succumbs to ALS
Just days before
Christmas, Kings Mountain
lost one of its biggest advo-
cates. Former city
Councilman Carl DeVane
died Dec. 21 at Hospice in
DeVane announced in late
June that he had Lou
Gehrig's disease, also
known as Amyotrophic
Lateral Sclerosis. He opted
not to run again for his
Ward Five city council seat.
“The City of Kings
Mountain is a better place
because of Carl,” said
Mayor Rick Murphrey.
Murphrey and DeVane’s
friendship started over 30
years ago before either man
ran for elected office.
Murphrey remembers meet-
ing DeVane when he man-
aged Duplex, a textile com-
pany. Murphrey was a
young textiles salesman
calling on DeVane for the
first time. The textile execu-
tive immediately made him
feel welcome, Murphrey
said. A friendship quickly
“He was a lot of fun. He
put you at ease,” Murphrey
The two later became
neighbors. After Murphrey
gave up his Ward Five
council seat to run for
mayor, DeVane successfully
“I was very excited about
that,” Murphrey said.
The two hunted and
golfed together and their
families remain friends.
“He cared very much for
his church, family, commu-
nity,” Murphrey said.
Some of the projects
included a hotel occupancy
fax to be used for tourism
development. Initially some
other council members did-
See DeVane, 8A
Traffic was slowed on
Interstate 85 in both direc-
tions due to a four car colli-
sion on Monday afternoon.
There were no serious
Robert Dixon of Supply,
N.C. was driving north on
Interstate 85 just south of
the Dixon School Road exit
when he came to a quick
stop to avoid hitting anoth-
er vehicle which was driv-
According to the
Highway Patrol, Jason
Michael Wilson of Gastonia
struck Dixon's vehicle in
the rear setting off a chain
reaction. Carrie Milton of
Greensboro then hit
Wilson's vehicle and
Andrew Kreeger of
‘Sharpsburg, Ga. then hit
See Wreck, 8A
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Vol. 117 No. 52
A last look at Grady
Joseph BRYMER / HERALD
Paul Leigh, a Cleveland County Sheriff's officer working in the community oriented policing vice/nar-
cotics unit, loads a video poker machine seized from Silver Villa Tuesday afternoon.
Machines seized at Silver Villa,
Youngins Store and KM Games
Cleveland County Sheriff's offi-
cers seized video poker machines
Tuesday from the Silver Villa
Family Restaurant and Youngins
Store and on November 29 from
Officers visited the Silver Villa
mid-afternoon Tuesday, confiscat
ing three machines. Charges of
gambling and operating illegal
gaming machines are pending
against owner Kenneth Hamrick,
according to the Cleveland
County Sheriff's Office. These
charges are a misdemeanor unless
there are past gambling convic-
tions. Hamrick made a payout to
a confidential informant in July,
according to the CCSO. The Silver
Villa Family Restaurant is located
at 606 East King Street.
Hamrick was in the process of
applying for a renewal of his con-
ditional use permit from the City
of Kings Mountain which enables
him to operate the machines.
Tuesday's seizure may mean that
permit is denied.
Immediately after that seizure,
officers confiscated three
machines at Youngins conven-
ience store located beside
Bethlehem Fire Department. Two
clerks made cash pay-outs to two
confidential informants in early
March, according to the CCSO.
Jerry Ruppe owned the store at
the time and it was called Ray's
Quick Stop. He is not being
charged. Officers did not immedi-
ately know if the current owner
was involved in any illegal pay-
y North Carolina law allows
stores to have up to three
machines; however, prizes may
not be over $10 in value.
Municipalities are allowed to use
JOSEPH BRYMER / HERALD
Officer Paul Leigh loads a video poker machine seized from the
Youngins on Tuesday afternoon.
zoning to limit where the Board of Adjustment which hears
- machines may be operated. The requests for video poker machine
See Poker, 8A
City of Kings Mountain has a
Gas going up January 1
compliments of NC tax
ANDIE BRYMER :
Gas prices are going up again - this time
due to a tax increase.
Every six months the tax is recomputed
based on the average price for that time
period. Due to the post-Hurricane Katrina
spike in prices, the tax will go up 2.5 cents
January 1. That number will be added to
the current 27 cents, making the tax a total
of 29.5 cents a gallon.
“I think it’s absolutely lousy,” said
Representative Tim Moore. “People have a
hard enough time affording gas.”
The tax also applies to home heating oil
Moore is a member of the House
Transportation Committee. He co-spon-
sored a bill which would have gotten rid of
the increase. At least 30 legislators signed
onto that proposal. Passing it would have
required the General Assembly being called
back into session to take a vote, something
the Gov. Mike Easley refused to do, accord-
ing to Moore.
Moore said he plans to work on legisla-
tion to lower the tax when the General
Assembly reconvenes in May.
Gas taxes are supposed to go toward con-
struction and maintenance of roads and a
trust fund for new projects like the by-pass
around Shelby. Moore says that the trust
fund money is being raided to operate the
“That shouldn't happen,” Moore said.
Gas averaged $2.16 across the state this
week, according to AAA Carolinas.
saved money in ‘05
A completed sewer buyout, energy per-
formance contracting and the formation of
a land use committee were cited by Kings
Mountain Mayor Rick Murphrey as some of
the city’s top accomplishments for 2005.
~The city finished buying out its contract
with the City of Gastonia ahead of sched-
ule, meaning all waste is now treated here,
An energy performance contract with
Seimen’s Inc. will help the city find where it
can save money by reducing energy cost,
according to Murphrey. The company is
paid a percentage of the money saved
instead of a straight fee.
The city appointed members to a land
development committee in 2005. Members
will finish the plan over the next eight to
nine months, deciding where industry,
roads, greenways and residential uses will
go. This helps the city have the appropriate
infrastructure in place including gas, water,
sewer and electricity.
Moss Lake will be dredged in 2006 to
eliminate problems with silt.
“We want to make sure we have the full
capacity available,” Murphrey said.
Plans began -on inflow and infiltration in
2005. Work will continue in 2006 to repair
sewer pipes. Without the repairs, water will
seep into the sewer system which causes
water purification chemicals to be wasted.
The city embarks on a long range capital
See Sewer, 8A
Stethoscope not cop’s usual weapon
Sgt. Brad Bumgardner completes training as Drug Recognition Expert
Kings Mountain Police Sgt. Brad
Bumgardner is armed with an
unusual tool for a police officer - a
blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
Bumgardner, who recently com-
pleted Drug Recognition Expert
School, uses the blood pressure
assessment and other tools to evalu-
ate individuals suspected of driving
under the influence of a prescribed
or illegal drug.
“It’s much more prevalent than
you would think,” he said.
In the past Bumgardner would
stop a driver who appeared
impaired. If alcohol was ruled out
the officer had few options. Often
drivers using drugs can pass a stan-
dard sobriety test. Now Bumgardner,
can assess blood pressure, pulse,
muscle tone, temperature and pupil
“You can’t fake that,” he said.
With this information,
Bumgardner decides if the suspect is
taking one or more of seven cate-
gories of drugs. These include cen-
tral nervous system depressants like
Xanac, central nervous system stim-
ulants like cocaine or meth, hallu-
cinogens like acid or mushrooms,
disassociative anesthetic like PCP,
narcotics which include analgesics,
heroin, OxyContin and other opiate
derived drugs, inhalants (huffing of
aerosols) or cannabis which includes
marijuana and hashish.
The next step is a trip to the hos-
pital for blood testing for the specific
Bumgardner said that as far as he
knows, he is the only law enforce-
ment officer in Cleveland County to
have the certification. The training
first began in California 30 years ago
and has slowly made its way across
the country. Bumgardner took the
four-month training at Asheville-
Buncombe Technical College. He
first heard about it when a Gaston
County Highway Patrol trooper
made a presentation to Kings
Mountain Police Department.
Bumgardner is available to do the
assessments for other officers at
Kings Mountain Police Department
See Cop, 8A