Skies over Patriots Park will
turn purple, Saturday, October 1

Prince’s top hits include Let’s Go Crazy, 1999, Raspberry Beret, and Purple Rain.Playing all the greatest hits of the Purple One himself, Prince Rogers Nelson, Gabriel Sanchez, and The Prince Experience headlines the last concert of the 2022 LIVE at Patriots Park Concert Series, Saturday, October 1.
Considered one of the most dynamic Prince Tribute bands, The Prince Experience began in a small local theatre production of Purple Rain. Delivering the look and iconic sound that made Prince famous, the show is now playing venues all over the country.
Look for DJ Eric Bowman to start spinning tunes at 5:00pm. Mecklenburg County natives, New Local, will take the stage at Liberty Falls Amphitheatre at 6:00 pm. An award-winning pop/rock band, New Local is led by lead vocalist Rachel Waldman. Gabriel Sanchez and The Prince Experience will follow at 8:00 pm.
This concert guarantees a night of unbelievable entertainment and lots of dancing. Don’t miss it.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain. More information can be found at www.kingsmountainevents.com.

County commissioners deny
Dixon community RV park

By Loretta Cozart

At their September 6 meeting, Cleveland County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to deny a request for an RV Park at 205 Farris Road in Kings Mountain. Farris Road intersects Stewart Road off Dixon School Road. According to the staff report, the parcel is approximately 25 acres, and currently owned by Tanner McAbee and Joseph Hardison. The parcel is currently in the Residential Manufactured Homes and Parks zoning district. The property is south of Kings Mountain and the South Battleground Industrial Park. The land is currently vacant but has in the past been a manufactured home park.
McAbee submitted a site plan for the proposed RV park. The site plan shows three phases. The first phase is 15 sites and the second is 68 sites. The third phase involves RV storage but no new additional spots.
Cleveland County Planning Board voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the requested rezoning petition, stating the RV Park would be compatible with the surrounding area, would be near the state park, and recreation to the east, and the proposed RV Park would be less impactful than the previous use of a manufactured home park that was on the property.
   After hearing from the owners of the property who requested the zoning change, along with neighbors that would be impacted, Commissioner Ronnie Whetstine made the motion to deny, and other commissioners agreed with a unanimous vote.
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CCC’s new Advanced Technology Center
building named for Speaker Tim Moore

Speaking to the crowd at the Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022 ribbon cutting and open house for the new Advanced Technology Center at Cleveland Community College that bears his name, Speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives, Tim Moore welcomed everyone and thanked them all for coming out for the event.

See story on page 5A (September 28, 2022 issue of KM Herald.

Photo by Michael Powell     
                   
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The exterior of the beautiful, new Speaker Tim Moore Advanced Technology Center (ATC) at Cleveland Community College. (photo by Michael Powell/CFMedia)

CCC’s new Advanced Technology Center building named for Speaker Tim Moore

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Special to the Herald


Cleveland Community College cut the ribbon at one of their newest buildings on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022 welcoming everyone present to the new Speaker Tim Moore Advanced Technology Center.
Speaker Moore was of course present, along with a host of state, local, and college officials, dignitaries and VIPs who came to get a glimpse at the outside and inside of CCC’s latest jewel in their campus’s crown.
The opening remarks were given by Dr. Jason Hurst, President of Cleveland Community College, who gave a brief history of the college as well as a cost amount of the building and its equipment – $17 million ($5 million of which is wrapped up in the equipment inside the classrooms). Paula Vess, spokesperson for CCC, said, “The cost of construction was $12 million; if you include the new equipment purchased it’s about $17 million.”
Dr. Hurst continued, “We are fortunate to have a delegation who serves us well.”
He also thanked everyone present who had a hand in bringing the building project to fruition, noting that, “…six years ago the (CCC) Board approved the building’s construction,” adding that the overall project, “…spans (the tenure of) three (college) presidents.”
Architects for the project were Holland & Hamrick, represented at the event by Mr. Patrick McMurry, who Ms. Vess noted was “the principal designer on the project.” Construction work, Vess noted, was done by Cherryville’s Beam Construction, under the guidance of President Susan Lewis and VP Justin Boheler.
Speaker Moore, for whom the building is named, took the podium, and mentioned Sen. Ted Alexander and Rep. Kelly Hastings for their work and support in seeing the building come to pass.
Bill Turpish, chairman of the CCC Board of Trustees, greeted everyone and said, “This day has been a long time in coming. This (ATC) building is more than just a new building on campus. It provides an opportunity to change students’ lives by being able to compete in the real world.”
Golden LEAF Foundation President and CEO, Scott Hamilton, said their group always looks at projects that receive their funding as investments.
In addition to those already mentioned, others present at the event and who also spoke briefly were Dr. Bill Carver, President of the N.C. Community College System Office; Mr. Kevin Gordon, Chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners; and Ms. Kristin Reese, Executive Director of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership.
Ms. Vess said that classes have already started meeting in the building, so it is now fully open.
She also noted, “The programs housed in the Speaker Tim Moore Advanced Technology Center are: Electrical Engineering, Automation Engineering, Industrial Systems, Facilities Maintenance, Machining, and Mechanical Drafting.”
Rep. Hastings commented that, “Innovative projects like this one and others in our area and across the state help our efforts to make it possible for people to achieve economic security,” adding, “I am honored that the people trust me enough to allow me to be part of the team that supports these and other innovative and necessary projects.”
For more information on this building and its classes and other Cleveland Community College information, visit their web site at www.clevelandcc.edu.
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Voter registration
deadline is Oct. 14

The voter registration deadline is October 14, for general elections taking place on November 8. After October 14, only same-day registration during one-stop early voting is available. In North Carolina, the civilian voter registration deadline is 25 days before Election Day.
If you miss the registration deadline, you may be eligible to register and vote or make changes to your voter registration, anything other than party affiliation, and vote during the early voting period.
If you’re eligible to register to vote, North Carolina offers two primary ways to register:
• Online or in person at the DMV.
• Use N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) services. Existing DMV customers may submit a voter registration application online. Learn more at Complete Your Registration Online Through the DMV.
• Note: Certain agencies, including the DMV, are required to offer voter registration services. For more information, visit the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) page.
• By mail.
• Fill out the English N.C. Voter Registration Application (fillable PDF) or the Spanish N.C. Voter Registration Application (fillable PDF) and submit it by mail. Learn more at Complete Your Registration by Mail.
•  Note: The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain voters an expedited means to register and vote by mail-in ballot.
   You can check our registration online by visiting: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering/checking-your-registration.
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A good crown enjoys dinner before the induction ceremony. Photo provided

Clev. County Music Hall Of Fame
Inaugural Induction Ceremony
is a rousing success

By Loretta Cozart

On Saturday evening, September 17, Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame (CCMHF) celebrated the rich history of the county at the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby during its inaugural induction of prominent musicians and individuals dedicated to the love of music in the community.
Prior to the induction ceremony, a dinner was held in the theater’s gathering space and entertainment was provided. Vice President of the CCMHF Angela Padgett said of the event, “I am overwhelmed by the positive response and support of the community. We had no idea the turnout would be this good, this being our first year. The committee is pleased that we have such dedicated support from the community.”
Master of Ceremonies Sarah Lee Owensby, morning co-host of 96.9 The Kat, introduced The KAT Awards Presenter Teen Miss Mountie Cindi Stinchcomb following opening remarks by CCMHF President Phil Weathers.
CCMHF Board member Jeff Champion presented their first inaugural Hastings Award to Calvin and Terresa Hastings. The couple donated the WOHS property to the Hall of Fame for use of as the organization’s home. Both Don Gibson and Earl Scruggs once performed at the station, and the building was an integral part of the music scene in Cleveland County for decades.
Board member Andrew Fulton introduced two hit records being inducted by artists from Cleveland County: Patty Loveless’ “Timber I’m Falling in Love,” and Alicia Bridges “I Love the Nightlife.” Crimson Rose performed both songs.
CCMHF’s 2022 Inductees were honored individually. First recognized was J & K Music Shop, owned by JB and Kathleen Lewis and Herman and Dean Dawson. The shop was located at 127 W. Graham Street in Shelby for 30 years and the music from 45rpm records filled homes in the community.
Accepting the award was Candace Humphries who later commented, “Last night I had the honor of accepting the plaques for my great aunt and uncle, JB and Kathleen Lewis and my grandparents Herman and Jean Dawson, who owned and operated J&K Records, as they were part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame. Thank you, Phil Weathers, and the board of the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame for remembering and honoring them.”
Bobby Rogers, owner of Bobby’s Records and Rogers Theatre, was also inducted for his contributions to the community. Accepting the award on behalf of the Rogers Theater Restoration Project were Montana Judd and Brittany Payne, owners of the Rogers Theatre. Montana noted that Bobby Rogers was actively involved int the community and was the last surviving member of the Shelby Optimist Club.
   Sarah Lee Owensby presented the award to Theron Feemster, with whom she attended Kings Mountain High School. Describing Feemster, she reminisced about his days as a drummer in the high school marching band and noted, “When he performed, that was the most lit that band ever was!” She went on to share that Feemster and his family helped many by sharing their love of Jesus and reminding everyone, “With God, all is possible.”
In his senior year, Feemster was accepted into the Berkley School of Music. The caveat was that he had to be able to read music, which at the time he could not. However, he taught himself to read music in a brief time and went on to college. While there, he laid down some beats in his dorm room and his roommate shared them with a friend in the music business. From that, Feemster’s beats became the theme song for Men in Black II.
Feemster described that his creativity comes from God talking to him in the quiet moments. He shared, “If God created you – he only creates masterpieces. So never think of yourself as less. You are beautiful to God and to me.” He performed and improvisational song on the spot, drawing his energy from the crowd.
Hugh Dover was inducted into CCMHF by Andy Foster, former announcer at WOHS. Hugh was married to Sue Haynes for 57 years. He served his county in WWII and was assigned to the War Crimes Trial as a member of the guard. During his time at WOHS, he often invited Don Gibson and Earl Scruggs to perform at the radio station. He is most beloved for singing “Happy Birthday” to those celebrating birthdays in the community.
   Executive Director of the Don Gibson Theater Stan Lowrey honored Don Gibson who recorded 350 songs, 96 of which charted. Twenty-three of his songs were in the top-ten, and six songs went to #1. Dale Brittan and Randy Saxon performed “Blue Blue Day.” The Carolina Band performed “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Oh, Lonesome Me.”
The final inductee was Earl Scruggs, presented by Earl Scruggs Center Board of Director JT Scruggs who said, “Earl was very humble. Of this award he would simply say, ‘This is great.” Earl Scruggs loved to come back home and love to talk about Cleveland County. He shared that Earl was an innovator and liked trying new things. He never sat still. Aside from Elton John, the Earl Scruggs Review, a collaboration between Earl and his sons, was the most popular acts on college campuses in the 1970s.
Randy Escobedo became friends with Earl in the 70s and strived to play the banjo like him. Earl once shared with Randy that, after developing three-finger picking style at 10-years-old, he “ran through the house yelling to his family, ‘I got it, I got it!’”
Randy performed “Earl’s Breakdown,” “Flint Hills Special,” “Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and “The Ballad of Jed Clampet.”  The Jacktown Ramblers performed “I Wonder Where You Are Tonight,” “Groundspeed,” and “Tickle the Tomcat’s Tail.”
Concluding the event was a final jam session performing, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” including the entire company, Chris Ferree and the Medicine Show, The Dancing Fleas, and Bobby Hicks.
Members of the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame include President Phil Weathers, Vice President Angela Padgett, Treasurer Patti Weathers, Secretary Mary Fox, and board members Jeff Champion, Ryan Fox, Andrew Fulton, Mike Hayes, Ronnie Whisnant, and Tommy Burns.
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Worley hired as City of KM
Economic Development Manager

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain hired their new Economic Development Manager Michael Worley about a month ago and, he has made great strides to meet with businesspeople in town. He is familiar with Kings Mountain, having gone to high school in Gastonia and is from the Chapel Grove/Crowders Mountain area of Gaston County.
Michael comes to Kings Mountain with a diverse background, giving him a unique perspective in his new role with the city. His own experiences in a variety of business helps him understand the challenges if running a business.
He has been in sales and marketing since 1999, when he started out selling Kirby vacuums door to door, earning top awards, and winning trips across the world. Michael has managed various businesses in some form since starting a mail order catalogue in 2001. He later became a lead pastor in Dunn, NC, and graduated from Southeastern Theological Seminary.
In 2013, Michael started an antique business and became interested in auctions; he has  held  an Auctioneer
License since 2016. Since 2017, he is a REALTOR/Broker and has practiced Real Estate.
He and his wife started a brick-and-mortar auction business in Dunn, NC in 2018 and a year later began pursing online sales and marketing. As he pursued this new venture, he shifted to virtual auctions.
He now runs an online consulting business with a partner that helps both brick and mortar, as well as virtual business get more clients through innovative marketing techniques. Since 2020, they specialize in helping business move toward their identity and who they specifically need to target to grow. He is also a public speaker for public, private, and business events.
Throughout his career, Michael has worked with several government officials on various projects as a consultant to better serve the community during economic downturns as well as prosperous times.
   He and his wife, Tabatha currently live in Kings Mountain and have two small children: Lily-Ann, 7 and Micah, 4. “My ties to Kings Mountain go back as far as I can remember. And my ties to Kings Mountain have gotten deeper as I married a Kings Mountain Mountaineer, Tabatha,” Michael said. If you see him out and about in town, be sure to stop and welcome him to Kings Mountain.

Oliva Wilson crowned
2022 KMHS Homecoming Queen

Oliva Wilson was crowned the 2022 KMHS Homecoming Queen on Friday, September 16. She was nominated by the Kings Revue. Olivia is the daughter of Jeff and Erin Wilson. She is pictured with her dad.

See additional Homecoming  photos on page 7A (September 21 issue).   
Photo by Gary Smart

Scenes from 2022 KM Homecoming

Photos by Gary Smart

Scenes from KM Homecoming Parade

Photos by Gary Smart
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KMHS Homecoming Parade Friday, Sept. 16

Football is back! What better way to celebrate 100 years of Mountaineer football than to attend the Kings Mountain High School Homecoming Parade at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 16th?
The parade will begin at First Baptist Church in Kings Mountain and travel down Mountain Street and Railroad Avenue, ending on Gold Street at Patriots Park.
Roads will close early for this event. Please use extreme caution when traveling in this area due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
   Go Mountaineers!
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The Patrick Senior Center will hold a yard sale, bake sale and craft sale this Friday, September 16. Come out and enjoy a morning of shopping to help feeds seniors in need. Photo provided

Patrick Senior Center
Yard Sale this Friday

The Patrick Senior Center in Kings Mountain will host a yard sale, bake sale and craft sale fundraiser this Friday, September 16, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will be held inside and outside, rain or shine.
The public is welcome to come shop that day.
The Patrick Center will have a bake sale table at the event and will be accepting baked goods to sell at the table. If you would like to donate a baked good, please call the Patrick Center or bring it by on the morning of the sale.
Come enjoy a morning of shopping while supporting their efforts to feed seniors in need in the Kings Mountain area. The Patrick Center is located at 909 E King Street in Kings Mountain.
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With cars parking on W. Mountain Street over last weekend, merchants got a glimpse of times to come. The 200 block of W. Mountain Street will be closed starting September 12 until work is completed in that phase. Photo Loretta Cozart

Streetscape update

By Loretta Cozart

For a brief period of two days, Mountain Street and Cherokee Street were open for traffic. The 100 block of W. Mountain Street saw traffic moving through and local business owners were excited to see cars flowing by, if only for a brief time.
Beginning on Monday, September 12, the 200 block of W. Mountain Street saw the next phase of Streetscape begin and traffic blocked between S. Piedmont Avenue and Cherokee Street. This phase is slated to completed by October 31.
City officials, including City Manager Marilyn Sellers, Special Events Director Christy Conner, and Economic Development Manager Michael Worley visited the shops communicating their plan and keeping the shopkeepers appraised of the situation. In addition, representatives from Green
Construction communicated with owners how they planned to handle this phase of the project.
The south side of W. Mountain Street will have work done first, as crews check underground utilities and make necessary upgrades. When the south side of the street is completed, crews will work on the north side and repeat the process. Next, sidewalks will be removed, and work will begin to install catch basins and  run conduit for the electrical. Once curb and gutter are installed, sidewalks can be poured and  the final steps of installing the streetlights, filling the planters with dirt, and adding mulching can be completed. Hopefully by then, the time will be right for fall plantings.
City officials admit that they tackled the worst part of the project in the first phase, knowing that the intersection of Cherokee and Mountain Streets was an unknown as to what they might find below the surface. They are optimistic that the next section will be significantly easier, and they will be finished by the end of October.
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Nuevo Pacto Wesleyan Church’s Inauguration Service held on Sept 3, 2022. Photos provided

Nuevo Pacto Wesleyan Church
held Inaugural Service Sept. 3

By Loretta Cozart
 
Nuevo Pacto Wesleyan Church held their Inaugural Service on Saturday, September 3 at 2:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center of East Gold Street Wesleyan Church at 701 East Gold Street, in Kings Mountain.
East Gold is honored to host this developing congregation of Hispanic Christians! In less than one year, they have established a core group of approximately 20 committed Kingdom building laborers.
Pastor Scott Whitney of East Gold Street Wesleyan Church formally welcomed the new church and celebrated their partnership in ministry together in Kings Mountain. District Superintendent Reverend Jerry Lumston was present to welcome the new church to the North Carolina West District of the Wesleyan Church and welcomed Pastors Jose Rodriguez and Elizabeth Padrón, as pastors of the new congregation.
Mayor Scott Neisler was present to welcome the new church to the City of Kings Mountain.
The church’s Board of Directors were presented at their August 28 service and the first three members baptized on August 27 are Manuel Alexander Guerra Yero, Yumy Martinez Santana, and Arielys Mendez.
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KM Historical Museum
19th Annual Reverse Raffle
and Auctions September 17

By January Costa
KMHM Director and Curator


Every September, Kings Mountain Historical Museum hosts a fundraiser to generate revenue necessary to support our programming. The Annual Reverse Raffle and Auctions has been acclaimed the “best event of the year in Kings Mountain” and this 19th annual fundraiser will be held in-person at the Joy Performance Center.
The  event will be held on September 17. “We anticipate a sold-out event with 300 tickets bought by individuals throughout the region, and we offer a Grand Prize of $10,000.”
This year the 19th Annual Reverse Raffle and Auction will be back to the tradition again of the reverse raffle for prizes. Each ticket is $125 which gets two people into the event with drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. It also includes a 1 in 300 chance of winning the $10,000 Raffle Prize, along with other raffle items! Unique auction items and great raffle prizes are included in this year’s event.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from Board Members, calling the museum, emailing the museum at  kmhmdirector@outlook.com or by mailing a check to Kings Mountain Historical Museum, P.O. Box 552, Kings Mountain, NC 28086.
This event is a great opportunity for local business owners to showcase their business while investing in the community. Kings Mountain Historical Museum is currently welcoming event sponsors as well as in-kind donations for auction items. The Museum is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization; donations are tax deductible as permissible by law.  To find out more about sponsorship and donation opportunities, please call 704-739-1019 or email kmhmdirector@outlook.com.
For more information, please visit our event page:
https://www.kingsmountainmuseum.org/annual-fundraiser You can also call (704) 739-1019 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
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Casino opens onsite sportsbook ahead of pro football season

On September 7, the Catawba Two Kings Casino opened an on-property sportsbook ahead of the pro football season, bringing sports wagering to greater Charlotte and a new option for sports bettors in the Carolinas.
The temporary casino now features a branded Catawba Two Kings Casino sportsbook, agent/teller services with betting voucher redemption, as well as 30 betting kiosks in the sportsbook and throughout the facility. The sportsbook is open 24 hours daily, and the betting kiosks can be accessed at any time during the casino’s 24/7 operating hours.
Patrons can now place wagers on an array of sports, including auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, mixed martial arts and soccer.
“We’re very excited to bring a sportsbook and betting kiosks to the Catawba Two Kings Casino so our loyal patrons can enjoy sports wagering,” said Trent Troxel, vice president of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.
“We also anticipate that a new audience in the Charlotte region and beyond will discover the casino as they come to wager on their favorite teams.”
The Catawba Two Kings Casino opened in July 2021 with 500 gaming machines and expanded in December to 1,000 gaming machines, including electronic table games. Several additional prefabricated modular structures have been added to the temporary facility to accommodate the sportsbook.
The Two Kings sportsbook and kiosks are powered by International Gaming Technology (IGT) under an agreement with the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority. Delaware North is also advising on the sports betting operations at Catawba Two Kings Casino.
The Catawba Nation will operate sports betting at the casino under the terms of its compact with the State of North Carolina.
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City of KM to salute Military and First Responders September 10

September 11, 2022, marks the 21st anniversary of 9/11, a series of attacks on America that began the morning of September 11, 2001. To commemorate the incredible heroics of that fateful day, the City of Kings Mountain will honor the military and first responders on Saturday, September 10, during the LIVE at Patriots Park Concert Series featuring FREEBIRD: The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute and the Dirty Grass Soul. The concert is scheduled to begin at 6:00  p.m.
Men and women, who serve or have served in the military or as a first responder, are encouraged to attend and bring their families to this special event.
A Cruise-In, also hosted by the City of Kings Mountain, will begin at 5:00  p.m. Agencies all over Cleveland County are encouraged to bring a service vehicle to the Cruise-In. To register, contact the Special Events Department at 704-730-2101.
This year, September 10th is sure to be memorable in Kings Mountain. Please join us to salute all our community heroes.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain. For more information on the Concert or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
See page 3A for road closure information.

Two City of KM
employees retire

By Loretta Cozart

On Wednesday, August 31, two employees of the City of Kings Mountain Energy Services Department retired after decades of service to the community. Assistant City Manager and Director of Energy Services Nick Hendricks retired after 36-years of working for the city. The same day, Energy and Compliance Specialist Holly Black also retired after 23-years of service.
ElectriCities Director Ed Miller recently awarded Nick the organization’s 2022 Public Partner Distinguished Service Award and said of him, “He joined the Kings Mountain Energy Department as a line worker. Fueled by his love of the city, his dedication improved the lives of its residents, and his commitment ensured the safety of electric department employees.”
Mayor Scott Neisler read a proclamation honoring Nick and noted his progression through the ranks to Assistant City Manager. On August 18, 1986, he joined the city working in property maintenance. In 1988, he transferred to the Electric Division. And ten years later, in 1998, he was named Director of Electric Utilities. He was named Director of Energy Services in 2012, when the city combined the Electric and Gas Departments.
“The implementation of Dark Fiber as a fifth utility established Kings Mountain as a trailblazer for other utilities across the state. He always, always does what is best for the city and everyone involved,” the mayor concluded.
Nick was given a rocking chair to use while enjoying his retirement.
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Carolina 85 Logistics Center is fully leased, with Utz Brands, Inc and Ferguson occupying the building. Photo by Loretta Cozar

Carolina 85 Logistics Center fully leased

By Loretta Cozart

In an article in the Charlotte Business Journal last week, it was reported that Utz Quality Foods and Ferguson have fully leased the Carolina 85 Logistics Center. Both companies have signed leases and will each occupy half of the 300,240-square-foot building.
The project was originally brought before city council as a manufacturing facility in May 2020 and in June 2021, Kings Mountain City Council approved construction. During the July 2021 city council meeting, plans for the building changed for use as a warehouse and distribution center.
On April 28, Utz Brands, Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer of branded salty snacks, announced that the company’s subsidiary, Utz Quality Foods, LLC, had purchased a brand new, recently completed snack food manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain from Evans Food Group Ltd. d/b/a Benestar Brands and related affiliates.
   The total purchase price of the transaction was approximately $38.4 million, and included the existing building, land and pork-rind production equipment. Utz will convert the space into a fully operational snack food manufacturing facility. It is estimated the project for UTZ alone will add over 115 local jobs.
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Asher Maples

Kings Mountain resident to be featured in Times Square


Asher Maples of Kings Mountain will appear in the bright lights of Broadway on Saturday, September 17, as part of the annual National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Times Square Video presentation.
The one-hour video of roughly 500 photographs includes children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome from all 50 states. These collective images promote the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in a very visible way.
The photo of Asher was selected from more than 2,400 entries in the NDSS worldwide call for photos. His photo will be shown on two Jumbotron screens in the heart of Times Square, thanks to the support of ClearChannel Outdoor. The two screens are located above Dos Caminos restaurant in Father Duffy Square. The presentation will be live streamed on the NDSS Facebook page from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. ET on September 17.
Asher is pictured in an up-close head shot smiling and showing off his two bottom teeth.
The New York City Buddy Walk will follow the Times Square Video presentation® in Central Park. The flagship Buddy Walk has taken place in New York City since 1995 as part of the National Buddy Walk Program. Buddy Walk events are held in hundreds of cities across the country, as well as select international locations. For more information about the New York City Buddy Walk on September 17 or the National Buddy Walk Program please visit www.ndss.org.
Since 1995, the National Buddy Walk Program has been the premier Down syndrome awareness, advocacy, and peer-to-peer fundraising program in the world. It was created by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to raise funds for local and national incentives to support the Down syndrome community. Today, roughly 150 Buddy Walk events take place in cities across the country and in select international locations. To learn more and find a Buddy Walk near you, visit www.buddywalk.org.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. Founded in 1979, NDSS supports and advocates for the Down syndrome community by focusing on three key areas of programming: Resources & Support, Policy & Advocacy, and Community Engagement. Within these focus areas NDSS engages in various activities, events, and programs on topics that are critical to our community such as federal and state advocacy and public policy, health and wellness, education, and employment. NDSS creates resources to support individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and caregivers across the lifespan and hosts awareness and engagement events throughout the country including the National Buddy Walk® Program, the Times Square Video presentation and New York City Buddy Walk®, Racing for 3.21 on World Down Syndrome Day, Run for 3.21, DC Golf Outing, the annual NDSS Gala & Auction, and various other events. Visit www.ndss.org for more information about NDSS.

City welcomes Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute
and Dirty Grass Soul to Patriots Park

The City of Kings Mountain welcomes FREEBIRD-The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute and Cleveland County’s own Dirty Grass Soul LIVE to Patriots Park, Saturday, September 10, 2022.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, FREEBIRD is comprised of six seasoned musicians with experience working within the Nashville Music Scene. Covering the tunes of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s greatest hits, including Sweet Home Alabama and Saturday Night Special, this tribute show is sure to bring a show filled with high energy.
Vic Harris, lead vocalist of FREEBIRD remarked, “Our goal at every performance is to not just perform our music, but provide an amazing entertaining show that audiences will remember and love.”
Formed in 2011, Cleveland County’s own Dirty Grass Soul will bring their incredible songbook to Liberty Falls Amphitheater as well. One of the Southeast’s emerging Southern Rock/Alt. Country Bands, DGS recently released  their   first  live
double album and opened for BOCEPHUS himself Hank Williams Jr.
Look for Dirty Grass Soul to open the show at 6:00 pm followed by FREEBIRD at 8:00 pm. DJ Eric Bowman to  kick-off the whole evening at 5:00 pm.
Don’t forget the Cruise-in that  begins at 5:00 pm. All makes and models are welcome.
Great food, inflatables for the kids and much more!
Best of all…..the concert and Cruise-In are FREE.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on the concert or cruise-in, contact the City of Kings Mountain at 704-730-2101 or access their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com.
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LIVE at Patriot’s Park Concert Series
City of KM to salute Military and First Responders September 10

September 11, 2022, marks the 21st anniversary of 9/11, a series of attacks on America that began the morning of September 11, 2001. To commemorate the incredible heroics of that fateful day, the City of Kings Mountain will honor the military and first responders on Saturday, September 10th during the LIVE at Patriots Park Concert Series featuring FREEBIRD: The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute and the Dirty Grass Soul. The concert is scheduled to begin at 6:00  p.m.
Men and women, who serve or have served in the military or as a first responder, are encouraged to attend and bring their families to this special event.
A Cruise-In, also hosted by the City of Kings Mountain, will begin at 5:00  p.m. Agencies all over Cleveland County are encouraged to bring a service vehicle to the Cruise-In. To register, contact the Special Events Department at 704-730-2101.
This year, September 10th is sure to be memorable in Kings Mountain. Please join us to salute all our community heroes.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain. For more information on the Concert or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.

Shuttle service available for concert goers

Heavy traffic is expected in Downtown Kings Mountain, September 10, for the  City of Kings Mountain Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In.
The city is offering shuttle pick-up and drop-off at the following locations:
First Baptist Church-Located at 605 West King Street
Parkdale Mill-Located at 500 South Railroad Avenue
Shuttle service will begin at 4:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m.
The city urges patrons to use the shuttle services as parking will be scarce in the downtown.
Attendees for the concert and car show are asked to be careful in Downtown Kings Mountain, especially with increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Citizens who are not attending these events are asked to use different routes.
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Road closures

Several roads in the Downtown area will be impacted during the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department 2022 LIVE Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In, Saturday, September 10.
Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets will be closed beginning 2:00 p.m., September 10th and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 p.m. Further information regarding road closures is listed below.
• Partial Barricade placement will begin at 8:00 a.m. – some roads will still be accessible during this time, but vehicles must be moved by 2:00 p.m.
• Additional Barricade placement will begin at 2:00 p.m.
• Roads closed at 2:00 p.m. and remain closed until 11:00 p.m. (ALL unauthorized vehicles will be towed after 2:00 p.m.)
• Arrival time for Cruise-In participants will begin at 4:00 pm with the Cruise-In beginning at 5:00 p.m.-Concert will begin at 6:00 p.m.
• Participants in the Cruise-In and concert goers, must use thoroughfare King Street to Cansler Street for access to Railroad, Mountain, and Gold Street
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
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The Cruise-In begins at 5:00 p.m. at Patriots Park.

Cruise-In continues

Summer may be ending, but the Cruise-In continues.
On September 10, local car enthusiasts will once again fill the streets in Downtown Kings Mountain with their favorite street or stock cars, motorcycles, and trucks.
The Cruise-In, will coincide with the 2022 Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series scheduled to the same day. Roads impacted during the events will be Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets.
The Cruise-in will start at 5:00 p.m. Want to participate in the Cruise-In? All makes and models are welcome! No fee required. It’s FREE!
For more information on the Cruise-In or Concert Series, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at
@cityofkmspecialevents.
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Community Eligibility Schools receive meals for free

By Loretta Cozart

Community Eligibility Schools (CEP) receive breakfast and lunch free of charge. In Kings Mountain and Grover, the following elementary schools meet this requirement: Bethware Elementary School, East Elementary School, Grover Elementary School, and North Elementary School.
Section 104(a) of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 amended the National School Lunch Act to provide an alternative to household eligibility applications for free and reduced-price meals in high poverty districts and schools.  The overall purpose of the CEP is to improve access to nutritious meals for students in high poverty areas by providing meals to all students “at no cost” to the students.
Students enrolled in a non-CEP school who eats meals while visiting a CEP school automatically qualify for free breakfast and lunch.
Meal Prices
Breakfast
Elementary/Intermediate $1.30
Middle/High $1.30

Lunch
Elementary/Intermediate $2.05
Middle/High $2.15
Basket (High School only) $2.55

   For the 2022-2023 school year, students approved for “reduced” meals will be provided breakfast for free.
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Gerald Childress

Police Chief Gerald Childress began new position Monday

By Loretta Cozart

On Friday, August 26, the City of Kings Mountain announced the selection of their newest Police Chief, Gerald Childress, who succeeds Chief Lisa Proctor.
Childress served as the Administrative Lieutenant for the Town of Spindale. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Chief of the Town of Mooresville for two years after a lengthy career with the Mooresville Police Department.
Childress has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a Master of Arts in Justice Administration from Methodist University.
A statement from the City of Kings Mountain shared that Chief Childress is excited to join the Kings Mountain Police Department and the Kings Mountain community.
With over 26 years in municipal law and extensive administrative experience, he brings solid leadership to the Kings Mountain team. Chief Childress will report to the City Manager, Marilyn Sellers.
The Childress family will be re-locating to the City of Kings Mountain from Newton.

International Play Music
on the Porch Day this Saturday

On Saturday, August 27, UnCommon Artisans along with other Mountain Street merchants, are sponsoring International Play Music on the Porch Day from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 124 W Mountain St, in Kings Mountain.
Bring your instrument and come to listen or play. If you don’t play, just make a joyful noise! Bring a chair and sit a while.
What if, for one day, everything stopped, and we all just listened? Come find out.
This event is both kid and pet friendly. Snacks and drinks will be available. Free parking is available in the Cherokee Street lot.
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The 66th Annual Shelby Hamfest will be held on September 2-4 at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. (Photos by Josh Melvin)

Cleveland County Fairgrounds
Shelby Amateur Radio Club hosts
66th Annual Shelby Hamfest


On September 2 – 4, 2022 Shelby Amateur Radio Club (SARC) will host its 66th Annual Shelby Hamfest.  Shelby Amateur Radio club sponsors the annual Shelby Hamfest which is being held at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on Labor Day weekend!  Shelby Amateur Radio Club began hosting this event in 1957. Shelby Hamfest is an event where Amateur Radio vendors and  manufacturers set up to show their latest products. Campers begin arriving a week ahead of time to visit and fellowship with each other. It is also a place where amateur radio operators who talk on the radio regularly are able to have an “eyeball qso.”   A QSO is a contact between two amateur radio stations.   There is also a flea market for folks to sell their used equipment, antique radios, crafts, etc. The hamfest will have several education
forums  for  attendees  to participate.   There will be amateur radio license testing available throughout the week and on Saturday September 3.  If interested in attending the hamfest this year, admission is $10.00 at the gate and is good for all three days.   There will be a Youth Scavenger hunt on Saturday for those younger than 18.  There are lots of door prizes being awarded this year.    Children 12 and under can attend free. 
The first Shelby Hamfest was held at Brackett’s Cedar Park in 1957 with about 300 in attendance and over the years it outgrew the park moving to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in 1979.  In the mid 1990’s the attendance had grown into the 10,000s.  In 2008, the hamfest moved temporarily to Dallas Park in Dallas, NC and returned home to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in 2013.  While attendance has dropped in recent years, the Shelby Hamfest is still considered one of the largest hamfest on the east coast and is the largest in the ARRL Roanoke Division (North & South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia).   Shelby Hamfest attendees come from all over the United States and the world each year and stay in area hotels and eat at local restaurants.   The hamfest has drawn amateur radio operators from as far away as New Zealand, Turkey, India, Great Britain and Sweden.  
Some of the proceeds from the Hamfest go towards maintenance and upkeep of the club’s 6 repeaters.   These repeaters are available for service to the Cleveland County Emergency Management and other served agencies such as the American Red Cross should a disaster occur in the county.  Some of the proceeds are donated to local and deserving charities.  In past years,
The Shelby Amateur Radio Club donated to Salvation Army, Cleveland Rutherford Kidney Association, Crossroads Rescue Mission, Life Enrichment Center, Council on Aging, ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund and other organizations in and around Cleveland County. 
Shelby Amateur Radio Club holds its monthly meetings at the Red Cross Building in Shelby on the Second Tuesday of each month (Except December) at 7:00 PM. 
For more information related to the Shelby Hamfest, please email chairman@shelbyhamfest.org or call 980-295-5151.  If you or someone you know is interested in becoming part of this growing service, secretary@shelbyhamfest.org  or see http://www.shelbyarc.org or http://www.shelbyhamfest.org.   

Scenes from the
2022 NC Beach Blast Festival

The City of Kings Mountain NC Beach Blast Festival, held last weekend, was a huge success. See scenes from the event on pages 5A and 8A.    
                                                                                                            (Photo by Damien O’Brien)
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STREETSCAPE PROGRESS

Last week, progress was made to prepare Mountain Street for reopening. Some concrete was poured and the gaps between curbs and the road were filled with gravel and asphalt poured. Work will continue this week to prepare for opening the 100 block of West Mountain Street and portions of Cherokee Street. Merchants have requested that concrete be poured on Mondays, when many close due to being open on Saturdays. Good work was done last week, and merchants hope sidewalks are next on the list. No exact date for reopening has yet been set. The photo shows all streets at the intersection of W. Mountain Street and Cherokee Street. To the left is Cherokee Street south, center is W. Mountain Street, and to the right is Cherokee Street going north.                                                                                                                                                                                   (By Loretta Cozart)
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Judge lifts injunction on NC’s abortion ban after 20 weeks

By Loretta Cozart

On Wednesday, August 17, U.S. District Judge William Osteen lifted his injunction against North Carolina’s abortion law, reinstating a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks.
Judge Osteen made his ruling based upon the Dobbs decision writing, “Most notably, this injunction does not preserve Plaintiffs’ ability to provide services contrary to North Carolina law; under Dobbs, there is now no constitutional right to a pre-viability abortion, thus depriving the injunction of any constitutional basis from which to enjoin the challenged North Carolina laws regulating abortion. Contrary to the parties’ arguments, leaving the injunction in place wrongfully heightens confusion because to do so is misleading as to the effect of Dobbs.”
On this action, House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Today a federal judge ruled that the injunction on North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban is ‘patently contrary to the rule of law as determined by the Supreme Court’ and should be lifted. I am encouraged that, although our attorney general has failed to do his duty, today we have a ruling that upholds the law.”
Governor Roy Cooper issued the following statement in response to a judge reinstating North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban:
“Although I disagree with this ruling, the vast majority of patients will still be able to access reproductive health care in North Carolina, and I remain committed to protecting it.
“The significant problem with this ruling is that it will criminalize important health care that’s needed in certain extraordinary circumstances. Abortion past 20 weeks in pregnancy is exceptionally rare and happens because of a devastating health emergency or diagnosis. Denying women necessary medical care in extreme and threatening situations, even if rare, is fundamentally wrong, and we cannot let politicians mislead people about the real world implications of this harmful law.”
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$1M in drugs seized by CCSO

On August 15, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Community Interdiction Team (CIT) conducted a vehicle stop on Highway 74 at the Oak Grove Rd Exit.
During the traffic stop, the deputy’s investigation led them to believe there was illegal narcotics being transported. A Sheriff’s Office K-9 was on scene and indicated on the suspects’ vehicle. Shortly after a search was conducted, approximately 44 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.2 pounds of cocaine was seized from inside the vehicle.
CCSO estimates the street value of these drugs to be over a million dollars and suspect the destination was in the heart of Cleveland County to be dispersed throughout our neighborhoods.
The sheriff’s office commented, “With the hard work and dedication of these deputies and the K-9 team, they were able to stop these drug traffickers from contaminating the county we are so proud to serve.”  
Two suspects were arrested and charged:
• Malra Idania Carrizales-Rivera, of Columbia, SC, was charged with 2 counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine and 2 counts of Trafficking Cocaine. Bond: $250,000.00 secured.
• Juan Carlos Covarrubias, Charlotte, NC, was charged with 2 counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine and 2 counts of Trafficking Cocaine. Bond: $250,000.00 secured.
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2021 NC BeachBlast Festival nominated for CBMA
“Event of the Year”

The City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department is celebrating the nomination of the 2021 NC BeachBlast Festival for the Carolina Beach Music Awards “Event of the Year”. The NC BeachBlast Festival was one of six events nominated for this prestigious award.
   Each year, members of the Carolina Beach Music Awards Association nominate the best in Beach Music entertainment, such as, radio announcers, bands, events, and clubs. After the nominations are announced, members then vote for the official winners of each category.
    “The Special Events team is honored by this nomination,” stated Christy Conner, Special Events Director. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to our team of staff and volunteers. This would not be possible without the creativity, dedication, and passion of this group. I am grateful for our City Council and Administration and their continued support. Cleveland County is full of talented performers and exciting festivals and events. We are honored to be a part of a county that recognizes how important music, whether it be Beach, Soul, Country, or R&B, is to the landscape of the area. We hope to bring home this award not only to Kings Mountain, but to the county as well.”
The Carolina Beach Music Awards will be held November 13, from the Alabama Theatre in North Myrtle Beach. The awards ceremony will air online at www.949thesurf.com. The event starts at 3:00 p.m.
The 2022 North Carolina BeachBlast Festival will be held Friday, August 19, and Saturday, August 20, at Patriots Park in Kings Mountain.
For more information, you may call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.
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NC BeachBlast Festival
at Patriots Park this
weekend, Aug. 19-20

The City of Kings Mountain brings the Beach back to downtown as the NC Beach Blast Festival comes to Patriots Park, Friday and Saturday August 19  and 20!
Presented by Two Kings Casino, the festival opens Friday August 19 at 5pm with DJ Eric Bowman followed by Blackwater Band at 6:00 pm and East Coast Party Band on stage at 8:00 pm. Beginning Saturday, August 20 at 10:00 am, you can enjoy a full-day of food, music and fun with DJ Johnny B and five of the hottest Carolina Beach Music bands in the Southeast – The Embers featuring Craig Woolard, Carolina Coast Band, The Catalinas, and Gary Lowder and Smoking Hot. Carolina Beach Music legends, The Original Drifters, will perform at 9pm!!
Vendors will be on hand with great food and beverages, and you can shop till you drop at the Boardwalk Vendor Market with over 50 vendors!
There’s fun for the whole family – with inflatables, games, the Rotary Splash Pad, Water Wars, watermelon eating, hula hoop and tiny tots and teenie bikini contests, the big beach ball drop, pirates, mermaids and more at the 2022 NC BeachBlast Festival at Patriots Park, 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain!! For information go to kingsmountainevents.com/nc-beachblast-festival , or call 704-730-2101.
Special thank you to our sponsors:
City of Kings Mountain
Kings Mountain Travel and Tourism Authority
Two Kings Casino
Butler’s Tire and Auto
Butler’s Outdoor Services
Gutter Guys
Point 135 Real Estate
Metcon
Carolina Power Partners
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Come and join the fun at Patriots Park Gazebo on Saturday, August 20.(Photos provided)

Contests, Performances and Beach Ball Drop August 20 at Patriots Park

Splish Splash! We are going to have a BLAST!
Contests, dance performances and much more are back at the NC BeachBlast Festival presented by Two Kings Casino, Saturday, August 20.
Tiny Tots ages 6 and under can enter to take part in the Tiny Tots and Teenie Bikinis Contest while all ages can register to take part in the annual Watermelon Eating Contest.
Join the fun at the Patriots Park Gazebo as many of your neighborhood dance troops perform their latest routines with music provided by DJ Lamar Walker.
The NC BeachBlast Festival would not be the same without its traditional Beach Ball Drop. Over 150 beach balls will be dropped courtesy of our friends at the Kings Mountain Fire and Energy Services Departments
Look for our timeline of events at www.kingsmountainevents/nc-beachblast-festival or on the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department’s Facebook page.
The 2022 North Carolina BeachBlast Festival will be held Friday, August 19 with the full-day festival beginning at 10:00 am, Saturday, August 20 at Patriots Park in Kings Mountain. Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue.
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Adventure awaits young
and young-at-heart at the
NC BeachBlast Festival

Ahoy, Me Hearties! Pirates, Mermaids, and more are on their way to the NC BeachBlast Festival, Saturday, August 20.
Pirate Bay, an immersive pirate adventure brings pirates, swashbuckling swordfights, and treasure hunts to Patriots Park.
Inflatables, balloon artists, face painting and a caricature artist will be on hand to liven the fun.
The Mermaid Encounter comes back to the festival with fin-tastic photo opportunities for lads and lassies throughout the day.
Amazing stilt performers and other pop-up characters will be seen throughout the festival as well. Be sure to say hi to old friends Fin, Gill, and Ollie the Octopus!
The 2022 North Carolina BeachBlast Festival will be held Friday, August 19 with the full-day festival Saturday, August 20 at Patriots Park in Kings Mountain. Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue.
For more information, you may call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.kingsmountainevents/nc-beachblast-festival.

Struggling downtown businesses
ask city to set things right


On Monday, August 15, City of Kings Mountain held a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss a potential incentive loan program for businesses in downtown who are impacted by Streetscape. The room filled, all chairs taken, with only standing room available, showed support for local businessowners as they struggle to stay in business during the Streetscape project.
This meeting is a continuation of one held on Thursday, August 11, where Economic Development Director Stuart Gilbert discussed the parameters of a loan program for downtown merchants impacted by this project. During his presentation, Gilbert commented that some merchants were looking for free money, to which many downtown merchants took offense. Public comment was not allowed at that time.
Monday evening’s meeting called for public input and several merchants and property owners spoke. They were joined by citizens who also came to support them. Those who talked asked for redress, pleading that the city remedy their situation due to hardships placed upon them by Streetscape.
Mountain Holiday owner Beth Allen’s presentation most succinctly shared the frustrations of many in the room when she addressed city council saying, “Thank you for upgrading our town to make it a place where people will want to visit. But I want to talk about right now. The way it is, there won’t be a future for Mountain Holiday,” her voice wavered.
“I am proud to be a part of what we have established, and I hate to see it be under attack. Mountain Holiday is my dream. And, by God, you are crushing it down to where it’s absolutely nothing. In the month of  May,  my  business was down $6,000. I’m struggling to pay my rent, to pay my employees, to pay my internet, anything I must do because I have no customers in my store,” she continued.
“I want Kings Mountain to be a success; I want all businesses to be a success and I have shown that by trying to help others,” she explained. “If you don’t stop what you are doing, you are not going to have a thriving downtown because there’s not going to be anyone there.”
“And stop telling us it is our fault we have no customers. I don’t want any free money. I am not asking for anything but for you to get on with it and get it over with, so I can go back to be the business I was before this started.”
David Stone also spoke, saying businesses don’t want free money. “We are asking you to invest to ensure businesspeople are in buildings when Streetscape is done. That’s what we want. Not free money, which was a bad representation by the Economic Development Director to say that people want a free hand out.”
Stone also shared that he saw a woman carrying a stroller to the door of UnCommon Artisans, across the space missing sidewalk, just to patronize that shop. He asked, “How do you think this (situation) impacts that business owner?”
Citizen Patrick Gilbert does not own a business downtown but spoke to city council in support of the shop owners saying, “I’ve made good friends in downtown and spend between $1,300 - $1,700 per month to support them. I do my part to help these people. I am doing my part, so you (the city) do your part.”
   At the end of the meeting, Stella Putnam of Neisler Brothers, Inc. said, “I’m one if the lucky ones, I’m not trying to sell anything to anybody in my businesses. I do frequent all these businesses. Before Streetscape, I bet I walked to Beth Allen’s three or four times a week. Now it’s a pain for me to do. There is no question, you need to do something to help them financially. You owe it to these people to help them.”
   Councilman Jimmy West pointed out, “If we shut down Mountain Street, Mountain Holiday will close their doors. We need to look out for all our business owners and have compassion for them. If Mountain Street and Cherokee Street are closed simultaneously, I am not in favor of that. We have promised these people three different times that we would work with them, and then done absolutely nothing.”
   While no decision was made during this special meeting, citizens expressed support for downtown business owners to city council. A project that started in early April has exceeded its schedule of July 31, with no firm completion date for Phase 2A.
   In the meantime, these businesses remain open, ready to serve customers, and welcome your support.

Blackwater Band and East Coast Party Band kick off the
NC BeachBlast Festival in KM at Liberty Falls Amphitheatre


The City of Kings Mountain welcomes back legendary groups, Blackwater Band and East Coast Party Band to kick off the NC BeachBlast Festival presented by Two Kings Casino, Friday, August 19.
Based out of Clarkton, NC, Blackwater Band has been performing all over the Southeast for 11 years.
Recently named Musical Ambassadors of their hometown of Mount Pleasant, SC, East Coast Party Band covers six decades of Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Beach, and much more!
“This is the second visit to Kings Mountain for East Coast Party Band,” states lead singer and former Kings Mountain resident Mark Black. “We can’t wait to get back to Kings Mountain. The crowd is always ready to have a great time.”
The kick-off party begins at 6:00 pm with Carolina Beach Music Award-winning DJ Eric Bowman, followed by Blackwater Band at 6:30 pm and East Coast Party Band at 8:30 pm.
Many of your favorite food vendors will be on hand, serving kettle corn, seafood, burgers, and more.
The full-day festival begins Saturday, August 20th, at 10:00 am.
For more information on the NC BeachBlast Festival, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com/nc-beachblast-festival. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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CC Sheriff’s office search for Asha Degree continues

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office continues their search for Asha Degree, a nine-year-old who went missing on February 14, 2000.
Since her disappearance, Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation have followed hundreds of leads and conducted hundreds of interviews.
Sheriff Alan Norman issued the following plea to the community asking for their help in finding Asha Degree, “Our search for Asha Degree won't stop until we find her. Our goal has always been to uncover new information to help us find Asha. And we still need your  help.”
“During the next 30 days, teams of detectives and agents from the CCSO, the FBI, and the SBI may contact you for an interview,” he said. “Our goal is to speak to anyone in the community who may have encountered Asha in her daily life. Even if you think you don't have information that is helpful, you may know something that could be a key to our case. 9-year-old Asha was last seen walking along Highway 18 on February 14, 2000.”
There is a combined reward of up to $45,000 for information to find her. We know our community cares deeply about Asha, help bring her home.
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Streetscape continues along W. Mountain Street. During the week, concrete was poured and stamped on the South side of the street from the old Griffin’s Drug to just shy of the corner at Battleground. Photo by Loretta Cozart

KM Streetscape update

By Loretta Cozart

Streetscape work on W. Mountain Street continues, as sidewalks are being poured and stamped. The project is running late, as this section was to be completed by the end of July. Nonetheless, merchants are pleased for the progress and hopes are high it will be finished quicker than expected.
Merchant Iris Hubbard is holding a contest that ran through the end of July asking her patrons to guess when W. Mountain Street will reopen. Winner gets a free lunch for six. If multiple guests choose the same date, a drawing will be held between them.
Other merchants have kept their chins up during this time, struggling with rents and loss of revenue. On Tuesday, August 11, city council discussed a low or no-interest loan for merchants who struggled during this period. Details will be shared as soon as they are known.

Back-to-School Prayer Rally

The Back-to-School Prayer Rally is scheduled for Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at David Baptist Church, Kings Mountain.
This year’s Prayer Rally will be mostly led by students who are enrolled in our Kings Mountain schools.   Everyone is invited to come and pray for our schools. It is our hope that each of our eight (8) schools will be represented by administrators, teachers, assistants, and other school employees along with parents and students from our various schools.
It is also our plan to have our pastors and  churches to partner with the schools in Kings Mountain during this upcoming school year and to pray daily for our schools and to offer whatever help we can provide.
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s rally.  Following the rally there will be a time of food and fellowship. Please note that there are no plans to have a prayer walk at each school. Come and pray with us!

NC BeachBlast Festival returns
to Kings Mountain August 19 & 20

Water! Sun! Music! Fun! The Carolina Beach Music Award winning NC BeachBlast Festival is back!
The City of Kings Mountain will bring the Beach to downtown as the NC BeachBlast Festival presented by Two Kings Casino comes back to Patriots Park, Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20, 2022.
The festival will open Friday, August 19 at 6:00 pm with DJ Eric Bowman. Blackwater Band will take the stage at 6:30 pm. East Coast Party Band will follow at 8:30 pm. Beginning at 10:00 am August 20, beach music fans can enjoy a full day festival of food, music, and fun with DJ Johnny B and five of the hottest bands in the Southeast; The Embers featuring Craig Woolard, Carolina Coast Band, The Catalinas, and Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot. Closing the NC BeachBlast Festival are Carolina Beach Music legends, The Original Drifters scheduled to perform at 9:00 pm.
Come hungry! Vendors will be on hand offering great food and beverages. Shop till you drop at the Boardwalk Vendor Market with over 50 vendors onsite.
Did we say fun? During the full day festival, Patriots Park will be filled with many activities for the whole family. Inflatables, games, the Rotary Splash Pad, continuous rounds of Water Wars, Watermelon Eatin’ and Hula Hoop contests, Tiny Tots and Teenie Bikini contest, the Big Beach Ball Drop and much more!
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information visit www.kingsmountainevents.com/nc-beachblast-festival or call 704-730-2101.

See ad  and additional article on page 2A and 3A in this week's KM Herald (August 10, 2022)
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KMPD reminds citizens to “look before you lock” for children in your car. Photos by Loretta Cozart

Look before you lock: never leave a child in a car alone

By Loretta Cozart

If you drove by Kings Mountain Police Department recently, you noticed a police vehicle out front with a large, digital thermometer next to it. The display is to remind everyone not to leave a child alone in a vehicle. That warning is especially important in hot weather.
Outside, the temperature on July 30 before noon was 85.5 degrees. Inside, the vehicle’s temperature soared to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 53 percent of hot car deaths are because an adult accidentally leaves a child in a vehicle.
“In 2019, we saw the highest number of deaths, 53, because children were forgotten, according to Jan Null, who has been tracking vehicular heatstroke deaths since 1998,” NHTSA’s website reports. “Among the trends he discovered over the years:
• About 46% of the time when a child was forgotten, the caregiver meant to drop the child off at a daycare or preschool.
• Thursdays and Fridays — the end of the workweek — have had the highest deaths.
• More than half of the deaths (54%) are children under 2 years old.”
The average number of children who die after being left in a hot vehicle in NC is 36. However, in 2018 that number soared to 52.
As temperatures heat up during the summer, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds North Carolinians of the dangers of leaving children and pets inside cars.
“The fun of summer can quickly become tragic if parents mistakenly leave their child or pet inside a car,” said NC Department of Insurance Commissioner Causey. “It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature to rise to dangerous levels, so be sure to look before you lock.”

Streetscape update

By Loretta Cozart

Progress was made last week on Phase 2A of the Streetscape Project in downtown Kings Mountain. Curbs are in place and a section of stamped concrete sidewalk was poured at the southwest corner of Mountain and Cherokee Streets in front of ScissorSmith & Co. Salon.
During the June 26 city council meeting, Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks reported that he anticipates the project to be complete the first part of August. “That’s when we hope to have traffic flowing through there again,” he said.
In June, it was explained that plantings will not be added until the Fall, to give plants a better opportunity to survive.
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City budget $53.9 million

City Manager Marilyn Sellers updated the Council on the major budget highlights for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 during a special meeting held on June 14. The budget ordinance before them was $53,904.833.
Highlights of the budget included:
• No property tax rate increase, which remains at .43 cents per $100. Each penny on the tax rate generates approximately $190,000. The city has one of the lowest rates in the region and the state and no change is recommended at this time. The city must continue to evaluate annually, given the economy and inflation and increase in recurring costs and the ability of the Electric Fund to transfer monies. City of Kings Mountain is approximately 8 cents below their peer group average as defined by the Local Government Commission and we offer more services. The city offers several services, the tax rate is lower and there are very few in their peer group that operate their own water source, Moss Lake, and operates the Senior Center and a municipal library. Kings Mountain is one in two cities in NC that operates five utilities. The city is proud of its rate and all that it offers the citizens.
• No proposed adjustments to City General Fund fees
• No proposed Electric rate increase
• No proposed Water rate increase
• No proposed Wastewater rate increase
• No proposed Natural Gas rate increase
• No proposed Sanitation or Stormwater rate increase at this time, but Sellers noted that on June 9th, she received a notice from Cleveland County that tipping fees for landfill disposals will be increasing 10%, but the city had already prepared  the  budget.  The city manager spoke with the County Manager, and he agreed this was late notice but there was a delay in the results of the outside landfill study. He stated that if this is a hardship then we could make it effective mid-year in January. So, we are currently evaluating and will bring a recommendation. It looks like this is an impact of $25,000-$30,000 annually.
Important items discussed during the year included: The city is in the process of completing an UDO, Comprehensive Plan, setting up a Strategic Plan to be led by an outside consultant as requested, 3rd party Comprehensive Plan Pay & Classification Study, Utility infrastructure upgrades, Project South, Grant received in the amount of $39 million for new wastewater project to provide wastewater needs to the southeastern portion of Cleveland County and this is huge, a major economic project.
   The city completed the loop system at all three major utilities, $1.8 million EPA Grant received for sewer improvements, new Economic Incentive Policy to retain and attract new businesses, implemented Open Gov – an online permitting system to allow automation of codes and planning development permits, thus allowing developers and citizens expedited review processes.
   The city has seen many downtown investments: Trackside Hall, Stonewright Properties, sale of McGinnis building and many others, a lot of subdivisions are being reviewed now, completion of the Kings Mountain Boulevard line extension from Phifer Road to Kings Mountain Intermediate School, completing the transmission easement right-of-way to the new substation, #5, located on Kings Mountain Boulevard, integration of the AMI project with the NorthStar Billing Software, completion of the final Duke purchase power agreement – tis resulted in a  refund of almost $700,000, I-85 natural gas connection to York Road station in progress, new second gate station with a 5-year payback, more aggressive ordinances dealing with minimal housing and new non-residential code.  Clint Houser, Codes Director, reported that thus far in this current budget year, 7 dilapidated structures have been demolished, 10 minimal housing conditions abated, 66 junk vehicles removed, 225 community appearances violations abated, and they conducted over 1700 building inspections and issued 727 building permits. LED lighting changeover project is in progress, Phase IIA of Streetscape is in progress, improved concerts and growth of Special Events at the park and amphitheater, new subdivisions on the horizon, casino development and progress with all the utility deadlines met for the pre-launch facility, expansion of that facility, improvements being made at Exit 5 by the DOT – Staff has been working with the DOT, Benestar was completed – the infrastructure and now it has been sold to a larger company, several promising Economic Development inquiries with about five spec buildings. The city is very fortunate that they have not had to partner to bring these spec buildings in the county, they have been coming to the city, including one 300,000 square foot building, 1.2 million square foot building, which is the largest in the Southeast in progress, street paving project is almost complete – and the city is getting ready for the next phase.
   City Manager Marilyn Sellers said she “could go on and on but we are a really blessed city.” She said that she is proud to be city manager. She thanked the management team and the staff who have worked diligently to produce budget requests that are responsible, and she is proud. She also said city employees have a lot of passion and pride for the community. She also said, “Thanks also to Nick Hendricks, Assistant City Manager, for his expertise in utilities and the projects. Thanks to Chris Costner, Finance Director, for his financial expertise and for the great audits we have received. We have so much to be proud of.” She also thanked City Council for their leadership.

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Road closures planned for KM BeachBlast

The City of Kings Mountain is looking forward to this year’s NC BeachBlast Festival located at Patriots Park. A portion of Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park will be closed beginning at midnight Thursday, August 18th, and remain closed or barricaded until midnight, Sunday, August 21st, 2022. Please use extreme caution when traveling on Cansler Street due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

City considering zero interest loans for downtown merchants

By Loretta Cozart

On August 11, Kings Mountain City Council will meet to consider zero-interest loans that could help merchants downtown who have been impacted by Streetscape disruptions to their businesses. In his opening remarks, Mayor Neisler alluded to this meeting, and added, “That is going to get formulated to make it better.”
In his remarks, Councilman Keith Miller mentioned that Councilman Jay Rhodes formulated the idea of tax increment incentive financing to help with downtown buildings and that efforts are being made downtown. He also added that the DDRAC committee had already met twice since the new ad-hoc committee was formed. “We are excited to hear their recommendations regarding painting of buildings downtown,” he said.

City works hard to keep electric rates low, but
increases are coming

By Loretta Cozart

During the Kings Mountain City Council meeting on July 26, Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks explained a necessary update on utility costs that will increase electric rates by approximately 5 percent.
According to Hendricks, Natural Gas prices impact 85 percent of Kings Mountain residents through their electric bills because Kings Mountain Energy Center is a natural gas fired power plant.
Until recently, natural gas prices remained low. But prices have been on a steady increase, climbing 200 percent since 2020, Hendricks said. Since then, natural gas prices have increased from $2.80 to $6.00 per dekatherm unit now. And that cost could increase to $8 soon. Futures indicate those rates could go up to $11 by 2023.
“The only time we increase rates is when we increase the base rate, and we have not increased our base rate throughout the last several years. Everything is a total pass through, and we are going to experience tough times throughout this summer and into winter,” Hendricks said. “There is nothing we can do about this whatsoever.”
“Since 2021, the cost of all energy sources has increased dramatically. Electricity costs are going up. The average increase nationally is 25 percent. Other cities have raised their rates between 25 percent and 32 percent in the last month,” he said. “The national average for residential electricity is approximately 14.7 cents per kilowatt hour.”
The contract Kings Mountain has, allows the city to switch to cheaper energy sources without penalty. “The city’s contract allows for that flexibility. If we can find cheaper sources, we can buy it,” Hendricks said. But with all energy sources costing more now, natural gas is the best option.
“You will see me recommend an increase in your purchase power adjustment,” he told city council. “Today our citizens pay 9.4 cents per Kilowatt hour. With the new increase, I am going to be recommending for the current billing cycle 10 cents per Kilowatt hour, which is 4.7 cents lower than the national average. And our increase is only a five percent more than what our citizens currently pay,” Hendricks said.
In 2018, the cost for Kings Mountain’s electricity was 10 cents per Kilowatt hour, and the city lowered that rate for 2019. Relatively speaking, citizens will see a little bump in their next bill, but it will be no more than the amount charged by the city in 2018.
   “We’ve made some very good decisions to keep our electric rates low and the increase only addresses the cost we pay for the commodity. When citizens see their bills, I hope they know we are trying our best to hold these prices low. But this issue is bigger than all of us,” he said.

Monty Thornburg honored by the city and community

By Tabitha Thomas

The late Monty Thornburg was honored at the Patrick Senior Center on Friday, July 1. During the annual Independence Day Celebration, the staff and participants took a moment to remember Monty and all his contributions to the Patrick Center and the Kings Mountain Community.
Monty was Program Director of the Patrick Center for over 30-years and led the way for the construction of   the  beautiful  building
that currently houses the center. He also served as Funeral Director at Harris Funeral Home and was active at his church and with many organizations in the Kings Mountain area.
Monty took care of animals, as well as people, and radiated love and joy wherever he went. During the luncheon, the staff presented a plaque honoring Monty and named the Indoor Walking Track after him.
Participant Dale Lieser played “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on the piano while photos of Monty were displayed in a slide show presentation.
Staff member Bonnie Hale shared some thoughts about Monty. “Someone once said ‘there are some who bring a light so bright to this world, that even after they are gone, the light remains.’ I don’t know about you all, but I feel his presence all over this building.” Director Tabitha Thomas agreed. “It’s as if he still walks the halls here, and we can feel him around us,“ Thomas said. “‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ seemed to be the perfect song to have Dale play in Monty’s honor, since Monty never let anyone walk alone, and he still walks with us.” 
Volunteer Janet Beani shared some memories and thoughts as well. She said, “My pastor recently quoted a hymn which says, ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by.’ That’s how I feel about Monty. He made such a difference, and we are thankful for him passing by all of our lives.”
The staff and participants along with the City of Kings Mountain will always hold Monty close to their hearts, and his legacy will always live on at the Patrick Center.