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Volume 132 • Issue 23
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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KM woman charged Cleveland County with robbery and bomb Schools announce threats from 2005 graduation plans On May 27, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office charged Jodi Blan- JODI BLANTON ton, 49, of 104 Hillock Lane in Kings Mountain for a string of bank robberies that spanned from June to November 2005. Three banks were robbed during this time period: BB&T in Fallston, Alliance, and First National
Banks in Shelby. A handgun was brandished during the robberies but never fired. During two of these robberies bomb threats were used as a diversionary tactic just prior to the robberies occurring, moving law enforcement resources away from the areas of the bank. The bomb threats were for Harris Teeter in Shelby and Burns Middle School in Lawndale. The cases remained unsolved until investigators with the Sheriff’s Office
Cold Case unit began reviewing the cases. Through the examination of the original case files, evidence, re-interviews with witnesses, and discovery of new evidence, investigators were able to identify Blanton as the offender. Blanton was arrested on three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of false bomb reports public building and put in the Cleveland County Detention Center under a $50,000.00 secured bond.
Cleveland County Schools is working to create a personalized graduation experience for 2020 seniors. The Cleveland County Board of Education met in a called session last Wednesday morning and said more information, including school specific details, will be shared the week of June 1 by each individual high school. Kings Mountain High School’s commencement exercises will be held Saturday, June 13, at 9 a.m. in
John Gamble Stadium. ‘’While a non-traditional graduation is not what anyone expected when school started last August we still have the opportunity for everyone to make the most of what we have and take advantage of our opportunities,’’ said Greg Shull, Cleveland County Schools Director of Communications. This year’s hybrid graduation experience will include a hybrid model drive-through and walkthru options for parents and
family members wishing to share in the graduation celebration with the class of 2020. ‘’Due to the impact of COVID-10 and the Governor’s executive order, a traditional graduation ceremony is not allowed at this time,’’ Shull said. Shull added,’’ We have made every effort to accommodate our graduates and their families while ensuring everyone remains safe throughout the ceremony.’’ See GRADUATION, Page 8
New property annexed into the city of KM By Loretta Cozart For a third month, City of Kings Mountain held its monthly Council Meeting virtually on Facebook Live due to COVID-19. Updates to audio and video equipment improved the viewers’ experience, and the city intends to continue the live streaming of council meetings even after restrictions on the number of people who can gather are removed by the Governor. During a Public Hearing, city council discussed annexing two parcels owned by the City of Kings Mountain that are outside the city limits. The two lots are designated at “New Lot 1,” consisting
of .71 acres and “New Lot 2,” consisting of 17.11 acres, as shown in Plat Book 38 at Page 59 of the Cleveland County Registry. No one spoke against annexing the property. The lots were gifted to the city and adjoin the NTE property and are located near the new casino site. Council adjourned the Public Hearing and reconvened the Regular Meeting and unanimously approved extending the Corporate Limits of the City of Kings Mountain, NC to include these parcels. In other business, city council approved awarding the sale of an 11-foot strip of property to Thoroughbred
Partners, Ltd., because it had been inadvertently left off the sale of the “Senior Park” made to them last month. No upset bids were received by the city. Council scheduled a Public Hearing for June 11 at 6 pm to consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 Budget. A Public Hearing was also scheduled for June 30 during the City Council meeting to consider a request by Michael Bumgardner, owner, for amending the Kings Mountain Zoning Ordinance Application of Parcel #63398 for removal from the literal provision of the City of Kings Mountain’s Thoroughfare
Peaceful protest Body Thursday 3:30 found A ‘peaceful protest’ will be held Thursday, June 4 at 3:30 p.m. outside Cleveland County Schools dis- BLANTON trict office, 400 West Marion Street in Shelby, by interested citizens concerned with graduation plans announced by Cleveland County Schools. Danny Blanton, a member of the board of education, said many parents have contacted him because they “want to give our kids a traditional graduation and express our views and do it peacefully.” He said there are questions in the Governor’s Orders they would like to hear more about, including:
The Governor’s Executive Order ‘’Exceptions from Prohibition on Mass Gatherings’’ prohibits mass gatherings and reads” The prohibition of mass gatherings also does not apply to educational and government operations.” Executive Order 141 on May 20: Governor Roy Cooper eased restrictions during the Corona Virus pandemic on travel, business operations and mass gatherings. A May 1 communication from the State Board of Education said “decisions to conduct graduation ceremonies will remain at the discretion of local school boards and superintendents. Districts and schools are encouraged to engage with students and families on the best solution for their communities. Plans should include consultation with local and state public health officials and local public requirements and other questions related to health and safety.
in Moss Lake Friday Friday, May 29, around 10:55 am, the Kings Mountain Police Department received a call of a body found floating in Moss Lake. During the investigation, the subject was identified as Paul Edgar Reid, Jr. The investigation is ongoing at this time. Anyone with information about this case please contact the Kings Mountain Police Department at 704-734-0444 or Detective P. W. Alexander directly at 734-730-2119.
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City of KM Council meeting was held virtually on Facebook Live. Protection (TP) Overlay Section 6.16 Overlay Districts (3), which will remove the property from the Overlay
District Map – Case No. A-12-20. Economic Development and Planning Director Stuart
Gilbert brought two issues before council for consideration and discussion. The first See PROPERTY, Page 8
Zettie McClain, 100, votes in Presidential elections GROVER – Zettie Jane McClain, 100, is a familiar voter at the polls, a habit she will continue at the Presidential election in November. McClain has voted in essentially every election since she cast her vote for US President John F. Kennedy. “I may vote in person or by mail,’’ said McClain, as she celebrated her milestone birthday May 16 with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. The family spans four generations. A century ago the world was a very different place. The course of history and, in large part helped in 1920 to create the world we live in today. Zettie can relate many differences between living in “the good ole days’’ to life in America today. ‘’Families lived close by and children grew up playing with their cousins,’’ said Zettie. She added, “You could get more for your money. For instance, two or three bags of groceries instead of one bag for the same amount of money.” Fishing, gardening, adventure walks, watching religious programs, and reading the Bible keep her active.. Her favorite gospel song is ‘The Lord has kept me.’’ A life-long member of Shiloh AME Zin Church of Grover, she chose the Biblical instruction, “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” as her inspirational
ZETTIE McCLAIN Celebrates century of living motto for her long life. Zettie’s daughter, Virginia, said, “God gives each family a Queen for guidance and protection. The McClain family Queen is Zettie Jane McClain, born May 16, 1920 in Hickory Grove, SC.”
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