Thursday, August 12, 2004
Vol. 116 No. 33
Hall of Fame
Second Democratic primary Tuesday
Ledford challenges incumbent Bridges in runoff
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Democrat Cleveland County
Commission candidate incumbent Tom
Bridges faces a run-off challenge from
Kenneth A. Ledford on Tuesday.
Election law allows the fourth place
candidate to ask for a run off when
none of the candidates get 40 percent
plus one of the total vote, according to
elections Director Debra Blanton.
Bridges, a first-term commissioner,
listed as his top accomplishments get-
ting water systems across the county
connected and merging the Economic
Development Commission with the
Cleveland County Chamber of
Bridges retired after 40 years manag-
ing Bridges Auto Parts. He is a pilot
and flight instructor and has flown for
Pilots for Christ and the South
Carolina Forestry Service.
Bridges grew up in Fallston and has
spent his adult life in Kings Mountain.
This will make Ledford’s third run-
off for a chance at a county commis-
Ledford, who served 20 years on the
Cleveland County School Board, said
he opposed the county commission’s
decision to eliminate a 1 cent education
“That's taking away over $.5 million
from our children,” he said.
Ledford also opposed the merger of
the county’s three school systems.
He believes the county’s decision to
merge the Cleveland’ Chamber of
Commerce and the Economic
Development Commission implied the
county does not care about recruiting
industry. According to Ledford, jobs
should be a “major objective” of the
Ledford serves on the boards of
See Primary, 5A
i | — i
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Despite talk of civil disobedience,
schools in Kings Mountain started on a
calm note Monday morning.
Earlier this summer organizer Mike
Smith had called for parents of children
living in the Gaston County portion of
Kings Mountain insist that schools accept
their children without the $1,414 tuition.
Kings Mountain Police were on standby
at East Elementary though no incidents
were reported at any Kings Mountain
area schools, according to Capt. Jerry
Smith said Monday that protests were
called off to give students a peaceful first
day. Smith addressed the Cleveland
County School Board Monday night
when it met at Casar Elementary.
, He called the Gaston County School
Board “dead beat dads” for not allowing
funds to follow students out of county.
Smith asked the Cleveland board to be
like “loving step-fathers” and do away
with the $1,414 in tuition being levied to
Smooth opening for schools
make up for the money from Gaston.
Smith, a former Kings Mountain
District Schools board member and East
Elementary teacher, wants Cleveland
County to suspend the tuition for one
year. In that time he hopes to have
Cleveland County’s line moved to I-85 so
all of Kings Mountain will be in one
Smith told the board it is losing
approximately $1 million in state and fed-
eral funds by not allowing the affected
students into its system.
Board member Terry McClain of Kings
Mountain asked the board to examine
“I don’t know if we really took a hard
look at the state and federal funds we'll
lose to Gaston County,” he said.
Superintendent Dr. Gene Moore told
the board it would be a year before
Cleveland would feel the impact of those
funds. He also said the “other side” of the
issue is Cleveland is not having to use its
funds to serve those students.
Board member Shearra Miller of Kings
See School, 5A
ANDIE BRYMER / HERALD
East Elementary student Sharda Whitesides crosses the street with her mother Jessica Brown and sister Essence Brown
Monday morning for the first day of school. ;
Monday’s meeting in Casar.
JOSEPH BRYMER / HERALD
Mike Smith address School Board at
Hicks staying in KM
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Staff Writer J
Kings Mountain interim City Manager
Gary Hicks will stay on the job until a per-
manent city manager is hired. Hicks” offer to
pay approximately $900 a
month to continue working
was unanimously accepted
by couricil Thursday night.
Because Hicks receives
retirement from the state
employees system, he can
only make up to a certain
amount annually before
retirement benefits are jeep
ardized. Hicks had reache
that threshold and wanted GARY HICKS
to receive his pay through a temporary
staffing agency which would protect his
Last month four city council members
balked when Hicks asked the city to pay the
agency's approximate $1,800 monthly fee.
During a closed meeting Thursday night
council and Hicks reached a compromise
when he agreed to pay half.
“It still costs us too much but its better
than the alternative,” Councilman Jerry
Mullinax along with council members
Kay Hambright, Rick Moore and Brenda
Ross had voted at the July meeting against
the council paying the entire amount.
Some council members previously
thought the city could run for a short while
without a manager on staff. However, City
Attorney Mickey Corry interpreted the
municipal charter to state a manager must
be on the job. State law prohibits the mayor
and council members from doing the
See Hicks, 5A
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Staff Writer :
Kings Mountain will probably get a con-
dominium community behind Food Lion.
Several neighbors gave conditional sup-
port of the project during a public hearing
before the city planning and zoning board
The board unanimously asked builder
Tommy Hall to come back next month with
additional information on traffic issues,
berms and other privacy devices, popula-
tion density and water run-off.
Hall told the board at today’s prices the
condos would cost around $170,000 for a
single garage unit and $190,000 for a double.
Plans call for around 64 three bedroom, two-
and-one-half-bath units each with its own
driveway. Kitchens and bathrooms would
have tile floors. Other rooms would have
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
Longtime Kings Mountain coach and edu-
cator Fred Withers died last week at the age
Withers came to Kings
Mountain High in 1955 as
‘assistant football and head
baseball coach and eventually
served as principal of Kings
Mountain Junior High when
it was housed at Central
School and later at what is
now the middle school.
‘He was respected by his
peers as an innovator in edu-
cation, often introducing new
concepts that put enjoyment
Bill Bates of Hendersonville, who served as
a coach and later as an administrator with
Withers, said Withers” philosophies would
make a major impact on education if they
could be done today.
“He really believed that down in the first,
second and third grades that they ought to
teach children to enjoy going to school,” Bates
said. “Fred always got upset when he’d see
kids coming in crying and afraid to go to
As a history teacher at KMHS when it was
housed at Central School in the fifties and
early sixties, Withers introduced TV-taught
U.S. History classes. Over 100 students would
be in his class and each day he would set up a
TV at each end of the auditorium stage.
Bates remembered that, as a principal,
Withers began a program that used automo-
biles to teach children all subjects.
“If you were in science you learned about
the motor,” Bates noted. “If you were in math
you learned to calculate distance and mileage.
The kids picked up on that real well. Some of
those who weren't interested got interested.”
When the new junior high was built on
Phifer Road, Withers introduced the open
Dr. Larry Allen, Deputy Assistant
Superintendent of Cleveland County Schools,
taught under Withers at Central School.
“He was a very effective leader,” Allen said.
“He had a vision and led the staff to fulfill
that vision. He was a very fair principal and
he had high expectations.”
See Withers, 5A
Hall proposes condos
hardwood. Sidewalks would lead from the
front door to the main sidewalk system
through the community. A neighborhood
covenant would forbid multiple families liv-
ing in one unit.
“We don’t want three or four families (in
one unit). We want to keep it upper scale,”
Board members were concerned the one
entrance and exit would limit access by
emergency vehicles. Hall said having multi-
ple entrances and exits would chance the
complex being used as a cut through for
non-resident traffic. The board asked him to
consider installing gates at all entrances.
The community apparently would prima-
rily be marketed to senior citizens. Neighbor
Heath Miller told the board he was afraid
these individuals would have difficul
turning onto the heavily traveled Shelby
See Condos, 2A