Thursday, May 27, 2004
Vol. 116 No. 22
A A I ar Bay 2
rr i pr la sa ois pul] ii foi PS sl A Sl lle len Cl us Sl a i SM
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
City of Kings Mountain
salaries and benefits were
on the chopping block
Monday afternoon but all
City council members
have narrowly kept their
pay at its current level, $500
a month before taxes.
During a Monday after-
noon budget work session,
Councilman Jerry Mullinax
made a motion to drop the
pay back to the level it was
before a 66 percent increase.
According to city figures,
council members were paid
$300 before the latest raise.
Council members Kay
Hambright and Brenda
Ross voted with Mullinax.
In a similar move, Ross
made a motion that council
members give up insurance
coverage. Hambright and
Mullinax voted with Ross,
however, a substitute
motion by Councilman Rick
Moore that the council
leave the coverage alone
until it could be studied
won the majority vote.
Mullinax attempted to
make employees pay half of
the insurance premiums for
dependent health coverage.
That measure was defeated
in a three to four vote. Ross
and Hambright voted with .
Mullinax. BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Kay Hambright told fel- Staff Writer
low council members she
was “troubled” over the
premium pay plan which
for the past four years has
given employees three per-
cent of their salaries on
their birthdays. This year’s
proposed budget would
The Kings Mountain High School Class of
2004 walked into John Gamble Stadium
Saturday morning in an orderly fashion as stu-
dents. They left in small, informal groups with
family and friends, no longer students but
Many will enter college, others full time
JOSEPH BRYMER / HERALD
Baria Adams receives her diploma from Kings Mountain High School Principal John Yarbro during
Saturday’s graduation ceremony. Below, Erica VanDyke Lowrance is all smiles.
bright on KM
not to cut
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry Director
Becky Lineberger gave an impassioned plea
Tuesday night to Kings Mountain City
Council to continue funding the agency.
“We truly need the money you've bud-
geted,” Lineberger told the council during
the public comment phase at the beginning
of the meeting. “It should be in the heart of
every elected official to take care of the
The city typically contributes $10,000
annually to the ministry which is a project
of the Kings Mountain Ministerial
Association and is headquartered at the
Lineberger told council members that the
agency has seen a dramatic jump in the
number of clients it serves. Of the 1,361
families it served last year, 495 had never
received help before. Lineberger attributes
that to the town’s sagging economy brought
on by industry closings.
The agency served 658 unemployed peo-
ple, 227 disabled individuals and 84 retired
people, the director said. Clients are
referred by area hospitals, pharmacies,
churches and other agencies. ;
Of the approximate $80,000 in assistance
given annually by the ministry, $46,000
goes toward client utility bills. Most of the
clients are city utility customers, Lineberger
Bridges Drive resident Buddy Smith
asked the city to help with a drainage prob-
lem in his neighborhood.
“Mosquitoes the size of a 50 cent piece
come into our homes,” Smith said.
Mayor Rick Murphrey directed interim
City Manager Gary Hicks to investigate.
Rev. Dale Swofford asked the town to
work toward an emergency shelter. He said
political concerns had created resistance to
using the Senior Center and other locations.
Murphrey said he would reactivate the
shelter committee immediately.
lower that to two percent
meaning the cost to the city
would drop from $174,000
According to interim City
Manager Gary Hicks, the
program was adopted to
help make city workers
salaries comparable to other
“That's a lot of money we
can save. We have a lot of
employment or the military.
As the hot sun beamed down on the students
clad in black gowns, parents, other family mem-
bers and friends watched the approximate one
hour ceremony from the cement bleachers.
“Where would we be without you?” senior
class President Baria Adams asked parents dur-
ing her presentation of the class remarks.
She thanked teachers also.
“Without you I wouldn't be able to read these
words or count to know it has been 13 long
years,” Adams said.
Valedictorian Jacqueline Jarvis told the crowd
Former City Councilman Jim Guyton
asked for a timetable in work being done at
Patriots Park. He also questioned if the city
would hire an engineer. A position was cre-
ated last year and an engineer hired but he
quickly resigned to take a job in Asheville.
Jane Martin told council that the Kings
Mountain Country Club has cheated the
town out of $10,000 by having lower water
rates. A request by John McGinnis of the
country club to address the council regard-
ing bulk water rates was taken off the agen-
benefits other places don’t
give,” Hambright said.
She made a motion to
eliminate the pay program.
See Budget, 6A
of well wishers that the Class of 2004 had
“taken care of business.”
See Graduation, 6A
KM veteran Ray Long to attend
Veterans Memorial dedication
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Decades after World War II, veterans like
Ray Long will finally have a memorial dedi-
cated to them.
Long, a Kings Mountain resident, will
travel to Washington, D.C. May 29 to watch
the formal service. He'll sit at the base of the
Washington Monument. i
“I'm really looking forward to it,” the 77-
year-old man said.
The bronze and granite memorial will sit
at the eastern end of the reflecting pool
between the Lincoln and Washington monu-
ments, according to the project's official
in the Navy until his discharge in 1946.
Working as a gunner’s mate, Long crossed
the Pacific Ocean seven times. During a
three month period, he traveled 45,000 nau-
tical miles. He also served in the Atlantic.
“That's really moving,” he said. “I really
enjoyed what I did.”
He was able to visit Australia and China
where he walked along the Great Wall. Long
was also part of the crew which sunk old,
unoccupied U.S. ships which were contami-
nated after atomic test drops.
As a teen, Long wanted to serve in the
Marines. Because of color blindness, he was
turned down and referred to the Navy. At
age 38, he was finally able to make his
dreams of being a jarhead come true. Long
Martin also called for the city to stop
funding a satellite Cleveland County Health
See City, 6A
7 cents hike
in property tax
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
GROVER - To cover an approximate $30,000 budget
deficit, residents may see a property tax hike.
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 calls for a 7
cents on the $100 valuation property tax increase.
“I don’t want to raise taxes but this is the only way to
balance it. You can cut but you're not going to balance this
budget without an increase in taxes,” Mayor Robert Sides
said during a work session last week.
In-town utility rates will go up by 30 cent per 1,000 gal-
lons. There will also be $1 fees charged on water and sewer
each month. A rate increase has been proposed for out-of-
town and out-of-state water and sewer customers.
Under the proposed budget, the utility meter deposit will
increase from $75 to $100, however the $10 application fee
will remain the same. A return check fee will increase from
$25 to $35.’
The budget includes a 2 1/2 percent cost of living
increase for full- and part-time employees, but not for elect-
ed officials. Employees have not received a cost of living
raise for seven years. The town does not offer a step pay
plan. The most recent merit raise was given two years ago.
Long served three years and nine months See Long, 6A
Memorial Day ceremony Monday
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER father. The junior Morrison explained “It’s so important we continue to
Staff Writer . in a telephone interview last week that remember our troops still securing our
/ . he and other soldiers were given the freedom. With honor we accept this
An American flag which flew in Iraq opportunity to buy the flags. flag,” Murphrey said.
and Kuwait in March, 2003 will fly Morrison has served in the guard for
over Kings Mountain Monday. 26 years. He is a propulsion mechanic.
Kenneth “Red” Morrison has donat- In August he finished an almost six-
ed the flag to the city for its Memorial month tour of duty in the middle east.
Day commemoration. Morrison is a 1975 graduate of Kings
Morrison's son Ronald Morrison, a Mountain High School. Legion colorguards will lay a wreath at
member of the Georgia Air National Kings Mountain Mayor Rick the veterans’ monument. The public is
Guard, purchased the flag for his Murphrey was pleased with the flag. invited.
The Memorial Day service will begin
at 10 a.m. at Mountain Rest Cemetery.
Members of the Kings Mountain Police
Department Expl d Ameri
a The budget is on public display for 30 days. A public
hearing is scheduled for June 28 at 7 p.m. After the hearing,
commissioners will vote on the budget.
) i A saath a A s a - h 2 ra 4 - oo - 3 - a - = ». » le