head and facial area when po-
lice arrived at the scene shortly
Thursday, January 25, 2001
Vol. 113 No. 04
KINGS MOUNTAIN al
| What to do with lakes?
Conservation Stroup to ask KM Council to table sale of old city water lakes
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
Kings Mountain City Council may make a deci-
sion on whether or not to sell the old City and
Davidson lakes at its meeting next Tuesday night
at 7 p.m. Or, the Council may decide to once
again table the matter to receive more informa-
tion on how a recently-organized conservation
group proposes the property be developed and
City Council and its Utilities Committee have
been discussing the possible sale of the lakes for
years, and quite often during the past year.
The City recently received an offer to purchase
from Sea Island Land Corp., but after lake resi-
dent Bobby Maner and city resident Mike Smith
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
Kings Mountain Police
Detectives are in the process of
interviewing up to 30 possible
witnesses in the shooting death
of ‘a Shelby man Sunday at a
trailer at 437 Hillway Drive.
Demyris Sentell Roberts, 21,
of 322 Morrison Street, Shelby,
was found dead of apparent
multiple gunshot wounds to the
after 3:18 a.m.
Also shot were Ishmar
Edward Smith Jr, 42, of 2319
Sunset Street, Gastonia; and
Marlando Jones, 24, of 1400
Kings Road, Shelby.
Smith was admitted to
Gaston Memorial Hospital in
stable condition. He was found
lying in the yard with an appar-
ent gunshot wound to the leg,
according to a report filed by
Sgt. L.B. Ware.
Jones was taken to Kings
Mountain Hospital with an ap-
parent gunshot wound to the
chest. He was later air-lifted to
Carolinas Medical Center in
Lt. Derek Johnson said at this
time there is no motive. All
three of the victims were shot
with a handgun, he said.
Johnson said an autopsy was
performed on Roberts’ body
Monday at Gaston-Memorial
Hospital, and police are await-
ing those results.
Meanwhile, Johnson and oth-
er officers in the Criminal
Investigative Department, in-
cluding Sgts. Lisa Proctor,
Shane Davis and Maurice
Jamerson, are trying to inter-
See Police, 3A
ALAN HODGE/THE HERALD
Located at the corner of Mountain Street and Railroad
Avenue, the former Joy Theater may soon become the Kings
Mountain Performing Arts Center. A group led by Jim
' Champion of the Kings Mountain Little Theater is in the pro-
cess of raising funds for the purchase and renovation.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 127 Years
BY ALAN HODGE
If ever there was a person to
whom the old saying “there’s
something about the outside of
a horse that’s good for the in-
side of aman” applied, it’s 95-
year-old James B. Hobbs of
Kings Mountain. A horseman
since the year 1919, Hobbs was
riding when the U.S. Cavalry
made presentations at their December meeting
Council decided the table the matter until
January 31 to receive information on how Sea
Island intends to use the property.
A “Friends of the Lake” group was recently or-
ganized by a handful of area citizens to oppose
the sale of the lake, and members of that group
will attend next week’s meeting to ask Council to
again table the matter - this time for up to a year.
Shirley Brutko of Friends of the Lakes said
members of her group will present Council a plan
of action for possible use of the lakes for “passive
recreation” such as fishing, hiking, biking, jog-
ging, horseback riding and picnicking.
She said the group is willing to work with state
and other agencies to seek grants to finance the
project, as well as the possibility of the State of
existed, and he can still straddle
a steed with the best.
Born on a farm in East
Tennessee, Hobbs got his first
horse from a neighbor at age 14.
His talent with equines was evi-
dent early on.
“The neighbor had a horse
that hadn't been handled in a
long time,” Hobbs said. “He
was mine. I took it home with
BY ALAN HODGE
A long-time Kings Mountain
landmark might soon be mak-
ing a comeback as an entertain-
ment and cultural oasis.
Located at the corner of
Railroad Avenue and Mountain
Street, the former Joy Theater is
the focus of a fund raising cam-
paign by the Kings Mountain
Little Theater to transform the
structure into a performing arts
300 W. Mountain St.
North Carolina acquiring the property to hook in-
to its State Park trail which will connect
Crowders Mountain and Kings Mountain State
Parks and the KM National Military Park. In ear-
lier Council meetings, City Manager Jimmy
Maney pointed out that the State was offered the
lakes “free of charge” to include in the park trail
connector, but the offer was refused.
Brutko said the Friends group will grow in
numbers and financial support if the matter is
tabled Tuesday night.
“Qur phone is ringing off the hook,” she said.
“People are eager to make this a reality.”
On several occasions during the past several
months, Council has voted 5-2 to continue pur-
suit of selling the property. Carl DeVane and Bob
Hayes have been the two members in opposition.
The city recently advertised to sell by the upset
bid process, and the only bid received was
$630,000 by Sea Island. If the City refuses Sea
Island's offer, it may have to reimburse Sea Island
for studies and work already done at the lakes.
Now, some Council members say they are will-
ing to listen to the Friends’ proposals, but that
doesn’t mean they've changed their minds.
Clavon Kelly, who is a member of both the City
Council and Utilities Committee and has pushed
for years for the City to make a decision on the
lakes, said he will go into Tuesday's meeting with
“an open mind,” but that citizens will have to
convince him that the lakes can be an asset in-
stead of their current liability to the city.
See Lakes, 3A
told me if I could catch it then it
529 New Hope Road
ALAN HODGE/THE HERALD
A rider since the year 1919, James B. Hobbs of the Oak Grove community knows a thing or two
about horses. Even at the age of 95, Hobbs still trains horses and teaches folks to ride.
James Hobbs has been training
horses since he was 14 years old
‘me that day.”
Hobbs came to Charlotte in
1921 and opened his first stable
on Tuckaseegee Road in 1931.
That operation lasted until 1955
when Interstate 85 came along
and took the land. From *
Tuckaseegee, Hobbs moved his
horses to Selwyn Farms in
south Charlotte. He and his
See Hobbs, 3A :
Originally built by the Pinnix
Corp. around 1951, the Joy
Theater was aptly named. Over
the years it brought some of the
biggest stars and films from
Hollywood to Kings Mountain.
The Joy, as well as the Dixie and
Imperial theaters were operated
by Charlie and David Cash, the
father and uncle of Betty
“The sidewalk out front was
green and there was a big mar-
quee on top,” said Mitchell.
Since she worked as a cashier
106 S. Lafayette St.
search may be
Editor of The Herald
The Kings Mountain Board of
Education has called a special
meeting for 7 p.m. Monday,
January 29 to continue discus-
sion related to the search for a
Most, if not all of the meeting
will be in closed session.
The Board met last
Wednesday to discuss the mat-
ter, and continued that meeting
until Friday. No action was tak-
Board Chairman Dr. Larry
Allen said the Board has inter-
viewed some people, and could
be close to making a choice.
Board members had met recent-
ly with Allison Schafer, Legal
Counsel for the NC School
Boards Association, to discuss
steps of securing an interim or
permanent superintendent to
succeed Dr. Robert McRae, who
is leaving KMDS April 1 to be-
come superintendent of
Randolph County Schools.
It is believed that the new su-
perintendent will be hired on a
permanent basis, but without a
contract buyout clause since the
school merger issue is still in
Meanwhile, the merger issue
is getting hot again after some
folks in Shelby have indicated
that they will hire an attorney
to represent them in support of
a merger of the county’s three
The superintendents and
chairmen of the three boards of
education were scheduled to
at the Joy in its early days,
Mitchell also has a load of other
recollections about the theater.
“There were separate en-
trances for white and black cus-
tomers,” Mitchell said. “There
were also ushers with flash-
lights and a special crying room
where people could take their
Mitchell also recalled the up-
stairs smoking section, projec-
tion room, and the fact that you
could walk behind the silver
meet in Shelby yesterday, and
part of their discussion may
have been to determine if they
would cooperate in a joint effort
to re-draw attendance lines to
turn around the declining en-
rollment in Shelby City Schools
if merger is not upheld in the
courts. The attorney for
Cleveland County Schools has
been quoted as saying that re-
drawing of lines by three sepa-
rate systems, if not approved by
the General Assembly, could re-
sult in hundreds of lawsuits;
and some local members of the
General Assembly said such
action by state legislators is not
Kings Mountain Schools last
year filed suit against both the
Cleveland County Board of
Commissioners and the State
Board of Education for their ap-
proval of the merger plan. KM
received last-minute injunctions
against the planned July 1, 2000
implementation of the plan un-
til it is heard in the Court of
Appeals. Since that time, the
new Board of Commissioners
accepted the resignation of their
merger attorney, Gil
Middlebrooks, and passed a
resolution asking that the State
Board's approval of merger be
reversed and that the U.S.
Justice Department not pre-
clear the plan.
Dr. Allen said KMDS has re-
ceived no indication that the
lawsuits are being scheduled.
“Nothing has transpired from
our standpoint,” he said. “But
See School, 2A
Little Theatre hopes to bring ‘Joy’
back to downtown Kings Mountain
Old movie theater would be Performing Arts Center
Today , the building houses
Gospel Assembly Church. Since
the church has made the struc-
ture available, the Little Theater
group, led by Jim Champion,
has launched a campaign to
purchase it. Asking price for the
theater is $230,000.
Expenses to convert the the-
ater into the Kings Mountain
Performing Arts Center will in-
clude renovation at $70,000, a
lighting and sound system at
See Joy, 3A
1225 Gastonia Hwy.