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Keep that stormwater flowing

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

April 16 at Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park

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

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

Sheriff needs help
finding missing person

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

Silver Alert issued
Missing Cleveland County man

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

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

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

Auxiliary Spring Fling Craft
and Vendor show a success

By Loretta Cozart

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

Downtown Streetscape work has begun, road closures
start April 18

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

Albemarle Corporation held Town Hall meeting March 29

By Loretta Cozart

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

Early voting starts April 28

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

To-go breakfasts now an option
in downtown Kings Mountain

By Loretta Cozart

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

Albemarle Corporation makes presentation at City Council Meeting

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


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

City receives grant
for community garden

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

By Loretta Cozart 

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

Legion Auxiliary craft and vendor show April 2

By Loretta Cozart

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Albemarle Lithium invites citizens to community meeting on March 28

By Loretta Cozart

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

Citizens attend second
Project South meeting

By Loretta Cozart

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

U.S. Congress considers
Sunshine Protection Act

By Loretta Cozart

On March 15, the Sunshine Protection Act passed the U.S. Senate, with amendment, by unanimous voice vote. The bill was then sent to the U.S. House of Representatives for their consideration.
If passed by both chambers of Congress, this bill makes daylight saving time the new, permanent standard time, effective November 5, 2023. The amendment added also provides that states with areas exempt from daylight saving time currently may choose the standard time for those areas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced her personal support of doing away with daylight saving time but added that that discussion would have to occur with their caucus and Congress.
Due to the war in Ukraine, it is uncertain how long it will take for such legislation to be brought before the U.S. House. Even if the Bill were passed, it would not go into practice until November 2023.
Daylight Savings Time was introduced in the United States in 1918, during WWI, when Germany used the technique to save energy during the war. The practice went into place again in the 1960s and has continued since in many states. During WWII, Daylight Savings Time was adopted year-round and was again in 1973 during the oil embargo. It was later repealed.
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Brianna Baity proudly displays her Yamaha Raptor 125. Photo by Mark Baity

Baity to compete in world’s premier off-road racing series event

Kings Mountain resident Brianna Baity will compete with the best off-road racers in the world on Saturday, March 26. The 10-year-old ATV racer will compete at the Tiger Run GNCC, in nearby Cross Anchor, SC, round four of the 13-stop Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship.
More than 1,500 racers are expected to compete over the weekend, as the event includes four-wheeled ATV racing on Saturday and dirt bikes on Sunday. Classes range from riders as young as four and as old as the 60-plus divisions. The top GNCC pro classes feature some of the world’s top riders, including talent from England, Europe, and Australia.
“The unique thing about GNCC Racing is that an average racer gets to race alongside some of the top racers from across the world” said GNCC Trail Boss Jeff Russell. “Even with all of this talent, local racers always seem to have an advantage because the course is so similar to the terrain they’re used to riding.”
The tough local terrain makes for a great equalizer when it comes to the talent. Racers will start together on a massive Starting Line before rushing onto a course featuring tight trails, mud and rolling hills. Spectators can watch the action from a variety of vantage points throughout the course, which will be marked on race day.
Baity is in the fourth grade at a local Kings Mountain school. Baity has been racing ATVs for five years and competes in the highly competitive Girls Jr. class. She is currently tied for second in her class for the national championship and rides a Yamaha Raptor 125 with help from her sponsors, Action Off-Road, O'Neal, Penske Racing Shocks, Custom AXIS Racing Shocks, Honda Motorcycles of Shelby, BAD Plastics Skids, Custom Covers Racing, Fowler Motorsports, PRO Works Racing, Senge Graphics Inc, Alba Racing, Lone Star Racing, and Nine2Crew Goggles. Baity uses #RidePink on social media.
So far this year, Baity has competed in GNCC rounds in the states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. This is the second year in a row Baity has contested the prestigious series for a national title. In addition to the GNCC, Baity also competes in the local Mid East Hare Scramble series in 2 different classes!
Saturday’s race format starts with Micro (50cc) ATV racers at 8 a.m., Micro (50cc) bike racers at 8:45 a.m. and Youth racers at 9:30 a.m., Amateurs racing at 11 a.m., and the Pros and top amateurs at 2 p.m., rain or shine. Sunday’s race format will begin with Youth racers starting at 8 a.m., then move onto Amateurs at 10 a.m., followed by the Pros and top amateurs at 1 p.m., rain or shine. GNCC events are grueling, endurance races, with Youth riders racing for 90 minutes, Amateurs two hours, and the Pros a whopping three hours. Baity will race on Saturday with the youth division starting at 9:30 am for a grueling 1 hour.
   Spectator passes run $25 for adults and $10 for kids (6-11), and ages five and under are free for the full weekend. Gate admission includes pro pit access. Sponsor displays and food concessions will be available. The economic impact for a community hosting an event of this magnitude is estimated more than $1.3 million dollars.
   Each round of the GNCC Series is streamed LIVE on RacerTV.com, showcasing the top amateur racers and professional athletes. For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084.
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The smoke seen just before lunchtime on Friday, March 11, was Keith Corporation clearing land for their new office park. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Keith Corporation prepares
land for construction

By Loretta Cozart

On Friday, March 11, smoke rose adjacent to I-85 North, as The Keith Corporation prepares the land for the upcoming construction of Kings Mountain Corporate Center on Canterbury Road. The brownish white smoke bellowed into the air, as remaining debris on the property was gathered into piles and set ablaze.
This work is part of the process for Keith Corporation to begin construction on a speculative industrial building of nearly 1.3 million square feet in Kings Mountain. It is the largest spec building in Cleveland County, North Carolina, and the southeast.
Kings Mountain Corporate Center is a 164-acre, master-planned, business park in Kings Mountain. The business park has extensive I-85 frontage with access to the interstate by two interchanges. And with Charlotte Douglas International Airport just twenty-six miles away via I-85, the location is ideal for many large companies.
“We appreciate City of Kings Mountain’s and Gaston County’s incentive grants, which will help draw potential tenants to this property,” said Justin Curis, Vice President, Industrial Development for The Keith Corporation. “Our intention for this property is for one company to occupy. We anticipate completion at the end of 2022, with a new tenant operational during the first quarter of 2023.”
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On March 5, roof work continued at Mauney Memorial Library. A crew worked on the ground preparing the roofing for installation, as roofers replaced sections of the roof above the Harris Children’s Wing. This is an ongoing project by City of Kings Mountain, replacing the old clay tiles with modern metal roofing that can last many decades with proper maintenance. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Roof work at Mauney Memorial Library

On March 5, roof work continued at Mauney Memorial Library. A crew worked on the ground preparing the roofing for installation, as roofers replaced sections of the roof above the Harris Children’s Wing. This is an ongoing project by City of Kings Mountain, replacing the old clay tiles with modern metal roofing that can last many decades with proper maintenance.                         Photo by Loretta Cozart
 

Biscuitville doing a brisk
business since opening

By Loretta Cozart

Biscuitville held its Grand Opening on March 1, and traffic around the building has been busy since. A mini-traffic jam stretched .2 miles, or 1,056 feet, with cars at a stop from the restaurant all the way back to Los Tarascos Restaurant that makes the area difficult to navigate some mornings.
While the line appeared long, staff quickly delivered breakfasts to waiting customers. Online, customers commented that their entire wait took about 15 minutes.
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TIM MOORE

North Carolina House
passes resolution supporting Ukraine

On Thursday, March 10, the North Carolina House approved HR 981, a resolution expressing support for Ukraine as its people fight for freedom, and urging Congress to increase domestic energy production.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “We stand firmly with the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their country from Russian aggression. As millions of refugees flee and hundreds of civilians have been slaughtered, it is crucial that civilized nations of the world stand with them now.”
He continued, “Furthermore, it’s time for our leaders in Congress and in the White House to reverse course on unnecessarily limiting our production of energy. We must increase our domestic energy production to strengthen our security here at home.”
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Gov. Cooper

Governor visits port 
as supply chain
challenges continue

NC ports increase
capacity


Governor Roy Cooper visited the Port of Wilmington and highlighted North Carolina’s strategic and long-term investments in the trade and infrastructure sectors. The Governor toured the new South Gate Container Complex, the Port’s container berth and a NeoPanamax Crane.
“The increase in capacity at the Port of Wilmington brings North Carolina better paying jobs, helps ease supply chain problems, and helps reduce the cost of goods to every day working families,” said Governor Cooper.
“As today’s tour illustrates, North Carolina is actively working to help address nationwide shipping issues,” said State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “Facilities like our ports, and the Carolina Connector intermodal terminal, show how important it is to invest in infrastructure that moves goods throughout North Carolina and beyond.”
“Investments from the State of North Carolina have allowed for the recent
completion of several major capital improvement projects,” said Brian Clark, Executive Director, NC Ports. “These improvements allow NC Ports to develop long-term solutions to the ongoing supply chain crisis, while concurrently strengthening port efficiency and delivering on our mission to enhance the economy of North Carolina.”
   The South Gate Container Complex opened on February 14 and enables the North Carolina State Ports Authority to meet the demand of increased container volume at the Port of Wilmington and continue to improve on the best trucker turn-times on the East Coast.
   The $26 million project increased the Port’s number of inbound lanes from 4 to 7 and outbound lanes from 3 to 6 for truck traffic, incorporates a new Terminal Operating System and Gate Operating System to optimize efficient and integrate security features, as well as increases the number of outbound Radiation Portal Monitoring lanes. The Port of Wilmington has three Neo-Panamex cranes that accommodate the loading and unloading needs of some of the largest vessels on the East Coast.
   With the completion of the South Gate Container Complex, container yard expansion and three Neo-Panamax cranes, annual potential shipping container capacity has increased from 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units to 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units. The Port of Wilmington currently handles both container cargo and general cargo.
   The North Carolina State Ports Authority and the State of North Carolina have funded several capital improvement projects including berth renovation and expansion, turning basin expansion, air draft clearance and a refrigerated container yard. These investments will help create long-term solutions to ongoing supply chain issues.
   Under Governor Cooper, North Carolina is making investments in infrastructure across the state to move products more efficiently. In November 2021, the Carolina Connector (CCX) intermodal transportation facility opened in Edgecombe County. The facility’s opening enabled the North Carolina Ports Authority to launch the Wilmington Midwest Express, which provides port customers with a daily direct rail connection to the Midwest via the CCX.
   The North Carolina Ports Authority generates over $60 million in annual revenue. According to a 2018 study, the North Carolina State Ports Authority supports 87,700 jobs, $687.2 million in tax revenue and $15.4 billion in economic output.
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The buzzer sounded, and the runners were off! (Photos Shirley Brutko and Starr Dowell)

Gateway Trail race results

By Loretta Cozart

The Gateway Trail 5K had 132 runners in their annual Gateway Trail 5K Race in Kings Mountain on Saturday morning, March 12. The day started out rainy, but the sun came out just in time for the race to begin. Divisional winners include:
• Overall Male Runner, Joshua Koziol, 16, Rock Hill, 18:56:54.
• Overall Female Runner, Grace Benes, 38, York, 22:07:68.
• Male Masters 40 and Over, Morgan Maskell, 53, Shelby, 21:29:70.
• Female Masters 40 and Over, Angela Town, 51, Gastonia, 27:07:19
• Male 0 – 19, David Creighton, 15, Kings Mountain, 28:54:84.
• Female 0 – 19, Kaeleigh Overman, 13, Ellenboro, 28:21:68.
• Male 20 – 29, Alex Spurling, 26, Blacksburg, 56:35; 53.
• Female 20 – 29, Katy Robinson, 26, Kings Mountain, 30:46:45.
• Male 30 – 39, William Paulding, 36, Charlotte, 26:35:31.
• Female 30 – 39, Rebekah Maes, 38, Belmont, 30:39:37.
• Male 40 – 49, Drew
 Baker, 40, Shelby, 26:03:46.
• Female 40 – 49, Crissy Elliot, 46, Dallas, 30:38:13.
• Male 50 – 59, Joe Marlowe, Gastonia, 58, 24:43:25.
• Female 50 – 59, Jan Deviney, 55, Casar, 34:38:85.
• Male 60 – 69, Tim Hepler, 61, Bessemer City, 26:29:60.
• Female 60 – 69, Peggy Baker, 67, Shelby, 38:57:48.
• Male 70 and Over, Robert Paratore, 70, Charlotte, 31:17:96.
Of the 132 runners, 23 were from Kings Mountain. Those runners were Lyndsay Pierson, Nicholas Berryhill, Lucas Robinson, Jason Habel, David Creighton, Katy Robinson, Makenzie Warren, Pedro Lopex, Sidney Coker, Leslie Coker, Corbin Butler, Scott Hoppes, Bryan Butler, Rocio Lopez, Eddie Robinson, Emma Kay Lewis, Ramona Hinson, Rachel Whitaker, Ashely Ellis, Bayleigh Ellis, Sarah Bell, Logan Babiec, and Cheryl Babiec.
Eighteen runners participated in the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Virtual 10 Mile Run. Divisional winners include:
• Overall Male Runner, Morgan Miskell, 53, Shelby 1:25:00:00.
• Overall Female Runner, Liz Waddell, 44, Lowell, 1:35:31:00.
• Male Masters 40 and Over, Jimmy Glover, 65, Gastonia, 1:30:45:00.
• Female Masters 40 and Over, Susan Riener, 64, Moore, 2:08:05:00.
• Male 30 – 39, Robert Rhyne, 37, Belmont, 01:35:39:00.
• Male 40 – 49, Jason Habel, 49, Kings Mountain, 1:43:19:00.
• Male 50 – 59, Reggie Norris, 57, Belmont, 01:46:32:00.
• Male 60 – 69, Robert Peterson, 61, Blacksburg, 01:38:45:00.
Jason Habel of Kings Mountain was the only runner from Kings Mountain to participate in the Virtual 10 Mile Run.

Scenes from Gateway Trail Race

Photos provided

Contests assured in upcoming races

By Lib Stewart

Contests are assured in the city council race for the Ward 2 and Ward 3 seats held by Mike Butler and Tommy Hawkins, 11 people are vying for 4 seats open on the school board and 4 people are seeking the two seats open on the county board of commissioners as candidate filing ended Friday at noon.
Patty Hall, 111 Stowe Acres Road, is running against Butler, who has filed for a 5th 4-year term. Jim Larson, 102 N. Gaston Street, is running against Tommy Hawkins, who is seeking a 4th four-year term on city council.
At-large city councilman David Allen is running unopposed for his seat as are Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman, R-Cleveland, who is seeing a fourth term and NC House Rep. for Cleveland County Tim Moore, and Rep. Kelly Hastings. Moore also serves as Speaker of the NC House of Representatives.  Senator Ted Alexander, R, will seek a third term representing the 4th Senate District seat.
The Primary election is scheduled May 17. If a second Primary is needed it will be on July 5 with the general election scheduled Nov. 8.
In the board of education race, Meghan Hoppes, Democrat, is challenging the three incumbent Democrats Philip Glover, Coleman Hunt, and Dena Green in the Primary while Republicans in the Primary are Aaron Bridges, incumbent Danny Blanton, Annette Fain, Ronnie Grigg, Dale Riviere, Walter Scott Spurling and Glenda Womack, all Republicans.  The Primary voters will determine candidates on the ballots in November.
In the board of commissioner’s race David White and Malarie Thompson, Republicans, are challenging incumbent Republicans Deb Hardin and Doug Bridges in the Primary. Voters at the. The Primary will determine which two candidates will be on the ballots in November.
Jeff Gregory of Cleveland County was one of 7 people filing for the US House District 10 Congressional seat.
Seventy-six candidates filed for local, county, US Senate, US House, Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court Associate justices during the filing period from Feb. 24-March 4.

Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame announces first class of inductions

The Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame announced its inaugural class of inductees Wednesday, March 2, and what an impressive list of inductees it is.
Earl Scruggs and Don Gibson, both natives of Shelby, highlight the first class. Joining Scruggs and Gibson are legendary disc jockey Hugh Dover, who worked at both local stations WOHS, in Shelby and WKMT in Kings Mountain, Bobby Rogers, owner of Bobby’s Records and Rogers Theatre, Kings Mountain native and renowned record producer Ron Feemster and JB and Kathleen Lewis, as well as Herman and Jean Dawson, owners of J&K Records.
“The Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame has been waiting two years for this day,” stated Phil Weathers, President of the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. “We have done a lot of research to develop this first class. We look forward to the actual induction ceremony where we will honor this special group of people in front of their families and the community in which they lived.”
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame every year will be two hit records recorded by artists from Cleveland County. This year those records will be “I Love the Nightlife” by Alicia Bridges and “Timber I’m Falling in Love” by Patty Loveless.
The induction ceremony will be held September 17, at the Don Gibson Theatre. Information concerning the ceremony, including ticket sales, will be forthcoming.
Board of Directors include Phil Weathers-President, Angela Padgett-Vice President, Mary Fox-Secretary, Patti Weathers-Treasurer, Jeff Champion-Marketing, Andrew Fulton, Ryan Fox, Ronnie Whisnant, Tommy Ellis, Jo Boggs, Howard Padgett Jr., and Michael Hayes.
The Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame was established in 2019. The mission of the Hall of Fame is to honor the legacy of pioneers from Cleveland County whose talent has enriched the musical landscape of the area in which they live/lived while giving the tools needed to future generations of musicians to hone their craft. In 2021, Calvin and Teresa Hastings donated the WOHS studios on Hwy 74. In that building the Hall of Fame plans to house a museum, as well as recording studio and a learning center for students who want to play an instrument.
For more information on the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame and the induction ceremony itself, contact the Hall at 704-692-5246 or visit their website at www.ccmusichallofame.org You may also visit their Facebook page at @CCMUSICHALL.
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Special meeting
called to consider
annexing 125 acres

By Loretta Cozart

A special meeting was called for Tuesday, March 8 at 5 p.m. for a motion to adopt a Resolution directing the city clerk to investigate a Voluntary Contiguous Annexation Petition for property located near 102 Woodlake Parkway in Kings Mountain. There are 92.677 acres in Cleveland County and an additional 33.127 acres in Gaston County.
The request to annex was received from Michael Eugene Bumgardner, II, Rebecca Cashion Bumgardner, Faylene Falls Voet, Michael Eugene Bumgardner, and William Zura Cashion, Jr.
The property is in Cleveland County and being identified Parcel #12661, and Parcel #12656 and Gaston County Property identified as Parcel #154966 and consisting of approximately 125.804 acres.
The notice for the special called meeting was shared by the city on Friday, March 4 at 4:35 p.m.

KM City Council schedules four public hearings 

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain City Council met on February 22 to conduct the business of the city. Discussed were budget items, four public hearings, and authorization of the city manager to execute right-of-way and easement agreements, among other items.
Four Public Hearings were scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, at 6:00 p.m. The first Public Hearing is to consider a request from South Oak Partners, LLC to rezone property located on S. Battleground Avenue and consisting of 1.53 acres from Auto Urban Commercial (AU) to Suburban Residential (SR) – Case No. Z-22-1. D.
The second Public Hearing scheduled is to consider a request from Morris Family Holdings, LLC to rezone property between David Baptist Church Road and Stony Point Road and consisting of 14.73 acres, 0.78 acres, and 0.97 acres, and being further identified as Cleveland County Tax Parcels 10869, 10867 and 48436 from Special Use Rural (SU-RU) and Suburban Residential (SR) to Heavy Industrial (HI) – Case No. Z-21-2.
  A third Public Hearing was also scheduled to consider the adoption of an Ordinance amending the City Charter assigning the annexed properties after council declared the Wards boundaries of the City of Kings Mountain, known as of December 31, 2021, in order for Planning Staff to forward updated city limit and ward maps to the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the city, this action just places the properties that were annexed in 2021, and a couple that were inadvertently left off the one done in 2020, into wards.
   A fourth Public Hearing is scheduled to consider text amendments to the City of Kings Mountain Unified Development Ordinance based upon discussion at the Work Session, which was held prior to this meeting.
   Regarding the budget, the following items were approved:
• $400,000 to advance money from the Gas operating fund to be repaid when loan proceeds are received and to transfer budget among expenditure line items in the Gas Capital Project Fund.
• $289,935 to increase revenues in the ARPA Grant Project Fund budget based upon actual amounts to be awarded, and to reclassify expenditures among line items.
• $15,000 to budget for a Kings Mountain TDA contribution for an eight-passenger utility vehicle for Special Events. This contribution was restricted for this purpose and was intended for the 2020-21 budget; however, it was not shipped and invoiced until this fiscal year.
• $60,000 to budget for projected occupancy tax revenues and the corresponding pass through (expenditure) to the TDA. Note occupancy tax revenues are projected to exceed budget due to extreme conservatism in budgeting (unknowns of COVID impacts on travel/hotel occupancy at the time the budget was adopted last spring). It is important to note that the city essentially acts as a collection agent for the tax and is required by law to remit these taxes, less a 3% collection/admin fee to the TDA.
   City council next voted to authorize the City Manager, or her designee, to execute all right of way and easement agreements. There was no public discussion of this topic at the meeting. Mayor Neisler clarified later that the purpose is to give the city manager, or a her designee, the ability to execute right of way and easements agreements for utilities.
   City Council voted to donate equipment, valued at approximately $5,000, to ElectriCities, a non-profit organization for use at their new training facility. Donated were an ABB, 15 KV Overhead Electronic Recloser and cabinet o Purchased in 2006, a Siemens, 15.5 KV Substation Vacuum Circuit Breaker and stand o Purchased in 1991, and a Siemens 5/8% Step – Voltage Regulators and Control Panels purchased in 1991.
   City council also voted to create the Kings Mountain Recreation Committee and appoint the following members: Councilmember David Allen, Councilmember Jay Rhodes, and Councilmember Jimmy West. The committee will also consist of one member of the Kings Mountain YMCA, Kings Mountain Elite, Kings Mountain Optimist Club, NC Crown Soccer Club and Cleveland County School District, which members are to be appointed by the organization.
   Chip McGill was appointed to the ABC Board, with term beginning April 1 and expiring on March 31, 2025.
   City Council also approved a request from Steve and Brad Moffitt, at 166 Northshore Drive, Cherryville, to replace a pier with the same projection of 85-feet on Moss Lake. New docs are limited to 60-feet, but since this was for the replacement of an existing pier, staff recommended approval.
   Also approved was to authorize the mayor to execute the School Resource Officers services contract with Cleveland County Board of Education and authorize Chief Lisa Proctor to execute the Memorandum of Understanding as to the School Resource Officers service.
   City council also declared the Wards boundaries of the City of Kings Mountain, known as of December 31, 2021, in order for Planning Staff to forward updated city limit and ward maps to the U.S. Census Bureau.
   According to the city, the new GIS maps are much more detailed, and the US Census Bureau’s corporate limit boundaries do not match perfectly with the City of Kings Mountain official corporate boundaries. The new conflated maps that City Council approved will be sent to the US Census (in electronic GIS files) so that in the future the US Census Bureau’s depiction of the City of Kings Mountain Corporate Boundaries will match perfectly with the official City of Kings Mountain Boundaries. It includes annexed areas that were added to the city limits in December 2020. 

Bass Tournaments scheduled for Moss Lake

By Loretta Cozart

At their February 22 regular meeting, Kings Mountain City Council approved several bass fishing tournaments throughout the year. The requested events had been approved by the Moss Lake Commission. All boats are required to have proper Moss Lake permits, state registrations, and insurance. The events approved were:
• A Thursday Night Bass Tournament, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. was approved beginning March 17, then every Thursday night until October 13, 2022. A final Fish Off is scheduled on October 22. This is a non-profit event.
• Cleveland Masonic Lodge #202 received approval to host a Charity Bass Fishing Tournament on April 30, from 5:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• Eaton Bass Masters Club got approval to host a non-profit event on August 13 from 3:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

KM gets $350,000 in state grants

By Loretta Cozart

North Carolina’s Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) distributed more than $330 million in directed grants to local governments and community organizations in the last 10 days. More than 170 entities across North Carolina received funds in this first round of grant disbursements.
Two grants were allocated for City of Kings Mountain. One for $250,000 was from the Department of Public Safety. The second grant is for $100,000 from OSBM. The press release did not indicate the purpose of these grants and, as of publication, the city has not responded to our request for  comment.
 “These grant funds will help local communities invest in projects that can improve the lives of those they serve,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “I expect to see great work from our partners in local government and the nonprofit sector as these projects move forward.”
   Other projects across the county included in this first round of grant disbursements include vital community improvements like:
• $14 million for repairs to the Boiling Springs Dam in the Boiling Spring Lakes
• $4.9 million to the Cleveland County School System for repairs and renovations of the following facilities: lighting upgrades at all four county high schools; stadium press box upgrades at Burns, Crest and Kings Mountain High Schools; HVAC at Shelby High School; track and field house renovations at Shelby High School; restroom renovations at Crest and Burns High Schools. renovations at Crest and Burns High Schools
• $450,000 for a Cleveland County Sheriff Mobile Command Unit
• $3.8 million to modernize the Madison County Courthouse in Marshall
• $1.2 million for improvements to the Brunswick Riverwalk Park in Belville
   The state budget contained more than 900 Directed Grants of which over 640 are being administered by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). The agency expects to distribute more than $1.4 billion in directed grants over the next 12 months.
This is largely a new grant program, leading OSBM to set up a website and training webinars for the directed grant recipients to help them meet state grant requirements and receive their grant funds as quickly possible.
 OSBM is an agency within the Governor’s Office responsible for administering the state budget and providing objective information and analysis to ensure effective stewardship of public resources.
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The old gas station at 100 E. King Street is taking shape as Kiamesha Young enters the home stretch of her building renovation. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Progress continues 
at 100 E. King Street

By Loretta Cozart

Progress is being made at the old McGill’s Esso gas station at 100 E. King Street in Kings Mountain. The building has been secured, with a new wall and a locking door at the back of the building. Windows resembling glass garage doors have been added in front of the old service bays, but inside the garage doors remain intact. With the new paint, the station draws the eye to drivers by.
The station is one of only three remaining Standard Oil Stations in the nation and Young has done an exemplary job in bringing the facility into the 21st century while preserving the original structure. Modernization has occurred without destroying the old. In doing so, new owner Kiamesha Young shows her respect for the past as she prepares the building for future  business in Kings Mountain.
The plan was to have the entire station dried in and secured in December to early January. According to Young, “That way, we can keep the property secure. Once that happens, we can do the necessary work inside and that shouldn’t take too much time. Hopefully, I’ll be done by March. That is the goal.”
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Community Lenten Services start this Wednesday, Mar. 2

The ministers of the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association will host Lenten services again this year. The theme for the services is “Personalities Around the Cross.” The services are planned for each Wednesday at 12 noon in Lent on the following dates:
Wednesday, March 2: Central United Methodist Church - Rev. Randy Patterson, Pastor of Dixon Presbyterian Church will bring the message on “Judas: The One Who Betrayed Him.”
Wednesday, March 9: First Baptist Church - Rev. Bruce Gwyn, Pastor of Central United Methodist Church will speak on “Barabbas: Jesus Died in My Place.”
Wednesday, March 16:  Boyce Memorial ARP Church  - Rev. Ron Caulder, Pastor of Eastside Baptist will bring the message on “Simon of Cyrene:  Suffering May Lead to Blessing.”
Wednesday, March 23: Eastside Baptist Church - Dr. John (Chip) Sloan will speak on “Mary the Mother of Jesus: The Depth of a Mother’s Love.”
Wednesday, March 30:  Peoples Baptist Church - Rev. William Thompson, President of William Thompson Ministers will bring the message on “The Thief on the Cross:  The Way of Salvation.”
Wednesday, April 6: Bethlehem Baptist Church - Dr. Robert Patrick, Pastor of Boyce Memorial Presbyterian Church will bring the message on “Joseph of Arimathea: Giving Our Service for Christ.”
Because of covid, there will be no fellowship meals following the services as in the past. 
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Pictured L to R: Mary Grace Keller, Robert Wagman, AnnaLee Sibley, and Jackie Sibley-Newton. (Photos provided)

“Deliver Us From Mama”
premiers March 4 at Joy Performance Center

The 2021-2022 season of Kings Mountain Little Theatre will continue with the comedy, “Deliver Us from Mama,” directed by Amy Hardin (828-447-3967), on Friday, March 4, at 7:30 PM.
KMLT is pleased to announce that performances are scheduled for March 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 7:30 PM with matinees on Sundays, March 6 and 13 at 3:00 pm.
Priority is given to our wonderfully supportive season members, and they can make a reservation to attend a performance for our plays. All others may purchase tickets at the box office or online at www.kmlt.org. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Reserved seating not claimed at least 10 minutes before show time are subject to release for purchase by others seeking tickets.
Season members may make reservations by calling the theater at 704-730-9408 and leaving a message or send a request to us at tickets@kmlt.org.
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Project South second meeting to be held on March 15

By Loretta Cozart

The second meeting for Project South, the proposed wastewater treatment facility in the Dixon Community, is planned for Tuesday, March 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Senior Center at 909 E. King Street in Kings Mountain, according to the city.
Letters went out to those residents whose properties are impacted by right-of-way easements on Friday, February 25. All property owners South of I-85, between the state line and Exit 5 are invited to attend this drop-in informational meeting regarding a prospective utility infrastructure project in their area.
According to the project schedule released at the February 8 meeting on the topic, property owners should anticipate receiving letters regarding surveys by March 8.
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Runners participating in the Gateway Trail 5K Race. Photo Shirley Brutko

Time is running out
to register for
Gateway Trail races

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Gateway Trail will hold their 5K Walk & Fun Run on March 12 at the trailhead and their 10-Miler being held from  February 28 to March 11.
The 5K Walk & Fun Run on March 12 starts at 9 a.m., and race packets are available on March 11 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the trailhead. Participants should wear a mask and stay 6-feet apart.
The 10-Miler Virtual Run is until March 11 on Quarry Road to the trailhead, Galilee Church Road, and back. Runners must email their proof of distance and time to starr@finishwelltiming.com before midnight on March 11.
To register, visit runsignup.com or call 704.685-3549. Kings Mountain Gateway Trail is at 807 S. Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain. For more information, visit www.kmgatewaytrails.org.
Trail events for 2022 include National Trails Day June 4, Story Walk June-July, and their photo contest in October.
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Senator Ted Alexander (third from left) with other presenters at the town hall on Human Trafficking outside Asheville. Photo provided

Working to end Human Trafficking

On January 29, Senator Alexander attended an essential conference on combating human trafficking within North Carolina. This meeting was held in Arden, NC, about 20 minutes outside Asheville, at their town hall meeting.
Numerous crucial actors that have worked on this issue in North Carolina were present at the conference. Some of the groups that were in attendance include: Kathy Yurista of Awake & Bold, Forrest Sealey of the Veterans For Child Rescue, and Jason Sisneros. Many other non-profit organizations contesting human trafficking in North Carolina were also in attendance. The group discussed current steps that have been taken to contest human trafficking. Senator Alexander was extremely proud to announce the progress he and the NCGA have made towards combatting human trafficking in North Carolina. Senator Alexander states, “The lives of so many of God’s children depend on this cancer being permanently removed from society.”
These vital steps taken are not the end. The deliberation of future plans and the exchange of contact information ensures these actors will stay connected as they continue the fight.
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Kindergarten Orientation March 18

By Loretta Cozart

Kindergarten Orientation Day (K-Day) will be held on March 18 at our elementary schools. Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m. and the parent program will follow from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Call your elementary school today for additional information about the orientation.
Although each school will hold an orientation session, kindergarten registration will be held online and will become available by March 18 as well.
To enroll in kindergarten children must be five years of age by August 31, 2020. A health assessment form, Immunization records, and a birth certificate is required.
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New Biscuitville location located at 716 York Rd.

Biscuitville open for business

By Loretta Cozart

Biscuitville Fresh Southern opened its newest restaurant in Kings Mountain at 716 York Road in Kings Mountain, on Tuesday, March 1, with a grand opening held from 8 a.m. until noon. A ribbon cutting ceremony occurred at 2:15 p.m.
Guests were invited to register for an opportunity to win free breakfast for a year. Ten free breakfast winners will be awarded combo coupons for a total of fifty-two coupons per prize. Selected winners will be notified next week. No purchase is necessary to enter. Biscuitville branded swag prizes were also available while supplies lasted.
Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Biscuitville Fresh Southern® is a family-owned company serving authentic Southern food made fresh daily from locally sourced ingredients. Known as the Home of the Biscuit Window Since 1966®, Biscuitville serves scratch-made biscuits baked fresh every 15 minutes.
The company was founded in 1966 when owner Maurice Jennings opened two pizza restaurants in Burlington, NC. Using a family recipe, he later added fresh-baked biscuits to the menu—which proved so popular; the brand evolved to become Biscuitville. Today, the company sources its ingredients from other local and family-owned partners to serve guests classic Southern breakfast.
Biscuitville employs over 2,000 people and operates sixty-seven restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia, serving breakfast all day from morning to 2 p.m.
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New Biscuitville location located at 716 York Rd.

Biscuitville to open March 1

By Loretta Cozart

Greensboro based Biscuitville announced plans to open the Kings Mountain drive-thru breakfast restaurant on March 1, according to their sign. The location of the new restaurant is 716 York Road, in Kings Mountain.
The restaurant chain opened in 1966 but specialized in pizza. In 1975, they opened their first store in Danville, VA, followed by eight stores in North Carolina in 1978.
Biscuitville offers a variety of breakfast options, from a variety of biscuits to muffins, pancakes, and breakfast platters.
Those looking to apply should visit https://biscuitville.com/ and look for the yellow rolling pin at the top of the page and click on “careers”.
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Smoke bellowed into the sky at the scene of a work truck fire on I-85 North on Saturday afternoon just before 5 p.m. Nobody was injured in the blaze. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Truck catches fire on
I-85 Saturday afternoon

By Loretta Cozart

Just before five o’clock on Saturday, February 19, a work truck traveling North on I-85 near the Cleveland County line caught fire. The occupants of the vehicle were able to escape before the cab burst into flame.
Clouds of black smoke bellowed into the sky above the scene. Within minutes, Kings Mountain Fire Department’s Engine 283 arrived, followed by a second firetruck. Fire and rescue members scrambled to get the engine fire of the Ford work truck under control.
Shortly after, KMPD Officer T. Bell responded to the scene and directed traffic through the area. With the fire extinguished, emergency vehicles cleared a lane and traffic resumed at 5:02 pm.
  An hour earlier, another crash occurred near mile marker 2, near the state line. According to DOT, the road was closed with a detour of vehicles around the accident.

Community Lenten Services start March 2

The ministers of the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association will host Lenten services again this year. The theme for the services is “Personalities Around the Cross.” The services are planned for each Wednesday at 12 noon in Lent on the following dates:
Wednesday, March 2: Central United Methodist Church - Rev. Randy Patterson, Pastor of Dixon Presbyterian Church will bring the message on “Judas: The One Who Betrayed Him.”
Wednesday, March 9: First Baptist Church - Rev. Bruce Gwyn, Pastor of Central United Methodist Church will speak on “Barabbas: Jesus Died in My Place.”
Wednesday, March 16:  Boyce Memorial ARP Church  - Rev. Ron Caulder, Pastor of Eastside Baptist will bring the message on “Simon of Cyrene:  Suffering May Lead to Blessing.”
Wednesday, March 23: Eastside Baptist Church - Dr. John (Chip) Sloan will speak on “Mary the Mother of Jesus: The Depth of a Mother’s Love.”
Wednesday, March 30:  Peoples Baptist Church - Rev. William Thompson, President of William Thompson Ministers will bring the message on “The Thief on the Cross:  The Way of Salvation.”
Wednesday, April 6: Bethlehem Baptist Church - Dr. Robert Patrick, Pastor of Boyce Memorial Presbyterian Church will bring the message on “Joseph of Arimathea: Giving Our Service for Christ.”
Because of covid, there will be no fellowship meals following the services as in the past.