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Y MEMORTAT, T.TRRARY
pT i ONT AVE
ITATH NC 28086- 3450
Friday morning brought death and life to one local
man on the walking track next to the YMCA.
Competitive cooking teams and vendors in the
13th annual Firehouse Cook-off started migrating to
the walking track next to the YMCA on Thursday.
After little sleep from a midnight fire the night be-
fore, Kings Mountain firemen worked hard to get
everything ready for the competition.
On Friday morning, though, they had not planned
for the “kick-off” that was about to ensue. Gary Low-
ery and other seniors had come to the walking track
for their regular moming exercise.
Just as they passed in front of the cooking station
of “Big Mo and the AHO BBQ” around 10 a.m.,
Lowery fell to the track, lifeless, He had suffered a
“Big Mo,” who had seen the man collapse, re-
membered that Joe Amore of “Smoky Mountain
Smokers,” at the other end of the track, had an auto-
matic external defibrillator. He called him and told
him to bring it quick.
“I thought he was joking at first,” Amore said. But
he grabbed it from his truck and ran down there any-
When Amore got to him, Lowery was not
Local WWII veterans returned
Saturday night on a ‘Flight of
Honor’ from a memorable trip
to the war memorial in Wash-
ington, D.C. They were
greeted at the Charlotte air-
fans and loved ones.
Read more about their ad-
ventures in next wosks Her-
breathing. There was no pulse. But he knew what ald.
See LIFESAVER, Page 3A
First Street fire destroys home
Family mourns the loss of pet,
By EMILY WEAVER
11:30 Wednesday night — a restless
Ricky Carroll, Jr., 23, who needed a few
things from the store, decided he would
make a trip to Walmart. |
* His longtime girlfriend, Jessica Bowen,
was tired. She said that she just wanted to
watch TV and curl up with their infant son,
Levi Chase Carroll, and sleep. Ricky con-
vinced her to bring the baby and come
An hour later, their home at 800 First
. Street was fully engulfed in flames. There
would be no rest for Ricky or Jessica that
Kings Mountain Police Cpl. Danny
Davis was making his regular patrol
through the neighborhood after midnight
when he saw the flames. :
Richard Green, who was staying next
door with Ricky’s sister Tangie Carroll, had
gone to the bathroom about the same time.
He noticed that the window of the house
next to him was glowing a bright orange.
"He quickly dialed 9-1-1.
Cpl. Davis called it in too.
Tangie came outside. She knew that
there was a special family member still in-
side her brother’s house. She wanted des-
perately to get him out.
But flames had barricaded the front door.
Sheand a police officer went to the batk of
the house to see if they could gain entry.
They kicked the door open.
She crept up the steps of the back porch,
carefully, trying to peer inside under the
heavy smoke. But with the sudden escape
of heat the 60” television inside exploded as
the officer pulled Tangie back.
They couldn’t go in. The fire, which in-
vestigators determined ‘was caused by a
faulty light fixture, was too ferocious.
The Kings Mountain Fire Department
arrived around 12:43 a.m. They couldn’t go
in either. It was too dangerous.
“It was a bad fire,” said KM Fire Chief
© The fire had consumed the house and
morphed it into a raging inferno. Not only
WWII veteran Edward Campbell shakes the hand of a supporter.
port by a crowd of cheering
Sidney Dixon is welcomed home.
Photos by EMILY WEAVER
had it practically devoured Ricky’s home, it
had also begun to get a taste of Tangie’s
house at 802 First Street, just a few feet
KM firefighters were assisted by Beth-
lehem and Oak Grove volunteer fire de-
partments, the State = Bureau of
Investigation, Highway Patrol, KMPD and
the Red Cross.
Firefighters worked to contain the blaze
and to prevent it from doing any more dam-
age. Ricky .and Jessica’s cell phone rang
with the news while they were at the store.
Hearing of the fire, they rushed back. Ricky
was frantic. They both were.
The two arrived ready for action only to
stand and watch as nearly everything they
had went up in flames. Burns said that they
had the fire out in about 20 minutes.
The one they lost
Somewhere inside that APA while it
“raged though, was their chihauha, “Pee-
wee.” They had raised the dog for three
+ years. They had tried to have a baby before,
but Jessica had gone into labor prematurely.
The infant was stillborn.
Ricky had recently survived a horrible .
wreck that broke both of his legs and put
The charred and scattered remains of a house were all that stood after a
bad fire early Thursday morning at 800 First Street.
him out of work. When he recovered, he
found employment only to be laid off be-
cause of decreasing orders in the struggling
Their dog, for many months, was like the
baby they couldn’t have. He was their con-
stant companion: Ricky tried desperately to
get into their burning home to save “Pee-
wee.” But it was too late.
Ricky, Jessica and their one-month-old
son were safe. The late night trip they all
took to Walmart had helped them escape
what the family believes would have been a
“I think the whole family was sent away
for a reason,” said Linda Carroll Ernst,
Ricky’s grandmother and owner of the
house they rented.
The value of the few things "ey had pur-
chased that night were in no comparison to
the houseful of items they had worked and
saved for years to obtain. ’
“How am I supposed to provide for my
family now when everything is gone?”
Ernst remembers her grandson Ricky ask-
ing early Thursday morning. “You save for
years and within minutes everything you've
worked for is'gone” | ————— =
See FIRE, Page 3A
Visit us today at
704.739.5411 e www alliancebankandtrust.com
By EMILY WEAVER
Voices on both sides of the upcoming
mixed beverage vote in Kings Mountain
are being raised just 13 days before the
On lawns throughout the city, signs have
sprouted in protest to the extra availability
of liquor. Reg Alexander is offering the
signs to citizens at his Regal Adventures of-
Some proponents of liquor by the drink
have hit the phone lines, calling citizens to
see where the vote may stand.
But another group of business profes-
sionals have stepped forward to voice their
concern — the hotels.
Melissa Mott, owner of Holiday Inn in
Kings Mountain, reportedly voiced her
grievances in a recent Tourism and Devel-
opment Authority meeting. City events like
the Firehouse BBQ Cook-off should bring
in the business of new guests to KM hotels.
But that has not always been the case,
she reportedly told the board. City Special
Events Director Ellis Noell remembered
her saying that the hotel owners in Shelby
love the special events KM holds, because
they get the business.
Janice Thrift is the second shift front
ends May 2
By EMILY WEAVER
Only 11 and a half hours into the One-
stop early voting site at the Cleveland
County Board of Elections office in Shelby,
Director Debra Blanton excitedly said Fri-
day morning that they already had 18 vot-
ers to cast ballots in what has been a
Early voting on the quest of mixed bev-
erage sales within city limits began Thurs-
day. It will continue at the BoE during
normal business hours up until three days
before the election. One-stop absentee vot-
ing will end at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2nd.
The election will be conducted on Tues-
day, May $5, at two polling sites. All regis-
tered voters who live north of U.S. Hwy. 74
will vote at the Kings Mountain YMCA.
All who live south of U.S. Hwy. 74 will
vote at the Mauney Memorial Library.
The ballot asks if a voter is !'for" or
"against" the following: "To permit the sale
of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants,
private clubs, community theatres, and con-
, vention centers."
There are no qualifications to vote early
and avoid the lines on election day. Any
voter may go to the Board of Elections of-
fice in Shelby before May 2nd to cast a bal-
Voters, who may not feel up to the drive,
can also request a ballot be mailed to them,
To have a ballot mailed to you, citizens
must write a "letter of request", including:
the name of the person requesting a ballot,
the election date (May 5) in which the per-
son wants to vote, the resident's address in
See VOTING, Page 3A
The Faces of Hometown Banking