VOL. 106 NO. 29
County. NAACP ink agreement
suit against city
Click It or Ticke
results in arres
Thursday, July 21, 1994
County Commission Chairman
Cecil Dickson pledged his support
by the county and the NAACP in
the voting rights lawsuit brought
against the county by Rev. M. L.
Campbell and other black leaders.
Acknowledging that "No, the
commissioners are not happy with
many of the terms of the settle-
ment," Dickson said that "you can
read the writing on the wall when
you have a mediator telling you
this is what the judge would like."
Rev. John Osborne Jr., chairman
said black leaders had wanted dis-
trict-wide representation but said
the new plan gives minorities new
voting possibilities and also is one
that has worked in other counties
in the state and elsewhere to re-
solve similar disputes.
of the local chapter of the NAACP, -
"The district election issue has
been with us almost from the start
to the settlement reached Tuesday + of my term as a commissioner," -
said Dickson in a prepared state-
"Less than 30 days after we were
sworn in the issue was brought up
and it was voted to.ask that a spe-
cial bill be passed in the legislature
to start the process toward district
"All of the commissioners have
been told at one time or the other
by the so called expert Ted
Arrington that we had no choice
except to go to the district election
system. Mr. Arrington acknowl-
edged that Cleveland County does
not lend itself to district election.
"For many good reasons the
commissioners chose to delay ac-
tion on the district election system.
"I know that all commissioners felt
County Commission chairman pledges support to settlement of lawsuit
that the best election method is at-
large voting. ©
"We all hoped there would not
be a lawsuit filed but unfortunately
that was not the case.
"On the advice of county attor-
ney Julian Wray, the commission-
ers hired Michael Crowell of
Tharrington, Smith & Hargrove of
Raleigh to advise us in the suit
filed by the NAACP.
"Unfortunately for our position,
the case was transferred to Federal
court in the District of Columbia.
The judge assigned to the case
chose to use a mediator. By the ap-
pointment of a mediator the judge
made it clear that he wanted the
"I am very proud of the way the
Commissioners conducted them-
See Support, 7-A
billing/meter reading policy.
City Council will hear a recom-
mendation Tuesday from the city
utilities committee to change the
will present the recommendation
which, if approved, will change the
type of utility bill that customers
receive every month and will also
change the utilities cutoff dates.
The suggested change means
that late fees will be added for non-
payment of utility bills on the 15th
of the month when late notices will
go out to customers. The cut-off
dates are from the 25th-30th of the
month instead of the first day of
the month. Bills will go out from
the city on the 15th of the month
and customers will have 10 days to
pay them to avoid a late fee.
Currently, utility customers get
late notices on the 20th of the
month, late fees are added on the
25th of the month and the cut-off
date is the first of the following
A billing calendar will also be
established to maintain a 30-day
reading cycle. This will be easier to
maintain a 30-day cycle once all
meters, both active and inactive,
are read and the cut off policy is
changed, said both Interim
Manager Maxine Parsons and
Utility Director Jimmy Maney.
Maney, who is now in charge of
the meter reading department, said
that three people are now em-
ployed by the city to read 12,000
meters. He said a fourth person
See City, 10-A
By ELIZABETH STEWART
of The Herald Staff’
The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners
Tuesday approved a settlement agreement in the voting
rights lawsuit brought by the local chapter of the
NAACP and several black citizens.
The agreement, which retains at-large elections for
county commissioner, still must be approved by the
court and the United States Justice Department.
The settlement came about as the result of media-
tion ordered by the United States District Court for the
District of Coluinbia.
The action by the commissioners came on a 4-1
vote, with Joyce Falls Cashion of Kings Mountain
casting the "no" vote and after a marathon 4 1/2 hour
meeting, including a two-hour closed session.
Four citizens, Marshall Philbeck, Rev. Charles
Rudisill, Les Roark and Johnny Short called for the
board to call a public hearing before the final agree-
ment was signed and charged that the board's signing
of the proposed agreement was unconstitutional and
"You are racist if you vote for this," said Rudisill, a
See Agreement, 12-A
Utility Chairman Jim Guyton
By Elizabeth Stewart
of The Herald Staff
Assembly in Raleigh.
J. Ollie Harris, the Democratic Dean of the North
Carolina Senate and a 20-year legislator who survived
the rigors of politics with grace and kept his sense of
“humor, is retiring soon from the limelight but not from
a full time job at Harris Funeral Home.
The popular Kings Mountain Senator, who will be
81 on September 2, belies his age with his activity and
his keen sense of neighborliness which has endeared
him to many during a political dynasty that ends after
44 years when he walks away from the General
Harris may have officially ended his term with the
completion Sunday of the summer budget session but
he isn't unpacking his desk quite yet. He just may be
called back for a short session on redistricting.
J. Ollie Harris is retiring from a political career that spans 44 years, the longest of any other
Cleveland County resident. The popular 20-year North Carolina Senator plans to keep working and con-
tinue his busy activities in the eommunity.
Ollie's home to stay, hut
don't expect him to retir
In the meantime, Ollie has come home to his famil-
iar office in the funeral home he opened in Kings
Mountain in 1947. He has promised his wife of 60
years that he will take her and Dr. Charles Adams’ ad-
vice and "stop and smell the roses" but people close to
him at work say he often opens in the morning and
closes up at night.
"I think I made Abbie happier with that decision not
to run for reelection than anything I have done in my
life," said Harris, with a broad smile.
He is among the last of a conservative Democratic
Old Guard that has seen its power pass to a younger
generation of senators but he is happy to pass it and to
continue his good service in the community he loves.
See Ollie, 10-A
Water Director reports
better results on testing
Good news from the city utilities
committee Monday night was from
Walt Ollis, Director of
Ollis said that monitoring of
wells at the wastewater treatment
plant on Pilot Creek revealed trac-
ings of volatile organic compound
in May but the last test results in
June showed none.
"We will continue to do the
monitoring above the old landfill,"
Ollis also updated Councilmen
Jim Guyton, Phil Hager and Dean
Spears on other ongoing projects,
Mapping of gas lines is continu-
ing by W.K. Dickson Company
with overlays of the water, sewer
and gas departments.
The Rest Stop/Welcome Center
Project which would run water
lines to 25 residents on Dixon
School Road and sewer to the
Welcome Center/Rest Stop is ‘on
hold’ pending further negotiations
with the state. Also 'on hold’ is a
proposal for pretreatment from
Ollis said that Alex Brinkley,
W.K. Dickson Co. engineer, is
meeting with officials of the State
Department of Transportation on
the water line extensions and engi-
neers are meeting July 28 with
plant officials at Grover to get their
Ollis said that Grover Industries
.wants the Kings Mountain Pump
Station to be built in Grover with
Kings Mountain owning and main-
taining the property. He suggested
that city attorney Mickey Corry,
who is also Grover city attorney,
look at the proposed agreements.
Ollis said that Gastonia upped
See Water, 10-A
Richard Barnette, left, welcomes Bill McGinnis to Cooper's Inc.
which was sold to the McGinnis Corporation July 1. Both men grew
up in the furniture business and have long experience in sales.
Kings Mountain, NC 28086 « 50¢
Rev. Charles Rudisill blasts the county board of
commissioners as "racists" and calls for them to
"step down'' during Tpesday's meeting in which
the board voted 4-1 to approve a settlement agree-
ment in the voting rights lawsuit brought by the
local chapter of the NAACP.
Citizen says settlement
is a ‘formula for chaos’
A formula for chaos is how
Shelby City Councilman Michael
Philbeck likened the decision by
county commissioners Tuesday to
move to a new at-large limited vot-
"You're choosing two people for
four men who asked the board to
call for a public hearing before
making the decision which they
said the public hadn't heard about
except from newspaper reports.
Limited voting was also a con-
cern of Rev. Charles Rudisill, a
black minister, who said that the
NAACP doesn't represent him or
his political philosophies.
Rudisill charged that any
Commissioner who would put a
member in office because of the
color of his or her skin should step
down."It's immoral as hell,
damnable and communistic."
"T take my politics seriously and
so should you," he told the board,
charging that they contradicted
what the flag stands for when they
stood to pledge allegiance and also
the 15th Amendment to the
"What you are doing is as irra-
tional as a jackass and Balam's
mule could tell you that. We could
see this happening in China or
Cuba but this is America."
Quoting the 15th Amendment,
Rudisill said that "a citizen's right
to vote shall not be denied on ac-
count of race or color” and chal-
lenged the Voting Rights Act of
1965 which he claims gives the
board no right to appgint two black
citizens without a vote of the peo-
"The NAACP does not represent
all the blacks in this county and
four year terms before they face
hink- board to step down if it can't mak
Ie Ei en sons.
when you choose board members
and we don't have the right to vote
for them that is taxation without
representation. I want to choose
my own representatives on this
Calling the board's actions un-
constitutional, he called for the
"What you are doing is blatant
racism and against the 15th
Amendment. You can go for it but
you won't get away with it," he de-
clared, leading credence to rumors
that more lawsuits will follow on
the heels of Tuesday's decision.
Commissioner E T. Van Hoy
questioned Rudisill about his
length of residence in the county
and Rudisill said he had lived here
all his life. Van Hoy said that the
current board inherited the district-
ing problem and no one had ever
spoke out at meetings he had at-
"Don't try to cop out, that's just
an excuse," said Rudisill.
Commissioner Joyce Cashion of
Kings Mountain said she agreed
with Rudisill wholeheartedly. She
said the whole matter had been dis-
cussed behind closed doors and
members were told not to discuss
the matter with anyone. She said
that Chairman Dickson went to the
press with the story about the up-
Dickson denied talking to the
media. Cashion said he was quoted
in the newspapers.
Les Roark, former Mayor of
Shelby, said he wanted to make a
calm plea for the Constitution itself
and reiterated the plea by former
speakers that an open, advertised
public hearing was in order to get
all the discussion in the open.
See Chaos, 10-A
Cooper Furniture store
purchased by McGinnis
The sale of Cooper's Inc. to
McGinnis Furniture merges two
furniture businesses that have been
operated separately in Kings
Mountain for over 50 years.
Richard Barnette, who bought
Cooper's 15 years ago from the late
Harold Coggins, sold the buildings
and merchandise to Bill McGinnis
and McGinnis Corporation, effec-
tive July 1.
McGinnis has assumed opera-
tion of the Railroad Avenue store.
His wife, Doris; their daughter,
Donna Bumgardner; Bill Roberts
and Mildred Caldwell will contin-
ue at the S. Battleground business
which opened in that location in
"lI want to thank my Kings
Mountain friends for their loyalty
to Cooper's for many years and let
them know that they can receive
the same fine service from the new
owners," said Barnette.
Like Barnette, Bill McGinnis
worked his way up the ladder in
the furniture trade from a salesman
McGinnis, son of the late Mr.
and Mrs. Henkle McGinnis, started
as a boy cleaning up the family
store. He went to work at
- McGinnis 44 years ago as a sales-
man and worked in the old store at
108-110 West Mountain Street for
many years before the new furni-
ture store opened on S.
Battleground Avenue, In 1950
when Bill joined McGinnis, other
members of the sales staff included
his older brothers, Hubert and
Dick, and his younger brother, Jim,
Hubert's son, Hubert Jr., operates
McGinnis of Cherryville
McGinnis said the furniture
trade had been a life-long occunai-
See Store, 12-A