Thursday, September 23, 2004
Vol. 116 No. 39
Lo307 11-11205 0002a00 8p
MAUNEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
100 S PIEDMONT AVE
KINGS MOUNTAIN NC 28086-3414
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GARY STEWART / HERALD
There are a lot of strange things going on this week at Kings Mountain High as the students and staff get ready
for Friday's big homecoming football game. Tuesday was Wacky Day and students and teachers dressed...well,
wacky. Some of the students having fun Tuesday were, front row, left to right, Angelica Adams, Tasha McAfee and
Megan Neely. Back, Aaron Pullen, Brittiany Smith and Amanda Edwards.
- voted five to two to accept
Tube Enterprises shuts down
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
A plant that had once expressed
interest in an economic incentive initia-
tive has closed its doors. Tube
Enterprises shut down its Kings
Mountain plant June 30.
Last September Tube officials were
enthusiastic about the Kings Mountain
location. They announced an expan-
sion. Three employees were brought in
from a Pelham, TN plant and two local
workers were hired. Human Resources
Director Tracy Baker said that number
would climb if the market cooperated.
The anticipated cooperation appar-
ently did not materialize. Located in
the Kings Mountain Commerce Park
off N.C. 161, Tube let go approximately
30 workers, according to Kim Knotts, a
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
~ Crowders Mountain State
Park has received-$1.5 mil-
lion from the state Parks
and Recreation Trust fund
to build a new entrance to
2,000 acres it acquired in
“It was very obvious we
needed new access to this
land,” said Joe Sox, park
The new entrance will be
off Van Dyke Road close to
the intersection with Love
Valley Road near the South
Carolina state line.
With the additional 2,000
acres, the southern end of
the park is six miles from
the existing entrances, Sox
A visitors center, parking
Tube, a division of Commonwealth
Aluminum, fabricated its product for
wheelchairs, antenna, conveyors and
high grade furniture. The company
also used a radiation process to cure
Commonwealth, headquartered in
Louisville, Kentucky, shut the plant
down to concentrate on its core compe-
tencies, Knotts said.
“It has nothing to do with the loca-
tion,” she said.
Some of the employees were secured
through a temporary service, though
Knotts did not have an exact number.
Employees working through a tem-
porary service can file for unemploy-
ment benefits if the agency does not
have another job for them, according to
Antwon Keith, manager of Cleveland
County Employment Security
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Typically unemployment benefits
last up to 26 months, however workers
at Tube will receive benefits for up to a
year, Knotts said. The company partici-
pated in the state Trade Adjustment
Assistance program. The program also
pays for workers to return to school
and provides career counseling.
This is Commonwealth's first plant
closing, according to Knotts.
“It’s never an easy decision,” Knotts
The time frame depends on how
long an individual has worked in the
last 12 months before the first full
quarter preceding the lay-off. Benefits
are typically half of an employee’ gross
pay, Keith said.
Tube had worked toward a city
industrial incentive grant before hav-
ing to close its operation here. The City
See Tube, 3A
However, World War II veterans
recognize him as a Sikh. Some 20
slated Tuesday |
on closing i
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Kings Mountain residents
will have a chance to speak
whether Howtos Road 1 N1ETE 1S
Railroad Crossing should be . “gr
closed. Kings Mountain City S | g Nn ifi cant
Council will hold a public
hearing during its 7 p.m.
State Department of
asked the city to close the
crossing during the July 27 .
council meeting. Coun] 1 h | S %
the recommendation with
council members Rick
Moore and Howard Shipp °
casting the dissenting votes.
Moore said during the
meeting that he had
received calls from several
residents opposed to the
The state is offering the
city $7,500 in highway safety
money to close the crossing.
Norfolk-Southern Railway is offering an additional $40,000
of unrestricted money. The state also will pay to close the
crossing and to landscape the area.
Some local residents have suggested Norfolk-Southern
offered the city over $100,000 to close Hawthorne Crossing
in the 1990s, though the city nor Norfolk-Southern say they
can find any documentation.
Local police and fire officials say closing the crossing
would not impact emergency service delivery.
Parkdale Mill, Patrick Yarn Mills and Tire Corp are locat-
ed near the crossing. Spokespersons for Parkdale and Tire
Corp say the proposed closing would have no effect on
Some residents living on Crescent Circle and the sur-
rounding neighborhood use the crossing. Oak Street cross-
ing, less than a half mile north, is another option. According
to a December 2003 DOT study, Hawthorne Crossing is
used on average 1,100 times daily; Oak, 1,300 times daily;
Gold, 2,300 times daily and Mountain, 1,800 times daily.
DOT engineer Michael Shumsky calls Hawthorne
Crossing “low volume.” He also said it is “one of the most
dangerous in the state.” Since 1976, 18 wrecks have :
occurred there. Shumsky is particularly concerned because
six vehicles have collided with trains since 1993 when cross-
ing signals and gates were installed. Daily, 24 freight trains
pass through the crossing and two Amtrack passenger
trains at a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour, Shumsky
See Hearing, 3A
Dr. Singh has always felt accepted in U.S.
hair beneath the turban and rolls
- his long beard close to his chin.
“(We believe) God gave you
Louisiana, Inderjeet Singh was
known as the turban cowboy.
Mountain surgeon Dr. Singh.
Singh, the son of an Indian
his childhood in a small town.
Despite the stereotypes of the
boys his age. Singh earned his
boots with the religious head
'DR-INDERJEET SINGH assume he is a Moslem.
three days at Cleveland Regional
When he was a growing up in
Today most people call the Kings
ophthalmologist, spent most of
deep south, Singh says that peo-
ple accepted him turban and all.
He hunted and fished with other
nickname from wearing cowboy
Today some younger patients
percent of the British military
fighting in WWII were Sikh,
meaning U.S. soldiers often met
When the Sikh faith was
formed approximately 500 years
ago, the turban was adopted as a
way of showing equality among
all people. At that time, only high
ranking Islamic clerics and upper
caste Hindus wore similar head
covering. According to Singh, the
turban was a protest against the
classism of that period in India’s
“No one is above anybody
else,” Singh said.
Sikhs believe they should not
cut their hair. Singh twists his
KM Hospital gets good
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
this, don’t distort it,” he said.
Beneath Singh's shirt a small
silver sword is strapped to his
waist, another religious require-
“It's always used as a defense.
You never pull it out to fight
unless attacked,” he said.
Singh wears his sword every-
where except on an airplane. He
must put it inside his checked
The sword was required cen-
turies ago after Moslem invaders
attempted to force conversions
under the threat of death, Singh
See Singh, 3A
JCAHO has changed the way it con-
lot, small picnic shelter,
maintenance facility and
ranger residence will be
built at the area named
Boulders Access. The proj-
ect is in the design phase
now. Sox is hopeful the
work will be ready for bid
See Park, 3A
Kings Mountain Hospital got a
good prognosis Tuesday morning
from Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations’ surveyors. A JCAHO
team spent two days at KMH and
The surveyor who met with offi-
cials at the conclusion of the survey
commended the healthcare system
for “delivering excellent care,”
according to Dotty Leatherwood, a
“He was very complimentary,”
Kings Mountain Hospital was
praised for the staff's commitment
to patient care and for meeting safe-
ty goals. Documentation was noted
as an area for improvement for both
Staff have told Leatherwood this
was the most intense survey ever.
ducts surveys, focusing more on
direct care providers.
“These were excellent surveyors.
They gave us good things to work
on,” Leatherwood said.
Kings Mountain's building pro-
gram also got accolades from