KM Herald 6-17-20

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Volume 132 • Issue 25

City approves $46 million-dollar budget loses revenue due to COVID-19 By Loretta Cozart In a special called meeting on June 11, Kings Mountain City Council approved a budget of $46,124,966 following a May 21 budget work session held to review changes to the 2020 – 2021 proposed budget due to a decrease in city revenue from COVID-19. City Manager Marilyn Sellers presented the budget saying, “This has been a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting the economy. The impact created an air of uncertainty and unpredictability of revenue

streams the city relies on. As a city, we are in a good financial position to weather the storm short term.” “We will monitor and amend the proposed budget accordingly as the situation warrants. We have proactively prepared for unforeseen emergencies, but we want to remain cautious and responsible,” she said. Before getting to the budget, Sellers introduced Assistant City Manager/ Energy Services, Nick Hendricks who explained the impact of COVID-19 on city utilities. “As of June 10, 232 utility accounts are See BUDGET, Page 7

Living. Elevated.

Kings Mountain, is rebranded By Loretta Cozart During the City of Kings Mountain special called meeting on Thursday, June 11, councilmembers approved a new logo and rebranding for the city. Shane Potteete and Brenda Daniels of Electricities, Inc. of North Carolina had presented their concept to city council and department heads prior to this meeting. “As you recall, we contracted with Electricities for economic development and along with that we asked

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

them, as a third-party, to look at our branding,” City Manager Marilyn Sellers said. “We asked them to look at the city as a whole and they came very highly recommended from other cities. Staff and I spent a whole day in Lexington looking at what they did for them, and it was excellent. I wanted Electricities and their staff to present in a public meeting their recommendation for branding” Until now, the city had several logos and the city seal that were created by various departments as needs arose over time. The purpose of the new branding is to unify that branding. The new tagine for the See REBRANDED, Page 7

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, things look a little different at the Kings Mountain Family YMCA’s Summer Camp this year. Summer Camps are educational, fun and enriching to all children and focus on improving the health and well-being of all campers through an intentional focus on three areas of well-being that children need: Relationships, Achievement and Belonging. The Y offers summer camps at its facility on Cleveland Avenue in Kings Mountain. See more photos on page 11. Photo provided

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KM July 4th Festivities modified this year

Red, White & Boom Fireworks show The City of Kings Mountain has made plans for Red White & Boom and invites citizens to attend their Revolutionary 4th Fireworks Show. Due to safety precautions, the City of Kings Mountain’s 4th of July festivities will be modified this year. Many events across the nation have been canceled because of health and safety/security concerns with large crowds and gathering size limitations, but the Kings Mountain’s Mayor and City Council know that many of these festivals and events are traditions that families look forward to every year. “So, we had two choices with ‘Red, White & Boom’, said City Manager Marilyn Sellers. “We could cancel it all together or modify it to comply with current guidelines to make it safer.” “This is such a big event and we did not want to cancel it and let people down who look forward to Red, White & Boom every year,” said City of Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler. “We have made major changes to Red, White & Boom so that we can present the fireworks show on July 4th,” added Mayor Neisler. The City of Kings Mountain had to eliminate the live entertainment, activities and food vendors that drew crowds to a central location. The fireworks show also had to be relocated to a different area. It will be held in the downtown

Kings Mountain area, with a wide viewing radius that will extend far beyond downtown. The viewing area map will be released next week. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:45 pm. “While there will not be activities or bands this year,” said Mayor Neisler, “we encourage you to come early and visit our Revolutionary Downtown Kings Mountain.” Downtown restaurants and businesses are excited to welcome folks back to downtown. “Our businesses in Kings Mountain have had a rough time during the COVID shutdown,” said Main Street Coordinator Susan Matheson. “We hope you will help them bounce back by shopping, dining, and patronizing these small businesses,” Matheson added. Prior to the fireworks show, Kings Mountain’s Class of 2020 graduates will be recognized in a virtual video streamed live on the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Facebook page. The graduation tribute video will be posted so that graduates’ families can share the link to it with friends and family across the country. “We are proud of our graduates and look forward to celebrating

their accomplishments in a unique and festive way,” said Special Events Director, Christy Conner. If you want to see the fireworks, here’s what you can expect: Social distancing will be required, and it will be up to you to keep enough distance between yourself and other people. The tribute to Kings Mountain’s Class of 2020 will be a video and you can watch it live on the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Event’s page beginning at approximately 9:00 pm on July 4th. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:45 pm. You can view the fireworks in person or online. The fireworks show will also be streamed live online immediately following the tribute to our Class of 2020 for people to see who cannot see them in person. There will not be one central area where Red, White & Boom will be held. There will not be activities, entertainment, food vendors or city services. You will be able to see the fireworks from multiple areas near downtown Kings Mountain. We will release a map of areas that offer good viewing soon. Then, it will be up to you to decide where you are going to park and where you are going to see the fireworks. See FIREWORKS, Page 7

KMHS Class of 2020 learned to expect the unexpected By Loretta Cozart Commencement exercises for 286 seniors in the Kings Mountain High School Class of 2020 were held Saturday, June 13 from 8:30 am -1 pm at John Gamble Stadium. The graduation ceremony was pre-recorded and made available on Kings Mountain High School’s Facebook page. Student body President, Lexi Wright spoke of the school year saying, “We may not have had our senior prom, grad parties, yearbook signing, senior breakfast, or awards banquets, but we still got to experience so many amazing things as seniors. From Just Dance in middle school to The Renegade in high school, from beating Shelby for the first time in 10 years and running to ring the iconic bell, we painted our cars on the first day of school with the phrase “No Cap.” Little could we know there would be no gown either. We got to experience Friday night football on an amazing turf field, and we cheered on the Mounties

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in seven overtimes against Charlotte Catholic.” “We expected to get so much out of this year and learned a big lesson, Expect the Unexpected. We were born during the year of 9/11 and graduated during a pandemic. We are well equipped for our future,” she concluded. Jesse Hughes, Class President, Class of 2020, recognized honored academic graduates. He then read the names of 87 NC Academic Scholars from the class and noted they would each receive a gold medal. Following those, he read the names of fifty students who received stoles for having the highest GPAs. Valedictorian Rexen Venevongsoth addressed the class and reminded seniors, “Remember the good memories that made our high school experience a blast. Plenty of things made this year better than previous years, we had an extra-long Spring Break, most of us didn’t have to wake up as early, and none of us had to worry about those important problems that come with the end of senior year,

Jessie Hughes, KMHS Class Of 2020 President and Prinicipal Julie Rikard. See more photos page 6 and 8. Photo by Gary Smart such as not having a prom date.” He joked that people don’t know how to pronounce his last name or that one of his favorite books is, The Little Engine That Could, that teaches persistence. “The best way to get what you want is keep

trying. Freshman year, I asked my mom and dad if I could hang out with my friends. They said no. But I kept asking, and three years later I got to go to the Waffle House for the first time with my friends. Friends are See 2020, Page 6

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