Thursday, July 29, 1999
Vol. 111 No. 30
Youth drowns in
BY ALAN HODGE
Kamahee K. Chambers, 9,
drowned in a pool at 611 Gantt
Street in Kings Mountain
Tuesday night. The boy’s body
was discovered by his stepfa-
ther Shan Black and a neighbor
lying at the bottom of the in-
ground pool just before 11 pm.
Chambers was pronounced
dead at the scene when a
Cleveland County EMS crew
The youth had had been told
by his aunt, Crystal Chambers,
not to go in the pool because he
couldn’t swim. He lived with
his mother Melissa Chambers,
and his stepfather at 612
Charles Street in Kings
Mountain. Crystal Chambers i
was caring for Kamahee and his :
cousin Devonte Chambers
when they went out to play.
Later, only Devonte returned.
When Kamahee didn’t return
home by late Tuesday after- :
noon, relatives filed a missing
person report at 6:30 pm with
the Kings Mountain Police
Department. After officers and
family members failed to find
Kamahee, cousin Devonte led
searchers to the Gantt Street lo- ©
cation where he was discovered
at the bottom of the pool. :
Devonte said he and Kamahee
had been in the pool earlier in
the day despite Chambers’ in-
structions not to do so.
No one was at home at the
Gantt Street house at the time of
the drowning. Neighbors told
police the house had recently
been sold. Cleveland County
‘Coroner Ralph Mitchem esti-
‘ated the body was in the wa
ter six hours.
Wednesday an autopsy was
being performed on the victims
body to determine the exact
cause of death.
“There’s nothing suspicious
at this point,” said Kings
Mountain Police Chief T.R.
Reynolds. “The autopsy report
will be very important and we
are launching an ongoing inves- § :
tigation to determine the facts ©
that led to this death.” et
Guyton to run
for Ward 2
By Jim Heffner
will run again
in the upcom-
ing election for
his old Ward 2
Kings Mountain, has lost in the
last two elections - 1995 and
1997 - to Jerry Mullinax.
Guyton is married to the
‘former Shirley Yarbrough. The
‘couple has three daughters and
six grandchildren. The entire
tamily resides in Kings
Asked his priorities if elect-
ed, Guyton said he'd like to see
a new water line to Moss Lake
Guyton said he would like
to see more industry for the
town and he wants to see the
program to clean up residential
‘and business structures contin- :
ue as well as completion of the
Guyton is a self-employed
building contractor. He served
in the United States Marine
Corps from 1951 through 1954
and was wounded during the
Korean War. :
He and his wife are mem-
bers of Second Baptist Church.
By Jim Heffner
The much-heralded vote to annex the
Canterbury area did not occur at the Tuesday
night city council meeting.
Council voted 5-2 to table the issue until the
August meeting after two members of the panel
tried to kill it off altogether. The vote was delayed
until the city staff can examine service options fo
the new residents.
The plan calls for annexing 2328.79 acres, 256
homes, over 700 people and more than 25 busi-
ness, some of them along a prime stretch of I-85.
The city had planned to build a $2.7 million
sewer project to be phased in over a period of
State law says annexed residents must be pro-
vided basic services, principally water and sewer,
within two years. The law was modified a few
years ago allowing septic tank maintenance pro-
grams to extend that time frame. The city wants
‘to take advantage of that change to help ensure a
smooth transition of the new area into the city.
At Tuesday's meeting City Manager Jimmy
Maney said workers recently found there were
already sewer lines in close proximity that could
serve the area and the septic tank maintenance
program might not be necessary.
Before the annexation discussion, one citizen
scolded the mayor, city manager and council
members for “failure to provide adequate infor-
mation to residents.”
ALAN HODGE/THE HERALD
Three year old T.J. Bird gets ready for a gallop on the merry go round at the
Bethware Fair. Running through Saturday night, the Bethware Fair is a 52 year tra-
dition in Cleveland County.
ethware Fair is fab
BY ALAN HODGE
One of Cleveland County’s best and oldest tra-
ditions, the Bethware Fair opened for the 52nd
consecutive year Tuesday evening near Kings
Mountain. Held at the Bethware School, the Fair
is expected to draw 10,000 patrons to its myriad
of rides, exhibits, food booths and other amuse-
ments. The Bethware Fair will run through
Saturday with hours of 6 pm until 11 pm.
The Bethware Fair had its start after World
War II when members of the Bethware
Progressive Club came up with the idea of hold-
ing a community fair to showcase local farm
goods, raise money for the Bethware School, and
~ just have a good old time get together for folks in
“Since Bethware School was in the county back
in the 1940s, it had a hard time getting funds to
operate,” said Progressive Club member Fred
Tate. “Once the local farmers got it started, the
Bethware Fair has grown every year as well as be-
ing held on the same grounds. One thing that’s
good about the Fair is that the Progressive Club
still takes money it makes and gives it to worth-
while causes and folks in need.”
By Jim Heffner
Calling it his favorite act as mayor, Scott
Neisler presented plaques and service pins to
eight Kings Mountain City employees at Tuesday
night's council meeting.
The eight were: Marilyn Sellers (10 years),
Kenny Downey (10 years), Larry Deal (10 years),
Frank Burns (10 years), Bobby Wright (15 years),
George Jacobs (15 years), Bill Herndon (25 years)
and Jesse Lee Perry (25 years). y
“I believe Kings Mountain has some of the
best city employees in the country,” Neisler said.
+ The council was asked to rule on two
instances of the modification of the city’s subdivi-
sion ordinance. Both requests passed unanimous-
There aré plenty of things to see and do at the
Bethware Fair. The school gym has been trans-
formed into an exhibit hall where row upon row
of garden vegetables, cakes, antiques, art works,
crafts, and quilts delight the eyes and senses.
Also on display in the gym are booths by local
civic and agricultural groups like the Future
Farmers of America and 4-H.
The main fairgrounds behind the Bethware
School are just as impressive as any autumn
county carnival. Row after row of rides with
names like “Tornado,” “Thunderbolt,” and “Sea
Ray,” are guaranteed to give ticket holders a
thrill. Concessions are not lacking either. Besides
the hamburgers and hotdogs being sold by the
Bethware Progressive Club, other booths are of-
fering clouds of cotton candy, rivers of soft
drinks, candy apples by the case, and a variety of
For those who bring their sporting spirit with
them to the Bethware Community Fair, there are
plenty of games to try. Backing up the bright
lights and adding to the overall carnival atmo-
sphere at the Fair is the constant throb of musical
One of the highlights of Tuesday’s grand open-
See BETHWARE page 9A
KM annexation hits roadblock
Jane Martin told the panel the vote should not
“It’s ludicrous to think you're going to do all
these great things without raising taxes,” she
_ She said she didn’t think residents had been
given ample opportunity to voice their concerns
and accused them avoiding legitimate questions.
Councilman Jerry Mullinax, meanwhile,
moved to delay annexation indefinitely. “I don’t
see how we can ever provide the required ser-
vices,” he said. “I'm not sure the people who
were annexed the last time are getting all the ser-
vices they deserve. I'm not opposed to
See ANNEXATION, page 5A
Bridges wants to be
first woman mayor
By Lib Stewart
Mayor pro tem Norma
Bridges made it official this
week that she wants to be
Kings Mountain's first woman
The 12-year veteran on city
council paid her filing fee
Wednesday afternoon at the
Cleveland County Board of
The entry of Bridges into
the race makes the mayoral
race a four-person race. Kyle
Smith, a former mayor, Ward 5 councilman Rick
Murphrey and Ted Chandler filed previously.
The filing deadline for the mayor’s and seven
council seats ends August 6 at noon.
After Scott Neisler announced that he would not
offer for a second term, rumors had been circu-
lating for weeks that the popular Bridges, who
has consistently led in the polls and several
times been honored as mayor pro tem, was plan-
MANGO give up her At-large seat to run for the
“I have a vision for Kings Mountain, I am proud
of Kings Mountain and our progress and I
would like to serve,” said Bridges, a life-long
resident of Kings Mountain, wife of Bobby R.
Bridges and daughter of the late Marion and
Ruth Falls. She has served two four year terms
on council and is completing the second two
Bridges’ responsibility on the board for a
number of years has centered in the recreation
department where she has served as chairman of
parks and recreation and let the efforts for major
improvements at the Community Center, ball
parks and walking track.
“I started pushing for a walking track years
ago and for more recreational improvements and
due to the combined effort of the entire council,
mayor and city manager we have one of the best
recreation complexes in the state,” she said.
Bridges was among the crowds of fans and
volunteer city workers at the recent tourna-
Bridges said she is not only proud of the new
recreational facilities but the new police depart-
ment, the updating of electric utilities and the
plans in the works for a new senior center of
which she is a member of the advisory and plan-
If elected to the city’s top office, she said her
priority will be to work with all council mem-
bers on bringing a second water line from Moss
Lake to town. She said she also push beautifica-
tion and codes enforcement.
“So much has happened in the dozen years I
have worked on council and progress has been
accomplished by team effort,” she said. Bridges
said she is pleased at the upbeat attitude of city
See BRIDGES, page 5A
recognized for longevity
ly. Council also voted unanimously to adopt a
resolution accepting water, sewer, and street
improvements for Mountain Manor.
In other business the council voted to adopt
an ordinance ordering the demolition of a
dwelling located at 951 York Road.
Tim Barrett of 949 York Road appeared before
the panel in favor of demolishing the structure.
He passed around photos from several angles
depicting the poor state of repair of the house.
Barrett told council he couldn't prove the tall
weeds on the lot had snakes but he'd found sev-
eral in his swimming pool. He stated further that
the weeds obscured oncoming traffic and that
vagrants had used the house on several occa-
300 W. Mountain St.
529 New Hope Rd.
The council authorized the mayor to execute a
memorandum of understanding with the
Cleveland County and Gaston County Boards of
Election governing where some Kings Mountain
residents should vote in municipal elections.
Clarification is necessary because of recent annex=
ations affecting some Kings Mountain residents
who live in Gaston County.
City Manager Maney asked the council to
approve a loan of $150,000 from the general fund
to continue paving projects now underway until
Powell Bill funds come 9in October.
Saying paving contractors are hard to find
Maney wants to keep the two crews working
until this year’s projects are finished. The council
106 S. Lafayette St.
484-6200 Member FDIC |.
43 REESE RRL SEEN si