Your Hometown Newspaper
¢ Since 1889 e
VOL. 102 NO. 48
Stocking Fund is off
to a slow start and
your help is needed
if the drive is to
equal or surpass last
year's collection of
Thus far the only contribution
received is a $250 donation from
the United Methodist Women of
Central United Methodist Church.
Donations are needed to supply
toys, food and other necessities to
needy children and their families in
the Kings Mountain area.
Donations may be mailed to
Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box
1461, Kings Mountain 28086, or
may be deposited into the Empty
Stocking Fund account at Home
Federal Savings Bank.
Donations may be made in
memory or in honor of someone, or
may be made anonymously.
Last week's total - 0
This week's contributions:
United Methodist Women,
Central United Methodist
New total - $250.00
The annual Kings Mountain
Christmas parade will be held
Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m. in
the downtown area.
This year's grand marshall will
be Channel 9 Eyewitness News an-
chor Debi Faubion.
The parade will also include,
from WSOC, the Chopper 9 float
with Harold Johnson and Bill Coy.
Any groups, organizations or
persons who would like to enter
the parade should go by the
Community Center and fill out an
entry form. Deadline is Friday,
There is no fee for entering the
parade. For more information call
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HO, HO, HO!
Thursday, November 29, 1990
Photo by Darrell Austin
- John McGinnis of McGinnis Department Store in
downtown Kings Mountain gets into the spirit of Christmas while
decorating a tree in his store. With Just 22 more shopping days until
Christmas, merchants say business is brisk.
City Council, in accepting its 1989-90 fiscal year
audit Tuesday night, authorized "marking off" $71,000
in bad utility debts and $1,930 in property tax debts.
During a lengthy discussion with auditor Darrell
Keller, it was pointed out that law requires unpaid util-
ity bills to be written off after three years and that un-
paid property tax bills be written off after 10 years.
Keller and City Manager George Wood pointed out
that the action does not prevent the city from collect-
ing the bills if the opportunity arises in the future. If
customers who left the city owing bills return and re-
quest service, it can be refused until the old bills are
City Attorney Mickey Corry also pointed out that
the city can pursue legal action through magistrate's
court; however, he said he would not advise it except
in the cases of substantial bills. He said each time a
claim is filed, the city must pay filing costs "up front"
and in the case of very small claims the city could end
up paying more in court costs than it would collect.
Finance Director Jeff Rosencrans said he would not
feel "comfortable" trying to collect some of the debts
incurred before the city went on its new computer sys-
tem in August 1988. Some of the records prior to that
time had not been kept properly, he claimed.
Council members discussed shortening the period
that customers have to pay bills without having service
disconnected. They pointed out that current payment
timetables allow customers to go over 2 1/2 months be-
fore having service disconnected.
In response to questions by Councilman Elvin
Green, City Manager George Wood assured him that
See Budget. 11-A
OK'd For 90 Days
"The Corner" merchants on East Gold Street were
given 15-minute parking spaces for a 90-day trial basis
at City Council's regular monthly meeting Tuesday
night at City Hall.
Bernice Chappell, owner of "The Corner" and man-
ager of the Sub Factory, petitioned the council on be-
half of the merchants, requesting that the current
spaces designated as loading zones be changed to 15-
minute parking to allow "stop and go" customers to
park in front of the buildings.
After a lengthy discussion which drew mixed opin-
ions from council members, the board voted 5-1 to al-
low the 15-minute parking for 90 days while Police
Chief Warren Goforth studied the situation. He will re-
port back to the board after 90 days and a final deci-
sion will be made. Councilman Fred Finger cast the no
Mayor Kyle Smith, council members Norma
Bridges and Scott Neisler and Chamber of Commerce
director Loretta Cozart spoke in favor of allowing 15-
minute parking. Finger said he opposed parking on
the street because of the high volume of traffic, and
councilmen J.D. Barrett and Al Moretz had several
questions about the matter.
Mrs. Chappel said the main reason for her petition
was that it had been requested by customers who want
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See Parking, 11-A
Frank ol Lives To Help Others
"You don't go wrong when you
try to help somebody else, if you
do it from the heart."
That's been Frank Rippy's motfg
for years and one that the 74-yeatft
old Kings Mountain man will livi
by for the rest of his life.
Rippy, who recently lost his wif
of 55 years, the former Ell
Kimbrell, ran his jewelry store
Piedmont Avenue for 40 years bel:
fore selling it to take care of hils
ailing wife some six years ago. Hi#
was Kings Mountain's oldest jew
eler, both in terms of age and yeays
of service, and he was also one of
the best. }
He worked 14 hours a day mot
days, except Sundays, and during
the entire 40-year span of owning
and operating Rippy's Jewelry he
took only one week of vacation.
That was to go to New York to see
. some of the companies he bought
was 23 years old.
"1 #tarted working at the old
Mill learning to run
.," he recalled. "Then I left
there and went to the Park Yarn
wher I started off sweeping-
...abof the lowest job in the mill.
Tha o ras back in 1935. I got saved
and started going to church. I had
been a pretty rough fellow until
In 1941, Rippy recalled, the lite
C.O. Tate and L.C. Condrey/were
running a jewelry store across) Bom
sell out and “Tate asked Rip]
"I told him I didn't have
money, and another thing wag that
I didn't know anything about fixing
a watch," Rippy recalled. "He said
'you can learn.’ "
Rippy approached the tail WT.
Weir, who ran the company store at
the Park Yarn, about a loan. "I told
See Rippy, 11-A
Here's some good advice, want-
ed or not, fill up the gas tank in
your automobile before 12:01 a.m.
That's when an additional five
cents tax is being tacked on to ev-
ery gallon of gas sold. Uncle Sam
is the beneficiary of the additional
Faced with passing the addition-
al tax on to the consumer or ab-
sorbing at least a part of it by cut-
ting its profit margin, distributors
© say they have no choice.
Mike Frost, president of
Petroleum World which operates a
Phillips 66 station on King Street
in Kings Mountain, said "The five
cents tax increase is a true cost, it's
not something that you can cut.
"This is also a floor tax, we have
to pay for everything we have in
the ground at the time as well as
what we purchase to move for-
ward. This is a major industry hit
which comes at a very bad time.
We have to recover these costs.
"We (distributors) don't own any
refineries or wells, we have to pay
whatever is charged by the termi-
nals and this is a wildly fluctuating
market. The tax comes at a very
Fire Destroys Teen's Home
Nikki Hilbreth lost all of her
worldly possessions Saturday
morning when a fire destroyed the
camper in which she had been liv-
ing for just a few days.
The 18-year-old was invited to
stay in the camper by Pastor
Tommy Griffin and his wife, Joni.
The camper was parked just a few
feet from their residence at 703
Kings Mountain Fire Chief
Frank Burns said the fire occurred
shortly before 5 a.m. and totally
destroyed the 1972 model camper.
He estimated the damage to the
camper between $3,700-$4,200,
not including the contents.
"The fire started from misuse of
an electrical heater," said Chief
Burns. "It was placed too close to
furnishings in the camper and the
radiant heat ignited the furnish-
The fire was yet another misfor-
tune in Nikki's life. About three
weeks ago she left her parents’
home and moved in with a 15-year-
old friend. They rented a mobile
home on Gold Street for $70 but
were unable to afford electricity or
heat. The girls held part-time jobs
and were trying to stay in school.
The Griffins have only been in
Kings Mountain since August. He
is pastor of Trinity Church of the
Living God located on the
Cherryville highway and it was
through their congregation that
they learned of Nikki's situation.
They invited her to move into their
"Nikki is a good girl, she was
raised in a Christian home," said
Mrs. Griffin. "She just got in with
the wrong crowd and we wanted to
help her get her life back together.
We don't have all that much, but
her welfare and mental progress
were important and we want to
See Fire, 11-A
difficult time," he said.
Frost also noted that North
Carolina has one of the highest
state taxes on gasoline of all the
states. "North Carolina taxes are
five cents a gallon higher than
South Carolina and that makes be-
ing competitive impossible," he
When the tax increase goes into
effect Saturday, North Carolinians
will be paying 35 cents tax on ev-
ery gallon purchased. That
amounts to 21 cents in state taxes
and 14 cents in federal taxes.
President George Bush and
Congress passed the new federal
tax in October as part of the
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation
Act of 1990. It increases the feder-
al excise levy on gas and diesel fu-
el from nine cents per gallon to 14
cents. This comes on the heels of a
state gas tax hike last year.
After taking inventory on the
amount of fuel they have in storage
at the close of business Friday, sta-
tion owners will then change pump
meters to reflect the new tax rate to
be charged beginning Saturday.
Frost's advice to consumers is
fill the gas tanks before Saturday.
The City of Kings Mountain is
continuing its Veteran's Day obser-
vance far beyond the November 11
calendar date set aside for remem-
bering those who gave and pre-
At Tuesday night's monthly
meeting of City Council, Mayor
Kyle Smith announced that he will
write a letter to all local service-
men stationed in Saudi Arabia and
the Persian Gulf. He is also asking
citizens to come by city hall and
sign the letter, which will be
mailed in time for servicemen and
women to read during Christmas.
The deadline is December 15.
Mayor Smith is hoping hundreds
of citizens will sign the letter,
which is in the reception area of
"It's a goodwill gesture on the
part of our citizens and will let the
service men and women know that
all of their friends and neighbors
are thinking of them during this
time," he said.
In a related matter Tuesday
night, the council honored veteran
Willis King by presenting him a
framed display of the medals and
ribbons he earned during World
War II. City Community
Development Director Gene White
helped secure the replacement
See King, 6-A
Richardson To Speak
At Kiwanis Meeting
Mark Richardson, General
Manager of Richardson Sports,
which is trying to bring an NFL ex-
pansion team to Charlotte, will
speak at the monthly meeting of
the Kings Mountain Kiwanis Club
at 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Kings
Mountain Country Club.
Richardson, 30, is a native of
Spartanburg, S.C., and played foot-
ball at Clemson University. He was
on Clemson's 1981 national cham-
After graduating from Clemson
with a degree in Administrative
Management in 1983, Richardson
worked in New York as a Financial
Analyst for Transworld
Richardson received a Masters
of Administration from Colgate
Darden Graduate School of
Business at the University of
Virginia in 1987. He resides in
Charlotte with his wife, Joan.
Richardson's father, Jerry
Richardson, who heads Richardson
Sports and spearheaded the NFL
expansion drive, is a former pro-
fessional football player with the
Baltimore Colts. He is head of TW
Services, Inc., one of the nation's
largest food-service operations
with 1989 revenues of $3.5 billion.