City considering zero interest loans for downtown merchants

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

Monty Thornburg honored by the city and community

By Tabitha Thomas

The late Monty Thornburg was honored at the Patrick Senior Center on Friday, July 1. During the annual Independence Day Celebration, the staff and participants took a moment to remember Monty and all his contributions to the Patrick Center and the Kings Mountain Community.
Monty was Program Director of the Patrick Center for over 30-years and led the way for the construction of   the  beautiful  building
that currently houses the center. He also served as Funeral Director at Harris Funeral Home and was active at his church and with many organizations in the Kings Mountain area.
Monty took care of animals, as well as people, and radiated love and joy wherever he went. During the luncheon, the staff presented a plaque honoring Monty and named the Indoor Walking Track after him.
Participant Dale Lieser played “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on the piano while photos of Monty were displayed in a slide show presentation.
Staff member Bonnie Hale shared some thoughts about Monty. “Someone once said ‘there are some who bring a light so bright to this world, that even after they are gone, the light remains.’ I don’t know about you all, but I feel his presence all over this building.” Director Tabitha Thomas agreed. “It’s as if he still walks the halls here, and we can feel him around us,“ Thomas said. “‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ seemed to be the perfect song to have Dale play in Monty’s honor, since Monty never let anyone walk alone, and he still walks with us.” 
Volunteer Janet Beani shared some memories and thoughts as well. She said, “My pastor recently quoted a hymn which says, ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by.’ That’s how I feel about Monty. He made such a difference, and we are thankful for him passing by all of our lives.”
The staff and participants along with the City of Kings Mountain will always hold Monty close to their hearts, and his legacy will always live on at the Patrick Center.
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Country music artist Josh Turner, a native of South Carolina, and a multi-platinum-selling star is the headliner for this year’s 7th Inning Stretch Festival. Photo provided by ALWS

Josh Turner headlines the
7th Inning Stretch Festival


The popular 7th Inning Stretch Festival is returning to Uptown Shelby on August 6, after a two-year absence caused by the COVID-19 virus. The festival is sponsored by The American Legion Department of North Carolina. The festival is held the Saturday before the games begin to celebrate our community for all their hard work each year for ALWS.
This year’s headliner concert will feature country music artist Josh Turner, a native of South Carolina, and a multi-platinum-selling star. For nearly two decades, he has been one of country music’s most recognizable voices, selling more than 8.5 million units and amassing more than 2.5 billion global streams. His wife Jennifer plays keyboards and sings background vocals with the band.
In December 2001 Turner made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry and received a standing ovation for his original song “Long Black Train.” His album by the same name was certified gold within a year of its release; the song spent more than 40 weeks on the Billboard country charts.
A secondary stage with local performers will feature Tangerine Trees, a Beatles
tribute band, Justin Clyde Williams, marine veteran performing blue grass and rock n roll, and Diz Viola, a local contemporary Christian singer.  The Giggle Box Circus will perform and living statues will interact with the crowd. Gymnasts, kids’ crafts, two inflatables manned by Cleveland County YMCA staff, stilt walkers, mascots from local athletic teams, and more, will mean twice as many activities for the younger set than in any other year.
For more information about the festival visit www.7thInningStretch.cc or call 704-600-6599.
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80z Nation delivers a high-energy, professional show to people who love the 80s music. (Photo Provided)

Shelby Alive! presents
80z Nation band
Thursday, July 21

The Uptown Shelby Association’s annual summer concert series continues in July with 80z Nation! Join the fun at the Bobby Bell Pavilion, located at 126 W Marion Street in Shelby, from 6-9 pm on Thursday, July 21.
Come dressed to party in your favorite 80’s outfits: big hair, neon, spandex, colorful makeup, or your favorite punk jacket! Shelby Alive concerts are free, thanks to the generosity of these sponsors: American Restoration, City of Shelby, Steffes, BWF, Nissan of Shelby, Go Big Print, HomeTrust, Backstage Productions, and Cormetech.
80z Nation is an authentic cover band that does one thing — delivers a high-energy, professional show to people who love the 80s. 80z Nation is composed of six experienced musicians, led by a husband and wife team and backed by a band who, collectively, have performed hundreds of shows throughout the southeast. This band incorporates audio/visual elements, style, and lights into a professional performance featuring the best pop songs of the decade. https://www.80znation.com/
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Enroll your child for school

If you haven’t yet done so, you need to enroll your child for the new school year. The first day of school for Cleveland County Schools is August 17.
New students or incoming kindergartners who reside in the Cleveland County School District should present an official birth certificate (not the hospital's record of birth), and a certificate showing that the student has received the required immunizations.
Transferring students should also provide a transcript or report card from the previous school year to document grade placement. Kindergartners should pass a physical examination - a physician's signature is required on a form provided by the school system.
Kindergartners must be 5 years old on or before August 31. If a child is homeless or is identified as being homeless, he or she shall be immediately enrolled in and allowed to attend school, even if the child or his or her parents cannot produce such records.
In addition, parents must show proof of residency (lease or real estate document, power bill, etc.). Visit http://www.clevelandcountyschools.org/parents/enrollment to download Proof of Residence Verification Forms.
Cleveland County Schools cannot and will not refuse to enroll any student based on his or her immigration status of the status of his or her parent.
North Carolina law requires every child to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, red measles (rubeola), rubella and (German measles). Children under 5 must be immunized against Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and a Hepatitis B vaccine is required for children born on or after July 1, 1994.
To obtain a transfer for a child into Cleveland County Schools from a district outside of Cleveland County, parents must complete an Application for Change of Pupil Assignment Form available from the Central Administrative Office or any of the schools. Each year, the applicant must reapply.
A check for $1414 must be submitted with the application. Out-of-district students attending Cleveland County Schools will be assessed an annual tuition of $1414.
Parents must also obtain a formal release from the school system that the child is assigned. Although the superintendent may give temporary approval of the transfer request, final approval is granted by the Board of Education. The Board also will grant requests for transfer to other school systems if it feels a student's need can be better met elsewhere.
Applications for transfers to other school systems also are available at the Central Administrative Office or from any of our schools.
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Reel to Reel International Film Festival scheduled
for July 27 to 30

The Cleveland County Arts Council announces that on July 27th, the 23rd Annual “Real to Reel International Film Festival” will once again open its doors to embrace filmmakers and film lovers alike. This year’s event is July 27 – 30, at Joy Performance Center at 202 S. Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain.
Their goal is to showcase thought-provoking films and offer a venue where movie lovers who appreciate independent vision can celebrate this unique art form.
The mission of the Real to Reel International Film Festival is to offer a forum for independent filmmakers from around the world to showcase their talents and expose the works of these artists to our region.
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit https://www.ccartscouncil.org/realtoreel/
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The front of Pauline Store has been boarded for years. The roof collapsed and saplings grow thick inside the old store’s walls. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Old Pauline Store
to be demolished

By Loretta Cozart

The Pauline Store, at 205 Walker Street, will soon be demolished. City of Kings Mountain Code Enforcement Director Clint Houser met with the owner last November. At that time, the owner agreed to remove the building in 180 days; that deadline passed on June 11. Houser asked city council to approve demolition of the walls that remain of the structure, and they unanimously approved his request. In a subsequent interview with
Houser, he said the building should be demolished in the next few weeks.
The store served the community for decades and was owned by several merchants over the years including R.C. (Lum) Gantt, James Dewey Allen, and Charlie and Mary Spearman.

Crowds Enjoy Fleetwood Mac Experience at Patriot's Park

Crowds of people enjoyed the Fleetwood Mac Experience at Patriots Park last Saturday. See more photos on page 8A.

Photo by Damien O’Brien

Tell Me Lies, The Fleetwood Mac
Experience, at Patriots Park Saturday

The City of Kings Mountain welcomes Tell Me Lies, The Fleetwood Mac Experience LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, July 16, 2022.
Formed in 2021, Tell Me Lies covers the iconic music of Fleetwood Mac while paying tribute to legendary band members, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and John McVie. Heralded as the most authentic Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band, Tell Me Lies will cover all the band’s hits spanning six decades, as well as Stevie Nicks’ solo hits.
CBMA Award winners The Tonez will open the show at 6:00 p.m. followed by Tell Me Lies at 8:00 pm. Look for DJ Eric Bowman to kick off the whole evening at 5:00 p.m.
Great food, inflatables for the kids and much more. Best of all, the concert and cruise-in are FREE.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain. For more information on the concert or cruise-in, contact the City of Kings Mountain at 704-730-2101 or access their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com.

Legendary NASCAR
stars to appear at
KM’s LIVE at
Patriots Park
Cruise-In

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Police Department's Communications Department operates and manages the local 911 Public Safety Access Point, or PSAP. These facilities are the first point of reception of a 911 call by a public safety agency. A primary PSAP must be capable of receiving and processing enhanced 911 calls from all voice communications service providers. KMPD’s 911 PSAP responds quickly for calls answered and response times.
Ninety-eight percent of the time, 911 calls get answered in 10 seconds or less. The average time it takes a telecommunicator to respond, from pick up to dispatch, is one minute and 16 seconds or less. Once received, telecommunicators determine the caller’s need and handle it themselves or transfer the call to the correct agency.
Kings Mountain recently completed a remodel of the city's 911 PSAP under Chief Lisa Proctor. PSAP Manager Andy Underwood took the task of updating the city's communications center. After his death, the city named the facility in his honor. Lynn Slycord currently serves as KMPD’s PSAP Manager.
Major updates to the bycommunication center include moving to 911 ESInet and ensuring the most up-to-date technology when calling 911 allowing people to communicate by phone, text, and video; and the Mindshare radio upgrade, with comprehensive features and flexibility to expand, which was a one-time investment that allows full interoperability to communicate with neighboring agencies. State 911 funds paid for most of these updates.
  Kings Mountain is considered a primary PSAP, and the telecommunicators take calls for police, fire, and medic. All Kings Mountain police officers are trained as first responders, dispatched if the telecommunicator determines it necessary. If a call is for fire or medic, the telecommunicator transfers the call immediately to that agency and then monitors the conversation to determine if police are also needed. The telecommunicator dispatches police calls, among other duties. According to Chief Lisa Proctor, 85 percent of the calls to the PSAP are for police service.
  Telecommunicators are skilled in taking vital information all while dispatching officers, checking plates or names for hits or warrants, or updating officers through the time of arrival with any information the citizens provide in as little time as possible.
  Cleveland County transfers approximately 100 calls from Cleveland County Communication to KMPD and for police calls or to assist EMS or KMFD, and Gaston County Communications transfers 25 to calls. Shelby Police average less than 5 transfers per month.
  Approximately 150 calls are transferred from KMPD 911 PSAP to Cleveland County for EMS and Kings Mountain Fire Department calls for service per month. While transferring these calls to neighboring agencies, the telecommunicator stays on the line to obtain information quickly and to send officers who are equipped with instruments such as AEDs and Narcan, to implement life-saving measures minutes before EMS or Fire First Responders arrival.
  KMPD's 911 PSAP is also responsible to take after hour public works calls for City of Kings Mountain. The 911 PSAP answers all after hours utility calls, ensuring the citizens receive a live person and not an automated answering service or virtual receptionist. This ensures citizens get a person when calling for after-hours electric, gas, water, and street emergencies. These after-hours calls are routed to the correct utility and cut down on the response time of the after-hours utilities to the citizens. Radios are also monitored for all utility workers for their safety.
  Kings Mountain Communications Telecommunicators also provide the Police Department with clerical skills. All NCIC entries are done in house at one of the 3 terminals. Entering Missing and Wanted persons, BOLO information for stolen cars, suspect vehicles are sent out to a minimum of a 50-mile radius to immediately notify neighboring jurisdictions to look out for the well-being of our citizens and their property. Amber and Silver alerts are done in compliance with SBI policy to ensure the safe return of our loved ones, and all other entries for guns, and other articles are maintained in the communications center.
  Kings Mountain 911 received almost $80,000.00 in state funding for fiscal year 2023. The North Carolina 911 board makes funding decisions on each individual Primary PSAP. These monies are used to pay for the maintenance, upkeep, implementation of emerging technologies and replacement of equipment used in the call taking process. With each year monies trend up and down depending on spending and needs of the PSAP. Using the NC 911 Board planning tool the PSAP is forecasted a 5-year rolling average for Kings Mountain Police PSAP funding in the amount of $111,000.00. This is adjusted and accounted for with our 5-year Strategic Technology Plan.
  Having a PSAP in Kings Mountain maintains continuity for the citizens and officers. It also ensures that citizens will get a live person who is in touch with the identity of the community, certified, skilled, and knowledgeable about the city and its geography. This helps to reduce dispatch time and response time in these emergencies.
  The Primary PSAP means that citizens can visit the police department 24-hours a day to relay information in person to a dispatcher, rather than to someone over a phone in the department lobby.
  Kings Mountain telecommunicators have passion for their work, and most were born, raised, and live in the city. The citizens they serve are their family, friends, and neighbors. Telecommunicators are servants at heart and want nothing more than to serve the citizens in their time of need, and to work with the officers to ensure that everyone goes home at the end of shift. The PSAP employs citizens of the city, offering generous salaries and benefits.
  Having a PSAP in Kings Mountain also maintains continuity for the citizens and officers and ensures that the citizens of the Kings Mountain will get a live person who is in touch with the identity of the community, certified, skilled, and knowledgeable about the city and its geography. This helps to reduce dispatch time and response time in these emergencies.
  Housing the PSAP at Kings Mountain Police Department is an asset to the city and the citizens for the safety and protection over lives and property. City of Kings Mountain is fortunate to be operating its own Primary PSAP. Having local telecommunications with highly trained and skilled professional ensures that the citizens get an employee within the city, other than an outside agency, providing them with the quality of service they expect and deserve in the quickest time possible.
 

NASCAR stars: Cruise-In

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Tyler Herndon

Officer Tyler Herndon’s killer sentenced to life in prison

By Loretta Cozart

The man who shot and killed Mt. Holly Officer Tyler Herndon was sentenced to life in prison without parole by Superior Court Judge David Phillips after pleading guilty to the crime on Tuesday, July 5.
Joshua Funk, 24, who had been charged with multiple crimes, had no words for the family when asked by the judge. Funk was charged with first degree murder and eight other crimes.
Herndon’s family members addressed the court, including his father, Mark Herndon, who said, “The pain is unimaginable.”
Officer Herndon, 25, lost his life in the line of duty while responding to a breaking and entering at a Mt. Holly car wash. Shots were exchanged between the suspect and Mt. Holly police, including Tyler Herndon on December 11, 2020. He had been a member of the Mount Holly Police Department just shy of two years.
Officer Herndon and his family are from Kings Mountain. His parents are Mark and Debbie Phillips Herndon, his paternal grandparents are Ray and Jean Herndon. His sister is Lindsey Herndon of Charlotte.
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Darrell King returns as Rev. Walter McKenzie. (Photo by Torrence Photography)

Liberty Mountain drama
FINAL weekend for 2022

Liberty Mountain: The Revolutionary Drama will perform their FINAL weekend for 2022 at the Joy Performance Center on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 PM; Saturday, July 16 at 3 PM; Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, July 16 at 3 PM.
The box office opens one hour before each performance. Ticket prices begin at $20 plus NC Sales Tax.
Tickets are available: at: www.LibertyMountainDrama.com.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office for walk-ups 1 hour before the performance.
Stay after the show to “Meet the Cast” for autographs and photos. Adding to your “revolutionary” experience is a display of Revolutionary War historical portraits by renowned artist, Thomas Kelly Pauley.
Questions should be directed to jim@kmlt.org or call the box office at 704-730-9408.
Liberty Mountain is produced by Kings Mountain Little Theatre with Gilbert and Jancy Patrick as the Presenting Sponsor.
It is also funded in part by a grant from the Kings Mountain Tourism Development Authority.

KM’s Special Events Department announces road closures

The City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department will host the 2022 LIVE Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In, Saturday, July 16. Several roads in the downtown area will be impacted during the events. Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets will be closed beginning 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 16 and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 pm. Further information regarding road closures is listed below.
• Partial Barricade placement will begin at 8:00 a.m. – some roads will still be accessible during this time, but vehicles must be moved by 2:00 p.m.
• Additional barricade placement will begin at 2:00 p.m.
• Roads closed at 2:00 pm and remain closed until 11:00 pm (ALL unauthorized vehicles will be towed after 2:00 p.m.)
• Arrival time for Cruise-In participants will begin at 4:00 pm with the Cruise-In beginning at 5:00 pm-Concert will begin at 6:00 p.m.
• Participants in the Cruise-In and concert goers, must use thoroughfare King Street to Cansler Street for access to Railroad, Mountain, and Gold Streets.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
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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A telecommunicator receives a call for service at 911 PSAP in Kings Mountain Police Department. Photo by Loretta Cozart

KMPD's Communications Dept.
a lifeline to local citizens

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Police Department's Communications Department operates and manages the local 911 Public Safety Access Point, or PSAP. These facilities are the first point of reception of a 911 call by a public safety agency. A primary PSAP must be capable of receiving and processing enhanced 911 calls from all voice communications service providers. KMPD’s 911 PSAP responds quickly for calls answered and response times.
Ninety-eight percent of the time, 911 calls get answered in 10 seconds or less. The average time it takes a telecommunicator to respond, from pick up to dispatch, is one minute and 16 seconds or less. Once received, telecommunicators determine the caller’s need and handle it themselves or transfer the call to the correct agency.
Kings Mountain recently completed a remodel of the city's 911 PSAP under Chief Lisa Proctor. PSAP Manager Andy Underwood took the task of updating the city's communications center. After his death, the city named the facility in his honor. Lynn Slycord currently serves as KMPD’s PSAP Manager.
Major updates to the bycommunication center include moving to 911 ESInet and ensuring the most up-to-date technology when calling 911 allowing people to communicate by phone, text, and video; and the Mindshare radio upgrade, with comprehensive features and flexibility to expand, which was a one-time investment that allows full interoperability to communicate with neighboring agencies. State 911 funds paid for most of these updates.
  Kings Mountain is considered a primary PSAP, and the telecommunicators take calls for police, fire, and medic. All Kings Mountain police officers are trained as first responders, dispatched if the telecommunicator determines it necessary. If a call is for fire or medic, the telecommunicator transfers the call immediately to that agency and then monitors the conversation to determine if police are also needed. The telecommunicator dispatches police calls, among other duties. According to Chief Lisa Proctor, 85 percent of the calls to the PSAP are for police service.
  Telecommunicators are skilled in taking vital information all while dispatching officers, checking plates or names for hits or warrants, or updating officers through the time of arrival with any information the citizens provide in as little time as possible.
  Cleveland County transfers approximately 100 calls from Cleveland County Communication to KMPD and for police calls or to assist EMS or KMFD, and Gaston County Communications transfers 25 to calls. Shelby Police average less than 5 transfers per month.
  Approximately 150 calls are transferred from KMPD 911 PSAP to Cleveland County for EMS and Kings Mountain Fire Department calls for service per month. While transferring these calls to neighboring agencies, the telecommunicator stays on the line to obtain information quickly and to send officers who are equipped with instruments such as AEDs and Narcan, to implement life-saving measures minutes before EMS or Fire First Responders arrival.
  KMPD's 911 PSAP is also responsible to take after hour public works calls for City of Kings Mountain. The 911 PSAP answers all after hours utility calls, ensuring the citizens receive a live person and not an automated answering service or virtual receptionist. This ensures citizens get a person when calling for after-hours electric, gas, water, and street emergencies. These after-hours calls are routed to the correct utility and cut down on the response time of the after-hours utilities to the citizens. Radios are also monitored for all utility workers for their safety.
  Kings Mountain Communications Telecommunicators also provide the Police Department with clerical skills. All NCIC entries are done in house at one of the 3 terminals. Entering Missing and Wanted persons, BOLO information for stolen cars, suspect vehicles are sent out to a minimum of a 50-mile radius to immediately notify neighboring jurisdictions to look out for the well-being of our citizens and their property. Amber and Silver alerts are done in compliance with SBI policy to ensure the safe return of our loved ones, and all other entries for guns, and other articles are maintained in the communications center.
  Kings Mountain 911 received almost $80,000.00 in state funding for fiscal year 2023. The North Carolina 911 board makes funding decisions on each individual Primary PSAP. These monies are used to pay for the maintenance, upkeep, implementation of emerging technologies and replacement of equipment used in the call taking process. With each year monies trend up and down depending on spending and needs of the PSAP. Using the NC 911 Board planning tool the PSAP is forecasted a 5-year rolling average for Kings Mountain Police PSAP funding in the amount of $111,000.00. This is adjusted and accounted for with our 5-year Strategic Technology Plan.
  Having a PSAP in Kings Mountain maintains continuity for the citizens and officers. It also ensures that citizens will get a live person who is in touch with the identity of the community, certified, skilled, and knowledgeable about the city and its geography. This helps to reduce dispatch time and response time in these emergencies.
  The Primary PSAP means that citizens can visit the police department 24-hours a day to relay information in person to a dispatcher, rather than to someone over a phone in the department lobby.
  Kings Mountain telecommunicators have passion for their work, and most were born, raised, and live in the city. The citizens they serve are their family, friends, and neighbors. Telecommunicators are servants at heart and want nothing more than to serve the citizens in their time of need, and to work with the officers to ensure that everyone goes home at the end of shift. The PSAP employs citizens of the city, offering generous salaries and benefits.
  Having a PSAP in Kings Mountain also maintains continuity for the citizens and officers and ensures that the citizens of the Kings Mountain will get a live person who is in touch with the identity of the community, certified, skilled, and knowledgeable about the city and its geography. This helps to reduce dispatch time and response time in these emergencies.
  Housing the PSAP at Kings Mountain Police Department is an asset to the city and the citizens for the safety and protection over lives and property. City of Kings Mountain is fortunate to be operating its own Primary PSAP. Having local telecommunications with highly trained and skilled professional ensures that the citizens get an employee within the city, other than an outside agency, providing them with the quality of service they expect and deserve in the quickest time possible.

Chief Proctor honored
at retirement ceremony

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain celebrated the 30-year career of Police Chief Lisa Proctor in a ceremony in her honor on Thursday, June 30 at Patrick Senior Center. Among the crowd were city officials, members of many law enforcement agencies, friends, colleagues, and family members who gathered to honor the first woman police chief in the City of Kings Mountain.
Chief Proctor was also the first woman to become a police chief whose husband once held the same position with the city.
Assistant Chief Chris Moore welcomed the crowd gathered. After the posting of the colors, City Chaplain/Pastor John Howze lead the invocation before the meal.
Various speakers spoke during the program, including Past Mayor Rick Murhprey, Pastor John Howze, and friends Alan Propst and Suzette Ross.
As is customary at retirement, officers showered the chief with gifts that included a throw pillow and blanket, a fishing rod, and a glass plaque and shadowbox with memorabilia from Chief Proctor’s career.
The chief then addressed the crowd sharing her faith and appreciation for the support of her officers throughout her career.
Later, she shared the following statement with the public on Facebook, “I personally want to thank each and every one of  you who have supported me, prayed for me and my family for the past 30 years during my law enforcement career! If I tried to name all of you who have impacted my life in a positive way, I would never be able to list them all.”
She went on to share, “It has truly been my honor and my pleasure to serve the citizens of Kings Mountain! The friendships and memories I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
“I am forever humbled by the outpouring of support my husband and I have received by our community!”
“I can’t wait to see what doors and opportunities God opens next and I look forward to continuing to serve Him more the rest of my life,” she went on to write.
“I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart! God bless you all and keep you safe,” she stated.
At 2:30 p.m. Chief Proctor concluded her career with a final call to Kings Mountain Police Department. The dispatcher responded saying, “The Kings Mountain Police Department would like to congratulate Chief Lisa Proctor on her retirement after 30 years of service. From all of us at the department, have a happy and peaceful retirement, teach Melvin how to fish, spend precious time with family, and keep the sand between your toes. Chief, you will truly be missed.”
If it possible that fishing rod wasn’t for Lisa, after all?”
A crowd gathers
The crowd enjoys music at the Independence Day Celebration in downtown Kings Mountain. ( Photo by Damien O’Brien)

Kings Mountain celebrates nation’s Independence Day

By Loretta Cozart

Citizens celebrated the nation’s 246th birthday on Saturday, July 2 at Patriot’s Park, and Deal Park Walking Track in Kings Mountain, participating in a variety of activities throughout the day and enjoying music, fun, and fellowship together.
Thousands gathered in Patriots Park to enjoy inflatables, activities, and a variety of food and beverages during the day-long celebration. At 6:30 p.m., the Voltage Brothers played as both young and old danced to the music. At 9:45 p.m., a patriotic light show filled the skies above the Patriots Park as Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam danced with the crowd.
The largest fireworks show between Charlotte and Asheville began at Deal Park Walking Track at 9:45 p.m. Throughout city, fireworks could be seen and heard, as the community celebrated the nation’s independence together.

See more photos in B section of July 6, 2022 issue of KM Herald. 
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Jeremy Homesley returns at Major Patrick Ferguson. Photo by Sigmon Theatrical

Liberty Mountain drama
celebrates faith and freedom

By Loretta Cozart

Liberty Mountain: The Revolutionary Drama has returned to the Joy Performance Center at 202 S. Railroad Avenue for its seventh season. And for one actor, Liberty Mountain is more than a play. It is a family tradition.
Jeremy Trent Homesley of Cherryville has been cast in roles of Liberty Mountain since the first season, “I was drawn to the play for a combination of reasons: the opportunity to do theater and my love of history. I was working in Kings Mountain at a fabric company and Director Caleb Sigmon, and his wife Katy, came in to purchase fabric for the costumes that first year.”
He went on to say, “I had been thinking about auditioning and when Caleb and Katy walked through the door, it cinched it for me. I auditioned and was offered the role of Ferguson that first year. My wife Ashley says that I originated the role in the world premiere!” He reprised his role for three more seasons before taking a hiatus. This year, he has taken up the role once again.
   One might wonder why Jeremy decided to play Ferguson. He explains, “You must do the role justice, with honor and respect for the human who existed and was well-known. If you are going to embrace the story, you have to embrace all parts of it. And what an interesting person he was! He is a vital part of this story.”
   “Ferguson was Scottish, and people living here weren’t a lot different,” Jeremy says, referring to the Scots Irish who were Ulster Protestants who come to America from Ulster in Northern Ireland in search of land and religious freedom.
   “Many settlers here had Scottish and Irish accents,” Jeremy said. “And Ferguson, I think, represented the old world to them. I’m sure it was tempting to choose to side with him and stay loyal to the King.”
   Many who chose to oppose the crown had come to America with a chip on their shoulders, victims of poverty and hardship in Ireland and blaming their British landowners. They came to the colonies seeking both land and freedom to worship as they pleased.
   When the war moved south, both violently and suddenly, settlers were forced to choose sides. And that was not an easy task because their very lives, and the lives of their families, depended upon which side they chose. But a choice had to be made.
   This dilemma is key to understanding how civil war came to the Carolina backcountry in 1780. The story is real for many whose family members included both Loyalists and Patriots, whose ancestors founded this region, and the descendants who continue to live in Kings Mountain today. For many, the battled pitted brother against brother. To them this story is a part of their family history and Liberty Mountain brings their story to life.
   Over the years, the play has evolved. Jeremy says, “With Bob’s writing at the heart, the story has stayed true and has driven everything in a very consistent way. What has changed is this: what started as a traditional theater experience has now been combined with an outdoor theater experience. Over time, those two experiences have met in the middle.”
   He explains, “You can see how open the stage is because of our combat and choreography. The use of projection allows us to free up our stage. In the first two years, we had traditional set pieces and the stage was very cluttered. The fight scenes were limited because of space and access. By meeting in the middle and using a few moving set pieces, we keep the stage open like a traditional outdoor drama.”
   Jeremy Homesley, a native of Cherryville, is married to Ashley DeMar and together they have a son, Roan, named for Roan Mountain that is mentioned in the play. “We met during Liberty Mountain, and I proposed to her on the stage after one of the shows.” Jeremy says, “To us, Liberty Mountain is a family tradition.” His parents are Scott and Robin Homesley, also of Cherryville.
   This year’s performance features 21 actors, who share the story of people who lived in the backcountry of North and South Carolina, including the Martin family, who faced many tragedies in Scotland, Ireland, and America that lead them to support the Patriot cause. At times, the realities of their lives are too much to bear.
   Speaking of the actors, novelist, screenwriter, and playwright Bob Inman says, “I am so proud of this year’s cast. They are, youngest to oldest, professional, not just for Liberty Mountain, but for any play I’ve ever run. They are really, really, good.”
   “By the end of the first week, they had everything down. I mean everything, the fight scenes, the whole bit. The second week was just cleaning up,” he added. “They were able to run the whole play on the Friday night of the first week of rehearsal.”
  Liberty Mountain is an exciting, immersive story that keeps guests on the edge of their seats. Action on stage spills out into the audience as they become part of Continental Congress, hearing debates between colony delegates who determine the nation’s path toward independence.
   Gun and sword fights are action packed, as the drama unfolds before your eyes. Characters dressed in authentic period clothing with long rifles take you back in time over 241 years ago.
   Liberty Mountain performances are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Sunday, July 17. Only two weekends remain to experience the drama that is Liberty Mountain. Fridays and Saturdays have 7:30 p.m. performances. Matinee performances run Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. The box office opens one hour before each performance. Tickets are available online at www.LibertyMountainDrama.com, by phone, 704-730-9408, or at the box office for walk-ups.
   Come 30-minutes early to attend our educational weapons display and other activities or stay after the show to Meet the Cast for autographs and photos. Adding to your revolutionary experience is a display of Revolutionary War historical portraits by renowned artist, Thomas Kelly Pauley.
   Questions should be directed to jim@kmlt.org or call the box office at 704-730-9408.
   Liberty Mountain is produced by Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. with Gilbert and Jancy Patrick as the Presenting Sponsor. It is also funded in part by a grant from the Kings Mountain Tourism Development Authority.
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An early photo of Kings Mountain Rescue Squad. Photo provided

KM Rescue Squad closes, marking the end of an era

By Loretta Cozart

On Friday, July 1, Kings Mountain Rescue Squad closed for good, marking the end of an era that spanned 64 years serving the people of Kings Mountain and surrounding communities.
During the 60th anniversary celebration in 2018, the Herald covered the event with a special article acknowledging the rescue squad for saving lives and serving the people.
Then Captain John Harris said, “Mayor Neisler attended the celebration, along with Fire Chief Frank Burns. We had three former Captains: Jonie Blanton, Johnnie Hutchins, and Preston Leonard. Many prior EMTs and their families joined us, too.
“For the last 60 years, the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad has served its citizens when their need is the most. The dedication of its members is second to none. Kings Mountain is lucky to have this service,” said Mayor Neisler.
According to Captain Harris, the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad was the first in Cleveland County and the second in the State of North Carolina.
When the squad went into service, it was known as the Cleveland County Life Saving and First Aid Crew, Inc. No matter  the  official name, when citizens need help, they depend upon the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad.
   Their very first call was to a drowning. “During July 1958, we responded to a call of a drowning on Lake James in Nebo, near Morganton,” Harris said. “We had 14 members, a panel truck, and a boat. We logged 1,000-man hours, but the victim was never recovered.”
   “For most folks I’ve worked with here, this job is a labor of love. EMTs see things that pull hard at your heart strings. Most of us have two jobs; we don’t do this for the money. We do it because we love what we do and do our best to help the community,” said Harris.
   Crews worked 12-hour shifts and had two EMTs on every truck. “We often had a third EMT in-training on a ‘ride along’ to sharpen the skills they learned in class. Folks trained with us from all over. Most recently we’ve had trainees from Cleveland Community College and from Gaston, Rutherford, and Cherokee counties,” Harris said.
   “Originally, the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad was located on Parker Street, with only two bays and cramped quarters. That location was their home for 50 years.” Harris said.
   EMTs spend a lot of time together during their 12-hour shifts. Harris said, “Former Captain Jonie Blanton described it best when he said, “We spent more time here than we did with our own families.”
For 60 years, the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad has helped every family in the Kings Mountain in one way or another. They have spent countless hours serving the citizens and saving many, many lives. Sadly, they could not save everyone.
   Harris commented, “When we lose someone, those days are the hardest. But when we do save someone’s life, that is a good day. And when their family members thank us, it makes us love the job even more. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
   Cleveland County Board of Commissioners voted to centrally administer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Cleveland County during this year’s February 24-25 work session. The county commissioners were presented with recommendations with respect to emergency medical services. The county’s third- party consultant and medical director both recommended moving to a centrally administered EMS.
   Based on those recommendations. the Board of Commissioners decided that centrally administering the County’s EMS providers would be the most effective and efficient way to serve the citizens while meeting the increasing demand for services.
    The decision resulted in the closing of Kings Mountain Rescue Squad. Shelby Rescue, and Upper Cleveland Rescue. The County had granted these nonprofits franchises to operate within the County. At their website, the county stated that these service enhancements, as well as closest unit dispatch, will lead to reductions in response time and a higher level of patient care.
  Donna Rose, Former Director of Operations for Kings Mountain Rescue Squad, pointed out in the March interview that ambulance times would not be any faster because all calls are dispatched through 911. And the change will not enhance patient care either. “All staff receive the same training, no matter if they work for the Rescue Squad or Cleveland County EMS.”
   Employees once on the crew of Kings Mountain Rescue Squad were invited to apply for work with County EMS.
    Jonie Blanton, whose career with Kings Mountain Rescue Squad spanned 20-plus years, pointed out an interview with the Herald, “The rescue squad does far more than just provide ambulance service to the community. We also provide services for a variety of activities in Kings Mountain including concerts and festivals, the annual YMCA Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run, and Murphy’s Toy Run benefiting the Shriner’s Burn Center, Oxford Home for Children, King’s Mountain Police Department’s Toy Drive, and Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department.”
   “We provide classes in first aid and CPR. We have supported local COYID vaccination events and are here for the citizens whenever the need arises. Now we face closure of the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad.” he explained. “We hope the people of Kings Mountain will support us with the county commission, so we can continue providing excellent care for our citizens.”
   This decision by the county commission marks the end of an era for Kings Mountain. The service citizens chose to take on for themselves, are slowly being gobbled up by county government. It remains to be seen if response times will be better. If response times are slower, more will need to be done by the county to improve those times. It is the responsibility, and the duty of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable to see that their interests are taken into consideration.
Cityofkmnatural gas division continues work on i 85 ng project
Natural Gas Division continues work on I-85 NG project. Photo by City of KM

City of KM’s I-85 natural
gas project continues

The City of Kings Mountain’s Natural Gas Division, as part of their Capital Improvement Plan, has installed 3.1 miles of 8” steel natural gas pipeline.
This latest expansion will connect the city’s two natural gas gate stations, from York Rd. to Gage Rd. This expansion also extended underneath I-85 to what will become the city’s eleventh natural gas regulator station.
Once the new Gage Rd. gate station goes online which is anticipated to be the Fall of 2022, the city will then have another way to supply natural gas into the existing system should something happen to the station or feed at either place.
This new expansion greatly improves the city’s already safe and reliable natural gas distribution system. The final expansion stage of a complete natural gas loop around the city will take natural gas up Kings Mountain Blvd to Shelby Road, once this future expansion is completed the city will have completed their second utility to have a distribution loop encompassing the entire outer boundaries of the city.
The city recognized Heath & Associates, Dawn Development, First Cut, and the staff of the Natural Gas Division for the hard work in seeing this project completed.
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Liberty Mountain celebrates Fourth of July weekend at
JPC starting July 1

Historians agree that the Battle of Kings Mountain in October 1780 turned the tide of the American Revolution and began the series of victories that led to the British surrender at Yorktown a year later. The rugged Patriot frontiersmen who defeated a larger, better-trained force of Loyalists at Kings Mountain secured for all of us the freedoms we enjoy today.
This is the seventh season of “Liberty Mountain,” the Revolutionary War Drama, at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain. It’s a compelling story of the settling of the Carolinas by pilgrims from the Old World who came to our land to build new lives, raise good families, and worship as they pleased. The  production is an action-filled 90 minutes that
intimately portrays the lives of these hardy men, women, and children. It is an immersive experience of special effects, sights, and sounds. Audiences in our previous seasons have come away entertained and inspired.
“Liberty Mountain” features a cast of more than 20 actors in a fast-moving, action-packed drama. Playwright Robert Inman says, “The talented cast and crew bring our audience a production that is true to history, highly entertaining, and inspiring. Every American should know the story of Kings Mountain and the crucial role it played in granting us the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Director Caleb Sigmon has been guiding “Liberty Mountain” since its premier in 2014. He says, “We use the entire auditorium to bring the story to life. We immerse the audience in the action. It’s great entertainment for the entire family.”  The play incorporates authentic weapons and costumes.
“Liberty Mountain” opened on Friday, June 24, and additional performances are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Sunday, July 17. Fridays and Saturdays have 7:30 p.m. performances. Matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays begin at 3:00 p.m. The box office opens 1 hour before each performance. Tickets are available online www.LibertyMountainDrama.com, by phone, 704-730-9408, or at the box office for walk-ups.
On Monday, July 4 there will be a special matinee at 3:00 p.m. Liberty Mountain, it’s sponsors, and the cast use this performance to honor our military veterans and serving members with a free ticket to the show. Just let the person at the box office know of your service.
Come 30 minutes early to attend our educational weapons display and other activities or stay after the show to “Meet the Cast” for autographs and photos. Adding to your “revolutionary” experience is a display of Revolutionary War historical portraits by renowned artist, Thomas Kelly Pauley.
   Questions should be directed to jim@kmlt.org or call the box office at 704-730-9408.
   Liberty Mountain is produced by Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. with Gilbert and Jancy Patrick as the Presenting Sponsor. It is also funded in part by a grant from the Kings Mountain Tourism Development Authority.
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The Voltage Brothers will take the stage at 6:30 pm on Saturday, July 2 at Patriot’s Park.

Two celebrations, one city
City of KM celebrates
Independence Day, July 2

Celebrate our nation’s independence as the City of Kings Mountain presents Red, White, and Boom! On Saturday, July 2, 2022, the city will produce two events simultaneously to honor our country on its 246th birthday.
Bring your family to Patriots Park in Downtown for food trucks and inflatables. DJ Tony Cutlass and Eric Bowman will MC the event from Liberty Falls Amphitheatre. The Voltage Brothers will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. An amazing patriotic laser light show will take over Patriots Park at 9:45 p.m.
The City of Kings Mountain will present their signature, unrivaled fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. as well from the Deal Park Walking Track (located behind the YMCA) with music that syncs to your radio at 101.1 FM.
Whether you choose to celebrate from Patriots Park (220 South Railroad Avenue) or the Deal Park Walking Track (211 North Cleveland Avenue), Red, White and Boom in Kings Mountain will be a blast.
For more information on both Red, White and Boom celebrations, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com/red-white-boom. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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Chris Moore Interim Police Chief

Chris Moore named
Interim Chief of KMPD

On June 30, Chief Lisa Proctor retires after serving over 30 years of service to the Police Dept, City staff, and the citizens of Kings Mountain.
“Congratulations to Chief Proctor and we wish her well in her next chapter in life. Interim Chief, Chris Moore, would like to thank all the citizens of Kings Mountain and the City staff for their support to the Kings Mountain Police Department,” Marilyn Sellers said.
“As the Interim Chief, I would like everyone to know that the standards and Police service to the citizens of Kings Mountain will not change and we will continue to serve with integrity as the city continues to evolve and grow,” Moore said. “Our partnerships with the community will still be of upmost importance to this agency and I hope that you will continue to support our men and women within the agency while we make a transition over to a new Chief of Police for our department.”

Red, White and Boom celebration expected to bring heavy traffic to downtown

Shuttle Service to be offered to and from
Patriots Park, July 2nd

Heavy traffic is expected in Downtown Kings Mountain, July 2, as the City of Kings Mountain hosts the Red, White and Boom! Celebration at Patriots Park.
Roads impacted in the Downtown during the event will be Battleground and Railroad Avenues, Gold, Mountain, and Cansler Streets. As a result, the city is offering Shuttle Pick-Up and Drop-Off Services at the following locations:
• First Baptist Church located at 605 West King Street, Kings Mountain
• Patrick Senior Center located at 909 East Kings Street, Kings Mountain
• Parkdale Mill, located at 500 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain, a 10-minute walk to Patriots Park.
Shuttle Service will ONLY be offered to and from Patriots Park. It will not be offered to and from Deal Park Walking Track. Shuttle Service will begin at 4:00 PM and end at 11:00 PM.
The city urges patrons attending the event at Patriots Park to use the shuttle services as parking may be scarce in the downtown.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians.
For more information on the Red, White and Boom! Celebrations at Patriots Park or the Deal Park Walking Track, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com/red-white-boom. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.

Travel will be impacted during Red, White and Boom! celebrations

July 2nd at Patriots Park and Deal Street Walking Track

City of Kings Mountain is looking forward to our Red White and Boom! celebrations scheduled for July 2nd. Many roads within the city will be impacted during this event including Battleground and Railroad Avenues, Cansler, Gold and Mountain Streets in Downtown, Hwy 161 / Cleveland Avenue, and surrounding side streets. Railroad Avenue, in front of the park, will close at 8:00am and will not reopen until Midnight, July 3rd.
Please use extreme caution when traveling these roads due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
   For more information on Red, White and Boom! Celebrations contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com/red-white-boom.  You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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Lisa Proctor KM Police Chief

KM Police Chief Lisa Proctor retires June 30

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Police Chief Lisa Proctor will retire after 30 years and 3 months of service to the city at the end of June. In that time, she has served under six police chiefs, including her husband, Melvin. She has risen through the ranks from patrol officer to chief, serving in various roles in between, as a D.A.R.E. officer, patrol sergeant, and investigation of narcotics, ABC, and child abuse cases.
Throughout her career, she has leaned on her faith to get her through tough cases and interviews and will continue to serve the Lord after her retirement.
In late May, husband Melvin suffered a heart attack. After surgery and prayer, Melvin is doing much better. “While his heart attack didn’t have anything to do with my decision, I can’t stop thinking that it just confirmed that we had made the right decision.”
Chief Proctor attended Basic Law Enforcement Training at Isothermal Community College and graduated in October 1992 with the top score on the state exam. She took a part-time job right out of school at Shelby Police Department. “I even graduated wearing a Shelby Police Department uniform,” she recalls.
While there, she heard of an opening at Kings Mountain Police Department and was interviewed and hired by Warren Goforth on March 30, 1992. Her first job was a patrol officer, and she soon had an opportunity to go to D.A.R.E. school, where she graduated as a top team member.
She recalls that a Sergeants job came open after her training, but just before school started back. And even though she was selected as the top candidate, she felt an obligation to the city to fill the D.A.R.E. role because she did not want to waste the city’s money or let the school children down. She turned down two sergeant promotions to fulfill her D.A.R.E. responsibilities.
A narcotics position opened and she took sergeants exam, and was selected. She took the job and eventually worked in an investigative role in narcotics, ABC, and child abuse cases for 18-years. “I found working the child abuse cases to be the most rewarding. These cases meant so much to me because it has a permanent impact on the victim’s life to help them bring closure,” Chief Proctor said.
“To this day, I remember a case in which I was interviewing a young woman. She was where she was because of things that happened to her during her childhood. I conducted a forensic interview and we talked, and I learned her story. In time, she went on to graduate Gardner-Webb University with honors and has an excellent job now. It blesses my heart. If you can make the difference in a person’s life, it is worth it.”
Chief Proctor has also done undercover work from Kings Mountain all the way to Wadesboro and has done undercover work buying narcotics for Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Police Department, Wadesboro Police and everywhere in between. “I love taking drug dealers to jail. I’ve been involved in Operation Sleigh Ride, Operation Street Sweeper, and Blue Thunder; I can’t remember them all. We would arrest from 10 – 50 people at a time,” she said. “We didn’t have a big investigative team then, so I worked those cases. I handled the biggest drug bust in the city by our police department and I am proud of that because it impacted our community by taking those drug dealers to jail.”
Chief Proctor is also proud of the support given to the police department by the community. “It has taken years to develop, and we get support from everyone in the community. What we have here is very special and it is important to continue those relationships,” said Chief Proctor.
“When Chief Tessneer was promoted, he asked me to be his Assistant Chief. After his death, I applied for the Chief’s job and was selected. This job, from patrol to chief, is a calling. If you can stay in this job more than a year or two, it is a calling,” Chief Proctor said.
“As Chief, I was asked about my feelings after an officer’s being shot during a recent press conference. I promise you, to this day I cannot remember what I said. I didn’t think I should answer, but I heard a voice telling me, ‘Lisa, tell him how you feel,” and it just poured out of me. It wasn’t my message, it was God’s,” she said. That video went viral and made national news.
She went on to say, “I’ve never been able to separate my job from my faith. It is humbling to know that the God who created the heavens and the Earth would help me in little things and in big things.”
Once retired, Lisa Proctor will continue serving the Lord through her ministry at Penley’s Chapel Church in Kings Mountain, where she directs the music ministry. In addition, she has been invited to conduct Cowboy Church in October in Oklahoma and hopes to have more invitations, especially since she will have some free time on her hands.
Regarding Chief Proctor’s career, Mayor Neisler said, “We as a community are so lucky to have had Lisa as our Police Chief. She is the first woman police chief for our city, and she has done a stellar job. She is a role model to everyone that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you want in life.”
City Manager Marilyn Sellers said, “Chief Proctor has served the City of Kings Mountain with integrity and professionalism for more than 30 years.  She has touched many lives and I want to thank her for being a true example of what it is to be a public servant. Her leadership has not only made our city safer but better. Her impact will serve the city well for many years to come.”
Assistant Chief Chris Moore was selected to take the role Interim Chief at Kings Mountain Police Department upon Chief Proctors retirement. The city has advertised the position and is taking applications currently.
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AMY ALLEN

Amy Allen retires as principal of North Elementary School


By Loretta Cozart

Amy Allen will be retiring as principal of North Elementary School and will take on a new challenge as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland County.
“I have had a wonderful career in Cleveland County Schools and was honored to serve as principal at North. Leaving is bittersweet, I am excited about the opportunity to try something new while still serving the county I love so much. But I'm sad to leave the great staff and students,” she said.
“Habitat for Humanity's mission statement is ‘Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.’  Habitat believes everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live. I look forward to serving alongside the staff and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.”
Allen retires on June 30, with over 31 years of experience in education. The last six have been as principal of North Elementary School.

Kings Mountain celebrates Juneteenth
at Patriots Park

On Friday June 17, City of Kings Mountain hosted it’s first Juneteenth celebration at Patriots Park. The celebration included performances and music participants from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, performances by Jett Edwards, and a presentation by the Mauney Memorial Library.
“Now that that we have laid a foundation for Juneteenth, moving forward I hope we will be able to build on it and making this event a city observance. This should be an event where we can celebrate with our community and tell the story of how we have the freedom that we have today,” said organizer Janie Mcvay.
“I am so proud that I took the I initiative to reach out  to   our   city   Special Event Coordinator Angela Padgett and she was very receptive. I hope that in the years to come this will be an annual event in our city, and event that will be celebrated and talked about so that our young people will know the meaning behind Juneteenth and know the sacrifices that our ancestors had to pay so that they could have the opportunity that they have today,” she shared.
“When Congress passed the bill on June 16, 2021, making Juneteenth a federal holiday, I felt deeply in my spirit that this was such a great honor and that we needed to celebrate,” Mcvay added. “It should be a city event, and a big one. The emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans is a big deal and I wanted to do something about it. So, I reached out and talked to people about it. The response was great. Juneteenth is an important memory in our lives, one that should be respected and celebrated on our community.”
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Downtown Kings Mountain in the 1970s. Not much has changed. (Photo by DigitalNC)

Owners and City of KM at odds
about buildings in downtown

By Loretta Cozart

Property owners in downtown, along with the City of Kings Mountain, are struggling with growth, both in progress and anticipated. Most of the downtown buildings are receiving some type of renovation, either for the owner’s own project or to prepare for new tenants. One thing is that is certain, change is coming.
During recent city council meetings, building owners spoke about their desire to make changes to their buildings, primarily by painting. However, the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) adopted by the city only allows for painting a building in some cases if it is approved by the city’s advisory board, called the Downtown Design Advisory Review Committee (DDRAC). Currently three people serve on the committee: two from the Planning Department and one from the Kings Mountain Historical Museum. No building owners currently serve on the board.
The new UDO requires that a building owner who creates dwellings for tenants in their buildings must make provision for 1.5 parking spaces. This can be particularly challenging if the buildings have a zero lot-line, meaning the footprint of the building alone is all the property the building owner possesses.
This is a significant new requirement, so the city decided to allow owners of buildings already undergoing renovation to choose by which guidelines they wanttheir project held accountable: the city’s old zoning ordinances or the new UDO. Owners must choose one or the other depending upon their needs.
A bigger issue is deciding what paint colors are acceptable. Other towns have created a color palate from which to choose. The paint must be a high-quality paint, one designed for the purpose of painting brick or similar surfaces. Current requirements offer no paint color options to building owners, so the whatever chosen must go through a review process.
Even more challenging is that some owners have owned their buildings for decades, some through the draught of customers who followed the grocery stores out of downtown. Most of the customers who once shopped downtown have gone to shopping centers or malls in nearby towns as the options downtown dwindled. Now that new growth is coming, the owners are working to improve their buildings, only to find that new guidelines prevent them from doing so.
Façades are also an issue. In a few cases, the materials in the façade have historic significance. On the front of two buildings is a material known as Perma-stone invented in 1929 and popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Perma-Stone is such a common trade name that it has almost become generic for any of the cement-like materials applied to exterior walls and manipulated to look like stone. In Baltimore, Maryland, it is referred to as Formstone. At the height of its popularity in the 1950s, Formstone was a sign of wealth and stability in the working-class neighborhoods of Baltimore. But the longevity of Formstone was not living up to the company’s promises and the Formstone Co. went out of business in the late 1960s.
No building in the downtown business district is considered an historic landmark. All of them have been altered too much, either due to fire or renovation. A few of the buildings are notable, by the façade materials or because of who once owned them. A survey by the state in the 1970s came to that conclusion and Mary Neisler confirmed when asked about it a decade ago.
The argument that a building owner can do what they want with their own property is a compelling one. It seems logical. They own the building. But the downtown district is a community of sorts, one in which business owners rely on each other to draw customers to the area. And what is good for one owner might not be good for all of them.
   An example often used is that an owner would not want a neighboring building to be painted purple. While purple is a perfectly lovely color, it makes a point. One solution for this argument might be to create a color palate of agreed colors that could be reviewed every five years, since color preferences change over time. This would be like what is done by Homeowner Associations to protect the neighborhood. And no two adjacent buildings could have the same color. It presents a cohesive look, and nobody is surprised.
A bigger issue is who would make these decisions? DDRAC has no representation currently from a single building owner in downtown. It makes sense that the downtown business district should be considered like an HOA and that owners would decide what is best among themselves. Perhaps a local architect could provide guidance initially to keep the group on track as they get started. And would building owners be willing to serve on the review committee? These are all valid considerations.
   Another issue is if city employees should have to make these decisions? This type of work is time consuming and difficult. Knowing what architectural features are important to save, or even if that is a consideration at all, must be decided.
The reality is that Kings Mountain needs to decide how it wants to treat the downtown business district. Is it historic? Is it commercial? Do we want major chain stores downtown? Or does the community prefer smaller quaint businesses, restaurants, and entertainment? Once that is decided, then the path forward will be clearer
To ignore the challenges of building owners and businesses results in frustration, which causes them to ignore the UDO altogether and do whatever they want. It has happened many times in downtown already and those who choose to work with the system are frustrated by it.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent in downtown to improve the infrastructure. Soon there will be beautiful sidewalks and plantings. But if no investors and businesses will locate here because the business climate is impossible to deal with, then what is the point?
Taking a proactive stance on how to handle these issues helps solve the problem by starting conversations. Only then can discussion occur, and compromise be reached. And that is what is necessary to spur downtown renovation and redevelopment. These owners and merchants have skin in the game and have the right to create their own destiny, just as our founding fathers did in 1874.
In the next few weeks, the Herald will highlight some challenges building owners are currently facing and what is being done to clear the path forward to accomplish their goals.

Storms, winds brought down trees Friday

By Loretta Cozart

Storms swept through Kings Mountain on Friday, June 17, bringing gusty winds and spotty rain across the city. Due to those gusty winds, several trees fell. One caused a power outage and internet loss for customers in that section of the city. Another tree fell on a home and causing damage.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., the huge Oak tree at Matt and Brandi Maples home at 809 E. Kings Street fell, crashing power lines to the ground and breaking two poles in the process, resulting in an entire electrical circuit for the city being down. The entire roadway was blocked, along with the sidewalks on both sides of King Street. Drivers traveling in that section had no option but to turn back and find a different route.
The Oak tree came up by the roots, leaving a huge hole in the Maples’
front yard. Their home was built in 1960, according to Cleveland County GIS, indicating the huge Oak was likely around 60 years old. Saturday morning, only the uprooted trunk, along with cleared branches on either side of the road testified to dedication of City of KM and DOT employees who worked through the night to clear the roadway.
A second tree fell on a home in the N. Piedmont section near City of Kings Mountain Public Works.    And a third fell at Tommy Hawkins house on Woodside Drive. Around town, limbs and debris from the winds littered the streets early Saturday morning as homeowner worked to clean up after the storm.
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The Original Drifters

The Original Drifters to headline the NC BeachBlast Festival

Have you heard the news?
 For the first time in the 23 year history of the NC BeachBlast Festival, Kings Mountain will welcome a national act to headline the event.
Who is this national act?
The City of Kings Mountain will welcome The Original Drifters to the NC BeachBlast Festival, August 20, 2022.
The NC BeachBlast Festival is a two-day event kicking off Friday, August 19, 2022.
More details including a full line-up coming soon!
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The sidewalk leading from the Cherokee Street parking lot provides easy access to 133 West. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Taco Tuesday - Beef Our Community at 133 West

By Loretta Cozart

Downtown restaurant, 133 West selected Kings Mountain Gateway Trail as their sponsored non-profit in the month of June for “Taco about Tuesday - Beef Our Community.”
Five percent of Tuesday sales for the month of June will be donated to the Gateway Trail. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and looks forward to a great month supporting this Kings Mountain non-profit.
133 West is located at 133 West Mountain Street in downtown Kings Mountain. Due to Streetscape work, West Mountain Street is closed for construction. However, the Cherokee Street parking lot behind the restaurant is open with ample parking. A sidewalk leading from the parking lot provides easy access to the restaurant for dine-in or carryout. For more information, call 704-750-4100.
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train layout by Bill Ware. (Photo provided)

KMHM needs help with Toys, Games & Trains Exhibit


The Kings Mountain Historical Museum needs your help! They are coming up on the 20th year for the Toys, Games & Trains Exhibit at the museum. This annual exhibit fills the museum with a model train display assembled by local “S” Gaugers, as well as railroad memorabilia, and antique toys and games.
If you didn’t already know, this train layout belongs to Mr. Bill Ware (pictured), and he has devoted 19 years of volunteering to setting up his train layout in the museum for visitors to come reminisce over and experience. We know here at the museum how much this enchanting Christmas memory, and Bill Ware, means to the community.
To continue this tradition this year, volunteers are needed to help Bill with running the trains during the day at the museum which would run from November 25th-December 31st (and maybe extending into January 2023 another week.) The museum will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm. They will be closed Christmas Eve and are always closed on Sundays and Mondays.
   No experience is  necessary, just a desire to learn and work with trains. Additionally, anyone that can help initially with the set up and the taking down at the end, would be greatly appreciated. Please respond if interested, or email the director at kmhmdirector@outlook.com, or call the museum at 704-739-1019.
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Streetscape

Due to the impact the city’s progress is having on downtown businesses while improvements are made, the highlighted public parking area on Cherokee Street, behind the downtown shops, is designated for use by the residents and patrons of downtown businesses only during all Saturday hours until further notice. The parking lot can be accessed from E. Gold Street to Cherokee Street. 
                                                                          Photo by City of KM
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Crowd Packs Patriot Park

The crowd packed Patriot Park this past Saturday, June 4 for the A1A-Ultimate Jimmy Buffet Tribute concert. Blackwater Band opened the show at 6 p.m. A Cruise-In was held at 5 pm. See more photos on page 3A and 4A.

See more photos on pages 3A & 4A in this week's KM Herald (June 8, 2022)

Photos by Damien Obrien

KMHS Awards
Night
rescheduled

Due to severe weather, Kings Mountain High School cancelled Awards Night planned for Thursday, May 26. It has been rescheduled to June 2 at 6 p.m.

A1A-The Ultimate Jimmy Buffett Tribute

A1A-The Ultimate Jimmy Buffett Tribute plays on Saturday, June 4 at Patriots Park. Photos City of Kings Mountain

(Photos provided)

City of KM welcomes A1A-The Ultimate
Jimmy Buffett Tribute to Patriots Park

Bring your beach towels and your dancing shoes! The City of Kings Mountain welcomes A1A-The Ultimate Jimmy Buffett Tribute LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, June 4.
Formed in 1991, A1A will bring their Let’s Get Tropical Tour to Kings Mountain covering the tunes of the original Parrot Head, Jimmy Buffett spanning five decades. The only tribute show officially endorsed by Buffett himself, A1A is sure to bring a show filled with high energy and lots of fun!
Blackwater will open the show at 6:00 pm followed by A1A at 8:00 pm. Look for DJ Eric Bowman to kick off the whole evening at 5:00 pm. Former Performance Racing Network announcer, Chuck Carland will spin tunes for the Cruise-In from Liberty Mountain Garden.
And speaking of the Cruise-In, it begins at 5:00 pm. All makes and models are welcome. If you own a Woody Wagon, bring it too!
Great food, inflatables for the kids and much more! Best of all…..the concert and Cruise-In are FREE.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on the concert or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain at 704-730-2101 or access their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com.
The City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department would like to say thank you to their annual sponsors: The City of Kings Mountain, Kings Mountain Travel and Tourism Authority, Two Kings Casino, Butler’s Outdoor Design, Butler’s Tire and Auto, Gutter Guys and Point 135 Real Estate.
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Heavy traffic heading to Downtown KM

Heavy traffic is expected in Downtown Kings Mountain, June 4, as The City of Kings Mountain hosts the Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In.
Roads impacted during the events will be Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets. As a result, the City is offering Shuttle Pick-Up and Drop-Off at the following locations:
• First Baptist Church-Located at 605 West King Street
• Parkdale Mill-Located at 500 South Railroad Avenue
• Patrick Senior Center-Located at 909 East Kings Street
Shuttle service will begin at 4:00 PM and end at 11:00 PM.
The City urges patrons to use the shuttle services as parking will be scarce in the downtown.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by road closures.
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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City of KM’s Special Events Dept.
announces road closures

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

Food manufacturer selects Gastonia for expansion and $42M investment

Hans Kissle Company, a fresh foods manufacturer, will create 219 new jobs in Gaston County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest more than $42.2 million to build a food manufacturing facility in Apple Creek Corporate Center.
“North Carolina’s agricultural and manufacturing legacy continues to attract growing companies to counties like Gaston,” said Governor Cooper. “Our skilled workforce and great quality of life are key ingredients for our thriving manufacturing industry.”
Hans Kissle manufactures a wide variety of high quality fresh prepared foods for supermarkets and foodservice customers throughout the United States. Since opening as an in-house commissary for a Massachusetts grocery chain in 1984, the company now serves a menu of 700 items, including premium entrees, delicatessen salads, side dishes, quiches and other great tasting,
fresh ready-to-eat foods, to a broad range of retail customers. Hans Kissle’s expansion to the Southeastern United States will increase production and distribution capacity for its food items and add approximately 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
   “We are excited to be able to expand production to meet the growing demand for our premium products from consumers and retail partners in the Southeast,” said Scott Moffitt, CEO of Hans Kissle Company. “Gastonia is a thriving community with a talented workforce, and we are proud to put down roots and call it home for our new facility. We look forward to bringing great jobs to the community and being a positive contributor in many ways.”
   “It’s no secret that North Carolina is the special ingredient for growing food companies,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “With the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast and the third largest state in the nation for food and beverage processing, Hans Kissle’s decision is a strong signal to other food companies that North Carolina is a great place to do business.”
   The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support Hans Kissle’s location to North Carolina. Altogether, the average annual salary for the new positions meets Gaston County’s average annual wage of $42,018. The project could create a potential annual payroll impact of more than $9.2 million each year.
   Hans Kissle’s project will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $599 million. Using a formula that considers the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $2,156,400 spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
   Because Hans Kissle is locating to Gaston County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $239,600 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities across the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.
   “This is another great win for our region and state,” said N.C. Senator Kathy Harrington. “We welcome these additional jobs and investment for Gaston County and look forward to seeing what Hans Kissle will grow here.”
   “We welcome Hans Kissle to North Carolina,” said N.C. Representative John Torbett. “This announcement is yet another example of how Gaston County has a winning recipe for successfully attracting companies across all industries.”
   In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab, the North Carolina Community College System, Gaston College, Gaston County, the Gaston County Economic Development Commission, the City of Gastonia, and Rutherford Electric.
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Potato Project needs
your support, both
physical and financial

By Doug Sharp

The 13th year of the Cleveland County Potato Project (CCPP) is under way with potatoes growing and planting of sweet potato slips about to begin.  These events will offer numerous volunteer opportunities.
White potatoes will be harvested July 7 and 8. Individuals and groups are welcome to lend a hand. All ages welcome, from 6 to 96.  In the meantime, de-bugging is now going full steam. This is also good work for all ages. Good nature lessons here, a good example of man versus the insect world.
Sweet potato planting is scheduled to start June 6. Help is needed to assist the mechanical planter. Also, volunteers are needed to drive to Autreyville, NC (Sampson County near Clinton) to pick up a load of potato slips. This is a trip of approx. 475 to 500 miles. It is a very scenic drive into the heart of sweet potato country. The ideal schedule is to pick up plants on Monday and plant the following days.
CCPP is facing a critical financial situation due to the increase in prices. You can help by contributing to the Cleveland County Potato Project, 107 Quail Hollow Dr. Kings Mtn NC, 28086. CCPP is a 501c3 charity. Dates, times, locations, etc. are available by calling Doug Sharp at 704 472 5128.
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McGinnis property downtown sold

By Loretta Cozart

On May 12, the McGinnis property on Battleground Avenue sold for approximately $375,000 to U180, a North Carolina Limited Liability Company, in Charlotte, NC.
The properties included in the sale are 243 Battleground Avenue, 245 Battleground Avenue, and 247 Battleground Avenue and includes all buildings from Kings Mountain Thrift and Gift, South to E. Gold Street.
The Herald reached out to the new owners and have not received a reply as to their plans for the property.
Historically, the property was built by Dr. D.M. Morrison and once housed Dixie Home Goods, a predecessor of Winn-Dixie.

This Weekend at Joy Performance Center
Final performances of
Four Weddings and Elvis
performed by KMLT

Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. and corporate sponsor Harris Funeral Home announce performance dates for “Four Weddings and an Elvis.”  Director Wendy Walega encourages everyone to make plans to see this adult comedy by Nancy Frick.
Final performance dates are this weekend: Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 22 at 3:00 PM at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain
Please contact the theater regarding ticket information at tickets@kmlt.org or by calling 704-730-9408. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kmlt.org or at the box office one hour before showtime. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.
Only KMLT season members may make reservations at tickets@kmlt.org or by calling 704-730-9408. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance of the performance you wish to attend.
You are cordially invited to attend “Four Weddings and an Elvis”
Sandy, the four-times-married-three-times-divorced owner of a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, has certainly seen her fair share of matrimonies! In this hilarious show, we witness four of her funniest and most memorable:
1. Bev and Stan, who are getting married by the King himself as revenge on their exes.
2. Vanessa and Bryce, two arrogant aging stars who are tying the knot as a publicity ploy and are vexed by an aging Elvis who doesn’t know who they are.
3  Marvin and Fiona, two people who met online and who are trying to get married before the police arrive!
4. And the final, most touching wedding of all – Sandy’s fifth and final wedding to the love of her life!
The Cast: Bev – Jennifer Dockery; Stan – Greg Dixo; Sandy - Estelle Grabert; John – Chad Spurling; Lou - Jim Champion; Vanessa – Dawn Rickus; Bryce – Kevin Burke; Marvin - Michael Medlin; Fiona – Sara Corbin; Fist – Robert Owens; Paulo – Derek Rickus and Ken – guest star.
Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. is a volunteer based, 501c3 tax-exempt community theater. It owns and operates the Joy Performance Center and the Liberty Mountain Garden. It is a funded affiliate of the Cleveland County Arts Council and is supported in part by a Grassroots Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.
Kings Mountain Little Theatre, Inc. is a volunteer based, 501c3 tax-exempt community theater. It owns and operates the Joy Performance Center and the Liberty Mountain Garden. It is a funded affiliate of the Cleveland County Arts Council and is supported in part by a Grassroots Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.
For more detailed information, please visit www.kmlt.org or the Kings Mountain Little  Theatre Facebook page.

Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast May 23

By Loretta Cozart

Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast features NC House Speaker Tim Moore, Senator Ted Alexander, and Kelly Hastings. The event will be held at the LeGrand Center in Shelby, 1800 E. Marion Street, on May 23 from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. Cost is $25 per person or a table sponsorship of $250. Contact Kathryn at the chamber for more information.

Classical Ballet students
to perform “Cinderella”

The Classical Ballet will be performed at the Joy Performance Center on May 28-29. See more photos on Page 7A.           (Photo provided)
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Cinderella and Prince at the ball – The Classical Ballet will be performed at the Joy Performance Center on May 28-29. See more photos on Page 7A. (Photo provided)

Classical Ballet students
to perform “Cinderella”

Cinderella is being brought to life by Kimberla’s School of Classical Ballet on May 27, 28 and 29 at the Joy Performance Center. This dream come true fairy tale will delight an audience with the beauty and majesty of classical ballet and have the audience gasping with laughter over the antics of the stepsisters.
Come lose yourself in an enchanting story you know and love that blends humor, heart, and hope - one where an ordinary pumpkin becomes a spectacular carriage, wishes do come true, and a lost slipper leads to a happily ever after.
This classic fairytale is a treat the whole family will enjoy. Get your tickets today by calling 704-300-4130 or visiting https://sites.google.com/kimberlasclassicalballet/cinderella-tickets.
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During week one exploratory holes were cut for future stormwater catch basins. Photo provided by Greene Building Corporation

Streetscape project update

By Loretta Cozart

While work continues at the site of the Streetscape project in downtown Kings Mountain, the work behind the scenes continues as challenges with the original plan are being addressed.
The Streetscape project began on April 11, and over the next few weeks what Greene Building Corporation (GBC) found beneath the asphalt and dirt was a spaghetti situation of water and gas pipes, electrical conduit, and stormwater pipes not shown on the original maps they were working from. As a result, GBC had to step back and assess the situation as work at the site continued.
By week three, City of Kings Mountain removed the stoplight and pole at the corner of Mountain and Cherokee Streets and a new transformer was installed on Cherokee Street behind the police station.
While digging exploratory holes for catch basins, fiber lines were also found in the area. Additionally, issues with the stormwater system were identified and those also issues needed to be addressed. So, GBC began a redesign of the stormwater system keeping all the challenges discovered in mind.
Last week, the team met with AT&T to discuss relocating their existing fiber services in the area, as GBC continued work on the stormwater system installation. Upcoming work includes curb and gutter, conduit work, and stormwater
“While water, gas, and electrical can be rerouted, the    stormwater    system
must be done properly for everything to drain as it should,” said GBC’s Project Manager Mike Lovelace. “The time taken will ensure success going forward and is well worth the investment. We believe we have everything squared away now and progress will pick up going forward.”

 
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Utz buys Benestar facility
in KM for $38.4 million

Utz Brands, Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer of branded salty snacks, announced April 28 that the company’s subsidiary, Utz Quality Foods, LLC, has purchased a brand new, recently completed snack food manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain from Evans Food Group Ltd. d/b/a Benestar Brands and related affiliates.
The total purchase price of the transaction was approximately $38.4 million, and includes the existing building, land and pork-rind production equipment. Utz will convert the space into a fully operational snack food manufacturing facility starting in 2022. The current 125,000 square foot facility can be expanded to 200,000 square feet and is expected to add over 115 local jobs.
The new Kings Mountain facility will support the increased and growing demand for Utz’s brands in the Southeast, Northeast and Mid-South regions. The new facility contains state of the art high-speed pork rind manufacturing lines and will enable multi-line production across Utz’s key sub-categories soon.
Operationalizing the recently constructed Kings Mountain facility is quicker and more cost-effective than building from the ground up or renovating an existing facility. Benestar will also become a supplier of pork pellets from its Chicago operations to Utz. The Transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings within 12-18 months due to the expected strong supply chain cost savings.
“With continued growth and excitement for our snack food brands, we are very excited to expand our roots in North Carolina, where we will be adding over 115 new jobs over time,” said Cary Devore, Chief Operating Officer, Utz Brands, Inc. “This is a strong step forward in optimizing our plant and logistics network, and it will allow us to in-source manufacturing across several product types that we currently outsource to some degree. This Transaction increases our operational flexibility and will contribute to higher long-term margins over time, based on identifiable, multi-faceted cost synergies.”
“As a vertically integrated manufacturer, we believe our operations will be optimized by supplying Utz with our Chicago-based pellet production, while selling the downstream manufacturing operations to Utz. This type of partnership will only enhance operations of both companies going forward,” stated Bruce Myers, President of Benestar.