North Carolina Newspapers

    speak at KM
New York Yankee great to
Hall of Fame
North Carolina Press Association
Vol. 108 No. 12
__ Thursday, March 21, 1996
Chad Gass, 24, is a lucky young man.
The telephone repairman consider§ his survival
from a freak accident February 6 on St. John's Island
in the U.S. Virgin Islands a miracle.
Speaking softly in a whisper because of a crushed
voice box, he said doctors told him his six-feet four
frame and 235 pound weight probably saved his life
when his body was lifted six feet in the air, dragged 40
feet and then hit the pavement after a car caught a tele-
phone cable stretched across a road and wrapped it
around the axle catching Gass, who stood next to a
company truck, in the cable's end.
But Gass and his parents, JoNell and Marshall Gass,
Chad Gass's big frame probably saved his life after freak accident in Virgin Islands
credit God for giving the Maner Road resident a sec-
ond chance at life. Gass says many people were pray-
ing for his recovery.
Friday night Gass and his parents came home to
Kings Mountain and found "welcome home Chad"
signs and yellow ribbons all over the yard and house.
A hospital bed is set up in his room for nurses to
administer antibiotics every six hours and monitor the
trachea tube he must wear for at least six months. Over
his bed are the instructions he must follow before he
can eat; hold breath, tuck in chin, push down, swallow
and cough.
Monday afternoon he was walking all over the
Chad Gass on life
support in hospital in
Virgin Islands.
Chad Gass walking
and talking at home in
Kings Mountain.
house, eating pureed steak and pressing a small button
on his trachea to talk on the telephone.
Healing will be a slow process but after six opera-
tions at Carolinas Medical Center he's on the mend.
Gass reported to work in January in the U. S. Virgin
Islands, one of 400 off-island telephone workers across
the territory who had worked on St. Thomas as part of
a crew helping the V. I. Telephone Corp. workers re-
pair damages caused by Hurricane Marilyn.
On his first day on the job February 6 about 9:15
a.m. on St. John he was injured, suffering a concus-
See Gass, 2-A
Brain, not firearm,
most important weapon
When Marty Blanton and Deborah Hayes
enrolled in Dan Starks' self-defense class
Friday they feared it could be a frightening
experience. "Not so," said Blanton,
administrative secretary at Kings Mountain
Police Department.
Hayes, daughter of KMPD Chief of
Police Bob Hayes and Sue Hayes, agreed that
the eight-hour class offered much more than a
certificate of completion of a firearms safety
training class which means the two women
have ‘now applied for a concealed carry
handgun permit.
Starks, Belmont resident, has been
dealing with firearms for sport and self
defense for 25 years. He is a graduate of the
Lethal Force Institute in New Hampshire, the
National Range Officers Institute and is a
member of the American Society of the Law
Enforcement trainers. He is also certified by
the NRA in handguns, personal security and
home protection and a certified instructor in
the use of OC Peppergas.
Chief Hayes said he wanted his daughter
and his secretary to have an understanding of
the use of deadly force and he knew of
accompanied the two women to Charlotte to
take the class, which included firearms
instruction and practice firing on a wildlife
club shooting range.
Classroom instruction featured the
morning session.
remembered every second about the evening
that her father was shot during the line of
duty in Kings Mountain.
reputation as a trainer. Hayes
Ms.Hayes said she
Deborah Hayes takes aim at the target on instruction by Dan
Starks, firearms expert. Hayes passed the training and safety course
See Hayes, 2-A
led by Starks and is applying for a concealed carry permit.
Richardson to speak at Hall of Fame ceremony
Former New York Yankee second baseman Bobby
Richardson will be guest speaker at the ninth annual
Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame induction cere-
mony Monday, April 29 at Kings Mountain High
Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the KMHS
cafeteria. The induction ceremony will follow in B.N.
Barnes Auditorium.
This year's inductees include former football player
and coach Pride Ratteree, former KMHS player and
coach Bill Cashion, former KMHS baseball coach
Fred Withers, and the Second Baptist Church softball
team which dominated church league play in the city
and state from 1973-83. These four will bring the total
number of inductees to 35.
Dixon Road extension planned
Richardson was an all-star second baseman for the
Yankees during their dynasty years of the fifties and
sixties. He played with such Yankee greats as Mickey
Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron,
Roger Maris and Hank Bauer, and along with shortstop
Tony Kubek formed one of the best double play com-
binations in baseball.
For years Richardson held the major league record
for most hits in a World Series.
After retiring from professional baseball,
Richardson served several years as head baseball
coach at the University of South Carolina and Liberty
He now lives in his native Sumter, SC where he
played high school baseball for Coach Withers before
Withers came to Kings Mountain.
Withers was head coach of the Mountaineer baseball
team from 1953-63, and his last team won the
Southwestern 3-A Conference championship. The '63
team was the first championship team at KMHS since
1941. Withers was also a standout player in local semi-
pro leagues.
A bruising fullback and vicious tackler, Cashion
was Kings Mountain's first big-time running back,
gaining a then school record 800 yards to lead the
1946 Mountaineers to a 7-3 season. Cashion later
played college football at Gardner-Webb and
Newberry. As head line coach, he helped coach the
See Richardson, 7-A
Since 1889
Kings Mountain, N.C. + 28086 « 50¢ _
center gets
green light
Developers of Kings Mountain Summit Place got
the unanimous green light from the Kings Mountain
Board of Adjustments Tuesday night to begin con-
struction of the city's first assisted living facility across
from Kings Mountain Middle School.
Although 90 residents of the Southwoods and
Southridge areas had petitioned the group for a 90-day
delay and expressed concerns at a public hearing last
week, board members said much research had been
given by them and the city staff and the 11 acres was
zoned properly.
The board approved a special permit with some stip-
ulations to conform to the city's zoning ordinance, in-
cluding the addition of 12 extra parking spaces, park-
ing spaces expanded to 9 feet by 20 feet with a 24 foot
aisle behind the spaces and additional paved access to
the rear of the building for fire protection.
Wayne Mercier, spokesman for adjoining property
owners, raised the issue of a buffer zone at both last
week's public hearing and again Tuesday night. He
asked for a setback of 200 feet from the proposed
building to the neighbor's property line and a 100-foot
natural buffer zone beginning at the affected property
owners’ property.
"We are talking about the impact this building will
have on our community," he said.
Jeff Putnam, zoning administrator, said the city's or-
dinances do not require a buffer zone but developer
John Easterling agreed to a 30 feet buffer which he
said is an increase of about 10 feet in assisted living
projects he has built in other areas of the Carolinas.
He also offered to sell Southridge residents land to cre-
ate a S0-foot buffer strip at the same price Pulliam
Investment Co. is paying the Phifer Heirs through real-
tor Philip Bunch for the 11.8 acres on Phifer Road.
Easterling; ‘responding to Mercier, said the sale of
the additional land would have to be sealed with same
stipulations that Mercier had made to him, that the
area separating the properties remain vacant. Mercier
asked for a price but Bunch said the price was a confi-
dential matter.
Mercier also asked that the board delete a portion of
the ordinance that permits rest homes and convalescent
homes as long as they are not used primarily for the
treatment of contagious diseases, alcoholics, drug ad-
dicts or psychotics. He said the deletion of the word
primary would ensure the future integrity of the street
if the property changed hands and was put to another
use in the future,
But Planning Director Steve Killian said such a
change would have to come before the Planning and
Zoning Board and then get the approval of City
Council and Jackie Pittman of Kings Mountain, a
member of the development staff, said those changes
are already taken care of in the state codes which de-
velopers of assisted living centers must follow in order
to be licensed to operate. "This stipulation is already
spelled out in state codes," she said.
Both Putnam and Adjustment board member Jim
Belt said special restrictions on the property could not
be made by the board, responding to Mercier's fear
that the property could be sold down the road.
"It's like telling you that you can't add on to your
property,” said. Belt.
"We know it may be a gamble but it's a permitted
use and we can't make stipulations on what may hap-
pen 10 years down the road."
Responding to Mercier's concern about traffic on
Phifer Road, Killian said traffic on the road is well be-
low the state's stress level for a road its size. He said a
planned north-south connector would help to alleviate
some of the problem and that the developers had
agreed to schedule shift schedules of staff to avoid
adding to the traffic congestion at school take-up and
let-out times at Kings Mountain High and Kings
Mountain Middle Schools.
See Center, 2-A
Kings Mountain People
Right-of-way acquisition will
begin in 1997 and construction in
1998 in the state's $6.8 million
Dixon School Road extension,
Steve Killian, the city's planning
director, said Tuesday night during
a meeting of the Board of
‘Adjustments at City Hall.
Killian posted maps at the en-
trance to the Council Chambers
and said the project's environmen-
tal assessment has been completed
and is available for public review
and comment.
Killian said right-of-way acqui-
sition costs will be $860,000 and
Alternative I will displace 10 resi-
dents and one business.
The new facility would provide
motorists ‘with a north-south con-
nector between Business 74 and I-
85 and create road user cost sav-
ings. Also a grade separated rail
crossing over the Norfok Southern
will also be beneficial. He men-
tioned positive aspects for schools
and no negative impacts on Phifer
Road during a discussion of traffic
concerns raised by adjoining prop-
erty owners of a proposed retire-
ment center being developed
across from the Middle School.
The project starts 0.3 mile north
of the I-85/Dixon School Road
Interchange. The proposed new
route will follow Dixon School
Road for 0.1 mile before proceed-
ing to the northwest corner or new
location. The new route will cross
SR 2305 ( Compact School Road),
See Extension, 3-A
Rev. Dennis C. Wilson, pastor of
one of the largest black congrega-
‘tions in the area, sees great things
| happening at Ebenezer Missionary
Baptist Church.
| This weekend his congregation
of nearly 400 people will celebrate
their successes and Wilson's 25th
| anniversary as pastor. :
| The anniversary celebration
4 | starts on Friday night with a 7 p.m.
banquet at Days Inn, Shelby, at
8 Which Rev. Clinton Feemster will
be the speaker.
Sunday morning at the 11 a.m.
worship hour Dr. Clifford Jones,
pastor of Friendship Church of
Charlotte and president of the
General Baptist State Convention
and of the Progressive Convention,
will fill the pulpit.
Wilson came to the local church
in 1971 after pastoring churches in
Charlotte, Gaffney and York for
eight years.
But he actually was saved as a
young man and preached his first
sermon in a High Shoals church at
the age of 18.
A quarter century ago when he
came to the local church the ser-
vices were being held only twice a
month, a far cry from 1996 when
there are programs underway al-
‘Wilson notes 25th year at Ebenezer
most every day of the week and for
all age worshipers.
The church, organized in a brush
arbor on Cherryville Road in the
early 1920's, then occupied a
wooden frame house of worship in
the 1930's and then a rock structure
in the late 1930's.
During Wilson's tenure he led
the construction of the addition of
an educational building and reno-
vation of the old church structure,
the formation of three choirs, in-
cluding the Wilsonettes, the found-
ing of several auxiliary programs,
See Wilson, 12-A

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