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“Liberty Mountain”
local audition dates
for 2023 season

Auditions for the upcoming fall season of “Liberty Mountain – The Revolutionary Drama” will be held on July 22 at the Joy Performance Center in downtown Kings Mountain at 6:30 p.m. Auditions and interviews will be held for paid roles available for onstage and offstage positions, with the company seeking professional, local, and student talent. The production will be directed by Caleb Ryan Sigmon and is written by former WBTV news anchor Robert Inman.
Performers will be expected to memorize and perform a 60-second monologue of their choice along with an optional 16-bar musical audition. Those acting and singing will be given 90-seconds. They are also seeking musicians – those wishing to play an instrument should prepare a 60-second selection to showcase their musical talent. They are seeking top-notch talent from across the Southeast. Company housing is available for out-of-town performers.
Rehearsals will begin on September 1, with performances running on select dates, September 15 through October 8.
“Liberty Mountain – The Revolutionary Drama” tells the epic true story of the Battle of Kings Mountain, that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War in October of 1780. The show features state-of-the-art
projection technology, live music, epic battle scenes, and other special effects that bring the story of the founding of our nation to life in immersive and thrilling ways.
   Anyone wishing to audition may email material in advance to caleb@sigmontheatrical.com. Virtual auditions are also being accepted for those unable to attend in person. Please send an updated resume and headshot along with your email. Learn more about the production and apply today: www.libertymountaindrama.com.
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Enjoying the day at
KM Farmers' Market

Last Saturday, this family enjoyed a wonderful day at the downtown Kings Mountain Farmers’ Market. The market is open every Saturday through August, from 8 a.m. to noon. Enjoy fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, and locally sourced products and merchandise that supports farmers and merchants in our area.                      

Photo by Loretta Cozart
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Candidate filing gets underway Friday
5 City Council seats up for grabs

Four-year terms of four City Council members and the mayor are expiring November 7, 2023, and their seats are among 47 seats up for grabs in 13 municipalities in Cleveland County and the Cleveland County Water Board.
Candidate filing begins Friday, July 7 at 9 a.m. at the Cleveland County Board of Elections, 215 Patton Drive, Shelby, and ends at noon Friday, July 21.
Kings Mountain incumbents are Scott Neisler, Mayor and Council members Annie Thombs, Ward I; Jimmy West, Ward 4; Jay Rhodes, Ward 5; and Keith Miller, At-Large.
In Grover, the mayor and two town commissioners are incumbents. They are Roy Dyer, Mayor, and town commissioners Bill Willis and Richard Smith.
Filing fee for Kings Mountain candidates is $60 for mayor and $35 for commissioners.
Filing fee for Grover’s candidates is $5.
The Kings Mountain Council is a seven-member board and includes three members with unexpired terms. They are Mike Butler, Ward 2, Tommy Hawkins, Ward 3; and At-Large councilman David Allen.
The 2023 off-year election includes gubernatorial and legislative elections in a few states as well as mayoral races and other local offices.
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City of KM pivots
on Project South

By Loretta Cozart

City Manager Jim Palenick announced that the City of Kings Mountain needs to pivot on Project South, now known as the Southwest Sanitary Sewer Regionalization Project, due to project estimates that are double the $39 M grant amount provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“We have waited for a very long time to have 60 percent of the actual designs completed, and at that point the construction manager at risk was able to come forward and give us that guaranteed maximum price. We had been holding our breath and worried to see what that number would be. Unfortunately, that number on our $39 million dollar project came in at $84 million, so we have had to pivot and make a substantial change to the project,” Palenick said.
Typically, a design, bid, build process would have been used for a project such as this. However, the city opted for the construction manager at risk option. “It is quite unusual, but allowed,” Palenick said.
Originally the city contemplated building a 4 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant and then connecting it to the Town of Grover, because the primary reason for the grant was to get Grover off their failing system. The new facility was to be managed by City of Kings Mountain.
Pivoting, the city now plans to build a large-scale pump station, pumping from Grover and some of the primary areas that are going to develop quickly in the next several years, primarily at Exit 5, like the Dixon Ridge and Catawba Ridge developments, and anything in the entertainment district near the casino.
As a result of the high quote, the city will not be able to build the new water treatment plant and some of the additional forced main areas  that  might  not be served by development because of where the plant was located.
   “Our goal was always to build this plant with grant funds, otherwise we would place this burden on our rate bearers. We are solving another town’s problem, Grover, and developing new sanitary sewer  capacity for new growth,” the city manager explained. “The good news (with this plan) is that Grover will be served sooner than they otherwise would have been. And because we would have been taking on a new water treatment plant, costing probably $500,000 to $600,00 per year to operate, we would have been subsidizing that plant initially for a very large amount of money. This answer is much better for the city financially for the first five to eight years.”
   Water Resource/ Moss Lake Director Rick Duncan shared with city council, “This has been Plan B for three years and is very well thought out. We were looking at a major lift station near Bethlehem Road that can pump straight to the treatment plant that we have now, or it could go to Long Branch. This is not a knee-jerk reaction to the high quote.”
   Palenick praised Duncan and his staff “for doing contingency planning throughout the process, looking at multiple opportunities. “This is a really good Plan B, so we pivoted to Plan B.”
   Since the city owns the land, that site could still become a water treatment plant in the future. But, for now, continuing that project is not an option.

City council approves contract with
Kings Mountain Forward, Inc.

By Loretta Cozart

During the June 27 City Council meeting for the City of Kings Mountain, members voted unanimously to enter a one-year contract with Kings Mountain Forward, Inc. for ongoing services in support of the Municipal Service District; the Downtown; and small business corridors within the City of Kings Mountain. The contract can be cancelled by either party with 120 days-notice. In addition, Kings Mountain Forward, Inc. would be granted alcohol sales for promotions after this season. The plan is for Kings Mountain Forward, Inc. to work closely with the city.
Prior to the vote, City Manager Jim Palenick explained to council that once the contract was finalized, MSD funds of $42,000 would be transferred to Kings Mountain Forward, Inc. for use only in the Municipal Service District. Additional funds of $75,000 would also be made available to the nonprofit, with some additional funds set as matching, contingent upon Kings Mountain Forward, Inc. raising $25,000 on its own.
Because Kings Mountain Forward, Inc.’s contract was approved, city council unanimously voted to repeal both the Amending the Downtown Development Incentive Grants Policy and Resolution 12-46, which establishes the Kings Mountain Main Street Advisory Board and dissolve the board.

NC BeachBlast Festival lineup announced

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain Special Events announced their lineup for the NC BeachBlast Festival on August 18 and 19 at Patriots Park, 220 South Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain, NC.
On Friday, August 18, Too Much Sylvia performs at 6 p.m. On Saturday, August 19, the musical lineup includes Jim Quick & Coastline at 10 a.m., Cat5 Band at 1 p.m., Swingin Medallions at 4 p.m., and Band of Oz at 7 p.m.
This event has become a fan favorite over the years, with guests traveling from all over the east coast to attend, being awarded as "Event of the Year" by Carolina Beach Music Awards, and now, it gets an even bigger name... BeachBlast is now the NC BeachBlast Festival!
Remember, only service animals with proper credentials are allowed in the park. No outside alcohol is allowed, and smoking and vaping are not permitted.
Join their team of incredible volunteers who truly make the magic happen. If you are interested in helping, the event staff can find something you’ll enjoy! For more information about volunteering, contact Susan Mosk at Susan.Mosk@CityofKM.com or call 704-734-2051.
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Coffee & Conversation
with new city manager

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain invites citizens to coffee and conversation with City Manager Jim Palenick from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, July 14, at Big Red’s Café at 830 E King St. in Kings Mountain.
If you are interested in what’s going on in Kings Mountain or just have questions you would like to ask, meet the new city manager, and start a conversation.
The schedule for the next three month includes the following Kings Mountain locations:
• Friday, July 14 - Big Red’s Café, 830 E King St.
• Friday, August 18 -Chat-n-Nibble Restaurant, 415 N Piedmont Ave.
• Friday, September 15 - Kings Mountain Family YMCA, 211 Cleveland Ave.
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Officer Pittman Sworn In

On Wednesday, June 28, Officer Cullen Pitman was issued his Oath of Office by Mayor Scott Neisler and sworn in as Kings Mountain Police Department's newest Police Officer. Please welcome Officer Pitman to Kings Mountain and congratulate him on his appointment.

Photo by KMPD
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New Local, a band from Charlotte performs at 6:30 p.m. Photos by City of KM

Kings Mountain celebrates Independence Day July 1

Celebrate our nation’s independence, Saturday, July 1, as the City of Kings Mountain presents Revolutionary 4th! The city will produce this event in honor of our country on its 247th birthday.
Bring your family to
Patriots Park in Downtown for food trucks, games, and inflatables. DJ Tony Cutlass and Eric Bowman will MC the event from Liberty Falls Amphitheatre. The event starts at 6:00 pm. Charlotte’s own New Local will take the stage at 6:30 pm.
The City of Kings Mountain will present their signature, unrivaled fireworks display at 9:45 pm now seen from Patriots Park with music that syncs to your radio at 101.1 FM. Yes! You can now see fireworks from Patriots Park!
Fireworks can also be viewed from several other areas in the city centered Gold Street. See map on page 5A.
For more information on Revolutionary 4th, 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.
See ad on page 8A.
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Shuttle service available
for Revolutionary 4th

Heavy traffic is expected in downtown Kings Mountain, July 1, as the City of Kings Mountain hosts the Revolutionary 4th Celebration at Patriots Park
The city offers 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. Shuttle service will begin at 4:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m.
The city urges patrons attending the event at Patriots Park to use the shuttle services as parking may be scarce downtown.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians.
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Revolutionary 4th
celebrations will impact travel Saturday, July 1

The City of Kings Mountain looks forward to the Revolutionary 4th celebration scheduled for July 1st, at Patriots Park. Many roads within the city will be impacted during this event including Battleground and Railroad Avenues, Cansler, Gold, and Mountain Streets Downtown, and Hwy 161/Cleveland Avenue and surrounding side streets.
The city advises citizens to “Use extreme caution when traveling these roads due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to take different roads if you are impacted by this change. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.”

County passes budget with no tax increase

By Loretta Cozart

County commissioners passed the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget with no tax increase to residents. The current property tax rate of 54.75 cents per $100 valuation will remain the same, as will the 14 cents public school tax, and the 8.75 cents fire tax.
Total revenue in the General Fund is budgeted at $134.6 million, approximately a $9 million increase from the prior fiscal year. Most of this increase is associated with the consolidation of the rescue squads into Cleveland County Government along with increased debt funding for the Justice Center project. All revenue projections were established maintaining a 54.75 cent tax rate. The budget includes a 5% cost of living increase for county employees.
Seven new positions are being added to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office that includes four new deputies, victim’s specialist, shooting range officer, and mechanic.
County Commissioners have identified several key initiatives specific to promoting and improving community wellness with the top being an intentional focus on actively engaging in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Included under the Community Wellness Focus Atea arc:
• Improvement in Community Health Rankings
• Effective Use of Opioid Settlement Funds
• Expansion of Existing Trail Systems & Exploration of New Opportunities
The county plans to re-engage its focus on community health and re-focus on improving metrics. Cleveland County remains outside the top 80 in County population health. The primary driver to that ranking remains premature death.
Chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and substance abuse are among the leaders in the premature death category. Almost one-third of our county residents are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Our county's stroke rate is 80 per 100,000 (which is double the state average) and our overdose rankings are unproportionally high.
Cleveland County District Schools’ budget increased by $900,000 for teaching supplements, bringing the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget to $32.4 million.
Interim County Manager Todd Carpenter said the county is experiencing growth in population, property and sales tax, Jobs, housing, and industry.
The county also anticipates an additional $75,000 in revenue generated by Catawba Two Kings Casino.

Albemarle’s KM
Project Center
now open

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Project Center, located in historic Griffin Drug at 129 West Mountain Street, is a meeting and education center open to walk-in visitors who want to learn more about the proposed Kings Mountain Mine project, employment information, and potential community investment. It’s also home to the Albemarle Kings Mountain Community Affairs staff.
“We’ll be open Tuesday through Friday every week, and we plan to have evening and weekend hours every month also,” said Albemarle’s Community Affairs Manager, and Kings Mountain native, Kirsten Martin.
“We’ve held two board meetings already here at the Project Center for local nonprofits, and we have two more meetings on the schedule. So, if there are any small groups looking for a place to meet in the evenings, we have a space for up to 15 people.”
   The Project Center is designed to serve the community, providing information about the proposed mining activities, and informing the community of the latest happenings. Whether you stop by to watch their state-of-the-art mining videos on
their giant TV screens or want to team more about how lithium is a much-needed resource for renewable energy, their doors are open, and they want to meet you.
   Kirsten said, “We want to be accessible and transparent every step of the way. I am very excited about our new downtown Project Center and look forward to engaging directly with our community.”
   “We have the Project Center so anybody with questions can come to get answers. We want to make sure people know we’re here, we have a phone number, we have a website, we have a newsletter, and we have emails. We have many, many, different channels to contact us. If we have the answer, we’ll give it to you. If we don’t, we’ll tell you that, or that we’re we not sure yet and we will get back to you.”
   KM Project Center will hold its first mine tour on Thursday, June 22 from 2 – 4 p.m. Email Cynthia.Estridge@albemarle.com to register for the tour, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis. They will create a waitlist if they reach capacity.
   To learn more about Albemarle Kings Mountain, or to read their newsletter, The Element, visit www.albemarlekingsmountain.com or call (704) 734-2775.
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City of Kings Mountain prepares for a fun, family friendly Revolutionary 4th at Patriots Park. Pictured L-R: Assistant Kings Mountain Police Chief Chris Moore, Chief Gerald Childress, and Marketing, Tourism, and Special Events Manager Susan Mosk. Photo by City of KM

Important info for attending
Revolutionary 4th celebration

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain Marketing, Tourism, and Special Events Manager Susan Mosk teamed up with Kings Mountain Police Chief Gerald Childress and Assistant Police Chief Chris Moore, to produce a fun  video regarding the Revolutionary 4th event coming up on Saturday, July 1st.
The trio shared information regarding this
family  friendly  event,  so  prepare ahead. No alcohol will be allowed in the park for Saturday’s celebration. Also, no pets are allowed, except for service animals. If you bring a service animal, be sure to bring your paperwork to verify. If you can’t show the papers, you will be asked to leave the park. And, no personal fireworks are allowed, including sparklers. Finally, note that no smoking or vaping is allowed in the park for this event because lots of children will be in attendance.
   To view the video, visit the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Facebook page. Mosk, Childress, and Moore did an excellent job making the video, so be sure to ask for their autographs when you see them.

Mountain Holiday reopens July 5

By Loretta Cozart

Mountain Holiday, at 110 West Mountain Street in Kings Mountain, will reopen for business on Wednesday, July 5 at 10 a.m.
After two months, Mountain Holiday 2.0, as employee Camryn King called it in the store’s Facebook announcement, will be open for business. The interior paneling, flooring and drywall have been replaced with brighter, updated finishes. The color is light grey, and the flooring complements the store’s many showcases and fixtures.
On May 2, the store suffered a flood, damaging the interior of the store. Many downtown merchants and business owners came out in support, helping quickly move inventory and fixtures to storage. Within the week, a new roof replaced the one that collapsed, and the interior restoration work began.
Now that the work is complete, staff is working hard to fill the store with brands the community has come to know and love like Byer’s Carolers, Jim Shore, Willow Tree, and Corinthian Bells, among many others. The Christmas Room, along with its iconic mantle, will once again bring Christmas to Kings Mountain year-round.
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Crowds joined in the fun at Patriots Park last week. See more photos on page 5A. (Photo by Anne Gamble)

Mauney Memorial Library fun family events scheduled at Patriots Park

Throughout the month of June, Mauney Memorial Library has fun events scheduled for the entire family on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Patriots Park Amphitheatre, 220 S. Railroad Avenue in  Kings Mountain.
InterActive Theater with Jef Lambdin  was held last week on June 14. Whether onstage or roving, Jef Lambdin is a quiet kind of guy. He juggles and balances things. He gets confused at times. He sometimes even forgets what his hat is for! During his show Wednesday, he involved the 135 audience members to help him when he was confused and to play along with his mime, mask, and variety arts shenanigans. He even led the group sing-a-longs.
On Wednesday, June 21, entertainer Mark Lippard brings his fast paced, high-energy performance full of laughs, juggling, trick unicycling, fire-eating, balance, and surprising fun-filled audience participation.
A full dinosaur dig is planned for Wednesday, June 28 for children six to 12-years old. Search sand pits for real shark teeth, dinosaur bones, and other fun items. At the event, you can get a dino balloon and face paint also.
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Juneteenth celebration
to be held on June 24

By Loretta Cozart

Juneteenth is scheduled for Saturday June 24 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Deal Street Walking Track at 211 N. Cleveland Ave in Kings Mountain to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
“Juneteenth is open to everybody,” said event organizer Katherine Pendergrass. “I hope the community comes out and joins us in celebrating during this fun filled community event. We will also have a DJ playing music.”
   Events include:
• 10:00 a.m. – Opening / Welcome/ History
• 11:00 a.m. – Puppet Show
• 12:00 a.m. – KUS Dance Group
• 1:00 p.m. -   Todj Hunt
• 2:00 p.m. -   Cornell Cranke
• 3:00  p.m. –  More entertainment
**Times are subject to change
Davidson Alumni Resource Center, Inc is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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Jordan Mull won the Woman’s Club’s Sallie Southall Cotten Scholarship and will attend UNC-Chapel Hill. He is pictured with his uncle Vance Wilson (right). (Photo provided)

Jordan Mull receives GFWC
Woman’s Club scholarship

The winner of the GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club, the District 3 and the GFWC of NC state award is
Jordan Michael Mull, son of Mike and Nikki Mull, Grover, NC. Jordan won at the local, district and state levels to win the Sallie Southall Cotten Scholarship.
This scholarship is available to any student who will attend a 4-year university or college in the state of North Carolina. Sallie Southall Cotten (June 13, 1846 – May 4, 1929) was an American writer and clubwoman, based in North Carolina. She helped to organize the North Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was the organization’s fifth president, and wrote the federation’s anthem, as well as a history of the federation.
Jordan graduated from Kings Mountain High School, where he was president of the Math Club and secretary of the National Honor Society. He also has been a volunteer at the Patrick Senior Center, a math tutor, and has received the AP Scholar with Distinction award. Jordan plans to major in mathematics and philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then attend graduate school.
The Women’s club shared, “The GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club is proud to have this young man representing our club and community. He is an outstanding example of a young person with determination, intelligence and a heart for the community. We are excited to see what his future holds.”

Rolling Ribbon Cutting for downtown
businesses to be held on June 21

By Loretta Cozart

Three downtown businesses will hold a Rolling Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, June 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. On Q Financial – The Ingle Team kicks off the event at 129 S. Battleground Avenue at 10:30 a.m., followed by Brittany Austin and Co Huitt Realty at 11 a.m. at 144 S. Battleground Ave. The final ribbing cutting will be at The Imperial Mercantile at 138 W. Mountain Street at 11:30 a.m.
The community is invited to celebrate with these new businesses and welcome them to the community.

City council approves $65,079,820 budget

By Loretta Cozart

On Thursday, June 8, Kings Mountain City Council approved the city manager's proposed FY 2023-2024 budget of $65,079,820, an increase of $11,174,987 from last year during a monthly work session. That budget was explained to the council and the community in detail during their Monday, May 22, meeting at city hall.
   The proposed budget includes:
• A 5-cent property tax increase.
• A 10% increase in water and sewer.
• A solid waste fee increases of $2.49.
• A stormwater fee increases of $1.50.
   There were no increases in electricity or natural gas.
The new rate of 48 cents is moderate compared with that of other municipalities of comparable size to Kings Mountain that, include Lincolnton: 56 cents, Newton: 54- cents; Morganton: 57-cents; Albemarle: 64-cents, and Lexington: 65-cents, for an average property tax rate of .59-cents.
The budget also includes $1.8 million for paving and road improvements. "Thirty-five streets will be paved throughout the city," Palenick said. "And, $100,000 is included for parks and recreation capital improvements. A five percent wage increase has also been set aside for city employees included in the budget."
How does that translate to the average citizen's monthly budget? For a person who owns a $100,000 house, the city estimates the increase to be $12.79 per month. For a $200,000 home, the additional cost is estimated to be $17.51 per month. And for a $400,000 house, citizens will see an increase to $26.40 per month.
Mayor Neisler suggested a different path, suggesting instead that $1M be taken from the Economic Development Fund, suggesting that only one fire truck be purchased this year and that the city pave fewer streets to make up the difference and not raise property taxes this year.
Mayor Pro-Tem Annie Thombs offered her opinion, saying, "Mayor, the comments I want to make are going in the opposite direction of what you just stated. Looking at this budget, it is perhaps one of the hardest decisions I've had to consider while serving on the city council."
   "Perception is one thing, but when you get information that we have been given concerning investment within our city so that we are able to deliver great services without having leaf trucks breaking down, without dump trucks not moving, without city staff being out cutting the grass and the lawn mower stops and they’ve got to wait two days to get it fixed before they can come back and finish cutting grass, we have neglected maintenance. We have neglected our rolling stock. We have neglected things that should have been addressed, had we known that they needed to be addressed. I see this budget as, in Mr. Green used Words, as being very 'pivotal,'" she continued.
   "Number one, we need to set a different standard. And we can't continue like we have been going and expect a different outcome. Inflation continues to rise. If we put it off and wait, it's going to cost us more. It's hard when you think of all the citizens; it's not an easy decision. But at the same time, we have to look at what's best for the city.
   "And I think, as David (Stone) alluded to, this is not a political decision for me. This is what's best for this city. And if it's a hill I have to die on, I just die on the hill. At least I will have made a decision to set a different standard for this city and set a budget, so those that come behind us will have a standard to follow. And if they choose to do something different, then again, the citizens will be able to see what really works and what doesn't work. What really makes sense and what doesn't make sense."
   "Yes, it's going to be hard on our citizenry, to a point. But years down the road, they'll be able to look back and be glad of the decision we made. And when we look at it, we are a city that must maintain our public utilities because we own our public utilities to maintain, sustain, and provide growth, and that is a delicate balancing act. And I think this budget is beginning to address that balancing act because when I first looked at it (the budget), I had the reaction, "Nowhere in the world am I going to pass 5 cents. Because I just couldn't see a five-cent increase," she explained.
   "But when we had the last budget session, and he (City Manager Jim Palenick) gave us the options that we have available to us. And when he so clearly pointed out why we needed to have this increase, all of the speech I had prepared just flew out the window. Because I looked at this and I said, 'I've got to make a responsible decision no matter the outcome. And if citizens decide that because I voted for this budget, I don't need to sit here, so be it. I'm to do the thing that's necessary right now based upon what I have been presented with, based upon what I have seen, and based upon the needs of this city.'"
   "It is the first budget that I have seen that is a budget reinvesting in our city, prioritizing the things that we need to do. And a fire truck now versus a fire truck later… The fire truck that we purchase now, if we put it down the road it, is going to cost us almost twice as much. So, we must look at and be responsible for the things that we as a governing board need to do."
   "And I just would encourage us, like the mayor said, regardless of how we vote, regardless of the outcome, we have to support whatever the majority has done. I just ask that each one of us just look at this, have the courage to be responsible, and do what we need to do and do, and support the city manager," she explained. "Because we said together we needed a change. We said together we needed to go in a different direction. And the city manager told us when he came on board, after he had been here about three weeks and began to assess things, 'You all are going to have to make some hard decisions.' And so, he kept his word."
   The vote passed 5 to 1, with Councilman Jimmy West voting against. Councilman Mike Butler was not in attendance.

KM man wins $1M Powerball Saturday

Toney Peavey of Kings Mountain took a chance on a $2 Powerball ticket and won a $1 million prize in Saturday’s drawing.
Peavey bought his lucky Quick Pick ticket from the Circle K on Cleveland Avenue in Kings Mountain. He matched numbers on all five white balls to win $1 million.
Peavey claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, took home $712,501.
Saturday’s Powerball drawing offers a $308 million jackpot, or $160.1 million in cash. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. Cleveland County received $28.5 million in grants, using funds raised by the lottery, to help with school construction.
How do NC Education Lottery funds benefit Cleveland County? In 2022, $13,491,646 was reinvested into the county, including $639,754 for Pre-K programs, $313,098 toward college scholarships, $92,353 in financial aid, $3,473,308 in Non-Instructional Support, $152,633 in school transportation support, and $8,820,500 in school construction.
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Ross the Balloon Guy, Charlotte’s #1 Balloon Twister.

City presents special family events June 15 & 16

On Thursday, June 15, from 1-3 p.m., City of Kings Mountain Special Events welcomes their friend Ross the Balloon Guy, Charlotte’s #1 Balloon Twister, as they bring the National Foam Party Day to Patriots Park featuring music, concessions and loads of FOAM.
On Friday, June 16 the City of Kings Mountain will bring Disney's "Into the Woods” to big the big screen at Patriots Park for movie night. Sigmon Theatrical brings the characters to life at 6 p.m. and the movie follows promptly at 7 p.m.
Bring your family and friends for these special family summer events.
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Fireworks over downtown.

City of KM Revolutionary 4th event scheduled for July 1

Mark your calendar now for City of Kings Mountain’s Revolutionary 4th, being commemorated on Saturday July 1 at Patriots Park, 220 S. Railroad Avenue, at 6 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m.
The event includes music, food, inflatables, games for the kids, and fireworks and everyone is invited to join in the celebration.
Music features Charlotte’s own New Local at 6:30 p.m., as well as DJ Eric Bowman and DJ Tony Cutlass.
Check City of Kings Mountain Special Events’ Facebook page for more information.
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KM’s Juneteenth
celebration June 24

By Loretta Cozart

Juneteenth, Freedom Day, sponsored by The Davidson Association, and co-sponsored by City of Kings Mountain and Mauney Memorial Library, is Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Deal Street Walking Track at 211 N Cleveland Ave in Kings Mountain.
Activities during the event include face painting, music, dancing, storyboarding, horse club, and a puppet show. They also have a prayer tent for those in need of prayer.
The U.S. Congress passed the bill on June 16, 2021, making Juneteenth a federal holiday officially on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
Davidson Alumni Resource Center, Inc is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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KM Crisis Ministry
helps those in need

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry (KMCM), an emergency organization sponsored by the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association, helps individuals and families in need in our community. With rising inflation resulting in greater needs locally, the ministry is asking the community for help.
In 2021, KMCM helped 2133 people with food. That is roughly 25 percent of all the people living in Kings Mountain. The organization helps families with utilities, rent, clothing, and gas or kerosene.
Executive Director Lisa Harrison shared, “We anticipate even more individuals and families will need help this coming year. Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry is unique to our area. Shelby and Gastonia have nothing like this, it is truly an example of Kings Mountain people taking care of each other in the community.”
“The individuals and families we help are in crisis, and they come from all walks of life,” she said. “They are in need, and we are able to meet them where they are and provide much needed resources like food, rent, and utilities – to help propel individuals and families into a better position for success and well-being.”
When the organization began, it was funded by local churches that pooled funds to help with the needs of food in Kings Mountain. At that time, it was called the Helping Hands fund.
In the 1990s, the group moved into the YMCA at 208 Cleveland Avenue and began a food pantry, clothes closet, and financial assistance with rent and utilities.
   KMCM is a Second Harvest Food Pantry and receives donations of fresh produce, deli and bakery items from Food Lion and Walmart. They receive can goods from many businesses, churches, and individuals that hold food drives and donate food monthly. Local realtors leave door hangers, and many individuals support the mission through them.
The ministry receives funding from local churches, individuals, United Way, City of Kings Mountain, grants, charitable organizations, and fundraisers. City of Kings Mountain provides office space and facilities at the YMCA free of charge.
Those applying for assistance must meet certain criteria and provide all the following items: driver’s license or picture ID of all adults in household, Social Security Cards of all in household (adults & children), proof of income/money received in last 30 days, copy of DSS Food Stamp Letter, proof of residency (correct name & address), and proof showing why in crisis - any receipts, statement, etc.
Anticipating greater needs from people, and due to rising inflation, KMCM is looking for partners, both individual and corporate, to become monthly donors. For more information or to make an online donation, visit www.kmcrisisministry.org.
The Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry is located on the back, right side, of the YMCA building. Visitors can park near the outside pool area. The ministry is open for donations, food, clothes, and financial assistance on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Call 704-739-7256 to make an appointment.
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Potato Project seeks help
feed needy of Cleveland Co.

By Loretta Cozart

The fourteenth year of the Cleveland County Potato Project is nearing its mid-point, so the
Herald checked in with Doug Sharp (co-founder of the Potato Project) on the progress. Below is what he shared:
White potatoes were planted in late March and will be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks. White potatoes were planted in partnership with Travis Mangum Associates, North Shelby School, and local Civitan Clubs. Mangum Associates have pretty much cared for this planting.
Sweet potato responsibility has shifted toward Norman Sellers and a group of people who share a passion for feeding people. These are long-time growers of agricultural products, All had occupations, but are mostly retired. Their zeal to be good stewards led them to the Potato Project.
For the first time since the pandemic, assistance is coming from the
Baptist Work Camp in Shelby. Use of these volunteers will help reduce the cost of labor, but volunteers are still needed, and wanted.
Deer have become a growing threat to the Potato Projects’ sweet potatoes. Last year two sites were completely wiped out by these creatures. Dogs from a nearby residence prevented a total wash out. If anyone knows a barking dog that would like to live in a sweet potato patch for the next three months, the help would be appreciated.
Doug shared, “We always need contributions. If you would like to contribute, you may do so by mailing a check to Doug Sharp, 107 Quail Hollow Drive, Kings Mtn, 28086, NC. Be assured that all monies will be used to feed needy people in Cleveland County.”

KMHS graduates 275 students on June 3

By Loretta Cozart

Commencement exercises for 275 seniors in the Kings Mountain High School Class of 2023 were held Saturday. June 3 from 9 a.m. at John Gamble Stadium.
Seniors were processed into the stadium to “Pomp and Circumstance”, performed by KMHS Ninth Grade Band, as friends and family looked on. Senior Class Representative Jacob Kai Hamrick lead those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Student Participation Organization President Dylan Micah Moore welcomed everyone, followed by Kings Mountain High School’s Seniors from Symphonic Chorale singing “Maybe Someday.”
Senior Class Representative Carter Grace Frances Reed recognized the Honor Graduates.
Class of 2023 Salutatorian Kalon Lutrell Porter, and Valedictorian Megan Gertrude Carley addressed the class sharing the challenges, memories, and hopes this class has shares while matriculating through Kings Mountain High School.
Principal Dr. Dustin Morehead, Assistant Principal Melissa Wilson, Superintendent Dr. Stephen Fisher, and School Board representatives participated in the presentation of diplomas. Afterward, Principal Dr. Dustin Morehead presented the Kings Mountain High School Class of 2023 to the community, as their proud parents watched.
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City presents special family events June 15 & 16

On Thursday, June 15, from 1 – 3 p.m., City of Kings Mountain Special Events welcomes their friend Ross the Balloon Guy - Charlotte’s #1 Balloon Twister, as they bring the National Foam Party Day to Patriots Park featuring Music, Concessions and loads of FOAM. The fun begins at 1:00 p.m.
Then mark your calendar for Friday, June 16 when City of Kings Mountain brings Disney's "Into the Woods” to big the big screen at Patriots Park for movie night. Sigmon Theatrical brings the characters to life at 6 p.m. and the movie follows promptly at 7 p.m. Bring your family and friends for this special family summer event.
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Veterans walk to promote suicide awareness. Photo by American Legion Post 155

American Legion 155 stands up for Vets and accepts
the continued mission

By Loretta Cozart

On May 20, American Legion 155, accepted the mission to draw attention to veteran suicides and encourage those hurting to reach out for help. The American Legion opened their Post home to all veterans, those struggling with mental health issues and those who wanted to support them by drawing attention to veteran’s suicide during their Veterans Walk and Roll event.
Event organizer Chris Pullen said, “We made this a community event, because no matter what organization you belong to, you need a home that is always open when you need it. No matter how ‘military’ you are,  your family means the world to you. They are the ones who support you behind closed doors.”
“What we learned during this nine-day event was that, out there, it isn’t just veterans who are suffering with thoughts of suicide… it is everybody.” Pullen continued, “Suicide affects veterans and their families the hardest and events like this one gives veteran and their families the opportunity to talk to others, to talk with Mission 22, and other support groups.”
Pullen is quick to acknowledge that he didn’t do this event alone. The NC Ambassador of Mission 22, Kevin Evans, along with American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members Amanda Smith and Kathy Hambright gave of their time and talents, along with countless members of America Legion Post 155 and ALA Unit 155, to shine the light on veteran suicide and the need to support veterans.
The event resulted after lengthy discussions on ways to make American Legion Post 155 more visible to veterans within the community and allow them to express their concern for the welfare of veterans in our community. To do this, they utilized Deal Street Walking Track for 22 hours a day for nine days. Those numbers are symbolic: 22 represents the number of veterans who die each day to suicide, and nine days represents the end a cycle.
   “Evans noted, “At the walking track, the blessing was that the track was kept in motion 22 hours a day. Just to see the veterans who didn’t have the ability to walk come out and participate was amazing. If they couldn’t walk, they were pushed around the track, enabling them to also accept the mission and contribute. As a result, those veterans were able to fully participate.”
   Other groups were invited to join with American Legion Post 155 in this effort: American Legion Post 82, Department of NC District 23, Mission 22, Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Combat Veterans, and Disabled American Veterans, among others.
   During the event dubbed ‘Veterans Walk and Roll’, 817 individuals walked the track. Of those participating, 192 vets walked 1407 laps, and 625 civilians walked 2681 laps, for a total of 1551.6 miles. Veterans from across the nation participated within their own communities and reported laps that were included in those numbers. Laps were reported from PA, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, New Jersey, Alabama, Alaska, and the Bahamas.
   Those who participated at the track were invited to join the legionnaires in the evening for karaoke, bingo, haircuts, and conversation. Raffles and other fundraisers were held to raise funds to pay for the events and meals during the evenings. Bands played at the Post and at other American Legion Posts.
   Due to inclement weather, the planned motorcycle poker run had to be cancelled, so the legionnaires had to pivot. Through it all, they prevailed. “In spite of the bad weather throughout the week, the rain didn’t stop anyone from walking for 22 hours a day during the nine-day event,” Pullen said.
   “Every year, Mission 22 organizes a walk nationwide to support veterans and draw attention to suicide awareness. Next year, I want to incorporate that event into this one,’ Evans shared. “Even if we only hand out one pamphlet to one person, we consider it ‘mission accomplished.’ What Chris Pullen and Post 155 have done is far above the mission. He is super dedicated. I give him all the respect in the world.”
  A highlight of the event was a visit by The Saluting Marine, Staff Sergeant Tim Chambers, who participated in the event. He is a motivational speaker, comrade, and supporter of this special event in Kings Mountain. And Pullen shared that Chambers enjoyed singing karaoke, as well.
  “We learned a lot, and we still have a lot left to learn. American Legion Post 155 accepted the mission and helped the community understand the need to support our veterans, because they served when asked. Now is the community’s time to support these veterans in their hour of need. Pullen concluded. “Just because the event is over, doesn’t mean the mission has ended. The mission is alive, and this mission will continue walk for our veterans.”
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Jeff Ledford (left) and CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst

Chief Ledford’s next chapter


Cleveland Community College is excited to announce Shelby Police Department’s retired chief (and Kings Mountain native) Jeff Ledford, has joined the Yeti family. Ledford assumed the role of director of safety and security at the College on June 1. “One of the draws to being here is the reputation of the College,” said Ledford, “and the team that I have the opportunity to work with.”
Ledford retired from the Shelby Police Department on March 31, after
serving  the  community 30 years as an officer, including 15 as chief. The Kings Mountain native and current resident has always focused on community and relationships. Starting his next chapter at CCC, he said, allows him to serve in a different way. “It’s a great opportunity to continue serving the community. The College is a place where I can continue to use my relationships and experience, just on a different level.”
He will lead a small team of part-time security officers, and work with Shelby Police Officer Ryan Laughlin who serves as the College’s SRO.
“We are focused on the safety and security of the students and employees of Cleveland Community College,” said CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst. “That’s why I’m excited to welcome former chief Ledford to our team. His knowledge and experience will be a great asset to our efforts.”
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Supporters of the Kings Mountain Farmer’s Market joined in the ribbon cutting. Photos by Christine Cribb

Kings Mountain Farmer’s Market off to a good start

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Farmer’s Market had a good turnout on Saturday, June 3. More than fifteen vendors participated, many from Kings Mountain.
Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the event shortly after 10 a.m. as those who worked so hard to bring this event to Kings Mountain celebrated. Sponsors for this event include Cleveland County, City of Kings Mountain, The Davidson Association, Kings Mountain Rotary Club, Albemarle Corporation, and NC State Extension.
The Davison Association event organizer Tamra Moody spoke of the day saying, “I think today has been amazing. We’ve had a lot of support and we hope to see the farmer’s market continue to grow moving forward.”
Mayor Scott Neisler said, “It is amazing what the Davidson Association has been able to do here. They took the ball and ran with it and I know this farmer’s market is just going to continue to grow.”
KM Tourism Development Authority Board Director Ellis Noell shared his thoughts saying, “It is great that a partnership has been built here between the Foothills Farmer’s Market, the county, and the Davidson Association. When groups work together, the outcome is so much better because we are working together as a team. I seen nothing but success moving forward.”
While crops like corn and tomatoes aren’t quite ripe yet, a good variety of herbs, mushrooms, grass-fed beef, flowers, coffee, plant starts, honey, pickled okra, pimento cheese, decorative plants, among other items were for sale. The Kings Mountain Farmer’s Market continues every Saturday, June through August, from 8 a.m. until noon.
   The farmer’s market is held downtown at the old Wells Fargo parking lot owned by Phil and Sandie Dee who support Shop Local.
   Davidson Alumni Resource Center, Inc is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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Memorial Day Observance
held in Kings Mountain


By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain held its Memorial Day
Observance on Monday, May 29 at American Legion Post 155 located at 613 E. Gold Street at 10 a.m. Due to rain, the observance was taken indoors.
The event began with a Piper Prelude by the Loch Norman Pipers, followed by the Presentation of Colors by Boy Scout Troop 92 Honor Guard. Dr. John Howze, Pastor of People’s Baptist Church offered in Invocation. Pastor Gabriel Thombs lead those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance. Vocalist Sharon Robbs sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Mayor Scott Neisler welcomed everyone and reminded them of the importance of remembering those who have been lost in battle while in the service of the United States of America.
The Keynote speaker was Jim Sherman, U.S. Army, Commander, American Legion District 23.
Dale Brittan and Dale Saxon performed the Ballad of the Green Barret. And Jim Medlin, U.S. Staff Sergeant, USAF, 1967 – 1971, followed reciting A Toast to the Flag.
“A Toast to the Flag” was a poem penned by journalist, John Jay Daly. John Day was a poet, drama critic and newsman, who worked for the Washington Post. He wrote this now famous poem early in his career and it was published in 1917.

A Toast to the Flag
Here’s to the red of it:
There’s not a thread of it,
No, nor a shred of it
In all the spread of it
From foot to head,
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing it Red!

Here’s to the white of it:
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it
But feels the might of it
Through the day and night?
Womanhood’s care for it,
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity’s prayer for it
Keeps it so White!

Here’s to the blue of it:
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it —
Constant and true.
States stand supreme for it,
Diadems gleam for it,
Liberty’s beam for it
Brightens the Blue!

Here’s to the whole of it:
Stars, stripes and pole of it,
Body and soul of it;
O, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it,
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red White and Blue!
   Afterward, Brittan and Saxon performed “He Ain’t Heavy.”
   Vietnam Veterans of Kings Mountain did Thirteen Folds of the Flag, and American Legion Post 155 presented a wreath, followed by TAPS being played by Marine Corps League 1164.
   Loch Norman Pipers presented a Piper Interlude during the Retrieval of the Colors by Boy Scout Troop 91. Closing remarks were given by Mayor Scott Neisler.
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GRADUATION
KEEPSAKE EDITION

THIS WEEK MAY 31, 2023
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City of KM proposes
total budget increase of $11.2M


By Loretta Cozart

During a city council budget work session held on Monday, May 22 at city hall, Kings Mountain City Manager Jim Palenick proposed a Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget of $65,079,820, an increase of $11,174,987 from last year’s budget of $53,904,822.
The proposed budget includes a 5-cent property tax increase, a 10% increase in water and sewer, in addition to a solid waste fee increase of $2.49, and a stormwater fee increase of $1.50. There are no increases proposed for electric or natural gas.
How does the city’s proposed property tax rate increase of 5-cents, to a new rate of 48-cents, compare with that of other municipalities of comparable size to Kings Mountain? Cities compared include Lincolnton: 56-cents, Newton:  54- cents; Morganton: 57-cents; Albemarle: 64-cents, and Lexington: 65-cents, for an average property tax rate of .59-cents.
The budget also includes $1.8 million for paving and road improvements. “Thirty-
five streets will be paved throughout the city,” Palenick said. “And, $100,000 is included for parks and recreation capital improvements. A five percent wage increase has been set aside for city employees included in the budget as well.”              
How does that translate to the average citizen’s monthly budget? For a person who owns a $100,000 house, the city estimates the increase to be $12.79 per month. For $200,000 home, it is estimated the additional cost will be $17.51 per month. And for a $400,000 house, citizens will see an increase to $26.40 per month.
“The city has been using money from the electric fund until the money has been depleted.” Jim Palenick said in an interview with the Herald. “We have, for years, kept the city's property tax artificially low, and the city took money away from its electric utilities, and its gas utility, it didn't reinvest in those utilities, and it didn't develop rate stabilization funds for those. So it didn't develop high quality appropriate fund balances for them. The time has come to pay the piper,” he explained.
“We're doing this in a fiscally responsible way, and planning for the future in a very strategic way. The key is as we are growing, and we will continue to grow a lot, so we must reinvest in a lot of these things, the infrastructure, the amenities, and the quality of life. Because we've neglected parks for a very long time, we allocated $100,000 in park improvements in this budget. But in the future, we expect to add a lot more.”
   Kings Mountain is unique in that it maintains both a public library and a senior center. In many communities they are maintained instead by the county. The library’s proposed budget is $837,050, and the senior center’s is $837,500.
   Palenick continued, “The city has $1.8 million in total paving and road improvements included in this budget. That compares to recent years of $200,000 to $300,000. And over $4 million was included for rolling-stock purchases, including two new fire trucks that are needed. The city is replacing the leaf pickup machines, which have been a real source of concern and controversy because we haven't been as responsive. We haven't been as good, as serviceable, as we should have been in that program, and we realized that a lot of it all came down to the poor quality of our equipment. So that's all being replaced.”
  “If we can start, for instance really focusing this year on paving and road construction and some necessary rolling stock and large equipment purchases, then in future years you're going to see a whole lot more about Parks and Recreation, Streetscape, and other major infrastructure things that we'll try to focus on,” he said.
   The proposed budget does not add any additional positions to the General Fund. “We have made a change where we are hiring a city engineer but eliminating a position that had been set aside for communications. But there's no net increase. It's the same, relatively flat. In Stormwater we propose adding two new positions to meet state mandated requirements.
   Streetscape is not included in the budget for several reasons, he said, “Number one, one of the things that is in this budget is that we are moving away from the city being responsible for running the Main Street program, having actual city employees do that work, and it being a city function. We are proposing to have a contract with a local non-for-profit of stakeholders from the downtown and small business owners, who then we will contract with to do all those things.”
   In summary, Palenick said, “We are proposing a 5-cent property tax increase. For a local government, property taxes are considered a general revenue to be used for services that are not paid for by specific user fees‐public safety, public works, streets, administration, etc. That generates about $1,000,000 a year. That is not $1,000,000 to increase the budget, it's $1,000,000 that goes toward debt service (repaying city debts). A $1,000,000 in debt service translates to over $5,000,000 in capital improvements.”
      Additionally, if approved, the cost for a typical new single-family house building permit will increase from $800 to $1,647, which is in line with what both Gaston County and the City of Shelby charge. Palenick said, “On the building permits, we certainly comply with the law, we provide the minimum basic level of service, and we're working on fully covering the cost for moderate level of service, but again, not quite,” he said.
    So, while we've made various changes to get us closer to industry standards and we're getting more competitively surrounding units, we're not adding any additional fees, we are adjusting them. And don't forget, this only affects construction and new growth, so most people do not pay these fees. You pay it because you're building something, adding something, developing something, and most people who do that are used to this within the environment of what they do, and the city would remain very competitive.”
   He continued, “And the primary reasoning for this budget is that we are trying to get these utilities, solid waste electric, gas, water, sewer, etc., to truly be closed loop enterprise funds to pay for themselves. They should not subsidize each other, and they should also pay for themselves. So, when we see solid waste doesn't pay for itself, we're trying to get it closer. We have increased building permits, mostly on the larger commercial and industrial side, trying simply to get that program to pay for itself. It still doesn't, but it's getting closer.”
   “Stormwater increased simply because the city was in violation. We weren't doing enough. Our program isn't robust enough. The state has said, ‘If you don't start doing it, you're going to be in trouble.’ We will do it better, we'll be hiring two people, and we'll start to be much more active.” The alternative would be to pay a $25,000 fine.
   “We've increased this budget by over $5 million worth of capital improvements. And we're setting the stage to say if we have this amount of property tax dedicated to debt service for capital reinvestment in the future, we will continue to reinvest in the city the way we should have been doing for years and years but haven't. The time has come to start doing that. So, that's why I say the future will be streetscape, parks and rec, and other things like that. Because there must be a way to pay for them in the most appropriate way,” he said.
   “We are at a critical point,” Palenick concluded. “What we do in the next couple of years, the decisions we make, the tools we have, and the sources available to us will have a profound impact on our ability to do this work.”
   Friday afternoon, the city manager updated city council on some positive information regarding current energy trends that suggest, absent unexpected changes to demand or supply which might otherwise result from climactic events; geopolitical upheaval; or natural disasters, we can expect Natural Gas prices to remain fairly flat, or trend lower.
   Since the greatest single economic impact/burden to individual citizens comes as a result of their electric and gas bills, there exists a distinct possibility that in FY23-24, actual decreases to electric and gas bills could yet occur could result, affecting or making up for, or surpassing, the possible increase(s) posed by the 5-cent property tax and the solid waste and water/sewer fee adjustments.
   In the Summer and  Fall of 2022, (between July and November) the City of Kings Mountain increased the P.P.A. (Purchase Power Adjustment) component of Electric rates by 2.75-cents per kilowatt-hour (KWH) due to rapidly rising Natural Gas rates, resulting in electric rate increases to residents of approximately 25% on their electric bills.
   And, because the city also maintains a rate structure which automatically adjusts Natural Gas bills to fluctuate with the commodity cost of  Natural Gas, our residents were also experiencing significant increases in their monthly gas bills.
   If such trends hold, the city could look to lessen or decrease its PPA (Purchase Power Adjustment) rate charge to electric customers; and its gas customers would automatically see their rates decrease.
   According to Moody’s, “Expected 2023 natural gas prices are around 44% lower than forward market expectations in December,”. That has resulted in 2023 expected power prices more than 40% lower than 2022 in some regions, according to the research note which cited S&P Global Market Intelligence data.”
   What does the possible gas rate decreases mean for citizens? The data indicate that a rate reduction of just 2.5% for an average residential electric and gas bill would nearly offset the proposed 5-cent property tax rate increase for valuations up to $100,000.
   A rate reduction of 5% for an average residential electric and gas bill will closely offset our proposed property tax rate increase for valuations up to $200,000.
   For those owning little property ($50k or less), the 5% reduction noted above would virtually offset all proposed 23-24 tax and fee increases combined  --  the net increase would be less than $1 per month, total, assuming the customer pays/utilizes all City services – water, sewer, solid waste, and stormwater.

LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, June 3
City welcomes Freebird, The
Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute

The City of Kings Mountain welcomes Freebird, The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Covering Lynyrd Skynyrd’s catalog of hits, Freebird, The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute celebrates a band whose time was short, but music carries on four decades after their lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and others were lost in a plane crash October 20, 1977.
“We are really looking forward to finally performing at Kings Mountain,” said lead singer, Vic Harris. “All I can say is, Kings Mountain is going to get one heck a concert.”
Country music artist, Ryan Perry will open the show at 6:00 p.m., followed by Freebird at 8:00 p.m.
Great food, inflatables for the kids, and much more will be available. Best of all, the concert is 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.
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City hosts Memorial Day Observance May 29

The City of Kings Mountain invites everyone to Patriots Park, Monday May 29, for their annual Memorial Day Observance. Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
Scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, United States Army Veteran, Jim Sherman, will lead the observance as the guest speaker.
Mr. Sherman, served in the United States Army from 1988 until 1990. He completed basic training and AIT at Fort Benning Georgia and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, Charlie Company at Fort Drum, New York. He currently serves as the American Legion District 23 Commander serving Cleveland and Rutherford Counties.
Dale Brittain and the Loch Norman Pipers will provide special music. Harris
Funeral Home will provide the memorial wreath.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May.
The event will be live  streamed on the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department’s Facebook page. That page can be found at www.facebook.com/CityofKMSpecialEvents.
For more information, you may also call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.com.
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Thanks to two cranes, and many volunteers, the flag goes airborne. See more photos on page 5A (in May 24, 2023 edition of Herald). Photos by Loretta Cozart

AL Post 155 kicks-off Walk
and Roll for Vets

By Loretta Cozart

On May 20, at 11 a.m. at American Legion Post 155 kicked-off their first annual Walk and Roll for Vets, drawing attention to veterans’ suicide and prevention in America. Chris Pullen welcomed everyone prior to raising the largest free-flying flag in the United States that will remain over the post throughout the week.
Afterward the colors were presented by Burns High School Air Force Jr. ROTC Color Guard, including Caitlinn Enfinger, Grayson Brothers, Ethan Hutchens, and Johnathan Martin.
The National Anthem was sung by Jaiden Huffman.
From now through Memorial Day, the community is asked to walk laps at the Deal Street Walking Track in Kings Mountain in honor of a veteran in their lives. If you can’t walk and want to participate, wheelchairs and volunteers will be there to push you. In doing this compassionate gesture, riders and those pushing are invited to attend special events at the post throughout the week.
Other activities include bingo night, karaoke, a Poker Run, and on May 28, the Saluting Marine, Tim Chambers, veteran, author, motivational speaker, high school mascot, and AMVETS spokesperson, will be at the Post to support the veterans. And he will sing karaoke.
   The remaining events at American Legion Post 155 include:
• May 24 – 27, 6 – 8 p.m., Food and public speakers
Haircuts, Open Mic, Karaoke, DJ’s, Bands, and More
• May 27, Poker Run sign ups 10 a.m.
• May 28,  Veteran Breakfast Legion 8 – 11 a.m.
• May 29, 6-8 p.m. Closing of the Event
   Events at Kings Mountain Walking track include:
• May 24-29, 11 a.m.- 9 a.m., for 9 days, Veterans Walk and Roll
• May 24-29, Meet some of the Sponsors and volunteers
   On May 29, at 10 a.m. placing of the Flags will occur at Mountain Rest Cemetery in Kings Mountain. Flags will be given out that morning at the YMCA track, in Kings Mountain.
The flag flying over the American Legion is a traveling flag that measures 118 ft. long, and 65 feet wide. Stars from tip-to-tip are four-feet wide, and each stripe is five-feet high. It weighs 180 pounds.

American Legion
veteran’s breakfast
Sun., May 28

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s American Legion Post 155 veterans’ breakfast is scheduled for Sunday, May 28,  from 8 – 11 a.m. at the post home on East Gold Street.
Veterans can order a made-to-order breakfast of eggs, bacon, liver mush, gravy, grits, biscuits, toast, coffee, and juice.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast.
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These folks participated in the first ever Moss Lake Paddle Race and Fundraiser for Broad Riverkeeper. The winner indicates their placement by showing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Photo provided

First Moss Lake Paddle Race and fundraiser for Broad Riverkeeper

It was a beautiful cool cloudy day for the first ever Moss Lake Paddle Race. The group met at 10:00 a.m. sharp at the public access/boat ramp at 863 New Camp Creek Church Road in Kings Mountain. David Caldwell, Broad Riverkeeper, MountainTrue, and Waterkeeper Alliance member, gave a brief introduction and explained the racecourse and rules. The race started at about 10:45 a.m.
Caldwell spoke saying that he, “thanked the generous sponsors: Michael Cheng, who contributed the prize money. Joy Pharr Realtor and Christie’s International co-sponsored the race and is also sponsoring our Swim Guide  site  at  Moss  Lake. Glad to see so many people out enjoying and protecting the places we share!”
   Congratulations to Braxton Carter for his very swift time of 37-minutes covering 4.2 miles to take home 1st place. He averaged over 6 miles per hour in his 20’ long kayak. Gene Summey took home 2nd place, also in a solo kayak, with a time of 45-minutes. Roger Beatty brought home the bronze in 48-minutes, amazingly on a stand-up paddle board. Prizes were $200 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place.
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​​​​​​​Photo by City of Kings Mountain

Patriots Park Splash Pad Now Open!

City of Kings Mountain Special Events announced that the Patriots Park Splash Pad is now open for the Summer! Bring your family and friends, and don't forget sunscreen! Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, in Kings Mountain.
 

American Legion Post 155 Walk
and Roll for Vets

By Loretta Cozart

Are you ready to give your 15 minutes, or more, May 20 – 29 to complete laps at the Veterans Walk and Roll at Kings Mountain Walking Track. The event is sponsored by American Legion Post 155 and spans 9 days to end the cycle. 22 total hours of a day, representing veteran suicide awareness and to honor fallen brothers and sisters at the Memorial Day ceremony on May 29. This mission is a family friendly team event, so all are welcome.
  Events at American Legion Post 155 include:
• May 20, 9-3 p.m. Family Fun Day
Raising of the large American Flag
• May 21 & May 28,  Veteran Breakfast Legion 8 – 11 a.m.
• May 23, 9-10 a.m. Veterans only, from 10 - noon Job Fair is open to everyone
• May 22 – 27, 6 – 8 p.m., Food and public speakers
Haircuts, Open Mic, Karaoke, DJ’s, Bands, and More
• May 27, Poker Run sign ups 10 a.m.
• May 29, 6-8 p.m. Closing of the Event
   Events at Kings Mountain Walking track include:
• May 20-29, 11 a.m.- 9 a.m., for 9 days, Veterans Walk and Roll
• May 20-29, Meet some of the Sponsors and volunteers
On May 29, at 10 a.m. Placing of the Flags will occur at Mountain Rest Cemetery in Kings Mountain. Flags will be given out that morning at the YMCA track, in Kings Mountain.
The American Legion challenges the community to Accept the Mission saying, “Many have already joined, and you do not want to miss out. So, come and support this mission, bring friends and family because this is a team event.”
For nine days, 22-hours each day, volunteers will walk the Deal Park track to draw attention to veteran suicide and prevention. The numbers are symbolic: nine days represents the end a cycle, and 22 represents the number of veterans who die each day to suicide. It is the Legion’s goal to draw attention to veteran suicides and encourage those who are hurting to reach out for help.
If you are interested participating, contact Veterans Walk and Roll at veteranswalkandroll@gmail.com or call 704-710-6301.
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Jim Palenick KM City Manager

Coffee & Conversation with
City Manager
Friday, May 19

By Loretta Cozart

If you are interested in what is going on in Kings Mountain, or just want to meet the new City Manager Jim Palenick you have an opportunity to do so on Friday, May 19 at Royal T Café, 405 S Battleground Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about plans for the city and for citizens to share your concerns and input.
  The schedule for the next five months includes the following Kings Mountain locations:
• Friday, May 19 - Royal T Café, 405 S Battleground Ave.
• Friday, June 16 - Patrick Senior Center, 909 E King St.
• Friday, July 14 - Big Red’s Café, 830 E King St.
• Friday, August 18 -Chat-n-Nibble Restaurant, 415 N Piedmont Ave.
• Friday, September 15 - Kings Mountain Family YMCA, 211 Cleveland Ave.
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Braxlynn Justice got a dozen donuts last Saturday. She and her Maw Maw Debbie Murray were spending the day together. Photo by Loretta Cozart

K Donuts opens in KM

By Loretta Cozart

Sinet Yim and her husband, Komar Seng opened
K Donuts in Kings Mountain on May 2 at 110 West King Street at the intersection with Battleground Avenue.
They make fresh donuts daily, opening the shop at 6:00 a.m., and closing at 3:00 p.m., or until the donuts sell out.
North Carolina Farm Bureau Agent Andrew Poeng said of the new shop,
“K Donuts hits close to home for me. For those that do not know, I grew up in a family-owned donut shop for 17 years in California. This family is from Cambodia and are refugees from the Khmer Rouge just like my parents.”
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A couple pause for a cup of coffee at Gold Medusa Coffee Co. at Uncommon Artisans. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Scenes about town of KM

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s business district was busting on Saturday morning as people enjoyed the warm day and an opportunity to get outside to spend time together. On Mountain Street, a couple enjoyed a cup of coffee at Gold Medusa Coffee Co. and
Uncommon Artisans.
Up the block at Mountain Holiday, the building is being repaired after suffering storm damage. Building owner Bobby Horn shared that he hopes to have repairs completed within three to four weeks.
The Imperial Mercantile saw shoppers looking for unique Mother’s Day gifts, along with locally sourced specialty foods. Shoppers perused the merchandise and chatted with the owners, asking about family and catching up on the news.
Across the street, at 131 West groups gathered for lunch on the patio overlooking Mountain Street. Passersby could hear laughter as groups relished their time together.
As the weather warms and people celebrate the opportunities to gather after the official end of the COVID pandemic, it is refreshing to see smiling faces and hear the sounds of people celebrating in each other’s company.
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Kiamesha Young’s transformation of the once McGill’s Esso Station is a shining example of embracing the new while preserving the old. Photo by Loretta Cozart

New signage on King Street

By Loretta Cozart

Kiamesha Young has transformed the century old Esso Gas Station once owned by the McGill
family, at 100 E. King Street, into her new real estate office. Outside, new signage reads YOUNG in bold letters on the front of the building. Three bars are incorporated in the logo. Three horizontal bars hang on the pole nearby that read: Real Estate, Construction, and Land. The three bars in the logo represent those three product lines. The 1923 Esso station is now an office for conducting business and greeting clients.
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Mrs. Wease with her Kindergarten students. See more photos on page 8A. Photos by Anna Hughes

North Elementary Kindergartners celebrate moms

Kindergartners at North Elementary School celebrated moms at a Mother's Day Tea on Friday, May 12. Students performed "You are my Sunshine" and "Mom made it better for Me" in the gym for their mothers to enjoy.
The students danced to the Cha-Cha Slide, wrote stories about their moms, made several crafts and gifts, and planted flowers for them. Both students and Moms enjoyed cupcakes, chips, and tea while watching a short video of pictures of the kindergartner’s days in school this year.

Car chase and accident kills
three Sunday morning

On Sunday, May 14, at approximately 1:07 a.m., Cleveland County E-911 Communications received a 911 call transfer from Cherokee County, SC, Sheriff’s Office. The female caller said that she was a passenger in a car that had been shot at from a suspect truck that was still following them. The caller inadvertently disconnected but called back a few moments later.
The truck was still pursuing them, and reportedly still shooting at them while they were traveling in the Patterson Springs area, on NC 180 South. Deputies from Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office saturated the area, attempting to intervene in this violent encounter.
A deputy found the vehicles traveling on Earl Rd. at US74. While the victims continued, the deputy attempted to stop the suspects at the intersection. The suspects fled by running the red light, and driving on US74 westbound, then turning right onto Dekalb St. At that point, the suspects accelerated and turned off their vehicle exterior lighting. After the deputy momentarily lost sight of the suspect vehicle, he found it had crashed into a home at the intersection of Dekalb Street and Suttle Street.
According to the Shelby Police Department Accident Report, the truck was traveling northbound on N. Dekalb St. exceeding 80 miles an hour. The driver started to lose control of the vehicle in a slight curve before intersection at Suttle St. The truck then traveled off the roadway to the left, crossed Suttle St., striking an embankment. The truck went airborne and landed upside down on the roof of a home at 223 Suttle Street, resulting in a small fire.
Due to the horrific nature of the crash, deputies and Shelby Police Officers worked  together  to  assist both the fire department and EMS in rendering aid to those in the suspect vehicle.
  Further investigation revealed that the shooting incident began in Cherokee County, South Carolina, where the victims’ vehicle was struck by gunfire. The suspect vehicle relentlessly pursued the victims for several miles into Shelby. During that time, the caller reported the suspects continued to fire at the victim vehicle. Given this persistence by the suspects, it appears they were determined to kill the occupants of the other vehicle. It was only through the intervention of the deputy that the suspects disengaged from menacing the victims.
   Fortunately, none of the occupants in the victims’ vehicle were injured, and they are cooperating with the on-going investigation.
   Cleveland County Sheriff’s investigators responded to the incident and continue to investigate what crimes took place in our jurisdiction. Cherokee County Sheriff’s investigators are conducting their own investigation of the incident in their county.
   Sheriff Alan Norman said, “Given the relentlessness with which these suspects pursued and shot at the victims, it is a miracle that no one in the victims’ car was injured. I am proud of the joint effort between all the involved agencies to work through this investigation.”
   Three men died in the crash, Fabian Cosby, 20, Kenandre Kirkland, 20, and Elijah Priester, 18. The other three men were taken to the hospital. The investigation is ongoing.

Gov. Cooper vetoes  SB 20,
Moore promises override


On Saturday, May 13, Governor Roy Cooper joined the North Carolina Reproductive Freedom Coalition at a rally for health care freedom. During the rally, Governor Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 20, the dangerous abortion ban that would have devastating impacts on women’s reproductive health care in North Carolina.
The veto message returned with the bill read, “This bill will create dangerous interference with the doctor-patient relationship, leading to harm for pregnant women and their families. With its medically unnecessary obstacles and restrictions, it will make abortion unavailable to many women, particularly those with lower incomes, those who live in rural areas, and those who already have limited access to health care.”
The bill is opposed by the North Carolina Medical Society, the North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the North Carolina Academy of Family   Physicians.  GovernorCooper was joined on stage by doctors and women as he vetoed the bill.
“Let’s be clear - this bill has nothing to do with making women safer, and everything to do with banning abortion,” said Governor Cooper at the rally. “How about we leave medicine to the doctors and the decisions to the women.”
This week, Governor Cooper traveled across the state and heard from physicians, patients and advocates who shared stories about how Senate Bill 20 would be devastating for North Carolinians. At events from Wilmington to Gibsonville, physicians have highlighted how this legislation would dramatically reduce access to reproductive freedom and threaten their ability to provide care for their patients.
Despite Republican attempts to disguise this abortion ban as “mainstream,” Senate Bill 20 would dramatically reduce access to abortion and could cause women’s health clinics across the state to shut down. In addition to imposing a general ban on abortions after twelve weeks, this bill would:
Ban medication abortions after 10 weeks; medication abortions account for approximately 60 percent of all abortions in North Carolina:
• Require three in-person appointments days apart for anyone seeking a medical abortion, which doctors have called “medically unjustified and unnecessary,” and make care harder to access for anyone who can’t take off work, afford to travel, stay in a hotel or get extra child care
• Significantly increase the number of burdensome attestations for patients to complete prior to receiving reproductive health care
• Implement new regulations and licensing requirements that don’t contribute to patient safety and could cause the closure of clinics providing abortions across the state
    North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore responded with the following statement:
   “Governor Cooper has spent the past week, including Mother’s Day weekend, spreading misinformation about SB 20 in an effort to frighten voters and appease campaign donors.”
    He continued, “The truth is, the Care for Women, Children, and Families Act will save unborn lives, protect women, and support families. His veto will be swiftly overridden.”
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These youngsters watch as the butterflies awaken and fly away.

Earth Day April 22
at Gateway Trail

The City of Kings Mountain in partnership with the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail will celebrate the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day by hosting an Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 22nd, 2023.
Free activities will be provided by various community organizations and vendors.
Enchanting creatures from the world of Sigmon Theatrical will roam the trail. Dino Encounters by Ross plan to bring some very cool dinosaur friends to the event. Woody the Owl will be there too.
Other attractions will include an Animal Petting Zoo, Instrument Petting Zoo, Balloon Art, Face Painting, Wood Working, Food Vendors, Upcycle Artisans, and Entertainment by The Medicine Crow Duo and the Fulton Family.
The Butterfly Release is by far a crowd favorite! Make plans to help release 200 painted Lady butterflies back into their natural habitat. This activity supports the national and environmental cause to save our pollinators.
Extra parking is across the street from the trailhead and along Quarry Road. Come out, celebrate our beautiful earth, and enjoy a walk on the trail! This special event will begin at 11:00 am.
For more information on the Earth Day, 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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Farce of Nature debuts
at KMLT April 28

Kings Mountain Little Theatre will continue its season with the comedy, “Farce of Nature,” directed by Amy Hardin on Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. This play is sponsored by the Jim and Penny Larson Family
KMLT is pleased to announce that performances are scheduled for April 28, 29 and May 5, and 6  at 7:30 PM with matinees on Sundays, April 30  and May 7 at 3:00 pm.
The non-stop hilarity of this Southern-fried farce highlights one day in the life of the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas. Meet D. Gene Wilburn (Greg Dixon), the owner and proprietor of the Reel ‘Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. Well, it used to be, but lately business is down, tourists are few, and the lone guest who’s just checked in—an extremely jittery Carmine DeLuca (Tim Evans) from Chicago—is only there due to a location shift in the Witness Protection Program.
Doesn’t anybody just want to fish anymore? Certainly not D. Gene’s frustrated wife, Wanelle (Denise McCoy), who’s fed up with their lackluster romantic life. She’s taken drastic steps to improve it through hypnotic suggestion; and, for the life of him, D. Gene cannot understand why his pants keep falling down.
D. Gene’s feisty sister Maxie (Mary Grace Keller) has her own problems, chief among them battling ageism to resume her career in law enforcement. a task that’s going to prove to be much harder than she bargained for, since she keeps losing both  her gun  and  the bullets. And she never anticipated the gangster Camine’s been dodging for the last five years,   Sonny Barbosa (Chris Huffstetler), is about to walk through the door, in hot pursuit of his sexy wife, Lola (Caswell Martin).
   Seems the headstrong Lola has driven hundreds of miles to the lodge to follow her boytoy, D. Gene and Wanelle’s son, Ty (Mark Griffin). But Lola meets her match in Ty’s seemingly innocent girlfriend, Jenna (Maddie Spurling), whose patience has reached the breaking point after months of waiting for Ty to come home. Estelle Grabert completes the cast as Roxanne Thorne.
Priority is given to their supportive season members, and they can make a reservation to attend a performance for our plays. All others may purchase tickets at the box office or online at www.kmlt.org. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Reserved seating not claimed at least 10 minutes before show time are subject to release for purchase by others seeking tickets.
Season members may make reservations by calling the theater at 704-730-9408 and leaving a message or send a request to tickets@kmlt.org.