Storms, winds brought down trees Friday

By Loretta Cozart

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

The Original Drifters to headline the NC BeachBlast Festival

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

Taco Tuesday - Beef Our Community at 133 West

By Loretta Cozart

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

KMHM needs help with Toys, Games & Trains Exhibit


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

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

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

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

Photos by Damien Obrien

KMHS Awards
Night
rescheduled

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

A1A-The Ultimate Jimmy Buffett Tribute

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

(Photos provided)

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

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

Heavy traffic is expected in Downtown Kings Mountain, June 4, as The City of Kings Mountain hosts the Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In.
Roads impacted during the events will be Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets. As a result, the City is offering Shuttle Pick-Up and Drop-Off at the following locations:
• First Baptist Church-Located at 605 West King Street
• Parkdale Mill-Located at 500 South Railroad Avenue
• Patrick Senior Center-Located at 909 East Kings Street
Shuttle service will begin at 4:00 PM and end at 11:00 PM.
The City urges patrons to use the shuttle services as parking will be scarce in the downtown.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by road closures.
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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City of KM’s Special Events Dept.
announces road closures

The City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department will host the 2022 LIVE Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In on Saturday, June 4.
Several roads in the Downtown area will be impacted during the events. Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets will be closed beginning 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 4 and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 pm. Further information regarding road closures is listed below.
• Partial barricade placement will begin at 8:00 am – some roads will still be accessible during this time, but vehicles must be moved by 2:00 pm
• Additional barricade placement will begin at 2:00 pm
• Roads closed at 2:00 pm and remain closed until 11:00 pm (ALL unauthorized vehicles will be towed after 2:00 pm).
• Arrival time for Cruise-In participants will begin at 4:00 pm with the Cruise-In beginning at 5:00 pm. The concert will begin at 6:00 pm
• Participants in the Cruise-In and concert goers, must use thoroughfare King Street to Cansler Street for access to Railroad, Mountain and Gold Street
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.

Food manufacturer selects Gastonia for expansion and $42M investment

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

By Doug Sharp

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

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

Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast May 23

By Loretta Cozart

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

Classical Ballet students
to perform “Cinderella”

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

Classical Ballet students
to perform “Cinderella”

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

Streetscape project update

By Loretta Cozart

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

 
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Utz buys Benestar facility
in KM for $38.4 million

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

Election Day is Tuesday, May 17

​​Kings Mountain area voters will go to the polls Tuesday, May 17 and poll watchers say chief interest in the Primary are local and county races.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
Polling places inside the city are KM North, Patrick Senior Center, 909 E. King Street, and KM South at Mauney Memorial Library, 100 S. Piedmont Avenue. Other polling places: Bethware- Bethlehem Baptist Church Activities Center, 1017 Bethware Road; Oak Grove Baptist Church fellowship hall, 1022 Oak Grove Road; Grover Town Hall, 207 Mulberry Road, Grover; Waco, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 235 AW Black Street, Waco, KM voters in the Gaston County area of Kings Mountain, vote at the Patrick Center or Crowders Mountain Church.
The city election, where incumbents Mike Butler, Ward 2 councilman seeking a 5th four year-term, and Tommy Hawkins Ward 3 councilman, seeking a 4th four-year term, is shaping up to be the race to watch. Butler is challenged by Patty Hall and Hawkins is challenged by Jim Larson.
Cleveland County voters will also decide at the Primary election whether businesses can sell beer and wine countywide.
County Commissioners voted unanimously  on  Nov. 2, 2021, to put beer and fortified wine sales on the ballot to give businesses in unincorporating areas to have the same opportunities to sell in their businesses as the other 11 towns and cities in the county.
Eleven candidates are vying for four seats open on the county board of education and four candidates are running for two open seats on the board of commissioners.
In the board of education race, Meghan Hoppes, Democrat, is challenging the three incumbent Democrats Philip Glover, Coleman Hunt, and Dena Green, all of Shelby, while Republicans in the Primary are Aaron Bridges, incumbent Danny Blanton, Annette Fain, Ronnie Grigg all of Shelby, Dale Riviere Kings Mountain, Walter Scott Spurling of Lawndale and Glenda Womack, of Mooresboro, all Republicans.  The Primary voters will determine candidates on the ballots in November.
No Democrats are running for county committees. The number of Democrats was insufficient to require a Primary election. The three incumbents Philip Glover, Dena Green, and Coleman Hunt and Meghan Hoppes, challenger, will appear alongside the four winners of the Republican Primary election on May 17.
In the board of commissioner’s race David White of Shelby and Malarie Thompson, Lawndale, are challenging incumbent Republicans Deb Hardin and Doug Bridges, both of Shelby, in the Primary. Voters at the. The Primary will determine which two candidates will be on the ballots in November.
If a second Primary is needed it will be on July 5. The general election is scheduled for November 8.
Jeff Gregory of Cleveland County was one of 7 people filing for the US House District 10 Congressional seat.
Seventy-six candidates filed for local, county, state, US Senate, US House, Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court Associate justices during the filing period from Feb. 24-March 4.

Meet the candidates

Candidates running for election in the Kings Mountain City Council, County Board of Education, and County Board of Commissioners were asked to submit their platforms to share with our readers. Their answers are below. Candidates are listed alphabetically.

CITY COUNCIL
WARD 2


MIKE BUTLER
I am asking for your support and vote on May 17. I have lived in Ward 2 for 50 years with my wife, Kathy. I will work for you to serve your problems with the city.
New Economic Development includes the following:
• City council approved agreement with Equus Partners for a new 100,000 square foot building for a new industry.
• City council approved agreement with Benestar Brands new 125,000 square foot building, 129 jobs at $41,969 average salary.
• City Council state approved grant for Cryton renovation of 114,815. Square feet, 10 new jobs
• City Council approved matching grant to Appalachian Gear company downtown showrooms and plant, up to 25 jobs.
•  City Council approved agreement with TKCMLC new 1,200,200 square feet industry building.
• Biscuitville and Starbucks on York Road, both completed.
Thank you for your past and continued support. If you need a ride to vote, please call me.

PATTY HALL
“I take any job I undertake seriously and that’s my pledge to voters in Ward 2 if they elect me,’’ says Patty Hall, candidate for Ward 2 city commissioner.
Since September 1993 Hall has been head of the City of Cherryville Water Department and has served and certified for over 20 years as an examiner of tests submitted by water treatment plants.
“I have a great staff at the water plant, and I don’t ask them to do anything I can’t do,’’ she added. During her career in the water treatment industry, she also worked for six years at the Bessemer City water plant. For over two years she worked with Division of Social Services working with disadvantaged children.
Patty and Stanley Hall were married in 1977. They like to spend time with family and spoil their nieces and nephews.
    The Halls are active in Tabernacle Baptist Church.

CITY COUNCIL
WARD 3


TOMMY HAWKINS
A lot of good things are happening in Kings Mountain for all of us and I want to continue to be part of the excitement while working with council and staff to see those projects successful and bring the best quality of life for all our citizens.
I thank you for your friendship and support as I have served 12 years as representative of Ward 3 on City Council and I ask for your continued support and friendship.
   I was born and raised in Kings Mountain and my wife, Kay, and I raised our three daughters here and they have given us three precious grandchildren.
Educated at Kings Mountain High School and Gaston College, I am retired after 42 years with Campbell Soups and am operating my own business, Tommy’s Birdhouses. I have been a member of First Wesleyan Church on N. Piedmont Avenue for 58 years and active in Kings Mountain’s Chapter of Gideons International.

JIM LARSON
Born in Memphis and later relocating to Ohio, Jim married his high school sweetheart Penny. Now married 41 years, Jim and Penny have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. The family home is within Ward 3 in Kings Mountain.
Jim served 11 years in the military serving in the United States Marine Corps, honing his leadership skills, and studied at Coastal Carolina University and Eastern Carolina University while stationed in the Carolinas. Since leaving the Marine Corps, Jim has had a 37-year career in advanced technology working in a variety of engineering field service and sales roles.
For the last 22 years Jim has worked for the Walt Disney company as a leader in their critical facility organization. Jim was a member of the core team that selected Kings Mountain as the location for Disney’s largest technology center. Jim has been the site’s operations leader.
   Drawn to Kings Mountain’s charm and attributes, Jim moved his family to town in 2012 and became active members of Central United Methodist Church and leads the church-wide Sunday School class at Central. He enjoys hunting and spending time with his family.
“Kings Mountain offers so much to the residents and visitors and it’s where my family calls home,’’ says Jim. He says he looks forward to serving the community as the Ward 3 representative to Kings Mountain City Council.

BOARD OF
EDUCATION


DANNY BLANTON
• Our teachers and students come first.
• I will be transparent with taxpayers.
• I vow to closely monitor spending and ask questions to get answers for taxpayers.
• I believe curriculum should be personalized to meet individual student needs including preparing them for entry into the workplace.
• Being a leader sometimes requires making difficult decisions. I will approach them with common sense for our teachers and children’s best interest and safety.

AARON BRIDGES
• My name is Aaron Bridges, born and raised in Cleveland County.
• I am a parent, a concerned citizen and graduate of Cleveland County Schools.
• I see the direction of the Educational System in America and it has motivated me to run here for our local school board. I see other school systems across the US and want to ensure Cleveland County gives our students the best educational experience possible. I want my children and the children of Cleveland County to have the resources they need at their disposal to help make them successful.
• I am one individual attempting to make a difference and will work to the best of my ability if elected to the Board of Education.
• Please vote for Aaron Bridges for Cleveland County Board of Education in 2022. Thank You.

ANNETTE FAIN
• I WILL be your voice for the children that come first, for the parents to be heard and for the educators.
• I WILL put an end to CRT/TSEL and SEL and make sure the 3R’s and our factual American History stories are taught.
• I WILL make sure our students are served nutritional meals and make sure all schools follow the same policy manual for Cleveland County Schools.
• Take a chance to make the change! Vote for Annette Fain for the Cleveland County Board of Education.

RONNIE GRIGG
• Make that change May 17. Our children come first! Your vote is your voice.

DALE RIVIERE
• I Serve God.
• I served 7 years in the US Marine Corps.
• I serve as a baseball coach at the local YMCA.
• I serve on international mission trips.
• I serve as a husband to my beautiful wife.
• I serve as a father to my incredible children.
• I want to serve our school system and community.
I will bring sound and logical leadership to the Board of Education and work together with our existing members to accomplish what is best for our children. I promise to be a champion in parent choice based on my faith in Christ and the morals and ethics that I have held true to since becoming a servant of God. This school system means so much to us (Cleveland County) residents and with a Board of Education that can work together for good we can put the job of teacher into the teacher’s hands, the job of staff into the staff’s hands, and the job of parents in parents’ hands like it should be and move past politics into common sense decisions and making for the well-being and education of our students, our children.

WALTER SCOTT SPURLING
Walter Scott Spurling is a native of Belwood, NC. He graduated from Burns High School in 1985 and Nashville Auto Diesel College in 1986. In November 1987 he entered the US Army, completed basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri and Advanced Individual Training at Redstone Arsenal, Fort Belvoir, VA (where their oldest son, Lee, was born), Germany (where their youngest, Dustin, was born), Fort Eustis, VA, Japan, and Hawaii.
Walter has been to many countries in the Middle East, including England, Poland, Austria, France, Turkey, Iraq, just about all the countries in the Middle East, South Korea, Australia and more.
He retired on Jan. 1, 2014, and returned to Cleveland County. He taught at Crest High School for 3.5 years and is currently teaching at Cleveland Community College.

GLENDA WOMACK
I am a Christian Mom who wants to protect all the children from the craziness that’s sweeping our nation.
I believe that:
• Schools should be open with no mandates for masks or Covid shots to attend.
• Every student should be taught History from a viewpoint how and why we became the greatest nation on Earth and worth defending.
• Parents need to be involved by knowing what their child is learning and attending board meetings to express their concerns for the schools and their children.
• People should be judged by their character and not the color of their skin.
The name “Restroom Roy” on bathrooms, if  so named, should be changed to make them unmistakably understood the difference in which God made us.
• Support the teachers to create a good work environment for them to teach.
Born and raised in South Carolina, I graduated from Crest High School and USC Spartanburg with BS in Business Administration. I became a stay-at-home Mom after the birth of our second child. John Womack and I have been married 16 years and our three children will be attending Boiling Springs, Elementary, Crest Middle and Crest High next school year. We live in Mooresboro.  Our family is active in Camps Creek Baptist Church,
Many parents across the US are battling obstacles concerning their child’s education, and some schools closed. Children got behind in their studies. Students were indoctrinated at all levels with critical race theory to further divide races, peoples, and religion. Gender identity issues have been promoted in such a way that rules have been made that cross the line and create unsafe places for kids to thrive.
I decided to run for the school board to give parents a voice in the decision making of our board. I ask for your vote at the polls on May 17.

BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS


DOUG BRIDGES
   It is an honor to serve as a Cleveland County Commissioner. I have been involved in many programs to make our county a better place.
   Economic development, public safety and community wellness are only a few of the services. We weathered a pandemic, recreated new jobs, adopted a land use plan, and cut taxes. We have made our county stronger but there is still work to do.
Please vote for Doug Bridges for County Commissioner.

DEB HARDIN
From a dying county in 2016 to topping 100,000 in the census released in 2021, Cleveland County continues to prosper. Even with prosperity we still have work to do.
Public safety is of utmost importance. New construction added a new EMS base in Casar. The very first day 9-1-1 received a call of a pediatric seizure. The response time was 2 minutes.
Open market for commercial waste haulers is now a reality, ending a one hauler franchise. We now have 16 haulers participating.
Economic development from December 2018 to December 2021 was over 265 million and created over 1,000 new jobs.
Manufacturing continues to grow, and we hope to focus not only on blue collar but white-collar workers as well.
County taxes were cut 3.25 cents, below revenue neutral in 2020.
I would like to thank the citizens of Cleveland County for trusting me to serve this term and I am hopeful with your vote and support to continue working for you, making Cleveland County a better place to live, work, and play.

MALARIE THOMPSON
I am a Christian Conservative Republican looking to represent all voices in Cleveland County.  I will put the needs of the community first and invest in our current county residents. I am a resident of Upper Cleveland County and will work to represent the views of our townships and unincorporated areas. I truly care for our community and keeping our county heritage strong. Vote Thompson for Cleveland County Commissioner.

DAVID WHITE
It would be an honor for me to serve as County Commissioner for Cleveland County.
•If elected, I promise to listen to the people of this great county and do my best to serve you.
•I would like to see a growth in economic development throughout the county while supporting our local businesses.
• I would also like to see an increase in our promotion of bringing more tourists to this beautiful county we live in.
• Further, I would like to dig deeper into finding funding for programs that help support local farmers and continue to support our recycling program.
•  I also believe that our future, the youth of Cleveland County, need programs to provide them with the skills and education to thrive in this world and to become upstanding adults.
• I firmly believe in being transparent with anyone and I would appreciate your vote on May 17th.

WARD 2

MIKE BUTLER
PATTY HALL

WARD 3

TOMMY HAWKINS
JIM LARSON

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

DOUG BRIDGES
DEB HARDIN
DAVID WHITE

MALARIE THOMPSON
 

BOARD OF EDUCATION

AARON BRIDGES
DANNY BLANTON
ANNETTE FAIN
RONNIE GRIGG
DALE RIVIERE
W. SCOTT SPURLING
GLENDA WOMACK

FIVE CANDIDATES RUN UNOPPOSED

DAVID ALLEN
TIM MOORE
ALAN NORMAN
KELLY HASTINGS

TED ALEXANDER


Running unopposed for re-election are At-Large City Councilman David Allen, NC House Representative for Cleveland County Tim Moore, who is also Speaker of the NC House of Representatives, Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman, NC Rep. Kelly Hastings, and Senator Ted Alexander, all Republicans.
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Mayor Scott Neisler being sworn as president of NCLM. Photo by NCLM

Mayor Neisler leads NCLM
as President

Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler will lead the North Carolina League of Municipalities as president over the next year.
Neisler was chosen by representatives from cities and towns across North Carolina via electronic vote held April 15-20, with his selection announced Thursday at NCLM’s annual conference, CityVision 2022, held in Wilmington, NC.
Joining Neisler as officers for the organization are Fuquay-Varina Town Commissioner William Harris and Durham Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton, first and second vice presidents, respectively, and Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander as immediate past president.
CityVision 2022 included in-depth sessions, presentations and discussions of key topics including community development, affordable housing, the federal American Rescue Plan, leadership, climate resilience and other key issues facing municipalities.
   Neisler’s selection as president follows a long tenure of public service. Neisler served one term on the King’s Mountain city council beginning in 1989, and three terms as mayor beginning in 1991. He was then re-elected mayor in 2015. In addition to his elected positions, Neisler worked 37 years in his family’s textile business, Dicey Fabrics, and he is presently the general manager of radio station AM 1450 WGNC in Gastonia.
   In his remarks at CityVision, Neisler lauded the accomplishments of his peers, and spoke of his vision for the future of the organization.
   “The successes of our state and our cities and towns did not happen by accident. This next year will be no different as we tackle our biggest issues, move our state forward, and continue to serve our communities,” said Neisler.
   League Executive Director Rose Vaughn Williams said Neisler, through his experience and commitment to public service, will bring strong leadership to the organization.
   “It is due to local leaders like Mayor Neisler that our state is as strong as it is, and that our organization is as robust as it is. I could not be more proud to have Mayor Neisler, Commissioner Harris, and Mayor Pro Tem Middleton, along with the entire Board of Directors, lead the NC League this coming year,” said Williams.
   In addition to NCLM officers, newly elected members of the Board of Directors, chosen for either a first term or additional second term, are:
Mayor Elizabeth Morey, Southern Shores; Mayor Terry Mann, Whiteville; Councilmember TJ Walker, Rocky Mount; Alderwoman Sona Cooper, Spring Lake; Mayor Mike Horn, Lewisville; Mayor Pro Tem Phyllis Harris, Mount Holly; Councilmember Leonardo Williams, Durham; Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, Greensboro; Councilmember Larken Egleston, Charlotte; Councilmember Owen Thomas, Lumberton; Mayor Pro Tem Martha Sue Hall, Albemarle; Councilmember John Ellen, Kure Beach; Tasha Logan Ford, Manager, High Point; Brenda Blanco, Clerk, New Bern; and Karen McDonald, Attorney, Fayetteville.
   The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a member-driven organization representing the interests of cities and towns in the state. Through their collective efforts, League member cities and towns better serve their residents and improve quality of life.
   For more than 100 years, the League has been one voice for cities and towns working for a better North Carolina.
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National Day of Prayer 
May 5 at  City Hall

Thursday,
May 5, 2022
12 Noon



The ministers of the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association along with the Mayor and the City Council of Kings Mountain extend an invitation to the citizens of Kings Mountain and surrounding communities to attend the observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5 at 12 noon at City Hall to pray for our nation.  The theme this year is “Exalt the Lord, Who Has Established Us” based on Colossians 2:6-7.
     Our honorable Mayor Scott Neisler will call us to a season of prayer followed with the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag, the National Anthem, other special music, and then a time of prayer for our community and our nation.  You are invited to be part of this prayer gathering as we join our fellow citizens across America as we exalt the Lord remembering that it is He who has established and sustains us as a nation.
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Dr. George Plonk with his wife Esther Muench Plonk at his 100th celebration at the American Legion. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Dr. George Plonk
dies at age 103

By Loretta Cozart

Dr. George Plonk, 103, passed away on April 24 in the very hospital that he took care of so many Kings Mountain citizens since 1957.
Dr. Plonk grew up with nine siblings on a farm between Kings Mountain and Cherryville. His education took him from the one-room Plonk schoolhouse to Kings Mountain High School, to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his certificate from the American Board of Surgery declaring that he was a Board-certified surgeon in 1952.
He served two years in the US Army during World War II as a physician in Europe, then worked in general practice in Murphy, NC and Raleigh, NC until he returned to Kings Mountain in 1957 to become Kings Mountain Hospital’s first resident surgeon. He retired from his practice in 1984.
Dr. Plonk was well-known for his ability to tell a good story and he continued that tradition throughout his lifetime. According to his family, “He told a story with passion, humor, and humility making it interesting and endearing regardless of topic or timeframe.”
During his career, Dr. Plonk tended and mended the citizens of this region as one of its most respected doctors for over forty years. In an interview when he was 95-years old, Dr. Plonk spoke about the doctors who came before him, namely Dr. James Wright Tracy and his role in founding the City of Kings Mountain. He also described the doctors of his childhood.
Dr. Plonk still knew how to tell a delightful story and amused many with his observations on life. He earned a good education and saw the world while serving his country. He returned to Kings Mountain and raised a family, and he served the community here during his lengthy career in medicine.
Dr. Plonks funeral was April 30 at Advent Lutheran Church.
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Who’s Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience

Concert Series kicks off this weekend

First Concert
of the Year:
Saturday, May 7
in Downtown
Kings Mountain

The City of Kings Mountain welcomes Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience LIVE at Patriots Park, Saturday, May 7, 2022.
Covering the King of Pop’s catalog of hits, Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience’s stage show celebrates the life of one of the greatest entertainers in music history.
Named #7 tribute band in the country, Who’s Bad is sure to be a show you will not forget.
The Party Prophets with Gene Pharr and Cindy Floyd will open the show at 6:00 pm followed by Who’s Bad at 8:30 pm. Look for DJs Tony Cutlass, Eric Bowman, and Johnny B too.
Don’t forget our Cruise-In.
It begins at 5:00 pm. All makes and models are welcome.
Great food, inflatables for the kids and much more!
Best of all, the concert and cruise-in are FREE.
Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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City of KM Special Events
hosts Cruise-In Saturday

Cruise-In
coincides with
Concert Series,
set to kick off
May 7

Get your motor running!  Some very cool rides are heading to Downtown Kings Mountain as the City of Kings Mountain kicks off its annual Live at Patriots Park Cruise-In on Saturday, May 7.
Local car enthusiasts will fill the streets in the Downtown with their favorite street or stock cars, trucks, and motorcycles too. The Cruise-In, will coincide with the 2022 Live Music at Patriots Park Concert Series scheduled to kick off the same day.
Both the Cruise-In and Concert Series are scheduled to run monthly May-October. The dates of the events include May 7, June 4, July 16, September 10, and October 1.  Roads impacted during the events will be Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street and a portion of West Mountain, and South Cansler Streets.
The Cruise-In will start at 5:00pm each night of the Concert Series.
With live music, cool rides, and great food, you do not want to miss this series.
Want to participate in the Cruise-In? All makes and model are welcome! No fee required. It’s FREE!
For more information on the Cruise-In or Concert Series, 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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Servants Voices

Harris Funeral Home Free Annual Spring Concert

Harris Funeral Home will hold their Free Annual Spring Concert on their lawn, May 7 at 6:00 p.m. Servants Voices will be the featured group. Christian music, fellowship and a celebration of Mother’s Day will be enjoyed by all. Bring your lawn chairs.  Harris Funeral Home is located at 108 S. Piedmont Ave., Kings Mountain.

(Photo provided)
 
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The petting zoo is fun for all ages. (Photo by Loretta Cozart)

Earth Day celebration
draws thousands

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s Earth Day, sponsored by Gateway Trail, City of Kings Mountain Special Events, and Mauney Memorial Library, kicked off at 11 a.m. on April 30 at 807 South Battleground Avenue just south of downtown.
At 12:15 p.m. Mayor Neisler, assisted by Councilmen Dave Allen and Mike Butler, released Painted Lady butterflies. Children participated with individual butterfly releases using packets handed out to as many as the supply would accommodate.
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. Kings Mountain High School Interact Club has taken on the project, and it was incorporated into the event. To raise awareness, guests spread the red sand between the cracks of the sidewalk as a reminder of how those being trafficked are often overlooked.
An estimated three thousand guests visited the Gateway Trail trailhead, enjoying a variety of events until 3 p.m. Activities included an appearance by survivalist, Spencer Bolejack of Discovery Channel’s Hillbilly Blood. Tonal Spectrum, Crest High School’s Acapella group, also performed.
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.
Both young and old enjoyed music, food, face painting, balloon art, petting zoo, and entertainment throughout the early afternoon.

Page and Teague plead guilty
for $4 Million Ponzi scheme


The founders of a fake “hedge fund” appeared in court today and pleaded guilty to federal charges for orchestrating a $4 million Ponzi scheme, announced Dena J. King, U.S.  Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Austin Delano Page, 26, of Grover, N.C., pleaded guilty to wire fraud, and Brandon Alexander Teague, 26, of Belmont, N.C., pleaded guilty to securities fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler accepted the defendants’ guilty pleas, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of NC.
   North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall, Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, join U.S. Attorney King in making the announcement.
See GUILTY, Page 5A
From Page 1A
According to filed plea documents and the plea hearings, from October 2020 to December 2021, Page and Teague engaged in an investment scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors, some of whom were at or near retirement age, of more than $4 million. Court documents show that the defendants falsely represented to victims that Page and Teague were running a hedge fund in Kings Mountain, N.C., D&T Investment Group (D&T), that invested in various securities, including stock of well-known companies like Apple. Contrary to representations made to victim investors, D&T was not a hedge fund and it did not hold any securities licenses or registrations. Also, Page and Teague were not licensed to sell securities and did not have a background associated with the sale of securities. In fact, prior to orchestrating the investment scheme the defendants sold campers.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, Page and Teague required investors to sign, among other documents, an investment contract with D&T. These documents contained false information, including that D&T would guarantee 100% of the investors’ initial investment, and that investors would receive 70% of the trading profits. In reality, the investors’ money was not guaranteed, and the purported “profits” investors received were Ponzi-style payments, whereby the defendants used new investors’ money to make payments to existing investors. To cover up the fraud, Page and Teague sent victim investors monthly statements that reflected fictitious trading gains. When certain investors and D&T employees began to question the legitimacy of D&T’s operations, Page created fictitious screenshots of various financial accounts that reflected inflated D&T account balances. For example, Page created a fake screenshot of a D&T brokerage account that reflected a balance of over $16,000,000, when in reality the account had a balance of less than   $7.00.
   Contrary to representations made to victims, their money was not generally invested in securities. In addition to making Ponzi payments to investors, a significant portion of the funds was used to pay excessive salaries and other compensation to D&T employees, including to members of Page’s family. For example, Page paid several D&T employees annual salaries of over $100,000 and also paid certain employees several thousand dollars each for getting the D&T company logo tattooed on their bodies. The defendants also squandered victims’ money on personal expenses such as clothing, jewelry, travel, luxury car rentals, and to make cash withdrawals.
   On December 2, 2021, as the fraudulent scheme was collapsing, the defendants traveled to Italy. On the same day, Page informed D&T employees, who did not know that D&T was a fraud, that they would be closing the company. The pair was arrested on New Year’s Eve at JFK Airport in New York upon their voluntary return to the United States.
   The defendants were released on bond with home detention and location monitoring following the plea hearings. Page pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Teague pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date for the defendants has not been set.
   In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State, the FBI and USPIS for their investigation of the case.
   Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, oversees the prosecution.
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Bring your lawn chair and join the fun at Pickin’ at the Park on Thursday nights.

Pickin’ at the Park
resumes May 19

Thursday nights in Downtown Kings Mountain will sound much sweeter this Summer as the City of Kings Mountain and the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame partner to host Pickin’ at the Park.
Pickin’ at the Park is an acoustic jam session which will run every Thursday night at the Gazebo located in Patriots Park. Kick-off to this FREE series begins May 19th at 6:00 pm.
• Bring your lawn chair and join the fun.
• Want to participate? All pickers are welcome!
• Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain.
For more information on Pickin’ at the Park, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame at 704-860-4068.
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Early Voting Thursday,
what you need to know

The hours for Early voting ahead of the May 17 Primary Election are 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. weekdays beginning April 28 and Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life and Conference Center, 909 E. King Street, Kings Mountain.
• No photo is required to vote.
• If you haven’t registered, you can register, vote, and make address changes all in the same day.
• 17-year-olds can vote in the Primary if you will be 18 by Nov. 8. You can’t vote in the county-wide beer and fortified wine referendum nor in the Kings Mountain city election.
• Republicans must vote a Republican ticket, Democrats must vote a Democrat ticket, Libertarians must vote a non-partisan ticket, Unaffiliated may choose a Republican or non-partisan ballot.
• Deadline to request absentee ballot from the Cleveland County Board of Elections, Shelby, is May 10.
• The Primary Election is May 17.
• If a second Primary is needed, it will be held on July 5. The General Election is Nov. 8, 2022.
See early voting information and sample ballots on page 2A.
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Scene from last year’s Butterfly Release. (Photo provided)

City of KM Special Events hosts
Earth Day April 30
at Gateway Trail

If you are eager to get outside and enjoy the natural environment around you, make plans to attend the annual Earth celebration on Saturday, April 30, 2022. The City of Kings Mountain will host the Earth Day celebration in partnership with the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. Various community organizations and vendors will provide free activities. Festivities will include, a Drum Circle, Animal Petting Zoo, Instrument Petting Zoo, Balloon Art, Face Painting, Chainsaw Art, Food Vendors, Upcycle Artisans, Entertainment and so much more!
Survivalist and star of the Discovery Channels Hillbilly Blood, Spencer Bolejack will be on hand for meet and greets. Enjoy music provided by Spencer’s band, Spencer and Company and Vintage Vibe as well.
Ed’s Dinosaurs Live will bring some very cool dinosaur friends to the trails.
The Butterfly Release is by far a crowd favorite! Crowds will gather to participate as we release 10 dozen 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!
For more information on the Concert Series or Cruise-In, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-730-2101, or visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.Com. You may also visit their Facebook page at @cityofkmspecialevents.
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Will Ayers and Cole Freeman welcome customers to their anniversary on May 5. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Second Appreciation to
celebrate fourth anniversary

By Loretta Cozart

Second Appreciation, at 108 W Gold St in Kings Mountain, will celebrate their fourth anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo craft event on Thursday, May 5 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and have an Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye) FREE Make It or Take It activity hosted by Tammy & Marie Lafitte. The kit comes with yarn, sticks & how-to instructions.
Owners Cole Freeman and Will Ayers started Second Appreciation after meeting at Catawba Antique Mall in Belmont. “We combined inventories and began our adventures together with this store,” said Cole.
When you walk into the store, you are greeted with an eclectic collection of things, from household items, vintage clothing, and repurposed items, the most interesting pieces of which have been acquired or found.
“We used barnwood to decorate the store, and Will made console tables and other pieces of furniture from that wood,  as  well,” said Cole.
“We even found a chair on the side of the road and kept it for a while until we found some retro fabric and reupholstered it. It is one of our favorite pieces.”
It is not unusual for customer to comment, “This is what Aunt Bessie had,” said Will. “People love the store because what we have is different and unique. We enjoy giving pieces a second life.” And that is why they named their store “Second Appreciation.”
“Seventy-five percent of the items in the store found us, or we found them,” Cole said. “Real wood furniture is hard to come by these days, so we try to refinish it or just oil it. On occasion, we will paint the item if it is laminated. But those instances are rare.”
“We do not do consignment anymore, but sometimes local artists reach out to us. That is how we met Tammy Lafitte and we have some of her work on display, including tapestries and mixed media.”
In addition, they have an old icebox from the Paul Neisler home on Gaston Street. “We were also given an aluminum cabinet with a cast iron top by the new owners of that house, and we now use it,” said Will.
 “We cater to folks who are looking for interesting and unusual items you just do not see in the stores anymore, and for those who appreciate upcycling when they decorate their homes. Of course, folks can always stop in and take look around.” said Cole.
   One thing is for certain, when you walk through their store you will find an item that transports you back in time. 
 

Roadwork continues near the casino

By Loretta Cozart

Roadwork near the casino and I-85, Exit 5, continue as work continues work on the bridge and infrastructure nearby. Trenches are being dug along the roadway to accommodate stormwater pipes that are staged nearby. Trees have been cleared, and a road cut. on land currently owned by E5 Holdings, the future home of planned hotels across the road from Catawba Two Kings Casino. The new sign has been in place for months and announces to visitors that they have arrived at North Carolina’s newest casino.
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New light poles going up

New light poles are going up on Shelby Road at the intersections of Castlewood Drive and Roxford Road. Take extra precautions in the area as traffic lights are being installed.

Photo Loretta Cozart
 
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City announces road closures during concert series

The City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department will kick off the 2022 LIVE Music at Patriots Park Concert Series and Cruise-In, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Several roads in the Downtown area will be impacted during the events. Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street surrounding Patriots Park and a portion of West Mountain and South Cansler Streets will be closed beginning 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 7th, 2022 and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 pm. Further information regarding road closures is listed below.
• Partial barricade placement will begin at 8:00 am – some roads will still be accessible during this time but vehicles must be moved by 2:00 pm
• Additional barricade placement will begin at 2:00 pm
• Roads closed at 2:00 pm and remain closed until 11:00 pm (All unauthorized vehicles will be towed after 2:00 pm)
• Arrival time for Cruise-In participants will begin at 4:00 pm with the Cruise-In beginning at 5:00 pm. Concert will begin at 6:00 pm
• Participants in the Cruise-In and concert goers, must use thoroughfare King Street to Cansler Street for access to Railroad, Mountain and Gold Street
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through Downtown Kings Mountain due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this change.
For more information on the Concert Series or
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Candidate forum Thursday Night

By Lib Stewart

A candidate forum for Republican candidates for county commissioner and county board of education will be held Thursday, April 21, by Cleveland Community College.
The forum for commissioner candidates is at 6:30 p.m. and the board of education forum for candidates is at 8 p.m.
Tune-in to C19TV on Spectrum Cable and to stream online at www.c19tv. Repeat telecasts will be aired over the following weeks leading up to election day May 17.
Seating at Cleveland Community College is limited to one guest per candidate. Seats will be available on a first-come basis.
Four  candidates are running for two seats for county commission  and  seven candidates running for four seats for school board.
 

Early voting starts
next Thursday 

By Lib Stewart

Early voting for the May 17, 2022, Primary Election begins Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Life & Conference Center, 909 East King Street, Kings Mountain.
The hours are 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Elections Director Clifton Philbeck reminds that all Cleveland County registered voters are eligible to vote in the upcoming May 17 Primary election. Two parties - Republican and Democrat - have primary elections, the City of Kings Mountain has a municipal election and Cleveland County is holding a beer and wine referendum.
Philbeck reminds that the Republican and Democrat Primaries are semi-closed which means that registered Republicans must vote a Republican ballot, registered Democrats must vote a Democrat ballot, registered Libertarians must vote a non-partisan ballot, registered Unaffiliated can choose a Republican or Nonpartisan ballot. 17-year-olds can vote in the May 17 Primary if they are 18 years old by November 8, 2022. 17-year-olds cannot vote in the non-partisan races – Kings Mountain municipal election or Cleveland County beer and wine referendum.
The deadline to register to vote and make any changes to current registration is April 22 at 5 p.m. with the Board of Elections. If someone misses this deadline, they will be allowed same day to register and vote and make changes during early voting.
Deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 10, 2022, with the Cleveland County Board of Elections, 215 Patton Drive, Shelby, NC 28150.
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Pictured at the April 11 Share Change presentation (L-R) Melissa McSwain, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County; Trent Troxel, Vice President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority; Dwayne Rogers, a council member on the Catawba Nation Executive Committee; Catawba Nation Assistant Chief Jason Harris; and Peter Bagley, Executive Director of Children’s Homes of Cleveland County. Photo Catawba provided by Two Kings Casino

Catawba Two Kings Casino
makes donations of $7,000
to local nonprofits

The Catawba Two Kings Casino Share Change program has raised a total of $7,000 for two organizations: the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County and Children’s Homes of Cleveland County.
Share Change, the Catawba Nation’s charitable initiative through the casino, enables patrons to donate the remaining change on slot vouchers by dropping them in wishing wells and large ticket barrels located on the casino floor. Each organization received $3,500, with the funds being raised from January through March 31, 2022.
“The Share Change program is an important initiative to help the Catawba Nation and Catawba Two Kings Casino make a positive change in the community,” Catawba Assistant Chief Jason Harris said. “We are thankful for our generous casino patrons and are happy to support these worthy organizations.”
Since its founding in 1962, the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County has advocated for the needs of adults and children   with   psychiatric  and emotional difficulties in Cleveland County.
The mission of the organization is to promote mental health in the community through education, advocacy, and support. It strives to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and create an informed community of citizens, who then promote mental health and defend and support the rights of those persons impacted by mental illness.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous contribution from the Catawba Two Kings Casino,” said Melodie McSwain, executive director for the Mental Health Association of Cleveland County. “As a small organization, this donation will go a long way toward helping us accomplish our mission of helping individuals and families facing mental health challenges in Cleveland County.”
   Children’s Homes of Cleveland County is a human services agency that began in 1969 as a shelter home serving homeless youth. It has evolved to include two group homes, an outpatient therapy clinic, adoption services, parenting and coparenting classes, supervised family and sibling visitation, and independent living readiness. It also offers residential options for youth aging out of the foster care system. All programs and services are trauma-informed and evidence-based and are available to the community at large.
   “We are so grateful for the support of Catawba Two Kings Casino and their patrons,” said Peter Bagley, executive director of Children’s Homes of Cleveland County. “The generosity is helping to meet the daily needs of abused and neglected children, in addition to supporting and restoring families, to helping kids find new forever homes, to helping people of all ages with their mental health needs. It will help young people successfully transition from foster care to full independence and is the kind of collaboration that makes Cleveland County such a great place to be.”
   The casino launched the Share Change program several weeks after its July opening, and new charitable recipients are designated every three months. The program has now raised $27,000 for local organizations.
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KMPD Welcomes Officer Hoyle

Kings Mountain Police Department welcomes Officer Robert Hoyle. Pictured L-R: Assistant Chief Chris Moore, Officer Hoyle, Chief Lisa Proctor and Lt. Lance Hamrick.

Photo provided
 
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Keep that stormwater flowing

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

April 16 at Mayor Rick Murphrey Children’s Park

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

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

Sheriff needs help
finding missing person

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