Screen shot 2023 02 02 at 11.13.45 am
Pictured L-R: Chris Catania, Bob Arcuri, and Sally Arcuri were announced as the new owners of Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ in Kings Mountain. Photo by Restaurant Week Magazine

Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ coming to KM

In the September 20, Restaurant Magazine, Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ announced that Chris Catania, Bob Arcuri, and Sally Arcuri would be opening a franchise in Kings Mountain at 222 S. Railroad Avenue. This will be the seventh location in North Carolina for Crave. An projected date for opening was not disclosed.
Crave Corporate issued the following statement, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Chris, Bob and Sally into the Crave family.
They bring a lot to the table with their business experience, and we look forward to getting their Kings Mountain location up and running.”
Crave serves hot dogs, BBQ, and self-pour beer. The brand boasts jumbo all beef hot dogs that can be topped anyway you like with 20+ toppings. They specialize in BBQ, pulled chicken, pulled pork and pulled brisket with not only classic BBQ dishes, but fun plays on them, like sliders and tacos. The self-pour beer wall includes a variety of local crafts as well as domestics, mixed drinks, and wine.
With Ax throwing, and alcohol for adults, and fun game nights for the kids, Crave locations host a variety of fun activities monthly to include Trivia, Bingo, Karaoke and corn hole tournaments.
Screen shot 2023 02 02 at 11.13.34 am

And the winner is …

Joel Summit was crowned Mr. American Legion at Kings Mountain American Legion post home on Saturday, January 28 for the Male Beauty Contest.

Photos provided by Christy Conner
Screen shot 2023 02 02 at 11.13.23 am
Construction at Kings Mountain Corporate Center continues, as more speculative building are being discussed in Gastonia and Bessemer City. Photo by Loretta Cozart

KM Corporate Center progressing

By Loretta Cozart

Visiting the site of the new Kings Mountain Corporate Center at 799 Sara Lee Access Road in
Kings Mountain, concrete is up and with some wall support braces still in place. The 1,256,278 sq. ft. building is one of the largest speculative buildings in the southeast. Keith Corporation anticipated delivery by the fourth quarter of 2022.
The I-85 corridor is filled with speculative buildings, popular with companies focusing on e-commerce to meet the demands of post pandemic America. These buildings are built to provide ready-to-occupy space for companies looking for a place to set up new operations or expand existing ones. They can be delivered quicker than starting from scratch and provide a quick alternative to waiting for years of construction.
With speculative buildings being built all along I-85, from Gaston County south to the state line. Keeping in mind Kings Mountain’s proximity to Charlotte, Asheville, Greenville, and Atlanta, speculative buildings will begin to fill the landscape as growth continues to come our way.
Screen shot 2023 02 02 at 11.14.32 am
The Bullock Building at 126 Mountain Street was condemned by the city on January 6. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Bullock Building condemned

By Loretta Cozart

The Bullock Building at 126 W. Mountain Street in Kings Mountain was condemned by City of Kings Mountain and a notice was posted. The notice reads, “This structure is unsafe for human occupancy pursuant to NCGS 160D-1119. The use or occupation of this building for human habitation is prohibited and unlawful due to either defective construction, dilapidation, decay, insanitation, unsafe wiring or heating system, inadequate means of egress, damage by fire or wind, overloaded floors and/or fire hazard.” The notice was signed by Building Inspector Clint Houser on January 6, 2023. The owner of the property has until April 25 to respond to the city before further action is taken.
Lloyd   copy

KM football coach
Greg Lloyd resigns

Greg Lloyd has resigned after 16 years as head football coach at Kings Mountain High School.
Lloyd finished his career here as the winningest coach in Mountaineer football history. He said he doesn’t plan to take another coaching position for the next school year.
See next week’s Kings Mountain Herald for full story.
Screen shot 2023 01 26 at 11.08.48 am
Kings Mountain Fire Chief Tommy Harmon speaks to the crowd at the Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 QRV presentation. (photos by Michael Powell)

 City of KM; Gaston Co. partner to provide enhanced EMS service to area residents

Kings Mountain; western Gaston County residents will soon see new, bright green QRV unit responding to calls


On Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, the City of Kings Mountain Fire Department and Gaston County Emergency Services (GEMS) partnered with each other to provide a new Quick Response Vehicle, or QRV, to the Kings Mountain Fire Department.
One thing is for sure… you WILL see this emergency vehicle coming; it is painted a bright, neon green and will be VERY visible, noted one of the folks attending the afternoon press and public meeting.
The new vehicle, according to KMFD Fire Chief Tommy Harmon and Gaston County EMS Chief Mark Lamphiear, will help the two entities “address EMS response times.”
According to a media release given out at the 11 a.m. meeting at the KMFD Fire Station, “EMS response times in Kings Mountain and western Gaston County have been a significant issue, most notably to industry on Canterbury Rd., two (2) housing subdivisions, and the I-85/US 74 interchange area.”
Chief Harmon spoke and noted he had envisioned a need for an EMS first response by his fire department.
“Chief Lamphiear and I began discussions a while back (September 2019) on the needs and plans for making our vision come about; to make it a reality,” said Chief Harmon. Harmon noted the response times in the Gaston County portion of Kings Mountain and the western Gaston County area had “…the longest EMS response time of anywhere in the county.”
To that end, Chief Harmon said Gaston County “…facilitated the implementation of the first responder program by providing radios and dispatch services for calls in Gaston County.”
He added that KMFD then began “…to respond to all medical emergencies in the Gaston County portion of the city in 2022.”
In the department’s media release, Chief Harmon also noted the primary reason for locating the new GEMS QRV at the KMFD station (which is just inside Cleveland County) are as follows: “1.) quick access to Canterbury Road industry and the housing developments of Linwood and Northwoods; 2.) quick access to I-85 northbound and the area of Exit 10; and 3.) addressing this area as the next longest EMS response time in Gaston County.”
Harmon continued, “Additionally, the City of Kings Mountain welcomes this partnership and will allow GEMS to room-in at no cost.”
The two entities both acknowledge they “enjoy a great relationship,” with it being noted in the media release that, “KMFD and GEMS have an excellent working partnership.”
It is further noted that, “The GEMS QRV is the next step in the expansion and enhancement of services to the residents, visitors, industry, and taxpayers of Gaston County in this area.”
Chief Harmon, in referring to the KMFD first responder program, said the new GEMS QRV is, “…the icing on the cake.”
Chief Lamphiear thanked everyone for coming out as did Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler, who also thanked Gaston County Manager, Dr. Kim Eagle and all the Gaston and Cleveland County dignitaries and officials present for the ceremony. Mayor Neisler also praised the men and women of the KMFD and GEMS for what they do to serve others.
Chief Lamphiear also noted the new QRV was “a bridge to the future” for KMFD and Gaston County.
Gaston County Commissioner Bob Hovis noted how “public safety is the number one priority for the county and its residents, adding it is Gaston County’s honor to place the new QRV at KMFD to serve the people in the county and the area.
Screen shot 2023 01 26 at 11.08.36 am
Steve Crump is presented the Key to the City by Mayor Neisler. See more photos on page 3A. Photos by Angela Padgett

KM Celebrates
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

By Loretta Cozart

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was remembered by the citizens of Kings Mountain in an observance held on Monday, January 16 at 2 p.m. at the Joy Performance Theater.
Opening remarks were brought by Mayor Scott Neisler, followed by the invocation by Mayor Pro Tempore, Annie Thombs.
“Meet Dr. King,” of Bright Star Touring Theatre of Asheville, was brought to life by actors Lauren Ainsworth and Ryan Anthony.
Keynote Speaker, Steve Crump, Emmy Award winning journalist at WBTV, shared the legacy of Dr. King, his impact on our area, and his everlasting imprint on civil rights in America. Crump spoke of King’s trips to Charlotte and South Carolina’s St. Helena Island. Those trips to the SC low country reduced his risk for arrest and allowed his creative juices to flow in a relaxed environment. While changes continue supporting civil rights, Crump reminded those in attendance there is much left to do to achieve Dr. King’s dream. Afterward, Mayor Neisler presented Crump with a key to the City of Kings Mountain.
Henry Gilmore, III paid musical tribute to Dr. King by singing “Amazing Grace and “We Shall Overcome,” during the observance.
Screen shot 2023 01 26 at 11.09.09 am
Todd Carpenter Interim County Manager Photo by City of Gastonia

Cleveland County appoints Interim County Manager

At its January 17 meeting, the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of interim County Manager Todd Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter will assume the role effective February 1, 2023, and will replace outgoing County Manager Brian Epley, who has accepted a position with another county in the same role.
Carpenter is a lifelong Cleveland County resident who brings more than 38 years of local government experience to the interim position.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the great team in place in Cleveland County,” Carpenter said. “I look forward to steering the ship as the Board conducts a search for a permanent manager. I’m thankful for the trust placed in me by the Board of Commissioners and I look forward to getting to work.”
Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Gordon expressed confidence in Carpenter’s abilities.  “We are fortunate to have found such an experienced and knowledgeable leader who is willing to step in on an interim basis to assume the duties of County Manager,”  Gordon said. “We welcome Todd to the team and look forward to working with him.”
The County Manager serves as the chief administrator of county government. His duties include overseeing County departments, programs, and operations pursuant to the policies, ordinances, and directives adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.
A search for a full-time County Manager is underway utilizing a nationwide executive search firm. The position reports directly to the Board of Commissioners and will be hired by that five-member board. 

American  Legion
Male Beauty Contest

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion Post 155 announces their Kings Mountain Male Beauty Contest on January 28, at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. They invite all to come have dinner and enjoy an evening of family friendly entertainment. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance. Cost is $12 at the door.
   Candidates participate in casual wear, evening wear, talent, and impromptu response events. Judges and talent include elected officials, business owners, well-known members of the community, and members of the American Legion. Sponsorships are available.
   Tickets can be purchased at the American Legion between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, while supplies last.
Screen shot 2023 01 26 at 11.08.57 am

Woman dies after stabbing,
ex-boyfriend arrested

Kings Mountain Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Thursday afternoon, January 19, near 400 Dixon School Road and I-85 on a vehicle of interest, a 2003 BMW 325I occupied by one white male and one white female.
The driver was identified as 37-year-old Timothy Prescott Parson and he was placed under arrest without incident and transported to the Kings Mountain Police Department for processing in connection to the murder of 34-year-old Ashley Erin Scoggins. He has been charged with homicide and assault on a female with no bond.
The passenger was identified as 42-year-old Tracy Marie Hartis. She was placed under arrest for obstruction of justice and transported to the Kings Mountain Police Department for processing.
On January 17, KMPD responded to the Silver Express at 501 E King Street in reference to a stabbing. Officers discovered that a female had been assaulted with a knife and suffering from life threatening injuries.
The next day, the vehicle was located abandoned at a business in Kings Mountain. A search of the area was conducted but at this time Timothy Parson has not been located. The vehicle was seized and is in the possession of the KMPD.
Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services and Kings Mountain Fire responded to the scene along with KMPD to provided medical care. The victim was transported to Kings Mountain Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Parson, the victim's ex-boyfriend, was identified as the assailant. He allegedly assaulted the victim inside of the store before leaving the parking lot in a dark in color gray Nissan Sentra.
Screen shot 2023 01 18 at 4.55.47 pm
Sandy Canipe

Search continues
for Sandy Canipe

Seven years ago, Sandy Canipe was reported missing. He has not been located and  Cleveland County Sheriff's Office requests citizens submit any information you have about his disappearance. An increased reward of $10,000 has been offered for information leading to locating him.
Sandy, of 112 Dyer Dr., was last seen around 5:30 p.m. on January 16, 2016, near his home in Shelby, NC. Volunteers searched a 7-mile radius around Sandy’s home, for multiple days. More than 50 people from law enforcement and emergency personnel, along with police K-9’s and drones found no trace of him in the area.
Due to conflicting statements, it is unknown as to what Sandy was last wearing at the time of his disappearance. He has no history of any medical condition that would cause him to become disoriented. The search for Sandy, which lasted about a week, was called off on January 21, 2016. Sandy, 48 years old at the time of his disappearance, is described as 5’, 9” tall, with brown hair and green eyes.
If you have any information, please call 704-484-4822 or submit a tip on CCSO’s app.
Someone knows something that can help CCSO find Sandy, so any information may be helpful.
Screen shot 2023 01 18 at 4.20.45 pm

Group wants change in
voting for city council races

By Loretta Cozart

Mountaineers for a Better Community wants to see change in the way Kings Mountain citizens vote for city council. They suggest an amendment to the city charter opening voting for all five council seats to the entire city, rather than just limiting the voting to each candidate by ward. They propose no change to the method of electing at-large councilmembers, however.
Currently, a member of city council must live in the ward in which they run and must be elected by voters from citizens in that ward.
Under the proposed plan, a member of city council must live in the ward in which they run, but voting would not be restricted to citizens living in that ward. Anyone voting in a municipal election would vote for each ward race.
While it seems like a dramatic shift in voting for ward representation, but historically it is not. Prior to a change in the city’s charter in 1991, Kings Mountain citizens voted in all city council races. That year, Ward 1 was created to allow for better minority representation. At the same time, the charter’s wording was changed to allow those living in a ward to vote only for their specific representative.
Essentially, each council member is accountable to their constituents in the ward. However, as a board they make decision that impact everyone’s day-to-day lives, including utility rates, planning and zoning decisions, staffing of police and fire personnel, taxation, and city budgets, to name a few.
According to Mountaineers for a Better Community, of North Carolina’s 533 municipalities, only 23 elect their City Council using KM’s current method. Of those cities, only seven municipalities in the state of similar size to KM still use this method.
Mountaineers for a Better Community states, and the Herald has verified with Cleveland County Board of Elections, “In the last four City Council elections, an average of only 319 votes were cast in elections for city council wards (districts).” Therefore, only 21 percent of voters in a district are voting and approximately 80% of eligible KM voters are left out of these important decisions.
Mountaineers for a Better Community Kings Mountain residents to sign their petition to put this amendment on the ballot and up to a vote and need 1,000 physical signatures to move this process forward. Do you live in city limits? Want to learn more and sign the petition to get this change on the ballot in November? Then visit one of these local businesses for more information and petition forms:
• Big Reds/Patriot Jacks
• The Imperial Mercantile
• Uncommon Artisans
• Ingrams Barber Shop
• Trackside Bourbon, Beer
    and Vino
• Parkers Amoco
• Linwoods
Screen shot 2023 01 18 at 4.20.38 pm

Catawba Nation
files an appeal

By Loretta Cozart

   Catawba Nation has confirmed filing an appeal after being notified of a notice of violation (NOV) last December. They were given 30 days to file an appeal.
   Catawba Nation Marketing and Communications Manager Tylee Anderson issued the following statement confirming the appeal, “The Catawba Nation has filed an appeal of the notice of violation issued by the National Indian Gaming Commission as we work to resolve issues regarding lease agreements with Sky Boat Partners for our casino resort project. The issues don’t involve current casino operations.”
   On December 7, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) against the Catawba Indian Nation, Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC (Sky Boat), and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant. The NOV resulted from a thorough investigation by the NIGC Washington, D.C. Region Office that identified multiple violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and NIGC regulations.
   As set forth in the NOV, the investigation found the Nation allowed Sky Boat to manage in part the expansion of Catawba Two Kings Casino without an approved management contract. Additionally, the Nation and Sky Boat failed to submit a management contract within 60 days of its execution, as required by NIGC regulations.
   “Based on an exhaustive investigation and analysis of the circumstances, we issued a Notice of Violation to both enforce regulatory compliance and ensure the Nation is the primary beneficiary of its gaming revenue. We do not take this enforcement action lightly, but do so to preserve the integrity of the industry and protect the valuable tool Indian Gaming represents for many Tribes as codified in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” Simermeyer said.
   The Nation, Sky Boat, and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant could face civil penalties not to exceed $57,527 per day for each violation and the Nation’s gaming operation could be subject to a temporary closure order.
   The following were sent the Notice of Violation including Catawba Indian Nation, Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC (Sky Boat), and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant:
• William Harris, Chief & Agent for Service of Process , Catawba Indian Nation , 996 Avenue of the Nations, Rock Hill, NC 29730
• Kathy George, President, Catawba Nation Gaming Authority, 538 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086
• Matt Stewart, ChairCatawba Nation Gaming Commission, P.O. Box 1058, 502 W. King St. Ste. 201, Kings Mountain, NC 28086
• Wallace B. Cheves, Jr., Manager, Joseph Giordano, Manager, Gene Harris, Manager, Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC, 2626 Glenwood Ave. Ste. 550, Raleigh, NC 27608
• Corporation Service Company, Registered Agent for Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC , 251 Little Falls Dr., Wilmington, DE 19808
• Gene Harris. Manager of Manager, CSV Investors, LLC , 700 W. Morse Blvd., Ste. 220 , Winter Park, FL 32789
• CS SUNBIZ, LLC Agent for service for CSV Investors, LLC; AHG Group Holdings, LLC; AHG Group LLC; & KML Investors, LLC, 700 W. Morse Blvd., Ste. 220 , Winter Park. FL 32789
• Alan H. Ginsburg Gene Harris. Manager of Manager, AHG Group Holdings, LLC , 700 W. Morse Blvd., Ste. 220, Winter Park, FL 32789
• Alan Ginsburg, Gene Harris, Manager of Manager, Aaron Gorovitz, AHG Group LLC, 700 W. Morse Blvd., Suite 220, Winter Park, FL 32789
• Wallace B. Cheves, Jr., Owner , Sky Boat Development, LLC, 1209 Orange St., Wilmington, DE 1980Ml20
• The Corporation Trust Company Registered Agent for Sky Boat Development, LLC, Corporation Trust Center , 1209 Orange St., Wilmington, DE 19801
• Gene Harris, Manager of Manager , KML Investors, LLC , 700 W. Morse Blvd., Ste. 220 , Winter Park, FL 32789.

C.A.R.E. holds
first hike of 2023

By Loretta Cozart

Clifford's Army Rescue Extravaganza, C.A.R.E., held their first hike of the year at Kings Mountain’s Gateway Trail on January 15 for dogs in their care.
C.A.R.E. is a group of volunteers organized to provide support for the homeless animals in the area, including animals at county run facilities, thus increasing their chances for adoption and/or rescue.
This support can include but not limited to medical expenses, preventive veterinary care, adoption events, beds, blankets, food drives,  vaccines, all needs for the welfare of these animals.  We will also rescue from  said shelters. As a registered 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, your donations to C.A.R.E. could be tax deductible.
Using social media, they network the animals for exposure and to help raise money for their wellbeing. We will also do several on site fundraisers throughout the year to support this cause.
They also help the people in our community by providing assistance  and education to those unable to afford food, vet care including spay/neuter and any other needs for these animal(s).
They thank all those who came out to their first hike with the CARE doggies. They are already looking forward to the next one. Future hikes will be held in the next few months.
Screen shot 2023 01 18 at 4.21.10 pm

NC House Elects Tim Moore as Speaker for a record 5th consecutive term

Representative Tim Moore, Republican - District 111, Cleveland, Rutherford counties, has once again been elected Speaker of the North Carolina House. Nominated by his colleagues, Moore was elected Speaker by a vote of acclamation on the House floor.
Rep. Moore, a native of Kings Mountain, NC, was first elected to the House in 2003. He became rules committee chairman under then-Speaker Thom Tillis in 2011 and succeeded him as Speaker of the House in 2015 after Tillis was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Speaker Moore will now serve his 5th consecutive term leading the state House, making him the longest-serving Speaker in North Carolina history.
Screen shot 2023 01 18 at 4.21.16 pm

Governor bans TikTok, WeChat on state devices

On Thursday, January 11, Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order prohibiting the use of certain applications and websites on state devices including computers and mobile phones. The Order directs the state Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) to develop a policy within 14 days that prohibits the use of TikTok, WeChat and potentially other applications on state agency information technology systems in a manner that presents an unacceptable cybersecurity risk.
“It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyberattacks against the United States,” said Governor Cooper. “Protecting North Carolina from cyber threats is vital to ensuring the safety, security, privacy, and success of our state and its people.”
Cybersecurity professionals have identified TikTok and WeChat as high-risk applications due to their lack of sufficient privacy controls and connections to countries that sponsor or support cyber-attacks against the United States.
Several government entities in the United States, including multiple branches of the United States Military, the Transportation Security Administration, and other states, have banned TikTok, WeChat, and other applications on federal and state government information technology.
The NCDIT policy will be able to be updated in the future if additional high-risk applications and websites are identified by state cybersecurity experts.
“NCDIT’s top priority is the security and protection of the state’s IT systems, data, and assets,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver. “Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order is essential to this critical work.”
“I’m deeply concerned about data security and privacy on social media platforms,” said NC Attorney General Josh Stein. “We, not social media companies, should be able to make decisions about what and how much we share, who we share it with, and how it is used. I’m pleased that Gov. Cooper is taking steps to help make the business of our government more secure. I’ll continue my work to keep people and their data safe online, especially when it comes to my investigations into how social media platforms affect our children.”
   “The Governor’s Executive Order takes an important first step to ensure the privacy of our citizens and the security of North Carolina’s government networks,” said NC House Representative Jason Saine.
   “This guidance is a step in the right direction,” said NC House Representative Jon Hardister. “I appreciate the Governor’s office collaborating with us on this initiative. I look forward to our continued efforts to establish long-term plans to enhance our cyber security.”
   “We take the responsibility to protect information from cyber security threats seriously and we commend Governor Cooper for taking this action to ensure our state’s technological devices are secure,” NC House Representative Ashton Clemmons said.
   “It is essential that the state works to ensure the security of government technology,” NC House Representative Robert Reives said. “This Executive Order will help bolster state information technology protections and guard against cyberattacks in the future.”
Screen shot 2023 01 11 at 4.42.43 pm

“Meet Dr. King” performance
at Joy Theatre, January 16

To honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mauney Memorial Library, and the City of Kings Mountain welcome Bright Star Touring Theatre to perform, “Meet Dr. King” at the Joy Performance Center, January 16, at 2:00 pm.      .
“Meet Dr. King” is a wonderful introduction to the life and work of one of America’s most influential men. Perfect for younger audiences, this production serves to introduce students to major concepts of Black History like freedom, integration, and equality. “Meet Dr. King” helps young people begin to understand the importance of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. This special play takes us from Dr. King’s life as just a young boy experiencing racism for the first time, to meeting his wife, Coretta, to becoming a pastor and finally a national inspiration.
Joining us for the performance as guest speaker is WBTV’s own Emmy winning journalist, Steve Crump.
The event, scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, is free and open to the public. The Joy Performance Center is located at 202 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information, please call Mauney Memorial Library, at 704-739-2371.
Screen shot 2023 01 11 at 4.42.33 pm

Tillis, Burr help pass
same-sex marriage bill

by Carolina Journal
North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has been working on fellow Republicans to support the Respect for Marriage Act, and found success last week as it passed the chamber, 61-36. North Carolina’s senior senator,
Richard Burr, was among the 12 Republicans who voted for it.
While the act does not require states to permit same-sex marriages, it does require that states recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Tillis played a pivotal role in negotiating the finer points of the bill and generating Republican support. He called it “a good compromise.”
“It’s one that’s based on mutual respect for our fellow Americans, protecting the rights of Americans who may have different lifestyles or different viewpoints,” he said on the Senate floor last week.
The U.S. House is expected to pass the bill by the end of the year. It will then go to President Biden’s desk for signature. The House passed its version in July 2022 with a vote of 267-157, including 47 Republicans.
Tillis was a negotiator on the final version’s details, which include protections for nonprofits and religious organizations from being required to support same-sex marriages with services, facilities, or goods.
“One, it maintains the status quo with respect to same-sex marriage that was set forth by the Supreme Court decision,  but then  we  makea lot of progress on ensuring that religious-affiliated institutions are still able to observe their faith and the way that they have for decades or centuries, and I think that we’ve struck that balance,” Tillis said in a virtual press conference earlier this month. “We put together a bill that has been endorsed by a religious freedom coalition that includes the Church of (Jesus Christ) of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Council for Christian
Colleges and Universities,  the National Association of Evangelicals, and they believe that what we’ve done here is a good step forward for protecting religious freedom.”
The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton, which defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman and allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states.
Groups like the Heritage Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom disagree with Tillis’ assessment of the bill and call it “deceptively named.” They say the legislation puts a target on religious organizations who believe marriage is between one man and one woman.
“The issue is not the ability to believe in man-woman marriage, but the ability to live out those beliefs meaningfully in society and not be labeled a bigot by the government for doing so,” said Roger Severino of the Heritage Foundation.
Severino and other opponents believe that the measure is an effort to head off the U.S. Supreme Court from revisiting the 2015 Obergfell v. Hodges decision, in which the court decided 5-4 that several states violated the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment in bans on same-sex marriage or refusal to recognize legal same-sex marriages that occurred in jurisdictions that provided for such marriages.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas indicated in his concurring opinion in the Dobbs case overturning Roe v. Wade that the Obergefell decision could be on the table.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote.
“I do think the Supreme Court decision changes the factors that lead you to a conclusion to support or not support the bill,” Tillis said in the press conference. “It certainly did for me. I mean, when you have a population that is growing, when you have people who are experts at arguing cases before the Supreme Court that believe that decision is going to hold at the SCOTUS level, then why not take some time to provide certainty to these families and take the opportunity to provide greater protections for religious freedom?”
The N.C. Values Coalition released a statement on Wednesday opposing the bill.
“The misnamed ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ is completely unnecessary, as it does nothing to change the legal status of same-sex marriage,” said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the Values Coalition. “It is a dangerous, direct attack on Americans who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman and threatens their First Amendment rights by subjecting them to predatory lawsuits by activists, seeking to use the threat of litigation to silence debate and exclude people of faith from the public square. By choosing to disregard legitimate concerns about the undeniable harms of this bill and by rejecting amendments offered by Senators Lee, Rubio, and Lankford to protect religious freedom, Senators Tillis and Burr have betrayed their own voters and their party’s platform on marriage.”
Screen shot 2023 01 11 at 4.43.03 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964. ( LC-DIG-ppmsc-01269 Source: Library of Congress)

MLK Breakfast January 16
at Mt. Zion Baptist Church

The Davidson Association, in partnership with Bynum Chapel AME Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church, will host the MLK, Jr. Breakfast honoring Mrs. Ina Hager, who passed away in 2022.
Mrs. Hager hosted the MLK, Jr. Breakfast for years at Bynum Chapel and would open it to the public for a small $5.00 donation. This year the $5.00 per person raised will be donated to Cleveland County Hospice in honor of Mrs. Hager. Members of Zeta Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will also be there to serve and assist as they have in the past.
Davidson Association continues to serve the community. Their Vision is to have the school facility become a center of Hope and Empowerment through Education and Training, as a model of self-determination.
The Davidson Association’s Mission is to preserve, as well as Enhance
the Historic Davidson Elementary School Building for the benefit of all.
The MLK, Jr. Breakfast will begin on January 16 at 8:30 a.m., Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and is open to the public. Breakfast is a $5.00 donation per person.  For more information, please contact Katherine Pendergrass – 864-680-0555 or
Screen shot 2023 01 11 at 4.50.18 pm
This handout was shared at a public meeting in August and shows eight warehouses on land just south of Exit 5 in the Dixon Community near Shepherds Mountain. Photo provided

Thrive Kings Mountain! opposes warehouses
near I-85 at Exit 5

By Loretta Cozart

Thrive Kings Mountain! opposes the 3.5 million square feet warehouse space proposed by development partners Insignis Partners and Panattoni Development Co. Inc. for property just south of I-85 at Exit 5 in the Dixon Community and is asking citizens to sign a petition against it at their website of the same name.
Thrive Kings Mountain! wants to bring those who own land and/or live in Kings Mountain together to protest the rezoning of this rural land, to preserve the character of Kings Mountain. 
The outside developer is requesting four residential and rural parcels, totaling over 200 acres, on Shepherd Mountain to be zoned Auto-Urban (Light Industrial) to build eight huge warehouses, totaling 3.5 million square feet.
Thrive Kings Mountain! fears that if the property is rezoned to Light Industrial, and it “may include fabrication and assembly that does not meet the standard of heavy industry and warehousing with both indoor and outdoor storage and may have heavy truck and traffic.” 
The land in question are parcels 11599, 12880 and 12879 that will be requested to be rezoned from Suburban Residential to Light Industrial, and 58799 that will be requested to be rezoned from Rural to Light Industrial.
Kings Mountain recently completed a Comprehensive Plan 2040 for the city, to be used to guide the “growth, redevelopment, and overall improvement of the City. The plan serves as official policy for the City of Kings Mountain and detail our vision, goals, policies, and strategies to manage growth, define and reinforce its identity and character and provide high-quality public facilities and services for all residents.”
Per the Kings Mountain Comprehensive Plan 2040, “Character is the feeling an area has that comes from aesthetic enhancements such as architectural design, landscaping and screening, signage standards, and site amenities.  These all contribute to development appearance.
However, many of these factors can and should vary with the area character, which as defined here involves the interplay between buildings, paved surfaces, and unbuilt areas. For example, in a downtown core like Kings Mountain’s relative to suburban areas, landscaping shifts more to the public realm given minimal building setbacks and yard areas.”
Is Thrive Kings Mountain! against all development in Kings Mountain? According to their website, “No! Thrive Kings Mountain! believes that the extensive work that was put into the Comprehensive Plan 2040 should be honored and parcels should not be rezoned beyond their zoning in the Future Land Use Map.  Kings Mountain is in a unique position where businesses are looking for land close to Charlotte, which means that Kings Mountain can be particular in what they allow and don’t allow.”
As of now, no plans have been submitted, but the Developer has shared proposed plans through a neighborhood letter and meeting at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on August 29. Others in the community question the building of warehouses on this property, considering the topography and flood plane restrictions.
Checking with the City of Kings Mountain Planning and Zoning, this item will not be on the January Planning and Zoning Board or City Council Meeting agenda. The earliest it could be discussed by the Planning and Zoning Board, which must happen before being placed on the city council agenda, is at their February 14 meeting at 5:30 p.m.
Screen shot 2023 01 11 at 4.42.58 pm
Budding artists paint at City of KM’s Easter event. Photos by Damien O’Brien

KM Special Events brought
lots of joy and fun in 2022

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department outdid themselves this year, planning special activities to engage and inform the community. Adding fun activities, games, rides, and tasty food offering only enhances the experience.
In April, King City Church and Big Red’s Cafe partnered with City of Kings Mountain to sponsor a Spring Carnival filled with special needs accessible activities in the YMCA gym. The event included inflatables, music, food, sensory activities, pony rides, and free food and treats for children and their families. Wendell the Easter Bunny was also on hand for hugs and photos.
Outdoor activities included a petting zoo, compliments of Son Ridge Farms, pony rides, along with vendors offering free snow cones, popcorn, and cotton candy.
Battleground Community Church provided free hotdogs and local businesses like, Child Care Connections, Cleveland County Partnership for Children, Kings Mountain YMCA, and Scoop Kings Mountain offered activities for participants. Outside, vendors like Jack Ross with Kettle King served free full-sized bags of popcorn and snow cones.
Earth Day sponsored by Gateway Trail, City of Kings Mountain Special Events, and Mauney Memorial Library, brought thousands to downtown Kings Mountain on April 30. After the butterflies were released, packets of red sand were distributed to the crowd to support the Red Sand Project, an organization that sheds light on human trafficking. Artisan vendors and demonstrators offered a wide variety of items, many for free, to guests as they shopped beneath a canopy of trees.
Both young and old enjoyed music, food, face painting, balloon art, petting zoo, and entertainment throughout the early afternoon.
May brought the National Day of Prayer, as Kings Mountain and Kings Mountain Ministerial Association observed this important gathering. The theme this year is “Exalt the Lord, Who Has
City of Kings Mountain Concert Series kicked off in May with a Michael Jackson tribute band. Concerts continued throughout the summer and fall including A1A Jimmy Buffett Tribute-June 4,
Tell Me Lies, Fleetwood Mac Tribute-July 16, NC BeachBlast Festival-August 19-20, and City of Kings Mountain’s Wizard of Oz Event.
Kings Mountain Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3. Christmas festivities continued throughout Patriots Park, and twinkling Christmas lights illuminated city streets with Mayor Neisler’s signature Downtown Christmas Fantasy Light Show on Railroad Avenue. Featured again this year was the Katie and Grady Costner’s Christmas Lights Extravaganza in Patriots Park.

CC Sheriff’s deputies complete final medic class of the year

Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies completed their final "Basic Tactical Medic" class of the year on Saturday, December 30. This year, 122 deputies were taught how to perform lifesaving measures on themselves and members of the community through real-life practical exercises involving blank rounds and medical kits.
Every deputy has now been issued a medical kit for their vehicles which were fully funded by the Bailey Foundation grant.

KMPD asks for help
regarding vehicle armed robbery

On Wednesday December 28, at approximately 8:47 p.m., Kings Mountain Police responded to the Circle K located at 305 Cleveland Avenue regarding an armed robbery.
The victim reported that she was parked on the side of the ramp due to vehicle issues when a black sedan pulled up behind her. Two men wearing masks then exited this vehicle and initially offered the victim assistance.
One of the suspects approached the victim’s driver side window and pointed what she believed to be a gun at her through his coat pocket. The male suspect then demanded that she exit the vehicle to which she complied. That suspect entered her vehicle and drove away.
The second suspect was reported to have fled in the unknown make and model black sedan. Both suspects and vehicles were reported leaving the area traveling East on U.S. 74.
The suspects involved were described as black males wearing black hoodies and sweatpants with black full-face ski mask. A 50-mile BOLO was sent out by Kings Mountain Communications in reference to the stolen grey Kia Sorrento.
At 9:17 p.m. Kings Mountain Communications was informed that the Shelby Police located the vehicle at a convenience store located at 322 Graham Street in Shelby, North Carolina. Shelby Officers advised that the vehicle had caught on fire and that the fire had been extinguished by the Shelby Fire Department.
Kings Mountain Police Department is asking for the communities’ assistance in helping identify the suspects involved in this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective B. Joel at 704-734-0444 or Cleveland County Crime Stoppers at 704-481-TIPS (8477).
Screen shot 2023 01 05 at 10.19.50 am
First snow of 2022 in Kings Mountain. Photo by Liz Harlow

2022 KM Year in review

By Loretta Cozart

It was a busy year in Kings Mountain as the community saw improvements to the downtown district. The Streetscape project took longer to complete than originally estimated, but for many merchants the result was worth the struggle. COVID continued into its third year, with variants causing additional challenges. Growth brings a new water treatment facility to the Dixon community and expansion of the Albemarle Lithium mine. What was old is being made new again, retaining our history and making new memories for future generations. Below are some of the highlights from the Kings Mountain’s year in review taken from the headlines of the Kings Mountain Herald.
January: Austin Page and Brandon Teague were arrested for scamming investors of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme through their company, D&T Investment Group, based in Kings Mountain. Cleveland County’s COVID-19 cases in one week were 1,241 and daily hospitalizations were 22. On January 16, four inches of snow fell, blanketing the town and, with MLK Day the following Monday, disruptions were minimal. Cleveland County School Board accepted a bid on Central School for $750,000 from Mike Brown, and the upset bid process began. Later in the month, Central School Renovation Partners, LLC submitted an upset bid.
Mauney Memorial Library asked for help seeking artifacts related to the he Hord Mansion, which will celebrate its centennial in 2023. NCDHHS requested federal aid, as COVID numbers put a strain on hospitals across the state. Longtime KM Hall-of-Fame Coach Jimmy Littlejohn passed away at the age of 80.
February: A third bid cycle for Central School reached $909,665 early in the month. The process started with sealed bids and Mike Brown won with an offer of $750,000. David Stone then offered $825,000. and Mike Brown upset that bid with a second bid of $866,300. Central School Renovation Partners, LLC ultimately won the bid for Central School.
An announcement was made by StoneWright Realty for The Imperial Lofts on W. Mountain Street. The project will have six loft-style apartments and retail space below. KM native and businessman, Don Crawford died at the age of 90. A proposed water treatment plant
in the Dixon Community was unveiled at a public meeting at the Patrick Senior Center.
March: Project South, as the new water treatment plant project was named, brought a second public meeting on March 15. Biscuitville opened for business on York Road and the drive thru lines stretched for a half-mile. Candidates for city and county elections began filing for their respective offices. Centers for Disease Control relaxed their mask mandates, but Cleveland County kept those precautions in place due to higher numbers. Cleveland Community College expanded its Pharmacy Technician Academy. Southern Arts Society unveiled their “Hats Off” exhibit. Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame announced their first class of inductees.
Mauney Memorial Library’s new roof was installed, protecting the building for another 100 years. Keith Corporation cleared land on Canterbury Road to build the largest speculative building in the southeastern United States. Albemarle Lithium held a community meeting to discuss the possibility of reopening the mine near downtown Kings Mountain. It was announced that Kings Mountain rescue squad would close later in the year due to a decision by Cleveland County Board of Commissioners to consolidate services. The COVID BA.2 Omicron variant saw a rise in case numbers and the need for a vaccine for this strain of the virus.
April: Streetscape was scheduled to kick-off on April 11, but due to inclement weather that didn’t happen until April 18. Albemarle Lithium held their town hall meeting in city council chamber to a packed crowd. The overflow crowd filled the lobby as citizens asked questions of company executives close to the project. Kings Mountain High School held a Ukraine fundraiser in response to Russia’s invasion on February 24. Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office seized $700k in drugs in a driver’s license check on Battleground Avenue. Roadwork continued near Catawba Two Kings Casino, as stormwater runoff was addressed. Dr. George Plonk died at the age of 103.
May: Page and Teague pleaded guilty of a $4M Ponzi scheme. Earth Day drew thousands to Gateway Trail trailhead on Battleground Avenue. Pickin’ in the Park resumed on May 19. The Thursday afternoon event continued throughout the summer and fall. National Day of Prayer was held at City Hall. Mayor Neisler was named President of NC League of Municipalities. The McGinnis property on Battleground Avenue, held since the 1950s, sold to U180, a Charlotte based firm. Utz bought the Benestar facility for $38.4M. Officer Carl Roper was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. North Elementary School raised $5,360.78 for Relay for Life.
June: Kings Mountain High School graduated 234 seniors in its 2022 class who were awarded $3M in scholarships. Twenty-eight KMHS students graduated from Cleveland Community College, and six earned degrees. Kings Mountain observed Memorial Day remembering those who died in service to our country. Kings Mountain man Gregory Travis Gene Hopper, and an accomplice were charged in several smash and grab Dollar General robberies. Twenty-nine seniors graduate from Pinnacle Classical Academy with over $3M in scholarships.
KMPD Police Chief Lisa Proctor retired after 30 years of service to the community. Juneteenth was celebrated by the community in Patriots Park. Downtown business owners were upset with the City of Kings Mountain of the Unified Development Ordinance and went toe-to-toe sharing their grievances at several city council meetings. A huge tree fell across E. King Street, blocking access to town for hours as crews worked to clear the road.
Liberty Mountain returned to the Joy Performance Center for its seventh season. COVID vaccines became available for children 6-months and older. Renovations continued at the Cornwell House at Kings Mountain Historical Museum. Kings Mountain Daylilies were in bloom. Renovations near completion on the W.A. Mauney House on Battleground Avenue. The issue of painting downtown buildings came up again as merchants argued that they need to be given more discretion regarding the appearance of their buildings. COVID shots because available to children under 5-years old. Monkeypox case reported in NC. 
July: Independence Day was celebrated at Patriots Park. City of KM’s natural gas expansion continued from York Road to Gage Road. KMPD Assistant Chief Chris Moore steps up as Interim Chief. Catawba Two Kings Casino celebrated its first anniversary. KMPD Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) offers quick response times and serves as a lifeline to the community. Merchant’s patience grows short with Streetscape progress. The man who shot and killed Ofc. Tyler Herndon was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The law for private bars ended in NC, eliminating the $1 membership fee some establishments were required to charge.
   Josh Turner headlines Seventh Inning Stretch Festival. Real to Real Film Festival held at Joy Performance Theater. COVID numbers in Cleveland County rise to medium levels. Pauline Store to be demolished. KMHM held WWII Living History Day. Looking back, Roberts Store was a staple for many in the north section of town. National Night Out draws many to Patriots Park. Merchants continued to be frustrated with the city over downtown issues. A Kings Mountain Drug House was closed by CC Sheriff’s Office. Property in the 600 block of Piedmont Avenue lists for $1.6M. Neighbor 2 Neighbor Foundation Purple Black and Gold Semi-formal Ancestral Dinner held at Patrick Senior Center. Otis Falls, 95, passed away on July 26. He was a well-known businessman operating a gas station downtown for decades.
   August: City of Kings Mountain sets budget at $53.9M. Catawba Two Kings Casino on hold during investigation. City announces that utility rates are coming due to rising costs to the city. Larry Hamrick, Sr. honored by KM Rotary. The Ormand Family held their 125th family reunion. YMCA received $750k grant supplemented by $200k from City of KM. Streetscape continued with sidewalks being poured along the 100 block of W. Mountain Street. Catawba Two Kings Casino donated $12K to local non-profits. Lawrence Etters is KM’s Blueberry Man, growing 104.5 quarts this year. Kings Mountain Football celebrated 100-year of football on the gridiron. CCSO seized $1M in drugs at the Oak Grove Road exit. BSA Troop 92 backpacks Philmont Scout Ranch. Police Chief Gerald Childress took office.
   September: Nuevo Pacto Wesleyan Church launched at East Gold Street Wesleyan Church on September 3. Catawba Two Kings Casino opened an onsite sportsbook prior to the pro football season. Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame held their inaugural induction ceremony at the Don Gibson Theater. Cleveland County Health Department held a free drive thru COVID test distribution for the community. Olivia Wilson was crowned KMHS Homecoming Queen for 2022. Streetscape work began in the 200 block of W. Mountain Street. Michael Worley was hired as City of KM’s Economic Development Manager. An RV Park in the Dixon Community was denied by county commissioners. Cleveland Community College’s Advanced Technology Center was named for NC House Speaker Tim Moore.
   October: Testa Hospice House closed due to staffing issues according to Hospice of Cleveland County. Boyce Memorial ARP Church held their annual Pumpkin Patch to supply the community with all the pumpkins they need for fall decorations and baking. Patriots Park tuned into the Merry Ole Land of Oz near Halloween. Girl Talk Ministry began its second year. Kings Mountain was featured on Queen City News.
  Contractors with Streetscape kept merchants aware of the progress and challenges they faced during the second part of Phase 2A. BSA Troop 92 camped and canoed at Lake James. Childress was sworn in as the new KMPD Police Chief. ARC Ministries plants a new church in KM. Dr. Robert W. Eng received a lifetime achievement award from President Biden. Albemarle Corporation secures DOE grant for U.S. based lithium facility supporting the domestic Electric Vehicle supply chain. Greg Shull receives Distinguished Rotarian Award. The flu vaccine is available at Cleveland County Public Health.
   November: The Great Pumpkin Parade kicked-off Halloween festivities. Wizard of Oz event was a huge success in Kings Mountain. Murphy’s 28th Annual Toy Run occurred on November 19. RSV continues to be a big issue for young children this year after several years of mask mandates. KMHM welcomed back the trains on November 2. A house fire on Fulton Drive causing significant damage. STI named an outstanding employer by Governor Cooper. Two commercial buildings on Battleground Avenue in downtown had their facades painted. Woman’s Club Breakfast with Santa drew a huge crowd this year.
   Local elections for Cleveland County School Board saw Danny Blanton re-elected and newcomers Aaron Bridges, Ronnie Grigg, and W. Scott Spurling replacing Coleman Hunt, Dena Green, and Phillip Glover. Central School was rezoned as Kings Mountain’s first mixed use project.
   A Veteran’s Day observance was held on Nov. 11. Streetscape continued to progress, and final touches were going into place just prior to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. KM Crisis Assistance Ministry continued to help citizens in need. Kings Mountain’s Christmas Tree lighting ushered in the holidays. Albemarle Lithium secured grants to build a lithium concentrator facility in KM. A painting by Shirley Brutko was selected as the cover of new book.
   December: Santa opened a new workshop in Kings Mountain. Kings Mountain Christmas Parade kicked-off the holidays in town. City Manager Marilyn sellers was honored by city council for 34 years of service to the community. She stepped down as city manager on Dec. 31 and will assist the new city manager through the end of January 2023. Two local non-profits benefit from Catawba Two Kings Casino’s share change program. Jim Palenick was selected as Kings Mountain’s new city manager. GFWC KM Woman’s Club installed new officers. Wreaths Across America honored veterans at Mountain Rest Cemetery. Two statues dedicated to Ofc. Tyler Herndon in Mt. Holly. YMCA’s Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run draws 423 runners. Santa made a special visit to Kings Mountain Historical Museum on December 9 to get last minute Christmas wishes from the children who attended.
   Catawba Two Kings Casino faces stiff penalties and possible temporary closure after receiving a Notice of Violation. Catawba Indian Nation, Sky Boat Partners, LLC, and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultants could face civil penalties not to exceed $57,527 per day per violation. Austin Page and Brandon Teague pleaded guilty for Ponzi scheme. Defendants were sent home on house arrect and could face prison time and civil penalties of $250k each.

See photos in this week's Kings Mountain Herald (January 4, 2023 issue)
Screen shot 2023 01 05 at 9.37.57 am
Veterans and guests gather at the American Legion the first Saturday of each month for a hearty breakfast, fun, and fellowship. Photo by Loretta Cozart

American Legion veteran’s
breakfast Saturday, Jan. 7

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s American Legion Post 155 veteran’s breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, January 7, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the post home on East Gold Street.
Veterans and guests can order a made-to-order breakfast of eggs, bacon, liver mush, gravy, grits, biscuits, toast, coffee, and juice.
Members of three American Legion branches, Auxiliary, Legion Riders, and Sons of the American Legion volunteer to take requests, deliver orders, and clean up afterward.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast. Others are welcome to attend for a small donation that helps fund future breakfasts.
Screen shot 2023 01 05 at 9.37.50 am

High Winds Cause Tree To Fall

This large tree fell at Kings Mountain Country Club on December 27, a result of high winds that impacted the city that day. Pictured with the fallen tree is Jeff Bridges.

Photo by Jon Byron

Sellers honored
by City Council

City of Kings Mountain honored retiring City Manager Marilyn Sellers with a resolution during their December 13 meeting. Sellers became the city’s first female city manager on December 19, 2006, and has served that role for 16 years. She is set to retire on January 31, 2023.
Sellers began her career with the City of Kings Mountain on January 9, 1989, as secretary to the city manager. On July 5, 1990, she was promoted to the position of city clerk where she served until April 10, 2006, when she was promoted to Interim City Manager. She has served the city during a career that spans more than 33 years.
Projects completed during her tenure include the Kings Mountain Energy Center, Liberty Falls Amphitheater, implementation of AMI (Automated Meter Data Manager System) for electric, natural gas and water, and implementation of dark fiber as the city’s fifth utility.
The mayor and City Council expressed deep gratitude and sincere congratulations to Marilyn on her upcoming retirement.

Counterfeit money passed at local
KM business

An individual was able to utilize counterfeit currency at Bridges Hardware Store to obtain merchandise and receive real currency on Tuesday December 20, at 3:33 p.m. Video surveillance of the incident produced pictures of the suspect.
KMPD is requesting the community's assistance in helping identify the suspect involved in the crime. If anyone can identify the suspect, or has any information regarding the incident please contact the Kings Mountain Police Department at (704)734-0444 or Cleveland County Crime Stoppers at (704)481-Til’s (8477).
Screen shot 2022 12 29 at 11.37.03 am
Officer Roger Matheson was presented with his Oath of Office and sworn in by Mayor Scott Neisler as the newest member of Kings Mountain Police Department on Tuesday December 13, 2022. Photo by KMPD

Observance January 16

By Loretta Cozart

Brightstar Touring Theater presents Meet Dr. King on Monday, January 16, at 2 p.m. at the Joy Performance Theater at 202 Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain.
Meet Dr. King is an introduction to the life and work of one of America’s most influential men. This show is perfect for younger audiences, serving to introduce students to major concepts of Black History like freedom, integration, and equality.
This performance helps young people begin to understand the importance of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Follow along as the play takes us from Dr. King’s life as just a young boy experiencing racism for the first time, to meeting his wife, Coretta, to becoming a pastor and finally a national inspiration.
Screen shot 2022 12 29 at 11.37.10 am
Members of CCSO who delivered presents to children from our community. Photo by CCSO

Children’s Christmas brightened by CCSO gift program

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office delivered presents to children and young adults identified through their victim specialist division. These children are identified throughout the year in cooperation with our community partners.
This year the Sheriff’s Office brought gifts to 160+ children from 55 families in hopes of making their Christmas special.
This great undertaking would not be possible without donations from numerous organizations, individual donors, and specifically John and Buffy Murphy of Murphy's Toy Run who have always been great partners for this event.

Smokey Mountain Christmas
At First Wesleyan Church
December 18

Join First Wesleyan Church  for a heart warming presentation of "Smokey Mountain Christmas" presented by Rev. Glenn and Beth Ward.
The event will take place on December 18th at First Wesleyan Church, located at 505 N. Piedmont Ave.,  Kings Mountain at 10 am in the Engage building.

Santa lettersinsidethisweeksisuse

Letters To Santa

Inside This Week's KM Herald (December 14, 2022)
Screen shot 2022 12 15 at 2.37.58 pm
These elves run for chocolate. See more photos on page 8A. Photos by KM Family YMCA

Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run draws 423 runners

Kings Mountain Family YMCA held their 22nd Annual Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run 5k Walk/Run on Saturday December 3 at 9 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Kings Mountain.
This year, 423 runners participated in the race, including 116 from Kings Mountain.
The benefit of running the Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run is that participants get to run a race that makes a difference this holiday season. The proceeds from the race go directly to those in need of financial assistance to have access to YMCA programs.
Screen shot 2022 12 15 at 2.38.07 pm
A wreath is also laid for each branch of the military during Wreaths Across America Day. Photo by Loretta Cozart

“All Hands On Deck” for Wreaths Across America Day - December 17

By Loretta Cozart
This year Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 17; the ceremony begins promptly at noon. The event is spearheaded by the Colonel Frederick Hambright DAR Chapter, supported by Kings Mountain Woman’s Club and Shelby Civil Air Patrol. Together, these groups garnished sponsorships for more than 800 wreaths to honor veterans.
Each December, on National Wreaths Across America Day, the community’s yearlong mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, is in part carried out with a wreath-laying ceremony at Mountain Rest Cemetery, located at 111 S. Dilling Street in Kings Mountain, as well as at more than 3,600 participating locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
Laying a live, balsam veteran’s wreath on an individual headstone for a veteran and saying their name out loud is a unique and individual experience. It is a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy each day, and the community is proud to play a part in making sure that the legacy of duty, service, and sacrifice of each veteran is never forgotten.
Can the Colonel Frederick Hambright DAR Chapter, Kings Mountain Woman’s Club, and Shelby Civil Air Patrol count on you to join them to honor Kings Mountain veterans December 17? The ceremony and honoring of veterans last about an hour and a great way to remember the veterans of Kings Mountain at Christmastime.
If you would like to help setup for the ceremony, arrive at Mountain Rest Cemetery by 10:30 a.m. and meet near the cemetery’s veterans’ section. Wreaths need to be distributed in bulk to various sections throughout the cemetery, so bring your pickup truck and lend a hand. Feel free to bring a few friends, too. Those who wish to place wreaths are asked to arrive shortly before noon.
As Kings Mountain citizens gather to thank veterans interred at Mountain Rest Cemetery, let us not forget the sacrifices these veterans made for us and our country. Let us remember that these individuals were husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, wives, sisters, daughters, mothers, and friends. Most called Kings Mountain home at some point of their lives, and now they rest among us for eternity. Let us take time to remember and honor each of them this Saturday at noon.
Screen shot 2022 12 15 at 2.38.18 pm

Two Kings Casino, partners, could face stiff civil penalties

$57,527 per day
for each violation

On December 7, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) against the Catawba Indian Nation, Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC (Sky Boat), and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant. The NOV resulted from a thorough investigation by the NIGC Washington, D.C. Region Office that identified multiple violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and NIGC regulations.
As set forth in the NOV, the investigation found the Nation allowed Sky Boat to manage in part the expansion of Catawba Two Kings Casino without an approved management contract. Additionally, the Nation and Sky Boat failed to submit a management contract within 60 days of its execution, as required by NIGC regulations.
“Based on an exhaustive investigation and analysis of the circumstances, we issued a Notice of Violation to both enforce regulatory compliance and ensure the Nation is the primary beneficiary of its gaming revenue. We do not take this enforcement action lightly, but do so to preserve the integrity of the industry and protect the valuable tool Indian Gaming represents for many Tribes as codified in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” Simermeyer said.
The Nation, Sky Boat, and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant could face civil penalties not to exceed $57,527 per day for each violation and the Nation’s gaming operation could be subject to a temporary closure order.

Statues dedicated to
Officer Tyler Herndon

By Loretta Cozart

On Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m., two new statues were dedicated at Mt. Holly Police Department Memorial Plaza in honor of Officer Tyler Avery Herndon. Both statues represent the sorrow citizens of Mt. Holly feel for the loss of Herndon in the line of duty.
In an interview with WBTV, Tyler’s father Mark Herndon spoke of the statues dedicated to his son, “It’s a great tribute to Tyler. I’m sure upstairs he is looking down and saying, ‘You didn’t have to do this for me.’ I know he is excited and glad. As a family, we are glad to keep his name and memory out there, and to keep his memory going.”
Officer Herndon, 25, lost his life while responding to a breaking and entering at a Mt. Holly car wash. He had been a member of the Mount Holly Police Department just shy of two years. The young officer died two days before his 26th birthday.
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.
Screen shot 2022 12 08 at 10.49.36 am
Santa’s Workshop will open up for two more weekends: Friday and Saturday Dec. 9 -10 and Friday and Saturday December 16-17. (Photo provided)

Santa opens new workshop in KM

Did you hear the news? Santa and his elves scoured the countryside high and low to find a location for his new workshop.
After seeing Patriots Park through his magical snow globe, Santa and his elves decided to build his workshop right here in Kings Mountain.
After receiving many visitors last weekend, Santa will open his workshop back up for two more weekends: Friday and Saturday Dec. 9 - 10 and Friday and Saturday December 16 - 17.
It will open each evening at 5:30 p.m. and close at 8:30 p.m.
Bring your camera and your best smile. Santa is looking forward to seeing you!
Screen shot 2022 12 08 at 10.49.41 am
Jim Palenick

Palenick selected as KM’s
new City Manager

City of Kings Mountain (COKM) is proud to announce that Jim Palenick has accepted an offer to lead the City of Kings Mountain as the new City Manager.  Jim will be relocating to Kings Mountain after the New Year’s holiday.
Marilyn Sellers is currently serving as City Manager where she has served for seventeen years. At the May 5 budget work session, Sellers informed City Council that she did not wish to renew her contract coming up in September. After 34 years of service to the City of Kings Mountain, Marilyn was ready for retirement.
Her retirement announcement came at a time when there are over 100 vacancies in NC for City Managers. Due to the urgency to find a qualified candidate, City Council reached out to Developmental Associates to coordinate a nationwide search for the role. That in-depth search takes time. Sellers graciously agreed to work through January to assist with a smooth transition.
COKM partnered with Developmental Associates for the City Manager search process. Developmental Associates is an organizational development company that partners with governmental, educational, and non-profit organizations for executive recruitment. Developmental Associates conducted a nationwide search for candidates for our City Manager position.
Of the 31 initial applications received, 21 met the minimum qualifications. Fifteen applicants were selected for phone interviews. Five completed an assessment center and three were selected for onsite interviews with city council.
The Assessment center is a means of gathering relevant information, under standardized conditions, about an individual’s capabilities to perform in a high-level managerial position. While City Council recognized the value of partnering with Developmental Associates, the team also wanted to have a Kings Mountain connection that truly understands what makes Kings Mountain unique.
Shearra Miller, Executive Director for Cleveland County Arts Council and Kings Mountain resident, agreed to represent the citizens of the City of Kings Mountain on the Assessment board. Her insight and participation in the two-day process was instrumental in selecting the final candidate.
Jim Palenick was born and raised in Allegan, a small  town   of 4,500   in Southwest Michigan, His Dad worked in a factory for 43 years and served as a reserve Sheriff Deputy. His mom was a homemaker who volunteered in her local church. Jim and his two brothers were the first to attend college.
   Jim graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a B.S. in Public Administration and Economics. He went on to earn an MPA from WMU with Honors and began his career in local government administration.
That career spans over 30 years in public service, Jim has served the cause of fiscal stewardship, economic sustainability and Community and economic development and redevelopment as an innovative and entrepreneurial, local government leader.
   Jim’s career began with small communities in his home state of Michigan. From there, he moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a small town with a big company—Intel. As Intel grew, the city grew as well. During his tenure, Rio Rancho was listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the US and multiple municipal projects were completed:  Examples include: $47M multi-purpose Event Center arena; $17M City Hall built; New Central Library; Aquatic Center; $100’s of Millions in new streets, water, and sewer infrastructure
   Jim first came to North Carolina when he accepted the City Manager position in Gastonia, North Carolina in 2007 (Population 73,000). Gastonia had 934 employees and a $186M operating budget with a full range of services, including an airport, museum, and golf course. In 2012, Jim accepted the Chief Administrative Officer position in Dallas, NC where he served for 4 additional years.
   Since his time in NC, Jim has moved back to the Mid-West and spent a few years in Racine, Wisconsin and Middletown, Ohio – both communities of 50-70K citizens.
   Jim has been a full member of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA) for over 30 years and earned the designation of ICMA-Credentialed Manager in 2009. Along the way Jim has served on the Boards of Chambers of Commerce; Downtown Development Authorities; Convention & Visitors Bureaus; Economic Development Corporations; Community Development Authorities; Tax Increment Financing/District Boards; and County Planning Boards and Dispatch Authorities. He has been a member of multiple Rotary clubs and served as a Rotary Board member.
   Jim enjoys following sports and is a lifelong Michigan Wolverine and a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. He enjoys NBA and college basketball and loves watching the History channel. Jim is divorced and has 1 adult son, Austin, who lives and works in Washington, DC.
   Jim enjoys hiking, biking, reading, cooking, and travel. Some of his favorite travel spots are Santa Fe, New Mexico and Greenville, SC.
   City Council unanimously selected Jim Palenick as the new City Manager.

Armed robbery at Mountainside Market

On Friday December 2, around 6:10 p.m., Kings Mountain Police responded to the Mountainside Market at 506 Waco Road in reference to an armed robbery. Officers on scene were told that the suspect entered the store, brandished a firearm, and demanded money from the register.
The suspect is described as a black male wearing a black hoodie, black ski mask, grey sweatpants, and light-colored crocs. The suspect left the store on foot direction of travel unknown.
KMPD is requesting the community’s assistance in helping identify the suspect involved in the crime.
If anyone can identify the suspect or has any information regarding the incident please contact the Kings Mountain Police Department at (704)734-0444 or Cleveland County Crime Stoppers at (704) 48l-TIPS (8477).
Screen shot 2022 12 08 at 10.54.48 am
Kings Mountain held their annual Christmas parade this past Saturday. See more scenes on pages 7A-8A in the December 7, 2022 issue of KM Herald. Photo by Damien O’Brien

KM Parade rings
in the Christmas season

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Christmas Parade stepped off right on time at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, despite rain earlier in the day. Crowds gathered along the parade route, along Battleground Avenue from East Gold Street, and turning onto King Street at the Overhead Bridge, then continuing to Deal Steet.
Kings Mountain High School’s football team was the Grand Marshal of the event this year, and supporters turned out in black and gold apparel to show their support and love for a team that worked so hard this season to earn a 13-1 record. It is a season that will be long remembered as one of the best for KMHS and the community.
One hundred -plus parade entrants helped make the event special, and included KMHS marching band, the Carolina Panther Top Cats with Sir Purr, the Gastonia Honey Hunters with their mascot BAM. The parade was filled with music from dance troops, Dance Magic, Dance Reflections, KM Elite, KM Optimist Club, and Fine Line Dance Company and the event lasted over an hour and a half.
A Christmas parade wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa, and this year’s event did not disappoint. As anticipated, Santa arrived right on time to ring in the Christmas season in Kings Mountain!
City of Kings Mountain debuted Santa’s Workshop at the Gazebo in Patriots Park where children visited him to share their Christmas wishes. He’ll be back again on December 9-10 and Dec. 16-17 in case your child missed speaking with jolly Olde St. Nicholas in person. Special Christmas dates for Lines for Santa’s Workshop stretched far for this new attraction. There is no charge to visit Santa.
The Christmas festivities continued downtown Saturday evening, as twinkling Christmas lights illuminated city streets with Mayor Scott Neisler’s signature Downtown Christmas Fantasy Light Show where
a dazzling  display of lights synchronize to music playing on your car’s radio (tune into 87.9 to enjoy the show!)
   Many patrons strolled through Patriots Park to see the Costner’s Christmas Lights Extravaganza, and Santa’s Workshop. Liberty Mountain Garden located at the Joy Performance Center was the sight of  the Downtown Holiday Market. Local Vendors featured goods and crafts, and, of course, the extremely popular Bela Express Train Rides returned for another season. Holly Jolly Hayrides debuted downtown. All this and more will continue Saturdays, December 10 and 17.
    All this and more in  can be found in downtown Kings Mountain for two more weekends, both Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Patrick Senior Center
Holiday Open House Dec. 1

By Loretta Cozart

Patrick Senior Center announces their Holiday Open House for Thursday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 909 E. King Street. Bring the whole family for a day of Christmas joy and see what the Senior Center has to offer! Have your picture taken with Santa, story time for the kids, enjoy some holiday music and do a little shopping while you are there. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call the Patrick Senior Center at 704-734-0447.

Merry Little Christmas Concert at Patriots Park December 3

Mark your calendars now to bring the family and spend December 3 taking in the sights and sounds of a Christmas in Kings Mountain with Kelly Crabb and the Bowling Sisters.
City of Kings Mountain is proud to welcome Kelly Crabb & the Bowling Sisters and their Merry Little Christmas Tour to Patriots Park, Saturday, December 3. This free concert will begin at 6:00 p.m. with King’s Highway and then Kelly Crabb and the Bowling Sisters at 7:00 p.m.
Screen shot 2022 11 16 at 4.38.07 pm

Christmas Tree Ceremony
Patriots Park Nov. 23

The downtown will much brighter November 23rd as the City of Kings Mountain ushers in the Christmas season with the second annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Unveiling Ceremony in Patriots Park. This special event will be filled with music, stories and so much more! What are we unveiling this year? You will have to attend and find out. The ceremony begins at 6pm. Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.

7th annual Bike Drive kicks off Nov. 28

Kings Mountain Police Department and Campers Inn of Kings Mountain is excited to announce the 7th Annual Bike Drive.
New unused bicycles of all sizes are needed. Drop-off bikes at Campers Inn at 615 Broadview Drive. They will be accepting donations from November 28 – December 3.
For more information, call Campers Inn at 704-750-7295, or Kings Mountain Police Department at 704-734-0444.

Toy Drive

Kings Mountain Police Department is now accepting toy donations for the 2022 Christmas year. They are excited to help the children of Kings Mountain School systems.
Please contact your school guidance counselor for more information. Any new and unwrapped donations for children 13 and under are welcome until December 2.
Drop off donations at Kings Mountain Police Department located at 112 S. Piedmont Avenue.

Trash pickup schedule for
week of

City offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Garbage collection for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be one day earlier.

Community Thanksgiving
Service to be held Sunday

Everyone is invited to attend the Community Thanksgiving service scheduled for Sunday evening, November 20, at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church Kings Mountain. The Community Thanksgiving service is an annual worship service sponsored by the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association.  This service is usually the largest gathering each year of churches and Christians in Kings Mountain.  Reverend Cameron Barefield, Pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene Church will bring the Thanksgiving message.  There will also be a community choir this year directed by Dr. Jonathan Bundon, Worship Pastor at First Baptist. An offering  will  be  received during the service which will go to our Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry. 
Come and join in for an hour of worship through music, giving, and the presentation of the thanksgiving message from Pastor Barefield.
First Baptist Church will be hosting a fellowship with refreshments following the service.  Our thanks to the staff and church members of First Baptist for being our host church again this year.
Screen shot 2022 11 16 at 4.34.31 pm

Local election results

By Loretta Cozart

Local elections showed support for Republicans on Cleveland County School Board. Danny Lee Blanton retained his seat with 19,445 votes. Incumbents Coleman Hunt, Dena Green and Phillip Glover lost their seats to newcomers Ronnie Grigg, Aaron Bridges and Walter Spurling. In prior years, Cleveland County School Board was a non-partisan race.
Citizens voted down the local sales and use tax referendum with citizens voting 76.93 percent against and 23.07 in favor. The tax increase would have added .25 per $100 spent and did not apply to all purchases.
In Boiling Springs, voters approved mixed beverages. The vote was 64.51 percent in favor, and 35.49 percent against.
Screen shot 2022 11 16 at 4.34.46 pm
Kings Mountain Historical Museum train exhibit will run from November 25-December 31, possibly extending through first week of January 2023. (photo provided)

KM Historical Museum
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, they need volunteers 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. We will be closed Christmas Eve and are always closed on Sundays and Mondays.
No experience 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, or call the museum at 704-739-1019.
Screen shot 2022 11 16 at 4.34.21 pm

Central School property rezoned as KM’s first mixed use project

By Loretta Cozart

In a historic decision, Kings Mountain City Council voted in favor of the town’s first mixed-use project when they approved rezoning Central School from Semi-Urban Residential to Mixed Use during the regular meeting on October 25.
During the Public Hearing, Assistant Planning Director Kimberly Herndon shared with council that Central School Renovation Partners, LLC had made the request so the property can be altered with in-fill. The Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously and made a positive recommendation on this project.
“This is an appropriate option that complies with the UDO. Regarding if this change would affect the Central School Historic District, Herndon said, “It has no bearing on that zoning.”
Councilmember Jay Rhodes asked, “If the school (district) relinquished ownership, that school could be demolished and then build homes there, correct?” Herndon replied, “The school is zoned as a residential property and if someone purchased it and chose to clear the entire block and build residential homes that is a viable and allowable option today with no rezoning.”
Phil Dee, one of four partners of Central School Renovation Partners, LLC, spoke in favor of the project and told city council, “Our plan in this site right now is to develop housing on the perimeter that will reflect the neighborhood, with a very small amount of commercial.”
“The market reality is high density housing with a small amount of commercial that will support that housing. Our investment will also support downtown. The smaller ancillary buildings will be demolished,” he explained.
“We have no intention off demolishing the Central School Building, none at all. Our plan is to take the older Central School original building and turn it into loft style senior apartments and then clear the perimeter and remainder of the site,” he concluded.
City council approved 6 – 1, the Planning and Zoning Boards consistency statement in favor of the request from Central School Renovation Partners, LLC to rezone the property owned by Cleve-land County Board of Education, located at 105 East Ridge Street. The ordinance to rezone Central School from Semi-Urban Residential to Mixed Use  was also approved 6 – 1 by city council. The dissenting vote in both instances was from Councilman Keith Miller.