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Thursday, May 29, 2003
Vol. 115. No. 22
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
So far this month, the city has received
11.05 inches of rain. Between Wednesday of
last week and Tuesday of this week, the city
received 9.09 inches, said Kenneth
Kitzmiller, who has kept track of the city’s
weather for over twenty years.
The city has already gotten much more
rain this month than it usually receives in
May. In fact, Kings Mountain has had more
rain already than the city got in the entire
year in 2001, said Kitzmiller.
All of the rain caused a few problems in
the area. Saturday, the city experienced a
sanitary overflow of 48,750 gallons. The
overflow was caused by a partial blockage
on a sewer line located at the end of Stone
Street. Approximately 2,437 gallons of the
sewage reached McGill Creek.
Last Thursday, the city also had four sani-
tary sewer overflows caused by the rain.
The largest overflow occurred on Rhodes
Avenue in the morning and involved 18,000
gallons. The other three overflows occurred
on Cleveland Avenue, Bridges Drive, and
between Dilling and Chestnut Streets, in
front of Tate Terrace.
The spills were handled as the calls came
in and were fixed quickly, said Dennis Wells,
director of water distribution and collection
systems. The water department did not
experience any other problems related to the
rain, he said.
Fire Chief Frank Burns said that the only
problem his department had was with a
pine tree that fell down on Monday night
and caused a power outage. The tree fell
because the ground was very saturated with
See Rain, 3A
KM water problem
iS more serious
than first thought
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
Last week, Kings Mountain began to expe-
rience problems with its water, which devel-
oped a strange odor and taste. At first, city
officials believed that the problem came
from the excess amounts of rain the area has
received. However, they have discovered
that the problem is much more severe.
Moss Lake is currently experiencing an
algae bloom, something that can happen
when a body of water has high levels of
organic matter, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Algae blooms cause the water to have a
strange odor and taste.
“Through microscopic examination, we
determined that we have an algae bloom.
They're putting off the toxins that are caus-
ing the taste and odor problems,” said Walt
Ollis, director of the water And sewer
department. “We'll keep fighting it.”
Algae blooms typically do not occur this
early in May, though, said Ollis.
“The problem is normally something you
See Water, 3A
Oh, Happy Day!
255 receive diploma at KM High graduation
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
On Friday evening, 255 Kings Mountain
High School seniors walked across the stage
to receive their tickets to the world of adult-
hood. They became high school graduates.
The area battled rain all week, but the
weather finally cleared up on Friday in time
to hold the graduation outside at John
Gamble Stadium. Students lined up in the
halls of Kings Mountain High School to
march across the football field in front of
their families and friends. Hundreds of
people came to support the class of 2003.
Valedictorian Wesley Griffin and
Salutatorian Mandy Rhyne spoke at the cer-
emony and shared their memories of high
school, along with the class officers.
Michelle Odums, Emily Rountree, Rachel
Hughes, and Angela Brice served as the offi-
. received, said Yarbro.
H FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 129 Years
and Blue at
cers this year. John Yarbro, principal of
Kings Mountain High School, and Shearra
Miller, chair of the Kings Mountain Board of
Educationy also spoke at the ceremony.
The senior class has been very strong aca-
demically, something that is proved in the
number of scholarships its members have
The class of 2003 also announced their gift
to the school. They gave $2,000 to the
school, which will be put toward an elec-
tronic marquis for the front of the school
The Kings Mountain High School 9th
grade band played “Pomp and
Circumstance.” The symphonic chorale per-
formed two selections, “Maybe Someday”
and “Forever Friends.” Many senior chorus
members joined the chorus to sing together
See Graduation, 3A
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
Council voted 5-1 Tuesday
night to accept the budget
for the 2003-2004 Fiscal Year
for the City of Kings
Most of the discussion
centered around the four
percent water and sewer
rate increase, which Interim
City Manager Jimmy Maney
Kings Mountain's water
and sewer rate has basically
remained the same.
However, since Gastonia
does part of the wastewater
treatment for Kings
Mountain, it has the power
to raise costs for the city.
Kings Mountain officials are
merely passing on part of
the increase the city has
received from Gastonia,
The increase was actually
seven percent, but the city is
only passing on four percent
to the citizens.
“There’s nowhere else to
cut. I don’t know what else
to do. We have to have
fund balances because we
have to be prepared for
emergencies,” said Maney.
“The local government is
required to have a water
and sewer fund balance.”
He added that the city
would see the increase even-
tually, even if Council voted
to put it off for another year.
He said that the delayed
increase would have to be
even more for citizens in
order to make up for wait-
ing to raise the rate. A
delayed increase would
probably be 10-14 percent,
“You're either going to
pay now or you're going to
pay later, and if you pay
later it’s going to be much
more expensive,” he said.
He added the renegotia-
tion of the Crowder’s Creek
contract is saving the citi-
zens a lot of money. If the
contract had not been rene-
gotiated, citizens would
have seen a 100 percent rate
increase this year. Industry
will carry approximately 50
percent of the burden of the
See Budget, 3A
City sets public hearing
on 4-year council terms
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD :
City Council took the first
step towards changing City
Council and mayor terms
from two to four years
Tuesday night. The four
year terms would be stag-
gered so that the whole
Council is not up for reelec-
tion at the same time.
The Council set a public
hearing for the change for
the June 24 meeting, which
begins at 7 p.m. After the
hearing is completed, the
matter will come before the
public in the November
election. If the issue is
passed by the voters; it will
- not take effect until the 2005
Howard Shipp, mayor pro
tem, said it is important to
consider the matter because
with the terms as they are
right now, it would be pos-
sible for citizens to elect an
entirely new Council and
mayor during an election.
“It’s possible to come up
with a completely inexperi-
enced board,” said Shipp.
“It would be a disaster if
one November morning, we
woke up and had a whole
Right now, 286 North
Carolina cities have stag-
gered four-year terms for
their city councils. At this
time, everyone on Kings
Mountain's City Council
serves two year terms that
end at the same time. The
Council voted unanimously
to bring the matter before
the public at the next meet-
The Council also honored
Autumn Malpass at the
Autumn Malpass, daughter
of Billy and Sherri Malpass,
See Council, 3A
ABIGAIL WOLFORD / HERALD
Michelle Odums, left, and Emily Rountree, president and secretary of the senior class
respectively, are all smiles after receiving their high school diploma Friday at KMHS.
Kings Mountain Gastonia
300 W. Mountain St.
529 New Hope Road 106 S Lafayette St.
225 Gastonia Hwy.