Thursday, December 28, 2000
Vol. 112 No. 52
offer a variety
of sights and
TE TEE Eee a Ww EF
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
- The annual luminary service
Christmas Eve at Mountain
Rest Cemetery was the biggest
and best it’s ever been, accord-
ing to organizers, and volun-
teers are already excited about
what the program can become
in the future.
Over 1,700 cars representing
an estimated 6,800 people went
through the winding roads of
the cemetery between 6 p.m.
and midnight and over 3,800 Ir
minaries were lit.
Approximately 50 other per-
sons walked through the ceme-
Some’ luminaries lined the
roads inside the cemetery, oth-
ers spelled out “Peace on Earth”
and made the forms of
Christmas trees and the Star of
David, and others were placed’
! By GARY STEWART
i: Editor of The Herald
Choosing Kings Mountain's
: Top Ten stories of 2000 wasn't
There was so much going on.
Good and bad. In fact, most
: of the top ten had some of both,
i depending upon how you
: looked at the situations.
Many of the top stories were
: year-long events that have yet
: tobe completed. Some actually
: had their origin toward the end
And, that takes us to the #1
i story for the second year in a
i TOW. x
. #1 - School Merger.
Merger talk, which has been
i going on in Cleveland County
i for almost 50 years, resurfaced
¢ in November of ‘99 when the
i previous Board of
: Commissioners hand-delivered
i a letter to a Shelby newspaper
i calling for a merger assessment.
That action, which by law
: should have taken place in a
i public meeting, drew the ire of
i citizens from all over the coun-
The Commissioners eventual-
ly approved the plan by a 4-1
See Top Ten, 3A
by citizens on the graves of
their loved ones.
A majority of the graves, in-
cluding all the graves of veter-
ans and the “paupers” section
of the cemetery, had luminaries.
An added treat was a bagpipe
player, Buddy Hardis of
Charlotte, who played
Christmas and religious songs
for about 2 1/2 hours.
Jim Belt, who along with his
wife Brenda began the luminary
service four years ago by plac-
ing luminaries on 40 graves of
friends and relatives, was ec-
static over the turnout - both of
volunteers who helped with the
project and citizens who came
through to enjoy it.
“We had over 50 people show
up to light candles,” Belt said.
“I want everyone to know this
is not a one-person thing. We
See Luminary, 6A
GARY STEWART/THE HERALD
Buddy Hardis of Charlotte
plays his bagpipes during
Christmas Eve luminary
service at Mountain Rest
BY ALAN HODGE
“Happy as a lark” was'the way Ronnie
Hawkins felt Thursday after he and his fellow
Cleveland County commissioners voted unani-
mously to approve the $1.9 million needed to
build a new grade 5-6 school in Kings Mountain.
The vote came after a meeting in which the
commissioners agreed to fund the project contin-
gent upon receiving a letter from the office of the
State Board of Education that the money would
not affect the price of merger- should it occur.
According to Hawkins, that correspondence was
on the table within an hour from Board of
Education attorney Harry Wilson. The funds will
be in the county budget for fiscal years 2002-2003.
Hawkins said that since the State Board of
Education approved merger, the funding formula
was locked in at that point.
“Even if the money was needed now, it would
not affect the formula,” Hawkins said.
However, the funding for the school doesn’t
mean that the new commissioners will end their
fight to stop merger.
Kings Mountain School Board chairman Dr.
Larry Allen was ecstatic about the news that the
“early Christmas present.”
“We are looking forward to some exciting
times,” Allen said.
Allen also said that the new school would not
only retain the same fine curriculum that was tra-
ditional in Kings Mountain, but would also offer
students an exciting new atmosphere to learn in.
Also enthusiastic about the coming educational
showpiece was Kings Mountain school activist
Kathy Falls. :
“We deserve this new school,” Falls said. “The
approval shows that fighting for our schools is
The approved $1.9 million represents what
Kings Mountain needed to have enough to build
the school which will cost around $10.8 million.
The other money is on hand in State bond funds
Capital Reserve Funds, and projected Sales Tax
funds. The land for the school is located on Kings
In other business last Wednesday, the commis-
sioner approved the retention of Attorney
Michael Crowell to represent them in the fight
against merger. Crowell is presently the lawyer
for the Cleveland County school board and his
assignment will be just for the merger issue and
contingent on their releasing him for that role.
See School, 5A
school project will go forward. He called it an
stories of 2000:
ALAN HODGE/THE HERALD
Merger opponents picket prior to meeting of Cleveland County Commissioners at t Shelby High
Whatever happened to Y2K?
BY ALAN HODGE
Though it seems ancient his-
tory now, it was just a year ago
that the Great Fizzle took place.
The “fizzle” being Y2K.
Like the Great and Powerful
Oz, Y2K troubles turned out to
be a lot of smoke and noise with
very little substance. It’s motto
could have been the words of
the Wizard of Oz to Dorothy-
“pay no attention to that man
behind the screen.” In the case
of Y2K, the screen was attached .
to a computer.
Stories about Y2K and all the
bad things that were going to
happen began months before
Hunter Ware notes 100th birthday,
would still love to be shooting quail
BY ALAN HODGE
The fact that Hunter Ware re-
cently turned 100-years-old and
still puts on his work clothes
every day says a lot about the
Born December 18, 1900,
Ware spent nearly a century liv-
ing in the Oak Grove communi-
ty near Kings Mountain. It was
only a few months ago that his
family decided he just couldn't
take care of himself any longer
and moved him to Country
Time assisted living facility at
“Up until the time the family
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 126 Years
moved grandpa to Country
"Time he was able to walk to his
neighbor's homes,” said grand-
daughter Judy Ford. “He is still
as mobile as ever.”
That mobility has been one of
Ware's claims to fame since the
time the Wright brothers flew
the first airplane. An avid quail
hunter, Ware has long been
known for his stamina in the
field. He had been known to
walk as many as 20 miles in his
Actually, the term “younger
days” still applies to Ware in
many respects. When asked
how he felt about being turning
the century mark in age, Ware
was quick to answer.
“Oh, I feel like I'm still 18,”
Though he.can’t step outside
his door and stroll the hills and
dales like before, Ware still ,
dresses in his customary bib
overalls, field jacket, and ball
cap. The one he currently favors
has a battery logo on it that
reads “Hunter Diehard.” That
_ pretty much sums up his phi-
losophy on life in general.
Besides his love of the out-
doors, another aspect of Ware
that’s still keen is his appetite.
“I eat everything I can get!”
Ware said. ;
See Ware, 6A
300 W. Mountain St.
January 1, 2000 came around.
By the time the date did arrive,
the world waited breathlessly
for a bang. All it got was a
An Associated Press poll tak-
en in July, 1999 indicated that
two-thirds of Americans expect- }
ed some type of Y2K problem.
brings on rash
of frozen pipes
BY ALAN HODGE
As if the recent frigid temper-
atures haven't done enough by
killing car batteries and driving
heating bills sky high, there's
the additional aggravation of
frozen water pipes to contend
As Zack Stroupe, owner of
Goforth Plumbing in Kings
Mountain will attest, frozen
pipes can ruin Christmas.
“We had at least eight or nine
calls for frozen pipes on the
Saturday before Christmas,”
Stroupe said. “On Christmas
day itself, there were four calls
Contrary to what some folks
may think, low temperatures
alone won't always freeze up
your pipes. Stroupe says that
another factor comes into play.
“If the wind is blowing and
the pipes are exposed to it, then
they are more likely to freeze,”
he said. “The air across the
pipes draws any warmth right
Besides expansion of water
within the pipes, water pressure
can also contribute to their
bursting. When a blockage of
ice occurs in the pipe, any tiny
cracks or thin spots can give
waste a couple of hundred gal-
Ions per day. The resulting
flood damage can be not only
aggravating, but expensive as
There’s no need to be a victim
of frozen or burst pipes.
According to Stroupe, there are
several things that homeowners
can do to prevent their pipes
from becoming a major
“It’s important to remember
to close the crawl space vents
under your house when the
weather turns cold,” said
Stroupe. “Also make sure there
is plenty of insulation in the
Other tips Stroupe suggests
include leaving a faucet drip-
ping on the coldest nights, as
well as leaving cabinet doors
under sinks open. This will al-
low house warmth to get to the
pipes located there. Stroupe
even says that you can place a
100 watt light bulb under your
home and put it on a timer to
burn at night.
Folks who live in mobile
homes should make sure they
have windproof underpinning
skirts attached. As a last resort
if the pipes have already frozen,
Stroupe says mobile home
See Water, 5A
529 New Hope Road
See Y2K, 5A
celebrated his 100th birthday. Paying a holiday
visit to Ware at his new room at Country Time
assisted living facility at Crowers Mountain
were his great granddaughters Chelsea
Chapman (standing) and Cassidy Chapman.
865-1233 © 484-6200
way. Even a small fissure can
ALAN HODGE, THE HERALD .
Hunt Ware of the Oak Grove community recently
106 S. Lafayette St.
Study Commission urged
to back off on deregulation
BY ALAN HODGE
The move towards electric deregulation in
North Carolina should get a second look accord-
ing to Jesse Tilton, CEO of ElectriCities, the trade
organization that represents 51 Power Agency
cities in North Carolina.
ElectriCities had previously endorsed deregu-
lation because it felt all the state’s electric cus-
tomers would benefit from open competition.
That, and as a way to deal with different rates
and debt obligations among ElectriCities mem-
One of those debts involved ElectriCities in--
vestment in the Duke Power Catawba Nuclear
Plant. Bills connected with that and other nuclear
facilities have run up an ElectriCities debt of $5.5
billion. In previous years, ElectriCities has come
up with ideas such as surcharges and regulatory
transition fees that would help them pay off what
See Study, 5A
1225 Gastonia Hwy.