Wednesday, November 24, 2004 Vol. 116 No. 48
tour oy nomes
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Grady and Katie Costner could
change their names to Mr. and Mrs.
Christmas and none of their neigh-
bors would blink an eye.
The Margrace Road couple have
once again outfitted their yard in one
of the area’s largest holiday lights
displays. They'll flip the switch
Katie Costner estimates there are
200,000 light bulbs in her yard. The
couple stay home during the entire
Christmas season to tend to the light-
Along with faithful friend Carl
Bledsoe, the couple start putting out
the lights in September.
Sponge Bob Square Pants and
~ Grady Costner works on his light display at his home in Midpines.
Midpines couple to flip switch on
200,000 lights Thanksgiving night
“It kept getting
bigger and bigger.
| never thought it
would get this big.”
Patrick, Cat in the Hat and elves
scaling the side of a stocking are
among the new displays.
Katie Costner said she started
researching Sponge Bob after young
visitors asked for the character last
year. The Cleveland County native
said she has always enjoyed holiday
The seasonal decorations started
JOSEPH BRYMER / HERALD
12 years ago with a few lights
around the doors and windows.
“It kept getting bigger and bigger,”
Grady Costner said. “I never thought
it would get this big.”
After visiting Harold Harrelson’s
Forest City store to purchase rn:
deer lights, Grady Costner realized
he could make the decorations him-
Using his welding and electrical
skills, he created illuminated angels,
a carousel, poinsettias, peacocks, a ~~
nativity, Scooby Do and Shaggy,
Mother Goose, carolers, Clifford the
Big Red Dog, snowmen and
snowflakes. Katie Costner designed
Toy soldiers line the drive.
Archways spell out “The Lord Is My
See Costner, 3A
De Shazo chief of operations
for Kings Mountain Hospital
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Sheri De Shazo remembers as a
three-year-old visiting the hospital
where her mother worked as a regis-
tered nurse. Meeting doctors there
ignited a dream of medical school.
By age 19 she was a registered nurse
with an associate’s degree from
Bluefield State College in West
Virginia. De Shazo took up to 22 hours
a semester and tested out of some
courses. She went to school on a schol-
arship from her father’s work place,
Consolidated Coal Company.
While her parents were proud, De
Shazo’s father remembered her dream
of medical school. Hours before he
died, the devoted father De Shazo
describes as her friend and confidante
encouraged her to do more.
“I assured him I would go as far as I
could go,” De Shazo said.
SHERI DE SHAZO
After working in nursing, De Shazo
realized she no longer wanted to be a
doctor. She earned a bachelor’s degree
in nursing from Winston Salem State
University and then masters degrees in
both business administration and
health care administration from Pfeiffer
Today De Shazo is the chief of opera-
tions for Kings Mountain Hospital.
“I've done what my father told me
to do,” De Shazo said.
Before De Shazo could enter gradu-
ate school her mother suffered a stroke.
Ever the nurse, De Shazo managed her
care from North Carolina. She says her
parents’ illnesses taught her about
“That's given me the passion for any
patient who steps foot in a facility I
work,” De Shazo said. “It’s my min-
istry, not my job, not my career.”
Pointing to the construction taking
See Chief, 3A
Axle gets 1,500 applications
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
The plant’s capacity is 300
workers but officials say that
union contract requires
workers at all plants have
“We want to share the
Kings Mountain's newest
industry has received 1,500
applications from job seek-
« ers, officials there say.
Axle Alliance, which has
been open one month, now
employs 21 people on its
assembly floor. Officials
hope to have 250 people
employed within two years.
additions could be built.
“If I find the right people
here, there are no limits to
growth,” said Dr. Frank
Dumeier, vice president of
program management and
Base pay begins at $14.50
an hour with an incentive
package based on volume
and quality of production
and keeping the work area
~ profit and the success with
the hourly guys,” said Dr.
Christof Traidl, Presidents,
Three weeks ago workers
unanimously voted to be
part of the United Auto
Workers. Axle Alliance, a
wholly owned subsidiary of
Diamler Chrysler, is head-
quartered in Detroit. Its
the option of unionizing.
Dumeier said the compa-
ny has met with some resist-
ance in North Carolina
because of its unionized
“We're willing to set a
new example in the
working with UAW,” Traidl
said. “What we do with the
See Axle, 3A
will not affect
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
Kings Mountain area students appear to have escaped
pupil reassignment for at least the next few years.
Cleveland County Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene
‘Moore presented a proposal Monday night which would
make Elizabeth Elementary a feeder school to Shelby High
instead of the current Crest High. Under the plan, students
living in the Elizabeth Elementary attendance area would
switch schools at the beginning of sixth or ninth grades.
Seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders liv-
ing in the Elizabeth attendance area who attend Crest
Middle and High schools would now be required to submit
a transfer request to remain at Crest schools. These students
also would be required to provide their own transportation
Moore told school board members that the plan was
based on efficient use of buildings and on keeping students
at the schools closest to their homes.
Moore said the plan was not “a forever solution.”
“It buys us a few years,” he said.
The plan does not take growth into consideration, Moore
The school board will hold a hearing in January and vote
on the proposal probably in February. The complete plan is -
at clevelandcountyschools.org. Comments may be mailed to
In other business, board members unanimously voted to
ask the state for an exemption to a new law requiring
school not start back before Aug. 25. Officials say that with-
out the exemption exams would have to be given after win-
ter break. This would increase the chance exams would be
interrupted by inclement weather. Also, some educators
believe students do better if tested before the holiday break.
State law also calls for a minimum of 180 days, 1,000
See Board, 5A
Local schools to be
taught about MRSA
BY ANDIE L. BRYMER
With an outbreak of MRSA in nearby Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools, Cleveland County Schools are put-
ting together an education program.
MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus
occurs when staph bacteria found in the nose and skin of
some individuals turns into a penicillin-resistant infection.
Cindy Borders, director of school health and early child-
hood, has ordered educational materials for athletic trainers
and school nurses.
In Mecklenburg County, the bacterial infection has spread
among athletes. No cases have been reported among
Cleveland County students though some county athletic
teams do play Charlotte area teams.
MRSA starts as a small, red bump. If untreated it will fill
with pus and become painful. The longer MRSA goes with-
out treatment, the harder it is to control. Extreme cases have
necessitated amputation. MRSA can be fatal.
Borders recommends personal cleanliness and washing
athletic equipment with antibacterial soap.
According to the Centers for Disease Control website,
staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin
infection in the United States, and are a common cause of
pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Staph and MRSA
infections are not routinely reported to public health
See MRSA, 3A
— LIGHTING THE TOWN——-
: GARY STEWART/HERALD
Kings Mountain Electric Lineman Rodney Bell helps
ready the city for the Christmas holiday hanging lights on