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Grover Board upholds firing of officer
GROVER - Town Board Monday night unanimous-
ly upheld Police Chief Paul Cash's firing of officer
Robbie Sides after 90 minutes of deliberation as
Councilman Sides waited outside.
Sides immediately asked his lawyer to file a suit
against the city in U.S. Federal District Court asking
for his reinstatement on the police force and back
The closed hearing began at 7 p.m. with Mayor Pro
Tem Sandra Ellis presiding. The board action, 4-0,
with Ellis and Councilmen Noel Spivey, Jack Herndon
and Tim Rowland voting, came about 10:45 p.m. after
the board excused Sides. from their deliberations.
Mayor Ronald Queen did not vote. ©
The testimony from Sides, Deputy Kerr Palmer, and
a 911 tape of the March high speed chase by Sides of a
man suspected of robbing and assaulting a cab driver
at Cleveland Mall, were presented in the presence of
the full board, who went behind closed doors with
town attorney Mickey Corry and Sides' attorney Rob
"Their decision was as good as made when they
started the hearing," said Sides, who had requested the
hearing, he said, to "get all the facts in the open."
"What this all boils down to is a personality conflict
between the Chief and me," said Sides. "The Chief can
do what he wants to but the Indian can't.”
Sides said he was fired on March 18 after an inter-
nal investigation by Cash for "inappropriate action."
"I was across the street from the Mall when the call
-. came in about a cab driver being assaulted and robbed
and Deputy Palmer came behind me minutes before
the wreck and saw the suspect hit me," said Sides.
"No one was killed and this incident could have re-
sulted in a tragedy," said Sides.
During two years and nine months on the force
Sides said he arrested 160 people in Grover and he
treated "them all alike."
"I cant believe that something that I thought was
right could have caused me such turmoil in Grover,"
"If they would listen and put themselves in the same
situation as the cab driver they could see that I was on-
ly doing my job," said Sides.
Sides said Council isn't looking at the facts.
"If you are fixing to get your throat cut wouldn't you
be glad to see a police car drive up and wouldn't you
want that cop to do something?" asked Sides.
Sides said Cash produced two unsigned reprimands
to the board which Sides said are not a part of his per-
sonnel file. ’
"I think Paul based his decision on things that oc-
curred some time ago and Council has wanted me off
the board ever since I ran for the office," said Sides,
who has said he will run for mayor next year.
Sides said that initially the hearing was to be con-
ducted by three people, a person of Sides' choice, a
person of the board's choice and a person that both
Sides and the board agreed upon.
"That all changed at the last minute and I realized
that it had been a mistake to ask for a hearing," said
Sides says he has a ruling from the North Carolina
League of Municipalities that gives him the right to sit
on Town Council and run for mayor.
Sides says he has a ruling from the North Carolina
League of Municipalities that permits him to serve on
both on the police force and as a town councilman. He
says he excuses himself from voting on matters per-
taining to the police department.
Commissioners to take
suggestions for seats
The Kings Mountain Board of
Education heard first reading of a
detailed Code of Student Conduct
policy at Thursday night's meeting
at the Superintendent's Office. The
policy will be on the table for re-
view for a month and the Board
will take action on it at the August
The proposed policy includes re-
visions that were recommended by
the Violence Task Force
Committee, and also incorporates
County Commissioners will
probably start taking recommenda-
tions for two minority seats on the
board soon for appointment in
November, according to commis-
sion chairman Cecil Dickson.
The appointment of the two mi-
nority members to a four-year term
and expansion of the county board
from five to seven members are
part of the consent agreement that
the board expects. to to nail down
with the Cleveland County
NAACP Tuesday at 11 a.m. in
The signing of the agreement
tion of the county. Commissioners
rejected such a plan last year after
the redistricting system was adopt-
ed in 1987 and again in 1992.
Rev. John Osborne Jr., president
of the Cleveland Chapter of
NAACP, said the new plan gives
minorities new voting possibilities
and also preserves the at-large sys-
tem in which elected commission-
ers represent the whole county.
Under the plan all seven seats
on the board would be up for elec-
tion in 1998 and voters would cast
The plan would not affect the
scheduled November election of
changes to General Statues which
Hi became effective December 1,
b 1993: Director of Personnel Ronnie
Wilson said the school system has
been abiding by the regulations but
two county commissioners.
Dickson said the limited voting
plan was suggested by a federal
judge and mediators working with
the local commission for several |
would mark the end of a seven
year battle over minority represen-
tation on the Cleveland county
board of commissioners and end a
federal law suit against the county
they have not been a part of written
Changes to the policy require |
that students in grades K-12 who
take or possess a firearm on a cam-
pus will be suspended for the re-
mainder of the year; that students
in grades 6-12 who take or possess
a legally defined weapon on cam-
pus will be suspended for the re-
mainder of the year; and that stu-
dents in grades K-5 who take or
possess a legally defined weapon
other than a firearm on campus
will be disciplined as determined
by the administration.
Some Board members suggested
that Supt. Bob McRae make the
policy available to the public, ei-
ther through sending home con-
densed policies with students, mak-
“ing complete copies available upon
request, or having a public hearing
prior to adopting the policy at next
McRae said the system is seek-
ing grants to employ a Resource
Officer and is working on an infor-
Chesterfield All Stars, above, is the first new softball team to organize in housing developments in
town but organizers hope many more kids will be playing ball and involved in 'Bringing It Together," a
project geared to giving young people something to do this summer. Left to right, front row, Shaun
Moore, Jessica Miller, Christy Grier and Georgette Grier. Back row, Clifton Grier, Joseph Davis, Clifton
Whitworth, assistant coach, Mary Grier,who organized the program, and Yvette Moore, secretary. Not
pictured is Coach Glenn James.
Mary's making a difference
When Mary Grier's three boys
found themselves with nothing to
do after school closed for the sum-
mer she got busy.
Grier, a single parent, has orga-
nized a softball team of 25 young
people at Chesterfield Apartments
and has similar programs in the
works for other low-rent housing
units, including Pine Manor
Apartments and Thornburg Drive.
Grier calls the new program ap-
propriately "Bringing It Together"
and she is planning a big cookout
on July 30 beginning at 2 p.m. to
kickoff the activities on Thornburg
is being planned by representatives
of Smart Start, Housing Authority
Director Judy Nichols and repre-
sentatives of the Department of
Local police are being asked to
give suggestions about how to slow
down traffic in the congested areas
with an eye toward signs and speed
bumps and parents are asking for
suggestions on curfews for chil-
dren to keep them off the streets.
Grier, a Kings Mountain native,
moved back to Chesterfield
Apartments from Gastonia because
she said she feared violence in her
mational campaign on school safe-
ty issues. "We need to take some
steps to ensure that the community
knows what we're doing," he said.
See Conduct, 5-A
Meantime, other events such as
a clean up day on Saturday on
Thornburg Drive and organized job.
programs for kids and their parents
former neighborhood and didn't
want to leave her children alone
when she reported to her third shift
The Chesterfield All Stars prac-
tice about three times a week in a
lot behind the apartment complex
on Margrace Road and are looking
for sponsors and for teams to play.
Grier says that softball teams are
being organized in the other apart-
ment complexes in the city and that
interested parents meet every
Monday night on Thornburg Drive
to plan strategy for keeping their
kids busy during the summer
Grier said that Thornburg Drive
will be blocked off for the kickoff
of the program on July 30 and the
welcome mat is out for all kids in
the community to come out and
learn how to have fun together.
‘Grier says the program will be
See Grier, 5-A
John H. Moss inducted
into SAL Hall of Fame
Former Kings Mountain Mayor and President of the
South Atlantic League, John H. Moss, was inducted
into the SAL ‘Hall of Fame during its All-Star Week
festivities in Hickory.
Moss, who is also an original inductee in the Kings
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame, was honored along
with Hank Aaron, Sparky Anderson, Jimmy Bragan,
Lou Brissie, Harley Bowers, Steve Carlton, Ty Cobb,
Judge Julius Fine, Danny Hayling, Harmon Killebrew,
Don Mattingly, Spec Richardson, Frank Robinson,
Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg and Willie Stargell.
Former Atlanta Braves knuckleball pitcher, Phil
Niekro, was the keynote speaker. He is now coach of
the Colorado Silver Bullets, a professional women's
Bones McKinney, former Wake Forest University
basketball coach, was Master of Ceremonies at the in-
duction luncheon. Other special guests were Don
Beaver, president of the Hickory Crawdads, Marty
Steele, General Manager of the Hickory Crawdads,
William McDonald, Mayor of Hickory, Pat O'Conner,
Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of
Professional Baseball Leagues, and Jimmy Lee
Solomon, Director of Minor League Operations for
Major League Baseball.
See Moss, 12-A
John H. Moss, thjrd from right, inducted into South Atlantic League Hall of Fame during
all-star week festivities in Hickory.
by the NAACP for alleged viola-
tions of the federal Voting Act.
Dickson said that the new limit-
ed voting plan, a part of the com-
promise agreement, is new to
Cleveland County but at least two
counties in Eastern North Carolina
have successfully implemented
such a plan. He said the courts
have prescribed the plan as a reme-
dy all over the country in situations
of alleged violations of the Voting
Rev. M. L. Campbell, a member
of the county NAACP chapter
from Kings Mountain, said the new
plan is a "good compromise” but
falls short of what he had hoped
for - redistricting - with a represen-
tative on the board from each sec-
months to resolve the issue which
was headed to court.
He said limited voting should
improve the chances of minority
candidates keeping their seats on
boards such as the county commis-
"Some counties run four people
at a time and others run three peo-
ple at a time but in Cleveland
County we think it will work better
for all seven to be on the ballot in
1998," said Dickson.
Dickson said pursuing a case in
court could run up big bucks and
the issue still end up unresolved for
"I want to see all of us get this
work behind us and move forward
in the county," he said.
KM Council to meet Friday
Kings Mountain City Council
has called a special meeting for
Friday at 6:30 p.m., according to
Mayor Scott Neisler.
Neisler said the board will go in-
to closed session to discuss the
continuing search for a city man-
The mayor said the board had
narrowed the field to two candi-
Cooley to speak at Rotary
Lisa Cooley, popular news co-
anchor of Charlotte's WBTV
Channel 3, will be guest speaker at
Thursday's Rotary Club meeting at
12:15 at Holiday Inn.
Cooley will be guest of Charles
Cooley joined WBTV News al-
most four years ago, starting as
weekend anchor in September
1990 and two months later became
co-anchor of Charlotte's first five
o'clock newscast. In December
1991 she joined Bob Inman on the
6 p.m. newscast, jumping on the
11 p.m. bandwagon in September
Cooley has been active as a
board member and campaign chair
for the H. L. McCrorey YMCA
and served as a board member for
"Kids Voting" for two years. She
volunteers with "Hands on
Charlotte” and is a member of the
Neighborhoods Arts and
Humanities Consortium, a new ef-
fort to encourage greater cultural
awareness for less advantaged
youth in the Charlotte-
dates but one of them withdrew
and the other candidate was not
called back to town for interviews.
"This will probably be a re-
grouping session to see where we
go to from here," said the mayor.
City Council originally had 97
applications for the position vacat-
ed by George Wood on March 21.
Born in Washington, DC, she
grew up in Richmond, Va. and at-
tended the University of Virginia in
Charlottesville, where she earned
her B.A. in Rhetoric and
Communication Studies in 1986.