133 iris hubbard and evan garrsmall
Owner Iris Hubbard with Executive Chef Evan Garr welcome you to 133 West. Photo Loretta Cozart

133 West opens today

By Loretta Cozart

Owner Iris Hubbard and executive chef Evan Garr have worked hard for this day, the grand opening of 133 West on Mountain Street.

The old Grayson’s Jewelry, later the home of Kings Tavern, has undergone a total transformation. Inside, the restaurant is tastefully decorated in a monochromatic black and white, with pops of color from flowers placed throughout.

The Senior Park next door was gutted and a beautiful patio with performance stage added. Plantings and benches soften the hardscapes and invite passersby to stop in and take a break from the heat.

For three weeks, Hubbard and Garr have worked through the soft opening, followed by limited hours last week. Starting Wednesday, Sept 2, the restaurant will begin normal hours, serving lunch, dinner, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are only required for parties of six or more.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, singer-songwriter Scoot Pittman will perform on the patio between 1 pm and 4 pm. “We hope folks will join us this week to celebrate our grand opening. Stop in on Saturday afternoon to relax and listen to music on the patio with us,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard and Garr have sifted through customer comment cards to hone the menu from items offered during the soft opening. They describe their menu as a modern and creative approach to southern cuisine.

Their Grand Opening menu offers a variety of southern dishes, Fried Green Tomato, Pork Rinds with Smokey Cheese Dip, Brie & Crackers, and Filet & Grits - an 8 oz certified angus beef filet mignon atop their house made grit-cake dressed with fresh arugula salad. They have Shrimp & Grits, too. These aren’t your mama’s grits. They also have a 3-course pairing menu and a menu sure to please the kiddos.
— KM Herald
Roy cooper 2
Roy Cooper NC Governor

Governor Cooper announces $175 Million to assist North Carolinians for rental and utility payment support

Governor Roy Cooper today announced August 24 that $175 million will be made available to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has strained family finances across North Carolina, and many people are struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “People need a safe, stable place to call home, especially during this pandemic, and we must help keep people in their homes and keep their utilities on while our economy recovers.”

Today’s announcement includes three programs designed to work together to help people avoid eviction and pay their bills, per the Governor’s direction.

Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments: Approximately $94 million of the funding will be disbursed by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need. The funding will be distributed to eligible community agencies around the state that will work directly with North Carolinians on an application and disbursement process. The fund includes $28 million from federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding and the remaining $66 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money.

Crisis Response and Housing Stability: About $53 million of the funding is designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant-Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The federal ESG-CV money is intended for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness and will be distributed by similar community agencies handling NCORR’s program. This innovative model will help streamline the process for families. Once a person applies, local community agencies will determine which program they are eligible for and then complete the application quickly.

“Families in crisis don’t have time to spare, and our state agencies are coordinating a plan to make it easier for people to get the support they need,” said Governor Cooper.

Information about how people can apply for the NCORR program and the ESG-GV program will be shared once the programs have launched in the coming weeks.

“During this crisis, it is more important than ever that government work smarter and faster to deliver relief to people facing eviction and utility disconnection. NCORR is proud to be partnering across agencies to make the most of federal funds in North Carolina,” said Chief Operating Officer Laura Hogshead.

“Having a stable, safe place to live is fundamental to well-being and health. We continue to prioritize supporting people in meeting basic needs as part of our COVID response,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen.

Local Government Funds: Another $28 million of federal funding will be administered by local governments through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This money also comes from the federal CDBG-CV program and will be administered by incorporated municipalities under 50,000 residents and counties under 200,000 residents that apply to participate. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers.

“The Commerce Department has a long history of collaborating with our local government partners to administer federal resources during times of crisis,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland. “As a ready conduit for vital assistance to North Carolina communities, our CDBG program has proven its value many times over.”

The application process for local governments to apply for the Commerce-administered funding has opened. Eligible local governments who would like to apply for the Commerce CDBG-CV program can contact the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Program.
During COVID-19, Too Much Silvia performs to an empty house at Joy Performance Center as 8,000 viewers watched online. Photos by Sigmon Theatrical

City of KM Special Events hosts successful virtual BeachBlast

2020 Marks the 21st Anniversary
of this Special Event 

The year 2020 marks the 21st anniversary of BeachBlast, Kings Mountain’s Carolina Beach Music Festival. The City of Kings Mountain celebrated online with a virtual event featuring DJ Johnny B’s Beach and Boogie and 2019 CBMA Group of the Year, Too Much Sylvia.

Viewers were invited to put on their favorite beach attire, grab their snacks and drinks and tune into the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Facebook page for this special event. Over 8,000 viewers tuned in with watch parties thrown all over the country, including: Montana, Florida, Wyoming, Georgia, West Virginia, Knoxville and many more.

Many viewers participated in Beach Music trivia with over 1,200 interactive comments made throughout the show. “This was by far one of the best virtual events I had ever seen,” says John Barkley aka Johnny B. “Beach Music fans may not have been able to attend in person, but they showed up tonight on Facebook and I cannot be more thrilled for the Special Events Department. They have worked so hard to make this event spectacular.”

BeachBlast is nominated for the 2020 Carolina Beach Music Festival awards for Event of the Year, as well as the 2020 Cleveland County Best of the Best Event of the Year.

Mary Elrath commented, “Sure wish we could do this in person. Watching in Black Mtn., NC. Watch party in full swing.” Randy Orton wrote, “Enjoying from Bozeman, Montana.”

Cassie Biddix shared, “Johnny B we’re tuned in over in Blacksburg, SC! Wish we could be there in person!! Jake, Anita, Will, Fld, Jennifer and Marshall!! By the pool having adult beverages and burgers and dogs.”

For more information concerning the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department call by phone at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com.

Virtual 17th Annual Reverse Raffle & Auction offers chance to win $5K

By January Costa, Director and Curator

Be a part of the development of KMHM. Please support the museum during this time to help us with our fundraising efforts! Proceeds go toward the everyday operations of the museum.

Every September, Kings Mountain Historical Museum hosts a fundraiser to generate revenue necessary to support our programming. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on the museum this year, and the need to social distance for safety measures, we are moving the reverse raffle and auction this year to an online format. The museum will not have an in-person event as we have in prior years.

This year the 17th Annual Reverse Raffle and Auction will be back to the tradition of the reverse raffle for prizes with a ticket drawing to be posted online on September 26, through our social media. Tickets are on sale for $100 to be entered into the drawing for door prizes and the chance to win $5,000!

The online auction will start on September 18 and run until September 27 and is open to all bidders with unique auction items and great raffle prizes!

You can find the auction link at: https://www.32auctions.com/KMHMfundraiser2020

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by emailing the museum at mhmdirector@outlook.com or by mailing a check to Kings Mountain Historical Museum, P.O. Box 552, Kings Mountain, NC 28086.

Each ticket is $100. It also includes a 1 in 300 chance of winning the $5,000 Raffle Prize, along with other raffle items!

This event is a great opportunity for local business owners to showcase their business while investing in the community. Kings Mountain Historical Museum is currently welcoming event sponsors as well as in-kind donations for auction items.

The Museum is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization; donations are tax deductible as permissible by law. To find out more about sponsorship and donation opportunities, please call 704-739-1019 or email kmhmdirector@outlook.com.

For more information, please visit our event page: https://www.kingsmountainmuseum.org/annual-fundraiser

You can also call (704) 739-1019 or follow us on Facebook & Instagram.

Mask distribution 2
Citizens, churches and community organizations picked up masks for themselves or to distribute throughout the community. Photos by Janet Hart

City of KM distributes more than 5,000 face masks

By Janet Hart, City of Kings Mountain

The City of Kings Mountain distributed more than 5,000 face masks on Thursday, August 27 at the Patrick Senior Center.

Gaston County donated 15,000 face masks to the City of Kings Mountain from their allotment from North Carolina Health and Human Services.

There were 225 cars that came through the City’s drive-thru mask distribution and the people in each car received two or more packs with five masks in each pack. Multiple churches and community organizations also picked up hundreds of masks for their members.

The City of Kings Mountain will hold additional mask distribution events in the next few months. Wearing a face mask is one of the precautions that leading health officials cite as ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“We appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness of our community by giving away face masks,” said Janet Hart, Marketing and Communications Director for the City of Kings Mountain. “Everyone who picked up face masks was so happy that they could  get extra masks for family members, neighbors, and friends,” Hart added. “It’s wonderful to see how people are helping each other.”
Citycouncilkm final cityseal (002)

Developers plan $230M in projects for KM

By Loretta Cozart

During City Kings Mountain’s city council meeting on August 25, three requests were discussed to annex land into the city. The associated projects are estimated at $230,000,000. Two properties being considered for annexation are located near the newly named Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The third is off Sarah Lee Access Road between Kings Mountain and Gastonia.

City of Kings Mountain scheduled a public hearing for September 26 at 6 pm to accept a Certificate of Sufficiency to consider the non-contiguous annexation petition for E5 Holdings, LLC at 245 Dixon School Road. The proposed use of the property is for 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 560,000 sq. ft for other use not specified. The build-out value of the project, land and buildings, is estimated at $115,000,000.00. The application was signed by Stuart LeGrand, Eddie Holbrook and Doug Brown. Trent Testa is listed as the person to contact with questions about the petition.

City of Kings Mountain also scheduled a public hearing for September 26 at 6 pm to accept a Certificate of Sufficiency to consider a non-contiguous annexation petition for Roadside Truck Plaza at 259 Dixon School Road. The proposed use of the property is for 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 100,000 sq. ft for other use not specified. The build-out value of the project, land and buildings, is estimated at $40,000,000.00. The application was signed by Trent Testa, President of Roadside Truck Plaza, Inc.

A public hearing was also scheduled for September 26 at 6 pm to consider a rezoning request from Matthews Land Company, LLC which would change its zoning to heavy industrial. The company has also requested that 119.25 acres of land near Sarah Lee Access Road be annexed into the city. The build-out value of the project, land and buildings, is estimated at $75,000,000. The application was signed by B. Frank Matthews. Gene Matthews is listed as the person to contact with questions about the petition.

In other business, city council amended the ordinance and removed the Willow Oak from the list of recommended trees in City of Kings Mountain’s Street Tree Plan. Downtown and west King Street would not be included in this change. Willow Oaks grow 60 ft. tall and their root system is as broad. These trees are planted along roadways and the roots cause damage to sidewalks and pavement.

Proposed trees for inclusion in the ordinance are maples and redbuds that grow between 15 and 20 feet tall including Trident Maple, Ruby Sunset Maple, Bloodgood Japanese Maple, Emperor Japanese Maple, Coral Bark Japanese Maple, Fireglow Japanese Maple, Eastern Redbud and Forest Pansy Redbud.

Councilman Keith Miller asked, “Can accommodation or variances be made for citizens, were we to approve this change?” City Planner Stuart Gilbert said that variance would go to the Board of Adjustments. Legal counsel Mickey Corry agreed. Councilman Mike Butler made the motion to approve amending City of Kings Mountain’s Street Tree Plan. No citizens spoke in favor or against regarding this issue. City Council approved the motion.

Royster Oil withdrew their request to rezone 43 acres of property on Shelby Road.

New owner Kaimesha Young spoke to city council with an update on her property at 100 E. King Street, the old McGill’s Esso Station. “If everything goes as planned, we are shooting for a Christmas Grand Opening,” she said. She intends to open a real estate office at the location.

In other action, City Council reauthorized the Kings Mountain Housing Committee and appointing board members to the committee. They also approved appointing Tracy Bolin to the Mauney Memorial Library Board to fill a vacant seat, with the term expiring June 30, 2022.

Chief tommy harmon

KMFD joins Cleveland County’s Emergency Warning System

Beginning Saturday, September 5, at 12 noon, Kings Mountain’s emergency warning sirens will be tested along with all of the warning sirens in Cleveland County. After that, on the first Saturday of each month at 12 noon, Cleveland County 911 Communications will test the emergency warning system for the entire county. This testing will help ensure that the sirens operate during a true emergency.

“It is imperative that the emergency warning system for the entire county be reliable and available to warn the public of pending severe weather 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Perry Davis, Emergency Management Director for Cleveland County. “The addition of Kings Mountain’s siren to the system utilized by the rest of the county is a vital piece of that coverage,” Davis added.

Kings Mountain Fire Department’s sirens have been reprogrammed to communicate on the same frequency as Cleveland County and have been through initial testing. September 5 will be the first countywide test that includes Kings Mountain’s sirens.

According to Cleveland County’s Assistant 911 Communications Director Stori McIntyre, “Cleveland County Communications is excited to partner with Kings Mountain Fire Department to provide lifesaving notifications during inclement weather.”

“We are happy that we could use our existing equipment and still become part of the system already in place throughout the county,” said Chief Thomas Harmon of the Kings Mountain Fire Department. “Cleveland County’s 911 Communications Center can simply transmit on one frequency and activate every emergency warning siren throughout Cleveland County simultaneously,” added Chief Harmon. “Now, Kings Mountain will be a part of that system.”

In addition to the monthly testing, the sirens will be activated for tornado warnings only. The sirens will not be used to alert the public of tornado watches, only tornado warnings. A tornado warning signifies that a tornado has been spotted and is in the area.

The sirens will also not be used to alert people of watches or warnings for thunderstorms, severe weather, wind, lightning, or winter weather.

“We do not want people to become immune to the sound of the siren,” said Chief Harmon. “We want people to understand that if they hear the siren, they should seek shelter from a tornado immediately,” Chief Harmon added.

“The siren testing on the first Saturday of each month is a great time for the public to review their emergency weather preparedness,” said Chief Harmon. “We hope that this will lessen some of the confusion during severe weather alerts.”

Chief Harmon continued, “Instead of people calling the fire station or 911 when the siren activates to find out what is going on, they should immediately take precautions for potentially dangerous weather.”

Tornado preparedness information can be found on multiple websites including the American Red Cross, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and the National Weather Center.

“As always, if you have questions about weather preparedness before a weather event occurs, you are welcome to call your local fire station,” added Chief Harmon.
Nikki massey and wayne king
Nikki Massey and Wayne King at President Trump’s acceptance speech in Washington. Photos provided

King served as Republican National Delegate last week

By Loretta Cozart

Wayne King attended his fifth Republican National Convention last week as a North Carolina Delegate, but this year’s convention was very different than in prior years. Starting on Saturday, August 22, King spent three days in Charlotte doing party business before traveling to Washington to see President Trump’s acceptance speech.

“The Republican Convention was a lot different than in prior years, due to the Coronavirus. In Charlotte, about 350 delegates attended, along with Republican National Committee employees,” King said.

On Thursday, King traveled to Washington, DC with 1,000 invited guests and members of congress to attend President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on the South Lawn of the White House. “I learned that this wasn’t the first time a president accepted their party’s nomination at the White House,” said King. Attending with him were his girlfriend, Nikki Massey, and son, Noah King.

“Noah really enjoyed seeing the president and his acceptance speech. There were not many kids there and Noah noticed,” King said. “I think President Trump laid out a positive vision and reviewed the challenges and accomplishments of his first term.”

King had served as Chief of Staff for NC Congressman Mark Meadows who resigned his office on March 30 to serve as Chief of Staff for President Trump. Currently, King works for Fidelis Government Relations in Washington, DC.

On July 19, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for President shortly after midnight in a radio address and in front of newsreel cameras, according to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

In 1932, television was in its infancy and Roosevelt said he was using all means necessary “to break foolish traditions” by being the first nominee to accept their party’s nomination at the convention. He asked delegates to stay an extra day and flew with his family to Chicago to accept the nomination in person.

133 West has a warm and inviting atmosphere

By Loretta Cozart

Iris Hubbard’s long awaited 133 West just completed its soft opening, a period of tasting and training of staff during which she and executive chef Evan Garr tested their menu while maintaining required social distancing.

For dinners, patrons were served a five-course meal and were then asked their opinion regarding each item.

Sunday Brunch had fewer items, but the same attention was paid to the patrons and the items they tasted.

“Evan and I touched every table. We asked everyone for honest feedback and some items just didn’t make the cut,” said Hubbard.

Full dinners will be served between August 26 to 29, with Sunday brunch.

Beginning September 2, full lunch and dinner will be served. Brunch will be served both Saturday and Sunday and reservations will only be required for parties of six or more.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, KM singer-songwriter Scoot will perform between 1 pm and 4 pm. “We offer Saturday brunch because we think folks will appreciate the opportunity to relax and listen to music in a casual atmosphere on Saturday’s while music is played on the patio,” Hubbard said.

The restaurant serves a farm-fresh seasonal menu sourced locally and prides itself on freshness and seasonality. The décor is unique, unlike any seen in Kings Mountain restaurants and exemplifies Hubbard’s flair in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere where guests can relax and enjoy chef inspired meals.

The restaurant is lovely, and from the comments left on 133 West’s Facebook page their guests wholeheartedly agree. Guest Amanda White wrote, “Everything was great! The restaurant looks amazing! Can’t wait to come back for brunch on Saturdays.”

The restaurant is located at133 West Mountain St., Kings Mountain.
Tony Coppola

New firm buys 238 Pizzeria

By Loretta Cozart

Tony Coppola bought 238 Pizzeria last week and it opened under new management at 4 pm Monday. The new name will be Terra Mia 238 Streets of Naples.

Coppola is a native of Italy and the former general manager of Portofino Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria. In June 2019, he and partners opened Reginella Italian Pizzeria & Grill on South York Road in Gastonia. His second restaurant, Terra Mia, opened in McAdenville this year.

At Terra Mia’s website they shared, “Tony Coppola is the business owner and brings many years of experience to the area from owning other restaurants. Tony worked alongside his father for many years as they owned and operated successful Brothers Pizza Restaurants from the Eddington New Jersey area.”

“It's a place offering high quality Italian meals at excellent prices. If you love Italian food, you will love Terra Mia! Last year, Reginella Pizzeria in Gastonia opened. Reginella Pizzeria was just voted Gastonia's best pizza award in 2019. Plans are also underway for another Terra Mia to open in Belmont in September of 2020 as well as another new location in Kings Mountain,” the website shared.

“At Terra Mia, Tony prides himself on providing fresh pizza dough made in-house, three rotating varieties of pasta prepared fresh every day, and meat from Piscataway, New Jersey. Those ingredients will be used within a menu that includes staples such as pizza, homemade sandwiches, and a variety of classic Italian dishes.”

Be sure to stop in and welcome the owners of Terra Mia 238 Streets of Naples, Kings Mountain’s newest Italian restaurant.

City of KM will distribute free masks Thursday

The City of Kings Mountain will be giving away 15,000 free face masks on Thursday, August 27 from 9 am – 3 pm in a drive-thru event at the Patrick Senior Center located at 909 E. King Street in Kings Mountain. Gaston County had surplus masks and offered them to the City of Kings Mountain through an allotment from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“The Mayor and City Council appreciates the opportunity to partner with Gaston County to distribute these face masks to help protect our citizens from COVID-19,” said Kings Mountain City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “The safety of our community members is our top priority.”

Individuals, churches, community groups, nonprofits and small businesses are encouraged to get face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Since March 2020, Kings Mountain has had more than 350 people test positive for the Coronavirus. Wearing a face mask when you are in close proximity to other people is one of the precautions that health officials recommend, along with social distancing and hand washing.

“Last week, we distributed 5,000 face masks donated by Uniquetex in Grover to hundreds of people who needed masks for themselves and their family members,” said Tabitha Thomas, Patrick Senior Center Director. “Since then, we have heard from more people who need masks, so we appreciate having more masks to provide to the community.”

Individuals will get a minimum of five masks per person. These masks are available to anyone who needs them. If you are with a group, you can get a larger quantity of masks, while supplies last. If you are a group leader and can pick up masks at the Patrick Senior Center before Thursday, please call 704-734-0447.
Levi keever
Volunteer Fireman Levi Keever has worked toward a career as a fireman and continues his studies at Cleveland Community College. Photo by Janet Hart

Meet future firefighter James “Levi” Keever

By Janet Hart, City of Kings Mountain

Eighteen-year old James Levi Keever, from Kings Mountain, NC is a young man on a mission to build a career as a firefighter. He was driven from an early age and learned to work hard in order to succeed. 

“From the age of 12, I have maintained some form of employment, from cutting grass to cleaning offices,” said Keever. “Through my high school years, I worked part-time and full-time hours in a retail store, and then, in contracting,” Keever added.

Keever attended high school at Narrow Way Christian School, until his junior year. At that point, he transferred to Cleveland Community College (CCC) through a dual enrollment program to receive credit hours towards his high school diploma and a college degree.

“At the age of 15, I joined Kings Mountain Fire Department’s Junior Firefighter Program and that’s when I realized the passion that I had for the fire service,” said Keever.

“Early on young Mr. Keever exhibited all the traits required of a firefighter – smart, respectful and hard working,” said Kings Mountain Fire Department Chief Thomas Harmon.

During the winter of 2019-2020, Keever attended a 6-month long Emergency Medical Training (EMT) class and obtained his National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician Certification, as well as legal recognition in the state of North Carolina in April of 2020.

During the summer of 2020, Keever graduated from high school and then attended Cleveland Community College’s Firefighter Academy. “The academy is a ten week program that not only tests the candidate’s intellectual ability, but also tests their physical ability and fortitude,” said Chief Harmon.

Upon graduation from CCC’s firefighter academy, Keever obtained his North Carolina Firefighter Certification, as well as a Hazardous Materials Operations certification. While going to school, Keever worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Kings Mountain Fire Department.

“The classes that Levi has taken and the certifications that he has earned are quite the accomplishment,” said Chief Harmon. “These courses and certifications require hard work and intelligence, and Levi has excelled in both all areas,” added Harmon. “Levi earned the same credentials that are required of a career firefighter while he was still in high school.”

This fall, Keever plans to continue pursuing an associate degree in Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology at CCC.

“I hope to graduate in the summer of 2021,” added Keever, “and I look forward to becoming a full-time firefighter.”

“I have no doubt that Levi will be successful,” said Chief Harmon, “I am so proud of what he has accomplished, and I look forward to watching him build a career as a firefighter and seeing the benefits the he adds to Kings Mountain Fire Department.”
Too much sylvia
Too Much Sylvia, the 2019 Carolina Beach Music Association’s Group of the Year, will perform concert on August 22. The beach party starts at 6 p.m. Photo provided

KM’s BeachBlast goes virtual on August 22

“You can’t stop the music”

One of the City of Kings Mountain’s most exciting festivals, BeachBlast, has been modified this year because of COVID-19 group size restrictions. In place of the festival, the City is planning a virtual beach party on August 22.

“Nothing is stopping us from having a party online,” said Special Events Director Christy Connor. “COVID can’t stop the music!”

The City of Kings Mountain invites you to join them online on Saturday, August 22 on the city’s special event’s Facebook page for a virtual beach party. Celebrate the 21st anniversary of BeachBlast with DJ Johnny B and a concert by the 2019 Carolina Beach Music Association’s Group of the Year, “Too Much Sylvia”.

“Tune into the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Facebook page to enjoy your favorite beach music, shag on your porch and have a fun watch party with us,” said Connor.

This beach party starts at 6 pm and will be packed with entertainment, music, games and fun until 9 pm.

You can “Like” the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofkmspecialevents to view this exclusive event.


KMLT Community Yard Sale

A Community Yard Sale to benefit Kings Mtn. Little Theatre’s Special Projects Fund will be held on Saturday, August 22nd, 7 AM until 11 AM in the Liberty Mountain Garden, 202 S. Railroad Ave., Kings Mountain. Furniture, Small Appliances, Tools, Vintage Clothing, Household Items, and MORE!!!!

Cleveland County Republican Men
to meet Aug. 22

Cleveland County Republican Men’s Club will hold its next regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Saturday, August 22, at Swooger’s in Kings Mountain. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30 am with fellowship and breakfast.

This month’s meeting will be a representative from the Cleveland County Board of Elections who will make a short presentation and, more importantly, answer questions about voting in the coming election, possibly the most crucial one in the history of our nation. We must be as informed as possible. 

Please start your Saturday morning off with us. The address for Swooger’s is 1016 Shelby Road, Kings Mountain. All Republicans are welcome, so please bring any friends you believe would enjoy the group.
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Mayor Scott Neisler, right, swears in Darren Graves as Codes Enforcement Officer.

City assigns Graves as new Codes Enforcement Officer

By Janet Hart, City of Kings Mountain

The City of Kings Mountain has selected Darren Graves to fill a newly-created position as a Codes Enforcement Officer. Graves is transferring from his position as Equipment Operator in the City’s Public Works Department into this position. So, there is not an increase in total employees or total expenses. 

In this role, Graves will primarily focus on insuring compliance with three primary state laws: minimum housing standards, building codes for new construction and junk cars on residential properties.

“The City of Kings Mountain is a beautiful city in which to live, work and play, but we do have pockets of the city that need cleaning up,” said Mayor Scott Neisler. “The City Council has made it a top priority to address those areas.”

Graves will be assessing dilapidated properties and enforcing citations for non-compliance. Property owners will be cited for violations and will have 30-90 days to comply with the citation, depending on what issues are being cited. Enforcement could include fines, condemning the property as uninhabitable and demolition of the property if it is unsafe and not brought into compliance.

Property owners with junk cars could be subject to fines, or have the vehicles towed by the City, if they do not remove the vehicles within a specified time.

“These dilapidated properties pose a health and safety issue and they can attract criminal activity.” added City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “We want to showcase Kings Mountain as a city that is attractive for economic and residential investment.”

For more information about the City of Kings Mountain’s Codes, please visit www.cityofkingsmountain.com.
Dr. gangoosmall

Dr. Gangoo retires

Abdul Rashid Gangoo, M.D., F.A.C.P., an internist who subspecialized in infectious diseases, retired on August 1, 2020 after practicing medicine in Kings Mountain for forty-one years.

Dr. Gangoo was born and raised in the city of Srinagar in the picturesque valley of Kashmir. He grew up with four siblings all of whom still reside in Srinagar. Upon graduating from Government Medical College, Srinagar in 1968, he was employed by the Indian government’s health services. In 1972, he moved to the United Kingdom and worked at Poole General Hospital in Dorset, England and later at St. David’s Hospital in Cardiff, Wales. He then immigrated to the United States in September 1973 and joined Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s medical residency program in Internal Medicine. 

He spent his first two years of residency at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York City and his third year at Queens General Hospital. From 1976 to 1978, Dr. Gangoo was enrolled in a two-year fellowship training program in Infectious Diseases at Nassau County Medical Center (affiliated with the State University of New York at Stony Brook).

After completing his fellowship, Dr. Gangoo and his wife Firdous left the hustle and bustle of New York City and moved to Cherryville, North Carolina in September 1978 before settling in Kings Mountain in March 1979. For Dr. Gangoo, the slower pace of life that Kings Mountain offered was a very welcome change from his years amidst the frenzy of New York City. “A calmer and quieter atmosphere is much more suited to my natural disposition and personality,” he says.

Dr. Gangoo was the first internist in Kings Mountain and the first infectious diseases specialist in Cleveland County. He joined the medical staff of Kings Mountain Hospital (KMH), Cleveland Regional Medical Center, and two hospitals in Lincoln County. He established his medical practice at a clinic located at 810 W. King Street which he shared with Dr. George W. Plonk, a well-established and beloved surgeon, and has been seeing patients at the same location ever since.

“It’s been an honor to serve the Kings Mountain community. I am so grateful to have been warmly embraced by this town, and I am indebted to my patients for entrusting their medical care to me,” he shares.

“The most heart-warming and rewarding part of practicing medicine in Kings Mountain has been forming and building long-standing relationships with patients and their families. Being able to treat three generations of a family is an incredibly unique experience. My patients have, in turn, treated me as a part of their family as well. There is a certain level of trust, rapport, and comfort that has developed over time,” he said.

Dr. Gangoo served as President of the Cleveland County Medical Society from 1998 to 1999. He has also held the position of Chief of the Medical Staff at Kings Mountain Hospital for several years. In 2007, he had the honor of being elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

The landscape of healthcare has changed drastically in the past several decades, including the management of small and rural hospitals. Dr. Gangoo witnessed this first-hand when Kings Mountain Hospital transitioned to Carolinas HealthCare System-Kings Mountain in 1995 and more recently to Atrium Health Kings Mountain. In 2015, Carolinas HealthCare System-Kings Mountain received national recognition when it had been named as one of the country’s “Top Rural Hospitals” by The Leapfrog Group.

Since 2015, however, certain patient services were gradually phased out, and more recently, the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit was downgraded to a Progressive Care Unit. “I would like to see specialized inpatient and outpatient services and the ICU return to the hospital once again so that it can better serve the needs of Kings Mountain. The care services a hospital provides ought to align with the needs of the community.”

In addition to thanking all of his patients, Dr. Gangoo wishes to express his gratitude to his fellow physicians who have helped him with patient care. He is especially indebted to Dr. Everette Thombs, Dr. Martin Stallings, Dr. Christian Anderson, Dr. Cornelius Okonkwo, Dr. Temidayo Adelekun, and Sigrid Smith of Charlotte Area Health Education Center for their friendship and support. He also would like to thank all of the former and current nurses and technicians, hospital staff members, and hospital administrators. “Their tireless hard work and dedication made my job easier.”

Last not but least, Dr. Gangoo is thankful for his office staff members: Julie McDaniel, Kathy Brooks, Janet Burns, Sherry Sellers, Amber Norman, and his wife Firdous for their invaluable contributions in caring for their patients. “This practice simply would not have been possible without them.”

In his retirement, Dr. Gangoo plans to spend more time with his wife and children, Talia and Basit, and pursue his hobbies of gardening, woodworking, and painting. “I wish all of my patients and members of the community the best of health. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.”
238 cherokee grill
238 Cherokee Grill

238 Cherokee Grill and 238 Pizzeria: Restaurants add flavor to downtown Kings Mountain

By Janet Hart, City of KM

In 1982, Robert Bolin left his hometown of Kings Mountain to join the U.S. Army. After his tour of duty was over with the Army, he decided to move back home.

“When you have a passion for your hometown, you want to help in any way that you can,” said Bolin.

Since he loved food, Bolin decided to open a restaurant. The first restaurant was 238 Cherokee Grill which opened in 2010. Next, came 238 Pizzeria in 2016.

While both restaurants share some similarities, they are definitely different. 238 Pizzeria has a casual atmosphere and serves a variety of pizzas and Italian foods. Whereas, 238 Cherokee Grill is more upscale and serves steak, fish, burgers, wraps and salads.

Both restaurants are located in downtown Kings Mountain, but 238 Cherokee Grill is not actually on Cherokee Street. It’s located at 222 S. Railroad Avenue next door to Patriots Park and 238

Pizzeria is located at 238 Cherokee Street.

If you get confused, just follow the amazing smell of garlic, onion and Italian spices to either restaurant. The restaurants are only about a block apart.

“Having both restaurants in downtown Kings Mountain is the primary reason for our success,” said Bolin. “We get tremendous business when the City of Kings Mountain has special events in the Park and festivals downtown.”

In the past six months, the City of Kings Mountain has canceled or modified all of its festivals and special events because of COVID-19 restrictions that limit crowd sizes and require social distancing.

“Our inside dining has been negatively affected,” Bolin said. “COVID-19 restrictions have required us to reduce dine-in traffic, stagger tables at six feet intervals and have customers wait outside at times,” added Bolin.

“However, the volume of takeout orders has been unreal,” said Bolin. “Plus, we can take food over to Patriots Park for customers who want to eat lunch or dinner in the Park.”

Both restaurants have survived COVID-19 because of the community’s support.

“We believe that when you support the community, they will support you in return and the community of Kings Mountain has been so good to us,” Bolin added. “We appreciate their support.”

For more information or to view menus, please visit www.238CherokeeGrill.com or www.238Pizzeria.com.
Uniquetex logo

Get your free PPE masks this weeka

By Loretta Cozart

Local businesses Uniquetex, LLC and their sister company, Ecoguard Inc., donated 5,000 masks for distribution in Kings Mountain and Grover within the next two weeks.

Masks will be distributed through a concerted effort between Uniquetex and Ecoguard, Kings Mountain Herald, City of Kings Mountain’s H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Center, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Wat Lao Temple.

The purpose of the distribution to get masks into the hands, and on the faces, of Kings Mountain and Grover residents as Coronavirus numbers continue to rise. Facemasks are one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus.

Distribution sites and times are listed below. Walk-ups are welcome.

City of Kings Mountain will distribute masks at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life and Conference Center at 900 E. King Street on Thursday, August 13, in drive thru fashion from 9 am to 4 pm. Drive around the front of the Patrick Center around to the back under the canopy to pick up. Phone: Phone: 704-734-4489

Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 220 N. Waterson Street, will distribute masks on Sunday, August 16 from 2 – 3 pm via drive thru in front of the Family Life Center.

Ebenezer Baptist Church will distribute masks on Sunday, August 16 from 10 am to 1 pm, and again on Saturday, August 22 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Wat Lao Temple will distribute masks within the Laotian community to those in need. Sak and Tawny Athithang are coordinating the distribution. 704-619-2035.

Town of Grover will inform citizens regarding their mask distribution in a note included the power bill, according to Mayor Roy Dyer. 704-937-9986

“Supporting our local community is an important part of the business, and Uniquetex and Ecoguard are committed to going above and beyond,” said Director of Public Relations Lina Sheng. ”We are thankful that our local government agencies help distribute these masks to the needed groups and we sincerely wish our residents to be safe and healthy!”

In addition, Ecoguard donated tens of thousands of masks to the state governments of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky, as well as local small businesses and non-profit organizations.

As the pandemic became an increasing threat, the company realized how critical and necessary it was to produce high quality PPE locally. As a result, Uniquetex’s sister company Ecoguard, Inc. was formed in February, with only one mission and that was to produce face masks.  Both companies continue to provide high quality PPE during the coronavirus pandemic.

BeachBlast 2020 going virtual

Kings Mountain Special Events announced that the 21st anniversary of Beach Blast, scheduled for August 22, will be held virtually via their Facebook page.

“With all the challenges our community has faced adjusting to the restrictions during these difficult times, the Special Events staff challenged themselves to think outside the box and collaborate unique ways to bring fun to your doorstep,” said Special Events Director Christy Conner.

“COVID-19 may have challenged our on-site festival, but it can’t stop the music,” Conner said.

Check the Special Events Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CityofKMSpecialEvents or call 704-730-2101 for the itinerary and special announcement.

Back to School Prayer Rally August 9

The Kings Mountain Ministerial Association is holding the Annual Back-to-School Prayer Rally on Sunday, August 9, at 6:00 PM, at East Gold Street Wesleyan Church. The church is located at 701 E. Gold St., Kings Mountain. 704-739-3215 for info.

Everyone is encouraged to join other members of our community as we worship our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, and “pray in” what we hope will be a fantastic school year.

East Gold Street Wesleyan is located at 701 E Gold St, Kings Mountain, NC 28086.
Home from the street
F.R. Summers home as seen from N. Piedmont Avenue. (Photo by David Stone) See more photos on page 4 in this week's KM Herald (August 5, 2020)

Stone’s bring Summers’ historic home back to life

 (See more photos on page 4 in the August 5, 2020 edition of KM Herald)

By Loretta Cozart

In 2018, David and Janet Stone purchased the Frank Rickert Summers home at 1220 N. Piedmont Avenue, built in 1928. Together the Stone’s are slowly bringing the grand home back to life. They moved into the house in December 2018.

Bonnie Elouise Mauney was born on January 26, 1897, the daughter of Andrew Mauney and Candice Virginia Miller. Bonnie went to college in Charlotte there she met Frank Summers, who worked at the Charlotte Observer during that time. Frank also served in WWII prior to their marriage.

Frank and Bonnie Summers were married on September 28, 1925 and purchased 12 acres on N. Piedmont Avenue from W.A. Mauney. Renowned architect Hugh Edward White of Gaston County was contracted to draw the architectural plans for their 3,166 square foot Tudor Revival home.

According to The National Register of Historic Places multiple property documentation form filed by David Foard Hood honoring The Architecture of Hugh Edward White and White, Streeter & Chamberlain, 1921-1939 Gaston County, North Carolina, “The buildings which White designed in the period from late 1926 until 1930 were similar in scale and appearance to those produced by the firm of White, Streeter & Chamberlain. In short, he (White) continued to design houses and other nonresidential buildings for virtually the same clientele which had earlier patronized the partnership. The three houses he designed in 1927-1928 are large, important residences for Gastonia and Kings Mountain businessmen.”

It is suspected White also designed the Kings Mountain Graded School (Central) extension in 1924, according to Hood’s application. Past research also confirms that Bonnie Summers served as the city’s first woman principal at Kings Mountain Graded School in that timeframe. It is not known if White knew the Summers from that project or other projects in Gaston County.

According to the Hood documentation, “The F. R. Summers House (#122) in Kings Mountain is similar in spirit; however, its appearance is very different. Its red brick elevations are heightened in tone by the rusty-red metal Casement windows and the rust and cream half timbering; fieldstone is used for the main chimney.”

Elevation drawings of the F.R. Summers house were found in the Hugh Edward White family archives held by White’s son. “We were excited to find that Mr. White’s architectural drawings, and we now have copies. We have learned a lot about the house from those original drawings.”

During the last two years, David Stone and his family have painstakingly restored the home. “The kitchen has seen the most work. All the electrical was knob and tube, which had to be replaced. Most of the home’s water, sewer, and electrical run into the house through the wall behind the kitchen range. So, we had to rip that wall out in the kitchen to get everything updated. After remodeling the kitchen, that work is hidden and other original plastered walls were preserved,” Stone said.

“The front foyer had a boiler, which was removed. Doing so left a hole, which we have covered with a strategically placed piece of furniture. As for the new HVAC system, we used the original boiler vents for returns and avoided having to install modern vents in the hallways,” he said. “It also maintains the original look of the home.”

There are several hammered copper light fixtures used throughout the house. “One was missing, but we found a replacement on eBay. Later, we found several others like it at the Mauney home. We aren’t sure why the family bought extras, but they really must have liked them,” Janet Stone commented.

“The fireplace in the living room is just beautiful. We restored the fireplace and lined the flues so we can enjoy the fireplace when the weather is cool. People who spent time in the home when the Summers’ family owned it tell us that that fireplace can really put out the heat,” David Stone said.

“Probably the biggest challenge we faced during the renovation was replacing 300 panes of glass in the casement windows throughout the house. There are 900 panes, and we had to clean the casement windows and replace at least 300 panes, glaze, and repaint. That was a big job,” Stone said.

“The big project for this year has been landscaping. We had to address water issues and overgrown vegetation. We still have work to do, but it is much improved,” Stone said.

On the south side of the house, above the sunroom, a porch overlooks the pool and property. The porch once had a canvas roof according to White’s drawings. Stone shared, “When we peeled away layers of material, we found the original canvas roof. The work there continues there. We are replacing the metal rails with those of the original design. This is definitely a work in progress as we prioritize and tackle the most important tasks first.”

“I’ve always enjoyed old houses,” David Stone shared. “When Janet and I first got married, we lived in Mount Holly. Then we bought a farmhouse up in Statesville and that was the first home we remodeled. I figure if Janet can live with me through a winter of remodeling, without heat or a kitchen, we can handle anything. It was a mess.”

When asked why he takes on these projects, David Stone replied, “I have a passion for remodeling. I don’t care anything about sports; you won’t catch me at a football game. I love taking projects, like this one and the Mauney house, that are in disrepair and bring them back to life. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from this work and that I love. Aside from remodeling, we shop for antiques and hardware to match those used in the original house that need replacing.

While remodeling the downstairs bath, David noticed a stain on the floor matched the same footprint from a sink in the garage bathroom. “We determined the sink had been moved to the garage. The date on the sink is 1928, so we know it is original to the house and we are glad we could return it to its original spot in the house”

Despite all the work the Stone family does restoring their property, they do take time to enjoy their new home on Piedmont Avenue. A covered deck on the back of the house has a view of downtown Charlotte on a clear day. “We’ve enjoyed the fireworks of Gastonia, Belmont, Mount Holly from this deck,” Stone said.
Lew and linda dellinger
Lew and Linda Dellinger celebrate their shop’s 130th anniversary this year. (Photos provided)

Dellinger’s Jewel Shop, a KM tradition for more than 60 years

By Loretta Cozart

Dellinger's Jewel Shop is one of the most trusted names in jewelry in the Kings Mountain region and sells high-quality, hand-crafted, fine jewelry.

A family of jewelers that spans four generations, the Dellinger’s have been in the jewelry business since 1890. They opened their first store in Cherryville, followed by a store in Kings Mountain in the 1950s. The Dellinger’s built the current store located at 112 West Mountain Street in 1974.

“Our location in downtown Kings Mountain has been a key to marketing our business because of the higher volume of people who visit downtown,” said owner Lew Dellinger. “Plus, the businesses in downtown Kings Mountain are a community within a community and we support each other.”

Dellinger's Jewel Shop’s is known for their high ethical standards, knowledge of jewelry products and services, fair pricing and providing value to their customers.

“Our relationship with our customers lasts a lifetime. We have served multiple generations of families and pride ourselves on the personalized service we provide our customers,” added Dellinger. “Our integrity is important to us and we appreciate the trust that our customers have in us.”

Dellinger’s Jewel Shop was closed for six weeks during the COVID-19 business shutdown.

“It was a tough time,” said Dellinger. “When we reopened we wanted to celebrate our 130th anniversary, so we had a 50% off sale and the community response was absolutely tremendous.”

Dellinger hopes that all of the businesses in downtown Kings Mountain can rebound and he looks forward to seeing the downtown area grow into a hub of dining, shopping, events and festivals.

Permitnew city logo small

Permit may be needed for home improvements or repairs

By Janet Hart, City of KM

Are you planning to close in your carport to convert it to a garage? Are you building a deck on the back of your house? Are you trying to stay cool during these hot days, but your air conditioning system is withering in the heat? If you are planning work on your home or property, you may need to get a permit before your project begins.

The City of Kings Mountain wants to make sure property owners know that it is important to check with the building Codes Department before starting any project to find out if a building or zoning permit is required. Building and zoning laws are set by the State of North Carolina and municipalities have adopted those laws into local ordinances. To find out if a project requires a permit, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Building Codes Department at 704-734-4599.

Obtaining a permit helps ensure that work being performed meets building code standards.

“It’s for your safety and protection,” said Clint Houser, Director of City of Kings Mountain’s Building Codes Department, “For example: if you are building a deck, it’s important that the deck be structurally sound so that no one is injured by substandard work.”

Permit applications are available online at the City of Kings Mountain’s website – www.cityofkm.com, under Your Government, then click on Code Enforcement. The direct link to the permit application is: https://www.cityofkm.com/154/Permit-Applications-Forms

Permits can be obtained by emailing the application to the email address on the application - tammy.scruggs@cityofkm.com. Permit applications can also be submitted in person to the City of Kings Mountain’s Building Codes Department, located at 1013 N. Piedmont Avenue in Kings Mountain.

“We can usually fulfill a residential permit on the same day that an application is submitted,“ said Houser, “but certainly within one to three days.”

Anyone who fails to obtain a permit before a job begins will pay a penalty fee equal to twice the cost of the permit.

“We want to make sure that homeowners know that a permit may be needed for certain types of home repairs and improvements,” added Houser. “Doing unpermitted work on your home, can invalidate warranties and cause issues when reselling a home.”

For more information about obtaining residential building and zoning permits, please contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Building Codes Department at 704-734-4599.

Two Properties rezoned: City council denies amending zoning on Bumgardner property

By Loretta Cozart

On Tuesday, July 28, Kings Mountain livestreamed the city council meeting online. In an effort to comply with mitigation standards and social distancing as required by the Governor of North Carolina, the city shared the meeting on its website. Due to technical difficulties there was no audio.

Below are the actions taken by city council during the meeting. Without audio, the Herald cannot report on discussions between council members. The city clerk shared what actions were taken.

A motion was made by Councilman Jay Rhodes and seconded by Mike Butler to approve the Consent Agenda. The vote was unanimous. Items approved included minutes of the Special Session of June 11, 2020 and the Regular Meeting of June 30. 

Two budget amendments required Council approval:

• Budget amendment in the amount of $12,000 to budget funds for Library window restoration.

• Budget amendment in the amount of $7,000 to account for Senior Center restricted donations/contributions and to establish an expenditure line item for expenditures of these restricted funds. Council approval is required due to the fact that we are increasing the total General Fund Budget.

Mayor Neisler was authorized to execute a Moss Lake Use Agreement which would allow the Eaton Bass Masters Club to host a non-profit event on October 3. This event would be held from 7 am to 3 pm. This event has been approved by the Moss Lake Commission.

City Council adopted a Resolution directing the City Clerk to investigate a Voluntary Non-Contiguous Annexation Petition received under N.C.G.S. § 160A-58.1 for E5 Holdings, LLC for property located at 245 Dixon School Road, containing 22.46 acres, Parcel #11650, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 2 – Case No. VA-2020-1.

City Council adopted a Resolution directing the City Clerk to investigate a Voluntary Non-Contiguous Annexation Petition received under N.C.G.S. § 160A-58.1 for Roadside Truck Plaza for property located at 259 Dixon School Road, containing 6.24 acres, Parcel #11658, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 10 – Case No. VA-2020-2.

A Public Hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 6 pm at the City Council Meeting to discuss amending the City of Kings Mountain’s Street Tree Plan and Article XI – Landscaping Ordinance, Sections 11.1 thru 11.4.

A Public Hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 6 pm at the City Council Meeting to consider a request from Royster Oil Company, Owners, for a rezoning of property located at Shelby Road Lot, Parcel #13757 from R-10 to CU-CB and property located at 1903 Shelby Road, Parcel #11034 from NB to CU-GB for their existing company – Case No. Z-1-3-20.

City council entered into a Public Hearing to consider two requests. The first from E5 Holdings, LLC, Owner, for rezoning of property known as 245 Dixon School Road, containing 22.46 acres, Parcel #11650, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 2 from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB) – Case No. Z-2-6-20.

The second item was from request from Trent Testa, Roadside Truck Plaza, Inc. Owner, for rezoning of property known as 259 Dixon School Road, containing 6.24 acres, Parcel #11658, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 10 from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB) – Case No. Z-1-6-20.

Both requests were discussed at the Planning and Zoning Board earlier on July 14 and the board recommended making the zoning change. The vote was 10 to 1. Board member Renee Bost cast the dissenting vote.

After returning to the Regular Meeting, Councilman Keith Miller made the motion to adopt a consistency statement in Favor the request by E5 Holdings, LLC, Owner, for rezoning of property known as 245 Dixon School Road, containing 22.46 acres, Parcel #11650, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 2 from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB) - Case No. Z-2-6-20. Seconded by Councilwoman Annie Thombs, the vote was unanimous.

Councilman Jay Rhodes made the motion to approve an Ordinance amending the Kings Mountain Zoning Ordinance rezoning property known as 245 Dixon School Road from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB). Councilman Jimmy West seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

Councilman Jay Rhodes made the motion to adopt a consistency statement in Favor of the a request by Trent Testa, Roadside Truck Plaza, Inc. Owner for rezoning of property known as 259 Dixon School Road, containing 6.24 acres, Parcel #11658, Map 4-41, Block 1, Lot 10 from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB) – Case No. Z-1-6-20. Councilman Miller seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

Councilman Jay Rhodes made the motion to approve an Ordinance amending the Kings Mountain Zoning Ordinance rezoning property known as 259 Dixon School Road, from Light Industrial (LI) to General Business (GB). Councilman Mike Butler seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

Stuart Gilbert, Economic Development and Planning Director, made a presentation on changes to consistency statements and reasonableness statements due to Chapter 160D update.

Councilman Tommy Hawkins make the motion to authorize the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Kings Mountain Fire Department and Gaston Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) to take delivery of Motorola radios that communicate on the 800 MHz frequency. This partnership with GEMS will allow us to directly communicate with both Gaston and Cleveland Counties, and will provide higher quality of service to our citizens. Councilman Jay Rhodes seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

Last month, Michael Bumgardner made a request for amending the Kings Mountain Zoning Ordinance Application of property located on York Road, Map 4-79, Block 1, Lot 45 Parcel #63398 for removal from the literal provision of the City of Kings Mountain’s Thoroughfare Protection (TP) Overlay Section 6.16 Overlay Districts (3), which will remove the property from the Official Overlay District Map – Case No. A-1-2-20 – This public hearing was heard and closed at the regular meeting of June 30. Action was tabled until the next regular meeting.

Councilman Keith Miller made a motion to deny adopting a consistency statement request by Michael Bumgardner, Owner. Councilwoman Annie Thombs seconded the motion. Council’s vote was 6 to 1, with Councilman David Allen voting against the motion.

Councilman Jay Rhodes made a motion denying an Ordinance amending the Kings Mountain Zoning Ordinance removing property located on York Road. The motion was seconded by Annie Thombs. Council’s vote was 6 to 1, with Councilman David Allen voting against the motion.
The groundbreaking for the Catawba Nation Casino gets under way (on Wednesday, July 22) as nine men, representing the Nation and its leaders, the City of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County Commissioners, Delaware North, and Sky Boat Gaming ceremoniously get a shovelful of dirt to toss into a pile, signifying work is officially begun on the long-awaited casino. Left to right are: Wallace Cheves (Sky Boat Gaming); Butch Sanders (Catawba Nation); Jason Harris (Assistant Chief of the Catawba Nation); Sam Beck (Catawba Nation Councilman); Johnny Hutchins (Cleveland County Commissioner); E. Brian Hansberry (Gaming President, Delaware North); Rodrick Beck (Catawba Nation Secretary/Treasurer), Scott Neisler (Mayor, City of Kings Mountain); and Catawba Nations Chief William “Bill” Harris. (photos by MEP/CF Media)

Catawba Indian Nation breaks ground for a multi-million dollar casino


Special to Herald

Last Wednesday, July 22, representatives from the Catawba Indian Nation, located in Rock Hill, S.C., and the City of Kings Mountain, and from Cleveland County, met to break ground for the Catawba’s Casino Resort Project.

The group of individuals met at 10:30 a.m., at the Catawba’s 16-acres of land set aside for the casino, just off Exit 5 on I-85, the actual address being 260 Dixon School Rd., Kings Mountain.

In a Monday, July 20, media release from Tribal Administrator Elizabeth Harris, there was limited space available due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the expected mask and social distancing guidelines and rules were in place.

Catawba Chief William “Bill” Harris, after brief introductions of all those who were invited to speak and take part in the auspicious occasion, said, “We are privileged to work with the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners and the City of Kings Mountain. We are also pleased to be working with Delaware North as well as Sky Boat Development.”

Chief Harris spoke about the history of the Catawba Nation and the tribe’s close historical ties with first the English during the French and Indian War, then with the Colonial Americans, when they later took up arms against the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain.

He spoke of the Catawba’s great King Hagler, who in the 1750s spoke about living in peace, love and friendship with all nations. King Hagler, or Nopkehee, was born about 1700, and died in 1763. He became Chief of the Catawba in 1754.

“We, the Catawba Nation, were there to read the signs and warn the colonists of British attacks,” Chief Harris said, as he continued on the history of the Catawba Nation.

Chief Harris referenced how their nation has developed many partnerships over the many years, bringing it home by referring to the coming casino and its many job opportunities by saying, “Today, we celebrate the thousands of jobs that will be created; we celebrate the economic growth that will come about.”

Regarding that economic growth: it is estimated that a total of $428.1 million will be realized as far as an annual economic impact is concerned. The breakdown is as follows: $308 million (once operational, in per year of direct economic activity and employment of an estimated 2,600 workers); $77.3 million (an additional per year in indirect impact through local purchases from local business); and another $42.8 million per year in induced impact from employer expenditures, according to information provided by London & Associates (February 2020). This same study projects that construction activity alone will generate $311 million, with a “total employment of 2,347 from direct, indirect, and induced effect”, as per that same media release.

Harris continued, “Today the Catawba Nation wants to express it gratitude to Kings Mountain, Delaware North, Cleveland County, and Sky Boat, as well as others as this project unfolds.” Some of those others he talked about include U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, Richard Burr, Tom Tillis, and Sen. Scott for their 2019 support that encouraged the request to accept the 16 acres of land into trust for the Catawbas. That decision is still being contested by the Cherokee Tribe but the casino continues to move forward, noted Chief Harris, in a March 2020 article in the Eagle.

According to the Project History & Timeline handed out at the groundbreaking, the projected Introductory Phase, complete with 1,300 operational gaming devices is possibly summer of 2021.

Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler, who was one of the project leads, along with Cleveland County Commissioner Johnny Hutchins, was quoted on the handout as saying, “Finally, the Catawbas have the opportunity to perpetuate their culture as a meaningful elevation of their place in North American history.

“Before today, this eight-mile stretch of I-85 had little to offer to locals and tourists. With this project we will become the premier destination between Atlanta and Washington, DC, for entertainment.”

Neisler said at the groundbreaking, “Today, we are standing on official Catawba Nation lands! This is historical Catawba land! We are all Americans, and we are in lockstep with them, and wish them well in the furthering of their culture. I want to thank Chief Harris and others of this Catawba Nation for having us as guests on their land.”

Commissioner Hutchins was quoted on the handout as saying, “Our steadfast partnership with the Catawba Indian Nation has brought us to this moment in time to celebrate their culture and their desire to improve the future of tribe members and those in Cleveland County and the region through jobs, tourism, and economic potential.”

He added at the groundbreaking, “This (casino and its jobs) is going to be beneficial to us all.”

In addition to Hutchins being there for the Cleveland County Commissioners, Chairperson Susan Allen was present as well, as was Delaware North’s Gaming President E. Brian Hansberry, and a host of dignitaries and others. Sheriff Alan Norman and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department provided security and direction for the event.

Hansberry noted that Delaware North wants “to create a world-class operation here,” and that they were “glad to be working on this.”

In closing, Chief Harris, said, just before inviting everyone to the actual groundbreaking area, “This project will have a huge economic impact on this area!”

Providing tribal music and prayers for the event, along with ceremonial drumming were Jason and Ronnie Beck.

For those desiring more information on the Catawba Nation Casino or the tribe, contact Elizabeth Harris, Tribal Administrator at elizabeth.harris@catawbaindian.net, or call (803) 366-4792, ext. 225.
7 28 2020 4 38 36 pm 7843486
The new patio at 133 West takes shape.

Work continues in downtown KM

By Loretta Cozart 

Additional renovation and construction progress is being seen in the downtown area. The patio at 133 West continues is taking shape. A stage as been added, along with decorative concrete work. The restaurant has yet to open, but furniture has been delivered.

Just down the block, Michael Parker’s property, once home of SageSport / Fulton’s Department Store, has seen the addition of joists for the second floor that are almost complete. Every fourth joist is anchored into the wall with eight inch bolts, which helps stabilize the structure and allows for work to be done on the roof next.

McGill’s Service Station has seen cornice and masonry work begin. Once this step is complete, cleaning of the exterior will begin. New owner, Kaimesha Young, shared that she closed on the property July 15.
Chief bill harris 2
Bill Harris

Catawba Indian Nation to break ground on casino Wednesday

The Catawba Indian Nation held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new, state-of-the art casino development project today, Wednesday, July 22, at 10:30 am, at 245 Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain, off I-85 at Exit 5.

The event was a celebration for the Catawba Indian Nation and the surrounding community as work begins on this important and long-awaited economic development project. Through construction and completion, the project will employ 4,000 North Carolinians from the surrounding region.

Speakers include Catawba Indian Nation Chief Bill Harris, Delaware North, Gaming President E. Brian Hansberry, Cleveland County Commissioners Chair Susan Allen, and Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler.

Masks are required, and social distancing measures will be in effect. We will be adhering to North Carolina's COVID19 Restrictions on outdoor event capacity.
Marilynsellers newsmall
Marilyn Sellers

City clarifies purchase of land in 2015

By Loretta Cozart
Last week, the Herald reported on two parcels of land purchased by the City of Kings Mountain in 2015 in order to provide utilities to NTE Energy, now known as Carolina Power Partners, LLC. Documentation provided by City of Kings Mountain shows the city billed NTE Energy, and NTE Energy paid the city a month later and before the property switched hands.

In a phone call with Kings Mountain City Manager Marilyn Sellers on Monday, July 20, Sellers explained the transaction saying, “We had an agreement with NTE that the city would purchase the property and they (NTE) would, in turn, reimburse us. What happened was that it became a pass through. A payment was received by the city from NTE, and we City paid for the two parcels. We didn’t use taxpayer dollars and the closing fees were included in their payment.”

Reviewing the city’s ledger sheet, City of Kings Mountain billed NTE Energy for $119,723.25 on July 7, 2015 and check was received from NTE Energy in that amount on August 3, 2015. The deed was executed on September 1, 2015 by Atty. Neisler and recorded with the Register of Deeds office on September 3, 2015.

Sellers explained the upset bid process. “Anytime we get a bid on a property, we, as staff, in turn put that on the council agenda to let them know we received a bid,” she said. “When we accept the bid, it starts the process. And, we don’t have to accept it (the bid) after a month. That’s up to council.”

“As for the property having no value, ‘of no use’ would be a better term,” Sellers said. “We looked at several options for the property and decided it was of no use to us. We purchased the 17.11 acre parcel for $69,723.25. We did have the property appraised at $125,000 and we got a bid for $150,000. We are hoping for higher offers and the first bid starts the process. It is up to council and, in the end, they may decide they don’t want to sell it.”
Roy cooper 2
Roy Cooper

NC K-12 public schools require safety measures to re-open

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen were joined today by education and health leaders to announce health and safety plans for K-12 public schools for the new school year. Schools will open for in-person instruction under an updated Plan B that requires face coverings for all K-12 students, fewer children in the classroom, measures to ensure social distancing for everyone in the building, and other safety protocols.

“The most important opening is that of our classroom doors. Our schools provide more than academics; they are vital to our children’s’ health, safety and emotional development,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a difficult time for families with hard choices on every side. I am committed to working together to ensure our students and educators are as safe as possible and that children have opportunities to learn in the way that is best for them and their families.”

The Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit outlines the updated requirements for Plan B. Districts may choose to operate under Plan C, which calls for remote learning only, and health leaders recommend schools allow families to opt into all-remote learning. Modifications have been made to Plan B since it was released in June to make it more protective of public health.

“After looking at the current scientific evidence and weighing the risks and benefits, we have decided to move forward with today’s balanced, flexible approach which allows for in-person instruction as long as key safety requirements are in place in addition to remote learning options.” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “We will continue to follow the science and data and update recommendations as needed. We ask every North Carolinian to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and follow the three W’s: Wear a face covering when in public, Wait 6 feet apart, Wash your hands.”

Governor Cooper also announced that the state will provide at least five reusable face coverings for every student, teacher and school staff member in public schools. In June, the state provided packs of personal protective equipment to schools that included a two-month supply of thermometers, surgical masks, face shields and gowns for school nurses and delegated staff who provide health care to students.

“Educators and stakeholders across our state have worked tirelessly to reopen our school buildings safely for our students, teachers and staff. Today, we take another critical step towards that goal. We also know families need to choose the option that is best for their children, so all school districts will provide remote learning options,” said Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education.

“In-person education is important for children, and it happens in the context of a community. This plan strikes the right balance between health and safety and the benefits of having children learn in the classroom. We must all continue with proven measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission like wearing a face covering, keeping distance between people, and frequent hand and surface cleanings so we can move closer to safely re-opening public schools,” said Dr. Theresa Flynn, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, a practicing pediatrician who serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Pediatric Society and joined today’s announcement.

Under Plan B, schools are required to follow key safety measures that include:

• Require face coverings for all teachers and students K-12

• Limit the total number of students, staff and visitors within a school building to the extent necessary to ensure 6 feet distance can be maintained when students/staff will be stationary

• Conduct symptom screening, including temperature checks

• Establish a process and dedicated space for people who are ill to isolate and have transportation plans for ill students

• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in the school and transportation vehicles regularly

• Require frequent hand washing throughout the school day and provide hand sanitizer at entrances and in every classroom

• Discontinue activities that bring together large groups

• Limit nonessential visitors and activities involving external groups

• Discontinue use of self-service food or beverage distribution

In addition, schools are strongly recommended to follow additional safety measures that include:

• Designate hallways and entrance/exit doors as one-way

• Keep students and teachers in small groups that stay together as much as possible

• Have meals delivered to the classroom or have students bring food back to the classroom if social distancing is not possible in the cafeteria

• Discontinue activities that bring together large groups

• Place physical barriers such as plexiglass at reception desks and similar areas

More details can be found in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit. Read the Screening Reference Guide for schools and the Infection Control and PPE Guidance.

In addition to the announcement about school plans, Governor Cooper shared that North Carolina will remain paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 after the current Executive Order expires on Friday, July 17.

“As we continue to see rising case numbers and hospitalizations, we will stay in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks,” said Governor Cooper. “Our re-opening priority is the school building doors, and in order for that to happen we have to work to stabilize our virus trends.”

“While all school re-entry plans have their challenges during this pandemic, our superintendents, principals, and other school leaders will continue to prioritize student and staff safety in reopening schools under the cautious parameters outlined today by the Governor,” said North Carolina Association of School Administrators Executive Director Katherine Joyce. “We look forward to continuing work with the Governor, the General Assembly, and other state leaders to ensure our schools have the support needed to get student learning back on track in the safest manner possible in each local district.”

“I recognize Governor Cooper faced a very difficult decision. The good news is that local school boards can now begin to officially put their school reopening plans in motion,” said Brenda Stephens, President of the North Carolina School Board Association. “While the current situation may not be ideal for all, I’m confident North Carolina’s educators will continue to provide students with the best education possible.

Zoning 245 dixon school road
The area highlighted on the map is property owned by E5 Holdings, LLC and they have asked for a rezoning. The large parcel east of the highlighted property is owned by the city and is currently open for upset bid. The smaller property to the south, between E5 Holdings and the I-85 Service Road, is property owned by Trent Testa, who has also requested rezoning. Photo by Cleveland County GIS

Planning and Zoning Board meets: Board recommends City Council approve 2 rezoning requests

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s Planning and Zoning Board met on Tuesday July 14 to discuss several zoning requests along Dixon School Road near the I-85 interchange.

There was a quorum present and all members of the board were in attendance: CCETJ Chairman Doug Lawing, Vice Chairman Ron Humphries, Todd Wilson, Chris Jolly, Ronnie Franks, Joseph Allen, Maury Williams, Bobby Elliott, Donald Atkins, Renee Bost, and Audrey Cody.

After Stuart Gilbert updated to the board on the Comprehensive Plan and shared a PowerPoint presentation regarding Consistency Statements, the board addressed the two matters of action on the agenda.

Property owner Trent Testa submitted Zoning Request Z-1-6-20, for parcel number 11658 at 259 Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain and asked his property to be rezoned from light industrial to general business. Testa did not attend the meeting.

The second item considered was Zoning Request Z-2-6-20 submitted by members of E5 Holdings, LLC, Eddie Holbrook, Doug Brown, Stuart LeGrand, for parcel number 11650 at 245 Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain, asking the property to be rezoned from light industrial to general business. Nobody representing E5 Holdings, LLC attended.

Prior to public input, Gilbert shared that E5 Holdings had requested annexing paperwork late Tuesday afternoon. He explained, “E5 Holdings wants annexed into the city because City of Kings Mountain has adjacent annexed property.”

Two Kings Mountain residents who live nearby spoke. Marcus Howze of 212 Dixon School Road addressed the board asking, “How will this rezoning affect us?” Chairman Lawing explained, “It should not impact taxes or zoning at this time.” Howze then asked for clarification and Chairman Lawing assured him, “The only parcels impacted are the two parcels we discussed.”

Pricilla Dunlap of Tin Mine Road spoke next, questioning Chairman Lawing’s response to Howze’s, using the phrase, “… at this time.” Lawing explained, “Cities cannot annex properties in the ETJ unless the property owners request annexation.”

Board member Renee Bost made the motion to delay the rezoning decision on both properties until next month. Chairman Doug Lawing explained to the board that if nobody seconded the motion, it would fail. He then asked for a second and a second was not given, so the motion did not carry.

Board member Maury Williams made a motion to recommend approval of both zoning requests and the board voted 10 – 1 in favor of the motion. Board member Renee Bost cast the dissenting vote.

A motion was then made by board member Ron Humphries to send the recommendations to approve both requests on to city council for both the Testa and E5 Holdings, LLC properties, and the board voted 10 – 1 in favor of the motion. Board member Renee Bost cast the dissenting vote.

Rainbow over KM

Eric Pardo took this photo last Friday as storms passed through town and posted it on the What’s Up Kings Mountain!’s Facebook page. According to Eric, “I was just at the right place at the right time.”
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KM designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program

KM designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program

The N.C. Main Street Center & Rural Planning Center at the NC Department of Commerce announced that 48 North Carolina communities have been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s highest tier of recognition, signifying a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and showcasing a proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach.

“We are so proud that the City of Kings Mountain is one of the 48 North Carolina communities that has earned Main Street America’s national Accreditation,” said City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “This recognition illustrates the City’s commitment to economic development, downtown revitalization and historic preservation.”

“North Carolina’s accredited Main Street programs have worked diligently to meet the standards established by the National Main Street Center, and we are pleased to see them recognized on a national level for their achievement,” said Anthony M. Copeland, N.C. Secretary of Commerce. “Local Main Street programs across our state work every day to bring jobs and businesses to their downtowns, which strengthens the overall economy of their communities and, in turn, that of our entire state.”

The North Carolina Main Street communities that have earned accreditation for their 2019 performance are Albemarle, Belmont, Bessemer City, Burlington, Cherryville, Clinton, Concord, Eden, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Elkin, Elon, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Goldsboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, Kings Mountain, Lenoir, Laurinburg, Lexington, Marion, Monroe, Morehead City, Morganton, New Bern, Newton, North Wilkesboro, Oxford, Reidsville, Roanoke Rapids, Roxboro, Rutherfordton, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Spruce Pine, Statesville, Sylva. Tarboro, Tryon, Wake Forest, Washington. Waynesville, Waxhaw, Williamston, and Wilson.

The performance standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street community’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“Earning Accreditation for our Main Street program makes the City of Kings Mountain even more attractive for residential and business development,” said City of Kings Mountain’s Community Planning and Economic Development Director Stuart Gilbert. “The City was recently named as the Healthiest Housing Market in the country and these types of distinctions are important to families, businesses and investors.”

“The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is proud of this year’s accredited communities,” said Liz Parham, Director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center. “These communities have worked hard to build sustainable organizations, which are able to create vibrant downtowns that can pivot quickly during a crisis like COVID-19. We commend these communities and their volunteers on these accomplishments and look forward to seeing their continued success.”

“This is another great honor for the City of Kings Mountain,” said Mayor Scott Neisler. “First, SmartAsset.com, a web-based financial technology firm, named Kings Mountain as the Healthiest Housing Market in the United States,” Mayor Neisler added. “Now, Main Street America has recognized our downtown revitalization efforts as one of the top 48 in the state,”

Since 1980, The North Carolina Main Street program has generated $3.25 billion in private and public investment. In 2019, North Carolina Main Street downtown districts generated 345 net new businesses, 148 expansions of existing businesses, 2,211 net new jobs, 378 façade rehabilitations, 297 building rehabilitations, and logged more than 150,000 volunteer hours.

The success of the Downtown District is a partnership requiring strategic planning and financial investment from both the public and private sectors.

“The leadership of the City of Kings Mountain and the dedicated property and business owners in Downtown Kings Mountain have worked hard to create the type of positive changes that brought forth the National Main Street America Accreditation,” said Main Street Coordinator Susan Matheson. “Being an Accredited Main Street community is an honor to achieve and we appreciate everyone who has helped us to reach this milestone.”

The City of Kings Mountain has been intentional in creating appropriate improvements that maintain the historic integrity of our downtown structures such as the building restorations along South Battleground Avenue and those currently underway on West Mountain Street. The City’s strategic planning helped guide the development of new amenities such as the Amphitheater and updated Streetscape along Cansler Street.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Nationally, Main Street America communities generated $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment, helped open 6,466 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 32,316 net new jobs, and supported the rehabilitation of 10,412 buildings in 2019.
— KM Herald
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Photo taken of May 26 City Council meeting in which they voted to annex the two parcels into the corporate limits. Photo by Loretta Cozart

When a gift is not a gift

By Loretta Cozart

The Herald reported on actions taken during the May 26 City Council Meeting in the June 3 edition of the Kings Mountain Herald, sharing the discussion of councilmembers who described two parcels of land as being gifted to the city. The Herald has since learned the land had instead been purchased by the city in September 2015.

On May 26, 2020, City of Kings Mountain held a Public Hearing before the annexation of two parcels of city-owned land located near Dixon School Road and across from the planned casino, being described as “New Lot 1,” consisting of .71 acres and “New Lot 2,” consisting of 17.11 acres as shown on a plat recorded in Plat Book 38 at Page 59 of the Cleveland County Registry.

Discussion by councilmembers followed, and Councilman Jimmy West asked, “How did we acquire the property and how long have we had it?” City Planner Stuart Gilbert replied, “We acquired it on September 1, 2015.”

Councilman Jay Rhodes added saying, “Albemarle (Rockwood Lithium) gave us a large portion of it. And a family gave us the other small lot.” Mayor Neisler added, “We got it so we could provide power to the NTE (Energy Center) project.”

However, the property was not gifted to the city as described by city council. The two properties were purchased by City of Kings Mountain for a total of $119,723.25 as noted in the July 28, 2015 City Council Agenda.

Item I of that agenda reads, “Authorize Mayor to execute documents purchasing 0.71 acres of the tract of land owned by PMC Holdings, Inc., DB 1473 P. 777, in the amount of $50,000 plus closing costs and 17.11 acres of the tract of land owned by Rockwood Lithium, Inc., subsidiary of Albemarle Corporation; DB 1636 P. 19, in the amount of $69,723.25 plus closing costs for the purpose of utility infrastructure to and from the NTE Energy Center.”

According to Cleveland County GIS, the 17.11 acres of land, identified as Parcel 63027, was sold to City of Kings Mountain by Rockwood Lithium for $69,723.25 plus closing costs. The current land value is listed as $188,210. The second lot, Parcel 62997, was sold to the City of Kings Mountain by Pyramid Motor Company, Inc. for $50,000 plus closing costs and the current land value is $4,259.00.

The Herald called City Attorney Mickey Corry to discuss the gifted land. Atty. Corry, in turn, had Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks call the Herald. When told that the city had not been gifted the land as described during in the May city council meeting, Hendricks replied, “Let me explain to you how the process works. We needed a 100-foot easement to supply NTE water, electric, and gas when they built their plant. So, we went to Rockwell Lithium to get the easement and they wouldn’t sell it to us unless we purchased the entire parcel.”

He went on to say, “To service NTE, we had to put in the infrastructure that cost the city a lot of money. Monthly, every 30-days, the city bills NTE for the infrastructure and utilities. In that invoice they also pay us for the land we purchased, essentially making it a gift because we considered ourselves gifted to have received it.”

Henricks also explained that the land is filled with 100-foot drop-offs and the city considers the land of no value. When asked, “If that is the case, why did the city bother annexing the land into the city last month?," he replied, “I don’t know. That is a question for City Manager Marilyn Sellers or Mayor Neisler. I can’t answer that.”

One month after annexing the property, during the June 30 city council meeting, councilmembers approved “a Motion adopt a Resolution to receive an Offer to Purchase in the amount of $150,000 from E-5 Holdings, LLC (Eddie Holbrook, David Brown, and Stuart LeGrand) for property consisting of 17 acres, more or less, and being located on Dixon School Road and authorize advertisement for upset bid process.” The land was neither identified by a street address nor a parcel number. Without discussion, council approved the motion.

When the Herald asked Hendricks, “Is the land that you discussed in item 15 on the June 30 agenda the same 17.11 acres purchased in 2015?,” Hendricks replied, “It is one and the same, but the city is keeping a 100-foot easement to NTE.” When queried why the property wasn’t identified by address and parcel number as it should have been,” he replied, “It must have been an oversight by the City Clerk. You can call and ask her.”

Legally, City of Kings Mountain purchased 17.11 acres of land in 2015. It was not a gift. On May 28, the city annexed that property into its corporate limits. One month later, city council approved authorizing advertisement for upset bid process for this same property without discussion, at the urging of E5 Holdings. And, now, because the city annexed that property, the city is legally required by state law to provide all the utilities and services to that property that it provides to all owners within their corporate limits.
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Kings Mountain native Kiamesha Young is in the process of purchasing McGill’s Service station. Photo provided

Kiamesha Young buys McGill’s Service Station

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain native Kiamesha Young is buying McGill’s Service Station at 100 E. King Street in Kings Mountain. The building was constructed in 1924 by Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and the McGill family ran the service station from 1926 to 1992. The McGill’s were well-known for their commitment to service, drawing loyal customers to their business for 66 years.

At the June 30 Kings Mountain City Council meeting, property owner Joe Champion introduced Young as the new buyer and asked them to delay the Order to Repair or Demolish the building to allow her time for due diligence.

Young currently lives in Charlotte and has a degree in mathematics from UNC-Charlotte. She taught middle and high school math before entering into the real estate business. She has been in business in for 15-years and is no stranger to hard work. “I am very hands-on. My whole family is from Kings Mountain and we are hard workers,” she said. “That work ethic was instilled in us by our grandfather, Leroy Young. He laid pipe for Gaston County until he retired. We work with our hands and we don’t wait on anybody to do anything for us that we can get out there and do ourselves,” she added.

Young explained that she is transitioning into the contractor’s side from the real estate industry in this project. “I have a vision for the property and have a building contractor’s license, so I have the resources to make sure the work gets done, and done well,” she said. “I own the Y3 Work Bar in Gaston County, so I understand the kind of hard work that is required.”

The Order to Repair or Demolish, issued by City of Kings Mountain, cited four primary issues with the building: (1) Loose and overhanging objects or leaning objects that constitute a danger of falling on persons on the premises, (2) Exterior of the building is not in good repair or free from deterioration, (3) Broken glass, loose wood, crumbling brick and similar hazards, (4) Flaking and peeling exterior surfaces need to be scraped and repainted.

On Monday, Moon builders began repairing the brick, cornice, and windows of the Service Station. “We want to preserve the history by restoring the building to its original look on the exterior,” Young added. “The inside will definitely have a more modern feel. The two bays will most likely become conference space and a lounge area, with glass doors in the front. Features we want to keep include the wall safe and the service pits.”

Once completed, Young will move her real estate business into the building. “Right now, I am pretty much a one-man show. But my goal with this building is to provide opportunities and jobs in the city through real estate.“

Like the McGill family, who developed a loyal customer base through hard work, Kiamesha Young intends to continue that commitment to quality service at 100 E. King Street in the heart of Kings Mountain, and she invites other entrepreneurs to bring their business to town.

“For people like me who moved away and started businesses outside of Kings Mountain, I would say that it is time for them to bring their resources and talents home. It’s just time.” Young added, “Kings Mountain is growing and there is a place for us now. There are opportunities for us to make a difference.”

Joe Champion and Steve Wallace purchased McGill’s Service Station in 2005, along with several other properties that had once housed or distributed fuel products. “People kept telling me that reclaiming these properties couldn’t be done. But it can!”

“Cleanup on the service station property took a substantial investment, but it was worth it to save this piece of our history,” Champion said. “People offered to help us but couldn’t come up with the money. The hardest thing for people to understand was that work had been done, but they couldn’t see it because it was below the ground.”

On December 4, 2017, NC Department of Environmental Quality, UST Division, Waste Management, Asheville Regional office issued a No Further Action determination letter for 100 E. King Street. That decision came with a deed restriction designating the site as only suitable for industrial/commercial businesses, due to groundwater contamination “exceeding residential” Maximum Soil Contaminant Concentration Levels (MSCCs) from petroleum in the ground. Left undisturbed, that petroleum poses no issue, according to state guidelines.

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Ed Blackburn’s beehives. Photos Shirley Brutko

Blackburn’s bees help apple trees flourish

By Loretta Cozart 

Kings Mountain banker, Ed Blackburn, has always gardened. Ten to fifteen years ago he added heirloom apples to his repertoire, planting trees at his home and in his family’s apple orchard in Todd, NC. He has several apple varieties, including Early Transparent, Virginia Beauty, Green Cheese, and Johnson’s Fine Winter.

“The family orchard had been neglected, so I took on the project, cleaning it up and planting new trees.” Between his orchard in the mountains and at his home, Blackburn now has 13 apple trees.

His orchard and his garden have kept him busy. However, his garden just hasn’t produced as he would like recently. “This year is the sorriest garden I’ve ever had,” Blackburn said. “Memorial Day rains washed most of the garden away. I was only able to save maybe 40% of my green beans.”

Over the years, Blackburn had considered keeping bees. “I’ve always had an interest in beehives, because I love honey. But I just kept putting it off. In December 2019, I read that the Gaston County Bee Association was offering a bee class and decided to take it. I took the class in January and by April 15, I had my first hive.”

Blackburn now has six hives and has named them after places from his family history. He also named his queen bees after women in his family. “The Watauga hive is in honor of my mother; I named the queen Betty to honor her. My mother’s family is from Mabel, North Carolina, located in Watauga County.”

The remaining five hives were named in the same fashion: Texas, Scottie; Mabel, Lillian (Blackburn’s maternal grandmother); Red Carolina (named for Carolina Freight because his dad, mother, and sister worked there), the queen is named Ms. Beam; Santa Fe, Rosa; and Blue Ridge. He hasn’t named that queen yet. “I’m working on it though,” Blackburn said. In addition to naming each hive and queen, Blackburn and his family have painted the hives to match their place names.

What started as a hobby out of a love of honey has blossomed in ways Blackburn never imagined. “My apple trees are producing far more than they did last year. My blueberry bushes are producing two to three times better. My Raspberries have just exploded in growth, too. And those green beans are also producing well. It is amazing.”

“An apple tree normally produces 250 apples, but with the bees pollinating them they are producing 1,200 apples each. I have two Early Transparent trees that are 12-years old now. The fruit ripens in early June. So far, between my wife and family members, we’ve put up 50 – 60 jars of apples from those trees alone. We have a lot of apples.”

Blackburn suggests taking the Gaston County Bee Class if you are interested in keeping bees. “I am a firm believer that people learn by observing, reading, and being taught. And, when you finish the class, you are assigned a mentor to help you for a year. I highly recommend taking the class, as opposed just to watching videos on YouTube. Mentors help you apply the knowledge from class in your own hives and their experience is invaluable.”
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N.F. McGill and Son’s service station served KM residents for 66-years

By Loretta Cozart 

On February 2, 1926, Norman Fuller McGill took management of N. F. McGill and Son’s Standard Oil Station at the corner of E. King Street and N. Piedmont Avenue in Kings Mountain. Many people remember the building that housed a family business for three generations and the way the McGill family made them feel. The McGill family appreciated their customers, and the customers knew it.

In a story in the Herald written by Lib Stewart in 1976, McGill shared that he “made the motion at a city board meeting in the early 1920s that resulted in the rezoning of the Ella Harmon property for construction of a one-room service station.” He had no idea at the time that just two-years later he would become the operator of the station for Standard Oil Co., then Esso and later Exxon in 1972. 

When the station opened, there were few other service stations in town. One was located at the intersection of Battleground and W. Mountain Street, where the Cleveland County Chamber once kept an office. That station was operated by I.G. Patterson and Charlie Falls. W.A. Mauney Stores was open at that time and remained so until 1929, the year Andrew Mauney passed. 

Other downtown stores of that era were Kiser and Mauney, Carpenter Brothers Hardware, and Plonk Brothers. All those businesses are gone now but for the buildings that once housed them. The same is true for McGill and Son’s service station.

McGill shared in the article that Zeb Means, son of a preacher, was a loyal employee who worked for him before N.F. McGill, Jr. was born. He sometimes washed as many as 25 cars on Saturdays in an open wash pit beside the station.

One of McGill’s busiest days was the day in 1932 when President Herbert Hoover came to town for the celebration at the Battleground, before it became a National Military Park. “I had a front row seat,” McGill said. “But the crowds who lined the streets from the depot (then located downtown) and streets by the station did not cheer Hoover. There was only one man who did,” he said. The nation was in the throughs of the Great Depression.

That day, McGill had a continuous stream of cars stopping at his station on the corner to fill up and his nephew enjoyed a booming business with a refreshment stand.

McGill was asked to come from Sunday Church services at the ARP Church, which was then located where the Mountain View Restaurant is now, to gas up 40 – 50 motorcycles in the president’s motorcade. Those were the good ole’ days. 

The McGill family operated the business until N.F. McGill, Jr. retired in 1992, celebrating 66-years of service to the people of Kings Mountain and those who passed through town on their way to points west, or to view the fall leaves each year.

For 46-years, the building was owned by Standard Oil Company as noted on the Cleveland County Ledger Sheet, from April 15, 1926 until 1972. 

McGill and Son’s was a full-service station. Many Kings Mountain residents visited the station religiously. Jackie Jordan Davis commented on a recent Facebook post, “Trip, I love the picture of your grandaddy pumping gas in his suit and hat!! My grandaddy always dressed the exact same way. He never went anywhere without being ‘dressed’ and had his hat on.”

Gladys Jones shared, “We couldn't have survived our ten years in that town without McGill’s Service Station and even more importantly - without knowing and being friends with the McGill’s.”

Chris Ledbetter reminisced, “As a teenager with a bike I remember going there for free air for my tires that where always flat. I still love to see that landmark as I ride by in my truck with air filled tires...”

Byron Fite wrote, “I was born in 1954, and remember the station when service stations were Service Stations, with full service, and clean windshields, oil check, gas fill ups, and tire pressure checks in one stop... Just Saying, how old I am I reckon...”

Jeff Bogan shared the sentiments of many who commented, “I’d hate to see that building go away. It holds some good memories for me.”

Norman Fuller McGill, III (Trip) recently shared some photos on Facebook of the service station the year it opened., “100 E. King Street was the home of my grandaddy and dad’s business for years. The original building was built in 1924 and my Grandaddy, Fuller McGill, operated the business starting in 1926 and my dad closed the doors in 1992!” 

He added, “Pictured here is the original building before the bays and restrooms were added. My grandaddy standing in front as it was Standard Oil of NJ and then later McGill’s Esso and McGill’s Exxon. Also pictured is a story about my grandaddy and a picture of me with my dad sitting on the doorstep of the service station when I was about 3 years old, which would have been 1963.”

Three generations of McGill men, and countless others, worked at N.F. McGill and Son’s service station in its 66-year history. A new era of service stations began here in 1926 and the McGill family proudly continued that tradition until they closed the business. 

Fuller McGill and his son, Norman, were veterans of WWI and WWII respectively. They were civic minded family men who served the community on town boards and in a variety of roles at the ARP Church. 

The example they set while in business remains unequalled in Kings Mountain today. Humble men who did their job well, and served their community with their energy, time, and talents.

As Lib Stewart pointed out in her 1976 article, “McGill prides himself that his station has offered ‘first class service’ throughout the years and on the walls of the renovated modern establishment is a 40-year service award fromEsso and other citations.”

“McGill is apt to tell you very quickly that he doesn’t want to return to the ‘good ole’ days,” Stewart reported. “I just count my blessings every day,” he said.
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DAR holds virtual Continental Congress online

By Loretta Cozart

This pandemic has impacted every part of our lives, from work, school, and play and the same applies to the Daughters of the American Revolution’s (DAR) annual meeting, referred to as Continental Congress. This year marks the 129th annual Continental Congress held in Washington, DC, just blocks away from the White House. But this year’s event will be virtual, and members are able to enjoy the events from their homes, or in small chapter gatherings across the country from June 24 – June 28.

Thousands of DAR members make the trip to Continental Congress around July 4 each year. Groups fill hotels inside the beltway and travel back and forth from the DAR buildings via shuttles and taxis during the day. From start to finish, Continental Congress is busy from morning to night with meetings, award ceremonies, and honoring our military and veterans.

Many go to Continental Congress to take advantage of the DAR’s Library, an extensive collection of genealogical records gathered from across the country. Others go to meet like-minded individuals who share similar interests and goals in the organization. 

DAR members join for a variety of reasons as diverse as the members themselves. Some join to foster good citizenship, educate youth, preserve history, learn about American history, research genealogy, coordinate local service projects, or to participate in commemorative events.  

A good example of a commemorative event witnessed locally occurred in 2016, when the Col. Frederick Hambright DAR Chapter dedicated a marker to African American Patriots at the Battle of Kings Mountain at the Kings Mountain National Military Park. All patriots who participated in the American Revolution deserve to be recognized for their service and three black patriots, among others unknown, are honored there.

In light of recent events, the DAR President General recently shared the society’s continued commitment to equality on its website saying, “DAR is an organization committed to historic preservation, education and patriotism, and knows that examining history helps us to better understand our nation’s long struggle to provide equality, justice and humanity for all Americans.”

She went on to share, “Our National Society encourages and celebrates a diverse membership, and we embrace the opportunity to support our members of color. DAR reaffirms to the membership and the public alike that our organization condemns racism. Bias, prejudice and intolerance have no place in the DAR or America.”

DAR members are women who come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of interests. Their common bond is their lineal descent from patriots of the American Revolution – any woman, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove this lineage is eligible to join.

Cleveland County Reports Third Death Related to COVID-19

The Cleveland County Health Department is sad to report the third death associated with COVID-19 in Cleveland County.
The individual, who passed on June 23, was in the age range of 25-49 and had multiple underlying health conditions. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this individual will be released.
“I am deeply saddened that we have lost another member of our community to COVID-19,” Cleveland County Health Director Tiffany Hansen said. “My thoughts and prayers are with this individual’s family. This reinforces that we must continue to take this virus very seriously.” 
As of today, there have been a total of 248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cleveland County. Of these, 70 are currently active, 175 have completed their isolation period and recovered, and 9 are hospitalized. 
“The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our county continues to rise on a daily basis,” Cleveland County Deputy Health Director Deshay Oliver said. “The virus has become widespread throughout our county, and we are seeing ongoing community transmission. Since moving into Phase 1 and 2 of reopening, things seem to feel more normal, which can lead people to become more relaxed about taking precautions. However, it is more important now than ever to be responsible when leaving our homes by waiting six feet apart, washing our hands, and wearing a cloth face covering or mask. We must maintain the mindset that anyone could have the virus and take appropriate precautions.”
To view the Cleveland County COVID-19 case count update on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, visit www.clevelandcounty.com, click on “County Departments,” select “Health Department,” and then click on “Coronavirus Information.” You can also receive COVID-19 updates by following the Cleveland County Health Department’s Facebook page @clevelandcountyhealthdepartment.