KM Herald headlines 2021 year in review

By Loretta Cozart

(Ed. Note: This is a two-part article looking back on 2021 and how the Kings Mountain Herald brought hometown, community news, and local issues to our readers. We at Community Media wish you a Happy New Year 2022!)

• Cleveland County’s 2021 property revaluation took effect on January 1. The revaluation included land and all residential, commercial, and industrial structures in Cleveland County. The revaluation did not include personal property. Not everyone's property value changed by the same percentage and could vary widely across properties.
• West School wins national recognition. Highly regarded for academic achievement, stakeholder involvement, creativity, and innovative programs, West Elementary earns top honors as a 2020-2021 ESEA Distinguished School. Additionally, West met or exceeded growth for the past five years, is a PBIS Exemplar School, and has been recognized as a Green Ribbon School. The selection committee noted the following as contributing factors and "fantastic" points from their findings.
• NC DHHS reported new COVID-19 records to start the year. On Jan. 1, North Carolina reported its highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases with 9,527 new cases reported, exceeding the state’s previous highest day set on Dec. 18, 2020, by more than 1,000.
• On Saturday, January 9, Kings Mountain Ministerial Association held a community prayer rally in Patriots Park to pray for first responders in the community.
• On January 16, JACK & georgia held a grand opening at 209 S. Battleground Avenue after the retailer relocated from their original location on E. Gold Street.
• Legion Riders held a ride for Cpl. Lee Whittington of Kings Mountain Police Department. Corporal Whittington was shot in the line of duty while responding to a call on Downing Drive. He underwent surgery and was released before Christmas.
• A community meeting was held by Let’s Roll Holdings regarding their proposed development, Catawba Ridge to be located at 415 Dixon School Road. Developers Wallace Cheves and partner Paul Sparks presented their plan with approximately 15 people in attendance.
• Paul James Candle Company held a soft opening for the new business at 807 Cleveland Avenue.
• The old gas station at 259 Dixon School Road was demolished in January. The property, once owned by the Plonk family, had been the site of a Sinclair Gas station, a BP station, American Petroleum station, and a FINA station before it was purchased by Roadside Truck Plaza in November of 1997.
• Tens of thousands of  residents in rural North Carolina gained access to the COVID-19 vaccine close to home as three more Atrium Health facilities began offering the vaccine to members of the public: Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health Lincoln, and Atrium Health Union as part of Atrium Health’s plan to offer mass vaccinations to people across the region in multiple, convenient locations.
• Pinnacle Classical Academy’s 4th-grade teacher, April Bridges, was named an Extraordinary Educator by Curriculum Associates, a leading education partner serving more than 10 million teachers and students in 50 states.
    • Students, pre-K through first grade, returned to classroom learning on Feb. 22. School board members voted six to three to begin returning elementary students back to the classroom during their January 25 meeting.
• During the City of Kings Mountain’s meeting on January 26, city council approved the zoning change from R-20 to CD- PUD of approximately 82.73 acres of the 118 total purchased by Let’s Roll Holdings LLC for S1.77M in 2020.
• Shirley Brutko reported that a lot was accomplished at the Gateway Trail by volunteers of the trail committee and Ranger Cliff Laurich. New mulch was spread near the overflow parking lot, and pine straw was removed from Cardio Hill to the trailhead.
• Emma Kay Lewis made a beautiful barn quilt square of Kings Mountain and the trail, as a gift to the Gateway Trail. It was proudly displayed at the trailhead.
• Kings Mountain sports lost one of its best athletes and coaches in February with the passing of Brent Bagwell. Bagwell was an all-star athlete in football, basketball, and baseball for the Mountaineers, went on to an outstanding playing and coaching career in college and in recent years was a valuable assistant in the KMHS football program.
• North Carolina opened COVID-19 vaccines to everyone ages 65 and older. According to state guidelines, frontline essential workers were next. Atrium Health offered to help people know when it was their turn by using their online COVID-19 Prescreen tool.
• The National Park Service announced that Diana Bramble had been selected at the new superintendent of Kings Mountain National Military Park and would take the reigns on March 14.
• Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office announced it was revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch Program throughout the county.
• City Council unanimously approved a budget amendment in the amount of $1.5M for the Phase II Streetscape project.
• Mountain Street Pharmacy and Shelly Drugstore, working in conjunction with the Cleveland Coaly Public Health Center, hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on March 5 at Cleveland Community College.
• Kings Mountain Little Theater presented ‘Til Beth Us Do Part’ at the Joy Performance Center.
• Kings Mountain High School football team defeated Stuart Cramer during their delayed season due to COVID-19. Kings Mountain sophomore Caleb Holland made a varsity debut when he returned the opening kickoff of the 2021 spring season 90 yards for a touchdown to spark a 43-7 win over Stuart Cramer.
• Kings Mountain High School Interact Club, an offshoot of KM Rotary Club, did a service-learning project-performing a trash pickup around the school properties and on Kings Mountain Boulevard.
• Mountain Street Pharmacy and Shelby Drugstore, working in conjunction with the Cleveland County Public Health Center, hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine clinic on Friday, March 12 at Central United Methodist Church.
• Kings Mountain Police Department Officers Breanna Joel and K-9 Officer Chris Graham responded to the service call of two dogs in the median of I-18. Officer Joel and an unidentified good Samaritan worked together to catch and hold the dogs until Officer Graham arrived to provide the K9 leashes.
• Dr. George Plonk, born on March 17, 1919, celebrated his 102nd birthday.
• Sidney Brown of Kings Mountain could not believe it when he won the lottery at a convenience store in town. “I’ve just been crying and thanking God.” he said. “I’m truly blessed and it’s still not real to me.” He claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $70,757.
• City of Kings Mountain it would implement NorthStar Utility Solutions billing software to better serve then customers beginning on March 29.
• Crow's Nest at Kings Mountain County Club opens to the public this week with a soft opening starting this Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day. In January, M.K. Arrowood Holdings. Inc. took over the food services for the club, including the restaurant and bar, as well as the pro-shop concessions.
• NC State House unanimously approved legislation to expand access to care for children with autism by reducing and streamlining unnecessary regulations. A similar bill in the NC Senate was unanimously approved.
• Middle and high school students returned to in-school learning four days a week in Cleveland County on April 12. Two weeks later, a full-week schedule was resumed.
• The KMPD Call Center was dedicated in memory of Andrew Stuart (Andy) Underwood, Public Safety Answering Point Manager for the 911 Center for the City of Kings Mountain.
• Officer Penny Fulton Phillips retired from Kings Mountain Police Department after 25 years if service, most recently in Records.
• All adults, 16 and over, became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, April 7 in an announcement from Governor Roy Cooper.
• Kings Mountain Historical Museum officially began the renovation of the George Washington Cornwell House in March. The house is now at the museum but had been at 106 E. King Street near McGill’s Exxon Station.
• City of Kings Mountain cut down trees along Battleground Avenue downtown in preparation for the Streetscape project to continue.
• Kings Mountain High School’s football team beat Crest for the Big South Crown and finished the season undefeated for the first time since 1964.
• City of Kings Mountain announces an awning grant for businesses in the downtown district for businesses and property owners.
• US District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled in favor of the Catawba Indian Nation and determined that the taking land into trust for the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort was done so legally.
• It was announced that Jimmy Wayne would be honored by City of Kings Mountain, Tourism Development Authority, and Kings Mountain Little Theater with a mural by Scott Nurkin. Jimmy Wayne’s mural will be the 10th stop on the North Carolina Musician Murals Trail.
• Kings Mountain Auto Sales celebrated 28-years in business. Dan and Anita Smith started their business in 1993 and they give Jesus all the glory and acknowledge Him as reason for their success.
• Walking life’s journey together since April 21, 1951, Dwight and Joanne Tessneer celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last week in Kings Mountain.
• First Presbyterian Church received a new roof, replacing the last one that had served the church well for 100 years.
• Eight Mountaineer Football players were chosen for the All-Big South team: Defensive end Javarí Rice-Wilson was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, Blake Davis was selected the conference's Offensive Lineman of the Year, and Chris Ruffalo was selected as the co-Defensive Lineman of the Year. Teammates joining them on the All-Conference team were running back Rashaard Brooks, offensive lineman Tykel Smith, linebacker Dameon “DayDay” Wilson, defensive back Logan Patrick and linebacker AJ Richardson.
• A height variance for Catawba Two Kings Casino was approved by city council, paving the way for a five-story parking garage. In addition, the R. Dean Harrell Company’s request for rezoning from R-10 to Conditional District R6 PUD for the Cannon 35 was unanimously approved.
• North Elementary School participated in the Kids’ Heart Challenge. The goal was set at $2,500. and the students raised S3,065.26.
• In April and May, trailers were delivered to the Catawba Two Kings Casino and Resort site. As of May 1, 20 trailers had been delivered and setup.
• Kings Mountain High School's Beta Club held their annual Induction and Cord Ceremony on April 29 at 6 pm in Barnes Auditorium. Four seniors, eight juniors, and 76 sophomores were inducted into the club. Forty-eight seniors received their cords for graduation. Principal Julie Rikard and club sponsor Janney Ann Croft welcomed everyone. Club president Jonah Patrick then spoke regarding the purpose and objectives of Beta Club.
• Eugene and Mary Curry celebrated 64 years of marriage on May 18. They married on May 18,1957 in York SC. The couple met at ages 8 and 9 and married at 18 and 19 years of age. They have 7 children: Jackie Brown, Denise Mercer, Pastor Daris Curry, Apostle Kenneth Curry, Apostle Bryan Curry, Michael F. Curry and Shannon Roberts.
• Walls went up at the new Benestar Brands facility on Industrial Drive in Kings Mountain. Benestar Brands is an international snack foods manufacturer and will create 129 jobs in town.
• More than 1,000 people turned out for the Catawba Two Kings Casino job fair held at Cleveland Community College’s LeGrand Center. Two hundred positions were filled over the two-day event.
• Dameon “DayDay” Wilson of Grover is one of a very few people to start all four years of his high school career and is the only one to establish the school record for most games played. For his brilliant career, Coach Greg Lloyd presented him The Career Achievement Award and his framed #10 jersey at the annual football awards ceremony Monday at Barnes Auditorium.
• Kings Mountain Middle School’s girls won the Tri-County Conference crown and scored four runs in the seventh inning to erase 3-2 deficit and defeat Crest 6-3.
• Kings Mountain High School graduates 264 students
• Col. Frederick Hambright DAR Chapter installed new officers with Robin Masters Meyer named the Regent.
• GFWC-NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club installed new officers: Denise Cobb - President, Bendetra McDowell - First Vice President, Betty Sue Morris - Second Vice President, Julienne Hambright - Secretary, Doris McGinnis - Treasurer, Johann Sherrill - Chaplain, and Anne Gamble -Immediate Past President.
• Mauney Memorial Library, in collaboration with The Gateway Trail, presented Storywalk® beginning Wednesday June 16. Stories along the trail were changed out weekly throughout the summer.
• County Commissioners approve 3.25 cent tax cut as part of 2021-2022 fiscal year budget. The tax rate changes included a 2.25 cent decrease in the county’s General Tax rate and a one cent decrease in the county’s School Tax rate.
• William Donald (Don) Crawford received his 80- year gold pin for his service to the Piedmont Council and the Battleground District of Boy Scouts of America.
• City Manager Marilyn Sellers announced “The City of Kings Mountain is very proud to announce that the water transmission loop system project is complete. The inspections have been performed, valves turned on, and water is flowing as I speak. This is a monumental accomplishment that has been a 40 to 50-year goal of past management, water directors and consultants.”
• It was announced that Will Wilson, KMHS’s highest-ever draft pick, is to be inducted into KM Snorts Hall of Fame.
• Representatives from Delaware North held a media sneak-peek for Catawba Two Kings Casino. The prelaunch facility was constructed from 23 modular units placed side by side to form one large room of about 14,700 square feet. Catawba Two Kings Casino opened July 1.
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Veterans Day Parade and Observance November 11

Road closures near Patriots Park

City of Kings Mountain is proud to host its annual Veterans Day Parade and Observance, Thursday, November 11.
Beginning at 10:30 am, this special event will begin at the Joy Theatre with a parade to Patriots Park being led by the KMPD Color Guard. A service, which will feature a five-minute presentation entitled “Recognition of Service”, music by Dale Brittain and the Loch Norman Pipe Band, and a keynote address by Mr. Jason Falls, will then be held at the Liberty
 Falls Amphitheatre followed by a wreath ceremony at the War Memorial located in Patriots Park.
“The Veterans Day Observance is a very special event in our city,” states Scott Neisler, Mayor of Kings Mountain. “It’s a time to acknowledge those who put their lives on hold to defend our country! We owe them a debt of gratitude for sacrificing their lives for our freedom.”
The City of Kings Mountain encourages everyone to support our veterans by attending the observance.
To host this event, a portion of South Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street will be closed beginning at 9 am and remain closed or barricaded until 11 am. Use extreme caution when traveling on Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change. The city thanks you for your cooperation in this matter.
For more information or to participate in the parade, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at

Murphey's 27th 
Annual Toy Run

Murphey's 27th annual toy run to benefit Shriner's Burn Center, Oxford Orphanage Masonic Home for Children, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and Kings Mountain Police Department is set for Saturday, November 20.    Rain date is Sunday, November 21.
Motorcyclists will assemble at 11 am and leave the Scooter Shed on 114 Camelot Court, off Phifer Road in Kings Mountain at 12 pm (noon) with a police escort. Each rider or person is to bring a new toy and $5.00. After the ride is completed, free barbecue will be served at Murphey’s Scooter Shed.
The toy run route will start at Camelot Court, turn right onto Phifer Road (Kings Mountain Rescue), right onto Bethlehem Road (Bethlehem Fire Dept.), left onto Hwy 74 west bound (Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Patrol), Intersection of Hwy. 74 @ Long Branch Rd. (Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Patrol), right onto Marion Street (Shelby PD), right onto Borders Road, (Shelby PD), right onto Oak Grove Road (Oak Grove Fire Dept.), right onto Stony Point Road (Oak Grove Fire Dept), straight on Stony Point Road which turns into Shelby Rd., then turn into Kings Street.  Any major intersection from Ingles on Shelby Road to Hardees @ Kings St. (this has been bottle neck, in the past). Turn right onto York Road (KM PD or KM Fire Dept.), turn  right onto East Gold Street (KM PD or KM Fire Dept.), left onto S. Battleground Ave. (KM PD or KM Fire Dept.), right onto Kings Mountain Boulevard, (Bethlehem FD),  go through the round-a-bout and continue on Phifer Road (Bethlehem FD), and turn right onto Camelot Court.
All agencies will operate on events 1 on the radio. For more information please call Chris Hutchins 704-473-6767.
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Col. Frederick Hambright Chapter Regent Robin Meyer presents a certificate to Anne Hord Gamble for her tireless work for children’s literacy in Kings Mountain. Photo provided

Gamble honored by DAR for work with children’s literacy

Anne Hord Gamble was honored by the Colonel Frederick Hambright Chapter, NSDAR, for her work with children’s literacy. Storytime with Miss Anne is a favorite among young readers at Mauney Memorial Library. During the pandemic, Storytime continued via Zoom meetings. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Storytime with Miss Anne is held at 10:30 a.m. And Bedtime Storytime is held the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. In-person Storytime is held on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. at Mauney Memorial Library.
Congratulating Gamble, Chapter DAR Literacy Chair Loretta Cozart said, “Anne, this acknowledgment is much deserved! You are a tireless advocate for literacy among our youngest readers. You have ‘Storytime with Miss Anne’ several times a week and even do a bedtime story once a month. Encouraging young readers early is the key to a lifetime of reading and learning.”
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Chief Lisa Proctor and Terricia Wingo were honored during the 2021 Cleveland County Distinguished Women’s Banquet. Photo provided

KMPD Chief Proctor,
Terricia Wingo honored

By Loretta Cozart

Chief of Police Lisa Proctor, Terricia Wingo, and Carol Ann Hoard were honored at the 2021 Cleveland County Distinguished Women’s Banquet at the LeGrand Center in Shelby on November 4. Proctor and Wingo are from the Kings Mountain area. Carol Ann Hoard is a minister in Shelby.
Senator Ted Alexander was in attendance and spoke of these honorees saying, “Each of these women have excelled in their various civic endeavors making our county a better place to live and setting an example for others. Thanks to the Commission for Women for putting on a moving event honoring these recipients.”
The recipients were given certificates of appreciation from the NC Senate in recognition of their award from the commission.
Senator Alexander went on to share, “Each of these women, in their own way, gave God and Jesus Christ the honor and glory for their work and achievements. Chief Proctor: the first Woman chief of Police in Cleveland County who also has her own ministry; Carol Ann Hoard: her work as a youth minister and as the Christmas Tree lady; and Terricia Wingo for her selfless ministering of the gospel to the homeless and bereft in the community. Each of their stories were uplifting and further attest to how living out of one’s Christian faith always makes for a better community! Thanks to each of these women for their magnificent achievements!”
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School board tables 
Central School decision until January 10

At Cleveland County’s school board meeting on November 8, at 6 p.m., the board voted to table the decision on the sale of Central School for 60-days, until January 10. A closed session to discuss a personnel matter and two properties on the surplus list lasted about one-hour.
The property behind Grover School received a bid of $49,000 and the school board unanimously voted to accept that bid.
During the October 11 school board meeting, members voted to place Central School in Kings Mountain and a home behind Grover School on their surplus property list.
School policy is to afford the board of county commissioners the first opportunity to obtain any real property
at  the fair market price or a
price negotiated between the two boards. County Commissioners met on October 19 and voted to decline the opportunity.
During the Public Participation portion of the meeting, Michael S. Smith of Gaston Street addressed the board regarding the sale of surplus property being offered for sale in Kings Mountain. “I own two properties across from Central School and do not feel the citizens have been given the proper opportunity to address what they would like to see happen with this property.”
“What’s the hurry?” he asked. “The school board has asked for 12-months to vacate this building that sits at the heart of the historic district. Citizens nearby should be given the opportunity to have input regarding what happens with Central School.”
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Waterboys teamed up with Xylem Inc., Water Well Trust, and Talking Rain AQA to provide a local family with a new water well. Photo By Julie Dohearty

KM family receives
water well system

Chris Long, retired NFL player and Waterboys founder, teamed up with Xylem Inc., Water Well Trust and Talking Rain AQA to provide clean, safe drinking water to a Kings Mountain.
The Blanchard family received a donated water well system, including equipment, well drilling and installation on Wednesday, November 3. The family’s water well had a hole in the casing, causing their water to be brown and rusty. They relied on bottled water for drinking.
The donation is the seventh joint Hometown H2O project for The Chris Long Foundation, Xylem, and the Water Well Trust. Hometown H2O is a domestic water program dedicated to bringing clean, sustainable water to people and communities in need across the
 United States. Hometown H2O – a program launched in early 2020 – is a united effort between Chris Long and his Foundation’s Waterboys initiative and water technology company Xylem Inc. to address domestic water scarcity issues, which currently leave more than 2 million Americans without access to clean water. Hometown H2O, Xylem and Talking Rain AQA work alongside the Water Well Trust, a national nonprofit that helps funds and supply water to low-income families.
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At last year’s Veterans Day Observance, Vietnam Veteran Abraham Ruff recited “A Toast to the Flag,” written by John J. Daly in 1917. Photo by Angela Padgett

Registration is open
for Christmas Parade

Parade to be held
December 4 at 3 pm      

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Registration is now open for the Kings Mountain “Home for Christmas” Parade scheduled for December 4th, 2021, at 3:00 pm in downtown Kings Mountain.
Want to participate? Participants may register online by accessing the “Home for Christmas” website at  For more information, or assistance with registration, please contact Angela Padgett, Special Events Coordinator at 704-730-2101 or via email at
Over 100 entries are expected. More exciting information concerning this special parade will be available soon. Deadline to register for the parade is November 15, 2021.
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Registration is open
for Christmas Parade

Parade to be held
December 4 at 3 pm      

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Registration is now open for the Kings Mountain “Home for Christmas” Parade scheduled for December 4th, 2021, at 3:00 pm in downtown Kings Mountain.
Want to participate? Participants may register online by accessing the “Home for Christmas” website at  For more information, or assistance with registration, please contact Angela Padgett, Special Events Coordinator at 704-730-2101 or via email at
Over 100 entries are expected. More exciting information concerning this special parade will be available soon. Deadline to register for the parade is November 15, 2021.
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Fire at SASi’s Pottery Studio 

On Monday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Pottery Studio at Kings Mountain Art Center went up in flames. Pottery wheels and a kiln, along with other contents in the room, are now covered in water and soot. The extent of the damage is not currently known, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The blaze in SASi’s Pottery Studio was reported around 7:30 p.m. Monday night by Jewel Reavis and a neighbor who spotted the flames. 
 Photo by Yola Lawson
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Appalachian Gear Company awarded NC Building Reuse Grant 

 Governor Roy Cooper announced 22 grant recipients through the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority on Oct. 21. Appalachian Gear Company and the City of Kings Mountain were chosen as a grant recipient this year.
This $50,000 grant will support the reuse of a 10,000-square-foot building, where Appalachian Gear Company, LLC, plans to expand its current manufacturing operations to a second facility. The company, a cut-and-sew operation specializing in alpaca fiber garments, plans to create 12 jobs, and invest $486,000 in this project.
“I am delighted that Kings Mountain will be receiving one of the rural infrastructure authority grants from the state. The important and much-needed grant will continue the positive trajectory that this region is enjoying,” said Senator Ted Alexander.
Appalachian Gear Company announced its relocation to a new manufacturing facility in April 2021 and has seen such tremendous growth that the company is expanding to a second facility. This second facility will be located in downtown Kings Mountain, which will enable AGC to do its own garment and research and development in-house.
“Textiles has always been the fabric of our society. It’s in our blood!" said Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler. "So, it is gratifying to see that Appalachian Gear has found a niche in the ever changing textile climate. We welcome them to Kings Mountain and hope it will result in them being very successful.” 
Appalachian Gear Company's founders John Gage and Mike Hawkins aren't new to Kings Mountain. They designed, built, and ran a textile dyeing and finishing operation from 1991-2002, and are excited to come back home and grow their business.
"Appalachian Gear Company is so excited to once again be a part of the Kings Mountain and Cleveland County Community, a community in which we have a long history. It is so important for city and county governments to support small manufacturing companies, especially in the current economic times. We are so appreciative that Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina have such an accomplished and energetic team that was absolutely the spark plug for Appalachian Gear Company’s expansion," commented John Gage, Appalachian Gear Company.
   "The Building Reuse Grant is a cornerstone in our effort to not only bring Award-Winning Apparel Manufacturing back to the U.S., but also to become one of the only vertically integrated Outdoor Lifestyle Brands in the U.S. that starts with a raw material, produces a fabric with our patent pending process, and then produces the finished garments and Outdoor Gear that we sell directly to consumers," he said.
Appalachian Gear Company is an outdoor lifestyle company specializing in American-made performance apparel and gear. They combine 100 years in the textile industry and have won consecutive editor’s choice awards from Backpacker Magazine for their All-Paca Fleece Hoodie, made from 100% Alpaca Wool.
“Although Kings Mountain-Cleveland County, NC just recently became home to Appalachian Gear Company, we are thrilled to hear that the company is already proceeding with an expansion of their local operations," said NC House Speaker Tim Moore. "The ongoing growth of the company has spurred innovation and new job growth in our community, and we are grateful to them for their continued investment.”
“Cleveland County is proud to be home to Appalachian Gear Company and congratulates them on their second facility in Kings Mountain. Not only does this company provide award winning products, but high-quality jobs for our citizens. We thank them for choosing to continue to invest in our community,” added Johnny Hutchins, Economic Development Liaison for the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.
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Catawba Two Kings Casino Pre-Launch Facility expansion

Work on the Catawba Two Kings Casino Pre-Launch Facility expansion is progressing on schedule toward the targeted opening in December, according to representatives from Delaware North.

(Photo by Loretta Cozart)
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This 11.2 pounds of methamphetamine has a street value of $176,000. Photo by CCSO

KM traffic stop finds $176,000 in methamphetamines

On October 22, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Community Interdiction Team along with their K-9, Karma, conducted a vehicle stop in Kings Mountain. During the investigation deputies located approximately 5 kilograms (11.2 pounds) of methamphetamine in the vehicle.
Both occupants, Luviana Ramirez Moreno. 42, and Jonathan Lugo Valdez 39 of Grayson, Georgia, were charged with two counts of Trafficking Methamphetamine and transported to the Cleveland County Detention Center for processing.
The street value of the seized drugs was approximately $176,000. During the month of October 2021, the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, which includes the Community Interdiction Team has seized 37 pounds of methamphetamine with a total street value of approximately $600,000.
   The Sheriff’s Office takes complaints of drug trafficking and drug sales in Cleveland County very seriously. Sheriff Norman requests that anyone with information on drug dealers in their neighborhood contact the Vice/Narcotics Division at 704-484-4987.

City transitions to OpenGov November 1

By Loretta Cozart

   During the October 26 Kings Mountain City Council meeting, Director of Community & Economic Development Stuart Gilbert reported that Kings Mountain would transition to OpenGov digital software system on November 1.
   In a recent press release, OpenGov shared, “The City of Kings Mountain has partnered with OpenGov – the leader in cloud software for government budgeting, community development and financial management – to drive efficiency for staff and improve the quality and convenience of services for community members.
   The City of Kings Mountain joins over a thousand public sector organizations leveraging OpenGov to revolutionize work processes with cloud-based software designed specifically for the needs of government. OpenGov will serve the City of Kings Mountain with software that automates permitting approval processes, allows for online inspections and code enforcement management, and provides a user-friendly online portal for applicants.
   OpenGov describes their services stating, “OpenGov is the leader in modern cloud ERP software for our nation’s cities, counties and state agencies. On a mission to power more effective and accountable government, OpenGov serves more than 1,000 agencies across the U.S. Built exclusively for the unique budgeting, financial management and citizen services needs of the public sector, the OpenGov ERP Cloud makes organizations more collaborative, digitizes mission-critical processes and enables best-in-class communication with stakeholders.” Internally, city staff had already begun the transition.”
    One area of primary interest to the public is permitting and licensing. OpenGov Citizen Services gives city staff the ability to manage all permitting and licensing operations through an online platform. Building permits, planning, zoning, code enforcement, fire and safety, business licenses, and many other tasks can be handled online, including online payment. The software allows citizens to track the progress of submissions themselves through a customer service portal  OpenGov describe the platform saying, “Streamlined multi-department workflows mirrors the exact process for permitting and licensing approvals, with a visual progress meter that records all post-submission activity. Each submission flows electronically from intake through departmental reviews, automatically assigning steps to the next available employee, shrinking average approval times.”
   OpenGov Director Eric DiProspero shared, “We are thrilled to add the City of Kings Mountain to our growing list of government partners and look forward to helping them usher in a new era of technology and innovation to address their challenges. The City of Kings Mountain’s commitment to modernizing services and improving efficiency is apparent, and we are excited to help them deliver for both residents and employees.”

November 2 Municipal Election details

The voter registration deadline for the Nov 2, Municipal Election was October 8. If you missed the deadline, you will be allowed to same-day register and vote during Early Voting. 
Deadline to request an absentee ballot for the November 2, Municipal Election was Tuesday, October 26. 
For this election, there will be only one voting location at Cleveland County Board of Elections Office at 215 Patton Dr., Shelby, NC 28150. Early voting ends October 30.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for voters who expect to be unable to vote on Election Day due to sickness or physical disability is November 1.
Deadline for receipt of mail-out absentee ballots is November 2. Mail-out absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 and received no later than November 5 at 5 pm.
Election results will be made available on Election night on the NC State Board of Elections website:
City of Kings Mountain’s municipal elections were postponed to March 8, 2022, during the Primary Election, due to information related to 2020 U.S. Census results that impact Ward lines being received late.
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GWU Fall 2021 Career & Internship Fair

Looking for an intern? Start your talent search with Gardner-Webb University at their Fall Internship Fair on October 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Tucker Student Center. If you’re looking for interns for fall, spring, or summer, this is your chance to recruit in-person on the Gardner-Webb University campus.
   Participants will be provided one table and two chairs, and the event is free. All organizations are responsible for tablecloths and display items. Lunch is provided. Contact GWU with any questions at
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Halloween Movie Nights Thursday and Friday

City of Kings Mountain’s Pumpkin Palooza at Patriots Park wraps up this week with two events scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 28 and Friday, October 29.
Thursday’s movie is Hocus Pocus. This Walt Disney Pictures film features Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy and shares the story of a curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
At 6:00 p.m., meet live, interactive characters from the movie, along with some other spooky friends! There’s free trick-or-treating and fun in store, too. The movie starts at 7:00 p.m. on the big screen at Liberty Falls Amphitheater in Patriots Park.
Friday’s Bonus Feature is the iconic classic, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with a special showtime at 5pm.
One ticket reserves a pod for up to 10 people. A limited number of pods are available for each night. These free tickets must be reserved to control crowd size and safety.
• Tickets must be redeemed to view each movie
• Patrons of up to 10 per family will be assigned a 10ft area to view each movie
• Patrons must stay in their own viewing areas
• Patrons are responsible for bringing a blanket or lawn chairs for the viewing area
• No outside food is allowed at this event. A concession vendor will be on hand to sell.
• Free parking is available throughout the downtown
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City meets with stakeholders to discuss the downtown Streetscape project. Photo by Loretta Cozart

City meets with stakeholders on Streetscape plan

By Loretta Cozart

On Monday, October 18, Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks and consultant Richard Flowe of NFocus, Inc., along with members of the city’s staff and council members, met with stakeholders on the patio of 133 West regarding the downtown Streetscape plan.
In February’s city council meeting, the $1.5M plan was approved with plans for the first phase of the project to be completed by November.
Due to a variety of challenges, the Streetscape project was pushed off several times and, aside from removing the trees along Battleground Avenue and Mountain Street, few outward signs can be seen. However, the task of slip-lining of pipes along both streets in the downtown core has been completed.
With winter coming, Hendricks explained that the project has now been divided into three sections: Phase IIA focuses on Mountain Street, Phase IIB includes Battleground Avenue, and Phase III concentrates on Railroad Avenue. By dividing the project into three sections, work on non-state roads can move forward even if there are delays on Battleground Avenue.
Stumps along Battleground Avenue will be ground down in the coming week and the city will start the bid process by advertising in the Herald and on the city’s website. Once contractors are chosen, the work will begin in the spring as soon as weather permits.
The goal is to have received bids and chosen contractors by the city council in the December. “We hope to have everything ready to go so the project on Mountain Street can be completed in 90 to 120 days once construction starts,” Nick Hendricks told the group. Due to current supply chain issues, it is the city’s hope that materials can be ordered early in anticipation of project procurement.
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It’s Christmas in
November at KMLT

Get in the Christmas Spirit a little early this year when Kings Mountain Little Theatre presents Lots of Love and A Charlie Brown Christmas Double Feature at Joy Performance Theater in November.
Shows are Friday November 5 & 12 at 7:30 pm, Saturday November 6 & 13 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday November 7 & 14 at 3:30 pm. Performances are suitable for young children with short attention spans
Join Kings Mountain Little Theater for family friendly, heart-warming stories for the holidays and support local theatre.
Enjoy an original, never-before-seen stage show and the classic Peanuts gang all in one night. This 2 for 1 holiday special will set you in the spirit for the upcoming holidays. You are invited to Cletus' tree farm where every tree is cut and carried with "lots of love".  You will also fall in love with the Smith family as they try to celebrate the holidays without their loved one.  As both our family and our Christmas trees learn about friendship and family, you will find yourself settling into the spirit of Christmas.  
Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, Frieda, Pig Pen, Patty, Shermy, and Violet as they play in the snow, practice the Christmas play, search for a tree, and discover "what Christmas is all about."
Tickets are on sale now and are $10 General admission.
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Dwayne Rogers (second from right), a council member on the Catawba Nation Executive Committee, presents a check for $10,000 to Jennifer Reynolds (center) of the Junior League of Shelby for the Cleveland County Fund for Children and Adults with Disabilities. The funds were raised by the Catawba Two Kings Casino from patron donations. At the Oct. 18 presentation were (L-R) Trent Troxel, vice president of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority; Nicole Elmore, vice president of community impact for the United Way of Cleveland County; Reynolds; Rogers; and Catawba Assistant Chief Jason Harris. Photo provided

Catawba Two Kings Casino raises $10,000 for
local organization assisting people with disabilities

Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, N.C. –   through its new and ongoing Share Change program – has raised $10,000 for the Cleveland County Fund for Children and Adults with Disabilities.
The casino, which features 500 slot machines in a pre-launch temporary facility, launched the Share Change program several weeks after its July 1 opening. The proceeds for the Cleveland County Fund for Children and Adults with Disabilities were raised through Sept. 30. Casino patrons donated the remaining change on slot vouchers, dropping them in wishing wells and large ticket barrels located on the casino floor.
The Share Change program represents the Catawba Nation’s first charitable initiative with the new casino. New charitable recipients will be designated every three months, with two organizations – Cleveland County Hospice and the Cleveland County Partnership for Children – set to receive funds raised this month through Dec. 31.
“The Catawba Nation and our Catawba Two Kings Casino are committed to making a positive change in our local communities, and the Share Change program is a way for us to begin fulfilling that commitment,” Catawba Assistant Chief Jason Harris said. “We thank our casino patrons for their generosity and are thrilled to provide these funds to such a worthy cause as assisting adults and children with disabilities.”
The fund, a service of the Junior Charity League of Shelby, provides emergency financial assistance to individuals and families living with a disability. One example of how this fund helps is to provide orthopedic equipment to adults and children who may be financially challenged and unable to obtain these necessities.
The Junior Charity League of Shelby was established in 1934 as a non-profit organization with its primary purpose to raise funds to provide necessaries such as clothing, fuel, food, medications, or any other needs that arise for the children and citizens of Cleveland County.
“On behalf of the Junior Charity League of Shelby, we would like to thank Catawba Two Kings Casino patrons for their donations,” league representative Jennifer Reynolds said. “With these funds, we will work with the United Way of Cleveland County to help children and adults with disabilities who are in need within our community. Thank you for selecting the fund and for caring for the people of Cleveland County.”
Catawba Nation and Catawba Two Kings Casino leaders anticipate that the Share Change program will grow as the casino grows. Construction work began in September to add an additional 500 gaming machines to the pre-launch facility by year’s end.
“With the expansion, our hope is that we will be able to provide even more for area charitable organizations as the number of casino patrons grows and as a result of their continuing generosity,” said Mike Ulizio, president of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.
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Bess-Alice Phifer

Bess-Alice Phifer
celebrates 104 years

By Loretta Cozart

On Thursday, October 13th, Bess-Alice Hambright Phifer, known to many as Bess, will be 104 years old. Her family gathered Sunday for an early birthday celebration.
Growing up on the family farm near the Kings Mountain National Military Park, Bess had a strong sense of self. Her parents were Tom and Mable Weir Hambright. She had 7 siblings: Louise, Aileen, Lucy, Sue, Anderson, Lawrence, and Tom. Their lives revolved around family, school, and church and their roots run deep in the community.
Bess knew her grandparents and often visited them in Grover and Kings Mountain. Her Uncle Gill Hambright lived in the home currently occupied by the Patrick family on Battleground Avenue.
On her mother’s side of the family, she is related to the Weir and McGill families; Grandfather Ted Weir was the postmaster. “At that time, the post office had moved out of Mauney Brothers Store and was located on Battleground Avenue,” Phifer explained.
Her dad’s family descends from the Dickson and Hambright families. The Hambright line goes back to Colonel Frederick Hambright, commander of the Lincoln County Militia during the battle of Kings Mountain.
Her family belonged toAntioch Baptist Church, and she attended school in a one-room schoolhouse her mother founded.
   When Bess was just 12, she attended the one hundred- fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Kings Mountain. The year was 1930. President Herbert Hoover was the keynote speaker. Her mother had responsibilities during the celebration, so Bess and her siblings were free to wander.
   She remembers the throngs of people. “The President speech was good; I can remember seeing the speakers’ stand. Most of all,” she says, “I remember having the whole day free with all those people I didn’t know”
   While in her junior and senior years at Blacksburg Centralized High School, Bess played basketball and participated in class plays. In her senior year, she was a founding member of the very first Beta Club in the United States in 1934 - 1935. After high school, she attended Asheville college and earned a teaching degree. She taught 6th graders at Waco Graded School and coached their high school women’s basketball team.
   In the early part of World War II, Bess also took on work in the Shell Plant in Charlotte “making 40 mm shells. I inspected the little percussion cup to make sure it had powder in it. I did it at night on the third shift.” The plant went into operation on December 17, 1942 - just 10 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
   With the war raging in Europe and the Pacific, Bess was about to face the biggest challenge of her life: serving in the American National Red Cross from 1943 until 1946. A co-worker at Waco suggested they apply for the American National Red Cross together.
   “When I got to Washington, Kings Mountain native Hazel Frye was there. I was in training with Hazel for six weeks. We thought we’d go overseas together. I certainly didn’t have any idea I’d be going to the Pacific. I knew Hazel a little bit because mother and daddy were friends to her parents.” Hazel was assigned to Europe and Bess was assigned to the Pacific.
   Bess began her service on the island of Hawaii at a Red Cross Rest Camp that had been established during World War I. “We had everything: a golf course and tennis courts. We had about 200 bicycles. All the men seemed to like to ride bikes. We had archery. And we’d take the men by van around the volcano and the bird park.”
   Every five days, five hundred men would arrive at the rest camp for five-days of rest and relaxation. “We worked from 7 am to 10 pm,” said Bess. Every five days, a new group of men would arrive.
   “The men appreciated having a few days of rest. I didn’t realize it meant so much to them. They had such a poor life. Even when I was there, I knew it was rough. They would tell you a few things. But I didn’t realize it was quite as bad as it was.”
   By this time, Bess had received four promotions. She had “taken over as the head of the camp, seeing that it was all taken care of. I was over the Red Cross work, not the food,” she said. “It was a pretty big deal.”
   While working in Hawaii, Bess met her husband-to-be, Marriott Phifer who was a Kings Mountain native. Due to her duties, she didn’t see him much when he was at the camp. When asked if they dated in the Pacific, Bess replied, “When they told me they needed me to go to Guam, I got a week off. I spent a right smart time with Marriott that week.”
   While in Guam, Bess was assigned to a field hospital processing the troops who were freed from prison camps. “Most had spent four or five years as prisoners. And to see those fellows…” her voice trailed-off. “I stayed up all night trying to process who they were, to gather a little information about them.
   “They looked like death standing, practically every one of them. I had seen a lot of wounded because at Guam I stayed at the field hospital. There were 200 – 300 doctors there. I ate the same places the men ate. In that hospital, all the wounded fellows were there. They couldn’t go home because they were waiting for transportation.
   Bess was discharged on May 13, 1946. Six weeks later, on June 26, 1946, Bess Alice Hambright married Marriott Phifer in a double wedding at Antioch Baptist Church with sister, Lucy Hambright Kinard and her husband, James Herman Kinard.
   Marriott’s family belonged to Boyce Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, so they joined that congregation. She has now been a member for 75 years.
   Together, Bess and Marriott have four children: Dr. Reta Phifer, Doyt Phifer, Connie Savell, M.D. Phifer Jr., and one granddaughter, Lesley Phifer.
   Throughout her life, Bess Phifer held close to her faith. She never feared serving in the Red Cross, saying, “I wasn’t scared a bit. I felt like I was where I needed to be. I never felt like I shouldn’t have done this.”
   Last summer, Bess was interviewed by a representative from the Betty H Carter Women Veterans Historical Project UNC Greensboro Special Collections & University Archives to document her work in the American Red Cross during WW II.
   She wants most for her children to “stay close to the Lord.” When asked what got her through the difficult times of her life, Bess replied without hesitation, “I lean on the Lord all the time, every day. If you didn’t have him to lean on, you’d be in bad shape, wouldn’t you?”

Senate passes Bill
to create patient
visitation rights

Last Wednesday, the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 191, "The No Patient Left Alone Act," which ensures that ailing loved ones in healthcare facilities can have a visitor present in their most trying moments.
During the most stringent phase of COVID-19 restrictions, spouses and family members were denied compassionate care visits, and many died alone.
The No Patient Left Alone Act creates mandatory visitation rights for patients, including in nursing homes and hospice care facilities, and requires those facilities to follow federal Facilities found violating visitation rights would be subject to a $500 fine per day for each incident. Sen. Steve Jarvis (R-Davidson) said, “No patient in NC should be forced to remain alone & separated from family while undergoing major medical treatment & no patient should die alone, nor should their surviving family members be forced to live with the knowledge that they did so. I am thankful for the passage of this bill and ensuring our state’s most vulnerable are protected.”
The bill passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 49-0. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper for signature.
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Loose leaf pickup starts next week

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain will begin its loose-leaf pickup on Monday, October 18. Beginning on that day, you may place your leaves loose at the edge of the road, behind the curb, for collection by our vacuum truck.
Until Monday, all leaves and grass clippings should be bagged for collection. Place all brush and limbs, as well as leaves and grass clippings  behind the  curb and out  of  the street to prevent rainwater from washing them into storm drains and ditches.
The city has three machines that are scheduled for pickup the same day as trash pickup. “As falling leaves increase, the schedule gets behind,” said City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “We start out with good intentions. Please be patient as we work to stay on schedule.”
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This rendering shows proposed changes to Catawba Two Kings Casino that was presented to Cleveland County Commissioners on Oct. 5. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Casino master plan shared
with County Commissioners

By Loretta Cozart

On October 5, Cleveland County business development director Jason Falls, presented an updated plan for Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort to the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.
Falls shared that on average 2,500 people have visited the pre-launch facility each day, which equates to over 900,000 visitors in a year’s time.
On September 28, expansion modules were delivered to the casino property which will double its size from 15,000 square-feet to 30,000 square-feet. The completion date is set for December 15, but, according to Falls, “There is a big push from the owners, the Catawba Nation, to be open by Thanksgiving.’
The Introductory Phase has been renamed Opportunity Phase I. Initially, a 5-story parking deck was to hold 600 vehicles, according to Falls. That number has increased to 2,500 – 2,600 and will be 87-feet tall, which was approved by Kings Mountain City Council. All floors, total, will comprise 638,875 square-feet.
The proposed building is referred to as Master Plan Phase I and is roughly 450,000 square-feet. It will have two floors comprised of an upper level of 198,400 square-feet and a lower floor measuring 57,432 square-feet. The original plan was for a 60,000 square-foot building, but those plans have changed.
“They have changed things because of the number of visitors they have been seeing out there. Because of the success they’ve been seeing as far as the casino, they have really ramped up how quickly they want to build and get into a larger facility,” Falls said. “One caveat is that the plans change often. So, this is what it is today.”
The proposed hotel tower is 29-stories tall and will house four restaurants totaling 37,000 square-feet. A stoplight is planned for a new entrance on Kings Mountain Boulevard.
To view the presentation, visit

City Council awards $1,156,047
for new substation and other budget items

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain City Council met on Tuesday, September 28 to discuss items that impact the city budget, zoning, and the city’s billing policy. Due to a technical glitch, the live-stream video had to be stopped because it interfered with a Zoom meeting to allow Councilman Keith Miller to attend remotely. An audio recording was later posted in place of the live-stream recording. Absent from the meeting were councilmembers Jay Rhodes and Jimmy West.
A motion to approve the consent agenda was made by Mike Butler and seconded  by Annie Thombs. The vote was unanimous. Included in the consent agenda were several budget items. The first item was to budget funds for “Santa’s Workshop,” a high quality, standalone building to be used during the town’s Christmas event costing $65,000: $50,000 will be paid for by a TDA grant award and the other $15,000 is fund balance available due to significantly underspending 2020-2021 Special Events Budget.
   The second item was to add $30,000 to budget capital funds and a contingency for the library roof/gutter repairs.  Final numbers were higher than preliminary estimates.
   The third item awarded a financing contract to United Financial Division of Home Trust in the amount of $465,306.11 with interest rate at 1.41% for the 2022 Jet Vac Truck. This item was included in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.
   A Public Hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday, October 26, at 6:00 p.m. to consider an application from Century Communities Southeast LLC (Owner KM Acquisition Q02B1, LLC) to rezone property identified as 198 Dixon School Road.
  In addition, city council accepted two Certificates of Sufficiency for Century Communities Southeast LLC (Owner KM Acquisition Q02B1, LLC) and adopted a Resolution scheduling the date of the Public Hearing for Tuesday, October 26, at 6:00 p.m. to consider a Voluntary Contiguous Annexation Petition from KM Acquisition QOZB 1, LLC for two properties identified as a portion of Parcel No. 71267, which portion to be annexed consists of 53.357 acres. A second parcel was identified as Parcel No. 11683 (PIN 2593198869 and 2593294900) and consisting of 12.392 acres.
   The city also received a renegotiated offer for 1.33 acres located near Phifer Road from Earthfall Production, Inc.  The original offer had been $4,500 but the property valued higher and the amount of $6,000 to begin the upset bid process.
   The final item was to authorize the sale of municipally owned personal property to Mark Snow of DH Griffin Companies for $50,000.  The electrical equipment is obsolete and can no longer be used by the City of Kings Mountain.
   During the regular meeting, city council approved additional revisions of the Utility Billing Policy that update the ordinance sections noted to current ordinance verbiage. One revision changed the term “non-sufficient fund charge” to “item returned charge” to better reflect current phrasing. In addition, the amount for this charge was set to reflect the actual fee charged and not to exceed $25.00.
   A second item addressed gas installation fees, which will now be determined by footage and appliances being used. Motion was made to approve by Dave Allen, seconded by Mike Butler, and the vote was unanimous.
  Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks outlined the amount to be awarded for Delivery 5 Substation. The total is estimated at $1,156,047:
    •    for (18) eighteen Single Phase, Substation 7.62 kV Voltage Regulators @ $16,650 each, total of $299,700 to NTS/Siemens Industry. Motions was made by Tommy Hawkins, seconded by Mike Butler, and the vote was unanimous.
    •    for (2) two Three-Phase, Substation 12.47/7.2kV Bus Breakers and (6) six Three-Phase Substation 12.47/7.2 kV Feeder Circuit Breakers, total of $162,426 to NTS/Siemens Industry.  The breakdown of the cost for these items are as follows:
    •    (2) Two Three-Phase, Substation Bus Breakers @ $18,405 each, total of $36,810
    •    (6) Six Three-Phase Circuit Breakers @ $20,286 each, total of $121,716
    •    One spare Micro-Processing Relay @ $3,900. Motion was made to award by David Allen, seconded by Annie Thombs – vote was unanimous.
    •    Motion to Award Bid for (2) two Three-Phase, Substation 115 kV SF6 Circuit Breakers @ $47,250 each, total of $94,500 to NTS/Siemens Energy Motion was made to award by Mike Butler, seconded by Tommy Hawkins and the vote was unanimous.
    •    Motion to Award Bid for (1) one Three-Phase, Substation 115 kV SF6 Circuit Switcher @ total of $66,824 to RW Chapman Motion was made to award by David Allen, seconded by Annie Thombs and the vote was unanimous.
    •    Motion to Award Bid for (1) one 115 kV – 12.47/7.2 kV Substation and Switching Facility @ total of $532,597 to Tatman Associates Motion was made to award by Annie Thombs, seconded by Tommy Hawkins and the vote was unanimous.
   City Codes Director Clint Houser brought two properties for action by council. A Motion to Adopt an Ordinance to demolish and remove the dilapidated dwelling at 1101 W. Gold Street Ext. was approved. The Motion was made by Mike Butler, seconded by David Allen and the vote was unanimous.
   For the second property, a Motion to Adopt an Ordinance ordering the owners of the dilapidated dwelling located at 102 S. Watterson Street and to demolish and remove the dwelling within 90 days, due to it being declared unfit for human habitation. A Motion was made to adopt Ordinance by Tommy Hawkins, seconded by Mike Butler and the vote was unanimous.
   City council entered a closed session and returned to the regular meeting to approve several items:
    •    Upon Motion by Tommy Hawkins, seconded by Annie Thombs, it was unanimously voted to award a 5% of what the state give as a matching grant to Project TRAIL.
    •    Upon Motion by David Allen, seconded by Mike Butler, it was unanimously voted to authorize staff to begin the process for negotiations, title examinations and appraisals on non-city owned property.
    •    Upon Motion by Annie Thombs, seconded by Tommy Hawkins, it was unanimously voted to award a 5% matching grant in the approximate amount of $4,500 to Project CAROLINA.
    •    Upon Motion by Tommy Hawkins, seconded by Mike Butler, it was unanimously voted to adopt a Resolution allowing the City Manager or her designee to execute Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) for the City of Kings Mountain.


KMHS Homecoming Court chosen

By Loretta Cozart

Students at Kings Mountain High School voted for their 2022 Homecoming Court, narrowing the list of 23 nominees to five. Those chosen include Emma Laughter, Science Club;  Amelia Friday, Caged Bird Society; Avery Philbeck, Cheerleading; BreAnn Jenkins, Symphonic Chorale and Shaniah Wright, Ambassadors Club.
Other nominees chosen representing the schools’ organizations and clubs include: Brittaney Hammett, Drama Club;  Trinity Pearson, International Thespian Society; Aliza Edmonson, Interact; Sally Ozmore, Yearbook; Andrea Melton, Kings Revue; Rachel Whitaker, Math Club; Lily Gold, Beta Club; Emma Short, Art Club; Baylee Briggs, National Art Honor Society; Michelle Bedoya, Tri-M Music Honor Society; Natalie Anthony, HECS Club; Ashlyn Wood, SPO; Trinity Price, FCA; Karissa Poteet, FFA; Katherine Knight, Anime; Mary Bearfield, MMAW;  Kalin Brooks, KM Band Association and Kendall Leonhardt, KM Marching Band.
The student body will vote again, choosing their Queen from a member of the Homecoming Court. The winner will be announced on or around October 15.

Chamber Business After Hours cancelled

By Loretta Cozart
Due to high COVID-19 numbers, Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Cribb cancelled both the September and October Business After Hours events. “We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, members, and associates very seriously. Our popular Business After Hours event for September and October have been postponed due to Covid. Thank you sponsors PSU and HomeTrust Bank,” Cribb issued in an email on September 28. She urged the public, “Keep an eye out for updates in the Monday Minute.”
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NATURE and TRAIL Exhibits
at Southern Arts Society

A   “Nature Reconsidered” art competition and “Trail” photography competition opened last week at Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain. Both are judged shows with cash prizes.
“Nature Reconsidered” is an art exhibition and competition sponsored by Southern Arts Society that aims to explore the ever-changing relationship between humans and nature. Artists were asked to create work that references, investigates, challenges, and/or celebrates our relationship with the natural world. There is a wide variety of media featured in the show - painting (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel), drawing, glass, photography, and mixed media. Thirty-eight artists from around the region entered 76 pieces of work for this year's exhibit. While most entries reflect the beauty of our natural world, there are several that play on the impact or interference of man with our environment.
The “TRAIL” photography competition is sponsored by the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail and Southern Arts Society. This exhibit features photos taken on the Gateway Trail over the past two years. There are 13 entries from five photographers in this show. The butterfly garden at the top of the Gateway Trail continues to be a prime spot for great photos. Much of the trail is surrounded by trees which requires photographers to be patient and search out interesting flora and fauna to capture on film.
Judging both shows is Michael Grady, an exhibiting artist, writer, and Professor of Art at Appalachian State University. Mr. Grady grew up in South Carolina but lived for three decades in New York and San Francisco before relocating, in 2008, to his ancestral homeland in North Carolina. Grady has a special interest and expertise in spirituality and art, expressive arts therapy, and Asian philosophy and culture. Grady sees the future of art as necessarily integrating a variety of cultural concepts; self and community; spirit and healing. He has exhibited his paintings and lectured in Germany, New Zealand, China, and throughout the U.S.
The public was invited to meet the artists at a reception Saturday October 2 from 6-8 p.m. Awards for both competitions were announced at 7 p.m. More of the work in the exhibit can be seen on the website and Facebook page of Southern Arts Society.
“Nature Reconsidered” and ‘Trail” will be on display in the galleries of Southern Arts Society through November 5. Visitors are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery.
Southern Arts Society (SASi) Gift Shop & Gallery is located at 301 N. Piedmont Avenue in the historic Southern Railway Depot, at the intersection of Piedmont and Battleground. SASi offers a gift shop, ongoing exhibits, programs, and classes in a variety of media for artists of all levels. Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is Free. For more information, visit, or their Facebook page. Contact 704.739.5585 or email

White Plains Shrine Club BBQ

By Loretta Cozart

Last Saturday, White Plains Shrine Club held their Barbecue. As usual, sales were brisk, and the group sold out before noon. Pork butts sold for $45, and Boston Butts sold for $40. By the pound, the cost was $10, and plates and plates cost the same. Sandwiches were two for six dollars.
Shriners arrived early to cook, and lines formed as the community supported the White Plains Shrine Club’s charities.
The White Plains Shrine Club is based on the principles of brotherhood, fellowship, love, relief, and truth.
They meet on the third Thursday of each month. The meal is at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting at 7:00 p.m. Meetings held at Fairview Lodge #339 on Landing St. Families are welcomed.
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It’s the Great Pumpkin
Kings Mountain!
StoryWalk to run
month of October

The City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department is proud to partner with the Mauney Memorial Library to present It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown StoryWalk.
This unique StoryWalk will feature the timeless Peanuts tale of Linus Van Pelt’s dream to meet the Great Pumpkin!  Located at Patriots Park in Downtown Kings Mountain, this safe, outdoor event will begin Friday, October 9th,  2021 and run throughout the month of October.  This month long event allows for families to visit at their leisure to prevent any mass gatherings. Photo ops will be available in Linus’ pumpkin patch. Festive music will fill the air.
“The Mauney Memorial Library has hosted the
StoryWalk experience at the Gateway Trail”, says Christina Martin, of Mauney
Memorial Library.  “We placed pages of a children’s storybook along the walking trail for families to enjoy. We are excited to partner with the Special Events Department to host this event at Patriots Park.”
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
“This passive activity connects literacy, the great outdoors, physical activity, and the magic of the holiday season,” says Christy Conner, Special Events Director for the City of Kings Mountain. “How can you and your family participate?  It’s simple.  Bring your imagination, talk a walk, read a book and have an adventure.”
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain.
Fun for the entire family, mark your calendar today!
For more information, call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at
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Kings Mountain Corporate Center, a 164-acre, master-planned business park is coming to Kings Mountain. The business park will be located at 705 Canterbury Road behind Hanes Brands.

Kings Mountain Corporate Center
coming to KM

By Loretta Cozart 

Last week, Keith Corporation shared more information about Kings Mountain Corporate Center, a 164-acre, master-planned business park in Kings Mountain. The business park will be located at 705 Canterbury Road behind Hanes Brands.
Building One, with 1,015,740 square feet under one roof, will offer all utilities including water, sewer, gas, and electricity provided by City of Kings Mountain. With approximately 136-acres, Building One will be built using tilt-wall concrete construction with a cross-dock configuration. The building is a speculative property and could be used for either warehouse or manufacturing.
The property has extensive I-85 frontage with access to the interstate by two interchanges. The parking lot will have 900 spaces for cars and 350 spaces for trailers.
The property or build-to-suit for purchase or lease by The Keith Corporation. Industrial Developers on the project are Alan Lewis and Justin C. Curis. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is located 26 miles northeast via I-85.
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Work begins to  expand Catawba Two Kings Casino
pre-launch facility

By Loretta Cozart

Work has begun to add an additional 500 gaming machines to the Catawba Two Kings Casino pre-launch facility in Kings Mountain that opened July 1.
Initial site work began in September on the expansion, which will be attached to the current facility and once again constructed using prefabricated modular structures. When the expansion is completed, which is expected by the end of 2021, the temporary casino will feature 1,000 gaming machines. 
“With the overwhelming success of the Catawba Two Kings Casino’s pre-launch facility since opening, it makes sense to work as  quickly  as  possible  to  provide additional gaming opportunities for our patrons across the Charlotte region,” said Mike Ulizio, president of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.
The Catawba Nation and its consultants, including hospitality and gaming company Delaware North, SOSHNY Architects and developer Skyboat Gaming, are simultaneously continuing planning and development work on the permanent casino resort project. The timing for construction of that project is also being determined. Modular units began delivery last week.
The Catawba Two Kings Casino is practicing safety procedures and protocols to best protect guests and employees from COVID-19. All employees are required to wear a mask, and guests are encouraged to wear one as well. Disposable masks are available for guests when they enter the casino.
Updates on the expansion construction will be posted to the casino’s Facebook page:
Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is being developed by the Catawba Nation at a 17-acre site at 538 Kings Mountain Blvd. in Kings Mountain. The site is near Interstate 85 Exit 5 and about 35 miles west of Charlotte.
A temporary “pre-launch” gaming facility opened July 1, with 500 gaming machines to provide an initial opportunity for patrons to game with limited food & beverage and other guest amenities. At full buildout, the casino resort project is expected to create thousands of permanent and construction jobs in the region.
   The Two Kings name celebrates the Catawba Nation’s history and hopeful future in their ancestral lands in North Carolina, paying tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and the City of Kings Mountain.
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Dancing Fleas will perform on October 23 at 6 p.m. at Joy Performance Theatre. Photo provided

Woman’s Club benefit 
concert October 23

Dancing Fleas to perform

The Dancing Fleas will perform a special 90-minute benefit concert for the GFW Kings Mountain Woman's Club on Saturday October 23, at 6 pm in the Joy Performance Theater at 202 South Railroad Avenue Kings Mountain. Doors open at 5:30 pm.
General admission tickets are $25 and Balcony seats are $30. Tickets can be purchased by visiting PayPal (PayPal.Me/7nana) or by contacting Denise Cobb 704-477-4285.
For safety, masks are encouraged, but not required. All proceeds to benefit the Kings Mountain Woman's Club.

Blessing Box dedicated to Emalea Christine Fulbright

On Sunday, September 12th, East Gold Street Wesleyan Church dedicated their new Blessing Box in memory of Emalea Christine Fulbright. Emalea is a precious child of the church who went to be with Jesus earlier this year.
All members of the community are encouraged to “Take what you need and give what you can.” at the Blessing Box.  It’s the desire of the church that this new ministry will be well received and supported by the friends of the congregation.  If you have question about how you can ‘bless’ this ministry, please contact Pastor Scott Whitney at (704) 739-3215.
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Boys and Girls Club planned for North Elementary School

By Loretta Cozart

During the September 28 Kings Mountain City Council Meeting, Executive Director Josh Propst addressed the council with news that Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland County will open a new club at North Elementary School by the end of the year.
“We spoke with Dr. Fisher, and he directed us to North Elementary. We attended Parent Orientation and we asked parents if they thought a club would be something the school needed. We stopped taking names at 80, because we ran out of paper. This tells us that Kings Mountain needs a Boys and Girls Club, and they need it now,” Propst said.
With him at the presentation were Cleveland County Boys and Girls Club Board President Rick French and former Cleveland County Commissioner Susan Allen.
In his presentation, Propst mentioned that the Boys and Girls Club started in the county in 1966. Their mission is to “enable all young people in our community, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
The club offers after-school programs and encourages the community to invest in their children, not in prisons. He also shared, “Eighty percent of our participants make the A/B Honor Roll. Last year, we opened a club at Caser School. That club currently has 58 children participating.”
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Mayor Scott Neisler presents the Constitution Week Proclamation to DAR member Loretta Cozart. Photo by Dawn Neisler

Constitution Week was September 17-23

By Robin Masters Meyer

Recently we celebrated an important document from our Nation’s history. A document that is as relevant today as it was at the founding of our Country. As a member of the Colonel Frederick Hambright Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution I am proud of one of our leaders who was instrumental in establishing September 17-23 as National Constitution Week. Before I go into that story, I want to point out something that has struck me as important in recent months concerning the beginning of that document.
Have any of you had to memorize the preamble to the U.S. constitution?  For most of my life I had it memorized thanks to a cartoon series that used to be very popular called School House Rock. They put it to a catchy tune, and I can still sing it to this day. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins with the following: “We the People of the United States of America…”. I’ll say that again, “WE THE PEOPLE.” It doesn’t say “We the Continental Congress” or “we the landowners” or “we the legislature” or “we the President”. It says WE THE PEOPLE. It is our document. It was established by the people for the people. If you listen carefully, this one paragraph says everything that is important for a nation to survive and thrive. It’s a powerful paragraph when you really think about the meaning behind the words:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
So, what does the Preamble to the Constitution have to do with DAR. We are a PATRIOTIC Lineage Society, and the objectives of our Society are the same today as they were at our National founding 131 years ago – Historic Preservation, Education, and Patriotism. Each year September 17-23 is designated Constitution Week. The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started in 1955 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Our then President General Gertrude S. Carraway (who was from New Bern, North Carolina) was responsible for the annual designation of Constitution Week.
You see, DAR made its own resolution for Constitution Week, which was adopted April 21, 1955. The National Society then petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on August 2, 1956, by Miss Carraway’s good friend, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Today, Constitution Week is celebrated by setting up displays in schools and libraries, obtaining city proclamations, providing copies of the Constitution and Bells Across America. This is an event that is always scheduled for September 17 at 4:00 p.m. For one minute church and community bells are rung to celebrate our Constitution.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to preserve the memory and spirit of those who contributed to securing American independence. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations with nearly 180,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide. These members passionately carry out the timeless mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit or the Colonel Frederick Hambright webpage at

Blessing of Animals this Sunday

By Loretta Cozart

The Blessing of Animals Service is held the first Sunday of October annually and is recognized worldwide. If you wish to participate in this event, bring your pet and join Association for the Welfare of Animals on the Court Square of Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby on October 3 at 6:30 pm.
A minister will deliver the service and bestow a hands-on blessing, upon the pet owners’ request, for animals whose temperament allows. (For the safety of all, your pet should be contained, or on a leash, and current on all vaccines.)
   Saint Francis of Assisi is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first person to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died in 1226 while singing Psalm 141.
On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is one of the two patrons of Italy (with Catherine of Siena), and it is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October, but the event may be celebrated at any time of the year.
Call 704-487-6555 for more information.

KMPD K-9 Officer
Carl Proper remembered

By Loretta Cozart

Carl Proper, an officer and K-9 handler with Kings Mountain Police Department, died on September 17 after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He was just 39-years old. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
Proper came to KMPD in 2018 and was hired by Chief Jerry Tessneer. Current Chief Lisa Proctor remembers meeting Proper because she was a member of the hiring review board. “I was very impressed when I met Carl. He was very professional and very well spoken. He mentioned that his dream job was to become a K-9 handler for KMPD.”
Prior to joining the department, Proper had been a part-time officer for several agencies, including Carolina’s Health Care’s Hospital Police and G4S Allied. He was also a past reserve officer for the town of Cramerton.
Chief Proctor describes Officer Proper as outgoing and liked by  everyone  in
the department. “He had a big heart and knew how to make people laugh. We never left a meeting with him where we weren’t all laughing,” Proctor said.
In January this year, Proper’s dream of becoming a K-9 handler became a reality. “He hand-picked his partner, Bronco, and the two were inseparable.” Chief Proctor said. “I was honored to award him several Region C Citations.”
“I’m going to miss Carl. He and I talked a lot. I keep an open-door policy and he would often come by to chat or to ask for prayer. He was a great officer and knew how to make people laugh,” Chief Proctor remembers. “I am very glad he achieved his dream of becoming a K9 handler. He had a personality as big as his heart.”
A month before his death, Officer Proper and his wife, Sonya, bought a home in Lawndale to raise their children and care for Bronco. A GoFundMe page has been established for the family has been setup under “Proper family expences” (sp). As of Sunday, the fundraiser has made it halfway to its goal. But contributions can also be made by writing a check to “City of Kings Mountain” and noting Officer Proper in the memo line. Cash donations are not accepted.
Proper’s funeral was held Friday, September 25 at 10 a.m. Anyone wishing to sign the registry book may visit Kings Mountain Police Department at 112 S Piedmont Ave, Kings Mountain, NC.
Officer Proper’s service vehicle is parked out front of Kings Mountain Police Department where it will remain until the end of the month so the community can leave flowers to show support.
Officer Proper was a member of Sgt. Buddy Black’s crew, a crew that works the night shift. “The whole crew was pretty upset about Carl’s passing,” said Chief Proctor. “We are a smaller department. We are a family. And Carl was a part of our family.”
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January Costa

Museum seeking antique toys
for display at Christmas

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Historical Museum is preparing for the holiday season and has asked the community’s help with this year’s 19th Annual Toys, Games & Trains exhibit which opens on November 26 and runs through January 7, 2022.
A large part of this annual exhibit is the display of various types of antique toys and games. If you have some old toys or games that are unique that you think people would like to see, consider loaning them for display in the museum.
Contact Director January Costa at or call the museum at 704-739-1019. They need to be contacted by November 1, with the loan items to be delivered in the first week of November.

Scenes around downtown

By Loretta Cozart

Several areas in the downtown area have been topics for discussion at recent city council meetings. Michael Parker has bricked-in the back of his building located at 119 W. Mountain Street. During the July 27 City Council meeting a decision to Adopt an Ordinance to repair the “dilapidated non-residential structure” was postponed until Tuesday’s meeting. It appears steps are being taken by the owner to comply with the city’s request.
Of greater concern is the alleyway between 138 and 144 W. Mountain Street. The  alleyway  has  become rundown and adjacent owners want to have input into redesigning the space to fit with plans for their properties. The city addresses this alleyway as part of the Streetscape project and discussions on design plans for the alleyway continue.
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Join in the fun each Thursday evening for Pickin’ At The Park. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at Patriot’s Park. (Photo provided)

Pickin’ at the Park
continues throughout the fall

Throughout the Summer, the City of Kings Mountain and the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame have proudly sponsored Pickin’ at the Park, an acoustic jam which runs every Thursday night at the Gazebo located in Patriots Park. It begins at 6:00 p.m.
With the success of Pickin’ at the Park, the City of Kings Mountain and the Cleveland County Hall of Fame have decided to continue to host this weekly event throughout the fall.
• Bring your lawn chair and join the fun.
• Want to participate? All pickers are welcome!
• Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on Pickin’ at the Park, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame at 704-860-4068.
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Dr. Inga Kish (left), Chief Medical Officer for Atrium Health facilities in Cleveland, Kings Mountain and Lincoln spoke regarding cases and their impact upon the medical community. (Photo by Michael E. Powell/CF Media)

Cleveland County in crisis; hospitals
overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients

By Loretta Cozart

In a press conference on Monday at 2 p.m., Cleveland County shared dire news. Cleveland County is in crisis.  Cleveland county is experiencing 78 average daily hospitalizations, far more than surrounding counties.
The Delta variant is six times more transmissible than the original virus. In the last five weeks, there have been 40 deaths due to the virus. Of those who died, only five were vaccinated. In Cleveland County, only 40 percent of the population has been vaccinated and there is a direct correlation between the number unvaccinated and the number of deaths,” according to Cleveland County staff. And the fastest growing population of infected patients are in the 0 to 17 age group.
Dr. Inga Kish, Chief Medical Officer for Atrium Health facilities in Shelby, Kings Mountain and Lincoln spoke regarding cases and their impact upon the medical community. “Cleveland County is experiencing approximately 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 each week. The Delta variant is much more potent and one in every 59 patients who contract the virus have died,” she said.
Dr. Kish also shared that 40 percent of the patients at Atrium Health Cleveland have the virus and that Kings Mountain has begun accepting COVID-19 patients out of necessity. Currently, 20 percent of Atrium Kings Mountain’s patients are COVID-19 positive.
The problem is made worse by the crowded situation in the Emergency Department. “Of the 35 Emergency Beds we have, half are occupied by patients waiting for a bed of any type, be it a medical bed, a step-down bed, or an ICU bed,” she said. The process has resulted in EMS diversion to other hospitals. There is a subset of critical patients we will continue to take in who present at our door.”
   Atrium Cleveland and Atrium Kings Mountain have been on diversion collectively 18 times for a total of 287 hours out of the last 15 days, according to the Cleveland County Health Department’s PowerPoint presentation. Cleveland County has called for Mutual Aid twice in the last three weeks due to most ambulances transporting out of county to hospitals not on diversion status.
   “Less critical patients can be diverted between Shelby, Kings Mountain, and Lincolnton. And we continue to look for additional space. Last week, 90 percent of our ER patients were COVID-19 positive, this week that number has dropped to 40 percent,” Dr. Kish said. “The hospitals are also looking at the needs of ancillary departments, like pharmacy. Being aligned with Atrium Health, we can share resources across all our hospitals as needed. We have staff to do that.”
   Then Dr. Kish addresses the four deaths the hospital experienced in four hours. “This is  devastating  every  time we lose a patient,” she said her voice trembling. “Health care workers get downtrodden. They need community support to keep them uplifted in this work. This has been the most difficult encounter, endeavor, experience that anyone in healthcare has ever taken part of. I have been an emergency medical physician for 24-years, and I have never seen anything like this. And I hope we will never see anything like this in the future. I just want you to know this is happening here, in your own backyard.  It is serious and is impacting us greatly. I hope you will understand the reality of what is going on in our hospitals and our county. I will end on a good note, because my mother always told me that, to end on a positive. “We are here for you, and we will take care of you.”

New laws protect visitation rights for
nursing home residents and Clergy

Two new laws in North Carolina will protect visitation and religious rights for patients and long-term care residents during emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Bill 351, known as “Clifford’s Law,” ensures nursing home and long-term care residents are allowed a visitor at least twice per month during declared disasters and emergencies. It is named for long-term nursing home resident Clifford Jernigan. His sister, who has visited him each week for 40 years, lost her visitation privileges due to COVID-19 restrictions. Clifford’s mental and physical health saw a severe decline because of the lack of visitation and socialization that he received during the pandemic.
“We have all heard the stories or experienced loved ones in long-term care who have suffered immensely due to isolation because of COVID-19 visitation restrictions,” said Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin), who is the primary sponsor of House Bill 351. “Clifford’s Law will ensure families have access to their loved ones, which is vital to the mental health and well-being of long-term care residents.”
House Bill 447, known as “Jeff Rieg Law,” guarantees the right of patients to have a clergy member visit them in the hospital. It is named after Jeff Rieg, who spent his final days in a Greenville hospital after being hit by a car. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, his family and pastor were restricted from visiting him. After Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) got involved, the hospital ultimately allowed the family and a pastor to visit him before he died.
“This is a significant and meaningful piece of legislation that upholds the religious freedoms and liberties of North Carolinians,” said Rep. Kidwell, who is the primary sponsor of House Bill 447. “I am so sorry that the Rieg family had to suffer through this, but I hope it is a comfort to know that Jeff was the inspiration for making this law happen.”
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Two events cancelled due to an increase in COVID-19 cases

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, City of Kings Mountain has cancelled the last Cruise-in and Car show of the season featuring Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience and October’s Wonderful Adventure to Oz.
 “Out of an abundance of caution, and to help slow the transmission of COVID-19, we made this difficult decision to cancel two events. We hope our Coronavirus numbers drop as a result and we will monitor the situation regarding our Christmas Events,” said Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler.
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City Council unanimously approved the logo design from several presented by marketing agency NP Strategy. Photo provided by KM Main Street Program

New KM logo unveiled for the downtown district

By Christy Adkins,
Main Street Coordinator

The Kings Mountain Main Street Program is accredited through the state of NC Main Street and the National Main Street Programs. The goal of the program is to help the city create a more inviting and beautiful downtown area for the citizens and visitors to enjoy. The program is a public-private partnership between the city and volunteers from the residents of Kings Mountain.
Some of the projects the program is working on are helping to design streetscape elements, promotion, and marketing of the downtown businesses, creating training and a platform to help businesses maintain an online presence, and facilitating communication between city residents and city management, to receive more input and ideas that will make Downtown Kings Mountain even better than it is.
The Kings Mountain Main Street Advisory Board just completed work on a new logo. There were several goals for the new logo
 design: to visually complement the City of Kings Mountain logo; to reflect the growth and vibrancy of downtown Kings Mountain; and to present  the Downtown District as a great place to eat, shop, and discover the arts.
The Main Street Advisory Board worked with a marketing agency, NP Strategy, on the logo redesign project. The agency created multiple strong design concepts, and the Advisory Board recognized a unique opportunity in the selected logo design. The triangular shapes within the logo contain icons that represent a wide range of downtown activities. The Advisory Board plans to use the triangle design element in other creative ways, outside of the logo, such as signage and promotional materials. The boldly colored triangle shapes will serve as a wonderful visual guide that allows visitors to explore and appreciate downtown Kings Mountain.
If you have great ideas and are interested in volunteering on the Kings Mountain Main Street Program, please contact Christy Adkins at 704-730-2197 or send an email to
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Cooper vetoes bills targeting
public school indoctrination, rioting

Carolina Journal

Gov. Roy Cooper has pulled out his veto stamp again to reject bills dealing with public school indoctrination and penalties for rioting. Cooper now has vetoed 10 bills this year and 63 bills since becoming governor in 2017.
House Bill 324, Ensuring Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Schools, was designed to prevent schools from forcing students to adopt certain controversial beliefs. Supporters and opponents alike linked some of those beliefs to the controversial Critical Race Theory.
“The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools,” Cooper said in his veto message. “Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education.”
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, led the push for the final version of H.B. 324. “It’s perplexing that Gov. Cooper would veto a bill that affirms the public school system’s role to teach students the full truth about our state’s sometimes ugly past,” Berger said in a prepared statement. “His invented excuse is so plainly refuted by the text of the bill that I question whether he even read it.”
“More broadly, Democrats’ choice to oppose a bill saying schools can’t force kids to believe one race is superior to another really shows how far off the rails the mainstream Democratic Party has gone,” Berger added.
The idea that members of one race or sex are superior to another is one of 13 concepts targeted in H.B. 324. The bill would ban schools from promoting those concepts, with “promotion” defined as forcing students or staff to endorse those concepts.
House Bill 805, Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder, aimed to step up penalties for people who commit violent acts during protests.
“People who commit crimes during riots and at other times should be prosecuted and our laws provide for that, but this legislation is unnecessary and is intended to intimidate and deter people from exercising their constitutional rights to peacefully protest,” Cooper said in his veto message.
Berger’s counterpart in the state House, Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, led the push for H.B. 805. His support for the measure included a rare speech from the floor of the House chamber.
Both vetoed bills passed on party-line votes. The Senate approved H.B. 324 with a 25-17 vote, while the House approved it, 61-41. Every “yes” vote came from a Republican, every “no” vote from a Democrat.
The Senate approved H.B. 805 with a 25-19 vote, while the House approved it, 63-41. Two House Democrats joined Republicans to support the measure. Every Senate Democrat voted no.
Republicans don’t have enough votes in either the House or Senate to override one of Cooper's vetos by themselves. If every member of the legislative chamber is present and voting, Republicans need support from three House Democrats and two Democratic senators to meet a three-fifths, or 60 percent, threshold. That’s the minimum support needed to overcome the governor's objections.
State legislators haven’t voted successfully to override a Cooper veto since December 2018. Cooper has issued 35 vetoes since 2019 after Republicans lost veto-proof supermajority control of the state House and Senate in the 2018 elections. So far, Republican lawmakers have not secured enough Democratic support to set aside any vetoes from the past three years.
Along with the two vetoes, Cooper also signed nine bills into law Friday.
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Superior Court
blocks Voter ID Law
in new ruling

Friday, a three-judge panel blocked North Carolina’s voter ID law, which 56% of North Carolina voters supported in a ballot measure in 2018.
Sam Hayes, General Counsel for North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, said, “Once again, liberal judges have defied the will of North Carolinians on election integrity. Voters of this state have repeatedly supported a voter ID requirement – going so far as to enshrine it in our state constitution. Senate Bill 824 is one of the most generous in the country, and it was modeled on those of other states. At trial, Plaintiffs could not produce a single witness who would be unable to vote because of the law.”
He continued, “In his dissent, Judge Poovey noted that “[n]ot one scintilla of evidence was introduced during this trial that any legislator acted with racially discriminatory intent.” In fact, the bill was co-sponsored by African-American State Senator Joel Ford. This fight is far from over. We look forward to appealing this partisan ruling on behalf of the people of North Carolina.”
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Cleveland County Schools continue mask mandate

Cleveland County Schools will continue requiring students and staff to wear face masks in schools during instruction time. Exemptions are allowed for medical, behavioral, and religious reasons.
The school board voted on Monday 5-3 to continue requiring masks to combat Coronavirus in schools. Robert Queen, Danny Blanton, Ron Humphries, Joel Shores, and Greg Taylor voted to continue the mask policy.
Under a new state law, every school board across North Carolina is required to hold a public vote every month on their policies regarding wearing masks at school, regardless of whether officials plan to change the policy.

Scenes from Kings Mountain 9/11

The City of Kings Mountain honored the military and first responders on Saturday, September 11 during the LIVE at
Patriots Park Concert Series featuring On The Border: The Ultimate Eagles Tribute and the CAT 5 Band. The crowd enjoyed dancing and music.. 

Photos by SuggsFam Photography