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Volume 132 • Issue 43
kmherald.com • 704-484-1047
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Strong showing by voters at early voting PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Trump rally in Gastonia Wednesday By Loretta Cozart President Trump will make a campaign stop in Gastonia on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7 pm at the Gastonia Municipal Airport for a rally, according to his campaign. Doors open at 4 pm. In the 2016 election, Trump received 641,798 votes, or 64% of the vote in Gaston County. Hillary Clinton received 31,177 votes, garnishing 32.33% of the vote. In Cleveland County, Trump won 28,479 votes, to Clinton’s 14,964. As in the 2016 election, the battle for the White House is critical with the state’s 15 electoral votes hanging in the balance. Gastonia Municipal Airport is at 1030 Gaston Day Road in Gastonia, NC.
With 14 days until the Nov. 3 general election more than 12,782 ballots have been cast in Cleveland County. Election officials report a strong showing of more than 19 percent of registered voters in Cleveland County by voters who have cast ballots, more than 14 percent in the state. More than 1 million people have already voted in North Carolina in the 2020 election, according to the state board of elections website. This is the first weekend that voters cast their ballots in person. There are 7,292,471 registered voters in the state and 1,350,599 absentee ballots have been requested. As of 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16 North Carolina voters had cast 570,019 ballots by mail and 468,020 ballots in person. Early voting continues through Oct. 31 in Kings Mountain at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 220 N. Watterson Street with a significant increase in hours and weekend voting. Evening hours are Oct 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, and 29. Saturday hours are 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 24 and Oct. 31. The Sunday hours on Oct. 25 are from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 is the
deadline to apply for absentee ballots from the Cleveland County Board of Elections, Shelby. For your ballot to count, voter and a witness must sign it and it can be returned to the County Board of Elections by mail, to early voting site or by dropping off at the Cleveland County Board of Elections., “We’re glad to see so many North Carolina voters performing their civic duty and letting their voices be heard by voting,’’ said Karen Brinson Bell, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections and we look forward to more North Carolinians casting their ballots and staying safe while doing it.” Safeguards are in place as voters cast their ballotsmasks for all poll workers and voters who do not bring their own, single-use pens, sanitation stations and protective barriers. The sites will be professionally cleaned throughout the entire 17-day period and election workers routinely sanitize all surfaces.
4 seek 3 seats on County Board Voters will go to the polls in a local competitive race Nov. 3 to elect three members of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners from a candidate list of four. Incumbents Johnny Hutchins, Kings Mountain, Ronnie Whetstine, Shelby, board Vice-Chair, political newcomers Kevin Gordon of Shelby, all Republicans, and Democrat Shaun Murphy, Kings Mountain, face-off in the general election. Susan Allen, board chairman, did not seek re-election because of planned family activities. Other members of the board not up for re-election this year are Republicans Doug Bridges and Deb Hardin, both of Shelby.
“Cleveland County has always been my home,’’ said Johnny Hutchins. He continued, “After serving in the United States Army I returned to Kings Mountain to start and raise my family. Over 20 years I volunteered and was Captain of the Kings Mountain Rescue Squad, so leadership and service define who I am. ‘’After retiring from the mining industry I felt the need to do something that would help better the lives of my children and grandchildren, so instead of talking about it I ran for county commissioner. Working for the people of Cleveland County is an honor,’’ said Hutchins. ‘’I have great interest in
improving and making this county the best it can be, for everyone, my greatest ‘’assets - live, work, worship and go to school here,’’ Hutchins added, Since being elected Hutchins said he has dedicated himself, giving 100 percent to Cleveland County, county employees and the citizens. “As your county commissioner, I will continue to make myself easily accessible for your concerns and issues. There are many projects that I am a part of that need to be completed and I will continue to work diligently for the development of Cleveland County,’’ he added. “My goals are simple - to See SEATS, Page 5A
Monster International snack food co. to invest Bash $ 24M in KM LIVE!
Wilcox is new minister at First Presbyterian
A virtual event is coming to City of KM’s Special Events Facebook Page. Mark your calendars! Get ready to dance! Something spooky is heading to Kings Mountain. Dance the night away with the City of Kings Mountain’s virtual event Monster Bash LIVE! Some of your favorite Halloween characters come back from the grave for a night of music and fun, exclusively on the City of Kings Mountain's Special Events Facebook page https:// www.facebook.com/CityofKMSpecialEvents This ghostly event will take place Halloween night at 6:30pm - It's guaranteed to be spooky fun for the entire family! For more information, call the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-7302101, visit the web at www. KingsMountainEvents. com/monster-bash.
Reverend John Wilcox joined First Presbyterian Church in Kings Mountain two months ago. He is a graduate of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI and completed his eligibility for Ordination through Reformed Theological Seminary. “I am passionate about connecting people to Christ, into community, and into ministry, as well as caring for the needs of those both in the church and in the community,” Wilcox said. “Through my years of ministerial service in various roles, God has graciously led me in See WILCOX, Page 5A
Benestar Brands, an international snack food manufacturer, will create 129 jobs in Cleveland County, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $24 million to establish a new production facility in Kings Mountain. “Even during a pandemic, companies like Benestar Brands can expand operations because of our strong workforce, quality transportation network and management of this crisis,” said Governor Cooper. Benestar Brands, the parent company of Evans Food Group, is a rapidly growing snack food manufacturer focused on better-for-you,
high-quality snacks. The newest project in North Carolina will provide easier access to the fast-growing company’s customer base and the nation’s east coast market. This new facility will support Benestar Brands’ expansion plans into new snack categories. “After an extensive search throughout the southeast, we selected Kings Mountain, North Carolina for our newest production facility based on the state’s strong support of the manufacturing industry and talented workforce,” said Carl E. Lee, Jr., CEO of Benestar Brands. “Over the past year, our company has expanded See INVEST, Page 8A
By Loretta Cozart
Reverend Wilcox and his wife Amanda with their four children. Photo provided
City Council considers economic incentive grants Oct. 24 By Loretta Cozart Kings Mountain City Council will address the issue of economic incentive grants for the recently announced Benestar Brands (Project CHIPPY) and the yet to be disclosed Project TRIPLE PLAY during their
meeting on October 27 at 6 pm. Currently, the city does not have an Economic Incentive Grant policy but has been discussing one in closed session. The Herald reached out to Kings Mountain’s City Manager, Marilyn Sellers regarding the methodology being used in framing these agreements. Sellers replied, “Staff
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is still working on information for our economic agreement. At the minimum we are adopting what Gaston County and Cleveland County are approving. We currently work very close with Gaston County’s economic development commission and Cleveland County’s economic development partnership regarding incentives.’
In the public notice that ran in Herald on October 14, it was shared, “The City of Kings Mountain proposes a financial grant that would be at least equivalent or similar to the Level 4 financial incentive grant approved on September 22, 2020 by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners.” To better understand what
a Level Four incentive grant means, the Herald referred to Gaston County’s Economic Development Commission’s Local Investment Grant Program documentation, since that is one after which Kings Mountain’s agreement will be mirrored. Under Gaston County’s Level 4 Industrial See COUNCIL, Page 8A
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