After being diagnosed
witha rare genetic disease
in September 2004, Zoe
Bachman will undergo
and a cord blood transfu-
Mountain, has captured the
hearts of people across the
She has Neimann Picks, a
disease which little is
known. Zoe was only the
second NPD patient seen at
Duke University Hospital.
The disease has caused
Zoe's internal organs
have swollen, putting pres-
sure on her abdomen. This
causes her to feel full after
eating only a small amount
of food, slowing her nor-
mal weight gain. A recent
bout with pneumonia left
+ Osteoporosis, another part
of NPD, caused Zoe two
Zoe's has had more falls
due to peripheral neuropa-
thy which causes loss of
feeling in her feet. Between
a June and October doctor
visit, Zoe lost her reflexes.
Doctors in Durham consult-
ed with doctors at Mt. Sinai
where Zoe had been evalu-
An MRI revealed white
matter on the left side of
her brain. The medical team
concluded she needed the
transfusion now. April
hoped they could wait and
see over the next few
months before undergoing
the risky treatment but doc-
tors were adamant.
“It’s pretty much now or
never,” said April Bachman.
Zoe will receive nine
days of intense chemothera-
py to suppress her immune
system then on the tenth
day, shell get the blood
transfusion. The blood
comes from the umbilical
cord of an anonymous
In addition to having all
the side effects associated
with chemotherapy, there is
a chance she will not sur-
vive without the transfu-
See Zoe, 12A
Vol. 118 No. 1
ANDIE L. BRYMER/HERALD
The McKee family stand in front of the remains of their home. Debbie, front, left, holds Brooklyn.
Beside her Krista holds Katelyn. Brian, left, and Brandon stand behind them.
Long Creek family makes it to safety
as December fire destroys its home
On the front porch of Diane
and Brian McKee’s Long Creek
Road home is charred rubble
that last week was their furni-
ture and clothing.
Among the debris, two soot
stained baby dolls, dressed in
pink, sit in toy cradles. The dolls
belong to two-year-old twins
~ Katelyn and Brooklyn McKee.
Diane McKee and the girls
were in the master bathroom
Dec. 28 when the couple's son
Brandon ran through the house
yelling that it was on fire. He
had just finished showering in a
bathroom on the other end of
the home. When Brandon
emerged from the bathroom
thick smoke hit him. The 21-
year-old’s first thought was his
“He was screaming ‘Mama
where are the girls,” Diane
Fortunately they were with
her. The four made it out the
front door safely. However, their
home didn’t fare so well.
Daughter Christa, 14, now has
a “skylight” in her bedroom. The
electrical fire started in her
room, burning through the roof.
The blaze left holes in the floor
Until the fire, the McKee fami-
ly called the twins’ bedroom the
all over again.”
Debbie McKee J
‘princess room” because of the
pink story book princess privis
covering their tiny matching’
beds and chairs. Now the heat
ravaged-room is dull black and
grey. The blaze painted the rest
- of the house in the same dreary
color scheme. The insurance
adjuster told Brian McKee that
‘the home could not be salvaged.
It would have to be bulldozed
The family fears that the
rooms they recently added
won't be covered. Their family
grew from five to seven people
when they first provided foster
care and then adopted Brooklyn
and Katelyn. Because both girls
have been seriously ill money is
Brooklyn had a kidney trans-
plant in July. Since then she has
spent 13 weeks at Carolinas
Medical Center fighting viruses
related to the transplant and
then having her tonsils and ade-
noids removed. Katelyn, a little
girl who is fascinated with learn-
ing her colors, suffers from asth-
Tryonota Volunteer Fire
Department fire fighters were
able to retrieve a basket holding
the girls’ medicines but the bot-
tles had melted in the heat. A
medical social worker assigned
to the family by the kidney spe-
cialist worked with a pharmacy
to replace the anti-rejection
“The social workez turned’out
to be a lot more thar a social
worker,” Brian McKee said.
Still the family has to start
over. They are reminded every
time they reach for something as
simple as a cotton swab.
“You forget what you use
everyday,” Brian McKee said.
Brooklyn and Katelyn are
sharing one pink coat between
themselves. The Gaston County
Red Cross chapter was able to
help with emergency clothing
and food but long term needs
“We're starting all over
again,” Debbie McKee said.
The McKees are grateful that
they got out with their lives.
They speculate that had
Brandon entered the shower
minutes later he may never have
come out. Had his mother and
young sisters not had his warn-
ing, would they have been
trapped in a bathroom with only
a small window and 10-foot
drop as an escape? The McKees
believe they narrowly avoided
an even greater tragedy.
See Fire, 3A
turns over KMHS
to Brian Grant
‘may call for
beer vote at
GROVER -Will Grover residents get to vote
on allowing beer and wine sales? Will Calvin
Huffman get the rezoning he needs to build
homes around a small lake? These questions
will probably be answered Monday night
when the town council meets.
Veteran councilwoman Jackie Bennett
expects the beer and wine referendum to pass.
Bennett attempted to put the issue to a vote in
April but her motion died for lack of a second.
Three of the council members serving with
Bennett then - John Harry, Max Rollins and
Bill Willis - were voted out in November.
Bennett expects new councilmen Adam Green,
Calvin Huffman and Brent White to give resi-
dents a,chance to vote on alcohol sales.
Last year before he was elected to council,
Huffman circulated a petition in support of
the referendum. Green and White could be
reached for comment.
If a referendum is approved, it would be
held between 60 and 120 days from the
January meeting, Bennett said.
“I hope that it will go in a positive direc-
tion,” said Mayor Robert Sides. ;
He called it “crucial” to raising revenue.
In other business, council will hold a public
hearing on Calvin Huffman’s rezoning
request. Huffman attempted twice last year to
rezone a 47-acre tract off Locust Street from
light industrial to restricted residential.
Sides said he expects council will vote on
the request after the hearing unless council
members have additional questions.
See Grover, 12A
KM businesses with
registered video poker
machines down to 3
Kings Mountain and its extra-territorial
jurisdiction are now down to three locations
with registered video poker machines:
Last week Cleveland County Sheriff's
Officers seized six machines - three at the
Silver Villa Family Restaurant and three at
Youngins store. In late November three
machines were seized from KM Games.
Officers said machines were seized from the
Silver Villa after an informant received a cash
pay out for winning. This violates state law.
Officers said machines at Youngins store also
were seized after two informants on two occa-
sions received cash pay-outs. Officers said KM
Games’ machines were seized because two of
the three games’ serial numbérs did not match
Sheriff's Office registration paperwork. One
game had no serial number, officers said.
At the time of last week's seizure, Youngins
also was in trouble with the City of Kings
Mountain for reportedly having the machines
without a required conditional use permit.
The city was attempting to make Youngins
store remove its machines.
It will be up to Kings Mountain City
See ET], 12A
Weather, politics and the econo-
my were some of the top stories
in Kings Mountain during 2005.
One of the biggest stories
occurred late in the year when a
December 15 ice storm left
approximately 90 percent of
Kings Mountain and Cleveland
County citizens without power.
According to Duke Power, the
electrical outages were almost as
bad as when Hurricane Hugo
came through the area in 1989,
with almost 700,000 customers
out of power. There were scat-
tered outages that lasted almost a
According to Nick Hendricks,
director of Kings Mountain's
Electrical Department, the line
damage here was the worst it has
been in over two decades.
Although they didn’t come
through Kings Mountain, several
devastating hurricanes through-
out the summer and fall had
major effects here. After
Hurricane Katrina ravaged the
Gulf Coast, gasoline prices sky-
rocketed, going from just over $2
+ a gallon to over $3.50 a gallon.
Although it didn’t cause major
outages, the storm did delay the
delivery of gasoline and caused
many area stations to either run
out of gas or limit the amount
customers could purchase.
But, the hurricanes did bring
out the best in people in the area
and elsewhere. Many New
Orleans-area families were forced
to leave their homes for higher
ground and many settled in the
Kings Mountain area. Area folks
also were quick to organize drives
to send food, clothing and other
necessities to the victims.
—A LOOK BACK AT 2005
politics, economy dominated local news
M Politics always bring excite-
ment and a lot of competition in
Kings Mountain races.
The November City Council
election saw Mayor Rick
Murphrey hold off a challenge
from former Mayor Kyle Smith,
but three council members lost
their bid for reelection.
Kay Hambright lost to Rodney
Gordon in Ward 4, Rick Moore
lost to Dean Spears in the At-
Large race, and Brenda Ross lost
to Mike Butler in Ward 2.
Ward 5 Councilman Carl
DeVane, who filed for re-election,
~ withdrew his name before the
election because he was battling
Lou Gehrig's Disease. Keith Miller
won that seat in a close race
against Buddy Smith and write-in
candidate Lou Ballew. Mr.
DeVane passed away last week.
Council members retaining
their seats were Howard Shipp in
Challengers Keith Miller, Dean Spears, Mike Butler and Rodney
ANDIE BRYMER / HER
Gordon, left to right, were elected to KM City Council in November
and took office in December. Incumbents re-elected were Howard
Shipp, Houston Corn and Jerry Mullinax.
Ward 1, At-Large Councilman
Houston Corn, who led the vot-
ing and was named Mayor Pro-
Tem, and Jerry Mullinax in Ward
Cleveland County Schools held
its first election since merger, and
Kings Mountain's Terry McClain
won the remaining two years of a
term to which he was appointed.
He was the only KM resident in
See 2005, 3A