Vol. 107 No. 30
Thursday, July 27, 1995
Joel Rountree leaves
KMHS for Crest
Br Er mire IT ERR iii atl im or a
Ptl. Ron Creech, KMPD try new Community Policing program
By ELIZABETH STEWART
of The Herald Staff
Ptl. Ron Creech will start foot patrol on a
different beat this fall in the innovative C.O.P.
program, a first-time venture for Kings Moun-
tain Police Department but one that has
worked successfully in other departments.
“I’m excited,” said Creech Tuesday as he
met two of the residents of Parrish and
Thornburg Drive, his first assignment from
Chief of Police Bob Hayes.
“Citizens have be a part of this program
for it to be successful,” Creech told Soyini
Hall and Kisha Raymond who welcomed him
to the community.
The three-year program operates with a
federal grant which targets public housing
The aim of community-oriented policing,
a new philosophy of policing, is to identify
problems and come up with solutions before
they develop into crime but have a uniformed
on the scene to enforce the laws.
“It’s a crime prevention program and not
a quick cure,” said Creech, who has been a
KMPD patrolman for two years.
Creech looks at his new role as a partner-
ship with the community and hopes to develop
. imaginative, new ways to address community
* problems in areas of public housing where the
majority are law abiding citizens who he said
could be afraid to talk to police for fear of
“I want to be their friend and I want to
help get them better lighting, for instance, and
listen to their concerns and problems and help
them find solutions before a crime occurs,”
The C.O.P. program is modeled after the
highly successful Lumberton Police Depart-
ment program which began in 1992 and where
75 officers on that force are assigned specific
areas to patrol in a department-wide C.O.P.
program that was initiated after civil disorder
in that community.
Shelby Police Department also has a suc-
cessful C.O.P. program and Creech will start
training with that department soon and take
three weeks of training by the North Carolina
Crime Standards Commission in Salemburg.
Creech, who completed rookie school at
Gaston College before he joined KMPD in
1993, says his previous experience working
with people as a warehouse supervisor and
his service in the Vietnam War era will help
him in dealing with people.
Chief Bob Hayes said that Creech “has a
great rapport with people and a good listener.”
Hayes said that the C.O.P. program will
increase police effectiveness by attacking
problems that give rise to incidents that con-
sume patrol and investigative time.
Creech was promoted to his new job on
Bicycle patrol has grown in popularity
throughout the county and is catching on in
this area. Creech will get some experiences
with bicycles in training with Shelby Police
but will be using his patrol car and working
foot patrol when he assumes his official du-
ties in early fall.
Ptl. Ron Creech talks with Soyini Hall, left, and Kisha Raymond,
holding 18-months-old Dazzia White, on his new "'beat,'' which he will
begin: with the new progrant approved in a three-year federal grant
called Community Oriented Policin 4 iz #
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Gary Hicks appointed
Interim City Manager
Gary Hicks, 57, Kings Mountain's new interim city
manager hired unanimously by City Council Tuesday
night, is no stranger to Kings Mountain city govern-
Back in 1965-67 he prepared the zoning and sub-di-
vision ordinances for the city as the planning consul-
tant to the planning commission and City Council.
"I remember very 7 po
well all the details of
working on the
Highway 74 Bypass of
Kings Mountain," he
Hicks said after the
meeting Tuesday that
he recalled fond mem-
ories of working with
O. O. Walker and
Norman King, both
"I am not coming in-
to the job with any pre-
Uohceived ideas," he GARY HICKS
Hicks, retired city manager of the City of Gastonia
20 years (1973-93) and Gastonia city planner (1968-
73) is currently serving as interim manager for the
“own of Lowell.
He handled zoning and subdivision reports and par-
ticipated in revision of zoning ordinances for the city
of Charlotte from March 1962-October 1963 and land
planner for the City of High Point from October 1963-
April 1965. As a planner with the Division of
Community Planning from April 1965-June 1967 he
worked for Kings Mountain on a contract basis. He
was senior planner for Slash Pine Planning
Commission in Waycross, Ga. from June 1967-June
19 : 5 J hae oi Ci :
KM Mayor seeks second term,
but no other filing reported
Her dream of coming to America came true Monday
for 33-year-old Russian born Natasha Starostina of
The members of Macedonia Baptist Church sent
Starostina a round-trip airplane ticket and more than
50 people welcomed her.
"T was so tired after riding 20 hours in an airplane
but so happy to see new friends Pastor David Philbeck
and Hal Glass and meet so many nice people,” said
Starostina, who was the Russian interpreter for the
1992 Rick Gage World Help Crusade in which
Philbeck and Glass participated in the Soviet Union.
"We were fortunate to have Natasha as our inter-
preter for our seven day mission trip and we became
good friends and wanted our church family to get to
know her too," said Philbeck.
Dr. Roberson joins Durham in KM,
Adams back with Health Department
Dr. Lewis H. Roberson 29, has worked at the local clinic for
joined the medical staff of Kings several months, has resumed his son of Mrs. Pauline Roberson of
Mountain Medical Center Monday. duties with the Cleveland County Greenville and the late Rodney
A graduate of East Carolina Health Department.
University School of Medicine at
Greenville, he completed his resi-
Roberson joins veteran Kings
Dr. Charles Adams, veteran Primary
enjoying her visit to KM, America
Kings Mountain Medical Center pleted his undergraduate studies at
dency at East Carolina Family is an affiliate of Cleco Primary East Carolina University. He is
Care Network Inc.
Sharon Swartz will join the
Mountain physician Dr. Thomas Center in several weeks as a physi- ;
Durham in the general practice of cian's assistant, according to Janet piration of my life," said Roberson.
S. Eckard, Cleveland County He said he is delighted to be in
Care Network Kings Mountain and to be a part of L— SN ri
the medical community.
Mayor Scott Neisler made it of-
ficial Tuesday that he is a candi-
date for reelection to a two-year
The Macedonia congregation served ice cream and
homemade cakes at a welcome Natasha party Monday
Uniquely American barbeciie and hush puppies ~ “Neisler,
were a treat for the petite brunette Tuesday at Town & 39, paid his
Country Barbecue. filing fee in
"We have three McDonald's in Moscow but I had mid after
never heard of barbecue," said the vivacious mother of noon to
two who speaks English fluently and is quickly learn- Elections
ing to adapt to American slang. Bion itd
She wants to see a baseball game, the ocean, the Chairman
mountains, a real live buffalo, shop until she drops and Becky Cook.
make plenty of pictures for her family, husband Lt. The an.
Col. Vladimir Starostina, a 20- year career officer in nouncement ish CL
the Russian military, and their two sons, ages 6 and 8. NAT 30a STAROSTING by Neisler NEISLER
See Russia, 3-A makes the mayor's race in October
a two-man race between Neisler
and former commissioner Jim
No other candidates filed this
week in what election officials call
a slow filing and lack-luster politi-
"It could be that candidates don't
want to be elected for a two year
term as opposed to the customary
four years or it could be that candi-
dates are playing a waiting game
and will file at the last minute,"
Filing deadline is 12 days away,
at noon on August 4.
Neisler said in his filing state-
ment that he has most enjoyed be-
ing involved in the different activi-
ties in Kings Mountain during the
last four years as mayor and in the
Roberson is single. He is the
Roberson. He graduated from J.H.
Rose High School and also com-
"Being a doctor has been the as-
DR. LEWIS ROBERSON
Kings Mountain family doctor who Coordinator.
The Cleveland Chamber committee to promote downtown Kings Mountain, seated, I-r, Becky Hughes,
Ellis Noell, Tim Miller and Linda and Don Allen. Back row, Ronnie Whetstine Peggy Paksoy, Larry
Hamrick, Bryan Riggins, Jeannie Moore, Sandra Wilson and Bernice Chappell.
The Cleveland Chamber and lo-
cal merchants are gearing up for a
Coca Cola Carolina Panther Run
for History with downtown Kings
Mountain as a focal part of the
August 7 event.
Chamber executives Becky
Hughes, membership chairman,
Peggy Paksoy, president and chief
executive officer, and local
Chamber officer Jeannie Moore
met with key business leaders
Tuesday night at First Citizens
Bank to plan Kings Mountain's
participation in the event.
The Panther run from Charlotte
to Clemson University will be
sponsored by Coca Cola. Various
people will run the ball at different
legs of the route. Mayor Scott
Neisler will run the game ball into
Kings Mountain and members of
the high school varsity football
team will participate.
Full details of the event will be
announced by the Chamber next
Moore said that she anticipated
that some food vendors will want
to take part in the event and that a
general cleanup day will be set so
that local merchants and the com-
munity can get the downtown in tip
top shape for visitors.
Paksoy said that she is working
with Chief of Police Bob Hayes on
the Panther route which will mean
that some streets will be closed in
the main business district.
Paksoy said that the Advisory
Board of the Chamber is looking at
positive ways to improve the city,
focusing on the appearance that
visitors gets on a first visit.
previous two years as a council-
"I have always strived and will
continue to strive to be a first class
mayor," he said.
"I believe that the role of mayor
is an important one and I have al-
ways wanted to perform all may-
oral duties to the best of my ability.
I am not connected to anyone and I
have nothing to gain by being in
office but my overall considera-
tions have one interest in mind, to
do what I think is best for the citi-
zens of Kings Mountain."
Neisler took the occasion to
speak out against what he called
two unnecessary tax increases that
have increased taxes eight cents
per $100 property valuation over
the past two years.
"I would like to continue to
serve as your voice for a strong
city manager form of government
that is conservative so that we
might move away from the current
spend and tax philosophy. I want to
restore confidence in our city gov-
ernment and in these past four
years I have learned many things
that will help me represent you in
The candidates to date:
For mayor - Jim Childers and
incumbent Scott Neisler.
For Ward I - incumbent Phil
See Mayor, 3-A
KM to host Panther Run
She encouraged merchants to
take pride in their store fronts and
urged county-wide cooperation of
local governments with an eye to-
ward each municipality working
"Since Kings Mountain is an his-
torical place we need to concen-
trate on that," she said.
Paksoy said that first impres-
sions are lasting - the beautiful re-
stored historic homes, flags waving
and well-kept lawns. She com-
mended the good mix of specialty
shops in the downtown area as a
drawing card for shoppers and visi-
The group of merchants at
Tuesday's meeting are on the
Chamber's committee to promote