Law enforcement was kept hopping for
several hours Saturday responding to a
dozen businesses in Kings Mountain where
false bomb threats were made.
Kings Mountain Police quickly arrested
John Christopher Willett, 35, of 504 Kather-
ine Avenue and charged him with 12
felonies. Willett's first court appearance was
KM Police Det. Cpl. Doug Shockley said
Willett was listening on a scanner as police,
fire and emergency services responded to the
calls. Shockley said that more charges may
be coming as information is passed on to
other jurisdictions that had similar incidents.
"It's a scary situation for people and these
stores were crowded Saturday morning,"
said Shockley, who said that the prank also
See PRANK CALLS, 5A
from grease fire
« KYRA TURNER
kyra. kmherald@gmail com
Smoke from a grease fire billowed from
a house at 405 Baker Street around 1 a.m.
Saturday, catching the attention of a neigh-
bor, who was walking his dog. The man ran
to the house and roused the residents, get-
ting them all out to safety.
The Kings Mountain Police Department
was the first on scene and put out the small
fire still contained in the pan, that had also
charred the wall behind the stove, accord-
ing to KM Fire Chief Frank Burns.
When the Kings Mountain Fire Depart-
ment and Rescue Squad arrived, the smoke
had cleared. One of the four residents was
+ transported to the hospital with non-life
“After inspecting the house, we found
that there was no working smoke detector
to be found,” Burns said, ‘adding that the
smoke and small fire could have been fatal.
“The neighbor really saved their lives.”
Luminaries will glow Saturday night,
Christmas Eve, December 24th in Kings
Mountain. The city-sponsored event will
take place at Mountain Rest Cemetery from
5:30 p.m. until midnight.
“We'll be directing all the visitors to enter
through the main entrance on West King
Street (Business Hwy. 74). It’s a well-marked
route, allowing cars to easily move through
Mountain Rest, so families can enjoy this
Christmas Eve tradition,” said Jackie Bar- -
nette, Public Works Director for the city.
In memory of departed loved ones, a lu-
minaria will be placed at each gravesite, with
additional seasonal themed displays through-
out Mountain Rest. Close to 7,000 luminar-
ies will be lit within the 27 acres, with
Christmas music provided from the land-
mark Bell Tower.
Volunteers are needed to light the lumi-
naries at Mountain Rest Cemetery this Sat-
urday, December 24th.
“We will get started lighting the luminar-
ies about 3:30 Saturday afternoon and need
as many volunteers as we can get,” Barnette
For more information visit www.city-
ofkm.com or call 704-734-0333.
* miscellaneous items such as puzzles and -
3 MOUNTAIN NC
Kl. N EL
106 East Mountain Street
Kings Mountain, NC
EP Woo sme youmoney1| oneyl|| :
Christmas lights continue to shine in
Midpines nightly through Dec. 26.
Volume 123 » Issue 51 » Wednesday, December 21, 2011 » 75¢
Giving the gift of life
Photo by LIB STEWART
Captain Jerry Tessneer hugs his kidney.danor - his friend and
co-worker Penny Fulton.
All Captain Jerry Tessneer, 53,
wanted for Christmas was a
healthy kidney. ]
The veteran Kings Mountain
police officer got his early Christ-
mas wish November 1 when
KMPD Ptl. Penny Fulton, his co-
worker for 17 years, became his
life-saving donor. - .
"Every day since my trans-
plant surgery will be Christmas
for me," said a jubilant and thank-
ful Tessneer as both police offi-
cers went back to work (part-time
this Christmas week) at the Kings
Mountain Police Department,
Tessneer as Captain in the Patrol
division, and Fulton in the
"I owe my life to Penny," says
Tessneer, who has lived with
adult-onset Diabetes for 15 years.
Three years ago the disease and
his blood pressure became life-
On Nov. 1, 2009 Tessneer
started dialysis nightly. Doctors
gave him the bad news. He
needed a transplant. Tessneer pre-
pared his family for the worst.
On Now. 1, 2011 he received |
an answer to his prayer - a mira-
cle by the grace of God and a fel-
low officer following her heart
and the oath she swore to protect
"It's not an.overnight process
to get a transplant," says Tess- .
neer, who was on the transplant
list at North Carolina Baptist
Hospital for 18 months. "They
called me (before) from the hos-
pital that a donor was available
and to get there quick but my
wife and I were flying back from
a vacation in Hawaii and we
couldn't get there in time."
Waiting time for transplanta-
tion of organs can take months
and years. Sometimes transplants
are never available.
See PATROLMAN, 5A
Making Christmas truly bright
= ELIZABETH STEWART
The generosity of Kings Mountain
people can be seen in the hundreds of
Christmas gifts pouring into the toy
room of the Kings Mountain Police De-
"We've seen families bring gift-
wrapped items, a tradition they say for
their own children to give to a needy
child at Christmas," said Sgt. Lisa Proc-
tor, who has headed up the project for
10 years. Two brand new Huffy bikes,
baby dolls of all descriptions, Lunar race
cars; stuffed animals, patio sets, and
books will be under some happy child's .
Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
Chief Melvin Proctor said that police
will deliver the gifts, along with warm
clothing for 60 or more families, by
See PUBLIC, 5A
photo by ELLIS NOELL
Kings Mountain Chief of Police Melvin Proctor and his wife, Sgt. Lisa Proctor, get help from
Santa Claus in readying Christmas gifts for distribution this week to needy children. Police
are delivering hundreds of new toys and new clothing donated by many people to make Christ-
mas merrier for over 60 local families prior to Christmas Eve.
‘Santa’ Mur phey delivers toys to hundreds
EMILY WEAVER |
Mountain Police Department
in time for its Christmas de-
liveries to 60 local families.
Bankg&/ Trust FiSiE
John Murphey, aka ‘Santa’ Murphey, with his daughter, Lyndsey Murphey,
left, and Buffy Murphey, his wife. The Murphey’s recently delivered all
of the toys and goodies they raised with the 17th annual toy run to chil-
dren near and far.
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209 S. Battleground Ave., Kings Mountain ® 704.739.5411
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Last week, John Murphey
of Murphey's Scooter Shed
continued an annual tradition
of deliveries that have
earned him the nickname of
"Santa" and the love of chil-
dren near and far.
After toys and money are
raised through his annual
Toy Run each November, it's
the deliveries that make
Christmas truly merry for
Murphey. Ten freezer-sized
boxes brimming with toys,
sporting = equipment and
hairdryers were raised
through this year's 17th an-
nual Toy Run.
A couple of weeks ago,
Murphey carried his first
load of toys to the Kings
On Thursday, he played
Santa at Oak Grove Baptist
Church for the White Plains
Shrine Club's annual Christ-
mas party attended by some
of the many helped at the
Shriner's Hospital, including
his own daughter, Lyndsey.
On Friday, Lyndsey, her
friend Bubba Moss, and
Murphey carried toys to chil-
dren at the Shriner's Hospital
in Greenville. And on Sun-
day, Lyndsey, Murphey and
See MURPHEY, 5A
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*Annual Percentage Yield. Rate effective 9/15/11. Rates subject to change. Offer valid for a limited time only. $2,500 minimum to open. If balance falls below $2,500, rate will reduce to regular published rate.