Banner-News 7-14-21

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Gaston County’s

The Banner News /

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Thursday, July 15, 2021


Good news for great people! Volume 87 • Issue 28

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• Belmont • Cramerton • Lowell • McAdenville • Mount Holly • Stanley

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Stanley mural artist Boyce McKinney completes another masterpiece By Alan Hodge

Stanley mural artist Boyce McKinney has added another masterpiece to his already impressive list of local works. The newest creation is a large replication of a vintage Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of a downtown Mt.

Holly building at 123 N. Main. McKinney estimates the original mural was done in the early to mid-1950s. Former mayor Bobby Black and city planner Greg Beal, and the late Carol Golden helped get the ball rolling about a year ago for the project,” said McKinney. Once the paperwork and

permission got sorted, McKinney went at the project with his trademark enthusiasm and talent. “It took about three and a half weeks to do the painting,” he said. With its striking red and white vintage Coke logo and lad wearing a bottle cap for a hat, the mural gets plenty of notice in person and online.

Reggie Ballard: Owner of the End Zone By Kathy Blake Reggie Ballard has the newspaper clippings, highlighted in yellow, describing his success at Mount Holly High in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Reggie Ballard “Reggie Ballard scored three of the Hawk tal- maybe 10 lies,” one says, about a 40-0 touchdowns my junior win over Cramerton. Then, in a 27-13 win over year and 17 the “invading” Mount Pleas- my senior ant Tigers: “Friday night, year and Reggie Ballard scored two was third touchdowns to make a sham- in the state ble of the area scoring race.” in scoring, And, “He intercepted a Tiger and nobody pass and scampered to pay at Mount Holly High Reggie Ballard ready to hit the field. dirt.” Ballard, who is being in- School has in the backfield his last two ducted into the Mount Holly ever done Sports Hall of Fame, had 91 that, far as I can find out. years. He got a full ride to UNCpoints before his last high And that was on a nine-game Chapel Hill and offers from a schedule.” school game, when the papers few other colleges before atBallard began competitive let fans know he would be “aiming at the century mark.” football in seventh grade, tending Castle Heights MiliHe finished with 104 when his friend Jimmy talked tary Academy in Tennessee, points scored his senior year, him into trying out. At Mount serving in the military staHolly, Ballard started all four tioned in Germany and finincluding extra points. “I’m not intentionally try- years – at center his freshman ishing his football career at ing to toot my own horn,” season, then a “lonesome Western Carolina. See BALLARD, Page 4 Ballard says, “but I scored end” as a sophomore and

Stanley’s Boyce Mckinney working on the Coke mural in downtown Mt. Holly. “It has been very well received,” McKinney said. “It had 1,500 hits on the City of Mt. Holly facebook page. The Coke creation isn’t McKinney’s first Mt. Holly mural. Just across the street

at the Community Garden, another one he did last year beams forth with bright colors of flowers and the sun. That mural is like a beacon drawing folks to the garden. Up in his hometown of

Stanley, McKinney’s work is represented by a large mural along the whole side of the building at S. Main and W. Plum streets. The mural depicts a very real looking See ARTIST, Page 5

Local Civil Air Patrol members receive prestigious awards By Sue Buetler Several members of the Gastonia Civil Air Patrol group recently received a number of recognitions. During a regular meeting of the Gastonia Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Brianna Smith of Mt. Holly was presented with the Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet Medal. This award is presented to a


cadet of outstanding ability and achievement in a nonROTC military-affiliated cadet program. The recipient must have distinguished him or herself through outstanding leadership, honor, service, courage and patriotism. Despite the challenges of a year of Covid lockdowns and cancellations, C/CMSgt. Smith stuck with the program, participated in online meetings, and continued to advance and meet goals even

when that required stepping outside of a comfort zone. C/CMSgt. Smith has been a member of Civil Air Patrol since 2018. She was formerly the First Sergeant and now serves as the Squadron’s Cadet Executive Officer. Squadron Commander, Lt. Michael Hadrick said of C/CMSgt. Smith “she been active within the squadron since the day she joined. She consistently steps up when See CAP, Page 9