i Thursday, November 29, 2001
Vol. 113 No. 48
By BEN LEDBETTER
Today marks the beginning
of Mountaineer Christmas in
Kings Mountain with a variety
of events scheduled for this
At 7 p.m., the annual
Christmas tree lighting ceremo-
ny will be held at Mauney
Memorial Library with the
Grover Elementary School
Head Start/Smart Start Choir
singing Christmas carols. The
tree lighting will follow the
Saturday's events begin with
a five kilometer race through
the Central School Historic
Registration materials are
available at the Kings Mountain
branch of the Cleveland County
YMCA, Kings Mountain City
Hall, Kings Mountain High
School, and local businesses.
Cost for the race will be $12
in advance or $15 on race day
‘and includes a long sleeve t-
‘shirt and jingle bells.
= Race day registration will be
‘held from 11:45 am. - 12:15
p.m. at the former Heilig
Meyers building on
Awards will be given for
multiple age categories includ-
ing top male and female.
The Kings Mountain High
Bee Cruising Page 3A
of KM, Shelby
By BEN LEDBETTER
Although Kings Mountain Hospital and
Cleveland Regional Medical Center are both part
of Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, the
two could still consolidate.
According to sources with both hospitals, any
talk of consolidation is still speculation.
At its last Board of Trustees meeting Monday in
Shelby, Cleveland Regional Chief Executive offi-
cer John Young said there has been no talk about
any consolidation of Kings Mountain Hospital
and Cleveland Regional Medical Center.
“They're going through an evaluation of strate-
gic planning process of their own,” Young said.
“We haven't had any discussions about it. So
we're waiting to here if they want to do it.”
Competing with Gaston Memorial Hospital,
which is a part of CaroMont, would be a reason
for keeping Kings Mountain Hospital regardless
of a consolidation, Young said.
“1 think Kings Mountain is a definite reason for
being,” Young said. “It’s a good hospital, and it’s
easier to compete with Gaston Memorial from
Kings Mountain than it is from here. There's lot
of reasons why it ought to be there. And it will be
there. Slave, ih
. “Whether it’s there working with us or in com-
petition with us is less than clear to me until that
group decides what they want to do.”
Young said the discussions of consolidation
stem from the Kings Mountain Hospital Trustee
*. In September, Kings Mountain CEO Hank Neal
told The Herald that many options are discussed
during strategic planning.
<: Trustee Stella Putnam said she wanted to con-
sider each option, but would do what is best for
the city. :
“My goal for Kings Mountain is for us to have.
* the best facility for our community,” Putnam said.
#1 feel like our hospital has made great strides in
the past five years.” :
One of the strides Putnam has seen is an
increase in doctors, and she said the hospital is an
asset to the area.
* “I think we take that for granted,” Putnam
said. “We've got to figure out what's best for
See Hospitals Page 3A
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 127 Years
a GARY STEWART / THE HERALD
The NC DOT uses a crane to remove a dangling overhead message board after it
was hit by a tractor-trailer on I-85 North near Firéstone Friday morning. The
mishap backed up traffic for miles while motorists were re-routed through town.
- By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
In a surprise announcement at the
end of a marathon 3-hour City Council
meeting Tuesday night at City Hall,
Police Chief Houston Corn announced
that he will be retiring on January 31,
KM Police Chief
on January 31
ment with mixed emotions. He joined
the city’s gas department shortly after
graduation from Enka High School in
1970. After a two-year stint in the U.S.
Army, including a year in Vietnam, he
returned to Kings Mountain and took a
job as a patrolman on the night shift.
He has served as police chief for 19
City Manager Jimmy Maney will
begin a search for Corn’s successor
today, and said he hopes to be able
ment on a
ship has been
great and he’s
been a great
him for 30 years of service to Kings
Mountain. I've been very proud to
with such an outstanding officer.”
Fo HE .
Use of newspaper in classroom leads
to North School's own publication
BY BEN LEDBETTER
After participating in a Newspapers in
‘Education program with a local newspaper,
North Elementary School Teacher Kathy
‘James decided to start one at the school.
“When we started using the newspaper the
kids didn’t even know how to put them back
together,” James said. “So then I started think-
ing it would be good if we started our own
newspaper and it would give them a chance
to develop their newspaper skills by actually
putting the newspaper together.”
The staff includes James, Teacher Assistant
Doneese Owens, and five other teachers.
The newspaper, which is expected to be
published twice this year, has an editor and
reporters from different classes at the school.
student from their class, and none of the ones
asked to join turned it down.
vide information for its readers, the one at
North is no exception.
BEN LEDBETTER/THE HERALD
From left, Donneese Owens, teacher’s assistant and physical education teacher Kathy
James answer student questions during a work session for the North Elementary newspaper
last week at the school.
James said she asked teachers to select a
And while many newspapers strive to pro-
James said contents of the premiere publica-
Corn, 50, said he leaves city employ-
months and during that time the city
has been able to receive numerous
grants for manpower and equipment
to while operating aut of a new state-of-
the-art law enforcement center on
Piedmont Avenue. The department
now has 40 full-time officers and its
total staff, including part-time and
civilian help, is over 50.
“I think through the years I've been
real fortunate,” Corn said. “During the
time I've been chief the city’s financial
situation was as good as it’s been in a
long time. We had good people on city
council and they, the city manager and
the mayor supported me in the differ-
ent programs I wanted to get imple-
mented. Without their support and the
money the city had it wouldn't have
During Corn’s tenure the city added
a Resource Officer at Kings Mountain
Middle School, two traffic officers, one
COPS officer, and installed a new com-
work puter system and a new recording sys-
“See CormPage 3A
using old Depot
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
With the Kings Mountain Senior Citizens pro-
gram now in its brand spanking new $3.1 million
facility on East King Street, City Council must
decide what to do with the old Depot Center
which housed the senior program for over 25
Although the Southern Arts Society would love
to have it and has pledged to maintain it without
any city funding, Council had to delay the use by
any group at Tuesday night's monthly meeting
after Attorney Mickey Corry told them the lease
agreement with Norfolk Southern must be
Members of the Southern Arts Society - and
representatives of two clubs endorsing them -
presented a request that it be allowed to use the
building as an Arts Center.
Councilman Dean Spears made a motion to
allow it, but Corry said he would have to review
the lease and see if Kings Mountain has that
“I have begun a review of the lease agree-
ment,” Corry said. “The city has been in posses-
sion of the building since 1975 but there are a
couple of restrictions in the lease that must be
One restriction, he said, indicated that the city
cannot assign an occupant without the approval
of the Railroad.
Another restriction indicated that the building
cannot be used except for municipal purposes.
Corry said it isn’t clear if the lease agreement is
for the building and land, or just the land. He
said there was indication in the past that the
Railroad had given the building to the City.
City Manager Jimmy Maney said the building
is on the Historic Register and the city must also
tion ranges from class field trips, a student’s
motocross races, editorials, comic strips, and
upcoming events in different classrooms.
She emphasized coverage by describing a
particular event at the school.
“We're having Indian Heritage Week,”
See North Page 3A
300 W. Mountain St.
529 New Hope Road
106 S. Lafayette St.
find out for sure whether it owns the building
and what repairs are needed. ;
“This is a landmark,” Maney said. “We need to
have our architect look at it. The Southern Arts
Society would be great for that building but there
are some questions that need to be answered.”
Pat Childers, President of the Southern Arts
See Depot Page 3A
1225 Gastonia Hwy.