North Carolina Press Association
"Vor 107 No. 52
a Safe an
Te ST NTR CN
1pE 98082 IN NIUVINAOR
Thursday, December 28, 1995
7 WIA0W3N ASNMOR
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Sings Mountain, N.C. * * 28086 * 50¢
Over $133. 000 worth of poker machines.
$91.000 cash confiscated in gambling sting
Captain Richard Reynolds, Holby camera, ssisted by a Kings ‘Mountain patrolman, confiscate a video i
poker ‘machine during a raid Friday of eight businesses in which nearly $100, 000 and 38 machines were ments who say the customers ¢ are spending their pay-
confiscated and nine people were arrested ona total of 56 warran
Steve Killian, the new Director
of Planning for the City of Kings
Mountain, spent his first day on a
new job Tuesday meeting co-
workers and talking with City
Manager Gary Hicks about New
"I am very excited about being
in Kings Mountain," said Killian,
who comes to Kings Mountain
from Lincoln County where he was
Director of Planning for 6 1/2
He will be paid annual salary of
"Steve has broad experience in
planning and community develop-
ment and we are hopeful we will
see some revitalization and start
the new year with a capital im-
KM Plann g Direc of
“provements program,” said Hicks.
Hicks said that the results of a
zoning, subdivision and annexa-
tion study in the works will be
forthcoming in the new months of
1996 and that will be the areas that
Killian will focus as he begins
work in Kings Mountain.
Killian was housing specialist
for the Western Piedmont Council
of Governments in Hickory for five
years and prior, to that began his
work experience in 1980 as the
community development specialist
for the City of Lenoir.
Member of an eighth genera-
tion family from Lincoln County,
he is a 1973 graduate of East
Henderson High School at Flat
Rock and a 1977 graduate of the
University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. He holds a graduate
degree from Appalachian State
He is married to Ann Robinson
Killian. Son of Dr. and Mrs. W. D.
Killian of Lincoln County, he is
Lutheran. The family will continue
to reside on a farm in Lincoln
Other members of the city plan-
ning staff are Jeff Putiam, director
of codes/ inspections, Andy
Scoggins, building inspector and
Dottie Elkins and Shirley Payne,
The planning and codes office is
located on the second floor of City
Police Chief says businesses
illegally paid cash to winners
By ELIZABETH STEWART
of the Herald Staff
A gambling sting two days before Christmas result-
ed in the arrest of nine people at eight businesses and
the seizure by police of 38 poker machines valued at
$133,000 and $91,250.05 cash.
Twenty-four Kings Mountain police officers and six
N. C. Alcohol Law Enforcement agents from
Charlotte, under the direction of Chief Bob Hayes and
Captain Richard Reynolds, armed with search war-
rants, swarmed local businesses about 3:30 p.m.
Hayes said it was the largest bust he could recall
during his 34 years at the Kings Mountain Police
Department and was the result of a five-month under-
cover operation by KMPD and ALE officers.
"We hope this sends a message to other illegal oper-
ations in town that we mean business," said Hayes. He
said it's just a matter of time until all poker machines
are cleaned out.
Hayes said that gambling operations are paying cash
-to customers who win on the machines which by law
are for amusement only.
Hayes said owners of the establishments are taking
a huge profit, as much as $15,000 a week in some
places where players feed money into the machines in
hopes of hitting it big.
"It's big time gambling at some of these places be-
cause people are putting big bills into them, from $5 to
$100," said Hayes.
Hayes said the department has received numerous
‘complaints from relatives of visitors to these establish-
Arrested in Friday Sting
Danny Carl Goforth (Little Dan's)
Michael Virgil Passmore (Hugo's)
Kenneth Hamrick (Sliver Villa & Hugo's)
Linda Hamrick (Silver Villa)
Pete Johnson (Pete's Game Room)
Larry James Payne (Houston's)
Michael Heath (Mike's Game Room)
Ken Roberts (Depot Stop N' Go)
Angela Short (Mike's Game Room)
is Funeral Home promotes
Ronnie Hawkins and Eric Wright
Key staff promotions have been
announced by J. Ollie Harris, own-
er of Harris Funeral Home.
Ronnie Hawkins, vice-president,
will assume the position of manag-
er, and Eric Wright the position of
assistant manager January |.
Hawkins joined the firm 21
years ago and Wright joined the
firm nine years ago. Both are
Kings Mountain natives.
Arrested Friday by Kings Mountain officers on mig-
demeanor charges of illegal operation of slot machines
and related charges:
Danny Carl Goforth, 37, owner of Little Dan's con-
venience stores on Grover and York Road, 10 counts
including one count of operation of slot machines or
video poker, gambling, two counts of illegal operation
of slot machines, one count of possession of gambling
device, two counts of allowing gambling where alco-
hol is sold, two counts allowing a violation to occur
and one count of keeping slot machines. !
Michael Virgil Passmore, 41, of 105 Mail Road, was
arrested at Hugo's, S. Battleground Ave., for one count
of allowing a violation to occur, one count of gambling
and one count of possession of a gambling device, one
count of allowing gambling in a house of entertain-
ment and one count of illegal operation of a slot ma-
: See. Sein A
City Council to discuss 1994-95 audit
Kings Mountain City Council
will take a look at the 1994-95 city
audit on January 16 at a 7:30 p.m.
work session at City Hall.
Mayor Scott Neisler said that a
preliminary look at the audit report
reveals that "we appear to be in
good shape. ending the year with
over $100.000 in the water/sewer
Finance = Director Maxine
Parsons will present a financial re-
port of the first six months (July-
December) of the current fiscal
year and Auditor Darrell Keller
will be on hand to respond to ques-
tions on the audit.
Neisler said that one of the first
items on the city's agenda for the
new year is responding to the re-
cent letter from North Carolina
Utilities Commission Director of
Pipeline Safety Section James D.
Anderson which slapped the city
for eight instances of noncompli-
ance in the operation of its natural
"We have 30 days to respond
and one of Anderson's chief con-
cerns is the lack of personnel in the
gas department,” said the mayor.
Neisler says he plans to get with
City Manager Gary Hicks this
week to draft a letter to the state.
Hicks agreed that the city needs
to act quickly to comply with the
gas rules and said that is a number
one priority for Council for new
Hicks also sees community de-
velopment high on Council's prior-
ity for the new year.
"We are in a strong position for
growth and once we get a report on
the various studies on annexation
and zoning that are underway then
we will be in a position to move on
these programs,” he said.
Kings Mountain has applied for
a Community Development Block
See City, 10-A
Harris Funeral Home, has served
six years on the Kings Mountain
Board of Education and was re-
cently elected to a third term as
chairman of the board. He is an
Elder in First Presbyterian Church
and president of Kings Mountain
Son of Mrs. Aloyse Jones of
Kings Mountain and the late J. B.
Hawkins, he is married to Libby
Dye Hawkins. A 1970 graduate of
Kings Mountain High School, he
served in the US Army and was a
nursing student at Gaston College
and in training at Kings Mountain
Hospital when J. Ollie Harris of-
fered him a job at Harris Funeral
Home 21 years ago.
"I decided to change my career
plans and went to school and grad-
uated from Gupton Jones College
of Mortuary Science in Atlanta and
never regretted it," said Hawkins.
Hawkins is a mission pilot on
the Civil Air Patrol Composite
Squadron in Shelby. He owns and
operates his own plane and his
hobby is taking children on their
first plane ride. During the last six
years he has flown 300 children.
Wright, son of Peggy Tucker
Wright of Kings Mountain and
James Wright of Spartanburg, SC,
is a licensed cosmetologist who
changed his career plans nine years
ago to join Harris. He was a beauti-
cian on the staff of Scissor-Smith
in Kings Mountain for 4 1/2 years
and decided to go to school at
Gupton-Jones in Atlanta. graduat-
ing in 1987.
See Harris, 10-A
Kings Mountain People
Kings Mountain police officers excited about their work
Dispatching other officers to the
scene of a wreck or crime 1s not as
exciting and rewarding as being
there. says Pl. Debra Garris, 36.
who has worked both beats.
Garris joined Kings Mountain
Police Department eight years ago,
hired as a dispatcher by then-Chief
Jackie Barrett. She was Debra
Hullender then and met her future
husband, Sgt. Raymond Garris. a
longtime member of KMPD.
"Sometimes we go to work at
the same time but we never come
home at the same time because
Raymond works an 8 a.m.- § p.m.
administrative shift now and I
work swing shift.” said Mrs.
Garris, who is a member of Sgt.
Derek Johnson's squad which also
includes new officers Steve
Skinner and Scottie Daves and dis-
patcher Vivian Payne.
A 1977 graduate of Kings
Mountain High School, Garris
worked the second shift at
Kinmont Industries making com-
forters during high school and later
took a job with Hamrick Mills and
was a skilled operator of the ma-
chines that turned out beautiful
blouses and pants.
"lI wrote an essay about my
dream of becoming a police officer
when I was a child growing up in
Cherryville but waited unul I was
See Garris, 10-A
PTL. JERRY TESSNEER
Tessneer found his niche
Versatile in several occupations,
Ptl. Jerry Tessneer found his niche
in police work.
He joined the Kings Mountain
Police Department four years ago
after working with the Cleveland
County Sheriff's Department
Reserves and following completion
of rookie school at Isothermal
"I love it.” said Tessneer, who
regrets he didn't get into law cn-
forcement when he turned 21.
He heartily recommends law en-
forcement a8 a career for young
men and women who are dedicated
and who enjoy working with the
"We have a good team at the
Police Department and a young
team," laughed Tessneer, who de-
scribed himself at 37 among the
A native of Shelby. son of the
late Mr. and Mrs. Millard Tessneer.
he married Tammy Helms two
years ago and together they have
Tessneer said he had always
wanted to be a policeman. recalling
an incident in the fourth grade at
elementary school when the father
of one of his friends came to
school to talk about police work.
"I always looked up to police
and hope people treat us with re-
spect.” he said.
See Tessneer, 10-A