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The young ladies of the Dixie Girls Softball teams braved a very cold Saturday, March 18 morning as they filed out onto C.V. Thornburg Field at Ballard Park for the opening day ceremony of the 2023 DGSB season. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Dixie Girls Softball have Opening Day ceremonies Saturday, March 18

In spite of the cold weather all the young ladies came ready and excited to play ball!


Although it was a cold March day last Saturday, the sky was somewhat blue with a few clouds and everyone was excited to see the start of another year of Dixie Girls Softball.
C.V. Thornburg Field at Ballard Park saw 146 girls of all ages and sizes happily come out to welcome another year of amazing youth softball. Along with them were their equally excited and supportive parents, grandparents and friends and family who always come out to watch as another year gets under way.
DGSB President Daniel McBride and many board members were on hand to start things out with the line-up of the girls and to hear opening day comments, a prayer, and the National Anthem get things going.
Pastor Will Upchurch prayed God’s blessing on those in attendance and asked Him to watch over everyone and let this games be played in a spirit of good sportsmanship and fun, then McKenzie Auten sang the National Anthem. McBride asked the young ladies to give their parents, grandparents and guardians a big hand, which they did happily.
“We are all here,” noted McBride, “to support the girls!”
He went on to welcome the representative’s of the city, Mayor Pro-Tem and Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett and Councilman Jon Abernethy. He also welcomed and thanked those on the DGSB Board; Matthew Anthony (VP); Sandy Cunningham (Commissioner); and Connie Metwally (treasurer); as well as Anjelica Cunningham, Wes and Dorothy Brown, Nicole Walker, Nicole Ogle, Natalie Poston, Pam McSwain, Mark Watson, and Michael Philbeck.
Mr. McBride then went on to call all the girls and their coaches onto the field by their team, starting with the “T-ball” division, the Sweetees, then the Coach Pitch division, the Darlings, followed by the 10U division, the Angels; the 12U division, the Ponytails; and the 15U division, the Belles-Debs.
Daniel and Mark Watson thanked their supporters and businesses, asking folks to in turn support these businesses whose names appear on the shirts of the young ladies playing Dixie Girls Softball.
Mrs. Puett spoke and said, “Cherryville is a ball town, whether baseball or softball. everywhere I go when I travel for the city, people know that’s who we are and what we support. Without the parents, families, and coaches, all of this would not be possible. Thank you so much for your support. Without you, none of this would be possible. We are proud of you all.”
McBride then recognized candy sales prize winners. The three young ladies were Sadie Patterson; Kaitlyn Coleman; and Gracie Canipe. Two young ladies who also received great prizes were Allison Gozalkowski and Brooklyn Cunningham.
The first pitch was thrown out by DGSB’s own World Series Champion Head Coach, Matthew Anthony, who pitched to his daughter, Faith.
“Faith played here for years,” said Daniel, adding, “And she is now giving back by umpiring and coaching.”
There are three Sweetees teams, sponsored by the following businesses: Rustic Roots Salon & Spa; Ferguson Ace Hardware; and Carolina Federal Credit Union; three Darlings teams, sponsored by the following businesses: Shamrock Accounting; Phil’s Starter; and the Knights of Pythias; two Angels teams, sponsored by the following businesses: Georgia Beas Boutique, and Carpenter – Porter Funeral Home; two Ponytails’ teams, sponsored by: Long Creek Presbyterian Church and Charming Travels, LLC; and two Belles-Debs teams, sponsored by Shamrock Sound Design and Turner Animal Clinic.
McBride noted the leagues’ regular season started Monday, March 20, adding there are no games during the Easter Break (Monday, April 10 through Friday, April 14).
“The mid-season tournament will be Saturday, April 22 and the end-of-season tournament will be held on Saturday, June 3. The District Two Tournament is on Friday, June 16 through Sunday, June 18, and will be hosted by Bessemer City. The North Carolina State Tournament will be from July 7 to July 12,” he said.
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The finish line for the 2022 Cherryville Family Y’s 5K race was at the side of the First Presbyterian Church. (Eagle/CF Media file photo by Michael E. Powell)

Cherryville’s Family YMCA looking for 5K Walk/Run sign-ups

The famed Cherry Blossom 5K and
Bubble Run is scheduled for April 29


Officials, “Y” members and staff, and anyone who has ever run the now-famous Cherry Blossom 5K race and Bubble Run want everyone interested in running for a great cause to know… it is almost time for the big race to take place!
According to information received from Sarah Shriver, Marketing and Communications Director for the Gaston County Family YMCA, “The Cherryville Family YMCA is passionate about health and wellness and what being part of the community can do for your physical and mental health. We believe that everyone in the community should have a ‘Y’ experience through ‘Y’ membership and programs no matter their ability to pay.”
Shriver continued, “Cherry Blossom 5K sponsorships support ‘Y’ programs and services in the Cherryville community, including summer day camp and afterschool. In 2023, the YMCA is working to raise funds to strengthen the foundation of community by providing access to ‘Y’ programs and services, creating access to much needed financial assistance, and collaborating to provide access to programs while sustaining the YMCA throughout Gaston County. With your help we can better support our community.”
Shriver said this year’s race is presented by Piedmont Lithium, adding, “It’s spring and a great time to get outside. We are excited to get back together and challenge you to run or walk through the rolling hills of Cherryville!”
As it has always done in the past, this year’s race will begin and end at the First Presbyterian Church of Cherryville, which
 is located on the corner of Academy and Mountain Streets (107 W. Academy St.), before heading northeast towards Cherryville Elementary School. Shriver said they runners “…will celebrate together at the finish line with music and snacks!”
The race is slated to be held on Saturday, April 29, starting with the 9 a.m. 1-Mile Bubble Run, followed by the 10 a.m. 5K Walk/Run. It goes without saying this is a dog-friendly event, noted Ms. Shriver, who added, “Dogs are welcome! Bring your pup and let them get in on the exercise and fun! Dogs must be kept on a fixed-length leash. The first dog to cross the finish line will receive a Top Dog tag!”
There is a fee associated with the race which is as follows: 5K participants – $25; and Bubble Run participants – $15. All must register by April 14 to get their race tee-shirt, said Shriver.
As for the 1-Mile Bubble Run, Shriver noted, “We are adding some BUBBLE-RIFIC fun to the 1-mile race! Come out with your kiddos – both young and young at heart – and run through bubbles at the beginning and end of the race! Bring some bubbles with you! We would love to add as many bubbles and smiles to the race as possible.”
So far as awards are concerned, Shriver noted trophies will be given to the top male and female runners and medals will be given to the top three males and females ages 9 and under,
and in 10-year increments, for all registered for a timed race. First dog to finish gets a “Top Dog” tag.
All Cherryville Family YMCA proceeds from the race will benefit the Cherryville Family YMCA Annual Giving Campaign which provides access to ‘Y’ programs and services for individuals in need of financial assistance as well as sustaining the ‘Y’ in Cherryville. Shriver said the ‘Y’ is passionate about community and what being part of a small group can do for your spirit.
To learn more about the YMCA’s Cherry Blossom 5K and Bubble Run sponsorship opportunities, or for more information or to sponsor, please contact Molly D’Avria at
The Cherryville Family YMCA, located at 215 N. Mountain St., in Cherryville, is a non-profit organization committed to helping you live a balanced, healthy life in spirit, mind and body. The new 5,700 square foot Mountain Street location offers accessible multi-space parking lot, spacious restrooms and showers, community coffee area and attached group exercise space to bring the YMCA mission to life.
You can call them at (704) 445-9622.
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Tony and Janine Sas, owners and operators of Scooter’s Coffee Dive-Thru, stand in front of their business, having just cut the ribbon on their business, one of Cherryville’s newest, located at 2507 Lincolnton Hwy., in front of Walmart. With them are a host of Cherryville City and Gaston County officials, as well as Scooter’s employees and well-wishers. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Scooter’s Coffee Drive-Thru opens in Cherryville

New store celebrates with Grand Opening, Friday, March 3


Transplanted New Yorkers Tony and Janine Sas had a ribbon cutting and Grand Opening event last Friday, March 3, as their Scooter’s Coffee, franchise hosted Cherryville city officials and Gaston County officials as well.
Scooter’s, best known (as per a media release) for “…its amazingly fast drive-thru, specialty coffee, and baked-from-scratch pastries,” added a new location at 2507 Lincolnton Hwy., in Cherryville, in front of the Walmart. By way of celebrating the event, the drive-thru location allowed customers to get half off any drink when they pay with the Scooter’s Coffee mobile app!
Tony and Janine Sas noted the drive-thru location is the first unit in N.C., adding they are “very excited” about being in Cherryville and in N.C.
Sas, a retired NYC firefighter, and his wife, Janine, both had words of high praise for the folks of Cherryville and the state, saying how friendly everyone is, always waving and saying, “Hi!”
The Sas’s continued, “We chose Scooter’s because of their core values of Integrity, Love, Humility and Courage. We love the small town feel of Cherryville and the people have been very receptive to our presence.”
Cherryville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman, Pete Craft, welcomed the couple to Cherryville, saying, “We are always glad to see new businesses open in Cherryville.” He added the Chamber is here to support Scooter’s in any way, adding, “Your business is very important to us.”
Mayor H.L. Beam, III, agreed, adding, “Welcome Tony and Janine, and let me say this: I am very glad to know you all have your amazing coffee in the K-cups form, which I use all the time!”
Beam thanked the Sas’s for choosing Cherryville, bringing their unique product and business model to the town. He also thanked the various city staff members, city officials and city council members  present at the ribbon cutting, as well as all of the Gaston County officials who turned out for the event as well.
Tony said, “We’re overwhelmed! We can’t thank you enough for making us feel at home.” The couple moved to N.C. seven and a half months ago, he said.
Tony and Janine also noted they want to be more involved in the community, and are eager to do so.
The company currently has about 20 employees, he said.
“Our manager is Max Dove, and Noah Loveday and Sydney Sweetman are our shift leads.”
Scooter’s Coffee has been serving world-class coffee for more than 20 years and has over 500 locations in 28 states across the nation. Its signature drink is the Caramelicious, and the menu features an array of specialty espresso beverages, single-origin coffee, fruit smoothies, Red Bull Infusions, Cold Brew, baked-from-scratch pastries, and savory breakfast options.
For more information, Mr. Sas said to visit,,, or call 1 (877) 494-7004. Also, you can share your favorite moments by tagging @scooterscoffee using the hashtag
Scooter’s Coffee was founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska.
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Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford and Assistant Chief Colby Heffner and all those CFD crew members who attended or received awards at the Tuesday, Feb. 21 award ceremony at Cherryville’s First Baptist Church. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville Fire Department Awards ceremony held Feb. 21 at First Baptist Church

City Manager Brian Dalton: “The Cherryville Fire Dept. always goes above and beyond what is asked of them by the City of Cherryville and the community.”


The Cherryville Fire Department was pleased to host their Award Ceremony once again after a hiatus and a virtual ceremony one year. Said Chief Jason Wofford, at the Tuesday, Feb. 21 event held at Cherryville’s First Baptist Church.
“I believe we skipped a year there one year and had a virtual ceremony also, both as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Wofford.
The chief was one of many who welcomed firefighters and their families and friends to the 2022 Award Ceremony, held this year in First Baptist’s sanctuary. First Baptist pastor and CFD fire chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Vince Hefner opened the ceremony with a word of prayer and Chief Wofford, after his welcome, asked Cherryville City Manager Brian Dalton to speak.
“The Cherryville Fire Department always goes above and beyond what is asked of them by the City of Cherryville and the community,” noted Mr. Dalton. “We can always depend on them, the whole department, and on any organization they belong to.”
Assistant Chief Colby Heffner gave a department update by noting, “The year 2022 was a successful year for the Cherryville Fire Department. We totaled out the year with 1,174 calls for service, which was up 218 calls from the previous year. We will likely see this number continue to climb as our city experiences exponential growth. In the year 2022, our members logged 6,159 training hours and multiple members received new certifications and education which are as follows: Driver/Engineer Doyle Brown completed his NC Firefighter Certification; Assistant Chief Heffner obtained an NC Fire Inspector Level III Certification; Captain Bowman and Assistant Chief Heffner both received an NC Pyrotechnics Operator certification; and Captain Bowman completed his Associates degree from Cleveland Community College.”

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Cherryville City Council members listen to comments from individual speakers at last Monday night’s, Feb. 13 regular council session held at the Community Building. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville Historical Museum primary topic of last Monday’s council meeting

CFD; CPD chiefs give End-of-Year (2022)
reports for their respective departments


While there weren’t all that many line-item topics on the Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 Council agenda, the biggest and most passionately discussed topic of the meeting – and the one that wasn’t listed on the agenda – was that of the Cherryville Historical Museum and its proposed sale by the City of Cherryville.
Pastor G. Scott Homesley of St. John’s Lutheran Church opened the meeting with a prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. After the council approved the past agendas, Mayor H.L. Beam, III commented the council would “…dispense with the Mayor’s Comments due to the number of people we have signed up to speak.”
Fire Chief Jason Wofford gave the 2022 End-of-Year Report to council, noting their total calls of 1,174 was “…up 200 (calls) from the previous year.” Chief Wofford also said, referencing a pie chart on the report, that their largest volume of calls was from Rescue & Emergency Management (46.42 percent), followed by Service Calls (36.37 percent).
“Fire losses amounted to $101,000,” Chief Wofford said. “Our off-duty response to calls were as follows: Assistant Chief Colby Heffner with 59 calls; myself with 36 calls; Trent Rayfield with 24 calls; Nathan Bowman with 23 calls; Jason Ledbetter with 8; Doyle Brown with 6; Kaylee drum with 3; and Chad Duvall with 2.”
Chief Wofford said the department is “slowly recovering from our COVID years.” He also noted the average time for them to get to a call was four minutes and 57 seconds with an average turnout time of one minute, 40 seconds. Total training hours, according to Chief Wofford, were 6,159.1, and certifications received by full-time personnel were by Doyle Brown, who received his NC Firefighter Certification; Colby Heffner, who received his Fire Inspector III, making him, the chief said, “…a full Fire Marshal.”
Chief Wofford continued, “Assistant Chief Colby Heffner and Capt. Nathan Bowman also received their NC Pyrotechnics Operator Certifications, and it is under their licenses we are able to do our fireworks for our July 4th celebration.”
Additionally, the CFD has completed 200 inspections.
Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett congratulated Chief Wofford and his department on a job well done.
Cherryville’s new Chief of Police, Brandon Hunsucker, took the podium and gave the Police Department’s 2022 End-of-Year Report starting with an organizational chart.
Chief   Hunsucker   told council they had, in 2022, a total of 19,945 calls, most of which were security checks on businesses and residences (10,838).
“This was 1,300 more calls than we fielded in 2021,” he added. He noted their calls for fraud and forgeries had decreased and stood at 36 for 2022, with one call regarding a murder. Drug crimes, however, were the highest of the total 816 calls, with 130 reports logged. Chief Hunsucker acknowledged the number of arrests was down from 2021 (831) to just 429 because of the department being down two officers.
“I am pleased to report the total amount of drugs we have taken off the streets of Cherryville in 2022 amounts to 1,052.13 grams (37.5 ounces), with a street value of $108,670,” he said.
It was also noted to council the CPD was awarded a Bryne Discretionary Grant of $114,000 this past year through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant, as Chief Hunsucker stated, “…will be used to repair the roof of the police department, along with some plumbing issues, at no cost to the city.” The Chief also said his telecommunications people were required by state standards to be state certified this year.
“This required all of them to take a weeklong training course and pass a state exam.”
Mayor Beam said of Chief Hunsucker, “He came in and started on a Monday and had a big drug bust. We are so proud to have you here.”
Councilman Malcolm Parker told Chief Hunsucker, “We are glad to have you.”
Regarding that drug bust on his first week in Cherryville, Chief Hunsucker said, “We hope to see this trend continue.”
Finance Director Dixie Wall went over 2022-2023 budget amendments changes, all of which the council voted on and approved unanimously.
Planning and Zoning Director Alex Blackburn spoke with council about property relinquishment of a total of 137.15 acres from the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, or ETJ, to Gaston County for Piedmont Lithium on March 13, 2023. Mr. Blackburn said the listed property owners have all agreed and are in favor of said relinquishment.
In the Citizen’s to be Heard section of the council meeting, a number of Cherryville citizens spoke about the Cherryville Historical Museum, voicing their concerns about the possible sale of the building and what might happen to the city’s museum.
Mayor Beam said before things got started, “We are not here tonight to make a decision on the Cherryville Historical Museum. If we do have multiple upset bids on the building it may be March or even April before any decision is made.”
Representing Vicki Spurling Realty, Christy Ford read a letter to the council in which she referenced what has been spent so far on the Main Street Project, adding that any renovations are preservation-minded, noting how this makes new businesses excited about coming to Cherryville. She noted how a couple of clients have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to help with the preservation of not only the museum but other historic buildings on Main Street. She also noted how one of their clients has offered to the Cherryville Historic Society a building at 203 N. Mountain St., in which to showcase the museum’s artifacts.
Mr. Tom Moss complimented the city on the beautiful work done on the downtown but noted that now it was time to work on the rest of the city, most specifically the water lines
In response to this, City Manager Brian Dalton said the engineering is completed for a new water line on Hwy. 150 heading west from Mountain Street.
“This project should be put out for bid for a new water line in the next few months,” he added.
Former Cherryville Mayor Wade Stroupe commented that there are indeed a number of issues going on with the museum, but also encouraged everyone interested in the CHM to “get interested in that history.”
He continued, talking about what might be the best economic use of the property itself, asking, “…would it be better to have a restaurant that is open six or seven days a week generating income rather than a museum that is only open for four hours on Saturday. I encourage the council to make the best decision possible for the building based on all of the information available to them.”
Mike Dellinger spoke next, saying he was “…seeing too many eggs in one basket” regarding what is to be done with the CHM building and the exhibits. He referenced not enough security for the museum as well them needing a bigger building possibly.
He told council he was seeing “…too much stuff going (possible buyer Mr. Patrick O’Leary’s) way,” adding, “There has got to be a break somewhere! I mean, why this building? That’s just too much power in one hand.”
He concluded, after a bit more discussion, that, “This one building (the CHM) needs to be kept sacred, in my opinion any way. There’s just a lot of uncertainty about it.”
Cherryville Historic Association President Al Putnam brought a few exhibits from the museum for the council to see a bit of what is there. He noted to council the “building IS the museum”, adding, “The artifacts are part of the building and can’t be removed or taken.”
He talked about the names carved into the walls of the old jail, the museum’s five functions it had when it was built in 1911 (fire and police departments; jail; court room, and such), and basically gave a history of the building to let council know just some of the reasons why it doesn’t need to be bought and turned into a business or something other than what it currently is today.
Mike Jones, told council he is “…deeply concerned with the direction our town is going. Cherryville is deeply ingrained with tradition. The museum is one of the last original buildings in the city.”
Mr. Jones talked about his concerns with the current CHM society, who he termed “a rogue group who have taken over the museum”, adding how “good people have resigned because of the turmoil” in the ranks of the museum and its volunteers and members.
Jones said he wants to see the city “retain the building and get some authority over the museum.”
The mayor thanked everyone for speaking. City Manager Dalton then gave the presentation on the city’s finances then addressed the city’s paving issues which are scheduled to start soon.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
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CHS Ironmen head basketball coach Scott Harrill with his family, wife, Teresa, and sons, Lane (left) and Trevor (right).

Basketball coach Scott Harrill retires from coaching at CHS

Wants to, after 24 years coaching and 400-plus wins, “…take a couple of years off” to “see what the future holds…”


When you think of Cherryville Ironmen basketball these past 24 years, you automatically think of Coach Scott Harrill.
Seeing his tall, lanky frame pacing back and forth on the Nixon Gym sidelines, yelling directions, encouragement, and yes, sometimes fussing at either them or the refs, but always doing so as civilly as possible. No slinging of chairs; no throwing towels; and absolutely no foul language. That WOULD NOT BE Scott Harrill. Not the Scott Harrill we all know. Not by a long shot.
On Friday, Feb. 3, Coach Harrill coached his last regular season home game as the Ironmen played, and defeated, the Highland Tech Rams. He will officially retire from his coaching position at the 2023 season’s end. At half-time, and after the Senior Night celebration, Coach Harrill was met on the Bud Black Court, where a host of family, friends, and current and former players and coaches joined him to celebrate a life lived well on and off the court. He was presented with a silver trophy and a banner signed by all his current and former players and coaches, as well as family and friends.
In his storied career Coach Harrill became the winningest Gaston County basketball coach (with 412 wins), been a father to not only two great young men, Trevor and Lane Harrill, but also a father figure and mentor to many young men. He is the CHS Athletic Director (10 years and counting), and is always most proud when he is talking about his dear wife, Teresa and his two boys.
When asked how it feels to be retiring, Coach Harrill said, “It is bittersweet. I think that’s the best word for it. I’m excited about the future and I’m excited about having more time to spend with my family. Also, I want to take a couple of years off and see what the future holds.”
He also noted, “First let me thank my Lord and Savior for all the blessings he gives me in life. Second, (to) my wife Teresa; she completes me and keeps me grounded. My kids, Trevor and Lane, who have had to do without dad sometimes because I coach, but always loved being in the gym with me. My parents, Howard and Marie Harrill, who never miss games over all the years of playing and coaching. My sister, aunts and uncles, and all my friends and family. (To) Coach Antonio Griggs a young and great basketball mind, that I look forward to what the future holds for him. My fellow coaches Bud Black and Dennis Tate who have been with me in all the years.  My former players, who are like family to me! They are what this is all about – developing the relationships along the way that last a lifetime.  My friend and lifelong manager, the true Ironman, Lee Roy Montgomery, and his running mate, Will Gates. Let us never forget Terry Usery who kept the clock for many years until he passed away, and now Michael Philbeck, who makes the games run smoothly. To the many booster club workers and volunteers. The community of Cherryville and parents. Thank you for allowing me to Coach. And to the many principals along the way and the student section for the support, thank you all!”
Coach Harrill noted it’s all about the relationships that are built through the blood, sweat, and tears that happen every day on the court.
“That they know I truly cared and (they) saw me live out my faith both on and off the court. That they learn how to love their family and have their family involved in their work with them.  That they also wanted a relationship with Christ and let him be the coach for life!” he added.
His wife, Teresa, said, “I am so proud and honored to be Scott’s wife! I have enjoyed watching Scott coach all these years! Being a coach’s wife is rough sometimes but it’s also pretty neat, seeing your husband do what he loves and seeing the lives he touches each year of coaching.”
Son Trevor said, “Dad used to always tell me, ‘Never be late and always be five minutes early.’ He also always wanted me, Lane, and the rest of the Cherryville basketball family to always know that it was more than just playing basketball; he was teaching us life lessons.”
Lane said, “Everything he used to preach to all of his players since I was a little kid was, ‘Ironmen family is like his own family.’ He always told me to ‘…put in the work and the results will come to light.’ My dad was a one-of-a-kind mentor for the Cherryville community and I saw how many lives he impacted over his coaching career at CHS. Everyone that he coached to this day is family and always will be!”
Scott’s mom and dad, Marie and Howard Harrill, said of their son, “We are very proud of Scott and the career he’s had in coaching. His goal is to teach kids about life and he’s been privileged to do that through the game of basketball. He has taught them to hang in there when things get tough, to depend on and support family, and to not walk away from your responsibilities. We’ve watched Scott play or coach ball for the past 47 years! It has been a joy. We don’t know what his next adventure will be but we plan to be there supporting him and cheering him on!” Howard also noted they have been to “99 percent of all of his (Scott’s) games. He’s a really good coach and a great son. We love him so much!”
From Assistant coach and mentor, Dr. Bud Black: “Scott Harrill is the greatest high school basketball coach in Gaston County history. His record of 412 wins far exceeds any other high school basketball coach in Gaston County. However, coach Harrill is more than just a coach. He is a Christian who puts Christ and his family before other things in life. He follows this strong faith by sharing with the boys he coaches the importance of succeeding in the classroom and life. Throughout his career, he has always stressed being a good teammate and created a family atmosphere for the players and assistant coaches. May you enjoy your retirement from coaching high school basketball!”
From Asst. Coach Dennis Tate: “It has truly been a blessing to have worked with Scott every year that he has served as head coach. He is, and has been, God sent to oversee our basketball program and the thing I like most is his dedication to see the players grow and succeed in life and (be) productive in society.  Also, I’d like to thank Scott’s wife Teresa for allowing CHS to keep him away from home for so many years and (for being) there to support him along the way. Truly, he will be missed tremendously.”
Assistant coach Antonia Griggs said, “Congratulations, Coach Scott Harrill! Where do I start? It’s been my honor and privilege to play for Coach Harrill. I know I drove him crazy at times as a player. As an assistant on his staff for so many years, I’ve seen firsthand all the hard work he put into our basketball program. He has been everything a parent wants in a mentor and coach for their son! Much respect on a Hall of Fame career and for doing it with high morals and pure class the entire time. I owe Coach Harrill a lot. He was my coach, my friend and mentor. He’s the reason I teach and coach. I will forever value all he taught me. Thank you for the love, passion, and unmeasurable time you have devoted to Ironmen basketball. Thank you for being an amazing coach and example to us all. Special thanks to Teresa for allowing him to be in all of his players lives even after our playing careers ended. Happy retirement! You will be missed! Once an Ironmen…Always an Ironmen! We love you Coach!”
And lastly, from his friend and CHS Principal Shawn Hubers, “I have been blessed in my two years at Cherryville High School to work with Coach Harrill. I have seen first-hand his dedication to his basketball team and to our entire athletic program. Coach Harrill creates a family atmosphere within his program which was on full display last Friday night. He loves his players, past and present, and he makes meaningful investments in their lives. He will be greatly missed as our basketball coach, but he has built a strong foundation for our program moving forward.”
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Hubert and Pam McGinnis take a minute out of a very business morning to smile for the camera. They are pretty excited to tell everyone about their 50 years in the furniture business in downtown Cherryville and their upcoming celebration of that half-century event. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville’s McGinnis Furniture celebrates 50 years in business

Store opened on Oct. 18, 1973, and hasn’t looked back since…


Hubert K. McGinnis, Jr. said his family has been in the furniture business “for over 100 years”, so it’s no surprise, and not an understatement, to say it is in his blood. So much so, that now he can say he has a half-century at the helm of his own business in Cherryville.
Hubert noted his mother and father helped with the funds to purchase the building and his sister, Freida, owned half of it.
Of his sister, Hubert said she came to work later (around 1978 or 1980). Hubert said she attended Lenoir-Rhyne and later taught PE and Health at Crest High School.
Hubert and wife, Pam, married in 1981 and since then, she too has been an integral part in making McGinnis Furniture a literal household name in downtown Cherryville. They have two children, Sam and Bess, they said.
The McGinnis’ business – a downtown staple – is located at 303 East Main Street. It has a large showroom replete with just about everything a person or a family would need to furnish any size home or business office, and then some. The McGinnises pride themselves on having some of the poshest, most modern sofas, chairs, tables, beds, desks, bookcases, and related ephemera, all within easy reach and viewing at their large building perched perfectly right on Main Street, and all – they add, for sale at a good price.
As for how things started out for him, Hubert noted, “My dad (Hubert K. McGinnis, Sr.) and his family were in the furniture business in Kings Mountain, and had been since the '30s.”
Hubert, taking a bit of time out from a busy morning selling, continued, “I came here and opened this store in October of 1973 (Oct. 18, to be exact). Dan Huffstetler, who then worked for us at the Kings Mountain store, came here with me and worked here for 14 years, until he retired. He was my first store manager at the building next door,” said McGinnis. “We built this 9,000 square foot new showroom in 1987 and connected it to the older building,” he added.
In addition to themselves, Hubert and Pam said they have two part-time employees helping them out, one of whom, Crystal Thornburg, was working in the office during the interview. She said she came on board in 2019 and works part-time.
Hubert noted the past two years were the best two years they have recently had thanks to the government “putting all that (stimulus) money out.” He said they had some supply chain issues during the pandemic, and overall, the state’s furniture and textiles business has been hit a bit hard.
“North Carolina was a furniture and textiles-based industry, along with being an agriculture economy as well. When we started we had appliances and televisions, but we had to stop carrying those as we couldn’t compete with the big-box stores that started carrying them,” he said.
Pam said they have a number of events planned for their celebrating 50 years in the business, all culminating in the October 2023 wrap-up.
“For this Valentine’s Day, we will have cookies for our customers as well as a drawing, then in March, we’ll have a scratch-off for St. Patrick’s Day,” she said.
“As we said, we’re doing an event every month promoting our 50 years in business, right up until our anniversary date. We will have something big that day.”
McGinnis Furniture has a website,, and they can be reached at (704) 435-5436. They also, said Pam, have a Facebook and an Instagram page as well.
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Representatives from John Chavis Middle School (Principal Matt Rikard) and Cherryville High School (Principal Shawn Hubers) participated in last year’s School Choice Fair at the Gastonia Conference Center to promote the Public Service Academy, which gives students an opportunity to explore careers in education/teaching, criminal justice, public safety, emergency medical care, and government. (photos by Sean Corcoran/Gaston County Schools)

School Choice Fair is Feb. 3-4, at Gastonia Conference Center

Public Service Academy at John Chavis Middle and Cherryville High among the 22 programs featured

Chief Communications Officer
Gaston County Schools

The Gaston County Schools’ 2023 School Choice Fair will be held at the Gastonia Conference Center on Friday, Feb. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
The event is an opportunity for students and parents to drop in and learn about the 22-school choice/magnet school programs that are available in Gaston County Schools.  Students and parents have the opportunity to visit the individual school booths, meet the principal and other school representatives, and get information about each choice program. The School Choice Fair is free and open to the public; anyone interested in learning about the programs is encouraged to attend.
Among the 22 schools to be featured at the School Choice Fair are Cherryville High School and John Chavis Middle School. Both the middle school and high school in Cherryville are home to the Gaston County Schools Public Service Academy, which gives students an opportunity to explore promising careers in education/teaching, criminal justice, public safety, emergency medical care, and government.
Students in the Public Service Academy learn about what it takes to become a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), lawyer/judge, teacher, and leader in municipal/county government. Field trips, guest speakers, community service opportunities, and the teacher cadet program give students an up-close and hands-on approach to finding out what it means to serve the public.
Each year, up to 50 sixth graders and 50 ninth graders (from outside the Cherryville attendance area) are admitted to participate in the Public Service Academy. Students who live inside the Cherryville attendance area can already take advantage of the Academy, and the program is designed to make an easy transition for students going from John Chavis Middle to Cherryville High School.
Below is a list of all school choice/magnet school programs that are offered in Gaston County Schools:

■ Elementary Schools
Gifted and Talented Academy @ Pleasant Ridge Elementary School
Hawks Nest STEAM Academy
Leadership Academy @ Costner Elementary School
Performing Arts Academy @ Pinewood Elementary School (new)

■ Middle Schools
Career Academy @ Southwest Middle School
Career Academy @ York Chester Middle School
Gifted and Talented Academy @ Cramerton Middle School
Leadership Academy @ W.C. Friday Middle School
Public Service Academy @ John Chavis Middle School
STEAM Academy @ Stanley Middle School
Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy @ Bessemer City Middle School

■ High Schools
Career Academy @ Hunter Huss High School
Collegiate Prep Academy @ Forestview High School
Gaston Early College High School
Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences
Health Sciences Academy @ East Gaston High School
Highland School of Technology
iAccelerate Academy @ Ashbrook High School
Leadership Academy @ North Gaston High School
Public Service Academy @ Cherryville High School
Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy @ Bessemer City High School

■ Online Learning
Gaston County Virtual Academy (for grades K-12)

Beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, the newest addition to the school choice lineup is the Performing Arts Academy at Pinewood Elementary School. Also, a cybersecurity program is being added to the Health Sciences Academy at East Gaston High School.
Typically, students enter a school choice program when they will be in kindergarten, sixth grade, or ninth grade; however, some programs have limited space available at other grade levels. Students in Gaston County Schools as well as students who currently attend a private school, charter school, home school, or virtual school may apply now for the 2023-2024 academic year.
For more information about each school choice option and to submit an online application, visit the School Choice webpage for Gaston County Schools: The deadline to apply is Friday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. The student placement lottery will be held in April.

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Cherryville-area luthier Eric Gale plays a song on one of his hand-built creations. (photo by MEP/The Eagle

Cherryville-area luthier hand builds playable works of art

Self-taught guitar builder is making a name for himself and his creations here and abroad


Cherryville-area luthier Eric Gale is a man on a mission. His mission? To make the best electric guitar he can and to have a great time doing so. Sounds like a piece of cake, right? Nope!
While Gale, a Christian, who truly loves what he does in so far as creating a piece of playable art is concerned, he is equally in love with the beauty and quality of taking a piece of gorgeous tone wood and finding – like a sculptor – the perfectly honed, tuned, and polished guitar from his chosen slab of wood.
Gale, 52, has called the Cherryville area home for 30 years now. He and his family – wife, Lee; and sons, Eric, who is in the Marines, and Chris and George, who are at home, all have an artistic streak in them. Lee paints and draws, and the boys are artistically and musically inclined, with Chris playing bass guitar along with his dad on more than a few occasions.
Eric said he moved to the Old Tar Heel state 30-plus years ago, hailing originally from Massachusetts, where a family member was a well-known and famous pen and ink artist and illustrator of sailing ships (George Gale) and another female relative was a noted woodcarver and sculptor.
“I guess it (making and creating art) does sort of run in our family,” said Gale. “I’m very blessed to be able to do what I love. It’s been hard getting to where I am now from where I once was. I thank God every day for that.”
In addition to their wonderful and talented kids, Eric and Lee smile and note they are also the proud parents of “…a whole bunch of furry children,” as they are surrounded by a host of tail-wagging, very friendly and happy dogs and more than a few friendly (and loving) cats.
Though Eric said he has been a woodworker “all his life”, the self-taught guitar maker has only been at his craft of electric guitar building for a total of three years.
However, in that time, he has learned his craft well and has, to date and by his own admission, has built “…between 15 to 18 guitars.”
One famous guitarist for whom he has built a custom piece is another Eric, Eric Gales, the Memphis, Tennessee-born, North Carolina-based bluesman who is currently on tour said Gale.
Gale builds his works or art mostly at night or when he has spare time, he said, as he is employed building custom furniture at Newton Cabinets, in Casar.
Luthier Eric, who also plays guitar (of course!), brands his pieces as Freestyle Custom Guitars, which can be seen on his Facebook page (Freestyle Guitar on Facebook), and on Instagram at Freestyle Guitars Instagram.
As for materials used, Eric said, “I use many varied pieces of regular and easy-to-find woods like maple, alder, walnut, and birch.”
He also uses many fantastic exotic woods, like bubinga, zebrawood, and other similar tone woods for his bodies, top caps, and necks. Pretty much everything on the guitar is either made by him or by a friend who does the occasional pickguard for him. Gale etches his logo into every headstock on every guitar he makes.
Gale also hand-makes pistol grips for Model 1911-style pistols as well as others.
Gale said he does take orders, but it is best to call him and see what his build schedule looks like currently. He does have a couple of pieces at a local guitar shop in Lincolnton. Call them at (704) 240-3499.
“They’re at Guitar Wishes,” said Gale, who suggests visiting the guys there and sitting down and playing one of his custom-made Freestyle Guitars there.
Gale said he can be reached at his email at, or by phoning him at (704) 308-2261 and leaving a message.
“The best time to call,” he said, “is Friday through Sunday. Just leave me a message if I don’t answer right away as that usually means I’m working in my shop.”
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The Summey House, on South Dixie Street in Cherryville, currently undergoing renovation and repair. (photo provided)

Dixie Street’s 100-plus year old Summey House gets new look

Never too late for an old beauty with
 “good bones” to get extra-special attention


An early 20th Century house on South Dixie Street is getting not only some new owners but a new look as well. It’s never too late for an old beauty like that – and one with “good bones” no less! – to get a little extra-special attention.
Enter into this story the person of Mrs. Lorene Neill Summey, a current resident of Somerset Court in Cherryville, who recently celebrated her 105th birthday. She was born in the house on S. Dixie, said Cherryville native and resident Sid Stroupe.
Stroupe also noted the house was purchased in June 2022 by himself, Mr. Gary Atkins, former Cherryville Mayor Wade Stroupe, and Ms. Mary Brown, is currently being worked on, and is expected to be ready for sale in the Spring.
That said, a brief bit about the august history of this venerable older home is in order, noted Mr. Stroupe.
“Lorene was born in the house that sits at 207 South Dixie Street. As fate would have it, Lorene’s life-long home on South Dixie Street is located less than a block away from her current home at Somerset Court.
“Lorene’s father, Mr. Newt Neill, and his business partner, Mr. Van Costner, built many Cherryville homes in the early 20th Century and this house is a fine example of their craftsmanship. It is in good shape, and has ‘good bones’ as they say. Most of the original hardwood floors remain, the living room fireplace mantle is intact, and the exterior trim is solid and awaits a new coat of paint.”
Stroupe noted two other examples of Mr. Neill’s and Mr. Costner’s excellent construction, still standing in 2023, are located in the first block of South Pink Street.
Sid said the Stroupe and Neill/Summey families were the first to build houses on what was originally called “George Avenue”, in honor of Mayor John J. George, back in the 1910s.
He continued with his mini-history, “In the late 1930s, the avenue was renamed Dixie Street. The families, each residing on opposite sides of the street, remained very close personal friends for over 80 years, which makes this ‘reconnection’ via Lorene’s home-place all the sweeter.”
So, on a recent sunny afternoon in mid-January, Stroupe said Lorene visited her old home place on Dixie and toured the work-in-progress.
“She enlightened (and surprised) all of us with vivid memories of her childhood and adulthood years living in the house,” said Stroupe, adding, “According to Lorene she was ‘…born in the front bedroom’ in 1917, and when married to Walt Summey in the 1950s, she and Walt moved into the ‘middle’ bedroom, which was a bit larger, with a fireplace!”
Sid said she was “a bit saddened” that the “French glass doors” separating the living room from the hallway had been removed by a former owner, but Lorene enthusiastically commented, “This is looking like a new home!”
Sid said, with a smile, that Mrs. Lorene has already “booked” her next visit to the house in the Spring!

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Cherryville Police Lt. Brandon Parker, CFD Capt. Nathan Bowman, CFD Driver/Engineer Chad Duvall, and CPD Patrol Officer Jason Parton. Capt. Bowman presented the check to D/E Duvall. (photos provided)

City’s Fire and Police Department’s donate proceeds from “No Shave November”

The Cherryville Fire Department and the Cherryville Police Department recently made the presentation of the proceeds from 2022’s PD/FD “No Shave November” event.
Spokespersons for the two departments said the proceeds this year were split between CFD Driver/Engineer Chad Duvall and Haylee Harrelson.
A representative from the Cherryville Fire Department reported that D/E
Duvall’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year (2022) and underwent a double mastectomy. Also,  Ms. Haylee Harrelson, who is an employee of the City Water Plant, lost her oldest son to cancer this past year as well.
The “No Shave November” fund raisers are worthwhile events and provide a way for employees of the City and their departments who wish to do so to be a blessing to their fellow workers and staff.
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A wide-angle view of the Cherryville July 4, 2022 celebration held at Rudisill Stadium. (Eagle file photos)

It was a very good year…we look back on all that’s happened in 2022

Part 2 of our series encompasses July through December


(Ed. Note: This is Part Two of the Eagle’s two-part series looking back on the last six months of 2022 and how we brought your hometown, community news and local issues to you, our faithful readers.)

• Mainstreet America accredits Cherryville’s Main Street Program again. This National Accreditation is city’s 7th consecutive designation.
• St. John’s Lutheran Church’s Mobile Food Pantry fulfills Christ’s command to feed the hungry. Also have a school supplies giveaway in August.
• Cherryville “Y’s” beloved Butch Boyd retires after 15-plus years. Many friends and co-workers came by and shared pizza and memories of good times.
• City’s Fourth celebration at Rudisill Stadium ranks as one of the best. CFD thanks First United Methodist Church for use of parking lot as fireworks launch site.
• Cherryville Elementary has a new principal in the person Mr. Patrick Watson. He takes over the helm from Mrs. Audrey Hovis.
• Council recognizes Gaston County DA; City safety award winners at meeting. Public hearings set for August for proposed annexation; two Planning and Zoning proposals.
• Missing Lincoln man with Cherryville address located. Daniel E. Neal found in Morganton by authorities.
• Cherryville’s own Joshua White is the new principal at WBBI. He is looking forward to the start of school on Wednesday, Aug. 17
• Venerable Stroup Memorial Park gets a fantastic makeover. Though small, the park has a big impact on all who seek a bit of quiet, beauty and solace.
• Cherryville Dixie All-Stars receive Sportsmanship Trophy and medals. Coaches, players excited to receive prestigious award.
• Cherryville’s Miss Fourth of July Pageant winners announced. The Miss Fourth of July Pageant winners were Tiny Miss Gabrielle Shedd, Majestic Miss Skylar Blackburn, Miniature Miss Chrislyn Shook, Baby Miss Bella Mae Flowers, Young Miss Savannah Hubbard, and Little Miss Vivian Medrano.
• Cherryville’s Post 100 are 2022 Area IV champions. Coach Bob Reynolds’ Legion ball players win 20th Area IV championship 5-4.

• Trent “Bam Bam” Rayfield is new chief of Hugh’s Pond VFD. Young chief serious about getting new volunteers to serve the community.
• Last of July Council work session covers zoning, truck parking, museum topics. All done in preparation for Aug. 8’s regular Council session; voting.
• Cherryville native Quentin Cash ends his one-year term as 134th NCSFA President. He now becomes the Immediate Past President of state association.
• The Cherryville Dixie Girls Softball organization had four All-Star teams to participate in the Dixie Girls Softball State Tournament in Troy and Moore County, in July.
• Post 100’s 2022 season ends at Campbell University state tournament. Team’s overall record is 27-13; 2-1 in the playoffs.
• Former Belk-Matthews building newest downtown property to get renovated. Hard work, caring parties create another Main Street gem.
• Gaston County seeks to convert to a county-wide fire service district. A flat or consistent tax rate for fire protection studied to get allocated funds to the areas of the most need.
• CHS Fall Sports teams start drills and getting in shape.
• Zoning and annexation issues main topics at Aug. 8 council meeting.
• 2022 school supplies drive at First United Methodist big success. Aug. 13 event saw many kids, parents, get supplies-stuffed backpacks for the new school year
• It’s back to school time for Gaston County Schools. Students return to class on Aug. 17 to begin the 2022-2023 academic year.
• Bluegrass duo Darin and Brook Aldridge on Mike Huckabee’s show. Segment taped in July 15; aired on TBN network.
• About 1,485 students have their first day back at Cherryville’s four schools. Principals report few hitches; glitches as things start up for 2022 school year.
• Talented custodian Lynette Christensen paints mural at CHS.
• COVID state of emergency officially ends after two years.
• Josey Messer, the Associate Executive Director of the Cherryville Family YMCA and the Pharr Family YMCA, said the “Y’s” work and classes at the Cherryville pool are over for this year.
• Ironmen get season-opener football win over Avery Co. Vikings. It was a good beginning for the CHS coaches and the players.

• 12th Annual Carolina Freight Reunion Scheduled for Sept. 24. Co-directors said reservations were “steadily coming in.”
• City’s 21st 911 Remembrance Ceremony a call to “never forget”. Sept. 9 event an occasion to remind all to reflect on the price paid by the men, women who served on that fateful day.
• CHS soccer men get two early season non-conference wins.
• CHS Lady Ironmen spikers are currently 6-2 overall.
• GCPD’s Mark Johnson marks 40 years of service to community policing. Much-loved SRO known affectionately as “OJ” by JCMS students.
• City-wide power outage due to wayward squirrel at Ted Mace Substation. City praises quick response by Duke Power.
• Ironmen defeat Blacksburg in away game, but lose 50-0 to CHASE. Ironmen football men off to a 2-2 start their season.
• Cherryvale subdivision receives council approval at Sept. 12 session. CPD Det. Stout receives service award; Constitution Week proclaimed.
• Fallen firefighters to be honored in upcoming month of October. CFD been involved in honoring these men and women since 2019.
• Main Street’s construction moves nearer October completion. Mayor, city staff, merchants enthusiastically looking forward to the completion of construction.
• Cherryville Little Theater puts on Drama Desk winner, “The Last Five Years”.
• Lady Ironmen spikers currently 8-5 overall; 2-3 in conference play. JV ladies get a win last week as well.
• Cherryville High School’s 2022 Homecoming Friday, Oct. 7. Five senior girls say they’re all excited to have been selected to be on the Court.
• 12th Annual Carolina Freight Reunion attendance better than expected as co-directors, reunion committee very pleased with post-COVID turnout.
• CHS Assistant Principal Heather Parrish a proud product of Gaston County Schools. She began her teaching career at Bessemer City High School as a lateral entry biology teacher.

• Centenarian Beulah Reynolds credits God for her long life; good health. Excited to receive honor; notes, “I’m getting really popular now!”
• Council discusses, votes on interlocal connection between City; Cleveland County Water.
• John Chavis Middle School Lady Wolverines softball team end regular season at 7-2. Finish in second place in Gaston County standings.
• On Oct. 7, CHS’ Miss Gabrielle “Gabbie” McCorkle was crowned the school’s Homecoming Queen at Ironmen/Rams game.
• Mobile Food Pantry wraps up another year of giving out food. Organizers said group provided food for 144 families, or 372 people.
• CHS head football coach Tim Pruitt’s Ironmen get 47-0 Homecoming win over Highland Tech Rams.
• Dept. of Public Works head Brandon Abernathy retires after 29-plus years of service to City of Cherryville. Started out as a meter reader in 1993; worked his way up.
• Plans for CHS Outdoor Learning Space moving forward as CHSEF approves $100,000 toward the grant; pledges to use fundraising to fulfill remaining balance.
• Lady Ironmen ‘spikers’ get Senior Night win against West Lincoln. End regular season 12-8 overall; 5-7 in SPC 1A/2A play.
• CHS’ Lee Roy Montgomery longest serving sports “ball boy” in state. Works with Ironmen football, basketball, baseball; worked NC/SC Shrine Bowl.
• Cherryville’s oldest resident to celebrate her first birthday party. Somerset Court resident Lorene Summey turns 105 in style.

• Large crowd packs out City, Chamber’s 2022 Scary-Ville festival. This is the beloved festival’s third year bringing food, fun, and frights to the downtown area.
• Cherryville ABC Board presents $10,000 check to City Council. Total distribution for FY 2021-2022 is $40,000.
• Grand Re-Opening of Main Street set for Thursday, Nov. 10. A few more little cosmetic touch-ups here and there, then all will be ready!
• 14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal to again be a ‘drive-thru’ event.
• New (and older) Veterans banners hung last week on Main Street’s new poles.
• With a playoff loss, CHS men’s soccer wraps up its 2022 season. Still, team breaks record for most soccer wins in school’s history!
• Cherryville’s Who-Ville; Christmas Parade back on the agenda for 2022. City; Chamber staff say they’ve “…put together one big holiday season!”
• At Friday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day ceremony, Cherryville honors all who served. Parade canceled due to weather; moved to Post 100 building.
• CHS’ Montgomery chosen as the 2022 Christmas Parade Grand Marshal. Says he’s just “…a regular guy who works every day!”
• 14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal feeds 1,079 people. Organizers, Food Lion say 2022 event another successful outreach to town’s citizens.

• Huge crowd turns out for 2022 Cherryville’s Who-Ville celebration. Much-loved event showcases city’s ability to draw folks from miles around with entertaining activities; themes.
• Cherryville Police Dept. Chief Cam Jenks takes new position with Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. He will be taking an Administrative Management position.
• Main Street’s “Shop Small” brings out many Christmas shoppers, many of whom stayed to see the lighting of the “Who-Bilation Tree.”
• CaroMont Health Board of Directors appoints Cherryville native Jeff Cash to leadership position as he is named Chairman of the Health System’s Board.
• 2022’s Cherryville Christmas Parade one of the largest ever. Santa; floats; beloved Grand Marshal; lots of trucks and a very big crowd make this holiday parade great!
•  CaroMont Health opens Primary and Urgent Care office in Cherryville. Offices, staff relocate to brand new 7,000-plus square foot facility.
• International company Piedmont Lithium opens Cherryville office. Cherryville High School Education Foundation receives check for $10,000 from lithium company.
• On Dec. 7, Cherryville New Year’s Shooters Inc. elect Charles Sisk their new president.
• Traditional New Year’s Shooters group growing by leaps and bounds. New safety plan implemented and to be in force this year.

(This ends Part Two of our two-part series looking back on 2022 and how your hometown, community newspaper, The Cherryville Eagle, brought local issues to you, our faithful readers. Once again, we thank you, faithful reader, for being an Eagle reader and/or subscriber! We look forward to serving you in 2023!)
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Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s fire their guns in Waco. “Following the boom” and driving out evil spirits for a better New Year.

The Eagle looks back at the stories 2022 brought to us

The people and things that made our community; our lives happier, safer, and stronger


(Ed. Note: This is Part One of a two-part series looking back on the first six months of 2022 and how the Eagle brought your hometown, community news and local issues to you, our faithful readers.)

• Majority Leader Sen. Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston) has announced she will not seek re-election. Sen. Harrington is in her sixth term representing Gaston County in the North Carolina State Senate. She was elected by the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as majority leader for the 2021-22 session. Was the first woman to be elected majority leader in the Senate.
• New Year’s Shooter’s exhibit at Historical Museum redone. Moved upstairs to main floor and expanded.
• CHS hoops teams do well in 2021 homegrown Holiday Classic. Varsity men 2021 champs; Lady Ironmen take home second place trophy.
• Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s fire their guns in Waco. “Following the boom” and driving out evil spirits for a better New Year.
• Traditional New Year’s Shooters have large number of shooters this year. Start “shoot” at City Hall as they have always done for many years.
• City gets great news on financial audit for fiscal year June 2021. Also votes to annex property known as Stroup Acres
• 2021-2022 CNYSI stadium shot honors memory of “Boozie” Dellinger. Rusty Wise: “Having his red coat and hat hanging in the press box was pretty emotional.”
• Cherryville gets a few inches of snow from Winter Storm Izzy. Second blast of Arctic air brings little snow; more winter mix.

• Retired fire chief Jeff Cash recipient of Order of Long Leaf Pine Award. He joins a long list of winners of the auspicious, celebrated state award.
• Gaston County Schools’ School Choice Fair of Feb. 12. Chavis Middle and Cherryville High; the two City schools making the list.
• CHS Spanish teacher Matt Smith stirs interest in students with self-made videos. “El Dedo Rojo” one in a long line of neat teaching tools/productions
• Jill Parker-Puett is the Unit 100 Ladies Auxiliary President and she wants everyone to know about a “pet” project of hers – getting Robotic Pets to America’s veterans who suffer from a host of maladies and diseases.
• Downtown Streetscape construction moving quickly. Streetscape starts soon with completion set for late summer.
• CHS’ Coach Harrill humbled by his 400th basketball win. Credits God, family, coaching staff and all the players he coached for milestone.
• Cherryville Family “Y’s” new digs coming along nicely. New location a “hop, skip, and a jump” around the corner, on Mountain Street
• CFD Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash retires after 36 years of service. Began serving his community as a Junior Firefighter while at CHS
• CHS senior, Cooper Sloan, son of Jim and Jayna Sloan, signs Letter of Intent (LOI) to play football as a running back for the Defiance College Yellowjackets, a Division III school, located in Defiance, Ohio.
• Student mask rules lift after legislature’s vote, Cooper’s announcement.
• Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks and Capt. Brian Doolittle report officers from their department were able to complete a six-month-long drug investigation involving multiple cases. As a result of these investigations, nine people were arrested and charged.
• CHS’ Kadin Beaver signs LOI to play for Methodist U’s Monarchs.
• NC American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony March 5. Two Cherryville inductions gives town 15 of its own in auspicious Hall of Fame.
• Tryon School celebrates 100 years of educating children. School has had 15 principals since its inception.
• Friday inducted into NCHS Track & Field; Cross Country Hall of Fame. One of the eight to headline the third class
• Alex Blackburn is new P&Z Director for City of Cherryville. Carries on family tradition of service to his community
• Police and Fire departments give Council Year-end reports. City employee Bingham recognized for 5 years of service to the city
• New Cherryville “Y” has March 24 ribbon cutting ceremony. “Y” CEO Padgett, staff and employees welcome city, county, state and other dignitaries to state-of-the-art facility

• Six arrests by CPD officers bring numerous drug charges. Chief Jenks: Amount of drugs seized have an approximate tax value of $17,800.
• Big turnout for 2022 Dixie Girls Softball opening day. Officials say they had 180 girls sign up to play this year, which was largest group to date.
• CHS; JCMS student artists’ works in Gaston County art show. Three students take First Place in juried county-wide show.
• One of Cherryville’s sports finest – Stan Crisson – is slated to be honored on May 2, be inducted into 2022 Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame.
• Miss Cherryville High School Pageant is April 30 as 25 young ladies from CHS are to be congratulated as they have been nominated as a contestant for the Miss Cherryville High School Pageant.
• MainStreet Family Care to open on May 5. Cherryville site chosen as their first NC location.
• Ironmen win two games against Highland Tech Rams. CHS men’s team currently 9-6 overall; 6-4 in SPC 1A/2A play.
• Lady Ironmen take two games from Lady Rams in last week’s diamond action. Cancer Night walk was April 29.
• Belmont’s Auten-Stowe American Legion Post 144 celebrates 100 years. Jill Puett; Monica Lockwood, from Cherryville’s Post 100 Legion group, attend ceremony.
•    Gaston VISION 2040 kicks off with Cherryville workshop in Cherryville. Far-reaching agenda looking for stakeholders who want to change their future.
• CHS’ Gaston County track meet wins four years in the making.

• Cherryville High’s head baseball coach, Scott Heavner, reaches career milestone with recent victory over the West Lincoln Rebels – he got his 300th career win!
• Businesses remain open on Main Street while construction progresses. Construction slated to be completed by late summer.
• CHS baseball men end regular season with win over BCHS. Ironmen currently 13-8 overall; 8-4 going into the playoffs.
• Lady Ironmen softball squad ends regular season with win over Lady Jackets. CHS ladies currently 13-7 overall; 10-2 in SPC 1A/2A play.
• CMA-sponsored National Day of Prayer held May 5. Theme was to “Exalt the Lord Who has established us.”
•    Three “Of the Year” awards given at 2022 Chamber Annual meeting. Cherryville’s Business; Chamber Member; and Citizen of the Year honored at May 12 gala
• New business, HomeTown Healthy, opens in Cherryville. May 11 ribbon cutting celebrates new medical clinic’s start.
• “Pretty steady” turnout best describes Cherryville’s election day showing. Voting at town’s three precincts came in “fits and spurts.”

• Coach’s health; PE students put in many yards for a good cause. “Yards for Yeardley” walk/run is an ongoing, important endeavor for Tim Pruitt’s classes
• Sunny skies make for a perfect June 4, 2022 CHS graduation. 108 students receive diplomas on a beautiful Saturday morning.
• CHS’ Jackson Owens and Rylee-Grace Burgis are 2022 valedictorian and salutatorian.
• Chamber, City “exceptionally excited” about this year’s ID 4 Celebration. Fireworks moved to Rudisill Stadium; will be shot off from First United Methodist Church parking lot.
• ABC Board gives $3,000 to Cherryville Shriner Club. Funds will help organization promote the impact of underage drinking in the community.
• MainStreet Family Care has ribbon cutting on June 16. New urgent care will provide a number of services and be open 7 days a week.
• Mayor Beam praises construction progress as first sidewalks poured. SIT/REP: North alley almost complete with construction still slated to be completed by early fall.
• The CHS Ironmen Spring Sports Awards Ceremony took place in May. The various teams and their athletes were honored with a number of awards.

(This ends our Part One of a two-part series looking back on the first six months of 2022 and how the Eagle brought your hometown, community news and local issues to you, our faithful readers. Look for Part Two in next week’s Eagle on Wednesday, Jan. 4. As always, thank you, faithful reader, for being an Eagle reader and/or subscriber!)
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The Monday, Dec. 12 ribbon cutting at the new Piedmont Lithium Cherryville branch office at 116 E. Main Street. CAO Kris McVey cuts the ceremonial ribbon. COO Patrick Brindle (in green shirt) stands to Ms. McVey’s right, as a host of Cherryville city officials and staff and Piedmont Lithium staff beam with pride at having a new business on Main Street. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media

International company Piedmont Lithium opens Cherryville office

Cherryville High School Education Foundation receives check for $10,000 from lithium company


On Monday, Dec. 12, Piedmont Lithium opened a branch office in Cherryville in the newly redone Belk Building, located on Main Street.
Piedmont, listed as “…a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain,” announced the opening of a new office at 116 E Main St., Suite 100, adding in a media release, “The space will serve as a hub for community engagement related to our proposed Carolina Lithium project as well as the headquarters for the Piedmont Lithium Foundation: Power for Life.” They will still maintain their office in Belmont, N.C., as well, said Chief Administrative Officer, Krishna “Kris” Y. McVey.
The event – a ribbon-cutting ceremony – was hosted by the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce and attended by chamber officials, elected officials of Cherryville, and other key members of the community. One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of a facsimile check for $10,000 to the Cherryville High School Education Foundation, received by its representative, Ms. Nan Davis.
The special gift/donation, noted Ms. McVey and Ms. Davis, provides “…support (for) the group’s 2023 operating budget.” Ms. Davis also noted that CHSEF has, since CHSEF’s inception in 2010, awarded “close to $400,000” to help and support the high school’s teachers.
Welcoming PL to the historical Cherryville downtown location was Mayor H.L. Beam, III, who said, “Thank you for choosing us and being willing to answer all our questions about the planned project.”
Chamber Board President Pete Craft also welcomed the mining company to Cherryville’s Main Street. He introduced Downtown
Director David  Day,  who spoke briefly, saying, “We are excited to have you here, and glad to have you all as another one of the 15 to 16 new businesses now located on Main Street.”
Next up was Piedmont Chief Operating Officer Patrick Brindle, who welcomed everyone for coming out. He said the Company is pleased to open office space near its proposed Carolina Lithium project.
“Although we have our headquarters in Belmont, N.C., it’s important for us have to a strong presence in Cherryville as we invest in the region and progress in our plans for Carolina Lithium. We are excited about this new home for our community engagement and philanthropic activities,” he said.
Brindle noted also Piedmont plans to invest nearly $1 billion to build the proposed Carolina Lithium project as a fully integrated operation within the renowned Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt.  That project is expected, as was noted in the company’s media release, “…to be one of the most sustainable lithium hydroxide operations in the world. Carolina Lithium is being designed to produce 30,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide per year when fully operational while providing more than 420 direct jobs to the region.”
Piedmont – founded in 2016, said Brindle, – has as its goal “…to obtain primary construction and operating permits as well as necessary approvals for Carolina Lithium in 2023, commence construction in 2024, and begin production of spodumene concentrate and lithium hydroxide in 2026.”
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This year’s Parade Grand Marshal is the long-time Ironmen ball boy; a major Ironmen fan; and all-around great guy, Mr. Lee Roy Montgomery, of Cherryville High School. Driving Grand Marshal Montgomery was local businessman, Terry Bell. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media and Susan L. Powell)

2022’s Cherryville Christmas Parade one of the largest ever

Santa; floats; beloved Grand Marshal; lots of trucks and a very big crowd make this holiday parade great!


Once again, a longer, larger, chock full of fun 2022 Cherryville Christmas Parade made for a wonderful Saturday morning on Dec. 10 as a huge crowd of folks came out, lining Main Street, to start the holiday season right.
And nobody – small-town-wise – does holidays any better than the folks at Cherryville Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cherryville (Where Life Blossoms), whether it’s a summer holiday festival or this season’s favorite, the Annual Cherryville Christmas Parade.
This year’s Grand Marshal was CHS’ Lee Roy Montgomery, who was all smiles and waved to everyone shouting out, “Merry Christmas!”, greeting all those who turned out on Saturday, Dec. 10, braving chilly, overcast weather, to enjoy the bright floats and to get a glimpse of Santa himself! It really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
The Chamber’s Mary Beth Tackett noted that things this year looked wonderful as many lined the streets, once again happy to be able to be out and among others, enjoying the pleasant weather and getting to experience one of the area’s premier Christmas parades. The joy on everyone’s faces was infectious, to say the least.
The annual Christmas Parade has a long history, with no one quite sure when the first one took place, though the estimates have been put at “about 25 to 30 years or more, or thereabouts,” according to one citizen who asked not to be named and who said he has lived here all his life.
Tackett said the Christmas Parade came together well enough again this year, with only a minor glitch or two. Still, she was very pleased to see it get started and wind its way down Main Street.
As far as crowd numbers went, Tackett said she was unable to accurately gauge such since she doesn’t actually get to ride in the parade, but she noted she heard from a number of folks this was another large crowd for this event.
It has been noted in the past by Mrs. Tackett that, “The Christmas Parade, like the other events we do, brings people that might not be familiar with our downtown area to Cherryville. It gives them a chance to see businesses and restaurants they might not see while traveling on (Hwy.) 150. With that being said, we hope they will stay, shop, and grab a bite while they are here. And come back to see us!”
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Santa Claus (a.k.a Santa Floyd) gets a big hug from this little girl who waited for her chance to sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. (photo provided)

Huge crowd turns out for 2022 Cherryville’s Who-Ville celebration

Much-loved event showcases city’s ability to draw folks from miles around with entertaining activities; themes


People were ready for this year’s Who-Ville, and boy were they ever! The Cherryville event’s organizers estimated that between 8,000 to 9,000 people poured in to the city “Where Life Blossoms” last Friday night, Dec. 2, 2022,  to see what has rapidly become an event equally as well attended and as famous as the City’s famed Fourth of July celebration.
Everything started at about 6 p.m., last Friday night, but the actual work and set-up began earlier than that, according to the event’s organizers. As early as middle November and the end of that month the sets and planning for who they would be and where they would go was “gelling” so the Chamber and City folks would have a better idea of who all was coming, so far as vendors and businesses were concerned. This is nothing new, as in past years, as far back as perhaps 2016 or 2017, Chamber Director and City Events Planner Mary Beth Tackett noted this scale of planning and work was the norm for putting on not just any event the City and Chamber has, but pretty much is status quo for getting the job done for ANY event the City takes on.
Mrs. Tackett also noted that, in addition to the massive planning and execution of events of this caliber, there are the years they were unable to host – of had to move – Who-Ville, due to either snow, rain or the terror and fear associated with a then-unknown pandemic scenario. Still, Mary Beth and company never gave up and always managed to literally “knock it out of the ballpark” when it came to presenting a spectacle the likes of Who-Ville, which never ceases to amaze and “wow” children of all ages.
When asked what she thought of the 2022 edition of “Who-Ville”, Mary Beth said simple, “It. Was. GREAT!”
She elaborated by adding, “It went exactly like I thought it should have done. Just seeing the looks on the faces of the little kids was worth all the hard work and everything!”
Another facet Tackett was very impressed with was summed up as she said, while looking west down Main Street, “We have people all over the place! I love it!”
The “Mayor of Who-Ville” for this year was City Councilman Jon Abernethy, who donned the butterfly-like long eyebrows and walked around Cherryville’s Main Street greeting everyone who came out with a jaunty, “Welcome to Who-Ville! Welcome to Who-Ville,” or some variation on that theme. Chamber Board member Gary Dellinger was a Who-Ville citizen, while members of the Cherryville Little Theater troupe donned costumes and played the parts of the beloved Dr. Seuss characters The Cat in the Hat; Thing 1 and Thing 2;  and other characters. The night really got rolling when Cherryville Police Officer Josh Colvard finally found the Grinch, hiding out in the huge crowd, and finally escorted him to the mini-park gazebo stage so he could meet all the little kids and their parents who all came out to see him. It was, after all, his night!
The Grinch (played by Mr. David Wright) was perfect and he really got into his part as he talked with all the kids about what they wanted for Christmas. Down the road was the real Santa Claus (in the person of “Santa” Floyd) who was busy doing his part to make sure all the little tykes got their Christmas wishes and request in early!
Christmas music was provided by DJ Larry Wright, who by day, is a City Water Works employee, but loves to play music at various city events as well as other local events where his musical skills are needed.
Mrs. Tackett and the City noted their thanks to the Cherryville Police and Fire Departments as well as all the city and other personnel who helped set up Who-Ville and take it down later on, as well as all those who took part in constructing the sets, the buildings; the vendors and merchants of the city of Cherryville and from near and far who came and transacted business during the event.
As always, Mrs. Tackett and the City and Chamber’s work during this season is never done as they have the Saturday, Dec. 10 Cherryville Christmas Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. This event too is a well-known, and much-loved celebration of the Reason for the Season, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
For more information on the Christmas Parade either visit the city’s web site at, check out their Facebook page, or call the Chamber’s office at (704) 435-3451, during business hours.
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Some of the volunteers – including Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III (second from left) – hard at work at Cherryville’s 2022 14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, boxing up the meals that were taken to the folks in the drive-through line outside the Post 100 American Legion Building. (photo by Michael E. Powell/CF Media)

14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal feeds 1,079 people

Organizers, Food Lion say 2022 event another successful outreach to town’s citizens


The Saturday, Nov. 19, 14th Annual Cherryville Thanksgiving Community Meal was, by all accounts, a great success in that over 1,070 people received warm, nutritious Thanksgiving meals, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers and their equally dedicated organizers. Like last year, it was a ‘drive-thru’ event, which director of volunteers Tammy Campbell, worked well for everyone this year as it did last year.
This year’s meal service and preparation was once held at the Post 100 American Legion building, located at 215 N. Pink St., Cherryville, and Mrs. Campbell noted it was again sponsored by Food Lion.
Mrs. Campbell said, “Everything went well this year. We served 1,079 plates. That is the biggest year yet. We had, in all, about 50 volunteers. We hope to be able to do it the old way by next year if this crazy COVID will go away. I am so thankful to live in such a loving town that comes together to do
It was also noted by organizers that the Meals on Wheels folks in Cherryville did get a plate, loaded with all the fixings, for their Thanksgiving meal. As of the 11 a.m. start, 70 of those meals had already gone out, with more even on their way.
And, as was done last year, and year’s past, Mrs. Campbell said local churches sent volunteers to help out with serving the meals as well as picking up their shut-in’s meals.
Tammy noted, “(We) still (have the) same people (helping us); Food Lion donated the food and a crew from Food Lion and I work with Cherryville Area Ministries to put the dinner on. I have volunteers from several churches and organizations (who came to help).”
Campbell noted the Legion Building’s parking lot was once again set up and divided off by orange traffic cones directing the incoming vehicles who came by to pick up plates where to go once they entered, and where to exit after they got their meals.
Campbell noted her volunteers in the Legion building’s kitchen prepared the meals.
Volunteer Rick Jenks said everything, as of the start of the meal, “…went really well,” adding that Max Jonas and the Food Lion crews were really tremendous as they made and brought food from preparation sites such as Anthony Grove Baptist Church and First Wesleyan Church of Cherryville, to name a few.
“Food Lion cooked the turkeys, I believe,” said Mr. Jenks, “as well as the green beans, corn and cranberries.” Jenks said Mr. Jonas prepared the potato salad and the slaw at Anthony Grove Baptist Church.
With the huge success of the 2022 event, the organizers are looking forward to next year’s event, and hopefully being able to feed even more people.
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Striking a pose – CHS’ ball boy and sports team manager, Lee Roy Montgomery, prior to a recent Ironmen home game at Rudisill Stadium.

CHS’ Montgomery chosen as the 2022 Christmas Parade Grand Marshal

Says he’s just “…
a regular guy who works every day!”


Add another accolade to Lee Roy Montgomery’s list of honors and accomplishments – he has been chosen to be the 2022 Cherryville Christmas Parade’s Grand Marshal. The parade is Dec. 10, at 10:30 a.m.a
In an Oct. 26, 2022 Eagle article, Lee Roy was reported as being, “…a living, breathing sports icon and not just for his beloved Ironmen,” but now he can add one more thing to his growing list of things he is well known for.
CHS Athletic Director Scott Harrill asked Lee Roy what he thought when he found out about being chosen to be the parade’s GM.
Said Harrill, “Lee Roy said it was a very big surprise to be picked to be the Grand Marshal.”
Lee also added, “I’ve never done anything like this before. (I’ll be) so excited to see everyone that morning. I love Cherryville! I am really excited – and shocked – that they picked me. I’m just a regular guy who works every day.”
Additionally, Lee Roy noted he looking forward to seeing all the great people of Cherryville, adding, “I love everyone here in Cherryville. These are my friends. I want to thank all the people who always support me.”
He continued, “This is not about me; it is about everyone who has always been so nice to me and helped work with me. The people at CHS, the people around town, the coaches, the fans, just everybody!”
When asked what Cherryville means to him, Lee said, “It means a whole lot to me. I was raised here, went to school here. People know me. It puts a smile on my face when people say, “Hey Lee Roy!’ It just means everything to me; to see the families I went to school with have kids come through school.”
Lee Roy was asked what words of advice he could give people in Cherryville. He replied, “I try to treat everyone like they are special. Live a life thanking God every day. God gave me a great life. He blesses me every day. Try to live for Him and treat everyone nice.”
Lee Roy continued, “My wife, Bertha is a great blessing, and my best friend. She has been so supportive of all that I do. She loves the people of Cherryville.”
Lee Roy said he has been married to his wife, Bertha, for 11 years and they had a recent anniversary – Nov. 10.
Lee graduated from CHS in 1982, works at CHS, starting there in 1993 as a custodian.
As for his feelings about being an Ironman and getting to work at his alma mater, he said, “The Ironmen have been good to me. I love all things about Cherryville and the Ironmen. If I could do it all over again I sure would!”
Previously, in last October’s Eagle article, CHS Principal Shawn Hubers said, “Lee Roy is an amazing person! He is such a hard worker and is so dedicated to Cherryville High School. Everyone in our building loves Lee and respects him because of how hard he works and how he treats everyone he comes in contact with. Lee’s dedication to CHS is unmatched and in my short time at CHS I couldn’t imagine this place without him.”
CHS AD Harrill, who has the greatest respect for the man, said of his friend and fellow worker in sports, “Lee Roy Montgomery is one of the best men I have ever known in my life. He is one of my true friends who will do anything in the world for me or anyone who needs help. He has a heart of gold and makes this world a better place. He is the true Ironman at Cherryville High School. Lee Roy graduated in 1982 and has been helping out with Cherryville sports for the last 40 years. He sure makes my job as a coach and Athletic Director much better. If you ever need to smile or laugh a little, hang out with Lee Roy. His wife is always supportive of Lee Roy and his role at CHS. Anywhere you go in the state of NC, one of the first questions opposing teams or communities ask is, ‘Where is Lee Roy?!’ He is known state-wide and deserves every accolade he receives!”
Again, look for Lee Roy at the Dec. 10, 2022 Cherryville Christmas Parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m.
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Post 100 Commander Mike Robinson welcomes all the veterans to the 11-11-2022 Veterans Day ceremony held at the Cherryville Legion building. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville honors all who served at Veterans Day ceremony

Parade scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 canceled due to weather; moved to Post 100 building


There was to be a Veterans Day Parade, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, but nature had other ideas, as a late in the season hurricane – named Nicole (later a tropical storm) – caused rain showers to be forecast, effectively curtailing what would have been a great Veterans Day Parade.
Nevertheless, honoring those who served still came to fruition on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 at 10:30 a.m., as many Cherryville veterans and their family members and caregivers, along with members of the Post 100 Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, met at the Post 100 American Legion Building to pay honor and tribute to those who served this great country, protecting her from all enemies, both foreign and domestic, many of whom gave their lives to that end.
The parade was to have begun with all veterans meeting in parking lot between City Hall and the old BB&T bank building at 9:45 a.m., then ending at the Mini-Park, with the keynote speaker being the Rev. Dr. Billy Lowe, pastor of Cherryville’s First Presbyterian Church, himself an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War.
In addition to Rev. Lowe, Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III spoke, reading aloud from a proclamation supporting “Operation Green Light” which he then presented to Post 100 Commander Mike Robinson.
Guest speaker the Rev. Dr. Billy Lowe, pastor of Cherryville’s First Presbyterian Church, and an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, spoke about how emotional Veterans Day is for him.
“We are grateful for your patriotic service,” said Dr. Lowe to the gathered veterans. “Just 50 years ago this day I was making preparations to leave for Vietnam. You all deserve big pats on the back for what you did!”
The Rev. Dr. Lowe then talked about loving to teach others and noted one of his
favorite things to talk about is the history of how Veterans Day started, as well as why we have a Veterans Day and a Memorial Day, and the differences between the two holidays.
Said Dr. Lowe, “You know, Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day as it was created after the end of World War I.” He then went on to note Cherryville connection with an aspect of how unit patches got their start around that time with the creation of the now-famous WWI 81st Infantry (The Wildcats) Division patch – a brick-red wildcat stitched onto a dark green background. It paved the way, said Dr. Lowe, for all future Army arm patches and became the main way U.S. military units to identify themselves.
A collector of ‘militaria’ himself, Dr. Lowe also noted how one Cherryville veteran of the Great War was a member of the Stonewall Brigade, a.k.a. the Wildcats, and his name was Sgt. Jacob Costner.
Dr. Lowe wrapped up his talk about the various branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), noting we now have a new one: the U.S. Space Force.
Commander Robinson took the podium and asked who the oldest veterans were who were present and received a couple of men who said they were, two of whom were identified as Mr. Sherman Brown and Mr. Gene Dellinger.
After also recognizing the members of the Ladies Auxiliary and their selfless work in organizing the ceremony, Commander Robinson thanked everyone for attending, adding, “God bless you, and we appreciate your being here!”
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City worker Jarrod Hunt works on getting the second Veterans banner onto the attachment that fits on the new downtown light poles. The city crew worked on the south side of Main Street staring out, moving their way up and down both sides of the street. (photo by MEP/the Eagle/CF Media)

Veterans banners hung last week on Main Street’s new poles


As you are driving down Main Street Cherryville be sure to look up and pay heed to the nicely colored banners floating from the new lampposts. Why, you ask? Because they pay homage to a group of men and women without whose services and sacrifices many of us wouldn’t have the many freedoms we all hold so dear in this great land of ours.
I am referring to the Veterans banners showcasing the many Cherryville service members who served in the various armed forces from WWI, WWI, Korea, and Vietnam, on down to the  smaller  wars and conflicts we are familiar with today.
Downtown Director David Day looked on as a small but active crew of city employees (namely Mitch Angel, Terry Clinton, and Jarrod Hunt) went about putting the colorful banners up as folks drove slowly by, looking upward to what all was going on.
Mr. Day said this wasn’t the first time the city has hung the banners, elaborating, “This is the third time we’ve taken orders and hung banners. The first (time) was Veterans Day 2020; we had around 12 flags.”
Day noted the second time was Memorial Day 2021 and the city, “…added around 25 more.”
He continued, “This time we took orders for 25 more flags. We did not hang them this past 2022 Memorial Day as the light poles were not installed due to the revitalization. We have 41 poles on Main Street from Depot to Mulberry, and we are striving to get two flags per pole in the future.”
David also noted that, time permitting, the city will be hanging all the previous and new banners. “This should be around 65 total banners,” he added.
When asked how long the city plans on leaving them up and if they will all come down after Veteran’s Day, Day said, “The Public Works department started hanging them on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The new banner poles had to be added to the brand-new light poles so it’s taking them a bit longer. They will remain up through the third week in November, or until we begin hanging the Christmas decorations.”
It is to be noted that each of the Veterans flags were “100 percent” donated to the city by families and friends of the veteran, said Mr. Day.
“We used a company out of Raleigh before but now our local Modern Printing is able to do them so we used them for this past order and will continue to use them for other Main Street banners. Casey Sipe helped with the new banners and also has done some other banners that will be hung following the Holiday season,” said Day.
While it is true flags/banners will not be located on any mini-park poles, as those poles will not accommodate the size of the banner, said Mr. Day, they will, however, be – time permitting for public works crew to do so – “…hung from Depot to Mulberry streets on all the new light poles. These banners will be a great tribute to our local heroes.”
For more information on these banners, call the Chamber of Commerce at (704) 435-3451 or visit the city’s web site at
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Charlotte stained glass artisan Natalie Bork, with Shed Brand Studios, is shown here painstakingly applying final touches to the restored signs. (photo provided)

Cherryville bank’s stained glass windows professionally restored


A couple of recently restored stained glass windows that formerly hung in Cherryville’s First National Bank look great and are ready to be seen by an appreciative public, according to a recent email sent to the Eagle.
Sid Stroupe, a local volunteer, said a Charlotte restorer had been found who took on the job and made the windows look like they had just been set in their leaded mullions. Stroupe said the two windows had been boxed up and stored in the Museum.
Said Mr. Stroupe, “These two stained glass windows were recently completely restored back to (their) original form.”
He continued, “I researched restorers in the Charlotte area, settling on one recommended by City Councilman Gary Freeman, ‘Shed Brand Studios’, and I engaged them. After four months work, they are complete; one for the (Cherryville Historical) Museum’s display and the other one hopefully gifted by the Museum to Mr. Patrick O’Leary for hanging in the bank building when it’s completed.”
Stroupe noted that artisan, Natalie Bork of Charlotte, with ‘Shed Brand Studios’, undertook the project, painstakingly applying the important final touches to the restored glass artworks.
Stroupe continued, “Mr. Doug Blackburn,  a  local, long time Cherryville historian and I researched the pieces and we surmise that the two signs were created and hung as an ‘early 20th Century’-era advertisement for the bank’s ‘national’ status, obtained in 1908. During those days most banks of its size were ‘local’ and subject to the whims and turns of the local economy. Then – Bank President Samuel S. Mauney and the bank board were certainly proud to advertise the safety and prestige of the newly renamed Cherryville National Bank.”
Stroupe said that while there are no records of who and when exactly the damaged stained glass signs were given to the museum, “…it is suspected it was perhaps at the time of the acquisition by Southern (later BB&T) Bank many years ago.”
Museum Board President Alice R. Dellinger said, “I am grateful that the Museum Board members voted to have these two signs restored after such a long period of time. Our goal at the museum is to research and restore anything we can to preserve the history of Cherryville, our wonderful town.”
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Lee Roy Montgomery, the longest serving ‘ball boy’ in NC sports, on the sidelines at a recent CHS Ironmen football game at Rudisill Stadium, watching where the game ball is and waiting to go out onto the field – when needed – and switch it out. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

CHS’ Montgomery longest serving sports “ball boy” in state of NC

Works with Ironmen football, basketball, baseball; worked NC/SC Shrine Bowl


Lee Roy Montgomery is a living, breathing sports icon and not just for his beloved Ironmen; he is an icon who can claim a unique title: he is the longest serving sports “ball boy” in the state.
By his own estimation, he figures there are just a few guys like him still doing their unique and strenuous job. If you don’t believe it’s strenuous, try getting out on the field or on the court at every game for as many years as Lee Roy and his fellow ball retrievers have and see how you fare. You have to be an athlete yourself just to keep up with Lee and guys like him.
No doubt about it; Lee Roy Montgomery is a one-of-a-kind, top-notch lover of all things Ironmen sports and will look you in the eye and flat out tell you, “I love my job!” and mean every word of it!
And his fans (and, yes… he has many of them!) love him too. Just listen to them yell for him any time he runs out onto the field or puts the basketball men through their pre-game routine at Nixon Gym. They. Love. Him!
For Lee Roy, the title “ball boy” is an appellation of great honor and he wears it proudly. The umpires and referees all know that when he is on the job, the job IS his number one priority. If he isn’t there, for whatever reason, they all want to know where he is, and God help the coach or person who doesn’t have a good explanation for where he is and why he isn’t there.
Recently, Lee Roy was asked how long he has been the ball boy for CHS, as well as a few other questions. The following is what he said about his long and storied career.
When asked when he exactly stared his job and with what sport, or coach, Lee said, “Since 1979, when I was in high school. I started doing it for Coach Buddy Bridges. I’ve worked with football, basketball, and baseball. Coach Bridges asked a friend of mine if I could help us out. I said ‘yes’.”
Though both of Lee’s parents have passed away in the last few years, he has family in Cherryville still; brother, Larry Montgomery, and his sisters, Lynn and Muffey. Like Lee Roy, Larry also works for the Gaston County Schools at John Chavis Middle School.
Lee said he has been married to his wife, Bertha, for 11 years and they have an upcoming anniversary (Nov. 10).
Lee Roy, who graduated from CHS in 1982, works at CHS. He said, “I started here in 1993 as a custodian. I work with three others: Jody Cochrane, Adrian Hunter, and Nikki Morgan.”
In addition to being the longest serving ball boy/manager in NC high school sports, Lee Roy added, “I had the privilege of being selected to work the Shrine Bowl for the NC and SC game for five years. This was a great honor for me and for Cherryville.
Some of Lee’s great memories or highlights as the Ironmen ball boy and manager include the time CHS beat Mooresville in double-overtime going into the playoffs in the late ‘90s, as well as the time the Ironmen beat the number three team in the state back in 2003.
Said Lee, “Those were some great wins! We went to the third round of the playoffs.”
He continued, “In basketball, (great) memories was back in the rival days of Cherryville and East Lincoln in 2007 and 2008; memories of the Shelby and Cherryville games in the early 2000’s; standing room only and the gyms would always be sold out. I can remember people always calling me wanting me to get them a ticket and help them get in the game. Baseball state championships were always great memories for me. The year we beat Whiteville was an awesome experience.”
Lee Roy said, “I want to thank all my coaches along the way – Coach Harrill, Coach Bridges, Coach Heavner, Coach Pruitt, Coach Quattlebaum, Coach Mauldin, the late Coach Beck, Coach Fox, Coach Bray, Coach Helms, Coach Davis, Coach Griggs, Coach Tate, Coach Black, Coach Freeman, the late Coach Watkins. The Ironmen have been good to me. I love all things about Cherryville and the Ironmen. If I could do it all over again I sure would!”
CHS Principal Shawn Hubers said, “Lee Roy is an amazing person! He is such a hard worker and is so dedicated to Cherryville High School. Everyone in our building loves Lee and respects him because of how hard he works and how he treats everyone he comes in contact with. Lee’s  dedication to CHS is unmatched and in my short time at CHS I couldn't imagine this place without him.”
Former CHS Principal Kevin Doran, now Principal at Cramerton Middle School, said, “Lee Roy is the kind of person that we all should aspire to be – hard working, loyal, and always (having) a positive attitude.”
Mr. Doran’s memory of Lee is as follows: “In my time in Cherryville, Lee Roy won the Gaston County Custodian of the Year. It was a great honor for Lee Roy, but my favorite part was what happened afterward. We arranged a surprise pep rally for Lee Roy when we came back from the reception. All 545 CHS students filled the gym and sat in absolute silence waiting for Lee Roy to come into the gym. I have never seen or heard high school students that quiet and I believe that was a testament to how much they care about him. When Lee Roy walked in the sound was deafening. It was a great day in celebration of Lee Roy and one of my favorites at CHS!”    
CHS Athletic Director Scott Harrill has the greatest respect for the man.
Of Lee he said, “Lee Roy Montgomery is one of the best men I have ever known in my life. He is one of my true friends who will do anything in the world for me or anyone who needs help.  Lee Roy has a heart of gold and makes this world a better place.  He is the true Ironman at Cherryville High School. Lee Roy graduated in 1982 and has been helping out with Cherryville sports for the last 40 years. He sure makes my job as a coach and Athletic Director much better. If you ever need to smile or laugh a little, hang out with Lee Roy. His wife is always supportive of Lee Roy and his role at CHS. Anywhere you go in the state of NC, one of the first questions opposing teams or communities ask is, ‘Where is Lee Roy?!’ He is known state-wide and deserves every accolade he receives!”
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Brandon and Allison Abernathy at Brandon’s Thursday, Oct. 13 retirement party. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Abernathy retires after 29-plus years of service to City

Started as a meter reader in 1993; worked
his way up


Cherryville Public Works Director Brandon Abernathy knows what it is like to work your way up to the top position in a job – he did just that way back in 1993 while he was in school.
Said Brandon recently at his Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 retirement party at the Cherryville Community Building, “I have been with the City for over 29 years. I started in 1993 as a meter reader while I was in college.”
Abernathy, born and bred a Cherryville boy, said he attended Gaston College after graduating CHS in 1992, and though not an engineer, he majored in Computer Programming while there, which helped him in his future position with the City of Cherryville. Additionally, Abernathy said, “I hold an ‘A’ certification in Water Distribution and a Grade 4 in Collections along with a cross-connection backflow given by the State of North Carolina.”
After starting out literally fresh out of high school, he started, as he noted, reading
meters in 1993, then, “…became Assistant Public Works Director and Water and Sewer Supervisor in 1998 and was promoted to Public Works Director around 2000.”
In his many years working for the City of Cherryville, Abernathy said, “I have worked for five Mayors during my time here and I have been under six City Managers as well.”
His mother, Linda Julian (husband, Steve), still lives here in Cherryville.
“She worked for Lincoln County Hospital for over 30 years. My dad who has passed was a driver for Carolina Freight. I have a brother who still lives here and a sister that now lives in Cornelius,” noted Brandon.
When asked what got him interested in city work, Brandon relied, “I come from a single parent home and started working full-time right out of high school so I could attend college. The city was my first full-time position.”
As for his new job and where that will be, Brandon said, “I will be working for South Carolina Rural Water Association traveling to water and wastewater systems in South Carolina to assist in helping them comply with state and federal guidelines. My wife, Allison is still teaching nursing.”
The Abernathys have two beautiful daughters: their oldest graduated from Appalachian State and is now teaching first grade at Tryon Elementary and their youngest daughter is attending Clemson University in Health Science.
In closing, Brandon said, “I have seen a lot of changes in this town during my time. I would like to thank the late Ted Mace who was the Director when I started my career. I would also like to thank my staff for all the loyal years they give to me and the city, along with my supervisors who work hard every day to keep the lights, water and wastewater flowing, and the solid waste and roadways working. Without my staff I would have never been as successful as I was in my career.
“Most of all I would like to thank my family! My wife, Allison, and my daughters, Ansley and Sydney Grace, for always supporting me. I know I never got to play in the snow or was home when the power was out. I would also like to apologize for missing Halloweens, birthday parties, and other family events because I was out working at night and on the weekends.
“And, to the citizens of Cherryville, I want to thank you for the privilege to serve each of you! I have always tried to provide excellent service during my time here at the city. I will continue to pray for my staff and the City of Cherryville!”
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Five generations attended Mrs. Beulah Beam Reynolds’ 100th birthday celebration at the home of her daughter, Dottie Reynolds Brown. Down front and wearing her birthday tiara is the guest of honor, Mrs. Beulah Beam Reynolds. Standing behind her are (left to right): daughter, Dottie Reynolds Brown; Mrs. Beulah’s granddaughter, Tammy Clemmons; (Dottie’s daughter); Beulah’s great-great-granddaughter, two-year-old Harper Leonell; and Beulah’s great-grandson, Chris Leonell. (photo by Paige H. Green)

Centenarian Beulah Reynolds credits God for her long life; good health

Mrs. Beam excited to receive honor; notes, “I’m getting really popular now!”


Cherryville’s newest centenarian (one who has turned 100), Mrs. Beulah Beam Reynolds, recently celebrated that august milestone with family and friends, and, thanks to a proclamation from the City of Cherryville, is now a celebrity of sorts.
Mrs. Reynolds credits her long life and good health to God and His promise given in one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12) and echoed by His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew (chapter 19, v. 19).
Mayor H.L. Beam, III presented Mrs. Reynolds with a proclamation last week commemorating the fact she turned 100. He said he always enjoys being able to do things like this, adding, “I congratulated her and asked her what her secret was (to reaching the amazing milestone) and she said, ‘It’s all in the mind. In my mind I’m still 60!’”
Mayor Beam said, “As I said then, I like doing things like this (giving proclamations for great milestones in age reached by citizens) as I get to meet seniors and others like her who helped build our city. They are the backbone and bedrock of this town!”
Mrs. Reynolds’ daughter, Mrs. Dottie Brown, with whom she has lived the past two years, said her mother “was excited” to get the proclamation and “really enjoyed it.”
When Dottie asked her mother what she thought of all the attention, Mrs. Beam replied, “I’m getting really popular now!”
Dottie continued, “Her mind is still good and she would love to be able to do a lot of the things she used to do but can no longer do. She loved to read a lot, especially to her grandkids, but has a hard time doing that these days.”
Dottie said her mom walks with a walker but, due to a foot injury, currently wears a “boot” to help keep her foot stabilized so there is no re-injury.
“Mom has always said God has been good to her and has let her live a good, long life. She always helped look after her grandkids, and she has lived a very good life, staying active. She loves going to church (Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Cherryville). She was always good to her mother and father and that’s why she thinks He (the Lord) has let her live this long.”
The words of the proclamation honoring Mrs. Reynolds are as follows: “Whereas, Mrs. Beulah Beam Reynolds was born on Oct. 4, 1922 in Cherryville NC, the daughter to Clair and Mary Beam. Mrs. Beam was born at home and was one of seven children. Her father, Clair Beam, and great-grandfather, Sidney Beam, were highly involved with the Cherryville New Year Shooters; and whereas she became the wife of Clarence Reynolds until his death on Dec. 26, 1998. They were blessed with two children; one son, Fred Reynolds, and a daughter Dottie Reynolds Brown, both of Cherryville. She has three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; and whereas, in addition to being a wife and mother, she also worked at Carlton Yarn Mill for 40 years. She also enjoyed helping care for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and whereas, she loved to go on tours with groups and travel to different places. She loved meeting new people and enjoyed life wherever she went. She has been a member of Mt Zion Baptist Church in Cherryville, NC, since
Aug. 28, 1938. She loved to help in various departments at the church but loved working in the nursery. She is currently the oldest living member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and was honored at their homecoming recently. She loves her Lord, family and her church.
“Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as the Mayor for the City of Cherryville, I do hereby deem it an honor and pleasure to extend this Certificate of Recognition to MRS. BEULAH BEAM REYNOLDS on the occasion of her 100th birthday, with sincere congratulations and best wishes for many more happy years in the future.”
Mayor Beam signed the proclamation and City Clerk Paige H. Green, CMC, NCCMC, also signed it as well, making it all official. Mrs. Reynolds was presented with a signed and dated copy of the proclamation on a plaque for posterity’s sake.
Mrs. Reynolds had her daughter, Dottie, and other family members at her side when she received the proclamation. Also present was Mrs. Connie McDiarmid, of Meals on Wheels, who came by and helped with the celebration.
Said Dottie, “I love my mother and I enjoy having her here with me. I am looking forward to many more years to come for her beyond this.”
Mrs. Brown noted Mrs. Reynolds was honored by Rev. Keith Huss and the congregation of Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2022. She also noted Mt. Zion’s retired pastor, the Rev. Wayne Key called her mother and sang “Happy Birthday” to her.
“That really meant a lot to her and made her smile,” said Dottie, who added she wanted to thank all the folks who made her mother’s 100th birthday a very special day for her.
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The official logo/graphic for the CLT’s production of “Misery”. (photo provided)

Cherryville Little Theater to put on Stephen King play, “Misery”

Play, full of “drama and suspense”, set to open on Friday, Oct. 28


Officials and personnel at the Cherryville Little Theater have announced their upcoming performances for the Stephen King-inspired play by playwright, William Golden, “Misery”.
Director Robert Owens said the play opens on Friday, Oct. 28 and will be performed also on Saturday, Oct. 29, and again on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. All play times start at 7 p.m. Cherryville Little Theatre is located at 301 W. Academy St, Cherryville, NC, and their phone number for ticket (and further) information is (704) 435-1742. Tickets are $10 on sale online or at the door, said Sarah Fox Sandoval, of the CLT.
Director Owens said, “We are very excited to be bringing this show to the people after many years of dreaming about it. The cast is filled with incredibly talented veterans of the CLT stage. Cherryville may not be ready for the drama and suspense that we are bringing to the stage.”
The gist of the play “Misery” follows, as the media information noted, the “…successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his ‘number one fan,’ Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new ‘Misery’ novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does.”
This show – it must be noted – is suitable for adult audiences and contains some explicit language, according to the CLT media release.
The original Broadway production produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, in association with Castle Rock Entertainment Liz Glotzer, (Mark Kaufman, Martin Shafer, and Raymond Wu), with the World Premiere produced at Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA (Jed Bernstein, Producing Director).
As was noted earlier, the CLT play will be directed by Mr. Robert Owens, with the assistant director credits going to Mr. Zachary Ray.
CLT staff noted the Stage Manager is Nancy Boyd Lemke; Assistant Stage Manager is Roman Meadows; while the backstage will be handled by Leilani Raybourn, Dylan Moore, and Elise McKenna.
Costumes are by Matt Brown with Special Effects Makeup by Noah Bolton.
The cast is as follows: Kevin Burke as Paul Sheldon; Jamie Hardin as Annie Wilkes; Jim Chandler as Sheriff Buster; Dylan Moore as Paul Sheldon (understudy); and Elise McKenna as Annie Wilkes (understudy).
Rehearsals just started according to Sarah Fox Sandoval of the CLT.
Please reach out to director Robert Owens for follow up questions and more information at Robert Owens: robowens1989, or by calling the main number (listed above) for the Cherryville Little Theater.
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Kaitlyn Newsome, Gabrielle McCorkle, Sarah Eaker, Kendall Chupp, and Payton Godfrey; these five ladies are the members of the CHS 2022 Homecoming Court. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville High School’s 2022 Homecoming Friday, Oct. 7

Five senior girls say they are all excited to have been selected to be on the Court


Five CHS senior ladies have been selected by their classmates to make up the 2022 Homecoming Court. They are (in alphabetical order): Kendall Chupp, Sarah Eaker, Payton Godfrey, Gabrielle McCorkle, and Kaitlyn Newsome. One of them will be crowned on Oct. 7 as the 2022 CHS Homecoming Queen.
Kendall Mae Chupp, 17, is the daughter of Jess and Leanna Chupp. Her sibling is Rylon Chupp, a ninth grader at CHS. She has been active in the following: Varsity cheerleader, yearbook editor, Metal Heads, FCA, Interact Club, and is a youth member at Westview Baptist Church. She hopes to obtain a Bachelor’s in biology and wants to become a medical doctor. Of her selection to the 2022 Homecoming Court, she said, “I am honored to be chosen by my peers as one of the five girls on Homecoming Court.”
Sarah Elizabeth Eaker, 17, is the daughter of Allen and Lisa Eaker. Her siblings
are Noah Eaker and Katie Eaker, both CHS grads. Eaker is a 4-year Varsity cheerleader and is in the Interact Club, the Metal Heads pep club, and the FCA. She said she plans to attend either Appalachian State University or North Carolina State University and major in Business.
“I feel honored to be chosen by my peers and thankful to have this opportunity (to be on the 2022 Homecoming Court),” she said.
Payton Abigail Godfrey, 17, is the daughter of Janelle and David Godfrey and the sister of CHS grad Colton Godfrey. Payton is a three-year Varsity cheerleader and is a member of the National Honor Society, the Metal Heads pep club, and the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). Her college plans are to attend East Carolina University and major in biology. Of her selection to the Homecoming Court, she said, “I feel honored and thankful to be a part of my hometown tradition.”
Gabrielle McCorkle, 17, is the daughter of Vincent and Amanda McCorkle. Her sister, Logan McCorkle, is a 9th-grader at CHS. She is active in Lady Ironmen basketball and track. Is in the National Honor Society, FCA, Interact Club, the SGA, the Game Club and is the Senior Class President as well as being in the Marching Ironmen band.
She wishes to attend NC A&T University to major in English and minor in Business.
“I am just excited and honored to have this opportunity to represent my school!” she said.
Kaitlyn Newsome, 18, is the daughter of Tripper and Candie Newsome. Her siblings are Eli Newsome, an 11th-grader at CHS, and little sister, Paisley Newsome, who is 4.
Kaitlyn plays volleyball and softball (9-12th grades); was crowned Miss Sweetheart 2022 in the CHS Pageant; and has participated in the Metal Heads pep club (9th grade) and the FCA (12th grade).
Currently, she is undecided about where she plans to attend college.
“I’m truly honored and very excited to be chosen by my fellow classmates to be a part of Homecoming Court!” she said, adding, “Win or lose, this will be such an awesome experience that I will remember forever!”
The CHS 2022 Homecoming activities will start with the school’s Spirit Week, which is Oct. 3 – 7, with the always popular Homecoming Parade being held at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in downtown Cherryville.
As for the parade, Ms. Pope noted that hopefully Main Street construction will be at least most of the way completed, but if not, she said there is a “Plan B,” which is discussed below in this article.
Additionally, the Homecoming Football game will be that Friday night (Oct. 7), starting at 7:30 p.m. The Ironmen are scheduled to play the Highland Tech Rams.
According to information received from CHS, at the halftime Homecoming activities all the following students will participate in the listed activities as noted: the Homecoming Queen will be crowned by last year’s Queen (miss Khya Brooks) and the five senior girls who have been selected by the senior class to be on the HC Court will be on the field, along with their escorts.
Kendall Chupp will be escorted by Will Fowler; Sarah Eaker will be escorted by Kanon Willis; Payton Godfrey will be escorted by Carson Kelly; Gabrielle McCorkle will be escorted by Numarius Goode; and Kaitlin Newsome will be escorted by Eli Newsome.
The following students were selected by their class to represent the class for Homecoming: Freshmen – Logan McCorkle and Talon Dalton; Sophomore – Ebelin Gomez and Javier Moran; Junior – Ceniya Powell and Chance Hunt; and Senior – Lani Philbeck and Will Heavner.
The following club representatives were selected by their class to represent the class for Homecoming: Art Club – Kelly Diaz and Justin Johnson; Band – Taylor Chapman and Hayden Maiers; Bible Club – Camryn Cash and Hunter Griffin; FCA – Layla Davis and Logan “Judd” Ervin; National Honor Society – Katie Diaz and Joseph England; and Metal Heads: Rileigh Kiser and Roy Powers.
The senior football team sponsors are the girls who are being sponsored by the senior Ironmen football team players. They are listed as follows: name of participant, sponsored by, and escorted by: Savannah Christian, and Corey Alston; Hallie Jackson, Abram Avery, and Davin Digh; Briley Wright, Kam Bolin, and Robbie Bowman; Emily Allen, Jack Dellinger, and Will Allen; Kylie Perry, Dawson Frady, and Harry Lawson; Mikayla Sigmon, Elijah Gibson, and Elis Sloan; Kylie Reynolds, Landon Hahn, and Colin Robinson; Taylor Digh, Bryson Huffman, and Tyler Blalock; Anna Leigh Jones, Collin Huss, and Peyton Huffman; Addie Breese; Seth Kahler, and Blake Cochrane; Chloe Stroupe, Chase Miller, and Aaron Heavner; Ava Miller, Tobias Miller, and Braydon Reynolds; Gracie Truesdell, Tanner Sisk, and Billy Carroll; Kate Bookout, Jibri Starr, and Nate Bookout; Maddie Jenkins, Ben Street, and Bryson Withers; and Sadie Boyd, Gage Vernon, and James Bell.
By way of an update on the parade route, Ms. Pope said, “We will be making the final decision about the parade route closer to the parade date. If Main Street is not ready, our parade route will be as follows: cars will still line up in the First Baptist Church parking lot. Cars will still make a left out of the lot onto First Street” turn left on Mulberry and cross the bridge. They will continue down Mulberry until Ballard Street where they will make a right onto Elm Street. They will continue down Elm, crossing the railroad tracks and turning right at the Storage Center/Post Office on First. They will then go down First and turn back into the parking lot at First Baptist Church.”
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Workers installing the brick pavers on the corner by the Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street. (photo provided)

Main Street’s construction nearer to  October completion

Mayor, city staff, merchants enthusiastically looking forward to the completion of construction


Main Street Downtown Director David Day noted recently that construction on the town’s Main Street project is nearing completion.
“Mayor HL Beam and the city staff are enthusiastically looking forward to the soon completion of construction on Main Street,” said Mr. Day, who quoted Mayor Beam as saying, “Our citizens have been patient for more than a year. Our project began in early July of 2021. Now, we all have the end in sight. A lot has been accomplished in only 14 months. We’re seeing our dream take shape.”
Day also said Mayor Beam particularly praised the patience of the downtown merchants and owners by noting what all they have been through in those 14 months.
Said Mayor Beam, “They’ve been through a lot. Now, they’ll see the payoff with a gorgeous Main Streat. We expect we’ll see Cherryville being a destination in the coming years.”
Day also noted Director of Public Works Brandon Abernathy saying that, barring inclement weather, crews will continue moving west toward completing at Mulberry Street.
“After the sidewalks are complete, the crews will repave the street in a few weeks,” said Mr. Abernathy.
City Manager Brian Dalton, pointing out the size
 and scale of the massive construction project, said,
“This has been a huge collective effort to revitalize our downtown. We’ve replaced miles of water and
sewer pipes, gas  lines  and sidewalks. It’s remarkable what has been done already.”
Downtown Director Day said he’s already seeing the fruits of the project.
“We get calls literally every week from entrepreneurs wanting to talk about the new Cherryville,” said Day. “The future is bright thanks to the efforts of all our citizens. We already have commitments from nine new business to the downtown.
For further information on the Main Street Project, citizens can contact David Day at (704) 435-3451.
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Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, speaks at the 21st 911 Remembrance Ceremony, held this year at Starnes Auditorium. (Eagle/CF Media photo by Michael E. Powell)

21st 911 Remembrance Ceremony reminds us to “never forget”

Sept. 9 event at WBBI reminds all to reflect on the price paid by the men, women who served on that fateful day


The 21st annual Cherryville Fire Department September 11th Remembrance Ceremony was held Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 at 9 a.m. at W. Blaine Beam Intermediate’s Starnes Auditorium.
Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford and Assistant Fire Chief Colby Heffner both noted when they spoke to the gathered crowd of students, teachers, and a handful of citizens who attended, it is an occasion to remind all of us in Cherryville to reflect on the price paid by the brave men and women who served on that fateful day, many of them paying the ultimate price for their service to their fellow man.
The City of Cherryville and the Cherryville Fire Department held the event – as they have for the past 21 years – to honor the memory of the 2,977 innocent civilians; 343 NYFD firefighters; 27 NYPD officers; and 37 New York Port Authority officers who were murdered that day at the hands of a small group of radical religious fanatics.
All perished when the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers crashed to the earth in New York City in a cloud of smoke, debris, and choking dust, and in the Pentagon, and on a quiet field in Pennsylvania.
Fire Chief Jason Wofford, after welcoming everyone, noted their guest speaker, Mr. Peter Cachia, was ill and was unable to attend the event. Cachia was present at Ground Zero on that tragic day, noted Chief Wofford, and was to have spoken about his experiences there as he had a front row seat to the world being forever changed. Cachia, a former NY firefighter and an EMT, was assigned to the NY City FD that day.
Bagpiper Ryan White, a Captain with the Gastonia Fire Department, performed on the pipes, as he has done in past ceremonies, paying “Going Home” and “Amazing Grace” at different intervals of the ceremony.
Mayor H.L. Beam III spoke and read Mr. Cachia’s October 2001 deposition to the 911 Committee about what he saw that day.
Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Cherryville High School Band, led by Director Mark Ewing, Jr., performing the “National Anthem” and “Taps”, with the lowering of the flag by one of the CFD firefighters, to the accompaniment of the CHS Band.
In an earlier Eagle article, Chief Jenks said, “I am extremely appreciative of the City of Cherryville for continuing to conduct a 911 Remembrance Ceremony. This year will mark 21 years since the horrific attacks on our country. It is very important to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice especially for our younger generation who was not alive during this time.”
Fire Chaplin Vince Hefner gave the opening and closing prayers and an explanation and Tolling of the Bell was given by Asst. Chief Heffner and Capt. Trent Rayfield. Bagpiper Capt. White played while EMS personnel Jason Stowe and Kimberley Woody made the wreath presentation, placing it in front of the stage in memory of the 911 fallen.
Chief Wofford said he and his men and women all felt the program went well despite Mr. Cachia not being able to attend. “We are happy to have the community involvement we did while we remember those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.” He added.
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Some of the crowd in attendance at the 2021 911 Remembrance Day Ceremony. (Eagle/CF Media file photos by Michael E. Powell)

City’s 21st 911 Remembrance
Ceremony, a call to “never forget”

Sept. 9 event an occasion to remind all to reflect on the price paid by the men, women who served on that fateful day


The 21st annual Cherryville Fire Department September 11th Remembrance Ceremony will be held Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 at 9 a.m. at the venerable Starnes Auditorium, said Fire Chief Jason Wofford.
And, like all the past events, Chief Wofford and Assistant Chief Colby Heffner both noted it is an occasion to remind all in Cherryville to reflect on the price paid by the brave men and women who served on that fateful day, many of them paying the ultimate price for their service to their fellow man.
The City of Cherryville and the Cherryville Fire Department are proud to have the event in memory of the 2,977 innocent civilians; 343 NYFD firefighters; 27 NYPD officers; and 37 New York Port Authority officers who were murdered at the hands of a small group of radical religious fanatics. All perished when the World
World Trade Center’s Twin Towers crashed to the earth in New York City, and in the Pentagon, and on a quiet field in Pennsylvania.
Fire Chief Jason Wofford said things will start that day with his welcome to everyone who is able to attend, followed by Bagpiper Ryan White, with the Gastonia Fire Department, performing on the pipes, as he has done in past ceremonies.
Mayor H.L. Beam III will then speak. He said, in reference to the event, “Cherryville has knocked a home run for this year’s 911 ceremony by scheduling our guest speaker, Mr. Peter Cachia, formerly an EMT with the NYFD, and who was there that day, to speak to us.”
City Manager Brian Dalton said, “The City of Cherryville, specifically the Cherryville FD has participated in remembering what happened on 9/11/01 every year and will continue to do so. We are fortunate this year to have a speaker that was present at Ground Zero on this day in America’s History and we look forward to hearing Mr. Peter Cachia talk about his experience of this tragic day.” 
Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Cherryville High School Band, led by Director Mark Ewing, Jr., performing the “National Anthem” and “Taps”, with the lowering of the flag by Capt. Nathan Bowman, accompanied by the CHS Band.
Said Chief Jenks, “I am extremely appreciative of the City of Cherryville for continuing to conduct a 911 Remembrance Ceremony. This year will mark 21 years since the horrific attacks on our country.  It is very important to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice especially for our younger generation who was not alive during this time.”
Mayor H.L. Beam III will introduce the guest speaker, Mr. Peter Cachia, who was present when the two towers fell, his department (along with all in the city then) having just received the distress call. Cachia is retired from the New York City Fire Dept., after, according to a short “bio”, “…(serving) 14 years as a firefighter and an EMT.” He also served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for his hometown of Massapequa, New York for 24 years, it was noted in the “bio”.
Chief Wofford said Fire Chaplin Vince Hefner will give the opening and closing prayers and an explanation and Tolling of the Bell will be performed by Asst. Chief Heffner and Capt. Trent Rayfield. Bagpiper Capt. White will then play while EMS personnel will then make the wreath presentation in memory of the 911 fallen.
At the 2020 event, Councilwoman and Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Parker-Puett, an EMS worker for 27 years, spoke, praising all firefighters, police, and EMTs everywhere for their sacrifices on a daily basis.
Chief Wofford said they and the City encourage any citizen to attend. We are happy to have community involvement while we remember those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
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Members of the Collinswood family of Bessemer City enjoying a little leisure time at the Cherryville Pool. (Eagle/CF Media file photo by Michael E. Powell)

Cherryville Family “Y” has great season at Ballard Park pool


Josey Messer, the Associate Executive Director of the Cherryville Family YMCA and the Pharr Family YMCA, said the “Y’s” work and classes at the Cherryville pool are over for this year.
The City’s Ballard Park – Yates McGinnis Pool was officially open for business starting Saturday, June 11, Messer noted, in a previous Eagle article.
Josey also said the lifeguards on duty this summer were Samuel Herrera, Luke Harmon, Eric White, and Jessica Wallace, who did a great job, he added.
Messer said he the lifeguards they had this summer were some students that “lived close”, with the help of “…some that drove as far as South Gaston Area to work our Cherryville pool.”
“Our last day of service was Saturday, Aug. 20,” said Mr. Messer. “We were able to open and serve a little more than we did the first year out of COVID, but obviously, lifeguards were still hard to find.”
He continued, “With that said, we had one of our best seasons so far as participation in our activities went. We had upwards of 75 participants in a day on some weekends.”
Josey also noted that their famous water aerobics class was brought back and they had “…anywhere from 8 to 12 (participants) in our classes on Thursdays.” The teacher for that class was Debbie Lesenger, he noted. She started teaching those classes on June 23.
Messer said he and the YMCA family were happy with the results this season, adding, “The pool was also able to see children from different camps in the county come by and use the pool and have fun. Our Summer camp program in Belmont also brought children to enjoy our Cherryville pool. I think that is a great service  to see our youth across the county enjoying what Cherryville has to offer.”
Josey overall impression of this season’s pool-time fun is simple: “The pool is a very fun program with the ‘Y’ getting to partner with the City of Cherryville. Who does not like to be at the pool over the summer?”
As for next year, Messer said he hopes the Cherryville Family YMCA will “…have a chance to improve and continue to manage the Cherryville pool.”
Additionally, Messer is also pleased with how the Cherryville afterschool program is going. The location is still at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, he added.
For more information on that program, he said to visit
For more information on other Cherryville YMCA programs call (704) 445-9622.
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CHS Principal Shawn Hubers and mural artist Lynette Christensen in front of the completed mural Lynette painted honoring the school’s staff and teachers. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Talented custodian Christensen paints mural at Cherryville HS


Cherryville Elementary School custodian and Gaston County school bus driver Lynette Christensen loves art; she loves looking at it, but she especially loves getting to make it and share it with others.
So, when she was on an exercise walk around the hall of one of the CHS buildings prior to her starting out on her bus route, she happened to glance up at some of the brightly colored murals on the upper part of the walls. She also noticed there were a couple of empty spaces there and the idea came to her mind that perhaps she could fill one of those spaces with a mural dedicated to the hard-working staff at CHS.
She took her idea to Principal Shawn Hubers and he agreed to give her a shot at putting her idea on the wall in paint and marker, and photographs – a veritable multimedia artistic montage!
As she was setting up her ladder last week to put a couple of finishing touches to it, she said, “This has taken me about a year to do. As I said, every morning before I started my bus route for CHS, I would walk this hallway to exercise. I saw the other murals on the wall so I asked Mr. Hubers if I could do it. He approved my draft drawing, then I started on it,” she said. “I had to do it after school or on holidays.”
Lynette said her preferred medium for the mural was acrylic paint markers as they are easier to handle and less “messy”. She also noted this is the first time she has ever tackled a mural before.
Additionally, Christensen said she also painted the four picnic tables set up outside the high school’s cafeteria doors. She said she repaints old wooden furniture, such as chairs and dressers. Lynette is also a Zentangle teacher, an art form she said she enjoys “very much.”
“My sister-in-law, Mary Bartrop, got me started in that, and now I teach it. I’ve been doing that now for about
three years,” noted Christensen.
Zentangle is a form of art that is akin to free-style “doodling” and is purported to help one calm down or get oneself focused, according to web sites dedicated to the art style.
After placing a couple more of the small head shots on the wall, Christensen declared the mural finished.
Principal Shawn Hubers said of the mural, “It looks great. It’s good too for our new students to put faces to the names and it adds to our hall and makes it an interesting place to be.”
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Chrystal Harmon and son Seth, manned the kindergarten and first and grade table, along with Kathy Beam and daughter Anna Kathryn. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

2022 school supplies drive at First United Methodist big success

Aug. 13 event saw many kids, parents, get supplies-stuffed backpacks for the new school year


Last Saturday’s collection of school supplies-filled backpacks went pretty quickly, according to the event’s organizers and they were thrilled to see so many kids, their parents, grandparents, and others come by for the backpacks, as well as the free haircuts and the Table of Grace food. And did we mention the live Christian music provided by Brian Emerson and Kelly Eaker? That was outstanding as well!
Tents were set up on the front parking area of First United Methodist Church of Cherryville, the host church for this year’s giveaway, and each grade level had backpacks chock-full of the needed and grade-appropriate materials kids need to get off on the right foot their first day of school. From K through 12, every grade level was represented, with even a table full of generic backpacks there just in case more than those registered came by in need of supplies.
Chrystal Harmon and son Seth, 9, manned the kindergarten and first and grade table, along with Kathy Beam and daughter Anna Kathryn (6). Chrystal said several kids had come through that morning, adding that it “…all was going good.”
Second grade teacher Kelly Brown was at the second and third grade table with Gaston School Board representative from Cherryville, Beverly “Robbie” Lovelace and Dawn Moss. They agreed with Chrystal it was all “going good”, adding also that the crowds were “steady”.
Said Mrs. Brown, “Everybody has everything  they need to level the playing
field (for their first day back to school).”
When asked how she and her fellow teachers were faring regarding supplying their classrooms this year, Kelly noted, “Having the community’s support helps us get what we need for our classrooms.”
At the fourth and fifth grade tents, Teresa Allen and Kathy Eaker said they started out with 14 bags and were down to three.
“They really went fast!” said Ms. Allen.
At the sixth and seventh grade tent, the Sherrill brothers (Colin, Kevin, and Ethan) and their friends, Dylan Brittain and Benjamin LaSalle, had five bags left.
Off to the side of the church’s entranceway, members of Boy Scout Troop 78, which is sponsored by FUMC, waved at folks who passed by and invited them in for free hot dogs and to check things out, especially if they had any school-age children. The boys – Gabriel Patterson, Zachary Harmon, Jace Absher, Brock Gaston, and Shane Headrick – were led by Scoutmasters Andrew Harmon and Chester York. Scoutmaster Harmon said they have 13 members in their Troop.
Hair stylists Shannon Carpenter, Megan Harris (Southern Roots Salon), and Stephanie Digh (Modern Salon & Spa) provided free haircuts to many of the kids so they would look sharp their first day back to school.
Phebe Beam noted that everyone who came by has been cordial and appreciative of everything.
“It has been a blessing to see all these people come out,” she said. “It is also a blessing seeing these three young ladies (the hairstylists) giving of their time to do the Lord’s work.”
Kim Eaker, a long-time Cherryville community volunteer who has been affiliated with these backpack giveaways for some time now, noted the bags that were not picked up by kids that were registered will be dropped off at the schools, adding the other bags will be available for kids at Cherryville Area Ministries.
In an earlier Eagle article Ms. Eaker commented that, “We, as Christ followers, are called to take care of each other. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5 NIV)
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Patrick O’Leary welcomes everyone to the showing of the property at 116 E. Main St., a.k.a. The Belk Building. After three and a half years of renovation work, it was open for a tour last Wednesday, Aug. 3. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Former Belk-Matthews building newest property to get renovated

Hard work, caring parties create another Main Street gem in former downtown


Once again, all it took was a whole lot of hard work and some very caring and interested and talented individuals to turn a former Cherryville downtown destination into a Main Street work of architectural art. Of course, being able to invest a $1 million-plus into the project certainly helped.
The building at 116 E. Main St., was built, according to information received from Vickie Spurling Realty, in 1921, making it 101 years old. It is 7,140 square feet in size and now has four apartments upstairs; two two-bedroom apartments, approximately 850 square feet in size, and two one-bedroom apartment/lofts of approximately 600 square feet in size. All four apartments are actually different sizes, and all are complete with modern appliances. The downstairs space in comprised of one large retail space (1,000 square feet); five smaller spaces for retail or office use, noted Mrs. Spurling, all complimented by a beautiful, shared conference room, kitchen & restroom, she said.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, a group of City of Cherryville staff, Chamber of Commerce staff, Cherryville Main Street staff, as well as representatives of Vickie Spurling Realty, Hoyle Construction, Upland Architecture, and others involved in the restoration of the old building, met inside the old building to essentially christen it and show off the finished project.
Patrick O’Leary, who has been involved with this and other completed (and future) restoration projects in Cherryville, welcomed everyone and said, “This has been our largest project on Main Street, taking three and half years. We ran into supply chain issues, but we are very proud of the job we have done here. The whole idea here in what we are doing in Cherryville is about rejuvenation, which you cannot have without people. To that end we have been building apartments here in downtown and we now have six so far.”
Chamber Board President Pete Craft also welcomed
everyone to the affair, catered by Susan Eason Caterers, and introduced Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, who said, after looking around at the beautiful interior of the room in which everyone met, “Here we have what we have long awaited and anticipated – a beautiful building on our Main Street, in Cherryville, where life blossoms.” Mayor Beam then went on to recognize Vickie Spurling Realty for spearheading the town’s building revival and all those construction contractors for all their hard work, as well as everyone who has helped make the Belk restoration project a completed dream come true.
Main Street Chairperson Donna Beringer said of the renovation, “It is over the top beautiful! And such a great addition to our downtown. I can’t thank them enough!”
Mr. O’Leary noted that he and Vickie worked together to make the Belk building “reno” happen, literally from the inside out.
Said O’Leary, “I want to thank everyone, for we received wonderful support, from Brian Dalton and the City staff, the Chamber’s David Day and Mary Beth Tackett, just everyone! Thank you all! We are very excited about the Streetscape Project and can’t wait to see what it’s all going to look like once it is finished.”
Patrick also noted all of the vendors were local people, “Most notably the renovation team headed by General Contractor Hoyle Construction’s Chris Spurling; Project Manager Vickie Spurling of Vickie Spurling Realty; Upland Architects of Shelby’s Mark Patterson (who said he has worked on six projects for Mr. O’Leary and Spurling Realty); Construction Superintendent, Hoyle Construction, Vic Hoyle; Max Baxter Roofing’s Andrew Baxter; Joe Eaker of All American HVAC; Dellinger Electric’s Gary Dellinger; Heath Jackson of Heath Jackson Plumbing; Richard Blanton of Gaston Sprinkler; Logan Stevens of Stevens Interiors (the tin ceilings); Rodney Fredell of R&R Dunrite Floors; Derrick Hoskins of Derrick Hoskins Hardwood Flooring Finish for the second floor work; Brian Francis for the Sheetrock/Firestop work; Geoff Slusser of Unique Audio Video, Cable Communications; Mike Clark of Modern Security (fire system; Donald Alexander of A&A Painting; Chuck Sneed (brick work); Kent Spurling (VSR) for the signage, IT and graphic design; James Lail of Cherryville Signs (photo prints and art; Pam & Hubert McGinnis, McGinnis Furniture; and Jennifer Hoyle for cleaning.
A brief history of the was noted by the many tour guides who led folks throughout the building showing off some of the building’s features.
On the wall of the central hall is a copy of the 1914 Sanborn Insurance map which shows the three wooden buildings which stood on the original site of the Belk building. The Belk building was also listed as having been an auto repair garage in 1925.
Tour guide Noah Abernethy noted that, according to his guide noted, Belk-Matthews occupied the building and the two adjacent buildings from 1936 to the end of 1998. A Charlotte Observer article from December 1998 noted Belk’s announced the store was closing. The building, a Cherryville landmark, is still affectionately known to everyone in town today as The Belk Building.
Belk’s was founded in 1888 and by the 1990s it had over 300 stores in the South – mostly partnerships with local merchandisers. The Cherryville store was originally a partnership with the Matthews family and was the 125th store opened by the Belk organization. In 2016 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as one of 53 contributing buildings that make up The Cherryville Downtown Historic District.
An interesting note is that during construction Vickie noted their crews exposed a painted sign on what was originally on the exterior of 114 East Main Street. The sign is dated “1912” and says “JF Carpenter Restaurant”
“We know from photographs that an identical sign was also painted on the West Side of 114 East Main,” she said.
Mr. O’Leary also thanked building neighbors Alice Sisk and Max Rainwater who graciously gave their support for the removal of the large green metal transom and awning.
“This  was difficult and required their support and cooperation of Max Rainwater and Alice Sisk our neighbors on either side, and for that we thank them,” he said.
While the large shop front’s future is under discussion with a number of potential tenants, Mr. O’Leary and Mrs. Spurling both noted the offices on the other side of the building will be used for Mr. Jas Taylor’s Print 3-D business, and Mr. Reggie Walker from Unishippers will operate his shipping business out of the other.
There are three other spaces available and if anyone is interested they may call Vickie Spurling Realty regarding those spaces.
As for that is next on the two’s projects development list?
Said Vickie, “Our next project is a complete renovation and restoration of The Fish Box on First Street. The architects have completed their first draft drawings and we have cleared the lot behind it. We will start construction soon.”
They also intend to build more apartments on Main St., and 126 West Main Street’s three-story building will most likely be next to start construction.
“We plan eight apartments and a parking lot across the street on the corner of Main and Mulberry. The building will also have an elevator,” she noted.
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New HPVFD Chief Trent Rayfield in the department’s truck and equipment bay. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Trent “Bam Bam” Rayfield is new chief of Hugh’s Pond VFD

Young chief serious about getting new volunteers to serve the community


Cherryville native and Cherryville Fire Department Captain Trent “Bam Bam” Rayfield has recently become the chief at Hugh’s Pond Volunteer Fire Department, a.k.a. HPVFD, Unit 72.
The fire department is located on Tot Dellinger Rd., just west of Cherryville.
Rayfield, 25, said the volunteer fire department, which has been around since 1976, had as their previous chief, Aaron Vance, Jr., who was the head man from 2916 until just last month.
“Bam Bam” said, like many other firefighters – volunteer and paid – he had a dream of doing what he is doing now since childhood.
At HPVFD Rayfield said they are all “100 percent volunteer”, just as he is for the department; in other words no one gets paid to do what they do for their little community or any of the others nearby to which they lend mutual aid with personnel and equipment.
They are, like other departments, having a bit of a problem – warm bodies (in the way of volunteers and workers) are very hard to come by in this post-COVID world.
“We’re proud we are a 100 percent volunteer force,” said Rayfield, adding the force there was “20-strong!”
Rayfield, a 2014 CHS graduate, has been with the CFD for a number of years, but has only been a captain there for a year.
As far as HPVFD’s crew and their training are concerned, Rayfield noted they have to have “…at least 36 hours per year, which is required by the state in order to remain on the state’s roster of active fire departments. We have to do this every year.”
Rayfield said he will soon have his Associates in Fire Protection Technology and hopes to have his Bachelor’s degree, which he plans to take at either Western Carolina University or Eastern Kentucky University.
He said his parents – Mom Roxanne and his late father, Timothy, have always been very supportive of his being a firefighter. He has a sister, Kasey and an older brother, Ryan, and he was raised as a Baptist.
As for the HPVFD, Rayfield noted that former Chief Vance left them in “good shape”.
“I would like to work on getting more volunteers. That’s the struggle right now; not just here, but everywhere, for smaller departments,” he said. “We have reached out on social media and have had a couple of interested individuals. It’s all about us building a better rapport with our community; everyone we serve,” he said.
Hugh’s Pond, according to “Bam Bam”, has a response time of about three and a half minutes, which is roughly what small VFD’s average. Still, he said, “We still need more personnel!”
When asked about his Hanna-Barbera cartoon Flintstone’s character-related nickname, Rayfield smiled and told the following story, “When I was about one and half to two years old, he was over to a neighbor’s house with a wiffle baseball bat in his hand, hitting things with it, so a friend of his mom’s gave him the handle and it has stuck ever since.
Rayfield’s hobbies, when he isn’t answering fire calls or on duty at CFD or HPVFD, include dirt track racing and fishing; not in that order, mind you.
“I do a little fishing when I can find the time,” he said, with a bit of a smile.
One thing young Rayfield is definitely serious about is getting more volunteers.
“Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer at Hugh’s Pond, or any fire department, really, or is interested in working as a volunteer firefighter at Hugh’s Pond, can call us at (704) 435-5642, or email us at
Said Chief Rayfield, “We think of ourselves as a family here, so we are looking for any volunteers to join and become a part of our family!”

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The Miss Fourth of July Pageant winners were Tiny Miss Gabrielle Shedd, Majestic Miss Skylar Blackburn, Miniature Miss Chrislyn Shook, Baby Miss Bella Mae Flowers, Young Miss Savannah Hubbard, and Little Miss Vivian Medrano. (photo submitted)

Cherryville’s Miss Fourth of July Pageant winners announced

Submitted by

The Miss Fourth of July Pageant was held on Friday evening, July 2, at the Cherryville Community Building. It was an official event of the big Independence Day celebration presented by the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce.
The following is a list of the winners, princesses, and award recipients: BITSY MISS: Bella Mae Flowers; MINIATURE MISS: Chrislyn Shook; TINY MISS: Gabrielle Shedd; LITTLE MISS: Vivian Medrano; YOUNG MISS: Savannah Hubbard; MAJESTIC MISS (overall winner): Skylar Blackburn; PRINCESSES: Zoey Haney, Emmalynn Burdette, Montana Kiser, Ahri Medlin, Olivia West, Kaylee Lamberth, Miley Littlejohn, and Lacey Lamberth; SIGNATURES (crown pin winners): Emmalynn Burdette, Chrislyn Shook, Gabrielle Shedd, Ahri Medlin, Skylar Blackburn, Savannah Hubbard; SIGNATURES (overall winner): Bella Mae Flowers; PHOTOGENIC (people’s choice overall winner): Savannah Hubbard; PHOTOGENIC (finalists for people’s choice): Skylar Blackburn, Chrislyn Shook, Ahri Medlin, Gabrielle Shedd; and FIRST APPLICATION AWARD: Ahri Medlin.
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Every school has their own “spirit rock” and W. Blaine Beam Intermediate is no exception. New Principal Joshua White stands by it, knowing it will give a whole new group of students inspiration for the new school year! (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville’s own Joshua White, new principal at WBBI

He is looking forward to the start of school, which is Wednesday, Aug. 17


Cherryville’s W. Blaine Beam Intermediate – home of the Falcons – has a new captain at the helm of the ship, or chief Falcon, if you will, in the person of principal, Joshua White.
He is quick to tell you he is looking forward to the start of school, which is Wednesday, Aug. 17, so he can meet some of the students and introduce himself.
Mr. White is a Cherryville native, and admits becoming an education professional was not his first choice, originally, for a profession, so far as he was concerned at the time, way back in his high school days.
“If you would have told me back then that I would come back here as a principal, I would’ve definitely laughed at you (and, he added, so would his teachers)!”
Joshua said he grew up on Sellerstown Road and Academy Street before graduating from Cherryville High in 2005.
He is married to his wife, Betsy (11 years) and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Kassie, who he noted “…starts kindergarten this August.” The couple still reside in Gastonia, he said.
He continued, “After graduating from CHS, I ended up at UNC-Charlotte majoring in finance and banking. While on a Summer mission trip where I got to teach and coach, I felt led to (the field of) education so I changed my major when I got back home and never looked back. I finished at Charlotte with a degree in history and education.”
White said he began his educational career in Gaston County Schools as a teacher assistant at Lingerfeldt Elementary.
“That really prepared me to have my own classroom, and in 2013, I began teaching history and coaching football, basketball, and baseball at Southwest Middle School in Gastonia. In 2018, I began as an assistant principal at Southwest and remained there for four years before being appointed principal at W.B. Beam Intermediate this year.”
Mr. White noted he is “…excited to return home to serve the community that provided me with a great education and a great upbringing,” adding, “I plan on working tirelessly to showcase how amazing our students and teachers are. I know how strong our schools have always been in Cherryville, and I look forward to being a part of continuing that tradition of excellence.”
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Patrick Watson, Cherryville Elementary’s new principal, stands before the school’s “Wall of Excellence”, which heralds those teachers and staff members who have served the children under their care with honor, care, love, and above, all… excellence. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Watson takes the reins as new
principal at Cherryville Elementary


Cherryville Elementary has a new principal in the person Mr. Patrick Watson. He takes over the helm from Mrs. Audrey Hovis who is pursuing other education avenues.
Watson hails from Cleveland County where he said both of his parents were involved teaching or education in some way.
“I grew up in Shelby, N.C.,” he said, “and both my parents were in education. My mother, Margaret Watson, was an AIG teacher for Cleveland County Schools and my father, Earl Watson, was Superintendent of Cleveland County Schools before he retired.”
Watson continued, “After graduating from Crest High School, I attended and graduated from Western Carolina University with a BA in English. A few years later, I graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a Master of Arts in Leadership.”
Watson is the father of three, whom he lovingly calls his “wonderful children”; Lucy, Emmett, and Eli.
Watson credits his parents as being “a big influence” in his decision to work in the education profession.
“I felt a calling to make a difference in the lives of other people as an educator,” he said, adding his “…first teaching job was at Chase High School in Rutherford County.”
He continued, “I taught English there for two years before accepting an English position at Crest High School.”
Watson noted that Cherryville Elementary is his first school as a principal, but added he has been in supervisory positions previously.
“I was appointed assistant principal at Southwest Middle School from 2012 – 2017, and an AP at Bessemer City Central Elementary from 2017 – 2022,” he said.
As for continuing the Little Ironmen traditions for which the school is so proud, he said, “We would like to continue to build on the wonderful things happening at Cherryville Elementary.  We are looking for a parent to lead our PTO for the upcoming school year, and we would like to remind parents of kindergarten students to register them as soon as possible. I am extremely excited to be principal at Cherryville Elementary, and I look forward to meeting all of our students and parents in August.”
For any questions or information about the kindergarten programs at Cherryville Elementary, calll (704) 836-9115, or visit them on the Gaston County Schools website.
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Butch and Kathy Boyd at last week’s retirement party for him. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Cherryville “Y’s” beloved Butch Boyd retires after 15-plus years

Many friends and co-workers came by and shared pizza and memories of good times


The staff and family of the Cherryville Family YMCA said a fond “See you later”, coupled with a heartfelt “We love ya!” to long-time manager/administrator Butch Boyd last Wednesday, June 29.
Boyd, who has been with the YMCA since May 2, 2007, and his wife of 54 years, Kathy, were the guests of honor at pizza party given in his honor at the new Cherryville YMCA, on Mountain Street.
All of Boyd’s friends and co-workers were there as well as many Y members who all came by to not only wish him well in his retirement but to wish him Happy Birthday as well since Wednesday was also his 76th birthday.
Gaston County Family YMCA CEO Sharon Padgett noted that Butch first started at the Stowe Family Y, manning the front desk, then moved over to the Central Y and worked front desk there.
She said, in a recent email to the Eagle, “He came to the Cherryville Y in 2010 and never looked back!”
Mr. Boyd said he has also worked in 2008 for the Billy Graham Ministries on a part-time and full-time basis in the past, thoroughly enjoying that work as he was able to witness about his Christian faith and his deeply held belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Boyd said he had two strokes while working for the BGEA and had to leave as a result of that, but added he truly loved being there.
He and Kathy have two children, Gary, 52, and Lea Ellen Binderup, 48. The Boyd’s (Butch and Kathy) are the grandparents of three, and enjoy spending time with them when they can do so.
Of his retirement, Butch said though he planned to retire at the first of 2022 but things didn’t go quite as planned. He is currently battling a health issue but thanks to his strong faith in God and with the help of his family and friends, he said he is going to continue to get better.
As for retirement, Boyd said, “Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do now that I’m retiring. I’m a true workaholic! I have worked since I was 16,” he said.
Boyd served his country, he said, in the Vietnam War, from 1967 to 1968 and was there, he added, during the bloody Tet Offensive.
His friend and fellow Cherryville Family ‘Y’ employee, Sandy Homesley (Accounts Payable), said she was going to miss working with him on a daily basis, but she said he mentioned to her and others he will try as much as he can to try and get by to see them every now and then.
“I have worked with Butch now for 15 years,” she said. “We both have good memories of being here at the Cherryville Y. I will never forget him and those memories and the people we have known and have gotten to join the Y. Our legacy here together is, I believe, is helping all those people have a healthier lifestyle. Our members are our mission; I really believe that.”
Employee Debbie Lesenger, who has worked with Butch for six years, said, “I’m definitely going to miss him. He is fun to work with. His Christian life bled over into his work life.”
New Cherryville Family YMCA director Josey Messer said that while he only got to work with Butch for six months, Butch is “irreplaceable”.
Messer continued, “The community impact; the relationships he has cultivated and created; this means for me to hear. He (Butch) has touched the full triangle (Spirit. Mind, Body) of who we are at the Y and what we do.”
Ms. Padgett continued in her praise for Butch by noting, “He has served as our Number One Ambassador in Cherryville. He has taught group exercise classes at Peak (Resources); water aerobics at the Cherryville pool; Silver Sneakers classes at the Cherryville Y; started the ‘Live Y’rs’ senior social hour at the Y. He and Sandy Homesley (his side kick) have made the Cherryville Y a place to belong for many people over the years. He has invited many of his classes to his house for pool parties; he has prayed for almost every person at the Cherryville Y and he has spoken at the funerals of some of his dearest friends from the Cherryville Y.”
Padgett further stated, “Butch didn’t just show up for work – he showed up every day for his purpose! His purpose was to love people through the Y and share the love of Christ through his daily example at the Y. His daily presence will be missed, but I know without a doubt that you will see him from time to time sitting at the table, drinking his sweet, sweet tea and fellowshipping with his best friend...YOU, the Y member!”
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Food distributions at the Monday, June 27 Mobile Food Pantry event at St. John’s Lutheran Church’s parking lot. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Church’s Mobile Food Pantry fulfills Christ’s command to feed the hungry

Next MFP event is Monday, July 25; Aug. 13 is school supplies giveaway


The many volunteers and workers who came out last Monday, June 27, to help St. John’s Lutheran Church’s Mobile Food Pantry ministry distribute food were fulfilling two of Christ’s commands to all believers – feed those who are hungry and help those who are in need.
One of the coordinators, Kim Eaker, noted the volunteers started working at 7:30 a.m., until noon, adding that the actual event runs from 10 a.m. until the supplies they have received to give out are all distributed. Another on-site was Ms. Barbara Decker, who is the Director of Community Affairs and Outreach Manager for the Mobile Food Pantry.
Kim also noted, as for time involved with the distribution, that, “On average we are done by 11:30 a.m.”, adding that Monday’s Mobile Food Pantry was hosted by the Cherryville Ministerial Association.
Eaker continued, “Hosting consists of paying for the truck’s transportation fee. Each Mobile Food Pantry is hosted (each month) by a different association, individual or group.”
For example, she stated that April’s pantry was hosted by Martha Beam; May’s pantry was hosted by First Presbyterian Church; July will be hosted by Mt. Zion Baptist Church; August will be hosted by the Eastern Star and September will be hosted by First United Methodist Church.
“On the actual day (of the distribution event) we have many volunteers from different churches. We  also  had students from John Chavis Middle School and Cherryville High School,” she said.
As for the food, she noted it is donated by Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
“We were given 31,782 pounds of food. We served 144 families, which equals 349 people,” Ms. Eaker said.
The Mobile Food Pantry has been going on now for two years, Kim noted, adding, “We started the mobile pantry in 2020. Cherryville Area Ministries partners with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and St. John’s Lutheran Church has partnered with us so we may use their parking lot as the hosting site. This is a group effort that requires time and dedication from all who volunteer.”
Eaker said their next Mobile Food Pantry food distribution will be on Monday, July 25, and she also is asking the community to come out and join them on Aug. 13 “…for a morning dedicated to giving to (the) children of the Cherryville community” by their giving out school supplies on that date.
Said Ms. Eaker, “The church hosting that event this year is First United Methodist Church, and it will be from 10 a.m., until 12 noon.”
St. John’s Lutheran Church is located at 601 N. Pink St., Cherryville, she said, adding for folks to please call Barbara at (704) 435-9264 (at St. John’s Lutheran) in order to register your children for that event starting now from now until July 30.
“We will also offer free haircuts the day of. When you call to register, please register for that also. There will also be special praise music. The Table of Grace will serve hotdogs with all the trimmings. This is a community event with churches and organizations in Cherryville,” she said.
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Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III stands in front of a local business, looking over the work being done to the town’s sidewalks. (photo provided)

Mayor Beam praises construction progress as first sidewalks poured

SIT/REP: North alley almost complete with construction still slated to be completed by early fall


In a recent media release, Downtown Main Street Director David Day said Cherryville’s Mayor H.L. Beam, III praised the work that has been done so far, especially on the town’s sidewalks.
Said Mr. Day in the release, “Mayor H.L. Beam enthusiastically toured the first sidewalks to be poured as part of the downtown revitalization and praised Cherryville’s citizens for their vision and patience.”
“We’re all excited to see this moment,” said Beam. “Our citizens took a bold step. Now, they’re seeing our dream take shape.”
Day noted Mayor Beam was “particularly complimentary” of the citizens, downtown merchants, and owners.
“They’ve been really great,” said Beam. “Huge projects like this challenge us all. But they’ve more than met the test.”
Mr. Day noted Director of Public Works Brandon Abernathy said that the construction crews working downtown have battled the weather and shortages of materials and laborers.
Said Mr. Abernathy, “We really appreciate how diligent they’ve been to keep making progress. They’ve worked around every problem.”
Cherryville City Manager Brian Dalton said the plan is still to continue working west, section by section.
“Now that the first section is poured, we’re really going to see things move,” said Dalton, who also noted that once
the North Alley is complete, they will move to the South Alley to begin repaving there as well.
Downtown Director Day said he is in touch with merchants and citizens alike.
“We’re posting regularly on our website and on our Facebook page,” Day said, adding, “I talk to citizens every day. I hear about problems. But I also sense people’s enthusiasm. Seeing the progress is exciting for us all.”
Citizens with any questions can contact Mr. Day at the Chamber of Commerce at (704) 435-3451.

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Office manager for MainStreet Family Care, Dylan Lageman, wields the big scissors as he cuts the ribbon, officially opening the group’s Cherryville location, one of their newest of the 15 the currently staff and own. With Mr. Lageman are MSF-UC’s staff as well as Mayor H.L. Beam and City Manager Brian Dalton, along with members of the Cherryville Chamber and City staff and City Council, and a number of Cherryville business, community, and financial leaders. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

MainStreet Family Care
holds ribbon cutting

New urgent care will provide a number of services and be open 7 days a week


A new clinic has opened its doors to service Cherryville’s citizens, touting its motto as “Heal Better. Feel Better”.
MainStreet Family Care, an Alabama-based urgent care clinic, held a ribbon cutting last Thursday, June 16, at their location at 2501 Lincolnton Hwy., in Cherryville, just in front of the Walmart. Its doors will be open seven days a week.
Company spokesperson Betsy Stewart said they have been in North Carolina for a while now, with an initial location in Locust, NC. With Stewart was Whitney Letman, the company’s Marketing Coordinator and Community Engagement specialist.
Offering a host of services from COVID-19 rapid antigen testing to pregnancy tests, the urgent cares slick brochure also lists services such as state-of-the-art digital x-rays, sports and work physicals, to stitch-ups, burn treatments, UTI treatment and flu shots and vaccinations.
Spokesperson Betsy Stewart said they take Medicare and Medicaid managed plans as well as all major insurance
“We also provide a self-pay option,” said Stewart, who added that is $125. The brochure also notes they are “…committed to providing affordable, quality healthcare” to all.
Stewart also noted their staff includes an MD (a Dr. Taylor), located in Birmingham, to whom they communicate any health questions or requests requiring his expertise, as well as two in-house Nurse Practitioners and a Regional Medical Director (a Dr. Wood), who, with their other rotating staff of two teams (on-site at the ribbon cutting were: Dylan Lageman, Clinic Manager; Destiny Richardson; Beau Wakefield; and Brittani Heffner) are all there to provide for their client’s every medical and health needs and treatment.
Stewart noted the company, which started in 2015 and has over 15 sites across the South, also offers in-line registration, primary care, and occupational medicine.
Chamber Board Chairman Pete Craft welcomed everyone from City officials and staffers and City Council members to a handful of the community’s business and financial leaders for coming out on “such a warm day”, and said if the organization needs anything from the Chamber, don’t hesitate to ask.
Mayor H.L. Beam, III agreed, echoing Mr. Craft’s sentiments, adding, “We (the City) started lobbying for an urgent care clinic about 10 years ago”, noting the City is now blessed to have a number of them now, with another on the way.
“Please know,” he continued, “You are just a call away from City Hall if you need us for anything.”
Ms. Letman, the group’s Marketing Coordinator, said their organization is “…glad to be in Cherryville.”
Mr. Craft concluded by telling the MainStreet Family Care staff the Chamber and the City are “…looking forward to great things” happening for them.
MainStreet Family Care’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no appointment required as you can register online at You can also call them at (704) 445-7162.
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The Cherryville ABC Board presented a $3,000 check to the Cherryville Shrine Club to be used by them in helping prevent underage drinking. Accepting the check for the Cherryville Shrine Club are First Vice President Bill Moss and Treasurer Russell Wingfield. Presenting the check are ABC store General Manager Allen Fraley and ABC Board Chairman James Russell Beam, Jr., and Board members Gail Jenkins and Tim Moss. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

ABC Board gives $3,000 to Cherryville Shrine Club

Funds will help organization promote the impact of underage drinking in the community


ABC store General Manager Allen Fraley and members of the Cherryville ABC Board gave a check for $3,000 to the Cherryville Shrine Club on Wednesday, June 8.
The NC Association of ABC Boards has a program, “Talk It Out”, part of its Alcohol Education Fund program, which annually works with various organizations in the state to utilize funds from store profits to assist with community betterment efforts at the local level.
According to the NC ABC website, the “Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking” underscores the “Talk It Out NC multi-media campaign” which, as per the site’s info, “…was launched in 2014 by the NC ABC Commission to combat underage drinking by undertaking relevant research, spreading education about alcohol’s health risks, and raising awareness about the resources available to families, both in person and online.”
Mr. Fraley, in presenting the $3,000 to the Cherryville Shrine Club, noted the ABC boards are required to make a distribution of profits every year to organizations that make a difference in their community. This year, he said, “The Board voted to give it to the Cherryville Shrine Club.”
Shrine Club Treasurer Russell Wingfield, along with Club Vice President Bill Moss, accepted the check, thanking Fraley and the ABC Board members present at the presentation. Representing the ABC Board were Chairman James Russell Beam, Jr., Gail Jenkins, and Tim Moss.
Mr. Wingfield said, “We, as the Cherryville Shrine Club, appreciate the support of the community and the ABC Board, as they have given it to us throughout the years.”
Mr. Beam said, “I appreciate the Shriners and all they do for the community.”
Mr. Fraley noted that as the store’s sales increase they hope to be able to “bump up” the gift.
Mrs. Jenkins said of the generous gift, “I think it is wonderful. This (Shriners) organization does such good work for everyone!”
Club First Vice President Bill Moss noted, “Everything we do is about the kids.”
In a letter to Mr. Fraley, Shriner’s Club President Charles McCants stated, “These funds will help us to promote the impact of underage drinking in our community while working with local Shriners during various fundraising activities.”
McCants further stated in his letter, “We are planning to update our discussions and displays to incorporate underage drinking during our 2022 events. This will include our information stations at the Cherryville July 4th celebration; our fall Cruise-In; and golf tournament planned for this fall. We will also plan a program during our family Christmas gathering.”
Regarding that Cruise-In, Shrine Club Treasurer Wingfield noted the club’s first Cruise-In was held on May 14, at the Cherryville NAPA Auto Parts Store, located at 1313 Shelby Hwy., where they raised $500.
“We had around 50 cars and we thought this was a good showing for a first-time event. We will have another in the early fall at same location,” he said.
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Some of the CHS seniors lined up outside FBC of Cherryville prior to the start of the Baccalaureate ceremony. See more photos on page 10. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

2022 CHS Baccalaureate

The 2022 CHS Baccalaureate service, sponsored by the Cherryville Area Ministerial Association, was held at Cherryville’s First Baptist Church on Sunday, May 22, at 7 p.m. The seniors in attendance were welcomed by Association President the Rev. Dale Hendricks, pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church and the message was given by Rev. Keith Huss, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Cherryville.
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Cherryville Police Department Chaplain and Long Creek Presbyterian Church pastor Will Upchurch, and CPD officer Lt. Brandon Parker, Sgt. Wes Bennett, and Det. Lt. Mark Stout remembering the late Police Chief Albert L. Painter during National Police Week. (photo provided)

CPD lays wreath on fallen Cherryville officer’s grave

Chief Albert L. Painter’s end of watch came on Jan. 16, 1928


As part of National Law Enforcement Day, Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks and some of his officers remembered the City’s only fallen law enforcement officer, the late Police Chief Albert L. Painter, on Friday, May 20 by laying a wreath at his headstoane, which is located in St. John’s Lutheran Church’s cemetery.
A brief message was given and a prayer was offered by CPD Chaplain Will Upchurch, pastor of Long Creek Presbyterian Church. The wreath was laid by Chief Jenks’ 10-year-old son, Aiden.
Chief Jenks said the theme of this year’s was “Back The Badge NC” and their observance was just a small part of a state-wide memorial to those officers in the state who have been killed in the line of duty.
“The memorial is a way for all of us to thank our law enforcement officers for protecting and serving our communities,” noted Chief Jenks. “And in the process, we at CPD want to also thank all those who brought us food, desserts, and small goody bags.”
He noted how a group started an “Adopt-A-Cop” program in Mount Holly when Officer Tyler Herndon was killed, adding that CPD is part of that program. He said the person who started and organized the Back The Badge NC program lives in the Winston-Salem area and is the wife of a law enforcement officer.
“We also want to thank the churches and others of our community who reached out to us and provided meals,” he said.
Chief Jenks noted other fallen officers were honored at Gaston County’s ceremony earlier that week.
Said Chief Jenks, “We, the men and women of the Cherryville Police Department, are all very appreciative of the gifts and well-wishes we received from the public. It is very important we never forget these fallen heroes that sacrificed it all for our safety and freedom.
Jenks thanked his officers who were able to be at the ceremony as well as Chaplain Upchurch and St. John’s pastor, the Rev. G. Scott Homesley. Officers present or involved in the ceremony that day were (in addition to Chief Jenks): Det. Lt. Mark Stout; Lt. Brandon Parker; Sgt. Wes Bennett; and patrol officers Jessica Richardson and Grayson Stout.
Chief Jenks said all of his officers and staff received a goody bag, including their newest officer, Ayko, the K-9 officer, who is handled by Sgt. Josh Colvard.

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Instructor D.T. Carpenter, a retired Cherryville Fire Department captain, and current LCSO Special Operations instructor, teaches Scouts Instructions to some of troops attending the camp at Bud Schiele. (photo provided)

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office teaches Search and Rescue to Boy Scouts

Courses taught to enable Scouts to earn the appropriate merit badge  

LINCOLNTON – This past weekend (May 14-15) members of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Land Search team were at Camp Bud Schiele in Rutherfordton, NC, teaching Search and Rescue (SAR) Merit Badge to some 216 Scouts. The Scouts present were from 11 counties surrounding Lincoln County.
Taking part in this was retired Cherryville Fire Department Captain and current Sergeant in charge of Special Operations for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Trent Carpenter.
Lieutenant Larry Seagle, of the LCSO, said the SAR Merit Badge covers topics like First Aid, Land Navigation, Incident Command System, Search Tactics, and careers in Search and Rescue.
“Part of the Merit Badge also required the Scouts to participate in a mock search which was conducted on the Scout Reservation Saturday afternoon, May 14, 2022,” he said.
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The 2021 Chamber Member of the Year, Hannah Garrett with Chairman Pete Craft and presenter and Events Committee member, Tina Clark. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Three “Of the Year” awards given at 2022 Chamber Annual meeting

Cherryville’s Business; Chamber Member; and Citizen of the Year honored at May 12 gala


The night of Thursday, May 12, 2022 annual gala and banquet was a great night for those members of the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce who are not just members of our community at large but are businesses and citizens that provide so many great services and love to this great small town in the northwestern corner of Gaston County.
The annual Chamber of Commerce meeting took place last Thursday night at the Cherryville Golf and Country Club and was opened up with a welcome and acknowledgement of all who came that night by Chamber Board of Directors chairman Pete Craft. Mr. Craft recognized and thanked the Board, asking those members present to stand, congratulating them on all their hard work. In addition to Craft (Stamey – Cherryville Funeral Home), the following members are: Mary Beth Tackett (Director/Events Coordinator); Jhoan Alfaro (Alfaro Media Designs); Donna Beringer (Carolina Federal Credit Union); Emily Blackburn (Piedmont Lithium); Johnny Brown (Allstate Insurance); Sarah Chambers (Peak Resources); Barry Heavner (Houser Drug Co.); Emily Hurst (FleetNet America); Hannah Garrett (Carpenter – Porter Funeral Home and Cremation Services); Pam McGinnis (McGinnis Furniture of Cherryville, Inc.); Steve Panton (City of Cherryville); Casey Blair Sipe (Modern Printing Co.); and Vickie Spurling (Vickie Spurling Realty).
Craft then called on Mayor H.L. Beam, III who came up and also welcomed everyone, adding, “We are proud of our Chamber.” Beam also mentioned other events put on by the Chamber, noting that this year’s Independence Day celebration will be moved to Rudisill Stadium this year due to the street construction going on in downtown.
After the invocation by Mr. Craft, Chamber Director Tackett gave the review of the past year 2021, a section of the night’s festivities normally reserved for Events Committee Chairman Gary Dellinger, who was currently out of town.
She showed a brief video of the Year in Review, which met with acclaim by those present, and she recognized the event’s sponsors as well as the program sponsors. Those sponsors were: Carolina Federal Credit Union; the Cherryville Eagle; Cherryville Golf and Country Club; Cherryville Little Theater; City of Cherryville; Dellinger Electric; Modern Printing Company; Sheila Houser, CPA; and Upchurch Garden Center.
The three awards were sponsored by the following: Member of the Year (Calvin Hastings/KTC Broadcasting); Business of the Year (Vickie Spurling Realty); and Citizen of the Year (Patrick O’Leary).
Craft then took the podium and did a brief “Looking Back” aspect in which he commented at the end of his remarks that, “It takes different people to make things happen in a community. Always remember your small businesses and support them.”
The event them moved on to the presentation of the three awards and resultant speeches and comments.
Starting things off was Chamber 2022 Events Committee member Tina Clark who introduced the Member of the Year, Hannah Garrett, of Carpenter – Porter Funeral Home and Cremation Services. Garrett thanked the Chamber and her husband, Scott, as well as the citizens of Cherryville for their love and support, adding that while she wasn’t originally a Cherryville native, she truly loves the community and the love and honor they have given since they arrived.
Former Cherryville mayor, Wade Stroupe, presented the Business of the Year award to Houser Drug. Co-owner/operator and pharmacist Tim Moss, co-owner Don Beam, and co-owner H.L. Beam, III, came up and received the award. Moss spoke about what being one of the oldest businesses means to them and of their love for, and service to, the Cherryville community.
Lastly, the Citizen of the Year award was introduced by Mr. Don Lawrence, who spoke glowingly of the recipient, Dr. Thomas Rhyne White.
“I am proud to call him not just my doctor but my friend and mentor, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than him,” said Lawrence.
Doctor White took the podium and thanked the Chamber as well as his family and many friends present, noting that his and his wife’s decision to move back to Cherryville from Charlotte all those years ago, added to the love of the good folks of Cherryville, many of whom have been his patients at one time or another, has all culminated in this august award.
Mr. Craft, after the presentation of the awards, gave the closing remarks and the evening drew to a close.
(Additional information by Susan L. Powell)
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The W. Blaine Beam Falcon Radio Club took the top honor in the School Club Roundup by taking first place in the Elementary Division. (photo provided)

WBBI’s Falcon Ham Radio Club takes top honor in recent Roundup

Takes top honor by taking first place in the Elementary Division.


It’s no secret among ham radio aficionados… the School Club Roundup is an annual world-wide amateur radio contest and something to be desired as far as “wins”, or great accolades, go.
Why? Because students from all over the United States compete against other school radio clubs from across the nation to make as many contacts on the radio as possible over the course of a few days, said Mark Reep, of W. Blaine Beam Intermediate. Reep, one of the founding members of the club and a ham radio operator himself, said, “This year W. B. Beam Intermediate’s Falcon Radio Club (N2FRC) in Cherryville, NC, took the top honor by taking first place in the Elementary Division.”
The Falcon Radio Club was formed last year, Reep noted, and already has 77 students “…actively involved in learning about amateur radio and how it helps to teach children about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
This past February was the school’s first time competing in the event, said Reep, who added that the 4th and 5th grade club members “…did an incredible job racking up 105 contacts on the radio.”
Said Reep, WBBI’s School Counselor, via an email, “The students made voice contact with radio operators in 29 different states, nine school radio clubs, two countries, and two Canadian Provinces, for a total score of 8,190 points. As the club president and trustee, I am extremely proud of the students who participated in the event and all the hard work they have put into making this happen.”