Back the Blue cookout
for KMPD officers Saturday

(March 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

A Back the Blue Cookout will be held at the Cleveland County Courthouse on March 6 from noon until 6 pm by Trudie Wilson and Elmer Obovie. The event supports Officer Skinner and Cpl. Lee Whittington, two Kings Mountain police officers injured in the line of duty. Donations are accepted and will be given to support the families.
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American Legion
Veteran’s breakfast  Saturday

 

(March 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion Post 155 announces its monthly Veteran’s Breakfast is this Saturday morning, March 6, from 9 am to 11 am at the Otis D. Green Post home on East Gold Street.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast the first Saturday of each month. Guests can dine-in or carry-out their meal. Selections include eggs, bacon, liver mush, gravy, grits, biscuits, toast, coffee, and juice.
The gathering is an opportunity for the community to support local veterans by joining them for a meal and visiting with them in fellowship. Non-veterans are asked to make a small donation to offset the cost of the meal, enabling American Legion Post to continue the program on a monthly basis.

City Council meeting
$1.5M approved for  Downtown Streetscape

(March 3, 2021 Issue)


By Loretta Cozart

City Council unanimously approved a budget amendment in the amount of $1.5M for the Phase II Streetscape project which should be completed by August. Funds for the project are being taken from General Fund ($500,000), Capital Reserve Fund ($500,000), and Electric Fund ($500,000).
“We’ve never had a full-blown Streetscape study and project during my 32-year tenure with the City of Kings Mountain,” said City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “This will be done with no rate increase, tax increase, or borrowing money from a financial institution.”
“I’d like to add that I feel we have gone beyond with funding and projects downtown with the city stepping up to the plate, and that I hope this will bring an enthusiasm and desire from the private sector to make the improvements necessary to fill the empty buildings in the downtown and achieve our ultimate goal. That goal is 100% occupancy downtown,” Sellers said.
Other budget amendments approved during the meeting include:
• A budget amendment in the amount of $24,000 to budget receipt of grant funding from Firehouse Subs Foundation to purchase AED’s (defibrillators) for Police cars. The grant requires no match, so the equipment is fully financed by the grant.
• A budget amendment in the amount of $150,000 to budget expenditures for HVAC repairs/upgrades necessary at City Hall. The project is necessary due to the fact the current software controlling the thermostats is no longer supported. Also, issues with the air handler need to be addressed due to inadequate, or in some cases excessive, heating and cooling in certain areas of the building.
• A budget amendment in the amount of $175,000 to budget expenditures for roof replacements/repairs at the YMCA and Police Departments. Both roofs currently leak and require imminent
repair  and or  replacement given current age and condition, staff recommendation is replacement.
   Three Public Hearings were scheduled for the next city council meeting on March 30:
• to consider a City of Kings Mountain Economic Development Financial Incentive Policy, as well as a proposed Text Amendment to the Downtown Development Incentives Grant Policy for the City of Kings Mountain, North Carolina as Amended February 24, 2015, increasing the amount awarded from $750.00 to $2,000.00.
•  regarding the trash transfer station in operation at the Public Works Facility.
• to consider a rezoning application from R.D. Harrell Company to rezone property located in Cleveland County and consisting of 56.95 acres, more or less, owned by R.D. Harrell and Petitioner R.D. Harrell Company with road access on Kings Mountain Boulevard, Crocker Road, and located North of Margrace Road. Property being further Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 44 Page 74 known as Parcel Numbers 11081, 55635, 11082, 72747, 13810, and 62514 from R-10 to Conditional District R6 PUD – Case No. Z-14-1-21.
   City council also adopted three resolution:
• granting Eddie & Victoria Byars relief from Section 2.8 Special Provisions for Family Subdivision, Subsection 3 of the Subdivision Ordinance for the City of Kings Mountain to allow for an easement that is greater than the 500 feet maximum for a 5.00-acre tract (Parent Tract 11014) off of Phifer Farm Road.
• authorizing the donation of a 1984 Chevrolet Truck to the Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department.
• to formally adopt the Cleveland Gaston Lincoln Regional Mitigation Plan and agree to take such other official action as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the proposed action plan.
Both the Mayor and Mike Butler, chairman of the TDA, were authorized to enter into an Audit Contract with Martin Starnes and Associates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 as required by the Local Government Commission.
City council awarded bid in the amount of f $144,000 to Carolina Air Solutions for Air Handling Units and Control Panels for City Hall air conditioning unit.
   Two appointments and reappointments to the Boards and Commissions were approved:
• Lew Dellinger – Appointed to the ABC Board for a 3-year term expiring 1/31/2024.
• Marian Denise Edwards – Appointed to the Main Street Advisory Board to fill a vacant seat expiring on 6/30/2023.
   City Council also approved adding the Main Street Advisory Board to the Policy for City Council Appointments to Authorities, Boards, Commissions, and Committees. This was inadvertently omitted when the policy was written.
   A Public Hearing was held to consider a request from Larry D. Carroll for a Voluntary Contiguous Annexation Petition for property located at 2108 Vestibule Church Road. Staff recommended continuing the Public Hearing for several reasons including lack of plat map. City council approved of the continuation until March 30 at 6 pm.
   During the regular meeting, city council unanimously approved an ordinance to demolish and remove a dilapidated dwelling and accessory buildings located at 123 McGinnis Street, due to the determination that it is not fit for human habitation. According to Codes Director Clint Houser, “This dwelling does not meet the minimum standards as outlined in the City of Kings Mountain Housing Code.”
   City council also approved a Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Kings Mountain and the NC Department of Commerce for the purposes of a complimentary review of ordinance changes in the Kings Mountain Downtown Protection, Preservation & Enhancement District.
   Kendig Keast Collaborative presented an update regarding the Unified Development Ordinance and presented their timeline. City council discussed future Council Work Sessions and times for public input. Mayor Neisler commented that he had reached out to House Speaker Tim Moore to discuss the possibility of pushing the deadline back to December due to challenges related to COVID-19.
   City Council entered into close session to consult with City Attorney regarding potential claims to be filed on behalf of the City regarding violations of the Community Appearance Ordinance and junk car violations. No action was taken.
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Murder suspects arrested

(March 3, 2021 Issue)

On February 18, at 11:45 pm, the Gaston County Police 911 Center received a report of a shooting at Lowery Wood Rd. and Lewis Farm Rd. Upon arrival officers found two males, Robert Lucas (Luke) Gibby, 22 years old, and Adam Kale Wood, 19 years old, near the intersection deceased.
Approximately two hours later, another male, Todd Payton Lee Waggoner, 21 years old, entered Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem with non-life threatening injuries. This male reported to have been at the scene earlier in the night.
Through the investigative process, three suspects have been identified. Warrants have been obtained and served for two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder on the following suspects: Michael Shane Barnes, 19, 95 Callie Lane, Taylorsville, NC, and Kaleb Isiah Carver, 21, 24 Steve Watts Drive, Taylorsville, NC.
Both suspects are currently incarcerated in the Gaston County Jail on a hold pending a first appearance in Gaston County District Court.
The third suspect is a juvenile that has been charged on juvenile petitions and arrested for two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder. The juvenile’s information cannot be
released at this time.
The Gaston County Police wish to thank the public and out law enforcement partners for their help in this investigation. The following agencies assisted during the investigation
North Carolina SBI, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Bessemer City Police Department, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Wilks County Sheriff’s Office, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkesboro City Police Department, and Gaston County Sheriff’s
office.
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The new Broad River plant joins more than 40 other Duke Energy solar plants in NC. Photo provided by Duke Energy

Duke Energy begins construction
on
 50 MW solar project

Expanding its significant clean-energy portfolio, Duke Energy has begun construction on the 50-MW Broad River Solar power plant in Cleveland County.
The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial subsidiary of Duke Energy. The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s landmark solar legislation in North Carolina.
The power plant will contain more than 170,000 solar panels across approximately 500 acres near Boiling Springs. The facility will power the equivalent of 12,500 homes. It is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2021.
“Solar power continues to play a big role in our aggressive pursuit to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our net-zero carbon goal for 2050,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We’ll continue to deliver renewable energy by building and purchasing more carbon-free power for our customers.”
 Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina. The bids can come from any company, including Duke Energy, and can be in the form of power purchase agreements (PPA), utility self-developed facilities or utility asset acquisitions.
 “In addition to increasing the renewable energy resources in the state, the project will also deliver significant economic benefits to Cleveland County,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Renewables.
During peak construction, Broad River Solar will generate approximately 120 jobs. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Broad River Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing local tax revenues to the county and local school districts, as well as meaningful payments to the participating landowners.
The facility’s design, procurement  of  inverters, balance of plant systems and construction of the project will be performed by Swinerton. The solar power generated by Broad River Solar will be sold through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
   Because of the project, the Duke Energy Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Cleveland County Schools Educational Foundation and Crest High School to add a renewable energy and green construction skills module into the school’s workforce development curriculum.
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Due to pandemic census delays
Elections could be moved to 2022

(March 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain and Shelby could see their elections moved to 2022 due to census delays. The Census Bureau ended the self-response and field data collection operations for the 2020 census on Oct. 15. The statutory deadline for the delivery of apportionment data was missed because of the delays caused by the pandemic and the anomalies found in the census data.
On Jan. 27, the Census Bureau announced the apportionment data is expected to be delivered by April 30. However, on Feb.12, the Bureau announced the timeline for releasing the redistricting data to the states would occur by September 30.
North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 160A Cities and Towns, is very specific with regard to redistricting after the decennial census and the process to move the election is very complicated. The statute reads, “Municipal redistricting must be completed by third business day before the opening of the filing period, (Wednesday, July 21, 2021). If the city or town determines that it will not be possible to adopt the redistricting changes before the third business day before opening of the filing period, the municipality may adopt a resolution delaying the election.”
This is because the council of any city which elects the members of its governing board on a district basis, like Kings Mountain, or where candidates for such office must reside in a district in order to run, like Shelby, is required to evaluate the existing district boundaries to determine whether it would be lawful to hold the next election without revising districts to correct population imbalances.
If such revision is necessary, the council must consider whether it will be possible to adopt the changes  (and obtain approval from the United States Department of Justice, if necessary) before the third day before opening of the filing period for the municipal election.
   The council must also take into consideration the time that will be required to afford ample opportunities for public input. If the council determines that it most likely will not be possible to adopt the changes (and obtain federal approval, if necessary) before the third business day before opening of the filing period and determines further that the population imbalances are so significant that it would not be lawful to hold the next election using the current electoral districts, it may adopt a resolution delaying the election.
Before adopting such a resolution, the council must also hold a public hearing on it. The notice of public hearing shall summarize the proposed resolution and shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation, not less than seven days before the date fixed for the hearing.
“The NC Legislature is also considering moving all municipal elections to 2022,” said Director of Elections of Cleveland County Clifton Philbeck. “Either way, if the election is moved, the new filing period would be noon Monday, December 6, 2021 through noon Friday, December 17, 2021.  The Legislature could also change the 2022 Primary Election from March to May 2022.  If this happens, the filing period would be in February 2022.”
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Clev. County Board of Education
approves 2021-2022 school calendar

(March 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Cleveland County Board of Education unanimously approved implementing a new school calendar to in the fall term. School will start on Monday, Aug 23, and end on Friday, June 3, 2022.
North Carolina law requires the term to begin on the Monday closest to August 26. Schools superintendent Dr. Stephen Fisher explained, “This is problematic because that schedule makes it difficult for students to complete exams before Christmas,” he said.
Two calendars were shared online for the community’s feedback: one that follows the current calendar, and another that would allow students to take exams before leaving for winter break.
Fisher shared that during the two-week window for community response, 769 people submitted their preference on the two school calendars offered. “Those in favor of the new calendar numbered 630, or 81%. Those who preferred to keep the current calendar numbered 139, or 18%.”
“The challenge with the new calendar is that it is out-of-balance,” Fisher said. “The first semester has 83 days, and the second semester has 97 days. But the second semester typically has bad weather in January and February, and A/P exams also take place in the spring.”
The school board unanimously approved the new calendar beginning in the fall.
In other business, it was determined that fifth-grade students in the Burns and Crest zone will return to in-classroom learning five days a week beginning Monday March 8. The Shelby and Kings Mountain zone will return to the classroom on Monday, March 22. Families who wish to continue remote-only learning continue to have that option.
  The board voted 7-2 in favor of this plan. Dena Green and Coleman Hunt voted against.
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These runners participated in the Gateway Trail 5K Race in 2019. Photo by Shirley Brutko

Gateway 5K and 10Miler scheduled for March

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain’s Gateway Trail Committee confirmed that their 5K and 10Miler Run are still scheduled for March, but the races will be handled differently this year due to COVID-19. This year’s races mark the 11th year, as all races were cancelled in 2020 due to Coronavirus.
The Trail 5K Run will be held March 13 starting at 9 am. Registration is $20 and ends March 10 at 11:59 pm. Runners will have a staggered start, allowing space between them as a safety precaution. “Runners must start with their masks on and can take them off while on the trail. When the runners return, they must put their mask back on, so it is going to be safe,” according to Kings Mountain Gateway Trail President Shirley Brutko.
The 5K race begins at the Trail Head at 807 Battleground Avenue, Kings Mountain, Lat: 35-13-49 / Long: 81-21-02. As of Saturday, 50 runners had registered. T-shirts are only guaranteed for those who register for the 5K by March 5.
“Race Director Starr Dowell ordered all new equipment that automates the timing of the race. When a runner goes through the gate on Quarry Road, they will have a chip on that will be scanned so we will know the exact time someone starts,” Brutko said. “It will scan them again when they finish. Runners can leave with their chip because they are disposable. So, we will not collect them after the race. Runners are strongly discouraged from gathering afterward. We ask that they just finish and leave.”
There is no reason for runners to gather because the winners are not being announced after the race.
 That evening, the winners will be announced on the Gateway Trail Facebook Page.
The 10Miler is scheduled between March 1 – 12, and runners report on the honor system. Registration is $20. Each runner runs by themselves from Quarry Road to Galilee Church Road, and back. They must report their time to Starr no later than midnight on March 13. T-shirts are not provided for this race. As of Saturday, 18 had registered for this event.
All winners of both runs will pick up their trophies at the Arts Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday, March 16 through March 20. There will be a few members from the Gateway Trail Committee there handing out trophies. The trophies are unique pieces of pottery made by members of the Gateway Trail Committee.
If you have any questions about this race, please contact the race director starr@finishwelltiming.com
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Michael Shane Barnes

Gastonia Police identify suspect
in KM homicide investigation

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

On February 18, at 11:45 pm, the Gaston County Police 911 Center received a report of a shooting at Lowery Wood Rd. and Lewis Farm Rd. in Kings Mountain.
Upon arrival, officers found two males, Robert Lucas (Luke) Gibby, 22 years old, and Adam Kale Wood, 19 years old, near the intersection deceased.
Approximately two hours later, another male, Todd Payton Lee Waggoner, 21 years old, entered Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem with non-life threatening injuries. This male reported to have been at the scene earlier in the night.
Through an on-going investigation, a suspect has been identified. Warrants have been obtained for 2 counts of first degree murder and 1 count of attempted 1st degree murder on:
Michael Shane Barnes, white male,19, of Taylorsville, NC. He is described as 5’ 8” with sandy hair and blue eyes.
Barnes is considered armed and dangerous. The public is cautioned not to interact with Barnes.  Instead they are encouraged to contact 911.
The Gaston County Police ask anyone with information about this investigation to contact Gaston County Police Detective J. Brienza at 704-866-3320.  Information can also be provided through Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000. A monetary reward is available for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Barnes.
This is an on-going investigation. There is no further information to be released at this time.
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Back the Blue events help local officers

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


Two local Kings Mountain Police officers will benefit from fundraising events being held on their behalf in March. A year ago, Officer Skinner was injured in the line of duty and is still recovering. In December Cpl. Lee Whittington was shot after responding to a call near Kings Mountain County Club.
A Back the Blue Cookout event will be held at the Cleveland County Courthouse on March 6 from noon until 6 pm by Trudie Wilson and Elmer Obovie to support both men. Donations are accepted and will be given to the families.
Lisa Cash has organized a second Back the Blue event for Officer Skinner
on March 13 from noon to 5 pm at American Legion Post 155 on East Gold Street in Kings Mountain. Hot dog plates, chips, desserts,, and a drink will be available for a donation. Police, Fire, and EMT eat for free. Raffle items will also be available, and tickets are 1 for $5, or 3 for $10. All the proceeds go directly to Officer Skinner’s family.
The community is encouraged to show their support for the Officer Skinner and his family by coming by throughout the afternoon. Contact Lisa Cash at 704-685-2930 with questions.
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Open entries for
“I AM WOMAN” 2021

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

Artists are invited to express their interpretation of the feminine and compete for prizes in Southern Arts Society’s annual “I AM WOMAN” exhibit. This is a judged show with first, second and third place prizes along with three merit awards. Though the exhibit and competition focuses on the feminine or female experience, both men and women may enter work for the show, allowing for a variety of viewpoints to be expressed.
All work must be original, completed within the last two years. Painting (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel), drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, mixed media, and fiber are eligible. Two-dimensional work is restricted to 48" by 48" including frame. Please read the prospectus/entry form on our website CALL TO ARTIST page for entry specifications http://southernartssociety.org/call-to-artists/.    All work will be accepted unless it does not meet our criteria. Entry Fees apply.
Deliver Art: Deliver artwork February 23-25 during gallery hours 10 am – 2 pm and Saturday February 27 from 11 am – 4 pm and Sunday February 28 from 1-4 pm.
Public Reception: Saturday March 13, 2021 from 6-8 pm; Awards presented at 7 pm (dependent on COVID restrictions).
Exhibit dates: “I AM WOMAN” will be on exhibit March 3 thru April 16, 2021.
Southern Arts Society (SASi) Gift Shop & Gallery is located at 301 N. Piedmont Ave. at the intersection of Piedmont and Battleground Avenues, Kings Mountain, NC, in the historic Southern Railway Depot. SASi offers a gift shop, ongoing exhibits and art competitions, programs, and classes in a variety of media for artists of all levels. GALLERY HOURS: Tues-Wed-Thurs-Sat 10 am – 2 pm and by appointment.
Information: Ph 704.739.5585 Email southernartssociety@gmail.com
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Free Medicare seminar
to be held on March 9

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

SHIIP, the Senior’s Health Insurance Information Program, is a division of the NC Department of Insurance that offers free, objective information about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare fraud and abuse, and long-term care insurance.
SHIIP will conduct a free seminar entitled: Welcome to Medicare – Zoom Seminar presented by the Patrick Senior Center on Tuesday, March 9 from 5:30 – 7 pm. Call the Patrick Senior Center to register and receive the Zoom link.
To register, call 704-734-0447. For additional information, contact Lynn Lail.
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Diana Bramble

New Superintendent hired
for KM Battleground

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Last week, National Park Service (NPS) South Atlantic-Gulf Regional Director Stan Austin announced the selection of Diana Bramble as the new Superintendent of South Carolina’s Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park, effective March 14.
In her role, Bramble will also oversee management of Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and Ninety Six National Historic Site. Bramble has managed the four units on temporary assignment since September.
“Diana brings experience caring for iconic landmarks with complex operations and stories critical to America’s advancement as a democratic society,” Austin said. “As we prepare to mark the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, Diana is wholly committed to protecting the parks’ treasured resources and enhancing collaboration with staff, visitors, partners and gateway communities.”
Bramble said, “I am incredibly grateful to have been selected for this opportunity. The staff here are profoundly dedicated to their work as caretakers of America’s heritage. It is an honor to help lead the park as a team towards an exciting future with many opportunities for partnership and engagement in anticipation of the 250th commemoration of America’s founding.”
Bramble began her NPS career in 2011 as the supervisory horticulturist for Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, with responsibility for horticulture, arboriculture, and grounds management. Four years later, she became chief of maintenance at National Capital Parks-East, where she has managed the entire facility operations and project management portfolio for a vast set of resources spanning 8,000 acres, including historic homes, commuter parkways, earthen and masonry fortifications, working farms, marinas, and a campground. Prior to joining NPS, Bramble worked six years at the Smithsonian Institution as a horticulturist.
Originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Bramble holds a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources from University of Maryland and a Master of Professional Studies in sustainable landscape design from George Washington University. She is a graduate of the NPS Facility Manager Leaders Program and now serves as a program mentor. In 2019, Bramble was awarded the NPS National Capital Area Facility Manager of the Year honor.
Outside of work, Bramble enjoys spoiling her niece and nephews, spending time outdoors, traveling and strength training.
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TIM MOORE

Legislation passed by the NC House
Families can choose In-classroom learning 

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Families of public school students in North Carolina could choose in-classroom learning under legislation passed by the state House of Representatives in a bipartisan 74-44 vote on Thursday. After passing the state House, the legislation will return to the North Carolina Senate for further consideration.
Senate Bill 37 In-Person Learning Choice for Families lets students continue remote learning if they choose and directs North Carolina schools to provide in-classroom instruction. The bill is supported by more than $1.6 billion in new funds sent to public schools in separate legislation signed by the Governor this week.
The state legislature also fully-funded state per-pupil allotments for schools, promised to “hold harmless” education budgets regardless of enrollment drops, and provided teacher salary step increases during the pandemic, in addition to the new federal funds.
Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), a public school teacher and co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the legislation provides families
 certainty in education and economic planning.
“Currently our students are subject to shifting executive orders and mixed messages from the administration which have created confusion and led to local delays, making it very difficult for parents to plan for their jobs and their child’s education,” Rep. Elmore said Thursday.
   “This legislation gives North Carolina families certainty and access to classrooms by combining over a billion dollars of new education funding with local decision-making to implement a return to in-person learning now.”
   Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said that current restrictions keeping students out of the classroom are forcing parents to miss work or seek education alternatives, and the legislation gives school systems flexibility to adjust student assignments for in-person learning.
   “Closing schools has burdened North Carolina families economically while young people fall behind in their studies, producing a devastating impact on student achievement and exacerbating socieconomic disparities,” Moore said Thursday.
   “We are listening to educators, healthcare experts, parents, and most importantly our students, who have a constitutional right to access education communities that serve their academic needs.”
   “I appreciate the leadership of my colleagues getting North Carolina students back into the classroom with legislation that builds on powerful funding for our schools and provides flexibility to adjust student assignments as needed.”
   The General Assembly provided $335 grants to families of school-age children to assist with increased child-care costs, but experts agree that closed classrooms hurt vulnerable young people the most and widen education gaps between low-income and affluent students. Special education students are hit particularly hard by the loss of in-person learning.
   Expert medical guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, the Harvard School of Public Health, and other leading healthcare organizations demonstrates that there is limited risk of infection in education settings that are prepared safely.
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NICK HENDRICK

Council approves $12M Capital Project Ordinance 

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

City Council unanimously approved a $12.02 million dollar Capital Project Ordinance during an Energy Utilities Update in its January 26 meeting. The ordinance for improvements to the electric system infrastructure of the City of Kings Mountain which consists of the construction of an additional Delivery 5 electrical distribution substation and transmission lines that will be installed that will serve the new Delivery 5. Also, there will be six (6) new distribution lines that will come from the substation that will tie into existing distribution lines that are served from other existing City electric substations. The resolution authorizes the Mayor to execute a resolution Declaring Official Intent to Reimburse pursuant to United Treasury Regulations.
“This project has nothing to do with the casino and we are doing this work without a rate increase to customers,” said Assistance City Manager/Energy Services Director Nick Hendricks. The project is generally being funded through wholesale electric savings we have experienced when switching to the Kings Mountain Energy Center Power Plant. “We are preparing for anticipated growth in that area as well as addressing our general growth." To date our existing three substations general capacity at peak is as follows: Gaston St: (95%), York Rd: (100%) and Margrace Rd. (90%). The new Delivery 5 will assist in freeing up the load at other station as well as providing shorter circuits therefore assisting in electric reliability.
This ordinance includes improvements to the electric system infrastructure of the City of Kings Mountain which consists of the construction of an additional substation (Delivery 5) and transmission lines to the substation and distribution lines from the substation totaling $9.02 million.
The following revenues are anticipated to be available to complete these projects:
Proceeds from debt issuance    $9,020,000
Transfers from
other funds-Electric    $3,000,000
Total    $12,020,000
The following amounts are appropriated in the fund:
Capital Outlay-Delivery    $3,015,000
Capital Outlay-Substation    $4,600,000
Capital Outlay-Distribution    $1,405,000
Transfers to other
funds-Electric    $3,000,000
Total    $12,020,000
Essentially, the city plans to use $3,000,000 from the Electric Fund and will finance the entire project at a later date. At that time they will apply for the entire project cost of $12.02 million and will reimburse the Electric Fund at that time. “This is a common practice many municipalities use,” according to Hendricks.
Other items from the report share that Benestar Brands has begun grading at a fast pace. “We are excited because Benestar could be, should be based upon our load numbers, the largest natural gas user 4x larger than our current largest client, which is astronomical,” said  Hendricks.
Hendricks also reported the completion of two projects: Kings Mountain Blvd. Project and the Floyd Street Project.
Kings Mountain Blvd. was completed, and all engineering, design, and easements were handled by staff in-house. This project eliminated back ally exposure by moving Kings Mountain Intermediate School and Life Enrichment Center to the new line on Kings Mountain Blvd. The project included 4000 feet of three phase electric primary circuit construction within the NCDOT 140 foot right-of-way, installation of 20 45-foot poles spaced 200 feet apart, and two 3-phase aerial crossings.
The Floyd Street Project includes work along I-85 to Woodlake Parkway and Canterbury Road. An extension of the Industrial circuit provides better reliability and re-routing flexibility, and to serve new economic projects on Woodlake Parkway and Canterbury Road to extend mainline circuit to connect to new build. The project has added new LED lighting on Floyd Street. Additional new LED roadway lighting on Canterbury Road and Woodlake Parkway will take place once the new electric distribution line is completed.
The next step is to cross the road in front of Firestone and connect at Canterbury Road to an existing line. This gives the city a total redundant loop, back feed, served by two substations.
“The Sarah Lee Road project been planned, engineered, and right-of-way obtained by in-house staff. The city will not put additional funds toward this until that particular project becomes more solidified,” Hendricks concluded, “Once we move forward with this project, we will be placing an existing wastewater pump facility that is connected to Duke Energy and connect it to City electric infrastructure.”
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Neighborhood Watch

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch program in all communities throughout the county. Our mission is to build upon the original concepts of Neighborhood Watch, by using all available resources to create a proactive community-police partnership to help prevent crime and solve problems on our communities.
The Neighborhood Watch program is a crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in our neighborhoods.
If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your community, please contact Captain Bryan Gordon 704-484-4832.

COVID-19 update for Cleveland County

   Cleveland County Public Health Center reported, as of Friday, Feb. 5, there have been a total of 9,532 cases of COVID-19 in Cleveland County. There are an estimated 299 active cases and 9,030 cases have recovered. There are currently 22 Cleveland County residents who are hospitalized, and we have had a total of 203 COVID-related deaths in the county.
   Last week, the Cleveland County Health Department received 700 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Of the 5,300 first dose COVID-19 vaccines received, Cleveland County Public Health Center has administered 5,210, using 98% of the available vaccines.
   They continue to vaccinate eligible individuals in Group 2 (age 65 and older) as dose allocations allow.
Appointments can be made for eligible recipients by calling our COVID Vaccine Appointment Line at 980-484-6019 on Fridays beginning at 1 pm until all appointments are filled. Last week all appointments were filled by 4:30 pm.
   If the line is busy, continue to call back. Once all appointments are full, you will receive a recording stating all appointments have been filled. This line is only staffed on Fridays during the designated time frame.
   Continue to monitor the Cleveland County Public Health Center’s Facebook page. If additional vaccine is transferred to us from a community partner such as Atrium Health, additional pop-up vaccination clinics may be scheduled, and details will be posted on our Facebook page.
   The Cleveland County Public Health Center also warns of scams related to the COVID-19 vaccine. They have received reports about being contacted via phone from people claiming to be employees of the Cleveland County Health Department and asking for specific health information pertaining to their COVID-19 Vaccine Card.
   The Cleveland County Health Department will not contact residents by phone asking for specific health information. If you are contacted by someone asking for this information, claiming to be a Health Department employee, please hang up and call 980-484-5316 to verify authenticity before providing any information.
   Refrain from sharing your COVID-19 Vaccine Card via social media as it displays self-identifying information making you vulnerable to identity theft and can help scammers create phony versions.
   Free COVID-19 testing is available at Cleveland County Public Health at 200 S. Post Road in Shelby, in conjunction with Kintegra Health, on Saturday, February 13, from 10 am – 2 pm. Preregistration is encouraged by calling 704-874-3316.

Governor Cooper, state education leaders support
in-person instruction in K-12 schools statewide

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

Top state education leaders joined Governor Roy Cooper today to call on K-12 school districts across the state to allow in-person instruction for all students. The Governor joined North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis to thank educators for their extraordinary work during an unprecedented time, to highlight ongoing research that shows that with proper mitigation measures, in-person learning is safe, and to emphasize the critical importance of ensuring all students have an opportunity to learn in a classroom.
“Protecting the health and safety of the people of this state, especially our children and our teachers, has been our goal,” said Governor Cooper. “We know school is important for reasons beyond academic instruction. School is where students learn social skills, get reliable meals, and find their voices. Research done right here in North Carolina tells us that in-person learning is working and that students can be in classrooms safely with the right safety protocols in place.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, state leaders have emphasized the importance of returning students to in-person learning as quickly and safely as possible. Children who rely solely on remote instruction are feeling the negative effects of isolation, including learning loss, mental health challenges and food insecurity. The state’s public health toolkit details specific health and safety protocols K-12 schools must implement to keep students and teachers safe during in-person instruction.
“Even with the thousands of students and teachers attending school in-person across the state, we have seen few COVID-19 clusters in our public schools,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Our Department will continue to serve our school communities, offering resources and support so we can keep our school doors open.”
Increasing evidence suggests that, with prevention measures in place, there are low rates of COVID-19 transmission in primary and secondary school settings even with high rates of community transmission. In addition, ongoing medical studies and peer-reviewed data affirm that children infected with COVID-19 generally have mild or no symptoms and are less likely to spread the disease. Read more at What are We Learning.
“Learning loss resulting from COVID has the potential to be a generational hurdle, but the data we have seen shows us that schools can reopen safely if they adhere to COVID prevention policies,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “For many schools, the logistics of returning to in-person instruction five days per week will be a challenge, but this is absolutely a challenge we must face head on so that all students have a chance to fulfill their potential. With strong prevention measures in place, and the scientific research to back them, now is the time to act. North Carolina’s students cannot lose any more time.”
“We know that to equitably and fully address the needs of the whole child in every student, it is imperative that schools reopen for in-person instruction,” said State Board Chairman Eric Davis. “Since August, public school leaders have proven the merits of the safety protocols that have kept our schools safe for students and staff.”
The Governor and state health and education officials have made protecting the health and safety of students and educators the top priority since the beginning of the pandemic, moving to fully remote learning last Spring and giving local school districts the flexibility to gradually return to the classroom in September.
Today, Governor Cooper, Superintendent Truitt, Chair Davis and Secretary Cohen sent a letter to local school board members and superintendents encouraging in-person instruction across the state.
North Carolina has now administered more than 1 million COVID-19 doses across the state. Today, two new resources that will help provide North Carolinians with more information on vaccines were announced. First, the state’s call center has now expanded its operations and will be open seven days a week to help answer questions about vaccine eligibility, how the vaccines work and more. The number for the call center is: 888-675-4567. Additionally, NCDHHS launched an online search tool where users can enter their ZIP code or current location to find nearby vaccine providers.

Gateway Trail signs installed on I-85

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


With the help of Dan Gurley, Senior Policy Advisor for the NC House of Representatives, Office of Speaker Tim Moore, signs for the Gateway Trail were installed on I-85 near the bridge which is part of the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail.
Shirley Brutko, Director, Kings Mountain Gateway Trail, Inc., spoke with Dan Gurley regarding signage for the Gateway Trail last November. “Dan talked to Mark Stafford, Division Engineer with DOT for Cleveland County asking if we could get signs on or near the bridge which is part of the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. The signs were installed last week; this is a dream come true for the trail,” Brutko said.

KMPD needs public’s help

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

On February 2, at approximately 1:21 pm, Kings Mountain Police Department responded to the intersection of Fairview Street and Third Street to investigate a ‘shots fired’ call for service.
Responding officers found evidence of recent gunfire in that area and contacted the Criminal Investigations Division to further investigate.
Gaston County Police Department also received information about a possible shooting in that same  timeframe at the intersection of US 74 Bypass and CV Alexander Drive. Gaston County Police found a subject suffering from a gunshot wound at that location.
This individual was transported to Gaston Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries. Gaston County Police determined that the incident occurred in the City of Kings Mountain. The Kings Mountain Police Department was contacted, and the incident was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division for further investigation.
 Anyone that might have information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Cpl. Bryant at 704-734-0444. Victim names are not being released at this point in the investigation.

KM’s Boy Scout Troop 92 volunteers
at Boys & Girls Club

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

On Saturday, January 16, 2021, Boy Scouts from Troop 92 in Kings Mountain volunteered at the Cleveland County Boys and Girls Club in to help them with maintenance on their basketball court floor.
The director of the Boys and Girls Club, Joshua Propst (who is also an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 92), requested the assistance of the troop with cleaning the floor.
The floor is a modular tile type floor. The tiles interlock and lay down on the floor to make the basketball court.
The Scouts, along with staff from the Boys and Girls Club, pulled the tiles up and cleaned the floor underneath it. The tiles were then disinfected, pressure washed, dried, and laid back down.
The project provided the Boys and Girls Club with a clean and safe floor for the boys and girls to play on. For the Scouts, it provided an opportunity to put in a good day’s work and
volunteer time and labor in  service to their community.
 Keeynan Pharr is the Operations Director for the Boys and Girls Club in Shelby. He said, “The Boy Scouts service over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was a fitting demonstration of character in the spirit of Dr. King himself. In all, they saved the Boys & Girls Club about $4,000 in labor costs for the project."
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Quilt made between 1894-1933. This is a “Tulip” pattern quilt donated by the Neisler family.

STITCHED: The Fabrics of a Community
KM Historical Exhibit
opens Feb. 16

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

By January Costa


Kings Mountain Historical Museum invites the public to mark the calendar for their upcoming exhibit, STITCHED: The Fabrics of a Community. The exhibit is on display February 16 – May 8 and open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is free.
What does the term stitched mean? It is the process of making, mending, or joining with stitches. In relation to textiles, people have been sewing in one form or another, for thousands
of years, with evidence that  suggests even up to 20,000 years ago.
Throughout history, it was a common task for people to make their own quilts, coverlets, clothes, and many other everyday objects by hand stitching. Over time, improved sewing techniques led to the invention of the sewing machine, and machine stitching. This exhibit showcases a selection of stitched examples from the museum collections that were produced by members of the community in Kings Mountain.
The hanging coverlet was made in the 1930s. This thin coverlet is designed in the “Grandmother’s Fan” pattern. It consists of 48 blocks and has a blue wide band trim along all four sides. This piece belonged to Nancy Nickels (1925-2020) and was likely made by her aunt Estelle Willeford King (1892-1981) or mother, Eloise Willeford Nickels (1895-1983). On loan by Mary “Pucky” Nantz.
The display shows a quilt made between 1894-1933. This is a “Tulip” pattern quilt. It is made of white material (now faded) on the front and has designs of purple and pink tulips on the front with green vines. The reverse side is pink and bare, with no design. This quilt was owned and made by Myrtle Kathleen Baker Neisler (1894-1933) of Kings Mountain, N.C.  Donated by the Neisler Family.
This event will adhere to social distancing protocols and guidelines in place at the time of the event. Masks and temperature checks will be required upon entry to the museum.
Kmseal

Downtown sewer work
to begin in early March

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


During the January 26 regular meeting, City Council unanimously approved a budget amendment of $400,000 for a sewer slip-lining capital project relating to the upcoming streetscape project downtown. The funding is available, given grants several years ago and significant savings regarding the I-85 loop project verses original projections.
City Manager Marilyn Sellers explained that the condition of the sewer in downtown is not good and that this work can be done with a cure in place slip-lining, eliminating tearing up the street to replace the existing sewer pipes. Using cure in place slip-lining will also expedite the process and create less disruption for citizens.
Only one lane of traffic will be closed at a time, as city crews install the new 8-inch slip-lining into existing sewer pipes on Battleground Avenue from Kings Street to Falls Street and a 4-inch slip-lining on Mountain Street from Piedmont Avenue to Battleground. With this work, 12 connections to existing businesses will need to be replaced.
Regarding a time-line for the work, Assistant City Manager Nick Hendricks said, “Request for proposals have been sent out to qualified vendors. The bid proposals are due back to us by mid-February. Bid proposals will be evaluated with a recommendation being provided to City Council. If all goes according to plan, we will recommend Council’s approval at the February Council meeting. If approved, we anticipated the project to begin the first part of March..”

Sheriff needs help identifying suspects

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Cleveland County Sherriff’s Office recently posted a Ring security video showing two subjects breaking into vehicles at a residence in Earl. If you have any information about the identity of these two suspects, please call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822 or submit a tip on the app.
Valentinescreen
Valentine Grams will be displayed on the new media screen at Patriots Park on February 10-14. Photo provided

City offers personalized
Valentine grams at
Patriots Park Feb. 10-14

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Wish your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day by purchasing a personalized Valentine Gram from the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department.
For $20.00, this special Valentine Gram will be displayed February 10th - 14th on the new media screen at Patriots Park.
“Love is sweet and so is this opportunity,” said Christy Conner, Special Events Director for the City of Kings Mountain. “Showcase your special someone on the new media screen with a personalized Valentine Gram in a super-sized way!”
Deadline for purchasing a Valentine Gram is Monday, February 8th. For more information or to purchase a Valentine Gram, please contact the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or e-mail the department at angela.padgett@cityofkm.com.
Pauljamescandle1
Mykel and Alex Baker opened their shop offering holistic products featuring homemade candles, wax melts, and body butters. Photos Loretta Cozart

Paul James Candle Co.
Open for business

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

On January 17, Paul James Candle Co. opened for business at 807 Cleveland Avenue, next door to Linwood Produce. Proprietors Paul Mykel Baker and James Alex Baker used their first names to brand their business. They moved to Kings Mountain with hopes of opening a business this year. Thanks to the help of many, their dream came true a little earlier than expected.
The Baker’s specialize in healing candles made of 100% pure soy, essential oils, and vitamins A, D, and E. “When the candle wax melts, you can spread it on dry skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, and even new tattoos to heal it,” he explains. “It doesn’t leave a greasy residue and our candles contain no alcohol or harmful additives. Aside from that, we also carry essential oils, body butter, goat’s milk soap, honey soap, and wax melts, all made with natural ingredients. And our products are reasonably priced compared to the large box stores,” Michael said.
In two weeks, the shop will add holistic products containing almost 100 percent natural ingredients such as herbs, plant extracts, phytonutrients and
antioxidants, and essential oils. In addition, they intend to add metaphysical items as well. “Nobody offers items like this in Cleveland County, so we’ve decided to include those lines because customers have been asking for them,” Mykel said.
The store also offers custom made furniture; signage; local artwork; and jewelry, including diffuser necklaces and bracelets. “With the exception of just a few items, everything in the store is made locally. We strongly believe is supporting local artists and the community through our work,” Michael adds. “We are excited to open our shop in Kings Mountain and invite everyone to stop by and say hello.”

Paul James Candle Co. Open For Business 

Photo Gallery 

(February 3, 2021 Issue)
Americanlegionlogo

American Legion Veteran’s breakfast Saturday

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

American Legion Post 155 announces its monthly Veteran’s Breakfast is this Saturday morning, February 6, from 9 am to 11 am at the Otis D. Green Post home on East Gold Street.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast the first Saturday of each month. Guests can dine-in or carry-out their meal. Selections include eggs, bacon, liver mush, gravy, grits, biscuits, toast, coffee, and juice.
The gathering is an opportunity for the community to support local veterans by joining them for a meal and visiting with them in fellowship. Non-veterans are asked to make a small donation to offset the cost of the meal, enabling American Legion Post to continue the program on a monthly basis.
Mayorneisler
Mayor Scott Neisler received his first COVID-19 vaccine last week. Photo Dawn Neisler

Cleveland County releases
new  COVID-19 vaccine plan
for Group 2 – Adults 65+

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Effective Friday, January 29, the Cleveland County Public Health Center’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Line (980-484-6019) will be open every Friday from 1 pm – 5 pm for the clinic(s) that will be held the following week based on our dosage allocation from the state.
Since vaccine rollout began, vaccine allocation from the State of North Carolina has been extremely unpredictable which has caused Cleveland County Government to have to shift and adjust on an almost daily basis.
Last week, counties across North Carolina had a call with North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen who apologized to counties for not being transparent with the dose allocation disbursement model. They committed to counties to give dose allocations three weeks in advance. However, during this call, counties were also told weekly dose allocations across the state will be limited, with only 84,000 vaccine doses being shared amongst all approved providers in 100 counties based on population. 
Due to this change, Cleveland County anticipates only receiving a very limited number of vaccine doses moving forward. As a result, county officials made the decision to transition from mailing letters to notify of appointments to scheduling appointments by phone call in an effort to get their limited doses to eligible
 individuals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Every call is important to us and all volumes are incredibly high. If you receive a busy signal, please continue to call back. Once all available appointments are filled for that week, the phone lines will be closed, and you will receive an automated message stating all appointments have been filled,” said Deputy Health Director DeShay Oliver.
   Dawn Neisler confirmed having difficulty getting through to the Cleveland County Public Health Center. “You have to be persistent and not give up. It took 317 attempts before the call finally went through and I was able to schedule Scott’s appointment.”
Cleveland County Public Health is only able to schedule as many appointments as their vaccine dosage allocation will allow, as they do not want to schedule appointments and then not have enough vaccine to cover them. A number of NC counties had to call thousands of people to cancel their appointments because they did not receive the number of vaccines they hoped to receive.
“We have had many people express the desire for us to place them on a waiting list. If we did this, the waiting list would very quickly grow to having thousands of people on it. With our current low weekly dose allocations, it would take us months to work our way through this list,” Oliver said.
  “We are aware that many residents are being vaccinated outside of Cleveland County. Scheduling weekly appointments based on vaccine dose allocations guarantees that those who sign up will attend the event.  In addition, because many individuals sixty-five (65) and older do not have access to the Internet, making appointments by phone seems to be the most equitable way of scheduling appointments under our current circumstances.”
Should the county be re-allocated additional vaccine doses from their partners at Atrium Health, the county will also host pop-up clinics. They expect this to happen on a limited basis; follow the Cleveland County Public Health Center’s and Cleveland County Government’s Facebook page for information about these pop-up clinics.
Residents who have access to transportation are encouraged to look for mass vaccination events across the state. The county will share these opportunities on social media sites as they become aware of them.
   Oliver asks, “Please be patient. With 19,000 residents 65 and older and weekly dosage allocations of less than 750, this will take time. Cleveland County is committed to ensuring that every dose received is given in a timely manner.” 
Cclogo

Elementary students
to return to school

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


Students pre-K through first grade will return to in-classroom learning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning on Feb. 22.
School board members voted six to three to begin returning elementary students back to the classroom during their January 25 meeting.
Two weeks later, on March 8, students pre-K through fourth grade will return to a five-day school week. A remote option will remain available to parents.
During the meeting, 19 people spoke. Some parents shared concern for their student’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others worried that returning to the classroom too soon might endanger  students, educators, and staff.
On the other side of the argument, concern was shared for students who do not have the needed support at home and are falling behind in their studies.
Robert Queen, Rodney Fitch, Greg Taylor, Joel Shores, Ron Humphries, and Danny Blanton voted to approve the plan.  Phillip Glover, Dena Green, and Coleman Hunt voted against.
Board members also voiced the desire to make vaccines available to educators, but the vaccine is currently designated for those 65-years and older. Dr. Stephen Fisher assured educators that he is advocating for teacher’s turn as soon as possible.
However, in other parts of NC educators are being given the vaccine. On January 22, Jackson County Schools dismissed early to vaccinate the teachers. By working with local hospitals in their area, vaccines were made available. Since then, public school employees in Rutherford County, Union County, and Swain County have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Catawba Ridge subdivision approved

(February 3, 2021 Issue) 

By Loretta Cozart


During the City of Kings Mountain’s meeting on January 26, city council approved the zoning change from R-20 to CD-PUD. Tommy Hawkins, Mike Butler, Jay Rhodes, and Keith Miller voted in favor and Dave Allen and Jimmy West voted against. Councilwoman Annie Thombs was absent due to illness.
After continuing the public hearing twice prior, councilmembers made their decision to approve rezoning the property from R-20 to Conditional District R6-PUD (Planned Unit Development). At question was to rezone property consisting of approximately 82.73 acres of the 118 total acreage purchased by Let’s Roll Holdings LLC for $1.77M last year. Phase 1 of the development will contain no more than 200 apartment units. Phases 2 and 3 will have another 400 units of homes and townhomes.
   Catawba Ridge is less than a mile from the Catawbas Two Kings Casino Resort, the casino that was granted Class III gaming by Governor Cooper last month. Catawba Ridge will offer housing for casino workers, as well as those looking for apartments with upscale amenities and quick access to I-85.
In a prior public hearing, Leonard Fletcher, an  engineer with TGS Engineering in Shelby said, “I’ve probably designed a hundred developments in the last 40-years and I’ve tried one of my own. I just know that with the kind of requirements that the staff has put on the development, you know, brick, stone, the houses are going to cost $300,000 to $400,000 at a minimum. And apartments are going to rent for probably $1,500. I just wanted to get it straight,” Fletcher said.
“He (Cheves) is not going to have a choice but to build you a legacy. It will be the nicest place in Shelby or Kings Mountain,” Fletcher said.
Mark Hughes, a resident who lives near the Catawba Ridge property spoke against the rezoning. “You put that many people in that small space, you are going to have major crime issues. We don’t want it on our end of the road,” he said.
Hughes, along with 13 of his neighbors made their case to city council voicing their concerns regarding crime, lowering the quality of life in the area, lowering home values, and worsening traffic. Those speaking against the rezoning included Mark Hughes, Randy McDaniel, Aaron Sellers, Beverly Grail, Emeline Lambert, Felicia Dover, Bobby Maner, Sonya Beatty, Mike Hinson, Billy Ramsey, Donna Spencer, Ricky Spencer, and Elmer Black.
   Before taking the final vote, Councilmember Jimmy West said, “About a year ago when I ran for this position, I made a promise that I will be the voice of the people. And I am sure that at some point everyone on council made that same promise. I don’t know if this is a good move; I don’t know if it is or isn’t… But I am not going to have to hang my head when I walk through the grocery store and see some of these people sitting back there. I am going to do what I said I would do and be the voice of the people. I would urge each of you to do what you promised.”
   Councilman Miller also spoke, saying, “It may not be perfect, but it takes a wide array of possibilities and narrows it down to a very limited set of possibilities. I can only vote for what’s before me.”
   After the meeting, Mark Hughes commented, ““The Kings Mountain City Council spent much more time debating an ordnance on murals than discussing destroying a community that has existed for over a century.”

 
Whittington1

Local fundraisers benefit
Cpl. Whittington and family

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Two weeks ago, American Legion Riders participated in an event and raised funds to help the Whittington family. Last weekend, three events were held simultaneously across Kings Mountain.
Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of people visited Central United Methodist Church’s parking lot, across from Kings Mountain Police Department, to support the Back the Blue event honoring Cpl. Lee Whittington for a hamburger and hot dog fundraiser.
Organizers Elmer Oboyle, along with his mother, Kevin and Kelly Dogan, and Bill and Lisa Cash promoted the fundraiser on Facebook. This is their fourth Back the Blue event since September. The project began on September 11, with an event in Gastonia, followed by ones at Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department, and one in Mt. Holly. Today’s event, honored Cpl. Whittington, and the community came out to show their support.
 “The goal of this event  is to show the officers we support them, that the community supports them, and that we’ve got their backs just as much as they’ve got ours. Deviney’s Lumber in Polkton donated the gas for today’s event. Ingles on Hwy. 226 donated the buns, Walmart the drinks, Food Lion more drinks and to go plates. The shirts and tumblers were designed by Sandy Kay’s Custom Designs. All of us just want to show our support for local heroes. Anyone who puts on the badge and goes out every day is a hero to us.”
When asked what this event means to him, Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Russell said, “Anytime the community shows that they have faith in us, that they back us, it’s always good. We are blessed to have the support of the citizens of Cleveland County. We really appreciate it.”
Lisa Cash, along with her husband Bill, organized the raffle fundraiser. “We are excited to see the community come together in support of Cpl. Whittington. Even if you do not know him personally, you can come out to support him and show him the respect he deserves. Kings Mountain businesses supported the raffle big-time. They were so generous.”
Sunday, Oboyle posted, “I just wanted to thank everyone that came out and helped yesterday at the Back the Blue cookout for officer Lee and his family. With all the support we were able to raise over $3,600.00 for officer Lee and his family. To all the people that helped cook and do the raffle, thank you. Y'all are amazing and we will be doing more cookouts for our police.”
Other events held throughout the day included a t-shirt sale to support the family, organized by Cortney Whisnant and Trish Putnam. “Lee is my husband’s Corporal,” said Putnam. “And he is Cortney’s brother-in-law. We sold 630 shirts in our first order, between December 27 and January 9. Thanks to the American Legion Riders and Road to Hope, we were able to pay for the shirts outright. So all the money we raise goes to Lee.”
Those who want to order a shirt in the next round can go to Lets get “Whitt” it Supporting Corporal Lee Whittington on Facebook. Shirts are $20 each for sizes S – XL. Sizes over XL are $25. Leave a comment on the page. If there is enough interest, a second order will be made.
The same day, Paul James Candle Co. on Cleveland Avenue dedicated 10% of their sales Saturday to Lee Whittington and his family. “When tragedy strikes, the love and compassion of a community can help heal what was broken, we can come together in unity proving that evil will never win,” wrote owner Mykel Baker.
In December, Cpl. Whittington was shot in the line of duty while responding to a burglary call on Downing Drive in Kings Mountain. Whittington faces a long road to recovery and the people of Kings Mountain responded to the call to show their love and support of Cpl. Whittington and his family.
Casino
An artist’s rendering of the Catawba Indian Nation’s proposed gaming resort in Kings Mountain. (Rendering by SOSH Architects)

Catawbas, NC approve compact; agreement allows state to share
in casino proceeds 

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

The Catawba Nation and the State of North Carolina signed a compact Friday, January 22, that allows the state to share in revenues generated by the new Two Kings Casino Resort, which will be located in the City of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, NC. The casino will be operated by the Catawbas, according to a press release from the Catawba Nation Office of Tribal Government.
“On behalf of the Catawba Nation, I sincerely thank Governor Roy Cooper and his team for their thoughtful collaboration in creating this compact, which is the key step in bringing economic benefits and thousands of jobs from our casino project to the citizens of North Carolina,” said Catawba Chief Bill Harris.
Chief Harris continued, “I would also like to thank Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein for their review and signoff of the compact. With work on the compact completed, we will advance the project from the site preparation phase to vertical construction of an introductory casino gaming facility to open this Fall.”
In March 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior, following a thorough, years-long review, took 17 acres of land into trust status in Cleveland County, North Carolina, for the Catawba Nation. The action recognized the Catawba Nation’s historical and ancestral ties to its aboriginal lands throughout North Carolina, as evidenced by names such as Catawba County and Catawba College, as well as in the six counties, including Cleveland County, specifically identified by Congress as part of the Catawba’s service area. The compact acknowledges this connection to North Carolina as well.
In addition to creating revenue for the State of North Carolina, the casino will help fund a Catawba-backed education fund that will benefit environmental conservation, provide educational support for members of federal and state recognized tribes and support local communities “to assist in economic development for public services, recreation, entertainment and community economic development and foster employment opportunities on or near Catawba Indian lands”, among other things.
Upon hearing the news of the compact, Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler stated, “Kings Mountain will become a major economic engine in North Carolina. We look forward to creating thousands of good jobs for our hardworking local people. We thank the Catawba Nation for extending their hand of partnership in making this dream a reality.”
Cleveland County Officials also commend the signing of the compact. “We support the State of North Carolina recognizing the casino project’s tremendous economic benefit to Cleveland County. We are pleased that a compact has been signed that establishes a collaborative partnership with this tribe and the State of North Carolina,” said Cleveland County Manager Brian Epley.
What is a compact and what does it mean to the project? Under federal law (the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) there are three forms of gaming, Class I (which are traditional and social games subject only to Tribal authority), Class II (with are various forms of bingo subject only to Tribal and Federal authority), and Class III (which are all other forms of gaming--generally casino-type gaming--which is subject to Tribal, State and Federal authority). While the Catawba Indian Nation can move forward on the development of Class I and II gaming, it must negotiate a Class III gaming compact with the State in order to have Class III gaming. That compact then must be approved by the Department of the Interior.
North Carolina and the Catawba Indian Nation have reached agreement on a Class III gaming compact that establishes a regulatory framework for the Nation’s Class III gaming activities, protects public safety and provides for certain payments to the State and to a community foundation. That compact will now go to the Department of Interior for final review and approval. It is not anticipated that this compact will pose any special difficulties as it is closely modelled after a compact that Interior has approved for another Tribal Nation.
The payments to the State are similar to what is provided in the Cherokee Compact. There are three streams of funds that benefit the state and surrounding communities, as well as tax benefits from the casino/resort activities:
 • For an exclusive right for live table gaming in certain counties the state will receive a percentage of the Nation’s live table gaming revenue that is projected to eventually reach $5-10 million/year.
 • To defray the State’s costs associated with sports and horse wagering oversight a flat fee of $191,000. –
 • To be transferred to a foundation for the benefit of the Catawba, other state and federally recognized tribes, and the local community an amount that begins at $1 million/year, but on full development will reach $7.5 million/year.
 • Tax generation. The casino/resort will generate may millions in state tax revenues through vendor and employee taxation. In addition, the Nation has agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes to Cleveland County.
Defendnc

Who is DefendNC

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Last week Kings Mountain residents received mailers urging them to contact elected officials and oppose the proposed Catawba casino. Several people who received these materials reached out to the Herald asking, “Who is DefendNC and why are they mailing me.”
At its website, DefendNC explains that it is “an initiative launched and funded by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and supported by like-minded North Carolina stakeholders who oppose the unwanted casino in Kings Mountain.” DefendNC calls on Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein “to defend North Carolina from the threat this unwanted casino poses to our state and economy,” a comment attributed to Principal Chief Richard Sneed.
The organization sent two types of mailers to Kings Mountain residents. If you live near the casino site, you probably received a packet encouraging you to mail included letters, stamped and ready to mail, to Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein asking them to oppose the casino in Kings Mountain. Other residents were sent postcards asking them to reach out to elected officials and oppose the project.
At DefendNC.com, the group shares, “DefendNC is leading a growing movement of North Carolina elected officials, communities, residents, and organizations who oppose the shady casino deal that is a bad deal for Kings Mountain, Western North Carolina, and the state.”
Essentially, DefendNC and NC Policy watch, a project of the NC Justice Center, are lobbyists encouraging citizens to write local and state legislators to support their cause in opposing the Catawba casino. NC Policy Watch solicits online donations which can be made at their website. Supporters are asked to “help us continue to expand our aggressive reporting and thoughtful commentaries.
 Make a tax-deductible financial contribution today and count yourself among thousands ensuring real news is reported.” Yet, neither DefendNC nor NC Policy Watch are registered with the NC Secretary of State as lobbyists. Neither are listed as non-profits, either. If you donate by check, you are asked to write the check out to the NC Justice Center in Raleigh, using their address.
   The NC Justice Center describes their organization writing, “We have a better sense of our capability and strength. We know—more than ever—what a significant role each of us can play in building a more progressive state. One that stands by individuals from all walks of life, regardless of race, gender identity, income, sexual orientation, country of origin, immigration status, religion, disability, or history of incarceration. We hope you’ll join us on this journey to a kinder, better, and wiser North Carolina.”
It is interesting to note DefendNC uses NC Policy Watch’s articles to argue against the proposed casino, citing a study about Cherokee’s Harrah’s Casino. They conclude, “Jackson and Swain counties have been home to a thriving and expanding Cherokee casino for more than 20 years. But the latest census data shows they are not significantly better off than Cleveland County. By some measures, they’re doing worse.”
The argument was written specifically about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, using their situation in Western NC to argue against the proposed casino in Kings Mountain. Their argument does not take into consideration the improved economy since 2010 or the proximity of the proposed casino site to major highways and cities within a one to two-hour drive.
DefendNC claims to be supported by North Carolina elected officials, communities, residents, and organizations who oppose the casino deal. Kings Mountain City Council Member Keith Miller and Mayor of Lattimore, Reverend Alton Beal have signed their support to DefendNC in opposition of the casino.
If a casino is such a bad deal for a community, why do so many communities and organizations around Cherokee in Western North Carolina support the Eastern Band of Cherokee in this effort? Those listed as supporters on DefendNC’s website include Buncombe County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Graham County, Haywood County, Jackson County, Macon County, Swain County, Town of Bryson City, Town of Murphy, Council of Independent Business Owners, North Carolina Family Policy Council, and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
The answer can be found on DefendNC’s website itself, “Our local and state economies are struggling right now. The last thing we need is a new threat to the economic well-being of communities in western North Carolina. And that’s exactly what this proposed casino would do.” So the issue comes down to money, plain and simple.
Last October, DefendNC took their argument a step further making the issue personal and accusing Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler of supporting the project for personal gain. With the latest round of accusations from DefendNC, both in mailings and online, Mayor Neisler responded:
“Because of the mailers and calls, I have found it necessary to comment on the recent bombardment of our citizens by Defend NC. The group represents the Cherokee tribe. People in Kings Mountain are smarter than to fall for the outright false statements of this non-registered lobby group concerning this project. They state that a casino is a shady deal, so I guess Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is shady deal too! Maybe they should explain what it has done for them. It has dramatically lifted up the Cherokee people. Defend NC and the Cherokee tribe are trying to stop the Catawbas from prospering like the Cherokees have for years. It’s a money thing!”
“Also, Defend NC would have you believe that the City of Kings Mountain has the authority to stop the Catawba from establishing an entertainment complex here in our area,” he shared.
“The City never had, or will ever have, the decision up or down towards approving this entertainment project. The land has already been approved and granted to the Catawbas solely by the federal government.”
 He went on to share, “In conclusion, I hope this has cleared up the misconception of the city’s role. Defend NC has no problem smearing anything or anybody to protect the monopoly of the Cherokee Casino. My main concern, and it will always be my concern, is for the City of Kings Mountain to benefit from this economic opportunity and I’ll assure you that it is not for me or my family’s financial gain.”
The discussion continued Sunday, when DefendNC posted another comment directed to the Mayor saying, “Kings Mountain residents are calling and emailing you and the City Council because they are justifiably concerned. On Tuesday, the Council may vote to rezone a large amount of land, based on little more than the assurances of an indicted developer, Wallace Cheves.”
   In response, Mayor Neisler said, “I agree that our citizens are justifiably concerned, and I don’t mind addressing those concerns. It’s my job. But you have falsely smeared me and my family plus misled people thinking we have the power to stop the casino. So where does your truth start?”
   “I’ll assure you that we have defended our city’s interest and in doing so it gives us the opportunity to get housing we don’t currently offer. Something you seek to deny us obtaining. I really do understand why you seek to be involved in our affairs. Preserving the monopoly the Cherokee’s currently possess. We will always be the best at determining our own destiny not Defend NC,” Mayor Neisler said.
Vaccinations
Brenda Hoover received her vaccine earlier this month. Photo by Atrium Health

Mass vaccinations last Saturday at KMIS

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

County Facebook pages keep citizens updated

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held at Kings Mountain Intermediate School on January 23 and 850 Kings Mountain residents 65 and over were mailed information as to the location and time. It was not an open drive-thru clinic. Residents receiving the letter were asked to bring their letter and arrive at their scheduled time.
   In a Facebook post after the event, Elizabeth Anne Tate wrote, “My mom is 87. She got a letter this past Thursday giving her a time for her vaccine at KM Intermediate School. (It was) so well organized, smooth as could be. From entrance, until 15 min wait after vaccine was given, took less  than 30 minutes. Great job by all, and much appreciated.”
Cleveland County’s roll-out of the vaccine was shared on their Facebook page on January 19, “Please call the COVID Vaccine helpline at 980-484-6019 or email covid.vaccine@clevelandcountync.gov to make an appointment. If you are unable to secure a spot for this week’s clinics and you qualify for Group 2, you will be eligible for an upcoming drive through vaccination clinic over the next few weeks – depending on dosage allocation from NCDHHS. Please continue to look for a letter in the mail in addition to regularly checking the Cleveland County Health Department’s Facebook page.”
Gaston County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is being held weekly at Gastonia Farmer’s Market, 410 E Long Ave. For more information, can call the Gaston County Vaccine Clinic Pre-registration line: 704-866-3170. Representatives will be available 8 am -5 pm, Monday to Friday to help.
North Carolina’s COVID-19 County Alert System currently shows that 99 counties are now listed as red or orange. Eighty-six counties are red with critical community spread of COVID-19 and 13 are orange with substantial community spread.
As of January last Saturday, 7,181 Coronavirus cases were reported within a 24-hour period and 3,416 North Carolinians were hospitalized.
   In Cleveland County, 8,917 people have gotten the virus since the pandemic began and has had 175 COVID-related deaths. Kings Mountain has experienced 2,536 cases and 79 deaths, so far. In a Facebook announcement on January 22, Cleveland County Health Department posted, “There are currently 41 Cleveland County residents who are hospitalized.”
   Citizens eligible to get the vaccine include health care workers and long-term care staff and residents and adults 65 and over.
   North Carolina’s Secretarial Directive remains in effect, and with COVID-19 positive cases, percent of cases that are positive and hospitalizations remaining high, citizens are asked to:
    •    Wear a mask at all times and maintain physical distance (at least 6 feet) from people when you leave your home.
    •    Stay home. Only go out for essential activities like work, school, health care, or caring for family, or buying food.
    •    Avoid gathering with people that you do not live with. If you cannot avoid being with other people, stay outside and keep it very small. Do not do things where you need to take off your mask, like eating or drinking.
    •    If you were with people who you do not live with, you should assume you may have become infected and get tested.
Parkerbuilding
Scaffolding in front of the Parker Building has been removed. Repairs the sidewalk appear complete. What once appeared lost has been reclaimed as Michael Parker Construction continues bringing this old landmark back to life. Photo by Loretta Cozart

Parker Building Progress

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Scaffolding in front of the Parker Building has been removed. Repairs the sidewalk appear complete. What once appeared lost has been reclaimed as Michael Parker Construction continues bringing this old landmark back to life. Photo by Loretta Cozart
 
Jackgeorgia1
Emily Harris, Proprietor of JACK & georgia.

JACK & georgia
opens new location

(January 20, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

A crowd gathered at the new location of JACK & georgia, a young woman’s clothing and accessories boutique located at 209 S. Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain, just before 10 am on Saturday, January 16.
Thirty women, excited for the store’s new location and a special discount offered to early shoppers, looked through the windows to see the newest offerings made available by proprietor Emily Harris.
When asked about her new location, Harris said, “I love being on main street now. It is a lot different where we are here on main street; it is completely different even though we are in a small town. It’s exciting; it’s a big deal, especially in an historic town like Kings Mountain.”
“We had a better turnout than I expected, really, especially when you open at 10 am… you just don’t know what to expect.” Harris pauses to thank customers for coming in, then continues, “Of course, we had people come from all over town, but people came from Florida, South Carolina, and all over come up and that was really cool. Being able to see that reaction was really nice on opening day. It’s been a good day, so far.”
When asked if she added new lines or products, Harris said, “We just got to expand our inventory. It is  probably five to six times more than we used to carry, because we have so much more space. We have new pieces, due to constant turnover, and new offerings as they are released.”
The store sets a new bar for Kings Mountain shops, with clean lines and a feminine flair. Above a pink sofa near the dressing rooms, a pink neon sign reads, “You’re Like Really Pretty.” As to the décor, Harris said, “When you first open, you do what you can. With this move, I got to make it what I always wanted it to be now that I have finally gotten into the door in town. I’m really excited!”
The shop includes cute tops, bottoms, sweaters, shoes, swimwear, outerwear, and accessories for young women. New inventory arrives every Tuesday, for those who keep up with the most current fashion trends.
Cplwhittington
Cpl. Lee Whittington

Back the Blue event for Cpl. Whittington this Saturday

(January 20, 2021 Issue)

An event to support Cpl. Lee Whittington is scheduled for Saturday, January 23 from noon to 6 pm. It will be held at Central United Methodist Church, 112 S. Piedmont Avenue, across from the Kings Mountain Police Department.
Hamburger and hot dog plates with fries and a drink will be available for a donation. The event is hosted by Elmer Oboyle.
All plates are available by donations only. Tumblers and shirts will also be available. Proceeds will go to Cpl. Lee Whittington of Kings Mountain Police Department, the officer injured in the line of duty last December. 
Candles

Paul James Candle Co.
opens in Linwood area

(January 20, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Paul James Candle Co. held a soft opening Sunday at 807 Cleveland Avenue, right next door to Linwood Produce. Owners Michael Baker and partner James Baker moved to Kings Mountain last December from Conover with plans to open a business later this year. Thanks to several fortunate occurrences, the date was moved up to January 17.
“A friend of mine, Cinnamon, works for Keith Falls and a home he owns became available, so we came to Kings Mountain to see it. I met Keith Falls and before we knew it, we were moving to Kings Mountain. Everyone we have met has been so welcoming and friendly,” Michael said. “Keith has a heart of gold and helps people. I have only lived here short time, but I can see what a caring person his is toward others. As luck would have it, this shop was also available, and everyone encouraged us to open the business. Keith helped make that happen.”
The Baker’s specialize in healing candles made of 100% pure soy, essential oils, and vitamins A, D, and E. “When the candle wax melts, you dab your finger
in the wax and spread it on dry skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, and even new tattoos to heal the skin,” he explains. “It doesn’t leave a greasy residue and our candles contain no alcohol or harmful additives. Aside from that, we also carry essential oils, body butter, goat’s milk soap, honey soap, and wax melts, all made with natural ingredients. And our prices are reasonably priced compared to the large box stores,” Michael said.
The store also offers custom made furniture; signage; local artwork; and jewelry, including diffuser necklaces and bracelets. “With the exception of just a few items, everything in the store is made locally. We strongly believe is supporting local artists and the community through our work,” Michael adds. “We are excited to open our shop in Kings Mountain and invite everyone to stop by and say hello.” Hours for the business are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 am to 6 pm.
Architecture

Community meeting held for proposed Catawba Ridge
development

(January 20, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


On Wednesday, January 13, Wallace Cheves and his real estate partner and co-developer, Paul Sparks, with Let’s Roll Holdings LLC, met with approximately 15 citizens in a community meeting at city hall to discuss the plans for Catawba Ridge, a proposed development located at 415 Dixon School Road.
City Council met twice in December to consider rezoning the property from R-20 to Conditional District R6-PUD (Planned Unit Development). At question was to rezone property consisting of approximately 82.73 acres of the 118 total acreage purchased by Let’s Roll Holdings LLC for $1.77M last year. Phase 1 of the development will contain no more than 200 apartment units. Phases 2 and 3 will have another 400 units of homes and townhomes.
The developers presented their plan to those gathered with information they had shared with City of Kings Mountain prior to the meeting. The presentation stated that the Catawba Village Planned Use Development is a comprehensive mixed-use development intended to bring high quality housing development to Kings Mountain.
Leonard Fletcher, an engineer with TGS Engineering in Shelby spoke during the last public hearing in mid-December said, “I’ve probably designed a hundred developments in the last 40-years and I’ve tried one of my own. I just know that with the kind of requirements that the staff has put on the development, you know, brick, stone, the houses are going to cost $300,000 to $400,000 at a minimum. And apartments are going to rent for probably $1,500. I just wanted to get it straight,” Fletcher said.
“He (Cheves) is not going to have a choice but to build you a legacy. It will be the nicest place in Shelby or Kings Mountain,” Fletcher said.
A challenge for the developers is available housing supply. According to the Cleveland County, North Carolina - Housing Needs Assessment, Prepared by Bowen and completed in 2019, “More Than 1,100 Housing Units in the County are Considered Substandard a based on ACS 2013-2017 estimates, …, it is clear that many households are living in housing conditions that are considered to be below modern-day housing standards. There is also limited available inventory among all levels of affordability for multi-family rentals, based on Bowen National Research.
   Several artist renderings of the proposed units were shared in the presentation, along with a description of amenities for each apartment unit. Those include:
• Proposed Apartment Amenities
• Granite Countertops
• White Cabinetry
• Mosaic Backsplash
• Stainless Steel Appliances
• French Door Refrigerator w/ Water Dispenser
• Pendant Lighting in Kitchen
• Energy-Efficient Appliances
• USB Outlet in Kitchen
Proposed Community Amenities
Fitness Center
• Swimming Pool
• Courtyard BBQ Grills
• Outdoor Fireplace & Firepit
• Clubhouse TV Lounge
• Clubhouse Coffee Bar
• Dog Park & Pet Spa
• Package Delivery
   The architectural concepts on display, along with the floor plans, gave those in attendance an idea what the apartments might look like, however, these concepts are not approved plans. They are concepts representing what the builder intends to do. The apartments shared were multi-level units of three to four-stories and showed three bedroom units of approximately 1,200 sq. ft with a patio/deck.
After the meeting, the Herald spoke with Mark Hughes who attended and lives nearby. “In my opinion, this is a BAM development, they are doing the bare absolute minimum to get by. When I asked about the buffer zone and water run-off, they told me they would do what the law requires,” he said.  Hughes also shared concerns about the number of apartments and that without home ownership, renters might not take pride in the property. He also worries that transient populations might bring vice into the area.
City Council will address this project zoning again at the public meeting scheduled for January 26 at 6 pm at City Hall.

JACK & georgia holds
Grand Opening this Saturday 

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


This Saturday, January 16, from 10 am to 4 pm, women’s clothing store JACK & georgia holds its grand opening at their new location at 209 S. Battleground Ave.
Proprietor Emily Harris said, “We closed our old location right after Christmas on December 26. The old location, including the storeroom, was 800 sq. ft. The new location is 2,700 sq. ft.
This is a very exciting move for us. We hope to see everyone for our grand re-opening!” The first 25 customers in the door will receive an exclusive discount on our brand new collection.
The shop includes cute tops, bottoms, sweaters, shoes, swimwear, outerwear, and accessories for young women.
Prayer
Community prayer rally was held at Patriots Park Gazebo on Saturday.

Community gathers to pray for first responders

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


On Saturday, January 9, Kings Mountain Ministerial Association held a Community Prayer Rally at Patriots Park Gazebo at noon. The day after Kings Mountain’s first snow of the year, a small crowd gathered as spiritual leaders from across the city, and beyond, joined in praying for first responders in the community. The prayers were heartfelt and are summarized here so that all who missed the event might hear their words and remember the first responders.
Pastor Ron Caulder, Pastor of Eastside Baptist Church and President of the KM Ministerial Association opened the prayer event saying, “We have a sovereign God; we have been through some very difficult times over the last 10 months. We certainly need Him in the hour we are living in here today. We come to praise His holy name and pray for people who are special to us who are helping us to get through this pandemic and praying for the Lord’s deliverance. In time, the Lord will deliver us.”
Dr. Jonathan Bundon, Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church led the group in song, singing the Lord’s Prayer to begin the prayer rally.
Rev. Corey Gaines of Maiden Chapel in Maiden, NC, prayed for Healthcare Workers saying, “We pray and commit them to you, oh God, asking that You be their strength like no other. We pray right now, in the name of Jesus, that You give them the tenacity to keep moving forward. We know, God, that nothing is impossible with You. With You, all things are possible. We come against the spirit of the virus in the name of Jesus.”
Praying for Fire and
Rescue was Rev. Greg Neely of Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church who said, “Many people pursue a career and realize later in life, they should have pursued a calling. Others pursue a calling and make it a career. Father, as they make their shifts, my prayer is that You help sustain Fire and Rescue workers spiritually. As they lie in their bunks, may it not be idle time. May they find themselves drawn with the need and desire to study Your word, so when they leave out, they leave out with purpose. God, give them the vision to see that those they help are people, just like the rest of us, and they may be helping them in the very hour of their greatest need. Father, would You keep them safe, not only for their own benefit, but for ours, in Jesus’ name we pray.”
Rev. Brian Taule of David Baptist Church prayed for retail workers.
“God, I pray for protection for those ones that stand behind the register as we pick up our groceries, being exposed to who knows what. Not just ones in the grocery store, but all of the retail establishment. God, protect them. We thank You for them and we thank You for living in a county where we can go. Thank You for the blessing of just being able to shop and not have all the stores closed.”
Dr. Rob Patrick of Boyce Memorial ARP Church prayed for the educators. “In this time of unprecedented challenge and difficulty for our educators, we pray for those throughout our nation, our state, and particularly here in Cleveland County that they might know you and be strengthened by Your spirit.”
Praying for Law Enforcement was Rev. Jeff Longwell, Pastor of Penley’s Chapel. “I ask You, oh God, to put Your blessing and Your protection upon our Law Enforcement Officers as we think about all the things they have been through this year. Many have laid down their lives, Lord. We know You said that there is no greater love that a man could give than to lay down his life for his friends. These men and women are called to the duties they do. You have put them in that place, and we trust You to bring them safely home to their families night after night. As they lay their live on the line, may they have eternity with you in their hearts.”
Rev. Reginald Hartgrove of New Life Christian Church shared a prayer for the Transporters, “Father, in Jesus name we come humbly before You to thank You for your grace, Your mercy, and Your loving kindness. We praise You before we ask You for anything. As we lift up every transporter, You appeared to and guided the children of Israel and we ask that You do so in a like manner to every transporter. Guide them, protect them, keep them from seen and unseen dangers. Let Your grace, let Your mercy abide heavily upon them in Jesus name.”
Volunteers were prayed for by Rev. Paul Brintley of Fellowship Baptist in Dallas, NC. “You know, a volunteer is a person who remembers to do things that makes other people happy. When we have times of service, they can be so intense and physically draining for volunteers. I pray Your blessing on each volunteer that You have brought to serve during this trying time. I ask that You set a guard over each volunteer and keep them strong in You. You promised that You will be our strength, so I ask you to give each volunteer the measure of strength that they will need to accomplish what You have called them to do even though they are not compensated financially. You said in your word that You would reward them if they stored it up where no moth or rust can destroy. So, Father, I ask You to reward them mightily.”
Dr. Moses Nueman, Director of World Care Ministries prayed for Ministers and Churches. “Father, God, you ordained the Church. You ordained that that is a place of refuge, a place where we can run into and find refuge. It is also a place the community calls the Watchtower. You have also ordained ministers who are the Watchmen on the tower. You have asked us to go into the world and preach the gospel. We thank You for the city of Kings Mountain and the whole community we have here. We want to thank You, Father God, for the ministers in the area who worship You in spirt and in truth. Thank You for the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association that brings us together. Let Your name be glorified and let Your love abide in us. Most of all, have mercy on our Country and grant us peace.”
Rev. Bruce Gwyn of Central United Methodist Church prayed for Government workers saying, “God of all ages, in Your sight and in Your time nations have risen and they have fallen. Lord, they pass through times of plenty and they pass through times of peril. In this turbulent time, my all of our leaders be led by Your wisdom. May our leaders seek Your will and not theirs. Lord, if they do not see clearly and have turned from Your way, I pray that they will repent. You are our hope, God. You are our strength, our help in our time of need. Serving through the light that You shine upon their minds and their hearts.”
A prayer for our community was offered by Rev. William Thompson of William Thompson Ministries and Coffee Time with a Preacher. “Community is defined by all the different entities we have prayed for already. They have been called, one by one. As we call God to remember us, we want to remember Him as our creator, as our redeemer, and as a healer of our land. Dear Father, we lift up the Kings Mountain Community. We ask that we understand who we lift the community up to, the Creator, the very One who brings about all the things we so desperately seek. I want to lift up the community and ask for peace, ask for joy, ask for love, kindness, forgiveness, loving on one another, that this community will be the very place we would want to bring our children, and our children’s children. And whenever we look at this place, that we will remember one thing. That the center of Kings Mountain is The Christ.”
Dr. John Sloan, Jr., known by many as ‘Brother Chip’, shared a word of thanks, “Our gracious heavenly Father, You have instructed us that we should rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. In obedience to You, we have gathered together, we have sung, we have rejoiced in our fellowship. We have prayed, Lord, specific prayers for specific needs. Lord, now we just want to give thanks to You. We thank You for Jesus, for he is our helper. I thank You for this land we call America. You have for so many years protected us and given us a place of protection. We thank You for how you have blessed us with this great land. Lord, we thank You for the government, for the wisdom of the founders, who designed a government that is truly for the people and by the people. The technology we enjoy today is a gift from You. Lord, I give you thanks for this town. May daughter, who is a wife and a mother of two little children just riding into Kings Mountain not long ago burst out with the words, ‘I love this little town.’ And Lord, I do love this little town. We are grateful for it. We are grateful, Father, for every citizen who is here.  And we thank You Lord for every church that stands to minister for You to build harmony and unity. Lord, we give You thanks for the big things and the little things. In the precious name of Jesus.”
Pastor John Wilcox of First Presbyterian Church offered the closing prayer, saying, “I think everything has been said that could be said. It is wonderful to be here and see a community that has come together for the needs of the people of the community. It is such a blessing to be a part of this. We pray that Christ may grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the power in our inner being through his spirit. So that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. To Him, be glory and the Church, and Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”
Pastor Ron Caulder of Eastside Baptist Church thanked all the ministers for participating and concluded by saying, “The Lord has heard our prayers here and we give him praise. May you now go in peace. God Bless you.”
After the event, the Herald asked Officer T. Bell what this event meant to him as a member of Kings Mountain Police Department. “As far as the community standing behind our police officers, it means the world to me. When the community and police work together, it fits like a hand in a glove,” he said.

Clev. County COVID-19
testing locations 

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

• Cleveland County Health Department: 980-484-5316 (Testing is FREE)
• Kintegra Family Medicine (Testing is FREE)
   Kings Mountain: 704-710-1077
   Boiling Springs: 704-818-9200
• Atrium Urgent Care – Shelby: 704-468-8888 (Contact to ask about cost)
• CVS in Boiling Springs and Kings Mountain:
https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-assessment (Contact to ask about cost)
• NextCare Urgent Care – Shelby: 704-481-0555 (Contact to ask about cost)
Check with your healthcare provider about testing options and cost.
Cclogo

Board of Education moves to return youngest students to classroom February 8

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

During Cleveland County Board of Education’s special called meeting on January 7, members voted 5 - 4 to return pre-kindergarten through 4th grade students to full-time instruction beginning on Monday, February 8. Plan A’s previous start date had been set for January 19.
Chairman Robert Queen summarized research he had done with Shelby Pediatrics and Atrium Health, among others. He indicated that Atrium Health expects a spike in COVID-19 cases in early February. Currently there are no issues of being seen by Emergency Departments, but there could be an issue with finding a bed if a patient needs to be admitted. Some patients have been transferred to other facilities. But patients have also been transferred here if beds are available.
Queen reported that he checked with Shelby Pediatrics and they suggested that January 19 was not the  right time to go forward with in-person learning. On January 6 at 3 pm, a letter was received confirming Shelby Pediatrics’ concern.
Representatives from Cleveland County Health Department and Cleveland County Schools also spoke regarding current data.
Motion was made by Rodney E Fitch to return pre-kindergarten through 4th grade students to full-time instruction on February 8, second by Danny Blanton. Voting in favor were Robert Queen, Danny Blanton, Ron Humphries, Joel Shores, Rodney Fitch.
Voting against were Phillip Glover, Dena Green, Coleman Hunt, Greg Taylor.
While public participation was not allowed at during this meeting, the next Cleveland County School Board meeting is January 11. During that meeting, public participation will be allowed. Vice Chairman Joel Shores spoke in favor of allowing public participation at this special meeting, but it was voted down 7 -2.

Downtown shop gets renovation

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart

Work has begun at 205 S. Battleground Avenue on property owned by Shane Adams. Last Saturday, a concrete truck was parked outside the property, as Adams and workers poured a new floor in back right portion of the building.
“We decided to go head now to fix the plumbing in the building. What we had was 60-years old and it is easier to fix it now and before we do further renovations. It would cost much more to come in after renovations,” Adams said. “Venues are now required to have ADA compliant bathrooms, so we decided to add those as we updated the plumbing.”
Jerry and Sherryl Adams are renovating the property with plans to open a venue for receptions, gatherings, and meetings. No date has been yet been set for the opening.

Mlk

City of Kings Mountain hosts
Virtual online event honoring
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(January 6, 2021 Issue)

Online event will 

take place,
January 15th-19th, 2021

Kings Mountain, NC:  Honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the City of Kings Mountain is set to host a virtual online event, “Meet Dr. King”, January 15th-19th, 2021.
Performed by Bright Star Touring Theatre of Asheville, NC, “Meet Dr. King”, introduces audiences to Dr. King and follows key moments in his life beginning as a young boy experiencing racism for the first time, to meeting his wife, Coretta, to becoming a pastor and finally a national inspiration.
Audiences will get the opportunity to watch the production live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mauneylibrary and www.facebook.com/CityofKMSpecialEvents.
In addition to this special production, Mauney Memorial Library will honor Dr. King by providing a “Doves of Peace” paper craft in select businesses throughout the City. Businesses participating are, Big Red’s Café, Mauney Memorial Library, Mountain Holiday, and Swooger's.
Schools throughout Cleveland County will receive the link to allow students to watch the production as well.
For more information, please contact the City of Kings Mountain Special Events Department at 704-730-2101 or access their website at www.kingsmountainevents.com
Fantasylights1
Fantasy Light show in downtown Kings Mountain honored police officers. Photos by Angela Padgett

Special Fantasy Light Show supports local police

(January 6, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Kings Mountain honored the city’s police officers with a tribute during a specially programmed Fantasy Light Show. The trees along Railroad Avenue were trimmed in blue.
“We wanted to do something to honor our police and let them know we are thinking of them,” said Mayor Neisler. “This has been a tough time for our police officers in the last few weeks and they need to know we appreciate what they do to protect us in our community.”
If you missed the light show, you are in luck. Angela Padgett of Kings Mountain Special Events took pictures and shared them with the Herald.
A special Prayer Gathering will also be held this Saturday at noon in Patriots Park by the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association. It is a great opportunity to show Kings Mountain Police, and all law enforcement in the county and the region, how much the community appreciates all they do to keep everyone safe.
Dellinger
Photo provided

$250 Main Street Bucks Winner

Main Street Director Christy Adkins announced the winner of the $250 Main Street Bucks promotion! Presenting the $250 Main Street bucks to Karla Stamey is Lew Dellinger, owner of Dellinger’s Jewel Shop. Stamey met the qualifications by spending a minimum of $25 at Dellinger's Jewel Shop and turned in her receipt. She can spend that $250 at any of the downtown businesses.                                 
 
Americanlegion

American Legion Veteran’s breakfast this Saturday

(January 6, 2021 Issue)

By Loretta Cozart


American Legion Post 155 holds its next monthly Veteran’s Breakfast on Saturday morning, January 9, from 9 am to 11 am at the Otis D. Green Post home on East Gold Street.
All veterans are invited to this free breakfast the first Saturday of every month. Others are welcome to attend for a small donation that helps fund future breakfasts. Everyone is asked to follow Governor Cooper’s guidelines for social distancing. The following month’s breakfast will be on February 6.
Policeofficers
Cpl. Lee Whittington, Jr., right, was shot in the line of duty on Dec. 21. Here, with another officer, they express their concern for fellow officers. The KM Ministerial Association will lead prayer for all essential workers who protect our community. Photo by KMPD

Special Prayer Gathering
Saturday at Patriot’s Park

(January 6, 2021 Issue)

The Kings Mountain Ministerial Association will hold a special prayer gathering this Saturday, January 9, at noon at the Gazebo in Patriot’s Park.
The community prayer gathering is planned to pray for police officers and all essential workers in Kings Mountain who work to keep the community safe and who are always there to help in a time of need.
Essential workers include police, fire fighters, city employees, EMT’s, doctors, nurses, nursing home workers and employees, to name a few.
This has been a one of the most challenging years in the lives of most people. The Ministerial Association shared, “We are thankful to God for seeing us through some of the most some difficult times. You are invited to join us Saturday at noon in Patriots Park as we come together to pray for His help as the new year begins, praying especially for those who are in harm’s way to protect us in times of crisis. These people are on the front lines for us. They need our prayers and support as a community of faith.”
Patriots Park is located at 220 S. Railroad Avenue in Kings Mountain.