Coming June 28th
See Page 12A
Voters say yes to
Kings Mountain voters sent a message to its elected
By a margin of 115 votes they shortened the terms
of City Council from four to two years and set in mo-
| tion the election of a mayor and all seven council
| members every two years.
Only 825 citizens or 18 percent of the city's 4500
registered voters went to the polls in a light turnout in
the special referendum which changed the city charter.
The vote was 485 to 340 to approve the change in
the charter from a four year to a two year term for
mayor and seven Council members effective with the
1997 city election.
Kings Mountain Police and
county officers arrested a rape sus-
pect Tuesday afternoon minutes af-
ter he released a convenience store
clerk he allegedly abducted from
her job at gunpoint.
Chief Deputy Bob Roadcap said
that Terry Anthony Ruff, 35, of
133 1/2 Greystone Ave. in Kings
Mountain, faces charges of first de-
gree rape and first degree kidnap-
ing in the reported attack of a 20-
First appearance hearing is slat-
ed Thursday in Cleveland County
District Court. Ruff remains in the
"I've got a gun," the suspect re-
portedly told a woman clerk as he
entered the Lutz Oil Company
about noon Tuesday.
The woman told officers she was
Oak Grove Road where she was
"The woman was let out of the
truck across the road from the store
about 12:45 and headed in the di-
rection of Kings Mountain on US
74," said Roadcap.
Roadcap said the woman saw
the suspect's name on his shirt and
also got the fag number of the vehi-
cle and called the Sheriff's
Deputy Mike Brown was the
first officer on the scene. He ra-
dioed the Kings Mountain Police
Department a description of the
truck and the suspect and officers
stopped the vehicle as it came in-
to Kings Mountain. The suspect
was arrested in the parking lot of
Bridges Hardware near the city.
Roadcap praised the fast work of
Ruff didn't resist arrest and co-
operated with detectives during
questioning, Roadcap said. Ruff
had no previous criminal record.
The small convenience store
doubles as a gas station and office
for the Lutz heating and oil busi-
ness. It is located on a four-lane
stretch of Business 74 near
Mountain View Farms
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Retired city planner Gene White, who started the
petition effort six months ago to call for the special
election because of citizen dissatisfaction with City
Hall, applauded the decision of voters.
"A four year term is great but the alternative is two
years when you have no motivation of people to take
charge in political leadership," said White.
White has maintained ever since he retired as a city
employee after 21 years in December that the change
to two year terms was necessary to bring credibility
back to city government and restore the confidence of
White said he has no qualms about exposing
ROTARY CLUB GOLF
See Page 7A
leadership in two years.
"The last time all commissioners were ousted was
38 years ago in 1957," he said.
"If people do a good job they will win reelection."
White said his goal in circulating the petition was
for the city's leaders to get their act together.
"They need to act like managers and political lead-
ers and on the behalf of the taxpayers for a change," he
said after Elections Board Chairman Becky Cook post-
ed the results of the election about 8:30 p.m.
Council to what could result in a complete turnover of
about 15 percent,”
Cook praised voters for marking their ballots cor-
rectly so that the electronic voting machine turned out
only about nine votes that were not readable.
Cook said she was pleased with the voter turnout.
"I wish it had been d 00] percent but I was predicting
Department inspection team, and it appeared Kings Mountain school officials would have to make special
arrangements to get over 30 children to school since anything weighing over six tons - including school
buses - could cross it. But through the determined effort of Shirley Melton and Love Valley residents, the
project was declared an emergency and will be repaired beginning no later than Monday.
Love Valley resident's persistence
gets bridge approved for quick repair
for in previous meetings.
This bridge on Bethlehem Road in the Love Valley community was declared unsafe by a Highway
By GARY STEWART
Editor of the Herald
When Shirley Melton talks, people listen. And the
150 to 200 residents of the Love Valley Community
near Kings Mountain are glad.
Residents of that community faced a cut-off of
school bus transportation for their children as well as
commercial services after the State Highway
Department inspection team recently declared a small
bridge on Bethlehem Road unsafe for vehicles weigh-
ing in excess of six tons. Two weeks ago the Highway
Department placed signs advising motorists of the
weight limit and residents learned it would be 1997 be-
fore the bridge was repaired or replaced.
Melton began making phone calls last Thursday, be-
ginning with the local division of the Highway
Department, and it seemed each official referred her to
someone else higher up the chain of command.
Melton's name is now a household word with key
Highway Department officials from the local office in
Shelby to the district office in Newton to the state of-
See Bridge, 10-A
School video security proposed
The Kings Mountain Board of Education Monday
night authorized Supt. Bob McRae to present a formal
proposal on installation of a video security system for
Kings Mountain High School at next month's board
McRae said a system, which would probably cost
around $6,000, is needed to monitor spots which are
difficult to supervise at all times and provide better
safety for people and equipment.
McRae said he has seen an increase in vandalism
and student disrespect for teachers. "It's simply impos-
sible to be all places at one time."
McRae said he visited a school with a security sys-
tem late last year, and suggested putting video cameras
with audio and taping capabilities in strategic loca-
tions, with monitors in the office. Twelve cameras
would require three monitors, he said.
See Camera, 10-A
KINGS MOUNTAIN PEOPLE
After 62 years of marriage Lena and John McGill, above, still hold hands. The couple was honored at
an anniversary party at Peggy's Restaurant last week. Loretta Owens, center, holds the decorated cake.
"It's the first time that we have had so few mis-
takes," she said, also praising the work of the election
registrars and judges.
Hilda Dixon, registrar at the West Kings Mountain
precinct, said that workers had cautioned voters to use
the marker correctly in marking their choices so they:
would be readable.
See Election, 5-A
Only three speak
at budget hearing
Only three citizens - Gary Joy,
Joe Champion and Johnny Reavis -
raised concerns about the city's
proposed $20 million budget
Monday night as City Council con-
ducted public hearing.
"I was surprised that no more
people were present to speak on
the budget," said City Manager
Chuck Nance after the meeting.
Only a handful of people were in
Council Chambers for the 30-
minute public hearing and the ma-
jority were city department heads.
"Stay where you are in the bud-
get until the city is over the hump,"
said Reavis, calling for the board
not to reduce taxes and utility rates
as Mayor Scott Neisler has pushed
Champion, chairman of the
Moss Lake Commission which is
an advisory board appointed by
City Council, charged that the city
should be taking in more money on
leases at Moss Lake than is budget-
ed in the 1995-96 budget. He com-
pared the current budget with pre-
vious budgets and asked why the
expected revenue had decreased in
the budget projections.
Finance Director Maxine
Parsons said that bills went out in
April to every resident of the city
owned lake and this week the city
staff sold 344 leases. She said that
the city attorney is working to col-
lect back bills.
"Every lease has an issue num-
ber and will be collected," she said.
Champion said that he had of-
fered for six months to work with
city officials on the proposed bud-
get for the lake since he felt that
was one of the responsibilities of
the lake commission.
Champion said he wasn't "point-
ing fingers" but that he got no an-
swers to questions and the lake
budget has been an overriding con-
cern of lake commission members.
See Hearing, 2-A
More than $893,000 is designat-
ed in the proposed 1995-96 city
budget of $20 million plus for cap-
ital outlay with the bulk,
$300,000, earmarked for basin re-
pairs at Pilot Creek Wastewater
Funds were also allocated for a
rate study, with the electric,
water/sewer and gas departments
sharing in the cost of the approxi-
mately $45,000-$55,000 study to
be conducted next fiscal year.
No capital outlay was authorized
for the electric department, which
Administrative, $34,350 for a
copier, indexing of minutes, laser’
printer, City Hall improvements,
software and computer equipment.
Human Resources, $5,520 for
| computer software, trekker disc
drive, document scanner, safety
committee and employee apprecia-
Garage, $8,500 for two vehicle
Police, $52,000 for two patrol
cars, a dog truck and building im-
Fire Department, $6300 for hy-
drant maintenance and four air
Streets, $1500 for a storage
Planning, $21,400 for ETJ signs
and subdivision and zoning ordi-
Aging, $9,925 for a sign, office
equipment, roof repair, wall insula-
tion, duct system cleaning and a
Library, $11,115 for renovation
of Phase II and office equipment.
Parks & Recreation, $29,200 for
flooring, receipt printer, tractor and
lawn maintenance equipment.
See Budget, 2-A
John and Lena McGill celebrate 62nd wedding anniversary
The years have not dimmed the
love that Lena Ware McGill and
"Mr. Johnny" share.
On their 62nd wedding
anniversary Thursday the couple
held hands like newlyweds.
McGill, 91, doesn't write love
letters to his wife, 89, but he
passed around their bridal book
frayed with age and filled with
love letters he started writing Lena
during their courtship.
The bridal book contained pic-
tures of their wedding day, news-
paper clippings from The Kings
Mountain Herald which called
their nuptials the social event of
the year, and mementos from
"I just never did turn Johnny
loose from the time I met him in
the seventh grade and we've been .
good friends since," said Mrs.
McGill, who taught home eco-
‘nomics in South Carolina several
years before they were married and
then took a job for Farm Security
and worked in Cleveland, Gaston
and Rutherford Counties for a
A Kings Mountain native, Lena
Ware McGill is the daughter of the
late Mr. and Mrs. William
Alexander Ware. She chose her
family garden on West Gold Street
as the setting for the nuptials and
the McGills have lived nearby all
their married life.
Mr. McGill, son of Mrs. Lona
W. McGill, was born in the
Bethany Community and moved to
Kings Mountain as a young boy.
He graduated from Central High
School and attended Pharmacy
School and took a job with
Summers Drug Store.
His partnership with the late C.
D. Blanton at the former Kings
Mountain Rexall Drug Store were
-among the happiest years of his
life, he said. McGill said he met so
many people at the soda fountain
that he counts many! friends in the
Greater Kings Mountain area.
He is a longtime Kiwanian and
past president of the Kings
Mountain Kiwanis Club and is that
club's only living charter member.
He joined that civic club when it
was called the Men's Club.
Mrs. McGill graduated from
Central High School and Erskine
College. She served two six years
terms on the Kings Mountain |
Board of Education. She recalled
her long service on the school,
board as "fun."
"Now you remember that we got
married during the depression, |
1933, said Mrs. McGill," who held
hands with Mr. McGill at a lun- }
See McGills, 2-A