morning to its
Volume 121 © Is.ue 3 ®* Wednesday, January 21, 2009
first snowfall of
etsy Wells witnesses day in history
By ELIZABETH STEWART
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kings Mountain's Betsy Wells,
shivering in 21 degree weather a football field
away from where newly-installed President Bar-
rack Obama took the oath of office Tuesday,
could not hide her excitement at being a part of
the history-making event.
"It is wonderful," she said by telephone to The
Wells and Linda Gunner, President of N. C.
Electoral College, left their hotel at 4:45 a.m.,
both elated to be a part of history as it was being
made, Hart Wells, son of Betsy and Steve Wells,
met his Mom in the nation's capital along with
his fiancee, Kelly, and they were ready to get
ment D. C. for handling this crowd," said Betsy, who esti-
mated the throngs in the millions.
"There is an air of-exhilaration everywhere," said Betsy,
who attended the Lincoln Memorial concert this week and
stood in line for tickets to various events.
Former chairman for many years of the
Cleveland County Democratic Party, Wells
described the crowds as a mixture of people
excited to hear the new President talk about the
real challenges facing America, acknowledging
that the nation is in the midst of crisis now well
understood. "On this day," said the 44th U. S.
President, "we gather because we have chosen
hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict
Betsy said she liked Obama's speech and his
promises to America with his challenge, "Start-
some lunch and view the parade, get warm and then attend ing today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and
an inaugural ball Tuesday evening."I just have to compli- begin again the work of remaking America."
Gone fishin’. Karen Bess closes
antique shop - 8A
Gateway Trails ready to begin
construction of Phase 1 - 4B
Photo courtesy of DePauw University
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
back hours to
By EMILY WEAVER
Most companies are affected by the drought of
today’s economy but not all of them are laying off
workers to weather the storm.
At least two businesses in and around Kings
Mountain have decided to cut back hours of oper-
ation to avoid layoffs. Gilbert Patrick, owner of
Patrick Yarn Mills, said that they have cut back
the work week from six days to five days at his
two KM plants. »
“We're avoiding laying off people and (trying
to) keep a good steady workforce,” he said. “So
far, we've been successful.”
Although a cut in hours means a cut in pay, em-
ployees are still able to keep their jobs and all of
Eaton Corp.’s truck transmission plant, in
Grover, has decided to go into “idling mode” for
two or three days a week to avoid laying off any
more employees, according to Mayor. Robert
Sides, who said he spoke with Plant Manager
Mike Iezzi before the recent Grover council meet-
The Ohio-based company had to lay off 51 em-
ployees in Nov., reducing its workforce to 400, to
make up for a reduction in demand. Sides said that
he was told the Mount Holly Freightliner plant,
one of Eaton’s customers, has had to cut back
hours of operation and may have to layoff work-
The mayor said that Eaton may not need to go
into “idling mode” for two or three days every
week, but only when necessary. He added that
Iezzi told him they hope to avoid any future lay-
See LAYOFFS, Page 3A
What goes down
must come up?
State talks about mileage tax to
recoup $316 million budget shortfall
By EMILY WEAVER
Gas prices are down. Motorists are driving less
and buying fewer cars. But with less expenditures,
comes less revenue received through the state's gas
and vehicle sales taxes.
To make up for a $316 million shortfall pre-
dicted for the Highway Trust Fund and Highway
Fund this year, a proposal for a mileage tax may
soon be on the table for returning state representa-
Instead of paying taxes at the pump, motorists
would be taxed on the miles
KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE
photo by EMILY WEAVER
Shana Adams sings "The Lord's Prayer" at Monday
night's tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Joy Theater.
Tribute celebrates historic
time, remembers Dr. King
By EMILY WEAVER
It was 35 years ago when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on
the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and shared an important dream
with thousands of Americans.
His dream was one of unity, peace and love, spoken with pas-
sionate eloquence. It stirred the hearts of the public, the minds of
leaders and the pens of history scribers.
On Monday night, on the eve of another historic moment for
our nation, Kings Mountain gathered to keep the dream alive at the
Joy Theatre. Donna Huie Brooks, emcee of the tribute, said that
MLK’s dream has “come to a bit of fruition” as the nation is read-
ied for its first African-American president. Keeping with the
buzzword of the Barack Obama campaign, the city decided to
“change” the tribute this year.
Instead of having a contest in honor of Dr. King, this year’s
tribute offered no cash rewards. What it did offer was a message
of hope and a charge for all to remember that we are one in Christ.
In his keynote address, Rev. William Thompson, pastor of St.
Peter Missionary Baptist Church, reminded the crowd of Dr.
King's words: “I have a dream that one day my children will not
be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their
Character transcends race, gender and social standing, he said.
Character is the legacy people leave behind.
“Jesus was not Anglo. He was not African. He was Jewish,”
Rev. Thompson said. “We follow Jesus not by the color of his skin
but because of the content of His character.”
See TRIBUTE, Page 3A
By EMILY WEAVER
Citizens for Progress had 90 days to gather enough
signatures to call for a referendum on mixed beverage
sales in Kings Mountain. The group of over a dozen
business professionals hit its target.
But the mark could soon be challenged by two
Rev. James Lochridge, pastor of Second Baptist
Church, and Keith Miller, a Sunday school teacher
and deacon at First Baptist Church, were going door-
to-door on Friday making sure the ones who signed
the petition knew what they were signing. A few more
have been manning the phone, going down the list of
petition signers with phone book in hand.
They have 15 days now to try to collect enough sig-
natures for removal to cancel the petition. On Mon-
day, Miller said they were shy by about 50 names.
Their efforts, which began shortly after the peti-
tions were turned in on Jan. 5, were fueled by citizens
who complained that they were misled.
“We’ve run into a lot of folks, more than we ex-
pected, that felt like they were duped. They were de-
ceived, pressured or misled,” Rev. Lochridge said.
A few voters at the Second Baptist polling site on
Election Day questioned volunteers why they had to
sign something outside before they could come in to
See PETITION, Page 3A
} Ry D.C. - : Yoninges Asin :
Kings 1 a, a blast at the Pre ential
SV Fs "Blind Faith" oe
the World, A Blind Mans Jour-
they drive. The miles would be
recorded whenever a vehicle
comes up for its annual inspec-
Earlier, it was proposed that
GPS-like systems be installed
in cars to track the number of
miles and times of day a mo-
torist has driven to calculate
Visit us today at
209 S. Battleground Avenue
See TAX, Page 3A [Lo
£.739.5411 * www.alliancebankandtrust.com
The Faces of Homelown Banking