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By ELIZABETH STEWART
A check of three precincts about noon
Tuesday showed no lines and only a
trickling of voter activity.
The mid-term election year Primaries
were underway and several races
brought out supporters in warm weather
passing out.campaign literature. It was
anybody's guess who would emerge as a
possible nominee from the Democrats
and Republicans for the High Sheriff
which has dominated much of the inter-
est in this season's political campaign as
six men seek the position. There was
speculation among poll watchers there
could be a runoff in the sheriff's race.
Tuesday's nominees face-off in Novem-.
ber and a runoff, if necessary, would be
held June 22.
Nearly 2,400 people turned out at the
Elections Board office in Shelby for
early voting which ended Saturday.
"Kings Mountain needs a site for early
voting," said retired Police Chief Bob
Hayes as he talked with friends outside
the Kings Mountain YMCA Tuesday
morning. Former Democrat Party chair-
See ELECTION, 3A
® Prayerful day
Four community-wide events on
Thursday, May 6, will be kicked off by
residents joining in the observance of
National Day of Prayer.
Family Worship Center on Shelby
Road will host the mayor's annual prayer
breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Tickets are
$15 and may be purchased from mem-
bers of the church or at City Hall.
The Kings Mountain Ministerial As-
sociation, of which Rev. James
Lochridge is president, will lead the Na-
tional Prayer Day service of prayers - 20
minutes of meditations - from 12:20-
12:40 - in front of the fountain at Kings
Mountain City Hall. The public is in-
Rev. Travis Northcutt, pastor of Oak
Grove Baptist Church, will lead the
pledge of allegiance, give the invocation
and read the event text scripture Nahum
1:7. After remarks by Mayor Rick Mur-
phrey local lay people and ministers will
offer prayers including Jennifer S.
Wampier for school personnel; Bill Mc-
Murray for military and local public ser-
vants; Vik Kapoor for local business
people; and Rev. Steve Tay-
See PRAYER, 3A
down the line
By ELIZABETH STEWART
A state grant for $97,500
to run a county water line for
future expansion was an-
nounced this week by Kings
Mountain Mayor Rick Mur-
phrey and N:C. House Rep.
The new water line will
take nine houses off the cur-
rent Spectrum Mill system
and enable those residents to
hook on to Kings Mountain
and also serve expected de-
velopment in the Country-
side section of the city.
The mayor acknowl-
edged that new owners of
Spectrum are utility cus-
tomers of the City of Kings
Mountain but have not an-
nounced their plans for the
mill which closed two years
ago after 36 years of opera-
Cleveland County ap-
plied for the grant for the
new water line. y
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Left to right, Mayor Rick Murphrey, Scott Campbell,
Nick LaVecchia, Bobby Horne, Sharon Horne and MPI
President Mitch Johnson stand in front of the future
site of Old Stone Steakhouse and Battleground Bar.
This rendering, provided by the Mountaineer Partnership,
shows the fagade of the new Old Stone Steakhouse, which will
feature gas lanterns, a current American flag, a Revolutionary-
era flag and a state flag.
bring up to 25 full-time jobs to the city.
“May 5th is the one-year anniversary of
liquor-by-the-drink and we’re glad to be an-
nouncing this,” said Scott’ Campbell, who,
along with Horne will have a stake in the up-
Set to open in early Fall,
bring 25 jobs to city
By EMILY WEAVER
One year from the day on which liquor-by-
the-drink was voted on in Kings Mountain, the
promise of an upscale restaurant that support-
ers said would come, if passed, is now coming
Father and son restaurateurs Nick and Rich
LaVecchia have partnered with downtown
property owners Bobby Horne and Scott
Campbell to open the Old Stone Steakhouse -
and Battleground Bar on the corner of Rail-
in two of the three
storefronts that once housed the old Plonk De-
partment store. The $850,000+ renovation
project will create new jobs in construction to
transform an empty shell into the new 3,600
sq. ft. restaurant, set to open early in fall and
road Ave. and Gold St.,
coming Old Stone Steakhouse.
market,” said Nick LaVecchia.
“If it wasn’t for liquor-by-the-drink, we
would’ve never considered coming into this
They were drawn to the city before, at-
tracted to Kings Mountain’s historical ties and
. Gateway Trails are all aftractive.
it’s vision for the future. Nearby parks, muse-
ums, festivals, entertainment and the new
“We feel that the city itself has the compo-
_ nents in place to be a very vibrant, fun, excit-
ing place to spend a day or an evening out,”
After the final stumbling block (a ban on
mixed beverage sells in city limits) was re-
moved, “We thought that now is as good a
time as any,” he added. “We’re not letting this
recession scare us. This is an underserved
Adam Hines, executive director of The
Mountaineer Partnership, agreed. A 2007
downtown revitalization study showed that
roughly $15 million in Kings Mountain
restaurant sales was lost to three outlying
communities. Over half of the “leakage” was
tied to big-name restaurants, like Outback
Steakhouse, in Gastonia, and Applebee’s,
which sandwich the town with locations in
Shelby and Gastonia.
This will be restaurant number five for the
LaVecchias, who ‘also own the popular Nix
Burger & Brew and LaVecchia’s, both in
downtown Charlotte, and the Old Stone Steak-
house and JAX Backstreet Tavern, which is
under construction, both in Belmont.
Old Stone’s new plans
In a walk-thru of the empty building Mon-
See STEAKHOUSE, 5A
KM Sports Hall of Fame
induction Saturday at
Kings Mountain golf legend Stoney
Jackson, three-sport KMHS athletes
Brent Bagwell and Ollie Harris, Jr., and
the state championship 1993-94 KMHS
men’s swimming teams will be inducted
into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of
Fame Saturday, May 8 at 6 p.m. at Cen-
tral United Methodist Church.
Tickets for the 23rd annual event,
which includes a meal catered by Lin-
wood Restaurant, are $10 each and are
available from any member of the Hall
of Fame Committee and at the door.
Central United Methodist
Four long-time supporters of KM
sports will receive the Hall of Fame’s
Distinguished Service Award, which is
given each year to persons who have of-
fered many years of service to and sup-
port of athletics in the KM area. They
are Charlie Smith, Jimmy Jolly, Kenny
Bridges and Chuck Austin.
Numerous KMHS senior: athletes
will receive college scholarships.
The late Ollie Harris, Jr. was a three-
sports star at KMHS in the early 1950s
See HALL, 3A
ARTAAR I RR ROS IIT
he had ever seen in the arena.
of no longer being able to cry.
Shain Ad eon AP Smt
Water/sewer g going up ]
By ELIZABETH STEWART |
Water and sewer rates went up May : and your nu
next monthly bill will reflect the change-15% for :
~ water and 35% for sewer.
By 6-1 Kings Mountain City Council last Tuesday 4
increased the water and sewer rates on recommenda-
tion of City Manager Marilyn Sellers. "This is very
difficult for me to recommend but we simply can't
continue to operate this fund at the current rate struc-
ture which leaves nothing for emergencies," she said.
Councilman Rick Moore said after the meeting
that he objected to the water/sewer increase because
it needs more study" and he said the hike could
"mean the difference between businesses making a ;
Nicky Cruz's powerful message Satur-
day night inside Cleveland County Fair-
ground's Gandstand Arena was just as much
aimed at parents as it was today's struggling
youth. Thousands came to hear it.
One of the volunteers in the Nicky Cruz
Outreach event said it was the largest crowd
To the youth and all who came, Cruz told
a tantalizing, gut-wrenching story:
Cruz was born the son of satanic wor-
shipers in Puerto Rico. He recalls being
beaten to the point of no longer feeling pain,
He remembers one day he came across
‘his mother, who was talking to others, in a
strange voice. Her speech sounded like that
of a man's, deep and raspy. She told him to
come and look in her eyes. Little Nicky did
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See HIKE, 3A
Cruz reaches thousands with
story of true redemption
By EMILY WEAVER
not want to look.
When he finally did, it wasn't his mother
that he saw. Her eyes glowed orange, he told
She told him that he wasn't her son; he
was the son of the devil and she never
wanted to see him again.
"When I was nine years old, I died," he
Utterly lost after years of neglect and
brutality, he heard a voice urging him to kill
himself and end the pain.
Cruz said that he climbed a tree with a
rope to do just that when his younger
brother found him.
"He had tears streaming down his face,"
he recalled. "He cried,
His younger brother climbed the tree and
brought him down. "He saved my life," he
See REDEMPTION, 4A
v Dosofast ase iserderaiviy Arg
No. Don't do it