surprised and initially somewhat embarrassed but then continued her story. “…These normally reserved and distinguished Legionnaires pranced around the banquet room modeling their fashions and raised nearly $13,000 for breast cancer research and the Susan G. Komen Foundation!”
 An extensive traveler during her year in office, Lib visited nearly every state and several foreign countries, including France, Taiwan, the Philippines, Mexico, and Germany. She traveled to South Korea in June 2000, during the 50th anniversary, observing the start of the Korean Conflict.
But it was while in France Lib experienced some of her most memorable events during her tenure. During a special ceremony at a French National Cemetery, where Lib placed flags and a wreath, she was asked by the French General in charge of the event to review the troops. This was a complete surprise – not on the itinerary – and fortunately, she quickly recalled some French from her high school days.  She said, “… I passed the line of handsome young soldiers standing at attention, smiled, shook their hands, and thanked them (in French) for their service. It ended up going very well, and I still have wonderful memories of that visit.” While in Paris, she had the unique opportunity to flip the switch to light up the Arc de Triomphe for an evening event. She then took a train trip to visit Flanders Field in Belgium. She paid her respects to the many service members buried there and marveled at the fields of red poppies.
At Hickam AFB, Hawaii, she participated in a solemn December 1999 repatriation ceremony, the remains believed to be those of US Marines killed in action on Butaritari Island during World War II. It represented the largest and most significant recovery of remains of that time. National Commander Al Lance and National President Stewart went on this trip and were very impressed with the ceremony and Operation Homecoming.
   Working with the National American Legion Commander and National Sons of the Legion Commander, Lib raised money to help fund the planned World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. A photo in the ALA National News May-June 2000 magazine shows Lib presenting a large replica check to Senator Bob Dole for $2,750,000 on behalf of the Legion Family. So many programs were near and dear to her heart. Among them were Veterans Rehabilitation & Affairs, and Children and Youth Programs. She also led the Auxiliary fundraising efforts for the Children’s Miracle Network.
    A unique item gifted to her during her presidency was a small “button chair” made in her home state. Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina created the original Button Chair in 1998 as a tribute to all women—as well as their families, friends, and support networks—who have battled breast cancer in North Carolina. Every button represented a unique story of courage and strength, each belonging to a breast cancer survivor or someone who had lost their battle with the disease.
   Many times, during Lib’s speeches, she spoke of breast cancer awareness. She was gifted with a small, hand-crafted wooden replica chair made in North Carolina. The symbolic button idea quickly caught on, and the chair traveled throughout the state during conferences and appearances at various functions. Auxiliary members and the general public soon adorned the little chair with hundreds of brightly colored buttons representing themselves or loved ones diagnosed with breast cancer. Lib still has and cherishes the little chair today as one of her favorite memories.
   She has enjoyed a long career as a journalist and received many writing awards throughout her life. While she received a year off during her presidency, the fall of 2000 saw her return to 50-hour work weeks at the newspaper office. And still today, she spends several hours each week on her home computer writing for the Kings Mountain Herald.
   Now nearing 90 years of age, Past National President Stewart reflected that “… I enjoyed excellent health throughout my year as National President and never once called in sick.” She is very grateful for the support of the North Carolina American Legion Auxiliary and will forever cherish the memories, friendships made, unforgettable opportunities, and world travel experiences. She is a small-town girl treated like royalty whose American Legion Auxiliary dreams came true. She is blessed, indeed!

City of KM 2024 Calendar of Events

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the City of Kings Mountain will be a thrill this 2024 event season as the City presents an Earth Day Celebration, a birthday bash, fireworks, a beach blast, the return of a beloved festival and an historic Christmas season.
What better way to mark the incredible milestone of 150 years than with a series of unforgettable events and celebrations? The City of Kings Mountain is pulling out all the stops to ensure that this anniversary is a memorable one for residents and visitors alike.
The Gateway Trail is the site of the first event of the season. Saturday, April 20th, join us as we celebrate our planet and the 54th anniversary of Earth Day. Dinosaurs, fossil digs, live encampments music jamborees and more await on this special day.
Join us Saturday, May 4th, as the City hosts Kings Mountain’s 150th Birthday Bash! Imagine a lively atmosphere filled with laughter, music, and a sense of community as we come together to honor the rich history of our beloved city. From historical exhibits showcasing the growth and development of Kings Mountain to great bands, fun attractions and a joyful carnival atmosphere, this event promises to be a memorable event for everyone.
Revolutionary 4th will be held at the  Deal Park Walking Track, Thursday, July 4th. Exciting activities, music and FIREWORKS await you at this event.
Saturday, August 17th, get ready to embrace the beach vibes at the North Carolina BeachBlast Festival. Picture yourself enjoying some fun in the sun while dancing to the rhythm of some of the hottest Carolina Beach Music bands in the Southeast. This award-winning event is the perfect opportunity to bring your family and friends to indulge in some seaside fun without leaving our beautiful city.
One of the most exciting highlights of this anniversary celebration is the return of a beloved festival that hasn’t graced the streets of Kings Mountain since 2018. Mountaineer Day Heritage Festival, to be held Saturday,   October 12th,  holds
 a special place in the hearts of the community, and its comeback is sure to create new cherished memories. With a vibrant tractor parade, contests (grow those beards fellows), delectable food vendors, live demonstrations, and great music from a National Act many of you know and love, this festival is a must-attend for everyone who loves Kings Mountain.
The Christmas season will kick-off Saturday, December 7th with the Christmas Kings Mountain Parade and Festival. This season, our parade will highlight the history of our city with very nostalgic entries along the route. 
In addition to these marquee events, the City has planned an array of other activities throughout the anniversary season. From art exhibits, cultural showcases, artisan markets to observances and community service initiatives, there will be something for everyone to enjoy and get involved in. This is a time to come together as a community, celebrate our shared history, and build an even brighter future for Kings Mountain.
Mark your calendars and spread the word - the 150th Anniversary of the City of Kings Mountain is an event season you won’t want to miss. Keep an eye out for updates and detailed schedules, as there will surely be more surprises and special announcements in store. Let’s make this milestone celebration a true testament to the spirit, resilience, and unity of our incredible city.
For more information about our schedule of events, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Marketing, Tourism and Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.

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Smoke detector volunteers like these will work across Kings Mountain on March 16 to install smoke detectors in various areas around town. (Photo by Albemarle)
Sound the alarm: smoke detectors save lives
By Loretta Cozart

On Saturday, March 16, Kings Mountain volunteers will meet at Albemarle’s Project Center at 129 W. Mountain Street downtown, preparing to go door-to-door for an education and service event offering 10-Year Lithium Battery smoke alarms and home fire safety education. This event coincides with the American Red Cross’ National Sound the Alarm campaign time period.
Portions of the city being visited during this event include the Mountain Crest Drive and Northwoods Drive areas, N. Lackey Street and Gantt Streets, and the Mt. Olive Baptist church area.
Residents will be asked if they have smoke detectors or if their detectors are less than 10 years old. If residents agree to participate, several folks will install new smoke detectors or replace older ones in their homes. There is no cost to the resident for the smoke detectors or installation. The service is free.
In last year’s Home Fire Campaign, volunteers:
• Knocked on 100 doors.
• Engaged 57 residents in 26 households in fire safety education.
• Installed new lithium battery 33 alarms.
If you would like to volunteer to assist in this lifesaving and worthwhile project for your Kings Mountain neighbors, email Margo Plonk at, or call 704.473-1625.
Did you know you have two minutes to leave your house when a fire strikes? According to the Red Cross, you should know two ways out of every room and never return to a burning home once you get outside.
The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.

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Woman’s Club indoor yard sale Saturday

By Loretta Cozart

GWFC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club will hold their next indoor yard sale this Saturday, March 2, at their clubhouse at 108 East Mountain Street in Kings Mountain from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Funds from this event support the club’s Sallie Southall Cotten Scholarship. Cotton was a principal leader in the North Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs organization in 1902. The Sallie Southall Cotten Scholarship was started to honor her legacy.
Join the Kings Mountain Woman’s Club members as they share various items for sale supporting this fundraiser. Clothing, household items, and children’s items will be available for purchase, along with various homemade baked goods.
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How to handle
yard waste in KM

The City of Kings Mountain recommends bagging all yard waste, including grass, weeds, flowers, limbs, and leaves, and placing it behind the curb and out of ditches when put out for collection.
Citizens who follow these rules adhere to the City’s Stormwater Ordinance. It also helps keep stormwater from having a negative effect on the quality of water flowing to our downstream neighbors and avoids a violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act by the city. These River Basins provide drinking water and recreational water for families downstream from us.
Everything that enters our stormwater system through catch basins and stormwater ditches travels through the city’s system and is released unfiltered to the Catawba River Basin or the Broad River Basin.
Did you know it is against the law to blow debris into the road when cutting grass or raking leaves? When cutting grass, the city also asks that citizens not blow grass or leaves onto streets or into ditch lines. Not only will the debris wash into the storm drain and end up in the creeks and streams, but the grass and leaves themselves are dangerous to motorcycle riders and bicyclists.
If you use a lawn service, please advise them of these rules so that we may also keep the stormwaters clean and prevent flooding conditions, which can occur when catch basins and ditch lines are covered by debris.
For more information, contact the Stormwater Department by calling 704-734-4501, M-F, 7:30 am – 4 pm or email them at
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NC voters will be asked to show a
photo ID when they check in to vote

Beginning with the municipal 2023 elections, voters were asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina. Most voters will simply show their driver’s license, but many other forms of photo ID will be accepted. Voters who vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of their ID when returning their ballot.
What photo can you use? Any of the following unexpired or expired for one year or less:
• NC Driver’s license or state ID from the NCDMV (non-operator ID)
• Driver’s license or non-operator card from another state, D.C., or U.S. territory (only if voter registered in NC within 90 days of the election.)
• U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card.
• NC voter photo ID card issued by a county board of elections
• Student & government-employee photo IDs approved by the State Board of Elections
• Voters 65+ may use an expired form of acceptable ID if it was unexpired on their 65th birthday.
Any of the following regardless of whether the ID contains an expiration or issuance date:
• Military or veteran ID card (with photo issued by the U.S. government.
• Tribal enrollment card (with photo) issued by a state or federally recognized tribe.
• ID card (with photo) issued by a U.S. government agency or the state of NC for a public assistance program.
All voters will be allowed to vote with or without a photo ID.
Voters who do not have a photo ID when they vote can make sure their vote counts by either 1) filling out a form explaining why they are unable to show ID, or 2) showing their ID at their county board of elections office by 5 p.m. on March 14, the ninth day after the election.
Remaining dates to keep in mind regarding the Primary Election Calendar:
• Feb. 15: In-person early voting begins; same-day registration available.
• Feb. 27: Absentee ballot request deadline (5 p.m.).
• March 2: In-person early voting ends (3 p.m.).
•    March 5: Primary Election Day (Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.).
• March 5: Absentee ballot return deadline (7:30 p.m.). Ballots must be received by the county board of elections by this time.
   For more information, visit, or call 919-814-0700. Cleveland County’s Board of Election is at 215 Patton Dr, Shelby. Its phone number is 704-484-4858.
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Finishing touches on the façade of Hardee’s were made on Wednesday last week, as the restaurant reopened its dining room for business. (Photo by Loretta Cozart)

Hardee’s dining room reopens

By Loretta Cozart

On Tuesday, January 30, Hardee’s dining room at 509 E King Street in Kings Mountain reopened its dining room to customers.
According to staff, the restaurant’s dining room is repaired and ready for business. They welcomed customers back, saying, “We hope folks will visit and bring friends and family to enjoy our dining room.”
On July 17, 2023, a driver lost control of their vehicle and slammed into the southwest corner of the restaurant, smashing glass, injuring customers, and made a general mess of things. Three months later, the drive through reopened on October 23.
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ServePro was on site last week cleaning up the smoke and water damage after the Feb. 3 fire. Photo by Loretta Cozart

KMPD seeks public’s help
Roses’ fire is
deemed suspicious

On February 3, Kings Mountain Police Department (KMPD) and Kings Mountain Fire Department (KMFD) responded to a working structure fire located at 1314 Shelby Road (Roses).
The fire was quickly extinguished but not before a portion of the business received substantial damage. A joint investigation into the cause and origin of the fire was conducted by KMFD and the Cleveland County Fire Marshalls Office resulting in the determination that the fire was suspicious.
Unfortunately, video surveillance did not capture the area of the store where the fire was set. Approximately 20 customers were inside of the business at or near the time of the fire. Therefore, KMPD’s Criminal Investigations Unit requests that any citizen who had been inside or near the store during this timeframe and observed suspicious activity to contact them at 704-734-0444 or email Detective Sergeant J. Bryant at You can also leave a tip through the Cleveland County Crime Stoppers app at the QR code.
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City of Kings Mountain Finance Director Chris Costner holds the birthday cake as City Manager Jim Palenick and other staff members join him in celebrating the town’s 150th birthday. See more photos on page 4A. (Photo by Loretta Cozart)

City Council and staff celebrate Kings Mountain’s 150th birthday

By Loretta Cozart

In honor of Kings Mountain’s 150th birthday, Kings Mountain’s City Council, staff and attendees celebrated the sesquicentennial by singing Happy Birthday and enjoying birthday cake during the city council work session. The heartfelt rendition of the song started out slowly and improved as the song ended, as most renditions of Happy Birthday usually do.

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Front row, L-R: Legislators Kelly Hastings, Tim Moore, and Ted Alexander. Back row, L-R: CCMHOF Board Members Angela Padgett, Christy Conner, and Ronnie Whistnant. See photo on page 4A. (Photos by Angela Padgett)

CC Music Hall of Fame
receives $75,000 donation

By Loretta Cozart

Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame (CCMHOF) thanked Speaker of the House Tim Moore, Senator Ted Alexander, and Representative Kelly Hastings for supporting them with a $75,000 donation on Wednesday, February 7. Their Board met with them on Wednesday at their Hall of Fame Building, at 1511 West Dixon Boulevard in Shelby.
“We are appreciative that they took the time to learn more about our plans for the renovation of the building and about preserving the History of Music in Cleveland County,” the CCMHOF shared.
The Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame was established in 2019. The mission of the Hall of Fame is to honor the legacy of pioneers from Cleveland County whose talent has enriched the musical landscape of the area in which they live/lived while giving the tools needed to future generations of musicians to hone their craft. In 2021, Calvin and Teresa Hastings donated the WOHS studios on Hwy 74. In that building the Hall of Fame plans to house a museum, as well as recording studio and a learning center for students who want to play an instrument.
For more information on the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame, contact the Hall at 704-692-5246 or visit their website at You may also visit their Facebook page at @CCMUSICHALL.
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The Truck Stop fire on January 2 has been ruled by undetermined cause. (Photo by Cox Media Group)

KM Truck Stop fire ruled undetermined

By Loretta Cozart

The Kings Mountain Herald obtained the NC Office of State Fire Marshal’s report from Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mike Williams. In the report, the cause of the fire at 400 Dixon School Road on January 2 was ruled undetermined.
The report shared the following items of fact:
• On Tuesday, January 2, the Cleveland County communications center received a 911 call for a structure fire located at the Kings Mtn Truck Plaza at 400 Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain. The Kings Mountain Fire Department responded to the call and arrived on scene to find a commercial building with heavy fire conditions coming from the rear of the building.
• The Kings Mtn Fire Department and several other mutual aid departments began suppression efforts. The Cleveland County Fire Marshal’s Office and the NC Office of State Fire Marshal’s Fire Investigation Unit conducted an Origin & Cause investigation. The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined.
• On Tuesday, January 2, Cleveland County Fire Marshal Perry Davis contacted Office of State Fire Marshal (OFSM) Investigator Kevin Head to request assistance with the Origin & Cause Investigation. OSFM Investigator Marsh responded to the scene on Wednesday, January 2, to assist with the Origin & Cause investigation.
• The building was being used as a truck fueling center and a convenience store.
• The legal authority for conducting the fire scene investigation was by exigent circumstance (meaning that the circumstances were urgent enough to justify a warrantless entry). Kings Mountain Fire Department maintained custody of the scene throughout the entire investigation.
According to the report, a neighbor reported the fire to Cleveland County 911 Center. Kings Mountain Fire Department conducted witness interviews. Farm Bureau Insurance collected one sample from the scene. There were no injuries or fatalities due to the fire event, and a weather event causing the fire was ruled out.
A formal Origin & Cause determination report was authored by Perry Davis with the Cleveland County Fire Marshal’s Office. The report was generated as a response report documenting the assistance of the NC Office of State Fire Marshal to the Cleveland County Fire Marshal’s Office.


Cambridge Oaks Apts.
fire Thursday night

By Loretta Cozart

On Thursday, February 8, first responders received a call to a fire at Cambridge Oaks Circle. Three fire departments, including Kings Mountain, Grover, and Bessemer City responded, along with Kings Mountain Police and GEMS.
According to Josh Wall, Kings Mountain Fire Department’s Interim Chief, Kings Mountain Police was first on the scene and were able to put a stove’s grease fire out. Interim Chief Wall expressed his gratitude to KMPD for handling the fire quickly.
Afterward, KMFD firefighters attended to the situation, working with the residents, and taking care of the scene. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

LTA creating 54 new jobs in Gaston Co.

Lynddahl Telecom America Inc. (LTA), a duct solutions company for fiber optics installations, will create 54 new jobs in Gaston County, Governor Cooper announced in January. The company will invest more than $5.6 million over the next three years to establish its first North American plastic extrusion production site in Belmont.
“North Carolina is benefiting yet again from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with Lynddahl Telecom’s decision to make Gaston County its North American home,” said Governor Cooper. “Expanding access to high-speed internet is imperative to closing our digital divide, and having companies in our corner that are well-equipped to extend broadband throughout our rural regions puts us closer to high quality internet for everyone.”
Building on more than 30 years of international experience in the fiber optics and duct industry, the three founders established the parent company in Denmark in 2020. Having seen extensive success in Europe, LTA incorporated in 2023 as a subsidiary of Lynddahl Telecom A/S with the aim of offering duct solutions for the North American market. The company specializes in product development and customization as a supplier of complete duct solutions for fiber optics for the international telecom industry. LTA will begin operations with a 55,000-square-foot facility to manufacture the protective conduits for fiber-optic cables.
   “Everyone is increasingly expecting high speed internet everywhere – be it for remote work, distance learning or leisure. Over the next decade, historic investments into upgrading broadband access throughout America will be made and this represents a major business opportunity for us. We have found a cost-effective method to rapidly deploy fiber optics in Europe and we are excited about being able to offer this to our American, Canadian and Mexican partners,” said Jacob Ulrik Petersen, President of LTA.
“North Carolina continues to rank as a leading state for doing business in America,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I am proud to see our state compete to win more economic opportunities with innovative companies like Lynddahl Telecom America that will benefit from our diverse manufacturing workforce, affordability, and our shared commitment to digital equity.”
   New positions created by LTA will include production managers, plastics engineers, administrative officers, and production technicians. Salaries will vary by position; however, the average annual wage is $60,315, exceeding the Gaston County average of $50,746. These new jobs could potentially create an annual payroll impact of more than $3.2 million for the region.
A performance-based grant of $100,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help LTA establish its new production site. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
   “I am pleased to welcome Lynddahl Telecom America to Gaston County,” said State Senator Brad Overcash. “I am confident that Gaston’s first-rate workforce, educational opportunities, and business-friendly atmosphere will set the stage for Lynddahl to be successful and prosperous.”
“Congratulations to Lynddahl Telecom America on making their home in North Carolina,” said N.C. Representative John Torbett. “It makes me proud to see Gaston County support the expansion of high-speed internet across the nation through this project and I look forward to seeing what heights this company will reach in the future.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in this project include the North Carolina Community College System, Gaston County, the Division of Workforce Solutions, the City of Belmont, the Gaston County Economic Development Commission, and Duke Energy.

KMPD seeking two for fraud at Dollar General

Kings Mountain Police Department asks for the public's help identifying two suspects involved in Fraud at Dollar General on Shelby Road on December 29th. If anyone can identify these individuals or has any information regarding the incident, please contact Detective R. M. Hoyle at 704-730-2119 or email You can also submit a tip using the QR code.
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Loretta Husky Cozart

Cozart selected as Kings Mountain Forward Director

Kings Mountain Forward (KM Forward), an emerging economic development organization in the region, announces the appointment of Loretta Husky Cozart as its first Director. With over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience and a diverse background in management, fundraising, finance, public relations, business development, retail, economic development, communications, and marketing, Cozart is poised to lead the organization.
Cozart's career has been highlighted by successful roles as an Executive Director in various Chambers of Commerce, including the Greater Pineville Chamber of Commerce, Matthews Chamber of Commerce, and Kings Mountain Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Cozart was responsible for managing membership recruitment and retention, organizing events, and collaborating with local and regional media outlets for promotional activities.
She founded and managed the Greater Pineville Chamber of Commerce to foster business relationships in Charlotte's then-evolving Ballantyne area, eventually merging the organization with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce to establish the Perimeter South Area Council, now the Ballantyne Area Council, and served on the Board of Advisors for four years.
She has also demonstrated her expertise in finance and accounting as the CFO, VP/Accounting, and Co-owner at CC Communications, Inc., an online marketing, application development, and web design firm in Charlotte.
In addition to her professional expertise, Cozart has been actively involved in various activities. She founded Matthews Executive Group, an alliance of business professionals,
to create opportunities  for
See COZART, Page 5A
From Page 1A
business growth, foster friendships, and strengthen the community. The group has thrived for 30 years. She also served as a Regent at Col. Frederick Hambright DAR Chapter in Kings Mountain for three terms, where she and the chapter undertook a Regent's Project to install a marker for the Black Patriots who participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain at the Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Commenting on her appointment, Cozart said, "I am excited for this new role working with the KM Forward board and area businesses to drive economic growth and development in the region. My experience in management, finance, public relations, and economic development will be valuable assets in achieving our goals."
KM Forward is a non-profit organization that promotes economic development and business growth in the Kings Mountain region. The organization works closely with local businesses and government agencies to create a favorable business climate and attract new investment to the community.
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Catalytic economic development drives KM downtown boutique hotel

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain City Manager Jim Palenick’s February 1 “Update with the City Manager” outlines plans for the new Cobblestone Hotel project at 200 E. Gold Street in downtown Kings Mountain. He started the presentation by sharing, “Let me tell you a little bit about that project and why that makes sense, what it is, and maybe more importantly, what it isn’t.”
He explained that it is necessary to bring more people downtown to experience economic growth, “Essentially, when we talk about how we help downtown thrive and prosper, there is one critically important thing that has to be in evidence, and that is you have to have significant numbers of actual residents.”
“So it’s important as we move forward to try to work to get some new development of urban-scale apartments and condominiums being built in and around downtown, some new apartments, particularly the ones that can be above the retail and commercial on some of the existing commercial buildings.”
He shared, “A downtown hotel can serve as a critical catalyst for revitalization and economic activity. It can and does bring large numbers of recurring overnight lodgers, and with them comes disposable income that they will then spend in immediate proximity to that lodging facility. And that’s the primary reason you want to see this downtown.”
Palenick explained that Cobblestone Hotel serves a small urban city niche market using a turnkey template model. The company normally engages SHG to manage its Cobblestone Hotels for efficiency, economies of scale, quality assurance, and consistency.
To test the feasibility of such a hotel here, Kings Mountain engaged Core Distinction Group in 2023 to do a study conducting separate demand generator interviews within local businesses and industries. From those interviews, it was determined that the project would be financially feasible, made sense, and should move forward.
So, what will the hotel look like? Palenick described it as a four-story tall hotel with 76 units. The three top floors would each have 24 units. The lower level would have four ADA-accessible  units,  an
See HOTEL, Page 5A
From Page 1A
indoor pool, a fitness center, an area for hospitality, and some small conference space back of the office in the lobby area. The total cost for this project would be $13.5 million in investment.
   How would the hotel be financed? The City Manager states, “This investment is completely contemplated as privately owned and operated. It will only move forward if it is privately owned and operated for the long term.”
   What other amenities will be available at Cobblestone Hotel? The hotel will include a first-floor Wissota Chophouse, a high-end destination steakhouse restaurant. There will also be indoor and outdoor dining spaces attached to that restaurant. Most Cobblestone Main St. Boutique-branded hotels are smaller, usually 64 units or fewer. This one would be larger because the feasibility study believes that it should be and that it can support that financially. It also typically doesn’t have a high-end steakhouse. However, in this case, the feasibility study suggested that it can and should support it.”
   The general look of the hotel will be slightly different from that of other Cobblestone Hotels in other cities because it will have its own specific design for King’s Mountain. But the shared look is indicative of the design.
   The Wissota Chophouse offers an intimate, comfortable, yet upscale atmosphere. It includes an exclusive dining area, which can be rented out to accommodate bigger parties. They can also be used for corporate meetings or special events, with a very nice, warm, welcoming atmosphere and a lot of brick and stone, typical of something you would expect in a high-end steakhouse restaurant.
   In addition to the hotel and restaurant, the city plans to develop a new $4.2M, 150-space parking garage that will fully support the parking needs, using project financing. It would also be designed to have a foundation that would support additional levels in the future. City Manager Palenick explained how the project funding would work, “Basically, there will be fees for using the parking space. Those who use the hotel and the restaurant will have modest fees attached to them. The city could have modest fees attached to its use. More than anything, the city will be capturing the property tax and the occupancy taxes produced by the new hotel, which, together with the parking fees themselves, will fully cover the hotel’s debt service. The debt service is expected to be about $379,000 annually for 15 years.”
     Palenick continued, “In that matrix, these taxes and fees would produce a little over $404,000 per year, fully covering the deck financing. As such, project financing, so no taxpayer funding is coming to pay for this., It is the project itself that is paying for it. Also, understand that any and all of the costs the city is putting in to help create the site and prepare it for sale to or partnership with the entity that will own and operate the hotel comes from something we call the Economic Development Fund.”
   “The Economic Development Fund was funded exclusively by property taxes that have been captured from large industrial users who had gotten economic incentives, didn’t fully comply with those incentives, and the city captured the additional property taxes that they otherwise were going to get back and then put it into a separate segregated economic development Fund for use to catalyze additional economic development in the future.”
    He shared, “It’s really about private investment, about finding a way to encourage, support, and ensure it happens. And then, to make it successful in a way that by controlling the narrative of it, the placement of it, and the type and the way that it happens, we can assure that it then has the kind of impact that we hope it will. And, of course, you don’t enter into this unless you know it’s highly feasible.
   “That’s why you do in advance a very detailed, very complete, very thorough financial pro forma and feasibility analysis, both of which the city has completed, both of which have come forward and said this can and should be a very successful project. We know that, just in the kinds of things where Duke Energy has people come in regularly to get training, the folks at Albemarle come and go as professionals working with them in their mine setup, so many of the other things that are going to be going on attached to our entertainment district and casino in the future. Even when you look at the architects, engineers, and consultants, that alone will keep a hotel full for years on end.”
   “So, we have no concern about that. The demand will be there; it’s just a matter of making the right product come at the right time and in the right place. So, we’re helping make that happen, and we think it’s important for this success in the community,” he concluded.

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Farce of Habit
auditions at KMLT

Join Kings Mountain Little Theater for its upcoming auditions at the Joy Performance Center for the hilarious “Farce of Habit” production!
Comic fireworks explode in FARCE OF HABIT, an absurdly funny Southern-fried romp that takes us back to the Reel ’Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. The proprietor, D. Gene Wilburn, looks forward to a peaceful weekend on the lake. But there are only two chances of that happening: slim and none. If you enjoy gloriously preposterous hilarity, then laughing your way through the take-no-prisoners lunacy of a Jones Hope Wooten comedy is one habit you’ll never want to break!
Audition dates will be (only need to attend one):
• Saturday, Feb 24th at 10 am
• Monday, Feb 26th at 7 pm
• Tuesday, Feb 27th at 7 pm
The cast includes four men and five women. Performance dates are June 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and June 16 and  23 at 3:00 p.m.
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This map depicts the planned road construction zone provided by the NC DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (NCDOT).

Public meeting set for upcoming I-85 and I-485 Highway Interchange Improvements Plan

Prepare for three to four years of detours, heightened traffic congestion, and inconveniences for drivers along one of the most traveled routes in the area as highway road right-of-way preparation begins this Fall. Construction will start by Fall 2025. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will soon initiate extensive improvements in the heavily traversed Interstate 85 and 485 interchange on the border of western Mecklenburg County and Gaston County. The $45 million project is expected to be completed by Fall 2028.
A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 8, 2024, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Mount Caramel Baptist Church on 7237 Tuckaseegee Road in Charlotte. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the public of the proposed project and to solicit comments. The public can view project information at NCDOT’s webpage ( NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments. The comments and information received will be collected for review as work on the project develops.
The meeting will allow residents to submit comments during the session. The public may also submit feedback via phone at (984) 205-6615, project code 6824, or email at The deadline to submit comments is February 27, 2024.
The construction project will implement several improvements to one of the most congested interchanges in North Carolina. NCDOT estimates that as many as 146,000 vehicles pass through this area on average daily (Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT).
During construction, two primary detours are under consideration to temporarily support traffic flow: A west detour option called the “Blue Route” would lead cars along Sam Wilson Road to Performance Road to Moores Chapel Road to U.S. 29/74. An east detour option known as the “Pink Route” would send vehicles from Sam Wilson Road to Moores Chapel Road to I-485 to U.S. 29/74.
NCDOT will redesign the southbound ramp toward Interstate 85 southbound as part of the project. The ramp is used daily by commuters from Gaston County - and others traveling from I-85 or US-321. The project includes several additional planned improvements, including:
• NCDOT will widen the bridge from the I-485 off-ramp to I-85 South, located over the I-85 southbound off-ramp to Sam Wilson Road.
• NCDOT will build a new road along I-85 South to carry I-485 off-ramp traffic to I-85 South.
• NCDOT will construct a new bridge on Sam Wilson Road over the new road.
• NCDOT will move the Sam Wilson Road ramp to I-85.
In a letter to reporters promoting the project, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said the redesign would “enhance public safety, help eliminate congestion, boost efficiency and productivity, and enhance the quality of life for the motor public.”
It’s a project that also improves the traffic flow in and out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport near the proposed construction zone.
“The added lanes are going to be so important for roadway connections, to streamline arrival, speed, time and congestion and all of that… but most importantly, it allows us to continue to grow,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said.
In a press release, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper supported the project, stating, “This $45 million investment will make a real difference for commuters in Mecklenburg County and the entire region. By improving the I-85/I-485 interchange, we’re easing traffic congestion, saving people time and money, and creating safer travel conditions for everyone. This project is another example of our commitment to investing in infrastructure that supports economic growth and improves quality of life for North Carolinians.”
Travelers from Gaston, Cleveland, Lincoln, Iredell, and other surrounding counties should also benefit from the improved roadway system.
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The entire community purchased and cherished centennial artifacts. Women wore long dresses and bonnets, as their ancestor mothers might have worn. (Photos by KMHM)

KM Historical Museum exhibit celebrates
Kings Mountain’s 150th anniversary

By Loretta Cozart

To celebrate the City of Kings Mountain’s 150th anniversary, the Kings Mountain Historical Museum has displayed in its lobby artifacts from the centennial celebration held in 1974. Kings Mountain was incorporated on Wednesday, February 11, 1874.
Visit the exhibit to see how Kings Mountain residents celebrated this momentous occasion 50 years ago with week-long events that included several fondly remembered activities, such as a rocking chair marathon, Brothers of the Brush beard contest, youth tennis competition, centennial dance, art awards, car pounding, guitar clinic, Karate display, street   sketches,  fashion

show, street dance, Kings Mountain Woman’s Club Community Festival, butter churning contest, caravan of old cars, children’s day with lots of activities for kids, an 1820 replica steam engine parked at the train depot, community parade, children’s parade, senior citizen’s day, commemorative coin auction, religious heritage day, and an interdenominational service at Kings Mountain High School, to name but a few.
   As you celebrate this momentous occasion with your family, be sure to drop by Kings Mountain Historical Museum to share with your children many of the events you may have participated in as a child.
   The City of Kings Mountain and members of the community will officially celebrate Kings Mountain’s sesquicentennial on Saturday, May 4, so mark your calendars now. More information will follow as plans are announced.
      Kings Mountain Historical Museum is at 100 E. Mountain Street, and open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 704-739-1019.

Patriots Rally

A Patriots Rally will be held on Sunday Night, February 4 at 6 p.m. at
Family Worship Center, 1818 Shelby Rd., Kings Mountain.
Special speakers will be  Dr. Paul Brintley, Dr. Mark Harris and special guests.
Worship will be led by Family Worship's Worship Team and  specials by
Molora.  Event is free and everyone is welcome.
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Eng School of Self-Defense in Kings Mountain saw the roof repaired after a fire damaged the building on December 26. (Photos by Eng School of Self-Defense KM)

Repairs continue at Eng School of Self-Defense KM

By  Loretta Cozart

Fire damaged Eng School of Self-Defense in Kings Mountain at 403 N. Piedmont Avenue on December 26, but repairs to the structure are moving right along. On January 24, the group shared that a new roof was now on the building, and the façade was secured. The fire burned through the roof, so the rafters and roofing had to be replaced. In addition, the owners are replacing the flooring.
While no date has yet been announced for the reopening, things are progressing quickly. The Herald will share the reopening date when it is announced.
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Just before 5 a.m. Saturday, four people were shot at 200 Waco Road. (Photo by KMPD)

Fatal shooting Saturday morning on Waco Road

Just before 5:00 a.m. on January 27, Kings Mountain Communications Center received numerous 911 calls of shots being fired at 200 Waco Road. Officers arrived on the scene within seconds and were able to locate two individuals suffering from gunshot wounds.
Cleveland County EMS transported both victims to CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia. Two additional victims believed to be related to the shooting
on Waco Road arrived separately at the medical center.
Both of these victims were also suffering from gunshot wounds.
All victims have been identified as:
• Tyshem Daquan Sharpe, B/M, 30 years of age.
• Rodney Edward Stevens Jr. B/M, 30 years of age.
• Andre Lashawn Littlejohn. B/.V1 DOB, 30 years of age.
• Nayoka Iteke Burris, B/F, 37 years of age.
Tyshem Daquan Sharpe died as a result of his injuries. Stevens and Littlejohn were listed in critical condition. Burris, who only suffered minor injuries, was released from the medical center.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Kings Mountain Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit at 704-734-0444. You may also leave a tip through the Cleveland County Crime Stoppers App or at the QR code provided. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) is assisting with this investigation.
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Executive Director Lisa Harrison, center of Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry, receives a check from Davidson Association Board members Katherine Pendergrass and Randy Miller. (Photo by Davidson Association)

The Davidson
awards donations

The Davidson Association awarded donations to non-profits on January 27 during the board’s regular monthly meeting. Monies were collected during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast, which was held on January 15. This was the organization's second year in distributing funds from that event.
This year’s recipients were Kings Mountain Crisis Assistance Ministry, Mt. Olive Food Ministry, and People Without Walls Ministry.
A representative from each organization was present during the monthly Davidson meeting. Crisis Assistance Ministry and Mt. Olive received a check, while People Without Walls received gift cards to be distributed.
Davidson is a non-political, non-profit organization whose vision is to renovate the old Davidson Elementary School to become a Community Resource Center. Davidson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Davidson Association has been instrumental in returning the KM Farmers' Market in partnership with the Foothills Farmers' Market, opening the new Atrium Virtual Clinic in collaboration with Mt. Zion Baptist Church, hosting the NC MedAssist program in partnership with Albemarle-Lithium, sponsoring an annual Health Fair and the Juneteenth Celebration, awarding yearly scholarships, and hosting and participating in other various projects.
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The new sign at 211 S. Battleground Avenue announces that The Sweet Station will open this month. (Photos by The Sweet Station)

The Sweet Station moving
to Battleground Avenue

By Loretta Cozart

If you have visited downtown Kings Mountain in the last week, you may have noticed some changes. A lot of activity has been centered around 211 S. Battleground Avenue, where The Sweet Station’s new location is sandwiched between Back Door Antiques and The Wild Cholla, which is soon to open.
The owners, Erin Jolly and Susie Wease opened The Sweet Station on Railroad Avenue in April 2023. However, they later discovered an opportunity to move to Battleground Avenue, and they decided to close their old location to give themselves time for renovations.
In an interview with the Herald, Erin shared, “Our intent was to keep the store on Railroad Avenue open year-round. But at that location, we were at maximum capacity indoors. When this opportunity became available, and realizing the potential for the indoor space, we decided to close at that location and to give ourselves time for renovations.”
Last week, the owners shared some images on The Sweet Station’s Facebook page. The aim of the new location is to offer a space for families and friends to hang out, drink coffee, relax, and play games. They are creating a cozy and welcoming environment that is suitable for all ages.
According to Erin, “We want everyone to feel welcome here and not worry their children will mess something up. We’ll have a children’s corner, books,  and  lots of games, so the parents can relax and chat with friends. The world is so busy; this will give people a place to gather.”
Susie said, “The new location is equipped with a kitchen, and we will bake our own items for sale in the shop. We will also have a full coffee bar, including unique coffee beverages like Affogato and coffee milkshakes.”
“We will offer Wi-Fi for folks who want to work away from their homes or offices. And people who work from home can have informal meetings here, so they don’t have to take people into their homes.”
As for events, The Sweet Station plans to host everything from birthday parties to family or work group gatherings. On warm days, the outside patio will be available for customers to enjoy the weather with their friends.
   Downtown Kings Mountain is changing, and The Sweet Station’s new location is just one of the businesses contributing to this transformation. If you’re looking for a place to unwind and spend quality time with your loved ones, The Sweet Station’s new location will definitely be worth checking out. They plan to open the new shop sometime in February.

Two KMPD officers promoted

On Wednesday, January 24, K9 Officer Craig Cooke and Officer Robert Medlin were promoted to the rank of Corporal. With their promotion, both Corporals are recognized as emerging leaders within the Kings Mountain Police Department.
KMPD shared, “We would like to thank Mayor Rob Wagman, who issued both Corporals their Oaths, and many city officials, employees, co-workers, family, and friends who attended the ceremony. Please help us congratulate Corporal Cooke and Corporal Medlin on their achievement.”

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Senior Center Black History Month celebration

The Patrick Senior Center in Kings Mountain will host a Black History Month Celebration on Tuesday, February 13, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Albemarle is sponsoring this year’s event, “Celebrate a Day of the Arts! Educate, Elevate!” showcasing local black artists.
The keynote speaker is Kings Mountain Councilmember Annie Thombs, and the Patrick Center Chorus sings a special song for the celebration.  Lunch will also be served.  Persons ages 55 and older are welcome to attend the event and are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, February 6, by calling the Patrick Senior Center at 704-734-0447.
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This is the anticipated look for Kings Mountain’s new Cobblestone Hotel project, including an upscale chophouse. (Photo by City of Kings Mountain)

Downtown boutique
hotel in the works for KM

By Loretta Cozart

Last week, the Herald spoke with City Manager Jim Palenick regarding land at 200 E. Gold Street and the plans for the property once site prep is completed. During the November 9, 2023, City Council Work Session, it was unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment of $250,000 for costs associated with site prep expenses.
During the meeting, the city council discussed the possibility of constructing a hotel on the property, but they also noted that the land might be used for residential purposes. The council approved site preparation work with the anticipation of further use, but they did not discuss any potential investor or owner/operator during the meeting.
The city manager said of the project, “We feel very comfortable that the project can and will go forward. We are working through and completing all of the site preparations and looking to solidify the financing model and agreements for the parking garage development while also working and vet the ultimate owner/investor/operator model.”
Palenick also shared a PowerPoint presentation of the project, including a 76-room hotel and Wissota Chophouse, an upscale steakhouse with indoor and outdoor dining. The three-floor structure will have 24 units each and four ADA units on the ground floor.
The estimated cost of the hotel is $13.5 million, while the parking deck is expected to cost another $4.5 million. Palenick states that the funding for these projects is expected to come from city and county occupancy taxes, as well as property taxes. Furthermore, Palenick clarified that the parking deck project will not begin until construction commences on the hotel.
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Albemarle Kings Mountain (Photo by Loretta Cozart)

Albemarle reduces costs to optimize cash flow as lithium prices drop

Albemarle Corporation outlined on January 18 a series of proactive measures underway to re-phase its organic growth investments and optimize its cost structure in response to changing end-market conditions, particularly in the lithium value chain. These actions are designed to unlock cash flow over the near term and generate long-term financial flexibility.
Albemarle expects its 2024 capital expenditures to be in the range of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion, down from approximately $2.1 billion in 2023. This new level of spending reflects a re-phasing of larger projects in the near term to focus on those that are significantly progressed, near completion, and in startup. Decisions made by the company include to:
• Commission the Meishan lithium conversion facility, which reached mechanical completion at the end of 2023
• Complete commissioning activities for Trains 1 and 2 at the Kemerton lithium conversion facility and focus construction on Train 3
• Prioritize permitting activities at the Kings Mountain spodumene resource and defer spending at the Richburg mega-flex lithium conversion facility
• Defer investment for the Albemarle Technology Park in North Carolina
• Limit sustaining capital spending to the most critical health, safety, environmental, and site maintenance projects
   The company is also pursuing actions to optimize its cost structure, reducing costs by approximately $95 million annually, primarily related to sales, general, and administrative expenses, including a reduction in headcount and lower spending on contracted services. Albemarle expects to realize more than $50 million of these cost savings in 2024 and to pursue additional cash management actions primarily related to working capital.
   "The actions we are taking allow us to advance near-term growth and preserve future opportunities as we navigate the dynamics of our key end-markets," said Albemarle CEO, Kent Masters. "The long-term fundamentals for our business are strong, and we remain committed to operating in a safe and sustainable manner. As a market leader, Albemarle has access to world-class resources, industry-leading technology, and a suite of organic projects to capture growth."
   Related to the actions announced today, Albemarle will record a charge in the first quarter of 2024, primarily associated with severance and related benefit costs, exit and disposal activities, and asset write-downs.
   The company will provide further details on its conference call to announce full-year 2023 results at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 15.
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Citizens asked to participate
in Parks & Rec survey


By Loretta Cozart

Take the Kings Mountain Parks & Recreation Master Plan Survey by scanning the QR code below or by visiting You have until February 10th to complete the survey.