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ON NIN SONI
VOL. 104 NO. 1
Wednesday, January 1, 1992
Kings Mountain, N.C. 28086 «35¢
LOOKING BACK AT 1991 _
Kings Mountain made some
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city the capacity to handle industri-
progress in 1991, but for many citi- al growth when the economy turns
zens the year may not have held around. The school system also
happy memories. : completed some major building
Many citizens suffered the loss programs with new school build-
of jobs as several plants closed in ings being occupied at Grover, East
the city and county. Plant closings and Bethware, and a major $1.4
were particularly heavy early in the million project getting underway at
year and persons who lost jobs West.
welcomed Congressional action ~~ "Redistricting" was a big word
late in the year which allowed in Kings Mountain in ‘91. The city
them to receive extended unem- feared that its election would have
ployment benefits. to be delayed because it had to re-
Kinmont Mills and Glen Raven draw its voting lines. The plan was
Mills closed in January, costing approved by the Justice
270 people their jobs. That figure Department and the election went
rose to over 500 in the county as on as schedule. Kings Mountain
other major industries, including citizens elected Scott Neisler as
PPG, Anvil Knit and Thermacote mayor to replace Kyle Smith, who
Welco announced lay-offs. At PPG did not seek reelection, and Philip
alone, 290 people were laid off. Hager became the city's first black
Tultex Outlet Store also closed af- councilman, representing the new
ter 13 years of business at the KM minority Ward One.
Plaza. Many parents voiced their dis-
1991 was a year for building. pleasure with the school board for
The city completed most of its ma- re-drawing elementary attendance
jor utility expansions, giving the gee 1991, Page 6A :
'92 has to be better
Looking ahead to 1992, local business leaders agree that the economy
has got to get better. ;
Optimistic that the Kings Mountain economy will show steady growth
in the new year, some local businessmen, however, are wary that the
first half of the new year may not be as good but they expect strong
growth in the second half of the year, despite a negative outlook being
held by some economists and financial experts.
“It's got to get better," says Chamber of Commerce President-Elect
Ruby M. Alexander and Baucom Chevrolet and Wade Ford executives
Homer Baucom and Wade Tyner.
"Signs point to the fact that it has to be better because people have
gone so many years without doing something about their transportation.
They're going to be forced to do something this year. The economy is
leveling off. It's not great but we look forward to doing better than last
year," says Baucom.
Alexander says the economy will benefit from increased consumer
spending and an increase in new home sales. "Now is the time to buy a
house with the lower interest rates," she says.
Active in the Kings Mountain Board of Realtors and its charter presi-
dent, Alexander sees job security more stable and says local realtors are.
confident that more growth in the area will result in more home con-
See Outlook for '92, Page 6A
Stocking fund gets $4,176
The generosity and caring of lo- Adult Sunday School Class,
cal citizens made for a happy and
merry Christmas for 79 children
and 49 families in the Kings
The Empty Stocking Fund raised
a record $4,176.14 as $1,066.14
was donated in the final days be-
The money was used to purchase
food, toys and other necessities for
needy children and their families in
the Greater Kings Mountain area.
Mr. and Mrs. Howard M.
Dixon Presbyterian Church,
Dixon Presbyterian Church, $100.
Julie G. Durham, $75.
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Davis,
Ben T. Goforth Plumbing, $50.
Mary Lee Bridgeman, in memo-
ry of Walter Bridgeman, $30.
East School Penny Harvest,
Geraldine Hayes, $5.
Sandy Jones, $5.
Judy Kelly, $5.
Survilla Kithcart, $10.
Terry Putnam, $10.
Joy Wheeler, $10.
Barbara Fitch, $10.
Leatha Lockhart, $10. Diane Jaulette, $30.
Jean McAbee, $10. Penny Anthony, in memory of
Gail Brown, $15. Lydia Anthony, $10.
Rita Lawing, $15. Gloria Slycord, in honor of Josh
Sandra Ray, $15. and Travis Slycord, $10.
Bill G. Hughes, $50.
Doris Bridges, in memory of
G.W. Hancock Sr., $10.
Julie Phillips, in memory of Jack
Daphne Adams, in memory of
Jerther Thomas Adams, $10.
Jimmy and Cathy Maney, in
memory of Gary, Betty and Cheryl
Mancy, $10. :
Sharon Eaker, in memory of
Frances Thornburg, $20.
Sandie Young, in mcmory of
Gloria Grigg, in memory of
Doris Dunn, $20.
Betty Ingle, $10.
Barbara Jones, $10.
Friendship Class, Temple Baptist
Church, Janet Walker, teacher, $30.
WMU of Temple Baptist
Received this week: $1,066.14
Previous total: $3,110.00
Grand Total: $4,176.14.
in east KM home
A 37-year-old Grover man
wanted for four murders in
Alexander County took his own
life after holding police at bay for
nearly five hours in East Kings
Mountain Monday night.
For Dean Hamrick, 24 hours of
terror ended with violence at 9:30
p.m. when he walked backwards
off the back porch of his stepgrand-
mother's house on Groves Street,
placed a military style shotgun un-
der his chin and pulled the trigger.
"He said it had to be that way,"
said Kings Mountain Police Chief
Warren Goforth, who along with
Cleveland County Sheriff Buddy
McKinney and agents from the
Special Bureau of Investigation
had appealed to him over a tele-
phone to come out of the house and
lay his weapon down. Police de-
tained relatives trying to enter the
house but Hamrick's mother, Sarah
Carpenter, pleaded with her son by
telephone io give himself up. "He
7 said’ he ‘won't pe taken dive,” said
the distraught mother. John
Carpenter, stepfather of Hamrick,
was detained by sheriff's deputies
as he tried to enter the one-story
red brick home owned by
Hamrick's stepgrandmother, Mrs.
"We didn't know if anyone was
with the suspect in the darkened
house and we could take no
chances and would allow no one to
get close to the house," said
Goforth, who said the police
SWAT Team was stationed about
three feet from the back porch.
Four streets were barricaded,
neighbors were evacuated and res-
idents in the area turned off their
lights and waited behind locked
windows and doors as police and
dogs swarmed the area,
Goforth credited Sheriff Buddy
McKinney, the Sheriff's
Department, KMPD, SBI, SWAT
teams and highway patrol for con-
taining what could have been a
very dangerous situation.
Kings Mountain Police got the
call at 4:50 p.m. that Hamrick's van
had been spotted on Groves Street.
The Special Response Team identi-
fied the suspect exit the Groves
Street home, turn and reenter the
house. Police said the man was
wounded in the right arm.
~ By 5:15 p.m. police had set up a
perimeter around the house and
sealed off the neighborhood, evac-
uated people and made phone con-
nections with the suspect inside the
‘talk with both the Alexander
County and Cleveland County
Sheriffs, according to Goforth, and
negotiations were turned over to
McKinney who knew the suspect,
described by county officers as a
"career criminal" who was last ar-
rested in this county in June 1990
on charges of assault with deadly
+ weapon and first degree kidnaping.
"We decided the best thing to do
was to keep up communications
with the suspect. Our concern was
See Hamrick, Page 7A
Dean Hamrick's mother, Sarah Carpenter, left, and brother, Buren
Hamrick, right, wait in the street for a chance to try to talk Dean into
surrendering to police in Kings Mountain Monday night.
New Mayor Scott Neisler spent
his first full week in the mayor's
office chatting with visitors and
going over goals for the new year
with City Manager George Wood.
Neisler, who succeeded Kyle
Smith as mayor on December 17,
said he will make few changes in
his administration, keeping the
“status quo” as far as mayoral ap-
pointments are concerned. He said
the council would be filling vacan-
cics on committees as they occur
after recommendations from the
seven council members.
"We get caught up in so many
‘have tos’ in government that 1 want
commissioners to bring their con-
See Mayor, Page 6A
ct said he wanted to