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Vol. 115 No. 35
Since 1889 50 Cents
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Billy Biggers back home,
doing well after transplant
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
A 20-year-old stranger saved Billy Biggers life. The Kings
Mountain received a new heart August 3.
Biggers received a call at 9:30 p.m. August 2, telling him a per-
fect match had been found. A nurse asked if he and his wife could
leave their Hoyle’s Road home for CMC within 30 minutes. With
luggage prepacked in their van, the couple were on the road in 15
Scheduled for surgery at 1 a.m., Biggers had to wait until 6 a.m.
The surgeon was called away for a patient in more serious condi-
While officials could not give them any information, the Biggers
suspect that the delay meant the donor, a probable accident vic-
tim, was kept on life support the entire night.
Biggers’ wife Karen praises the donor’s family for waiting.
“That was so unselfish. I'm thankful they were willing to do
After surgery, Biggers stayed in recovery for three days. Then
he spent 15 days in the cardiac unit before coming home last
“It was great (coming home). I was glad I was there. I was real
fortunate but 18 days got old,” he said.
In those 18 days, Biggers underwent several tests to see if his
body was accepting the new heart. Initially, the results were not
favorable. This meant he had to take powerful intravenous med-
ications that left him too weak to move. It was then that he want-
ed to give up. Bigger’s wife encouraged him with assurances that
Kings Mountain City Council approved a
change in its industrial incentive policy
during Tuesday night's meeting.
The change lowers the threshold to quali-
fy for grants from a $750,000 investment to
a $100,000 investment.
Businesses who either build or expand at
the $100,000 level can get one percent of
their investment back over a five year peri-
od of time. Businesses making a $1 million
or more expansion get 1 1/4 percent of the
investment back. Another quarter of a per-
cent can be recouped by making the majori-
ty of new jobs pay more than minimum
Businesses who want to use the rebate
quicker may apply it to a reduction in tap
and permit fees.
Council member Dean Spears called the
project “a chance to put a little money
where our mouth is.”
Council member Jim Guyton asked if
lowering the threshold would result in
higher taxes for residents. According to city
planner Steve Killian, the answer is no. He
said a business cannot get back more in
taxes than it would pay in to the city.
In other business, the council approved
hiring a city engineer. Some $47,950 would
be taken out of the professional services
portion of the water/sewer fund to create
money for the position.
Mayor Rick Murphrey argued against the
measure saying the budget for the year has ;
already been approved and changes should =
only be made after a work session. He also
said the engineer position would cost at
least $75,000 after that person is employed
more than six months and becomes eligible.
for retirement and other benefits.
Council members Carl DeVane and Dean
Spears voted against hiring an engineer.
Council members voted to approve tak-
ing over care of a water line installed by Jim
Testa on Dixon School Road. The line serves
Testa’s Kings Mountain Truck Plaza. Testa
plans a residential development and small
industry in that area.
Council member Jim Guyton cast the
only dissenting vote.
The vote means the city will be responsi- -
ble for maintenance of the lines but does
not obligate the city to pay for any portion
of installing those lines.
Kings Mountain resident Betty Merritt
told the council that water hook fees are
higher for poor residents. She said residents
in the lower income areas of town are
required to pay a $300 deposit while resi-
dents near Kings Mountain Country Club
only pay $150. According to Merritt, middle
class homeowners are charged $250.
Merritt presented this information during
the public comment portion of the meeting.
After the meeting, Murphrey said the mat- *
ter will be reviewed by staff and addressed
at the next council work session.
That work session is scheduled for Sept.
See Council, 3A
ANDIE BRYMER / HERALD
Karen and Billy Biggers are thankful to the organ donor who
saved Billy's life.
God would see him through.
“We give God the glory,” he said. :
Biggers heart problems started in 2002. Unknown to anyone, a
virus attacked his heart causing vomiting and breathing problems.
Doctors initially suspected his gall bladder, removing the organ in
The problems went away only to return in October. This time
the correct diagnosis was made. Biggers was given medication but
it did not work. Between then and March he was hospitalized
twice and had 10 emergency room visits.
April evaluations indicated the virus had damaged Biggers’
heart beyond repair. He was placed on the transplant list in June.
Doctors told him that without a new heart, he had a 50 percent
chance of living one to two years.
Now Biggers’ body is getting used to its new heart. He takes
immune suppressing medications that keep him from rejecting the
organ. While the dosage will go down over time, doctors say he
See Biggers, 3A
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
A Friday afternoon electrical storm
knocked off power for 70 percent of
Kings Mountain and caused one fire.
The outage happened when electrici-
ty was disrupted at a substation on
Gaston Street. Duke Power feeds elec-
tricity to the city through this substa-
tion and another one on N.C. 161.
Power was restored to 98 percent of
the city in 2 1/2 hours, according to
Mayor Rick Murphrey.
The mayor credited linemen for a
“They are dedicated people who go
out in any conditions,” he said.
Lightning struck a transformer at
Anvil Knit causing a fire. No one was
injured, according to Kings Mountain
Fire Chief Frank Burns.
Lightning struck several other trans-
formers across town though no addi-
tional fires were reported.
A 23-year-old Shelby man was appar-
ently struck by lightning at his
Mountain Lane home. Cleveland
County Emergency Medical Service
responded. The man was given routine
transport to Cleveland Regional
GARY STEWART / HERALD
Kings Mountain Electric Dept. employees work on lines on Slater Street.
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
members usually serve for
three years but two years
terms were created for the
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
In an effort to get the
cheapest fuel prices, cars’
bearing North Carolina
plates are pulling up in
droves to the gas pumps
just over the South Carolina
“It’s always cheaper
here,” said James Clark of
Kings Mountain resident
Billy Lineberger is a regular
at the South Carolina
“Yea, it’s cheaper,” he
Working in Grover gives
him a chance to monitor the
Jonathan Hollified, also of
Kings Mountain, agrees
though he is watching
prices climb in both states.
Grover Town Council
appointed its board of
adjustment during a
Monday night meeting.
Kobe Goforth, James
Roper and Jean Francis will .
serve on the board for three
years. Town council mem-
bers Robert Hunt and Max
Rollins will serve for two
years. Alternate Wesley Lail
will serve for three years
and alternate Gary Turner
will serve for two years.
inaugural board so terms
would be staggered.
Grover Mayor Bill Favell
described the board as like
With the creation of this
board, Grover residents
wanting a variance in zon-
ing law still must seek a
tion from the Cleveland
County zoning administra-
tor. Then the Grover Board
of Adjustment votes on the
Clark was fueling up his According to AAA : The highest vote getters matter. An appeal to the
t k at the Wilco = Carolinas, several factors are =~ ANDIE BRYMER / HERALD hs 8 : re / :
fuck ne wee en SE James Clark and grandchildren Jessica Clark and Jacob received the three year term. board of adjustments’ deci
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 128 Years
Clark traveled to South Carolina for lower gas prices.
300 W. Mountain St.
529 New Hope Road 106 S Lafayette St.
All board of adjustment
See Grover, 3A
225 Gastonia Hwy.