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North Carolina Press Association
Vol. 107 No. 43
5-year-old credited with
saving family from fire
By ELIZABETH STEWART
of the Herald staff
In the eyes of his family five-
year-old Antwaine Riccard is a
"Mama, Mama the house is on
fire,’ " the East School kindergarten
yelled louder; according to Lydia
Gash, 77, who said she was in the
back of the house when the child's
screams interrupted her and she ran
to see what was wrong.
"I thought he was just playing a
joke at first and then I saw the
blaze and I called 911 and grabbed
up one-year-old Jasmine and
Antwaine and we ran out of the
house," she said.
The roof, living room, kitchen
and den of the home at 1505
Northwoods was extensively dam-
Thursday, October 26, 1995
Kings Mountain, N.C. » 28086 »
Wood threatens law suit
Former City Manager also wants his retirement money
City officials have until
December 1 to furnish 22 pieces of
financial information to former
City Manager George Wood and
his lawyers pending the formal fil-
ing of a suit alleging defamation
of character by two employees.
In addition, Wood has threatened
legal action against the city in sev-
en days if current City Manager
Gary Hicks does not transfer
Wood's deferred compensation ac-
count of $43,000 to the City of
Wood says the money was de-
ducted from his payroll checks in
Kings Mountain to be invested for
Attorney John Kimball has writ-
ten city officials, under date of
October 19, that he will assume in
three days he is directing his re-
quests for public information to the
correct persons unless he is noti-
Kimball said if there is a charge
for obtaining the public informa-
tion he wants to be notified imme-
diately and the request will be
withdrawn and his client will pro-
ceed directly to file a legal cause of
action, compelling this and other
documentation as part of the dis-
Kimball said if the city does not
want to mail the materials to his of-
fice that he will pick up the docu-
Specifically, he is requesting
from the city and from Finance
Officer Maxine Parsons and
Auditor Darrell Keller:
Balance sheets, revenue state-
ments and expenditures statements
for all seven continuing funds of
the City for the months ending
March 31, 1994 through September
30, 1995, inclusive, and including
any memos or reports which were
given to the City Council regarding
any of these months.
A list, by month, of every in-
voice since March 31, 1994 that
was not paid by the date due; the
date that it was due and the date it
was actually paid.
A copy of any memos or regula-
tions in the City's files from the NC
See Suit, 16-A
Former City Manager George Wood has hired the
Cleveland, Tn. law firm of Bell and Associates to pur-
sue a claim against Kings Mountain Finance Director
Maxine Parsons and City Auditor Darrell Keller for al-
leged "defamation of character, intentional infliction of
emotional distress and outrageous conduct."
In a letter city officials received on Monday by cer-
tified mail from John Kimball, Wood says he intends
to prove that Parsons and Keller "consistently and
willfully refused to provide timely and accurate finan-
cial information to the Mayor and City Council, de-
spite the City Charter's requirement to do so and that
they made public statements regarding the cash posi-
tion of the city which were erroneous and that they
knew they were erroneous at the time."
The letter was a formal request, under NC statutes,
asking for public records from Parsons and Keller by
Wood says he has no intention to sue the mayor and
City Council. He said is requesting information
preparatory to filing a suit against Parsons and Keller
for monetary compensation.
See Wood, 18-A
Grover woman says Williams
aged by the fire which was report-
ed at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Antwaine was out of school due
to a teacher work day and was
playing in one side of house. His
baby sister was sleeping and his
grandmother was out back getting
Gash said her house has no
smoke alarm. She said the house is
insured. and the family has moved
in with relatives until the repairs
"Antwaine has learned at school
to call for help and to crawl on the
floor to get out of a burning build-
ing and he has always been very
protective of his little sister," she
said. "Thank God the fire didn't
happen at night when all of us were
asleep. I am very proud of my little
Five-year-old Antwaine Riccard gives his grandmother, Lydia Gash,
a big hug as his mother, Dawn Gash and one-year-old Jasmine look
on. The kindergarten student alerted his grandmother when fire
erupted in their home early Monday. No one was injured.
Gas customers won't see increase at least for 60 days
Councilman Jim Guyton claims
the city has not been authorized by
Council to offer contracts to delin-
quent utility customers and he
wants the policy stopped.
"Treat everybody alike," he says.
He made the remarks at
Monday's city utilities committee
Guyton said the city had started
a "get tough" policy by cutting off
power for unpaid bills. But he said
the policy should have been en-
forced all along.
City Manager Gary Hicks said
he was not familiar with any policy
for contracts that may have been
established and that he would
check into the matter further and
report to Guyton at the next
Guyton: Treat everybody alike
"It isn't unusual for a city to
work with a customer during hard-
ship conditions," he said.
Guyton pushed for an answer to
his question of why a small com-
mercial customer was allowed to
get behind $2700 on his water and
electricity bills and then when the
utilities were shut off hollered to
City Hall and the power was cut
back on. :
"I have no sympathy with a busi-
ness that doesn't pay utility bills
and I am angry that a woman on
fixed income who owes $21 had
her power cut off and other bigger
customers are allowed with a con-
See Guyton, 2-A
Photo by Lib Stewart
Could it be ... Barney Parney Poo?
He looks like Barney, he acts like Barney, but this is actually David Browning of Bristol, Tn.,
impersonating Barney Fife (Don Knotts) at the annual banquet of the Cleveland County Farm
Rtireau Thursday night. For a story and picture on Cleveland County's Farm Family of the Year,
sec page 13-A.
City Council voted Wednesday
night 6-1 to delay at least for 60
days the passing on of increased
costs by the city's natural gas sup-
plier, Transcontinental Gas
Councilman Ralph Grindstaff
made the motion, seconded by
Councilman Dean Spears, who
voted against the delay, and City
Manager Gary Hicks said the city
should pass on the increased costs
"We can't afford to eat much
more of the increased costs," said
Hicks, who said that the increase
by the supplier to the city was ef-
fective September 1.
For a typical residential user, the
increased cost would be $4.05 a
month or 6.2 percent. Small com-
mercial customers would see a 4.9
percent increase, schools a 6.1 per-
cent increase, public housing a 4.7
percent increase and large commer-
cial users, 1.6 percent.
Interruptible users, who are not
in the firm transportation class,
would not see an increase.
Councilman Jim Guyton argued
that every user should be treated
alike and billed the same amount
for the transportation costs.
Maney said Council was con-
fusing the issue because the city
was being charged a tariff which
could not be shared by all cus-
Maney said that Transco had in-
creased the costs of firm trans-
portation a total of $94,000 a year.
The fixed rate is 17.8 percent but
the city absorbed the first month's
cost and was ready to start passing
on the increased costs November 1.
See Gas, 15-A
beat up her 16-year-old son
GROVER - The Cleveland
County Sheriff's Department is
continuing to investigate an alleged
stabbing of a 16-year-old Kings
Mountain student at the home of
his mother Monday morning.
Gail Wilson, of Cleveland Ave. bi
his fists. a hoe and a pair of scis- |
sors, a report on file at the Sheriff's
Detective Bobby Steen said
nine stitches were needed to close
the teenager's wounds.
Williams, the controversial
member of the Department of
Social Services, denies the allega-
tions. He says the boy attacked him
and his father should ground him
for not reporting to work on
"He's six feet four inches tall and
from the physical layout of that
house it's impossible for the inci-
dent to have happened the way his
mother and her son say it hap-
pened," said Williams.
Williams says he will take a
polygraph test. He claims the inci-
dent started with a domestic dis-
agreement over the boy which be-
gan Sunday morning between him
and the boy's mother.
"I told Gail that her son needed
to buckle down and go by the rules
his Dad set out for him regarding
his car and she disagreed with me,"
"I could charge him with assault
with a deadly weapon but he's in
too much trouble already," he said.
Williams contends that "some
people" want to figure some way to
charge him for political reasons.
He has been ordered off the board
of Social Services by the county
board of commissioners and refus-
es to step down until his term ex-
"I don't plan to file any charges
against Gail's son but I will defend
myself in court if it comes to that
and vigorously," he said.
Mrs. Wilson tells a different sto-
ry . She said her son, who lives
with his father and stepmother in
Kings Mountain, came home to go
hiking with her at 9:15 a.m: +
Monday because school was out: =
and they wanted to spend time to= =
Wilson said Williams entered the
living room and allegedly "body
slammed" the boy into a brick wall,
according to the police report. She
said Williams then began beating
the young man with his fists,
grabbed a pair of scissors from a
table and stabbed him in the hand,
she told deputies.
Wilson told officers that she
tried to intervene but Williams then
began to strike her. When the boy
tried to defend his mother,
Williams allegedly threw him
through a glass door into the back
yard and began beating him with a
hoe, the report said.
Wilson said she then drove to
her mother's home nearby and they
drove the boy to the office of Dr.
See Williams, 17-A
need your help.
Department of Social Services,"
You can help make Thanksgiving
a blessing for area needy families
Cleveland County Jaycees hope to provide a traditional Thanksgiving
Day meal of turkey and all the trimmings to 50 needy families and they
Lisa and Mark Livingstone, co-chairmen of the project, have put big
cardboard boxes in eight area grocery stores and they are inviting shoppers
to buy a can and leave a can or make a donation for a turkey.
"We will need at least 50 turkeys at cost of $10 each plus sweet potatoes,
green beans, cranberry sauce and the fixings for dressing and rice and
gravy and we are getting the names of the families to be fed from the
says Lisa of the club's annual project.
Area stores with boxes for contributions are Harris-Teeter and Food
Lion in Kings Mountain, BiLo, Harris Teeter on US 74 West and Harris-
Teeter on Marion Street in Shelby, the Fallston Road Ingles Super Market
in Shelby, the US 74 Ingles and the Ingles Super Market in Boiling
Persons who would like to make donations or help distribute the food
may contact the Jaycees at 480-7703.
"There so many less fortunate people in the county who need our help at
this upcoming holiday season and this is a way that local people can help
make the holiday merrier and get a real blessing," said Mrs. Livingstone.
The Cleveland County Jaycees has a membership of young people under
35 years of age and welcomes new members.
Gerald Dye, store manager for Harris-Teeter, places a
can of food in the Thanksgiving basket supplied by Lisa
Livingstone of Cleveland County Jaycees. The Jaycees
hope to feed 50 hungry families with the help of Kings
Mountain and Cleveland County citizens.