given at KMHS
VOL. 106 NO. 22
Thursday, June 2, 1994
D DAY REMEMBERED
Kings Mountain's Hugh Falls one of "lucky ones" who survived invasion of Normandy
The Allies landing in Normandy
June 6, 1944 is a day that Hugh
Falls will never forget.
It has been nearly 50 years since
the Invasion of Europe by the
United States, Great Britain and
Canada but for the retired Kings
Mountain farmer it seems like yes-
After the fighting when Falls’
outfit returned to Bremerhaven,
Germany, his company waited six
months to get a ride home. There
were no ships to transport them.
"lI was among the lucky ones,"
said Falls, 78, who never went
back to Normandy but has trav-
eled all over the world and attend-
ed about 20 reunions of his old out-
fit, the Harbor Craft Co. 330.
Falls, more familiarly known as
Hugh to his Kings Mountain
friends and to his World War II
buddies as Alvin, was one of 200
men in that company but the num-
ber of survivors has dwindled with
the passage of time.
"It was at 1:30 a.m. on June 6
that parachutists began dropping
beyond the beaches to cut railroad
lines, burn bridges and seize land-
ing fields," said Falls.
"A great number of mine sweep-
ers had cleared the Channel from
the North Sea to Spain and the
It was 1:30 am on June 6 that
parachutists began dropping
beyond the beaches fo cut
railroad lines, bum bridges and:
seize landing fields."
Allies had released 6,000 tons of
bombs on the coastal batteries. The
last one hour before the landings,
the United States' heavy bombers
dropped 3,000 tons of bombs on
the gigantic fortifications.
"It was at 6:30 a.m. on D-Day
that the first wave of infantry and
armored troops waded ashore on a
50 mile front. Opposition from the
battle-hardened Germans was
fierce as was that of the Allies.
Many of those trying to establish a
beachhead lost their lives.
Bombing continued and so did the
"I was one of the lucky ones,"
Drafted at age 23 and in
Europe in the thick of things dur-
ing World War II, Falls' outfit han-
dled boats and towed artificial har-
+ bors from England to the point of
- Hugh Falls
invasion in France, never knowing
that those harbors were top secret
of the military.
The importance of his assign-
ment was far greater than the
young farm boy from the Patterson
Grove Community had anticipat-
ed. The military later said that was
the best secret of the entire war.
No harbors, no invasion.
From Charleston, SC Falls was
sent to Camp Shanks, NY and then
The French liner Acquitania car-
ried 10,000 troops compact style.
The sleeping quarters had ham-
mocks, one above the other four or
five feet high. These swinging beds
had swivels on both ends, so they
would not tilt as the ship rolled
with the waves. It was five stories
tall and the top deck was mounted
From Bristol, England Falls’
outfit moved to South Hampton to
prepare for the D-Day invasion.
"We watched the invasion forces
as they passed though the streets, a
continuous parade day and night,"
The greatest armada in history
was now ready to make its way to
the Normandy coast of France.
Falls belonged to the Harbor
Craft Company 330 Transportation
Corps and helped tow artificial
harbors from South Hampton,
England to the beaches of
"We could see the amassment of
5,000 large ships and 4,000 smaller
vessels of every description that
could maneuver more quickly and
easily," said Falls. "There were
thousands of tanks loaded on land-
ing crafts, 11,000 aircrafts and al-
most three million men. Added to
that were four million tons of am-
munition from which 200 tons
were being fired at the German
coastal batteries every minute dur-
ing the invasion and for a period of
days preceding the landing.
"Sixteen million tons of ammu-
nition were being stored in
England reserved for the mother of
all invasions as Stormin’ Norman
See Falls, 11-A
Mayor Scott Neisler said
Council threw money out the win-
dow Tuesday night when it termi-
nated the contract with architects to
do the design for the old post of-
fice, originally designated by
Council as the home of the new
law enforcement center.
The city had entered into an
agreement with Woolpert &
Associates and paid the firm
At the April planning session of
the board, members voted to give
the old post office to the Kings
Mountain Historical Society and at
some future time build a new
"This is very wasteful when we
are trying to save money," said
Neisler." This bothers me that we
are doing this kind of thing."
City engineer Tom Howard said
architects found the old post office
building structurally sound.
Joyce Falls Cashion,10-year
veteran on the Cleveland County
Board of Commissioners, was nar-
rowly defeated Tuesday by politi-
cal newcomer Pat Spangler of
. Shelby .in her bid for the
Democratic nomination for one of
two seats open on the board in
Former Charlotte Mayor Sue
Myrick swept past David Balmer
for the Republican nomination in
the 9th Congressional District,
winning 67 percent of the vote in
Mecklenburg and carrying all but
one precinct, and winning 74 per-
City Council approves matching gas rate
City Council backed the utilities
commission Tuesday and voted
unanimously to match its gas rates
with the lower price of fuel oil,
which fluctuates monthly, adding a
basic facilities charge to the bills of
The service charge for being on
the city's system will guarantee a
minimum monthly income from in-
dustry even if it goes to fuel oil for
Utilities Director Jimmy Maney
said this policy, recommended by
Heath and Associates, the city's
Members of the graduating class of 1994
with anti-aircraft guns.
at Kings Mountain High School take the long walk down the
hill from the school to John Gamble Stadium for Friday night's commencement ceremonies. Over 200 se-
niors received diplomas and 71 percent of them plan to continue their education. .
Cashion beaten, Myrick wins
cent of the vote in Gaston County
and 69 percent of the vote in
The unofficial totals in the coun-
ty commission race were: Cashion,
2,595; Spangler, 2,718.
"It was a close race and of
course I am disappointed,” said
Cashion, who carried all four
Kings Mountain precincts.
The voter turnout for a run-off
Primary was higher than Elections
Supervisor Debra Blanton had pre-
dicted. "I am always glad to eat my
words," sad Blanton, who said that
18 percent of the registered voters
natural gas consulting engineers,
allows the city to remain competi-
tive with fuel oil prices.
Maney said there will still be a
shortfall in the city's gas revenues
but he could not estimate how
much. "We will pick up the loss if
gas comes down and oil goes up."
Maney said the city sold gas fast
month at $3.65 per MCE compared
with No. 6 fuel oil price of $2.89.
"We can't sell gas cheaper than
we buy it," he said.
The big three users of city gas,
Anvil Knitwear, Clevemont Mills
in Cleveland County went to the
In Kings Mountain a total of
1,278 people went to the polls, 925
Democrats and 353 Republicans.
The unofficial vote totals at the
four Kings Mountain boxes were:
Bethware, '163 Democrats and 78
Republicans; Grover, 49
Republicans and 120 Democrats;
East Kings < Mountain, 256
Democrats and 71 Republicans;
and West Kings Mountain, 155
Republicans and 386 Democrats.
In November Myrick faces
Democrat Rory Blake.
and Spectrum, turned their pumps
back on the city system last week
after Spectrum followed the other
two industries and pulled out, com-
plaining that Kings Mountain had
priced them out, saying the city's
rate was higher than the cost to the
plants for using fuel oil.
Maney said industry apparently
finds the solution acceptable.
Mayor Scott Neisler said that
No. 6 fucl oil is cheaper but with
winter the price goes up generally.
"Oil is not the panacea that indus-
try thinks it is because of the strict
EPA regulations, extra pollution
and maintenance headaches.
"I'm uncomfortable that some in-
dustries are getting a break and
others are not."
Councilman Jim Guyton, chair-
man of the utilities committee, said
he is proud of the agreement
reached by the city and industry
and that both are working together
"1 look forward to only a good re-
Fifty-seven percent of the city's
natural customers come from in-
Council for ills
A standing-room-only crowd es-
timated at about 175 people
cheered Tuesday night when in-
dustrialist Claude Suber pointed
the finger at City Council for the
"turmoil in the last six months that
has left Kings Mountain coming
apart at the seams."
Specifically, Suber, who said he
represented investors, business
owners and residents of Kings
Mountain, charged, among other
things, that employee morale in the
city is at its worst.
"This usually reflects poor man-
agement or goals of various groups
which may not be in the public in-
terest,” he said.
Suber said that 40 percent of the
Tuesday night crowd were city em-
ployees "who wonder what will
happen to their jobs now that upper
management is being put to public
How can they feel secure and
why do you think that employee
morale is so low?" he asked.
"[ receive no answer," he said.
The applause was loud and long.
Mayor Scott Neisler rapped the
gavel and said he would tolerate
Suber questioned the qualifica-
tions of the current interim city
manager and Councilman Dean
Spears said she was qualified and
he would reply in writing.
Councilman Jim Guyton re-
sponded 'to a question about the
hiring of the new manager and ex-
plained that the board will conduct
interviews on Friday and Saturday.
Responding to Suber, Guyton
said that Maxine Parsons is not a
candidate for the office of city
manager. Council members agreed
that Mrs. Parsons will be offered
the position of finance director.
Suber said he read in the news-
paper that the board was consider-
ing employing a manager at the
lowest possible salary.
Spears said the question should
be put to the reporter who wrote
Councilman Rick Murphrey said
that the board will look at the best
qualifications for the job for the
Suber said that the public has
been misled about the fund bal-
ances and the state of the city's fi-
"Would you consider bringing in
an outside auditor, no reflection on
the current auditor?" he asked.
Murphrey said that the fund bal-
ance deficit varies depending on
the number of accounts payable
versus accounts receivable.
"The auditor told us there was a
negative cash flow in the general
fund. We're not trying to hide any-
"As soon as I saw the zero bal-
ances on the books I knew some-
thing wasn't right."
Murphy said he considered em-
ploying an outside auditor proper.
"I'm only trying to do my civic
duty on the board," said Murphrey,
responding to Suber's claim that he
is running the city as mayor pro
"I'll be glad when we get a city
manager and I'm trying to do all 1
can basically to help all I can. "
Parsons acknowledged that the
working capital in the budget was
about a half million dollars short
and acknowledged that the city has
been behind in paying bills.
But Suber said that if money is
in the bank or expected to be in
the bank in 30 days that the city is-
n't in financial trouble.
"We don't get money within 30
days to make the payments,” said
Spears said a representative of
Duke Power was here recently to
discuss a more proper payment
Grindstaff was commended for
cutting his pay $100 a month.
Suber asked why other council
members didn't follow his example
if the financial condition is as criti-
cal as citizens are "led to believe."
Councilman Jim Guyton said he
worked four or five nights a week
on city business."If $300 a month
is too much I'm in the wrong busi-
See Suber, 11-A
Memo stirs controversy
A memo from a city department
head to members of the city utility
commission has stirred up con-
cerns among the industrial commu-
nity that surfaced at Tuesday's City
Council meeting. '
Claude Suber, President of
Kings Mountain Knit, asked if
Council was considering or sug-
gesting termination of its
Crowders Creek wastewater agree-
ment with Gastonia.
"Do you as Council understand
the impact this would have for fu-
ture growth of Kings Mountain?"
Councilman Jim Guyton, who
chairs the utility commission, said
there was no way in the immediate
future for Kings Mountain to even
look at such an idea.
"We'd have to win a lottery to
consider such a thing," he said.
Councilman Ralph Grindstaff
said he had heard a rumor but that
Council would have to look at all
aspects, noting that the city would
save some money in the long run in
operating costs but would have to
At the May 23 utilities meeting
Councilman Dean Spears asked for
an update on Kings Mountain's
agreement with Gaston County for
treatment of wastewater at the
Crowders Creek Waste
Spears questioned the cost of
treatment by Gastonia versus
Kings Mountain's treating its own
"I made no recommendation to
terminate any arrangement with
Gastonia," said Ollis. "After I was
asked I sent a memo which ex-
plained the pros and cons of the sit-
uation as I saw it."
Ollis wrote two memos to the
utility commission, one on May 8
and one on May 23. He distributed
the May 23 memo after the meet-
ing on May 23.
In the first memo Ollis explained
that when a plant, such as Kings
Mountain's Pilot Creek Plant,
reaches 80 percent of permitted ca-
pacity that engineering and plans
must be in preparation for expan-
sion. This means that when 90 per-
cent of the capacity is reached that
construction must begin, Ollis said
that 80 percent of Pilot's permitted
capacity is 4.8 million, 90 percent
is 5.4 million.
“If we were to add the 1.482 mil-
lion sent to Crowders Creek to the
4.025 treated at Pilot Creek we
would have averaged 5.507 which
puts us above the 90 percent fac-
tor.” he said.
See Memo, 11-A