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This handout was shared at a public meeting in August and shows eight warehouses on land just south of Exit 5 in the Dixon Community near Shepherds Mountain. Photo provided

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

KM Special Events brought
lots of joy and fun in 2022

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

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

KMPD asks for help
regarding vehicle armed robbery

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

2022 KM Year in review

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

American Legion veteran’s
breakfast Saturday, Jan. 7

By Loretta Cozart

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

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

Photo by Jon Byron

Sellers honored
by City Council

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

Counterfeit money passed at local
KM business

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

Observance January 16

By Loretta Cozart

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

Children’s Christmas brightened by CCSO gift program

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

Smokey Mountain Christmas
At First Wesleyan Church
December 18

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

Santa lettersinsidethisweeksisuse

Letters To Santa

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

Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run draws 423 runners

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

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

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

$57,527 per day
for each violation

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

Statues dedicated to
Officer Tyler Herndon

By Loretta Cozart

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

Santa opens new workshop in KM

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

Palenick selected as KM’s
new City Manager

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

Armed robbery at Mountainside Market

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

KM Parade rings
in the Christmas season

By Loretta Cozart

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

Patrick Senior Center
Holiday Open House Dec. 1

By Loretta Cozart

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

Merry Little Christmas Concert at Patriots Park December 3

Mark your calendars now to bring the family and spend December 3 taking in the sights and sounds of a Christmas in Kings Mountain with Kelly Crabb and the Bowling Sisters.
City of Kings Mountain is proud to welcome Kelly Crabb & the Bowling Sisters and their Merry Little Christmas Tour to Patriots Park, Saturday, December 3. This free concert will begin at 6:00 p.m. with King’s Highway and then Kelly Crabb and the Bowling Sisters at 7:00 p.m.
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Christmas Tree Ceremony
Patriots Park Nov. 23

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

7th annual Bike Drive kicks off Nov. 28

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

Toy Drive

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

Trash pickup schedule for
week of

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

Community Thanksgiving
Service to be held Sunday

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

By Loretta Cozart

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

KM Historical Museum
needs help with Toys,
Games & Trains Exhibit

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

By Loretta Cozart

In a historic decision, Kings Mountain City Council voted in favor of the town’s first mixed-use project when they approved rezoning Central School from Semi-Urban Residential to Mixed Use during the regular meeting on October 25.
During the Public Hearing, Assistant Planning Director Kimberly Herndon shared with council that Central School Renovation Partners, LLC had made the request so the property can be altered with in-fill. The Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously and made a positive recommendation on this project.
“This is an appropriate option that complies with the UDO. Regarding if this change would affect the Central School Historic District, Herndon said, “It has no bearing on that zoning.”
Councilmember Jay Rhodes asked, “If the school (district) relinquished ownership, that school could be demolished and then build homes there, correct?” Herndon replied, “The school is zoned as a residential property and if someone purchased it and chose to clear the entire block and build residential homes that is a viable and allowable option today with no rezoning.”
Phil Dee, one of four partners of Central School Renovation Partners, LLC, spoke in favor of the project and told city council, “Our plan in this site right now is to develop housing on the perimeter that will reflect the neighborhood, with a very small amount of commercial.”
“The market reality is high density housing with a small amount of commercial that will support that housing. Our investment will also support downtown. The smaller ancillary buildings will be demolished,” he explained.
“We have no intention off demolishing the Central School Building, none at all. Our plan is to take the older Central School original building and turn it into loft style senior apartments and then clear the perimeter and remainder of the site,” he concluded.
City council approved 6 – 1, the Planning and Zoning Boards consistency statement in favor of the request from Central School Renovation Partners, LLC to rezone the property owned by Cleve-land County Board of Education, located at 105 East Ridge Street. The ordinance to rezone Central School from Semi-Urban Residential to Mixed Use  was also approved 6 – 1 by city council. The dissenting vote in both instances was from Councilman Keith Miller.
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Carriage rides will be available for December 3, 9, 10 16, and 17.

North Pole Express carriage rides go on sale Nov. 18

North Pole Express Classic Carriage Ride Experience tickets go on sale Nov. 18 at  2 pm. Visit: Scroll down and click on Magical Carriage Rides. There are two ticket options available. Tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to act quickly when sales open.
Enjoy an imagination-filled expedition on a horse-drawn carriage, led by one of the North Pole’s very own magical conductors. Take in the sights of twinkling Christmas lights as your enchanted golden ticket unlocks a series of magical events along the journey. Surprises wait around every bend, and wonder will fill the eyes of all those who still believe.
Two different interactive show packages are offered for those either snuggling up for a date night, or larger groups with excited children and their families. Both shows are offered on both carriages.
Magical Carriage Ride Package 1
Max capacity 8 adults, or fewer adults plus additional children. •  15 minutes
Experience the magical Christmas lights in Downtown Kings Mountain with a very special Christmas guest. Your ticket purchase reserves the carriage for your group of up to 8 adults, or fewer adults plus additional children.
Magical Carriage Ride Package 2
Max capacity is 4 adults, or fewer adults plus additional children. •  15 minutes
Bring your group to experience the magical Christmas lights around downtown Kings Mountain. Your ticket purchase reserves the entire carriage for your group for 15 minutes. You may bring up to 4 adults, or fewer adults plus additional children.
Check-in: If you have not checked-in 5-minutes before your scheduled departure time the conductor will consider your reservation forfeited. No refund will be available. Don’t forget to dress warmly in case of cold weather.
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Home For Christmas parade and festivities coming in December

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  City of Kings Mountain is looking forward to Kings Mountain Christmas Parade to be held December 3.
The Home for Christmas Parade will impact various roads beginning on Gold Street, at the intersection of Highway 161; west down Battleground Avenue (216); east on business 74, then south on Deal Street.
A Kings Mountain Christmas would not be complete without Christmas festivities in our Downtown. Each Saturday evening, December 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, between 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Downtown Kings Mountain will turn into a Christmas wonderland of fun and excitement.
Various roads along West Mountain Street, South Railroad Avenue, West Gold Street, and South Cansler Street will be impacted.
Please use extreme caution when traveling on these roads due to the increase in motor vehicles, pedestrians, parade participants, and carriage and hayrides. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by these changes. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
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Veterans gathered at the War Memorial in Patriots Park after the wreath ceremony last year. Photo by City of KM

City to host Veterans Day Parade and Observance November 11

The City of Kings Mountain is honored to host its annual Veterans Day Parade and Observance, Thursday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m. downtown.
This special event will begin at the intersection of West Mountain Street and South Railroad Avenue at the corner of the Joy Theatre, with a parade to Patriots Park being led by Loch Norman Pipe Band. A service, featuring a five-minute presentation entitled
“Recognition of Service”, music by Vintage Vibe, Christy Walker and the Loch Norman Pipe Band, and a keynote address by Mr. Jim Medlin, will then be held at the Liberty Falls Amphitheatre.
A wreath ceremony at the War Memorial located in Patriots Park will follow. “The Veterans Day Observance is a very special event in our city,” states Scott Neisler, Mayor of Kings Mountain. “It’s a time to acknowledge those who put their lives on hold to defend our country! We owe them a debt of gratitude for our freedom.”
To host this event, a portion of South Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street will be closed beginning at 9:00 a.m. and remain closed or barricaded until 11:00 a.m. Please use extreme caution when traveling on Railroad Avenue and West Gold Street due to the increase in motor vehicles and pedestrians walking. Please plan to travel different roads if you are impacted by this
 change. The city thanks you for your cooperation in this matter.
In case of inclement weather, the observance will be held at American Legion Post 155 located at 613 E. Gold Street in Kings Mountain. The parade will be canceled.
City of Kings Mountain encourages everyone to support our veterans by attending the observance. For more information or to participate in the parade, contact 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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This photo was taken during American Legion Auxiliary’s spring craft show in which 30 vendors participated. The fall event has 45 vendors registered and a good turnout is anticipated. Photo by Loretta Cozart

American Legion Auxiliary's Fall Craft Fair this Saturday

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 155 announced their Fall Craft Fair this Saturday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the banquet hall of Otis D. Green American Legion Post in Kings Mountain at 613 E. Gold Street. Vendors and local artisans will be on site for all your fall and Christmas shopping needs. Forty-five vendors are participating, and food trucks will also be on site.
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Casino decision coming down
to the wire

According to a Charlotte Observer article dated November 6, Catawba Two Kings Casino hasn’t satisfied federal regulators as an investigation into its business dealings nears the end. At issue is the legality of its business dealings, and specifically who profits from it.
In March, National Indian Gaming Commission Chief Compliance Officer Tom Cunningham told Catawba Nation Chief Bill Harris that a ground lease between the tribe and Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, LLC, granted the company “management authority” over the casino operation and had not been approved by the gaming commission chairman.
Violations could result in the issuance of a notice of violation, a civil fine assessment, and/or an order of temporary closure to the Nation and Sky Boat as the manager of the Tribe’s gaming, the Observer reported.
The article went on to share, “Doug Brown, a Cleveland County business owner, and early investor in the Catawba Casino project, said the gaming commission has warned interested parties of too much involvement from non-native people. He unloaded all financial interest in the project over the last year fearing the project’s impending failure, he said. ‘I don’t know if they’re going to be able to build the casino,’ Brown said.”
Brown’s name is also connected to E5 Holdings, LLC, owner of property directly across Kings Mountain Blvd. from the casino site. This is the same property the Herald reported on July 22, 2020. At the time CHT Enterprises, LLC became the managing member of E5 Holdings, LLC, along with members Eddie Holbrook, Stuart Legrand, and Douglas Brown.
As of February 2022, the Annual Report filed with the Secretary of State in Nevada, those details had not changed, and Eddie Holbrook, Stuart Legrand, and Douglas Brown remain listed as officers. CHT Enterprises, LLC also remains listed as the registered agent.
The Observer reached out to Chief Bill Harris on  the matter. “The Catawba Nation continues to work closely with the National Indian Gaming Commission on its review of our casino resort project and necessary agreements, and we are working to follow its recommendations as required,” Catawba Chief Harris said in an emailed statement on Saturday.
   “With regard to the agreement between the Catawba Nation and Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners, we actively proposed a number of pathways to resolve NIGC’s objections and are continuing to revise the agreement in response to NIGC. We are hopeful this can be resolved in the coming weeks,” Harris said.
   The investigation is scheduled to end by December 31. With only seven weeks remaining in the year, the fate of Catawba Two Kings Casino hangs in the balance. If the Catawba retained sole proprietary interest in the project and got permission for management contracts, they should prevail.
   The article concludes, “Both are key requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a law passed in the 1980s to shield tribes ‘from organized crime and other corrupting influences (and) to ensure that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation.’
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This home on Fulton Drive was heavily damaged during Friday’s fire. See firefighters photo on page 3A. Photo by KMFD

House fire on Fulton Drive Friday

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain Fire Department responded to a report of smoke near Fulton Drive on Friday, Nov. 4. Engine 284, Engine 283, and Ladder 1 were dispatched, and the call was then upgraded to a working residential structure fire.
The home was significantly damaged. No one was home at the time of the fire. The cause is under investigation. KMFD were first dispatched to “smoke in the area” reported by a caller one block away. Then neighbors called 911 to report the actual fire. Kings Mountain Fire Departments thanks those alerted them to the situation.
Engine 284 handled suppression, Engine 283 provided the water supply, and Ladder 1 was primary.
Kings Mountain received automatic aid from Bethlehem VFD and Grover VFD. No injuries reported, all units returned to service.
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City of KM holiday trash schedule

City Offices will be dosed Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. Garbage collection for the entire week will be on the regular schedule.
For those planning ahead, City Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Garbage collection for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be one day earlier.
City Offices will be closed Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26 in observance of the Christmas Holiday.
Garbage collection for week of December 26 will be delayed one day.
The City Offices will be closed Monday, January 2, 2023, in observance of the New Year Holiday. Garbage collection will also be delayed one day.

Mountaineers host very strong
Smoky Mountain team
in second round
of NCHSAA 3A playoffs Friday night

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will take the field against a skilled and dangerous Smoky Mountain team in the second round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs Friday night at John Gamble Stadium.
While the top-seeded Mountaineers were dominating 32nd seed St. Stephens in the first round, Smoky Mountain was defeating a very good Central Davidson team 41-38 in a back-and-forth battle to improve to 7-4 overall. That record is somewhat misleading as all of their losses were close to very good teams and some of their victories were over perennial powerhouses like Franklin, which gave KM a fit in an opening round game last year.
Kings Mountain’s defense will be seeing one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the state in Jed West who through 11 games has passed for 2,383 yards and ran for 854, both marks #1 for his team. Isaiah McNeely, a 185-pound junior running back and kick returner, is also a big offensive threat as he has chalked up 586 yards rushing.
The Mountaineer defense will also be challenged by some good receivers such as Da’mare Williams who has caught 55 passes for 943 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Jayce Stillwell who has 43 receptions for 642 yards and six TDs. Sawyer Snider is also a dangerous receiver and kick returner.
“Smoky Mountain is very good,” Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd says. “They run a spread and they have one of the best quarterbacks you’ll see and one of the best receivers in western North Carolina. They have several others who are big time players.
“They have a multiple defense. They’re one of the better teams we’ll play all year.”
Lloyd noted that West Henderson, that is still in the playoffs, played the Mustangs to a 21-19 game.
“So we will have to play very well,” he said. “I think we should be a hundred percent. We’re pretty healthy. Curtis Simpson sprained his ankle last week but there’s no fracture, so I think he will play.”
This will be just the second time the Mountaineers have faced Smoky Mountain. If this game is like the first, it will be a barn burner.
In 1989, Coach Denny Hicks’ Mountaineers went up the mountain to face the Mustangs and took four overtimes to come back home with a 37-36 victory. The game was tied 14-all after regulation. The Mustangs almost had the game wrapped up when they led 36-30 after KM threw three straight incomplete passes in their final 10-yard playoff period. But quarterback Ryan Hollifield found Darius “NuNu” Ross in the back of the end zone for the tying TD and Daniel Honeycutt kicked the point after to give the Mountaineers the win over the top-ranked 3A team in the state.

KMLT holiday shows run
two weekends in November

Join Kings Mountain Little Theater for two heart-warming, family friendly shows this holiday season!
Each show is just under one hour with a 15-minute intermission in between - perfect for that short attention span!
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! is a hilarious Christmas classic. A couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids--probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!
Three Wishes for Christmas, a play by Meredith Bridges, shares the story of Peter Pakowski  who is sure that this Christmas is going to be the most miserable one of his life. Money is tight, so he knows Old Saint that he wants, and what’s more, he is going to have to spend Christmas with his crazy cousin, Bertram!
So, when Peter’s little sister convinces him
to make a wish on a special
 Christmas star, he doesn’t have high hopes. But when a star fairy that only he can see appears in his living room, things liven up quickly! With an invisible fairy guest and three wishes that he must use before Christmas is over, Peter’s holiday celebrations with his large family are looking to be much more interesting than he thought!
Performances are Friday Nov. 11 and 18 at 7:30 pm, Saturday Nov. 12 and 19 at 7:30 pm. Matinees are on Sunday, Nov. 13 and 20 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for all ages are $10 and are available online or at the door.
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Streetscape Update – The intersection of S. Piedmont Avenue and Mountain Street is closed as construction continues in the area. Curb and gutter, along with conduit and electrical have been installed. The project deadline of October 31 has passed, and work is ongoing. Use caution when driving in this area. Parking is available on Cherokee Street and beside Kings Mountain Baptist Church via access beside the old SageSport building. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Streetscape Update 

The intersection of S. Piedmont Avenue and Mountain Street is closed as construction continues in the area. Curb and gutter, along with conduit and electrical have been installed. The project deadline of October 31 has passed, and work is ongoing. Use caution when driving in this area. Parking is available on Cherokee Street and beside Kings Mountain Baptist Church via access beside the old SageSport building.
                                                                                                                                      Photo by Loretta Cozart
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Three children who participated in the Great Pumpkin Parade. See more scenes from the event on page 5A. (Photos provided)

The Great Pumpkin Parade kicked off Halloween festivities

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department reported that approximately 400 children dressed in their Halloween best joined in The Great Pumpkin Parade. The event kicked off last Friday, October 28 at 10 a.m. at city hall, winding its way through downtown from City Hall to The Gazebo at Patriots Park, by way of Gold St, Battleground Ave., Mountain Ave., and Railroad Ave.
Children dressed as superheroes, first responders, scarecrows, Disney characters, princesses, doctors, nurses, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!
The Great Pumpkin Parade was the first of many events that wrapped-up late Sunday afternoon.
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Chad Gunter and Katie Reese were the costume contest winners with the best overall costume. Photo by Damien O’Brien

Wizard of Oz event
a huge success

By Loretta Cozart

City of Kings Mountain’s “The Wonderful Adventure To Oz” event, was a huge success as the photos show.
Families signed up for the costume contest and outstanding creative costumes were worn by everyone this year. The weather was also good for the weekend events, as young and old gather to celebrate with family and friends.

See more photos on page 8A of this November , 2022 issue of KM Herald.                      
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Early voting runs through Nov. 5
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8

Your vote counts. Skip the lines on election day and vote early. Early voting for the November 8th General Election runs through November 5.
• Now through Nov 5 from 8am - 7:30pm
• Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8am - 3pm.
There are three locations where you can vote early in Cleveland County and you can vote at any of the three locations regardless of where you live.
• Eugenia H. Young Memorial Library, 104 Howie Drive, Shelby
• H. Lawrence Patrick Senior Center, 909 E. King St.,  Kings Mountain, NC 28086
• Boiling Springs Town Hall, 114 East College Ave Shelby, NC 28152
   If you are not registered to vote, each of the early voting sites allows same-day registration.  So, you can register and  then go ahead and vote immediately afterward.
If your address has changed or you have moved, you can update your address at the early voting location as long as you still live in Cleveland County.
If you have questions or need more information, please visit the Board of Elections website at
If you don’t vote early, be sure to vote on Tuesday, November 8. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
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Breakfast with Santa will be held on November 19 at 108 E. Mountain Street, beginning at 7:30 AM. Photo by GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club

Woman’s Club Breakfast
with Santa November 19

By Loretta Cozart

GFWC NC Kings Mountain Woman’s Club is proud to announce that Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Clubhouse at 108 East Mountain Street beginning at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served downstairs in the dining room. Adults are $10, children are $5. Tickets are for breakfast only. Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Upstairs, a professional photographer will take your precious Christmas photos. These will be digital and edited. Three poses for $15, or 5 poses for $20. The finished digital product will be delivered within 48 hours of event conclusion. Photos with Santa 8:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Payment is made directly to the photographer.
Young children only (no adults may assist or shop) may visit the ELF CLOSET to purchase gifts for mom and dad. All items are 2 for $3. Come with a list, it makes the process quicker for the elves. Elf Closet is open 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Purchase your tickets from club members. See the club Facebook page for more information.

KM residents involved in Gaston Co.
double homicide/suicide

On Monday October 24, at about 3:15 pm, the Gaston County Police Department responded to the 300 block of Robinson Clemmer Road near Dallas, NC, in reference to a vehicle accident. Responding public safety officials located a vehicle off the roadway. Bullet holes were observed in the driver’s window. Three people were located deceased in the vehicle.
Initial reports indicated the incident had occurred between 3:00-3:15 pm; closer to the time the incident was reported to the Gaston County Communications Center, but detectives determined the shooting and subsequent vehicle wreck occurred prior to 1:30 pm. A social media post was located showing the vehicle wrecked at approximately 1:50 pm. No reports were made to law enforcement until 3:13 pm.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Darlene Hardin, white female, 57, of Corvette Lane in Kings Mountain.
The front seat passenger was identified as Benjamin Barett Simmons, white male, 65, of Hargrove Avenue in Gastonia.
The backseat passenger was identified as David James Bright, white male, 34, of Corvette Lane in Kings Mountain. Mr. Bright has been identified as the suspect in this double homicide. Mr. Bright died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Gaston County Police Department would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by Dallas Police, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Gaston County Sheriff, Gaston Emergency Medical Services, and Spencer Mountain Volunteer Fire Department.
This is an on-going investigation. If you have information pertinent to the investigation, the Gaston County Police encourages you to contact Det. J. P. Brienza at 704-866-3320. Information can also be provided through Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000.
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Fun events for the entire family
Follow the Yellow Brick Road downtown this weekend

The City of Kings Mountain has planned a variety of events for all ages downtown Kings Mountain on October 28 thru 30. Activities include costume contests, parades, trick-or-treating, movies, live music, hayrides, and fun for the entire family.
The Great
Pumpkin Parade
The City of Kings Mountain will host The Great Pumpkin Parade, Friday, October 28. The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. Little ghosts and goblins will travel from City Hall to The Gazebo at Patriots Park, by way of Gold St, Battleground Ave., Mountain Ave., and Railroad Ave.
Trick-or-Treat, bags of sweets, ghosts and goblins are walking down the street! After a two-year hiatus, the Great Pumpkin Parade is back. The City of Kings Mountain invites little pumpkins ages 0 thru first grade and their parents to City Hall to begin a spell bounding journey to Patriots Park where music, inflatables and games await at every turn. The parade will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. See you there if you dare!
The Wonderful
Adventure to OZ
   Lions! Tigers! Bears! Oh My! In celebration of the 83rd anniversary of the release of the Wizard of Oz, Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, at 6:00 p.m., the City of Kings Mountain will transform Patriots Park, in downtown Kings Mountain, to the magical Land of Oz.
Journey down the Yellow Brick Road while meeting Oz characters and trick-or-treating along the way. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs or blankets! An outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz will begin on October 28 at 6:30 p.m. The adventure and activities include a costume contest on Saturday and a hayride on both nights.
Band of Oz
Liberty Falls Amphitheatre will turn into the Emerald City as the Band of Oz takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 29. Look for the Band of Oz and DJs Johnny B and Eric Bowman as they bring the boogie.
   Music with DJ Johnny B and Eric Bowman starts at 6:00 pm. Band of OZ will take the stage at 6:30 pm. Don’t forget your boogie shoes!
Costume Contest
   Witches and Mummies and Ghosts, Oh My! Don your most uniquely Oz-tastic costume and head to downtown KM October 29 for the Wonderful Adventure to Oz. All ages are welcome to compete in the spookiest costume contest this side of the Haunted Forest. Dress in your Halloween best and follow the yellow brick road to Patriots Park.
Registration is from 5 p.m. until 5:45 p.m., when the parade begins. Winners will be announced during band intermission. You must register to participate in this parade and contest.
Contest Rules: The contest is divided into three age groups: Children (0-14 years), Teens (15-18 years), and Adults (19 and up). Categories include Most Unique, Oziest, Judges’ Choice, and Best Overall Group, with one grand prize being awarded per category.
   Real weapons are not allowed. and fake weapons are subject to search. Costumes must be PG and family friendly. Entrants under 16-years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Use of liquids, messy substances, or overly large prop pieces are not allowed.
All participants will have a chance to parade in front of the judges and have their name and costume announced. Contestants must remain throughout the costume contest to be eligible for a prize.
By registering, all Halloween Costume Contest participants agree to allow the City of Kings Mountain to use their images for promotional purposes. The judges have the sole authority and discretion to select the winners.
Merchant scavenger hunt
   Click Your Heels and Follow the Yellow Brick Road Downtown to the Marvelous Map of Merchants! For one week in October, downtown will turn into the Magical Land of Oz. Using the downtown map, follow the Yellow Brick Road for Oz-Tastic prizes from the Marvelous Merchants in Kings Mountain.
How Do You Play?
1. Visit our Marvelous Merchants on the map and look for some Wonderful Wizardly items straight from Oz itself between Monday, October 24th - Saturday, October 29th, during the normal business hours.   
2. Once you find the item, make sure to take a selfie with it.
3. Using the photo, make a post on Facebook tagging the merchant’s name and the City of Kings Mountain Special Events in your post. Make sure that you use #KMOZ2022
*Contestants must follow ALL the rules and visit each participating business for a chance to win the Grand Prize.
Participating Businesses & The Item You’re Looking For
• 133 West - Wicked Witch of the West
• KM Historical Museum - Wizard of Oz Characters
• Mountain Holiday - Scarecrow
• Sub Factory - Munchkin
• 238 Cherokee Grill - Dorothy Gale
• Uncommon Artisan  - Wizard of Oz in the State Farm Hot Air Balloon
• Farmers Furniture - Flying Monkey
• Royal Tea Cafe - Glenda the Good Witch’s Crown
• Mauney Memorial Library - Wizard of Oz Book
• Revolutionary Fit - Tin Man’s Oil Can
• Amos Insurance - Cowardly Lion
The winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, October 31.
Hayride Adventure
   Rescue the Enchanted Ruby. The Enchanted Ruby has gone missing, and all of Oz needs your help! Climb aboard a hayride and journey into the Wicked Witch’s territory to rescue the precious gem before she uses it to take over the entire land! This theatrical experience is designed for the entire family but be careful… Flying Monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West may make an appearance!
Mayor’s Nightmare
Before Christmas
Ghostly encounters await you on Sunday, October 30, as Mayor Neisler presents the Mayor’s Nightmare Before Christmas. This spell binding event features two spine tingling movies featuring legendary actors, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Horror classic, “Night of the Living Dead” will follow. The haunting hour starts at 3:00 p.m. Don’t be a scaredy cat! Be there if you dare! There is no place like Halloween in Kings Mountain.
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KMFD arrives on scene just after midnight on October 15. See more photos on page 4A. Photos by KMFD

KMFD responds to fire at abandoned building October 15

By Loretta Cozart

On Saturday, Oct. 15 at 12:15 a.m., Kings Mountain Fire Department’s A-shift Station 1 and Station 2 were dispatched to a commercial fire in a vacant building. They arrived to find the building fully engulfed in flames.
Companies were on scene for approximately 4 hours and the fire was fully extinguished. KMFD received automatic aid from Bethlehem VFD and Oak Grove VFD. No injuries were reported, and all units were returned to service.

Christmas Vendor Show at Trackview Hall on November 5

By Loretta Cozart

Trackview Hall announced its second Christmas Vendor Show on Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown at 205 S. Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain. Vendors have a variety of offerings including Christmas crafts, paintings, wood art, custom shirts, tumblers, jewelry, boutique clothes, food, and desserts, among other items. The first 10 adults will receive a $10 gift card for any vendor. There will also be free prize drawings and giveaways.
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Taylor Caldera, owner of Royal T Café, joins in the fun as she prepares coffee for customers. (photos by Loretta Cozart)

Royal T Café holds fall festival

By Loretta Cozart

Last Saturday, October 22, Royal T Café held their first Fall Festival at 405 S. Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain. The café, owned by Taylor Caldera, opened earlier this year, and had their ribbon cutting ceremony with the Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce on June 30. They are located in the former First Citizens Bank building between Farmers Home Furniture and Mr. Tire.
Festival activities included face painting, hayrides, pumpkin painting, making caramel apples, music, and lots of candy being given away at a trunk-or-treat. They even had a bounce house for the children and a costume contest. Families with children streamed in throughout the afternoon to join in the fun.
Regarding the festival, Taylor said, “The event was so good. We are just trying to do some fun things for families at our location. We have several other events planned through the end of the year. We hope to have a carnival around Thanksgiving, and Cookies with Santa before Christmas. Plans are pending. Folks can check our Facebook page for posts as plans are confirmed.”
When asked why she chose the name Royal T Café, Taylor said, “The letters in ‘Royal T’ are in my first name. Taylor is also my mother’s family name. Most people who know me and know my family, think my name is Taylor Taylor. I’m good with that. I’ve made lots of friends here in Kings Mountain over the years, so much so that Kings Mountain now feels like home.”
Taylor grew up in Merced, a small town in northern California, which is much like Kings Mountain. Her grandfather, Al Taylor, lives here and suggested she moved to Kings Mountain to open a business. She studied fashion in college and had a hair salon in Los Angeles before moving to Kings Mountain to open her café.