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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
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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
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
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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 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 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
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Hord Mansion on its centennial in April 2023. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Hord Mansion

Kings Mountain residents visited the Hord Mansion to celebrate the building’s 100th birthday on Wednesday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A steady stream of visitors dropped in throughout the day, keeping library staff busy as they shared this once beautiful home and its history with the city’s residents.
Approaching the front steps to the mansion, flowers decorated each side of the entryway. Once inside,a beautiful floral arrangement greeted guests in the foyer. Refreshments were offered just beyond the library desk, and a collection of pictures, memorabilia, and ephemera of the Hord Mansion was on display throughout the main level of the home, encouraging visitors to walk through the facility and admire the recent restorations overseen by Library Director Christina Martin.
A highlight of the event was a tour of the library’s second floor, a space that is normally off-limits to the public. During recent renovations, this part of the facility saw the most repair as it was brought back to life with plasterwork and paint. A once leaky roof had allowed water in, that damaged the ceiling and walls. Period light fixtures replaced ones that didn’t match the original style of the home. The library’s roof was replaced in 2022, and windows throughout the building were repaired and reglazed.
      Aside from the roof and windows, the front columns of the Hord Mansion were also repaired, due to cracks in the stucco.
    Dr. Jacob George Van Buren Hord built the mansion in 1923. It was donated to the city of Kings Mountain for use as a library by the children of Jacob S. and Margaret Juletta Mauney in 1947. From 1947 to about 1962–1963, the building also functioned as a teacherage for the Kings Mountain school system.
   The Hord Mansion is a two-story, five bay, yellow-brick Southern Colonial Revival-style house. The front facade features a two-story, pedimented tetrastyle portico with stucco-finished masonry columns.
   The library renovation was completed in July 2021, and revealed to the Herald for an exclusive story. During the prior year, the facility underwent some much-needed renovations, including a new roof, plasterwork, paint, window restoration, new storm windows, and new flooring.
   One of the first projects was to restore the windows throughout the home, and there are more than forty of them. Each window had to be removed and taken offsite to clean, remove years of old paint, repaint, and reglazed.
   The windows were painstakingly removed, marked, repaired, and reinstalled in their original place in the building. Storm windows were allowed by the National Register of Historic Places to protect the original single-pane windows.
   In an interview with Library Director Christina Martin, she shared an interesting tidbit discovered during the renovation, “We learned that a small detail in each window indicated the wealth of Dr. J.G. Hord. The window company owner came to give us an estimate and he touched this little piece of gingerbread and asked, ‘Do you know what that means? It means they had money.’”
   The small pieces of gingerbread in each window were hand carved, which took time and added to the cost of the home. The house was built in a time when Kings Mountain had fewer than 3,000 people, and most of the homes in town were built by the mill at a cost of $1,200, or less. Kings Mountain had its share of nicer homes at the time, but the majority were modest dwellings for millworkers and shopkeepers. Without records, it is unclear the exact cost to build the Hord Mansion, but from the home’s detail one can see that Dr. Hord was a wealthy man.
   Library staff worked diligently to preserve and restore the Hord Mansion as closely as possible to its original state in 1923. Without the home’s original plans, staff could only guess what once was. Even so, their hard work and dedication, along with city funding, keeps this special building alive to serve the people of Kings Mountain for another century.
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Seeds for a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers are available for citizens to pick-up at the library.

Seed library is open at
Mauney Memorial Library

The seed library at Mauney Memorial Library is restocked and ready to go. They have a wide variety of open-pollinated heirloom seeds. Let's get growing, Kings Mountain!
Seeds are free to all community members! Sign up one time, then you may take up to 10 packets of seeds per season. Right now, they have a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and flower seeds, and they will add more soon.
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Steve Watkins and Pauline Elliott sharing food with the community. Photos by Loretta Cozart

Mt. Olive Baptist Church food
giveaway helps those in need

By Loretta Cozart

On Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Mt. Olive Baptist Church (MOBC) held their food giveaway at 146 Dixon School Road, helping those in need from the community. The event is held every other week at the church.
The program is supported by Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, and church members served 60 families in three hours.
The church’s website shares, “With such abundance in our country there are people going without food each night here in our community. MOBC Ministries serve the underserved in our community as compelled by our Savior Jesus Christ We’re here to serve!”
Between visitors, volunteers filled bags with groceries. Laughter filled the air as they went about their work. As a car approached, members carried bags to the vehicle and, recognizing the visitor, asked about their family and the health of loved ones. While gettingfood to the hungry is their main goal, souls are also nurtured.
In addition to their Food Giveaway, the church also has a meals on wheels program, feeding as many as 150 people in the community.
   “Here at Mt Olive Baptist our mission is to spread the gospel throughout the world. We do this through our local and global mission projects. This ranges from feeding the hungry right here in our backyard to sending food and health supplies overseas,” Deacon Charles Stephens said.
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The Project Center, Albemarle Lithium’s new information center, at 129 W. Mountain Street in Kings Mountain is scheduled to open in April. Photo by Loretta Cozart

The Project Center, Albemarle Lithium’s new information center,

The Project Center, Albemarle Lithium’s new information center, at 129 W. Mountain Street in Kings Mountain is scheduled to open in April.               Photo by Loretta Cozart
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Chamber Luncheon at
Patriots Park April 19

Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce will hold their April Members Luncheon at Patriots Park in Kings Mountain on Wednesday, April 19 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. This event is sponsored by City of Kings Mountain.
The featured speaker is Kings Mountain  Mayor Scott Neisler. Chamber members and guests can network, meet new members, and gain knowledge on issues that impact them during this event.
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Toneika Stephens-Young, whose stage name is Neika Simone, plans a Smooth Jazz Festival for Kings Mountain this May. Photo provided

KM Smooth Jazz Festival slated for May 13 at
Joy Performance Center

By Loretta Cozart
Toneika Stephens-Young, whose stage name is Neika Simone, is a Kings Mountain native bringing  Kings Mountain Smooth Jazz Festival to town on Saturday, May 13, at Joy Performance Center, at 202 S. Railroad Avenue.
So far, there are five confirmed performers, ranging from vocalists, to a grammy nominated saxophonist. Opening the show is V Siren, followed by Black Coffee Quartet, Tryon Parks, and Simone. The performance also features saxophonist Jakiem Joyner. The event host is Comedian Ketta Keet. The lineup is guaranteed to bring an exciting evening of Smooth Jazz.
Many of Simone’s family members, including her parents, still reside in the area. Her parents are Charles and Pasty Stephens, and her brother is Michael Stephens. Growing up, she attended Mt. Olive Baptist Church, where she sang in the youth choir. She
attended  Kings  Mountain District Schools: Bethware Elementary, Central School, Kings Mountain Middle School, and she graduated from Kings Mountain High School in 1993. She sang in the Pop-Choir at Central and Kings Review in high school. She attended Elizabeth City State on a scholarship majoring in music.
While in college, friends asked her if she had ever thought about jazz. But it wasn’t until she moved to Richmond, Virginia that she took the time to really listen to that genre of music.
“As a teenager, I was shy and stayed with things that were most comfortable. In Richmond, I met a group of performers and with them, I began to grow as a singer and accept my own voice,” Simone said.
Hype Magazine described Simone’s work stating, “Released on February 3, 2022, the tantalizing four-track EP covers relatable emotions from opening oneself up to the sweet cravings of new love, unpacking the complicated nuances of infidelity, to setting boundaries after a break-up. With lyrics and melody written entirely by Simone, her work has been described by as having ‘powerful vocal range, a dynamic expanse of emotions, an intoxicating rhythm diversity and a hypnotic gift for intimate and inviting songwriting.’ Her major influences aside from Nina Simone include Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Nancy Wilson.”
   Simone shared the reason for bringing this performance home, “I see Kings Mountain progressing as a city. What is going on downtown is exciting and I feel the time has come to bring an annual Smooth Jazz Festival event here. The folks in our lineup are top-rated musicians and Joy Performance Theater is an excellent venue in which to host such an event. Friends keep asking me, ‘Where are you performing? When are you playing?,’ so it makes sense that I to bring my music home and share it with the community.”
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The Brinkley Amphitheater, a 900-seat venue, should be open by the fall. (Photo by GWU)

Brinkley Amphitheater construction
underway at Gardner-Webb University

David and Marie Brinkley, longtime donors who have contributed to the advancement of Gardner-Webb University, continue to see their recent investment flourish. The Brinkley Amphitheater, a 900-seat venue, is progressing.
“According to our construction schedule, we are looking at being able to host our first show this fall,” said David Wacaster, director of operations for Facilities and Maintenance.
   The finished project will engage students and the community while also adding an inviting and welcoming presence to Main Street and the South entrance to campus. The Brinkley Amphitheater will provide a new place to present performing arts, outdoor worship services, Webbstock events and other summer concerts.
This new venue is part of a larger outdoor complex. In the second phase of development for the site, Gardner-Webb intends to construct a Main Street-facing building adjoining the amphitheater that will house both a campus shop and a nationally    recognized eatery open to the public.
   The Brinkleys provided the lead naming gift, and according to GWU’s Vice President for Advancement Nate Evans, additional support for the outdoor performance complex came from a $500,000 budget appropriation from the North Carolina General Assembly, with endorsements from the Boiling Springs Town Council and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners. Several other university donors have also generously provided financial contributions towards this project. 
The Brinkleys have a strong philanthropic background and pledged to give portions of their income to making a difference in the community. “Every day when I say my prayers, I ask the Lord to give me opportunities that I can share my blessings,” David Brinkley stated.
In addition to their gifts to various organizations in Cleveland County and Kings Mountain, N.C., where they live, the Brinkleys have financially supported several projects at Gardner-Webb. Most recently, they donated money toward a new Runnin’ Bulldog sculpture at Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center. In the past, they have provided gifts for Gardner-Webb academic programs, the Marching Bulldog Band uniforms and the Brinkley Softball Stadium.
When the opportunity presented itself for them to contribute to the amphitheater project, they were excited about the possibilities of a new performance venue for the University. They believe that the amphitheater will give the University exposure and open doors for opportunities for people in the region to become more familiar with the town of Boiling Springs and Gardner-Webb University.
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M.E. Brown, LLC purchased the old Challenger 3 Golf & Amusement property north of Shelby. Photo by Google Earth

M. E. Brown Enterprises, LLC, buys 60+ in N. Cleveland County

By Loretta Cozart

M. E. Brown Enterprises, LLC, the former owner of Hounds Drive-in, Michel E. Brown listed as agent, has purchased 61.53 acres in northern Cleveland County.
The property was once the site of Challenger 3 Golf & Amusement, and later Oak Mills, at 1650 N. Post Road/Hwy. 180 in upper Cleveland County. The sale was recorded on February 28.
On February 19 Hounds Drive-in announced it would close, and according to NC Secretary of State, Hounds Drive-In Theatre, LLC has been dissolved.
Deer Brook Golf Club, LLC  adjoins the property on three sides. A church and residences are across the street. No plans have yet been announced for the property.   
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Chief Jeff Ledford

Chief Jeff Ledford looks
back on career at SPD

By Loretta Cozart

On Friday, March 31 at 4 p.m., Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford retired, signing off for the last time after 30-years of service with the department.
He was quick to thank others for pointing him toward a career in law enforcement. After graduating from Kings Mountain High School in 1986, he began his path into public service when he joined the Kings Mountain Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter at the age of 18.
Chief Ledford was born, raised, and continues to live in Kings Mountain. He is the son of the late Harold and Rachel Ledford.
“My Godfather was David Corn, and he had a heavy influence on me. He had worked at Kings Mountain Police Department before going on to the state to instruct officers in use of the Intoxilyzer. On his advice, I studied Criminal Justice and went into the Police Academy in 1991. He introduced me to Shelby Police Department, and I began my career here in 1992. I was promoted to chief fifteen years ago and have been fortunate to work my entire career in one place.”
When asked if any event in his career stands out in his mind, Chief Ledford answered saying, “I’ve spent the last couple of months reflecting about that and there is not one single moment that was the moment. I would have to say that moment is made up of lots of different moments, if that makes sense?”
“It is made up of all the people I’ve worked for. I came up under some good leaders and mentors. They helped me, and not just people from Shelby. Those I worked alongside watching what they did every day, it was just humbling to watch,” he said.
“Lots of moments in the last five years stand out, watching how officers have handled and worked with groups in the community. And this was before the time that the national narrative was police being against the community. The people I work alongside take customer service very seriously, engaging the community. It is amazing how the community has rallied around us. We have had our dark days, but I have been blessed for 30-years to be part of this group.”
According to Chief Ledford, the program he takes immense pride in is Partners for Change, started in 2012. He feels this group has strengthened community relations and community cohesion. “I didn’t do this myself,” he was quick to point out. “This group was formed by several pastors, community leaders, and me. We didn’t just have 10 to 20 people involved for our quarterly lunches, we had 80 to 100.”
“To see people come together in a room for lunch and conversation. I ask myself, ‘Had we not done that, where would we be?’ I have learned that it takes years to build trust and relationships, but that trust can be lost in a minute. We held a lunch yesterday to thank everyone, and to say that we aren’t through yet; we have more work to do.”
“Here, I have seen law enforcement who really cares about the community, Shelby Police Department, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Kings Mountain Police Department, and Bessemer City Police Department. I have been blessed to work among the best in this business. When you work with people like that, you realize you are lucky to have found such a good place to be.”
When asked what his plans are for retirement, Chief Ledford shared that he had spoken to several retired officers earlier in the day. “Talking to them, I realized I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for them putting me on this path.”
Chief Ledford’s initial plans include a family trip to the coast for a couple of weeks. “I have to catch up on a few things I’ve put off. Family, they are the people who paid the price the most. They have sacrificed for me. And the person who tolerated the most was my wife, Kendra. I have a debt to repay to her.”
My son, Jarrett, just graduated. He is a prosecutor and the Assistant District Attorney. I’m passing that public service torch on to him. My daughter Bailey is a student at Campbell University, and I plan to go watch her cheer there. She is working on a Marketing Major, and now it’s my turn to cheer them both on.”
   Chief Ledford paused, “Today is bittersweet, especially when I do my final sign-off. I’ve watched others do it and didn’t understand how hard that is to do, until I was preparing for it myself. I look forward to the next chapter. I just know it is going to be hard to close this one. At 4 pm, I’ll say for the last time, ‘Shelby, I’m 10-42,’ the code used to indicate an officer's end of tour. “If I can get through that, then I’ll be off to the coast.”
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Easter Sunrise
Service planned

The Kings Mountain Ministerial Association will be leading in an Easter Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, April 9 at 7:00 A.M. at Mountain Rest Cemetery in Kings Mountain.
The service will be held around the huge white cross.  Brother Chris Waldt, Lay Assistant to the Pastor at East Gold Wesleyan Church, will bring the Easter Sunrise message.
Special music will be provided by Mr. Bill McMurrey and Mr. Johnathan Frady. Rev. Scott Whitney, Pastor of the East Gold Street Church will lead the service. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved to Eastside Baptist Church, 308 York Road.
Everyone is invited to come and worship as we celebrate the greatest event in history—the Resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!
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Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt at the American Legion – Otis D. Green American Legion Post 155 in Kings Mountain announces their 10th annual Easter Egg Hunt at the post home at 613 E. Gold Street on Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for children ages 1 – 12. This family friendly event is open to the public. A hotdog lunch will be served.
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Members of the Gateway Trail Committee, politicians, and stakeholders posed for the ribbon cutting for Kings Mountain’s newest playground. See more photos on page 5A. Photos provided

KM Gateway Trail Playground ribbon cutting

By Loretta Cozart

   Kings Mountain Gateway Trail held a ribbon cutting on Friday, March 31 at 3:30 p.m. for the new playground at 807 S. Battleground Ave., in Kings Mountain.
   Shirley Brutko thanked the folks that made the playground possible and introduced Tim Moore, Speaker of the NC House.  
   Speaker Moore spoke about the financial gift from the state that helped make the playground possible and added that 2023 is the Year of the Trails for North Carolina and how important trails are to the state.
   For more information about the Gateway Trail, call: 704-685-3549 OR 704-739-9663 or email Shirley Brutko at ““.

Bill filed banning foreign adversaries
to buy NC farmland

On March 28, state House Majority Leader John Bell filed the N.C. Farmland and Military Protection Act, House Bill 463, to prohibit China, Russia, Iran and other foreign adversaries and state-controlled entities from purchasing agricultural land, including property surrounding military bases.
Primary sponsors include Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) and Rep. Jennifer Balkcom (R-Henderson).
“Allowing foreign adversaries to purchase farmland is a legitimate concern in rural North Carolina and poses a serious risk to our national and food security,” said Rep. Bell. “By putting a halt to these land grabs, this bill will protect our state’s most precious natural resources while further safeguarding our military instillations. It is critical that we act now to mitigate this unnecessary threat to our state and nation.”
The legislation, which has the support of the N.C. Farm Bureau, becomes effective on January 1, 2024, and applies only to land acquired on and after that date.
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KMPD warns of
pine straw scam

Last week, KMPD responded to a residence on Garrison Drive in reference to a dispute over services rendered putting out pine straw. Two black males driving a red in color Ford F250 with Georgia plates solicited an elderly citizen to hire them to put pine straw out at $9.00 a bale. The work took approximately one hour to complete when the males provided the citizen with an invoice for $3800.00 after only putting out an estimated 12 to 15 bales of pine straw.
These “SCAMMERS” misrepresented to the citizen that the ($9.00 per bale) was $9.00 per bundle, which was described by the
“SCAMMERS” as the size of approximately a basketball. Fortunately, this dispute/incident was settled at a much lower price between the two parties.
   KMPD warns all citizens of the possibility of this SCAM being conducted in our community. The “PINE STRAW SCAM” is common for the beginning of spring and in early fall.
   Citizens should not feel intimidated to pay an over-inflated price for these types of services. The “SCAMMERS” are typically from out of state and will coerce the citizen in paying thousands of dollars more than what the average price is from reputable lawn and garden businesses.
   Always get the “agreed” upon price and amount of material in writing before allowing services to be done.
   If anyone feels that they or someone they know is a victim of this SCAM contact the Kings Mountain Police Department at 704-734-0444 to report the incident. Also remember that the City of Kings Mountain has an ordinance for door-to-door solicitation in the city. Contact KMPD to report any door-to-door solicitors at any time.
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14th annual
Gateway Trail Runs had huge turnout

The Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Run was a big success even with a little rain. Over 180 runners signed up for the runs, 10Mile & 5K.
Thirty-five pottery trophies were awarded to the 10Mile runners and 47 were awarded to the 5K runners. The run t-shirts featured the new North Carolina “Year of the Trail” logo for 2023.
Director, Kings Mountain Gateway Trail, Inc. Shirley Brutko said, “Approximately 16 volunteers helped with the run. Starr and Neil Dowell, of  Finish Well Timing, did an awesome job of timing the runners. Taylor Caldera from Royal T Café, as well as Ronnie & Rita Franks, helped with drinks and refreshments for the crowd.”
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Children scramble through Patriots Park searching for Easter Eggs. Photo by City of KM Special Events

Easter EGGstravaganza
at Patriots Park April 6

Kings Mountain’s Easter Egg Hunt kicks off the city’s 2023 event season and what a kick-off it will be! Join them April 6, at 7:30 p.m. for an Egg-citing time at 220 South Railroad Avenue, as children, ages 1 up to 14, are welcome to hunt for colorful eggs filled with candy and toys after dark.
More than 10,000 prize and candy filled eggs will be hidden across Patriots Park. Subway Cleveland Mall are proudly sponsoring four golden eggs to be hidden throughout the park. Inside each golden egg, a lucky egg hunter will find gift certificates redeemable at 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 provide free hot dogs and local businesses such as, Child Care Connections, Cleveland County Partnership  for  Children, and the Kings Mountain YMCA among others will offer activities for the kids.
Families should gather at Patriots Park at 7:30 pm. Egg Hunt will begin at 8:00 p.m. Parents are encouraged to participate with their little ones.
Don’t forget to bring your Easter basket, flashlight, and camera!
The city acknowledges their 2023 annual sponsors, Albemarle Corporation, and Ronald’s Garage.
For more information, 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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Albemarle Lithium is opening their new location in downtown Kings Mountain in April. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Albemarle Lithium opening downtown location in April

By Loretta Cozart

The Project Center, Albemarle Lithium’s new information center, at 129 W. Mountain Street in Kings Mountain is scheduled to open in April. The Herald caught up with Community Affairs Manager at Albemarle Corporation’s Kirsten Martin to get an update on plans for the mine in Kings Mountain and their new space downtown
With the announcement of Albemarle’s recent acquisition of 800 acres in Chester, SC last week, the Herald asked if the newly announced Mega-Flex facility might impact plans for the Kings Mountain mine, lithium concentrator, and job and educational opportunities locally. According to Kirsten, there will be some changes. “Once the  material goes through the concentrator in Kings Mountain, materials will be shipped to the Mega-Plex in Chester, SC,” Kirsten said.
   “When reopening the mine was announced last year, it was thought we would hire around 200 employees. Since then, that number has increased significantly. Now we anticipate hiring 300 – 400 employees.”
   She went on to say, “The lab at Kings Mountain must be moved due to its proximity to mining operations. We have not begun mining yet, but before we do, the lab will be moved to Charlotte.” Currently the lab employs approximately 25 people.
   In addition to reopening the mine and the new lithium concentrator for Kings Mountain, Albemarle will also invest $5 million at Cleveland Community College for workforce development.
   As for the new space Albemarle Lithium has leased at 129 W. Mountain Street, Kirsten said, “We will be opening The Project Center in April, but don’t have a firm date set just yet. Furniture is being delivered this week and two new employees have been hired: Community Education Specialist Margo Plonk, and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist Sarah Degnan.”
   “Margo Plonk will help us focus on how we hire employees locally, reaching out to Cleveland Community College, University City’s Albemarle Technical Park, and the high school. We also plan The Project Center to be a hub for available job opportunities, with a Human Resources person on-site certain days of the week,” Kirsten said.

KMPD responds to shots fired into a residence

On Friday March 17, just after 11:30 p.m., Kings Mountain Police received a call of shots fired into a residence near Fulton Street and Gantt Street.
Responding officers confirmed that several rounds had been fired at 113 Fulton St. striking the residence. There were no injuries reported resulting from this criminal act.
The Kings Mountain Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the per-son or persons responsible for this crime.
This is an active investigation and anyone with information about this case is asked to please con-tact the Kings Mountain Police Department at 704-734-0444. Or contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip through the new Cleveland County Crime Stoppers P3 Tip App using the QR Code.
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Happy Easter… stop
and take a picture

A photo opportunity awaits, as Wally the Bunny, Wendell the Easter Bunny’s cousin, has hidden some very large Easter Eggs within Patriots Park in a setting pretty enough for a family picture. The City of Kings Mountain Special Events invites citizens to stop by the park, take a picture with Wally and the Easter eggs and post it on Facebook using #HappyEasterKM. They will share picture submitted on their Facebook page. Patriots Park is located 220 South Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain.

Photo provided
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Miranda McDaniel, Grover Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year. Photo by Brandy Curtis

Grover teacher brings CPR
to the classroom

For the past 3 years Miranda McDaniel, PE teacher and Teacher of the Year at Grover Elementary, set up a heart obstacle course in which the students participate.
The course is set up into the four chambers of the heart. Students learn how blood flows through their heart, to the lungs, into their body, and back to their heart. Students really get their heart pumping with the obstacle course and love it! Mrs. McDaniel talks to the students about how important our heart is and what we can do to make it strong and healthy.
This year she wanted to do more! So, she decided to do hands-only CPR with 4th graders. At first the students were not sure about it but after talking and learning that at least half of the students in each class knew someone close who had suffered from a heart issue they seemed to be on board. Most thought they were too young and wouldn’t be able to do anything, but the students soon learned just how valuable they might be in helping save a life.  
With the help of Brown Emergency Training Center, we were able to use training manikins with the students to correctly perform CPR. Students worked in groups to help each other make sure they were correctly placing their hands in the right place, pushing hard enough, and at a good pace. Students were really involved and cheering each other on to do their best. The students could
be heard saying “you got this,” "don't give up,”  and “keep pushing.”
Once students felt confident, the class went through an interactive video of a scenario that could happen and worked in teams to deliver CPR. All students learned a valuable skill that we hope stays with them in case they must help save a life.  
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Post 82 Commander Martha Bridges with National Commander Troiola. Photo by Gary Schacher

American Legion National Commander visits Post 82

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion National Commander Jim Troiola visited American Legion Post 82, on Wednesday, March 22 to acknowledge the support of the American Legion World Series and other youth programs, among the Post’s many other accomplishments. Earlier in the day, he had visited Keeter Stadium and had lunch at LeGrand Center.
Troiola was elected national commander of the nation’s  largest  veterans’ organization on September  1, 2022 in Milwaukee during The American Legion’s 103rd national convention. He serves one year and spends 330 days on the road visiting Posts in all 50 states and abroad. His theme as national commander is “V.E.T.S., Veterans, Education, Teamwork and Sponsor.”
He spoke to Post 82 members and guests regarding various topics, including the importance of youth programs, needs of active-duty personnel, veteran’s initiatives, and a new mental health program started by American Legion Department of Wisconsin, called Be The One. The program became so popular it has now been embraced by the organization nationally.
Be The One’s goal is to destigmatize asking for mental health support, provide peer-to-peer support and resources, and educate everyone on how they can Be the One.
The No. 1 issue facing the veteran community is suicide, according to the National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. It is estimated that between 17 and 22 veterans or servicemembers take their lives each day. That’s more than 6,000 annually. The rate of suicide for veterans is more than 50% higher than that of non-veteran adults. As the Global War on Terrorism continues, there will be more veterans facing mental-health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. 
   “The biggest purpose of Be The One,” Troiola said in a subsequent interview, “is to remove the stigma. Those who are at risk don’t want to be labeled because it could result in them losing their firearms, security clearances, or their families. That is why we chose to visit smaller posts, because a veteran talking to a veteran is different than a non-veteran talking to a veteran because non-veterans don’t understand us. There is more camaraderie between veterans, and we can build trusted relationships. The main purpose is to visit veterans and get this information in their hands.”
   He went on, “Be The One was chosen as the official charity of Indy Car Racing. It is a big deal, because that is our demographic. The trailer is staffed by Veterans Service Officers who know how to talk to veterans. And they’ve taught us how to do that, too. We can make Buddy Calls and check up on each other. We aren’t doing this for the credit. That isn’t important. What we are doing is about helping veterans.”
   As he concluded his speech, Troiola said, “Being at the national level and wearing this red cap… it’s about getting out there and finding in local communities what’s going on, and advocating for veterans and active-duty military, just like you do at the Post level. It is so important that we get this done.”
   He shared a joke recently that was recently told about him saying, “Jim Troiola isn’t like a National Commander, he’s a blue cap (Legion member) stuffed into a red hat (National Commander).” The Legionnaires chuckled with him. “And that’s okay. I am here to help and make a difference. The red cap identifies me as the National Commander, and I am one of you. You can take that to the bank.”
   Afterward, National Commander Troiola went around the room, shaking hands and speaking to veterans with the ease of someone who had been a member of the Post his whole life, like he was talking to dear friends. And he was.
   For more information about Be The One, visit A 24/7 confidential hotline is available to veterans and their families by calling 988 and then pressing 1, or texting 838255. You do not have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect.

Groups partner for second
annual prom dress giveaway

By Loretta Cozart

Earlier this year, Kyrea McCluney founder of Book Me Boo Events and Rentals felt called to help local girls get the full experience of shopping for, choosing, and trying on dresses for their school proms. She and her business partner, Ashley XYZ partnered with Parents Against Bullying and wrote a proposal for New Bynum Chapel AME Zion Church requesting the use their fellowship hall. As Kyrea prepared her proposal, she kept hearing the Lord tell her, “Be still.”
Little did she know that Tiana Roberts, founder of Girl Talk Ministry, a program that allows adolescent girls  transform  their  mind and enhance a better life through Christ, was also searching for a venue to hold the organization’s 2nd Annual Prom Dress Giveaway. People in the community suggested she reach out to New Bynum Chapel AME Zion Church in Kings Mountain, because Bynum Chapel Family Life Center has plenty of room for the event.
Trustees of the church met to hear the proposals of these two women, who had hot met until the presentations. As Kyrea listened to Tiana’s presentation, she knew why the Lord kept telling her “Be still,” so she spoke with Tiana and the two groups joined forces to offer the prom dress event.
   Last Saturday, at noon, the doors were opened wide at Bynum Chapel Family Life Center and girls visited the venue to choose dresses for their proms. As the girls browsed dresses, smiles filled their faces looking at all the beautiful options available to them.
   “The cost of a dress, shoes, and accessories can be prohibitive to many. This program breaks down those financial barriers and helps these young ladies experience the joy of shopping for a dress with their parents and friends,” Kyrea said.
   “We received 250 dresses, from size 0 to 24, for this event,” Tiana shared. “And we are thankful for our partners, Quick Way Cleaners, 279 Cleaners, and Folks Cleaners for getting the dresses ready. Without their help, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
  The 2nd Annual Prom Dress Giveaway continues on Saturday, March 25 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bynum Chapel Family Life Center at 311 Ellis Street in Kings Mountain.
   Any girl who may be going to prom or has a middle school dance may register at Scroll down to “March 25” to see the open slots available. The slots are scheduled in thirty-minute increments. There are 7 slots available for each time frame. If you have any questions please email
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This photo is from a 2016 Gateway Trail race. ( provided by Photo KM Gateway Trail)

Time is running
out to register for
Gateway Trail races

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Gateway Trail will hold their 5K Walk and 10-Miler on Saturday, March 25 at 807 S. Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain. This race is happening on a beautiful segment of Thread Trail in Kings Mountain, NC and this year's t-shirts will have a special NC Year of the Trail logo on them.
To register, visit, or call 704.685-3549 or 704-739-9663. Email Shirley Brutko at
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The Sisters portrayed by: Gaia King – Sister Mary Luke; Sara Corbin - Sister Robert Anne; Ginger Bullock – Sister Mary Wilhelm; Antoinette Matthews – Sister Mary Toni; and Brenda Elliott – Sister Mary Bree. Photo by Katherine Stone

Nunsence – The Mega Musical rocks the Joy Performance Theater

Kings Mountain Little Theatre’s production of “Nunsense – The Mega-Musical” completed a successful opening weekend and will return to the Joy for its final weekend on Friday, March 24th at 7:30 p.m.
KMLT and corporate sponsor, Edward Jones
Investments, Jack and Pam Buchanan are pleased to announce that performances are scheduled for March 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and March 26 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for all ages and are on sale at or by contacting the box office or 704-730-9408. Tickets for groups of 10 or more is $12
 for all ages. Please call or email KMLT to make a group reservation.
Season members may make reservations by calling the theater at 704-730-9408 and leaving a message or send a request to us at Reserved seating not claimed at least 10 minutes before show time is subject to release.
• Reverend Mother Mary Regina -  - Mother Superior – Suzie Crews
• Sister Mary Hubert - Mistress of Novices – Mary Grace Keller
• Sister Robert Anne - Streetwise nun from Brooklyn – Sara Corbin
• Sister Mary Amnesia- Nun who lost her memory – Leslie Brown
• Sister Mary Leo - Novice who wants to be a ballerina – Eve Yarulan
• Sister Julia, Child of God- Convent Cook – Estelle Grabert
• Sister Mary Brendan – Novice – Hannah Hood
• Sister Mary Luke– Novice – Gaia King
Sister Mary Wilhelm - Convent Nurse – Ginger Bullock
• Father Virgil - Sr. Leo's Brother – Greg Dixon
• Brother Timothy– Tyler Elliott
• Chorus - Nuns, Brothers, Priests, and Students – Antoinette Matthews, Brenda Elliott, and Mark Griffin
• Father James – Director – Jim Champion
• Sister Mary Elizabeth - Musical Director – Libby Putnam
• Sister Penny – Choreographer – Penny Larson
• Brother Andrew – Percussion – Andy Neisler
• Brother Jerree – Bass – Jerre Snow
   All the fun of the original Nunsense has been super-sized! Mega-Nunsense, starring the original five nuns features five new (male and female) characters, including the never-before-seen infamous convent cook, Sister Julia, Child of God. Nunsense, the winner of four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, was called "A hail of fun and frolic" by The New York Times. And now it's bigger and better than ever! It would be a sin to pass up the opportunity to see it!
   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 or the Kings Mountain Little Theatre Facebook page.

Shelby teen drowned in Moss Lake

By Loretta Cozart

On Friday, March 17,  just before 12:30 p.m., Kings Mountain Police and Cleveland County Emergency Management personnel responded to Moss Lake near 121 Sunshine Ln. in Cherryville, for a search and rescue of an individual that had entering the water, but had not resurfaced.
Witnesses told investigators on scene that a black male had jumped off a pier and entered the water. Once in the water the black male began to struggle and soon fell beneath the water’s surface. Cleveland County Emergency Management Director Perry Davis contacted Charlotte Mecklenburg Fire Department Dive Team to assist in the rescue.
Around 3:30 p.m., rescue divers recovered the victim from the lake. The victim was transported to Atrium Health Care in Shelby, and was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. The victim has been identified as Jeremiah Roberts, 18, of Shelby.
Kings Mountain Police Department thanks the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department, Cleveland County Emergency Management, Cleveland County EMS, Waco Volunteer Fire Department, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Fire Department for their prompt response and support during this incident.

CC Crimestoppers back in business

Cleveland County Crimestoppers introduced their new Facebook page for the Cleveland County Crimestoppers. Cleveland County Crimestoppers, Inc. is back in business for Cleveland County, and are ready to pay for tips leading to an arrest or successful conclusion to a case.
Cleveland County Crimestoppers is affiliated with the following agencies: Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Boiling Springs Police Department, Kings Mountain Police Department, and Shelby Police Department.
Cleveland County Crimestoppers Inc is pleased to announce the addition of P3 Tips! The addition of P3 Tips will help encourage citizens in the community to volunteer vital information helpful to law enforcement agencies to fight against crime.
Benefits of P3Tips:
• P3 Tips is available as a free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
• Tipsters can send criminal information and engage in anonymous, two-way dialog with law enforcement from their smartphone or tablet using our P3 Tips mobile application.
• P3 Mobile tips are completely secure and anonymous. Tipsters can also anonymously upload photos, screenshots, videos, and audio files with their tips. Download the P3 TIPS App today by scanning the QR Code.
• Only tips submitted directly and anonymously to Crimestoppers are eligible for cash rewards.
• CRIMESTOPPERS pays a cash reward of UP TO $1,000 for tips that lead to an arrest or solving a case. The Cleveland County Crimestoppers Inc hotline is also available to tipsters if they choose to call to provide tips! 704-481-TIPS(8477).
Download the P3 TIPS App today by scanning the QR Code.

More changes near the casino

By Loretta Cozart

The area around Two Kings Casino continues to evolve, as roads are widened, and city services expand in that section.
Driving southwest on Dixon School Road, near the intersection of Kings Mountain Blvd., a new natural gas gate station has been built. Nearby, large traffic signal poles span the newly widened streets.
Traveling toward I-85 on King Mountain Blvd., fiber optic cable has been installed and the ground seeded  beside  the   new
6-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side of Kings Mountain Blvd., across from the casino.
The bridge over I-85 is in process of being rebuilt as a diverging diamond, one if not the first one built in Cleveland County. Nearby, components of the large traffic signal poles are ready to be used in and around that area.
   According to NCDOT, “A diverging diamond interchange allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of the road. It moves high volumes of traffic through an intersection without increasing the number of lanes and traffic signals. This movement provides easier access to an interstate.”
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Ready… Set… SPRING at Patriots Park this Saturday

City of Kings Mountain welcomes the Gaston Symphonic Band to Patriots Park, Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m. Bring your family and enjoy a day filled with music from the band's Spring concert, Ready...Set...Spring! The event begins at 1:00 p.m. Patriots Park is located at 220 South Railroad Avenue, Kings Mountain. Don't forget your lawn chairs.
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Margaret Horn

Margaret Horn turning 101

By Loretta Cozart

Margaret Horn has seen a lot in her 101 years in Kings Mountain. “I feel like Methuselah,” she said in an interview with the Herald last week. “It is hard to believe that I am 100 years old and about to be 101.”
Margaret was born on March 20, 1922, in the family’s home at 220 Walker Street, to Arthur Wright Huffstetler and his wife Doshia Ella Dover Huffstetler. Together the couple would have 10 children: Howard, Arthur “Lucio”,  Jacob, Margaret, Ernest, Juanita, Kermit, Bobby, Corrie, and William. Margaret has outlived all her siblings.
When she was a young child, Margaret lived on Walker Street and then the family moved to 108 Lackey Street during her later childhood. She attended First Baptist Church (before the split), Second Baptist Church, and Oak Grove Baptist Church during her lifetime.
   When asked what kids did for fun, she said, “We jumped rope in the street and played hide and seek after dark. As children, we also sang a song called ‘Go in and Out Your Window, Go in and Out Your Window.’ Then we would kneel in front of ‘our lover’,” she said laughing.
   Margaret’s older brother, Jake, was the clown of the family, so much so he would get into trouble at Central that would often result in him leaving school after being sent out into the hall during class. Margaret was sometimes sent home with notes for her parents about Jake, and he would get into trouble. “He got lots of whippings. After a while, I stopped giving those notes to my parents,” she confessed.
   “We didn’t have a cafeteria at school back then, so we walked home for lunch. Sometimes, when we walked back to school, a train would be blocking the railroad crossing on Piedmont Avenue. We would have to crawl under the train to get back to school,” she said. “I finished ninth grade at Central.”
   In those days, school extended through 11th grade, but students were not required attend. “For a time, I worked at Pauline Mill. My daddy, Wright Huffstetler, was a Loom Fixer,” she said.
   Margaret explains what young people did for fun, “Teenagers would gather at a friend’s home that had a piano and sing. I could play the piano by ear. On days when we didn’t sing, we would walk over to the Old Waterworks Park on Gantt Street and swim. Sometimes, we’d walk downtown and go to Summers Drug Store for banana splits. They had the best banana splits. We went to town as much as we could.”
   A big smile comes across Margret’s face when she speaks of her husband, Holland A. Horn. She explains how they met. “He had a friend who had a car, and the boys would drive by our house and flirt with us girls. Once there were a bunch of girls at a house across the street from my parent’s home, and we flirted with the boys when they drove up and down the road.”
   Holland must have made a big impression on Margaret because they married when she was 17 years old. Holland’s parents lived in Nebo, down Waco Road. “Before we married, we had gone to their property and picked out where we wanted to build our house. His parents wanted us to live with them, but we wanted a house of our own. Holland’s family were carpenters, so they helped us build our house for $500.”
   By 1941, World War II had begun, and Margaret’s life got a lot harder. My brother Jake (Jacob Columbus Huffstetler) went into service at the beginning of the war, and he was the first boy from our section to die.”
   “Less than a year after he joined the Navy, seventeen boys from his ship went into town and a big storm came up. They were trying to get back to the ship, USS Gherardi, on a small boat, when it flipped over, and all the boys were lost on December 10, 1942. Jake hit his head on a rock and drowned. It took three weeks to get him home and we buried him at Bessemer City Memorial Cemetery. He recently had his picture made and the negative was in his shoe, so we have a photo. He left behind a wife in Bessemer City and their daughter, Becky, who was just six-months old.”
   Husband Holland was also called up to serve and he participated in the Battle of the Bulge and was a Squad Leader. “He served two years,” Margaret shared. When asked what life was like while he was gone, she said, “It was a difficult time, we had two sons, Don who was older and Arnie (Arnold) who was six-months old. We lived with my parents for a time.”
   She went on, “When it was time for Holland to come home, I watched the paper and knew when his ship was going to dock. I remember waiting up for him at home. Our house was between two creeks, and I heard him when he got out of the car. I ran to meet him on the bridge to our house; it was a happy homecoming,” she said. Margaret was just 24 years old.
   Together, Margaret and Holland had three children, Donald, Arnold (Arnie), and Saundra. Holland died early, and Margaret became a widow. “Dad died in 1963, daughter Saundra shared. “Mom, had good jobs and she did well.”
   But life threw the family another challenge in 1990 when son Arnie needed a heart transplant. “I had read about heart transplants using pig’s valves and watched television shows about it. But I never imagined one of my children would ever need that. That surgery added 21 years to his life, and I am thankful for it. He lived to be 63-years old. Progress surely is amazing!”
   Margaret remembers a lot about Kings Mountain in her lifetime. “I remember when Central burned, and we had to go to West School in the morning and then to Central until 5 p.m. My favorite teacher was Miss Gussey Huffstetler. I also had a good friend named Irene Gladden, and her daddy was John Gladden.”
   “I remember seeing President Hoover and then when President Roosevelt drove through town. People really did turn out for the presidents back then,” she said.
   She also remembers a funny story about shopping at Pauline Store, “Once I had a big piece of silver with a hole in it when I was young. I tried to use it to buy a doll. That didn’t work,” she laughs.
   She also remembers shopping at Robert’s Store, Gault Brothers Grocery, and Bridges TV. Downtown, she remembers Sterchi’s, Lawyer Davis’s office, Griffin’s Drug Store, Fulton’s, Home Savings & Loan, Kings Mountain National Bank, Belk’s, Summers Drug Store, Plonk’s, and Cooper’s Furniture.
   “Those were sure the good old days, back then,” Margaret said with a smile.
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Pictured, L-R: Selena Watson, Teacher Assistant of the Year and Michelle Mack, Teacher of the Year for North Elementary. Photo by Anna Hughes

North Elementary teacher and teacher assistant of the year

By Loretta Cozart

Last week, North Elementary School in Kings Mountain named their teacher and teacher assistant of the year. Michelle Mack was named the school’s Teacher of the Year. Selena Watson was selected as North Elementary’s Teacher Assistant of the Year
Michelle Mack has been working for Cleveland County Schools since 1995. “I received my Child Development and Family Relations degree from UNC-Greensboro and my teaching certificate from Belmont Abbey College. Since then, I have been teaching Kindergarten at North Elementary School for many, many years! “
“I later went on to receive my master’s degree from Appalachian State University along with my National Board certification,” she said.
“I am so proud to be a North School Tiger! I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to work with an amazing, awesome, and gifted staff that enjoys teaching students and helping them to succeed.”
She went on to say, “I have been married to my friend and soul mate, Bruce for 27 years. Bruce is employed as the Vice President of Economic Development by the NC Community College System Office. We have two wonderful children. Cameron is an engineer in Greensboro, NC and Carmyn is a sophomore at UNC-Greensboro.”
Michelle’s Motto is, “Every child can learn something and be successful if they have a positive mentor or role model guiding them in life.”
On the naming of Selena Watson as North School’s Teachers Assistant of the Year, she said, “I have been at North Elementary School for 21 years. I was hired for Title 1, one on one reading with 1st grade students. I did this for about a decade. Then, I became a 1st grade assistant for Mrs. Nicole Smith. I have really enjoyed working with my North School family. I am married to Jewel. We have 4 children Travis, Angel, Shelton, and Camille and 2 grandchildren Taylor and Samari.”

City of KM seeks citizen’s opinions
on stormwater

City of Kings Mountain is required by their stormwater permit to provide a survey for citizens take to determine the knowledge and views of citizens with respect to stormwater and stormwater issues. The city has a new survey for citizens to complete online.
This is a voluntary anonymous survey to assist the City of Kings Mountain Stormwater department in gauging public awareness about stormwater and environmental issues. Results of this survey will be used to enhance the City's Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) and improve your experience as a citizen of the City of Kings Mountain.
Questions range from the quality of streams and ponds in the city, stormwater education, where citizens believe water goes after reaching a storm drain, sources of pollution in the city, whether pet waste contributes to water pollution, and the maintenance of stormwater drains, ditches, or outfalls being properly near you.
The Stormwater Department’s survey for Kings Mountain Citizens can be completed online at Please take a minute to visit the survey and share your opinion.
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Miss Katie Reese and date, Chad Gunter, Jr., posing right before heading out to dance the night away at their, “Night To Shine.” (Photo provided)

Kings Mountain couple trip the light fantastic during “Night To Shine”

Feb. 10 event,
sponsored by the
Tim Tebow

Special to the Herald

For handsome Chad Gunter, Jr., and his beautiful date, Katie Reese, dancing the night away among friends and family at the Feb. 10, 2023 Tim Tebow “Night To Shine” event, was a night they will never, ever forget. The event was hosted by Anthony Grove Baptist Church, located in Crouse, N.C.
That said, it’s not every day a guy gets to take his best girl out, twirling her around to tunes meant to make you tap your toes and shake a leg, but Feb. 10, 2023 was that “night of all nights” for the young Kings Mountain couple.
According to Tebow’s web site, “Night to Shine” is a “…complimentary event for people with special needs hosted by local churches around the world. The event is open to anyone living with disabilities, ages 14 and older. Although each event is a little bit different, some activities included are a red-carpet entrance, limousine rides, dancing, karaoke, gifts, a catered dinner, a Respite Room for parents and caregivers, a crowning ceremony where every honored guest will receive a crown or tiara, and more – Night to Shine is a celebration of God’s love for YOU, our Kings and Queens!”
Chad’s father, Chad Gunter, Sr. said his son is
23,  and  his girlfriend Katie Reese, is 25. They are both from Kings Mountain.
Said Chad Sr. recently via email, “They attended the Tim Tebow Night to Shine event in Crouse, N.C., at Anthony Grove Baptist Church, on Feb. 10, 2023, and this event (took) place worldwide! As you can see, these two young people, who both have Down Syndrome, wore classy, matching, purple outfits.”
Mr. Gunter continued, “When they arrived, they walked a red carpet with many on-lookers clapping and cheering, giving them the special treatment they deserve. All the participants were given the royal treatment.”
Chad Sr. noted the two young folks danced the evening away to the music played by a live DJ, and the floor even cleared, he said, for them to dance to Michael Jackson’s epic tune, “Thriller.”
Additionally, Mr. Gunter noted they had delicious snacks and refreshments and got to ride in a luxurious stretch limo. “Moreover, they had their pictures made in a photo booth. Each boy was given a crown and each girl was given a tiara,” he added.
Chad Gunter, Jr. said of his “Night to Shine” memory, “I had the best time at the prom. Katie is the love of my life and I gave my heart to her.”
For her part, Ms. Katie Reese said, “I had a great time, and my favorite (part) was the music and dancing.”
Katie’s mother, Diane Reese, noted, “I was impressed with the obvious amount of time and effort put in by the volunteers. The event was well organized – from the red carpet, the DJ, the food; to the limo rides. The participants were made to feel special with an abundance of attention. I felt honored to be in attendance and experience the outpouring of love for our special ones. There was lots of fun and smiles that night.”
Chad Gunter, Sr. said, “I had a great time! I am very thankful to see my son and other people with special needs having a blast in a safe environment. I really appreciate Tim Tebow, the host of churches and the many volunteers who made this event possible.”
Chad Jr.’s mother, Robin Gunter agreed, adding, “I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all that made February 10 a special night for my son, Chad, and his girlfriend, Katie. They wore big smiles the entire evening! I am thankful to Tim Tebow and Anthony Grove Baptist Church for this great local event, and love you with my whole heart!”

How to volunteer
next year…
On Feb. 9, 2024, there will be another event and to volunteer, go to the group’s web site, Night to Shine at, and check out their information.
Tebow’s organization and the Night to Shine event, as the site said, “…requires the help of thousands of volunteers across the globe and is a wonderful way to connect with and serve your community of people with special needs! From serving as a guest’s buddy or member of the red-carpet paparazzi, to keeping the enthusiasm up on the dance floor or serving food, there is something for everyone. To volunteer at Night to Shine, you will register and receive a background check through your local host church location. Once registered, your local host location will provide you with the necessary information and training you will need to serve.

ABC Board gives $40,000 to city for KMPD

On March 8, City of Kings Mountain’s ABC Board delivered a check to the city in the amount of $40,000, to be used by the City’s Police Department to purchase an unmarked vehicle for use by the Investigation Division.
“The ABC Board, in addition to its State-mandated distributions for alcohol education and rehabilitation, along with law enforcement relating to alcohol; distributes any remaining surplus funds deemed to be profits to the City of Kings Mountain. This however occurs after all expenses, including the maintenance of a significant fund pool of retained earnings for capital replacement or new construction,” City Manager Jim Palenick shared with city council and the Herald.
“This $40,000 came before retained earnings and not as part of what would be expected as the normal yearly return of profits, but rather somewhat, over and above. As such, our gratitude goes out to the ABC Board for its assistance to Chief Childress and the Police Department for what would have otherwise had to have been budgeted for in the City’s 2023-24 General Fund.”