KM Herald 4-8-20

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106 East Mountain Street Kings Mountain, NC 28086 Volume 132 • Issue 15

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 • 704-739-7496


KM City Council Facebook meeting

Hell on the high seas

By Loretta Cozart

By Loretta Cozart

The City of Kings Mountain streamed its Council meeting on Facebook Live on March 31 at 6 pm, due to NC Governor Roy Cooper’s stay at home order. Governments are classified as essential and to comply with 10 or fewer people, the Council meeting was limited to the Mayor, five City Council members, City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Planning Director. Citizens were not allowed to attend in person but could ask questions via the Facebook Live M Citizens were provided a phone number if they wished to speak, but none called during the citizen recognition portion of the meeting. Council members in attendance were David Allen, Mike Butler, Jay Rhodes, Jimmy West, and Keith Miller. City Council unanimously approved the sale of “Senior Park” located at 141 West Mountain Street to Thoroughbred Partners for $4,000, provided easement protections were included on the deed for the city and for adjacent property owners.

Council unanimously approved rezoning Parcel #154266, at 300 Woodlake Drive from Light Industrial to Heavy Industrial, upon recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Board. Mark Baucom sought a Family Subdivision Modification at 716 Canterbury Road, Gaston Deed Book 5012, Page 0813, to build a road easement that is greater than the 500 feet maximum easement that was unanimously approved by council. Rodney Swanner requested a Family Subdivision Modification at 150 Rollingbrook Road, Tax Map 221, Block 1, Lot 143, to build a road easement that is greater than the 500 feet maximum easement that was unanimously approved by council. City Council unanimously approved a request by Bill and Sean Clark to rezone property located at 923 Cleveland Avenue from RS-8 to GB-CU for use as a car lot. The rezoning of property at 409 S. Battleground Avenue was continued until April 28. Rick Murphrey was not reappointed to the ABC See COUNCIL, Page 9A

On Feb 21, the Grand Princess cruise ship left San Francisco on its way to Hawaii. The boat had just returned from a 5-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera when it ported just long enough to drop off some passengers and pick up new ones. There, Sam Ballew, along with her sister Lynn Yarbro and husband Don, and fourteen other people from Kings Mountain and Gastonia boarded Grand Princess cruise ship for an adventure in Hawaii. After two days at sea, a 71-year old passenger had to be airlifted by helicopter off the ship to a hospital, where he later died. He was California's first COVID19 fatality. After testing everyone aboard, 19 crew members and two more passengers tested positive for Coronavirus. The ship was carrying a total of 2,422 guests and 1,111 crew members. "We were told to stay in our staterooms. If we needed towels or linens, the crew would bring them in a bag, drop them at the door, knock and run." "Before long, we were running out of food; it was

Fifteen Kings Mountain and Gastonia residents were quarantined at Fort Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia after disembarking the Grand Princess cruise ship in San Francisco. Ten are pictured here. Photo provided horrible. Every meal had a salad, and the lettuce was turning brown. Most meals were served cold and tasted horrible," said Ballew. "If it weren't for the roll and a pat of butter, I wouldn't have had anything to eat. The last

five days aboard ship, I felt like they were struggling to feed us." "Eventually, everyone with inside cabins was allowed to go up on deck for 30-minutes. It was hard because then we had to return

to our rooms,” Ballew said. “I’m amazed more people didn’t get sick because the air in the staterooms is filtered room-to-room. If you didn’t have a balcony, that’s all the air you got.” See SEAS, Page 2A

Social Security recipients not required to file simple tax return for stimulus funds According to the AARP, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on April 1 that Social Security recipients will not be required to file a simple tax return in order to receive stimulus payments under the CARES Act. The announcement reverses guidance issued on March 30 by the IRS that individuals who haven't filed federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019 would need to file a simple return to receive payment. Many Social Security recipients aren't required to file tax returns based on their income levels. "Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not to need take an action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. The IRS says it will use the information in benefit statements for Social Security recipients and railroad retirees, known as Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB1099, respectively, to generate $1,200 stimulus payments

for those who didn't file tax returns for 2018 or 2019. Payments will be issued as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as the beneficiary would normally receive their benefits. The vast majority of beneficiaries receive benefits by direct deposit. "AARP fought hard to ensure these payments would go to people who rely on Social Security and aren't required to file taxes,” said Bill Sweeney, AARP's senior vice president for government affairs. “It was just wrong to ask them to fill out extra paperwork, especially in the middle of this crisis, to get the benefits they need. We are very thankful the IRS reversed course and agreed to work with Social Security to get these checks out automatically without extra paperwork or red tape." How it works In response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act calls for stimulus payments to be sent to most Americans based on the adjusted gross income (AGI) reported in their 2019 federal tax returns. Absent a 2019 return — the deadline to file 2019 returns was extended to July 15 from April 15 — the IRS said it would look See STIMULUS, Page 9A


Goodnight with Dolly Dolly Parton, the book lady from the Imagination Library, announced on her Facebook page that she will begin reading stories for children, every Thursday night at 7 pm called “Goodnight with Dolly.” The next episode is Thursday, April 9, and is scheduled through June 4th. The events will take place through Facebook Live. The books have all been chosen carefully for content that is appropriate for the times. If you have children under five, you can sign them up to receive a free book every month, through Dolly Party’s Imagination Library.

THE GATEWAY TRAIL BECKONS YOU – A hundred-plus Jonquils planted by Kings Mountain Gateway Trail Ranger Cliff Laurich blossomed making a big beautiful welcome to Spring at the Gateway Trail. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset, but the restrooms, workout stations, and picnic tables are closed until the Coronavirus is no longer a threat. A sign at the trail reminds families to stay 6 feet away from other families because of the virus. The overflow parking lot across the street from the trailhead is now open.See more photos on page 6A. Photo by Shirley Brutko

Y offers emergency childcare for essential personnel We are in unprecedented times. We are confronting a new enemy that threatens our health and our peace of mind. We could despair, panic, or we can respond. The well-being of members, staff, volunteers, and our community is our priority, we are adjusting, as advised by public officials and responding to a growing need.

“Because of the evolving rules governing the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of school closures, and the growing demand on medical professionals, we are transitioning two of our YMCA facilities to support doctors, nurses, technicians, medical staff and essential employees by caring for their children during this crisis,” said YMCA CEO, Cameron Corder. The cost is $20/day/ child. “Y staff have been work-

ing diligently to prepare for how we respond to the needs in our community and serve our people. We want to make sure that these employees in our community don’t have to worry that their children are in a safe place, as they care for a growing number of our loved ones during this difficult time,” he said. As of Monday, April 6, the following Y locations are providing emergency childcare for essential workers See YMCA, Page 8A

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