KM Herald 5-20-20

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Volume 132 • Issue 21

kmherald.com • 704-484-1047

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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KM to host virtual Memorial Day event NFPA color-coded fire hydrants help firefighters to know what the available flow of a fire hydrant is as soon as they arrive on scene. (Photos provided by Janet C. Hart)

City of KM Fire Department new Fire Hydrant Project More than 600 fire hydrants will be reviewed and color-coded Over the next couple of months, the City of Kings Mountain Fire Department (KMFD) will be assessing, servicing and painting more than 600 fire hydrants in the city limits of Kings Mountain. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a standard, color-coded system for fire hydrants based on their flow capacity. In order to comply with these standards, the base of the fire hydrants will be painted yellow and the fire

hydrant’s cap and valves will be painted either blue, green, orange or red. Fire hydrants provide firefighters with quick access to a significant amount of water in the event of a fire. Due to the vital role they have in fire suppression efforts, fire hydrants undergo annual maintenance and testing. During testing, the fire department will ensure that the hydrant is working properly, will measure its water output (GPM - gallons per minute), will inspect the hydrant for damage and will inspect the three foot surrounding area for any vegetation or obstruction that may prohibit firefighters from

easily locating and accessing the hydrant when it is needed. "Water is our most abundant and least expensive firefighting agent,” said City of Kings Mountain’s Fire Chief Tommy Harmon. “When the Fire Department arrives at a working fire, they need to be able to quickly determine which tactics they should employ and how best to supply themselves with water,” said Harmon. “Firefighters need to know how much water is available from the closest hydrant so that they may select the appropriate size hose lines for the size and complexity of See KMFD, Page 8

Churches win temporary restraining order in court On May 16, Federal Judge James C. Dever III ruled in favor of conservative Christian leaders and blocked the enforcement of restrictions that Gov. Roy Cooper ordered regarding indoor religious services during COVID-19. The plaintiffs argued that Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138 violates their rights to worship freely and treats churches differently from other secular activities. In his decision, Judge Dever ruled, “This court does not doubt that the Governor is acting in good faith to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and to protect North Carolinians. But restrictions inexplicably applied to one group and exempted from another do little to further these goals

and do much to burden religious freedom. Moreover, it does not make a difference that faith-based bigotry did not motivate.” The Constitution makes the bar higher than that. “The constitutional benchmark is constitutional neutrality, not government avoidance of bigotry.” Further, Judge Dever found, “A law is not neutral and generally applicable unless there is neutrality between religion and non-religion. And a law can reveal lack of neutrality by protecting secular activities more than comparable civil ones.”

Dever’s 22-page order granted the plaintiffs’ emergency motion for a temporary restraining order. Ford Porter, Governor Roy Cooper’s spokesperson, responded to a court ruling today on religious services during COVID-19: “We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID19. While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.”

Public meeting NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Kings Mountain City Council will hold a Budget Work Session on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 4:00 PM in Council Chambers at City Hall, 101 West Gold Street, Kings Mountain, NC 28086. In order to comply with guidelines implemented by Governor Roy Cooper’s Stay at Home Order which

limits gatherings to 10 or fewer people, the general public will not be able to attend the meeting in person. However, citizens will be able to watch the work session as it will be streamed live on Facebook beginning at 4:00 PM. Here is a link: https:// www.facebook.com/cityofkingsmountain/ For more information please contact: Karen Tucker, City Clerk at Kings Mountain City Hall 704734-0333.

The City of Kings Mountain will observe Memorial Day online this year. Due to current guidelines issued by the State of North Carolina, Department of Health and Human Services and Governor Roy Cooper regarding social distancing, all City of Kings Mountain Special Events scheduled in May, which would have encouraged public gatherings, had to be cancelled. Memorial Day was one of these events. Even though the public gathering had to be cancelled, the City’s Memorial Day Observance will be held virtually through the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Facebook Page. Scheduled for Monday, May 25 at 12:00 pm, Vietnam Veteran and Kings Mountain native, Jim Medlin, will lead the observance by reading from the book, “The Wall”, by Eve Bunting, followed by words from Mayor Scott Neisler. “I am honored to be a small part of this production,” said Mr. Medlin. “Memorial Day means so much to me; it really is a wonderful tribute honoring See MEMORIAL DAY, Page 7

Veteran Jim Medlin will lead Kings Mountain’s Memorial Day Observance this year. Photo provided

Seniors show character through adversity By Loretta Cozart The Coronavirus has caused lots of changes to peoples’ lives since early March, but seniors at Kings Mountain High School have had a particularly tough year because of it. One’s senior year is supposed to be filled with milestones, the last big push to finish public education before moving on to life after high school. The year allows seniors to gradually move toward graduation day, knowing full well life won’t be the same after. Each day, across 180 of them, the students prepare for the moment they will march into Gamble Stadium in their caps and gowns, sit as a class for the last time, and one-byone take the walk across the stage to receive their diploma. When all is finished, as a class, they toss their caps into the air to celebrate! Graduation is a process both educationally and mentally. Will KMHS seniors participate in a graduation ceremony this year? And if they do, what will it look like after COVID-19? Who knows? In this world of uncertainty, nobody knows that answer. In addition to matriculating through their senior year, students also prepare them-

Ramey Bridges holds up sign for the Senior Night Drive Through that was held on May 14. See more photos on page 10. Photo by Gary Smart selves for adulthood, choosing areas of study, whether it be at a community college or university. Some students opt against additional education and find work right after high school. Others take time to figure it all out afterward. This year is different. Instead of experiencing milestones as other classes have,

this year’s seniors drove through the bus lot to receive their caps and gowns. They did so joyfully and made the most of that situation. High school staff and faculty made the process fun and found ways to support their seniors. Together, the KMHS community are finding ways to get See SENIORS, Page 10

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