Catawba Nation Compact with the State of North Carolina approved by U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs 

Compact allows Class III gaming at Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain 

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the Catawba Nation’s Tribal-State Compact with the State of North Carolina, allowing the state to share in revenues generated by the new Two Kings Casino Resort
The Catawba can now conduct Class III gaming, including operating slot machines and table games, at the casino being developed at a site in the City of Kings Mountain in Cleveland County, about 45 minutes from downtown Charlotte.
The approval of the compact was communicated to Catawba Chief Bill Harris in a March 19 letter from Darryl LaCounte, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and takes effect when the notice of the approval is published in the Federal Register. A similar letter is also being sent to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, LaCounte’s letter noted.
“We completed our review of the Compact and conclude that it does not violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), and any provision of the Federal law that does not relate to jurisdiction over gaming on Indian lands, or the trust obligations of the United States to Indians,” LaCounte wrote. “Therefore, pursuant to my delegated authority and Section 11 of IGRA, I approve the Compact.”
The Catawba Compact was approved by Gov. Cooper, as well as North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein, in mid-January, and underwent a 45-day review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“This is great news for the Catawba Nation, the State of North Carolina and the Kings Mountain region, and I’d like to thank the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its work in reviewing our Compact,” Harris said. “Our focus now is developing the casino to bring economic benefits and thousands of jobs to the citizens of North Carolina.”
In March 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior, following a thorough, years-long review, took 17 acres of land into trust status in Cleveland County, North Carolina, for the Catawba Nation. The action recognized the Catawba Nation’s historical and ancestral ties to its aboriginal lands throughout North Carolina, as evidenced by names such as Catawba County and Catawba College, as well as in the six counties, including Cleveland County, specifically identified by Congress as part of the Catawba’s service area. The compact with North Carolina acknowledges this connection to North Carolina as well.
In addition to creating revenue for the State of North Carolina, the casino will help support an education fund that will benefit environmental conservation, provide educational support for members of federal and state-recognized tribes, support local communities on economic development initiatives and foster employment opportunities on or near Catawba lands.
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Kevin Doran, CHS Principal

Doran is one of five finalists for “Principal of the Year”


Like many in his profession, CHS Principal Kevin Doran doesn’t go around seeking the spotlight or trying intentionally to be in the public eye.
However, being nominated as one of five finalists for Gaston County Principal of the Year 2021-2022 is quite an honor, and Doran is no exception when he admits he is pleased to have been nominated.
As he said via email, “I am honored to be a finalist, but there are other, much more deserving candidates. I just appreciate my peers putting me in the conversation.”
In addition to Mr. Doran, the other four nominees are Jill Payne, Hawks Nest STEAM Academy; Loretta Reed, Woodhill Elementary School; Torben Ross, Robinson Elementary School; and Tyler West, Pinewood Elementary School.
According to the Gaston County Schools’ web site, the winner “…will be revealed this spring during our 'Evening of Excellence’ program, which is being sponsored this year by Truist Bank.”
Doran, who is from Pittsburgh, PA, graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1994, and is a 1999 Marshall University graduate (Education degree).
“I graduated from Gardner Webb in 2009 with a Masters in Educational Leadership.”
Kevin said he moved to Gaston County in 1999, “…right out of college to get out of the cold weather and stayed because of the community and meeting my wife. I have two daughters, Riley 10, and Ryan, 6.”
He said, “I started at Cramerton Middle School in the 1999-2000 school year,” and taught Math at Cramerton Middle School  (GCS system).
He then taught Science at Northeast Middle School (CMS system), became the Assistant Principal at Forestview High School (GCS system), then came to Cherryville High School (GCS system) as the Principal.
Said Mr. Doran, “When Dr. (W. Jeffrey) Booker placed me at CHS seven years ago, I could not have imagined how grateful I would feel today. The school, staff, students and community are second to none. This is a special place and I am blessed to be here.”
Doran and his staff have been responsible for many good things happening at CHS. Some of their CHS accomplishments include, but aren’t limited to: excellent student growth and test scores; a 95 percent graduation rate recognized by the state; major upgrades to the CHS school grounds, such as painting, landscaping, parking lot work, getting a future sign; creation of the Public Service Academy; and working hand-in-hand with the Cherryville Education Foundation. The CHSEF has raised well over $100,000 for the school and its teachers.
Doran continued, “What I am most proud of is our staff. This is a special group of people. They do so much for the students of Cherryville. They make us all look good. It is not just a job for them, it is a calling. It IS great to be from Cherryville High!”
Doran was asked that as the pandemic lessens its hold on N.C. somewhat, what does he and his staff envision for CHS, going forward?
Said Mr. Doran, “We, as a staff, have learned so much by teaching through a pandemic, but I believe that I can speak for everyone when I say that we are looking forward to a safe return to normalcy. We miss seeing all of our students in classrooms, seeing packed hallways at class change, and all the extra-curricular activities almost as much as our students.”
As he always does, Mr. Doran ended the interview with his ever-present, closing statement: “Go Ironmen!”
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Proper usage and being a responsible, licensed driver can ensure much fun and enjoyment for golf cart operators who, thanks to Cherryville’s new ordinance for the vehicle, can now drive their carts on the City streets. (photo provided)

Golf Carts now allowed to operate on City streets

Must be driven by licensed drivers; some restrictions still apply


Chief of Police Cam Jenks said that golf carts with a licensed driver are now allowed to operate on City streets with speed limits of 35mph or less. Additionally they are also allowed to cross Highways 150 and 274 at a traffic light, being careful to watch for oncoming traffic and knowing they have the right-of-way.
The City Council voted on and approved the new golf cart usage ordinance on Feb. 23, 2021 at the Council’s work session, said Chief Jenks, who presented the new ordinance.
A golf cart, by definition on the ordinance, is described as “a vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph. (NC G.S. 20-4.01(12b)). The cart can be either gas or electric, noted Jenks.
On the City of Cherryville’s Facebook page on March 2. Chief Jenks noted that a public notice was placed regarding golf cart registration and the new City driving options.
It reads, “Cherryville Police Department will conduct registration and inspections at an appointed time and date for a fee of $25, which must be renewed annually. Proof of having minimum liability insurance is required at the time of registration. An inspection sticker will be issued and must be affixed to the left front windshield of the golf cart.
“Inspection stickers will be registered to the serial number on the golf cart. Failure to have a golf cart inspected will result in fines and penalties. A complete copy of all rules and regulations will be provided upon arrival.”
More information can be found, he added, by going to https://www.cityof…/showpublisheddocument.
“Actually,” said Chief Jenks, “this law has been in effect since 2009. This change to the original ordinance just allows the golf cart driver to operate the vehicle at 35mph. The law hasn’t changed but we have updated the ordinance to allow usage in more areas in our City.”
He noted that in the old ordinance the driver of the cart was restricted to their neighborhood. Also, you had to be a licensed driver, 16 or older and have insurance coverage for the golf cart.
“With the new ordinance we have lifted some of the restrictions on where you can drive them. For example, you can travel any City street that is 35 mph or less, as we said on our Facebook page. You still can’t travel on Hwy. 150 or Hwy. 274, but you can cross those highways at the traffic lights,” he said.
Chief Jenks said also the only prohibited City street however, is E. Main St., from Rudisill to Dick Beam.
Jenks noted the new ordinance allows drivers to operate their vehicles up to 11 p.m., as long as they have working headlights and tail lights.
“If they don’t have those they must cease driving their vehicles at sunset,” he said.
Chief Jenks wanted to stress that the NC golf cart laws apply only to golf carts and not to side-by-side vehicles, trail bikes, or LSV’s.
“To operate one of those vehicles, they must be licensed, titled, and tagged by the NC Dept. of Motor Vehicles just as you would a regular vehicle,” said Chief Jenks.
One of the advantages Chief Jenks sees to the changing of the new ordinance is that, once things get better with the current COVID-19 situation, he said he feels individuals might possibly be able to take their golf cart to the City’s festivals, however, he reminded folks that any and all vehicular laws still apply whenever operating a golf cart in the City, up to and including the cart operator must yield to all vehicular traffic, such as moving over to let a larger, more powerful vehicle pass, and to obey any and all parking instructions and laws.
Said Chief Jenks, “Please contact the Cherryville Police Department at (704) 435-1717 in order to register your golf cart. Remember, you must have proof of insurance and such, and be prepared to pay the $25 registration fee, which is renewable yearly.”
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Cherryville native, Krista Haynes, is the Hospice Cleveland County Patient/Family Volunteer Coordinator. Here she is shown with examples of the letters written to patients who are veterans as part of their “We Honor Veterans Program”. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Cherryville’s Haynes works with Hospice helping veterans heal

Haynes distributes Shelby Middle School football players letters to Hospice of
Cleveland County’s veteran patients


Cherryville native Krista Haynes, loves what she does, especially when it comes to young people stepping up and performing acts of kindness to hospice patients.
As the Hospice Cleveland County Patient/Family Volunteer Coordinator, Haynes recently got to see first-hand a group of teens doing an act of great kindness last month.
Haynes said she spoke to the Shelby Middle School Football Team about Hospice Volunteer Opportunities including the organization’s “We Honor Veterans Program”. The idea was the brainchild of their coach, Justin Bowden, she noted.
Haynes said the team wrote letters to Hospice patients who served in the military to thank them for their service.
In the letters, the kid’s thanked the veterans for their service, saying they had a relative who served and madethem proud of their country and their families.
“Thank you for your sacrifice,” wrote one girl, while others said they were praying
for the veteran.
 “Attached to each letter,” said Ms. Haynes, “was a star from a retired American flag. These letters were then handed out to patients via Hospice staff members.”
Shelby Middle’s Blue Devils head football coach Bowden, said, “In our program, we are well aware of what’s going on in our country’s social and political climate and we talk about how it affects not only our family, but our community. Also, we were looking to do a community service project, and with everything going on in our country, we wanted to give something back. So, the kids came up with this!”
Coach Bowden continued, “I want my players to
be leaders and role models both on and off the field. Hospice
gave us this great opportunity to grow as a program.”
Bowden, who teaches seventh grade science, said his class “really got into it (the letter writing program) and asked good questions about it.”
Haynes, who still lives in Cherryville, said she has been with hospice since Sept. 1996, or 24 years.
“I came to hospice as the administrative assistant and when the volunteer coordinator position came open, I moved into the role as Patient/Family Volunteer Coordinator. I am a people person. In this position I am able to meet patients and families and assign volunteers to them based on their needs.”
She continued, “Hospice volunteers can provide social/emotional support, sit with a patient for a short time while a family member runs an errand or goes to an appointment. Volunteers can possibly run an errand for patient or family.”
Krista said HCC still serves patients/families in the Cherryville area.
Haynes said she knows other Cherryville folks work at HCC; one being RN Whitney White.
“There may be someone else but I don’t know right off hand,” she added.
Of the veterans program, Haynes said, “As a ‘We Honor Veterans’ partner, Hospice Cleveland County, learns about the unique needs of Veterans and their families. They educate staff and the community about caring for veterans facing serious illness and provide a veteran-to-veteran volunteer program that pairs veteran volunteers with hospice patients who are veterans.”
She continued, “Hospice also coordinates care with the Department of Veteran Affairs and other health care organizations. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, Hospice Cleveland County is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending.
“In cases where there might be some specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience, or other traumatic events, Hospice Cleveland County will find tools to help support those they are caring for.”
Haynes noted that if anyone would like to know how they can become a Hospice Volunteer, please call (704) 487-4677. Also, please visit us at to learn more.”
Haynes said, “I have to say, that when I left that afternoon, I was really touched by these guys and their coaches. With all that is going on in the world right now, there is still love, hope, and caring that is taking place, and these young men and women and their coaches are proof of that!”
For his and his kids’ part, Coach Bowden said, “We enjoyed being able to do this, and this is definitely something we will try and do yearly.”
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The missionary family, the Vroege’s, headed back into the mission field of Uganda by way of Holland, after leaving Cherryville on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Mom, Stephanie Patterson Vroege, originally from Cherryville, stands at the left next to her daughter, Sarah; and sons, Josiah and Nathaniah. Standing behind his family is dad, Gertjan. (photo provided)

Cherryville bids the missionary Vroege family a fond farewell

The police, fire and EMS create bonds with missionary family as they head back to first Holland, then Uganda


Cherryville Police, Fire, EMS and First Responders personnel bid the Vroege (pronounced 'Frooha’) family a fond farewell on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The family of five consists of father, Gertjan; mother Stephanie, sons, Nathaniah and Josiah, and daughter, Sarah. Mom, Stephanie, formerly Stephanie Patterson, is originally from Cherryville, having graduated from CHS in 1990. Her mother, Betty, still lives in Cherryville and works for Gaston County Schools Nutrition.
Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks, along with fellow CPD staff Lt. Mark Stout, and Patrol Officer D. Thom, and CFD Assistant Chief Jason Wofford and GEMS EMT Lynn Ledbetter spoke on the Cherryville Main Street’s Facebook page in a four-minute-plus segment talking about the Vroege’s and what the family and their kids have meant to the City while they have been back here in America on furlough. Mrs. Vroege said they have been missionaries to Uganda since 2012.
Said Chief Jenks, “We’re here today (Feb. 24) to see Stephanie and her husband and her children off as they head back to Holland.” Chief Jenks said Stephanie reached out to him, explaining that they had recently come from a mission trip in Uganda and how her children had seen the news of what was happening in the
world concerning law enforcement and people of color.
Jenks said she noted her kids were “…scared of (the) police.”
“Prior to that,” he continued, “some of the officers had gotten to know them as we fueled up our vehicles at McNeely’s, across the street from where they were staying, at the Second Baptist Church visiting speakers guest house.”
Jenks said Mrs. Vroege wanted her children to get to know the Cherryville officers better, adding, “It kind of broke our hearts that they felt that way about law enforcement and that they were scared of the police.”
Jenks noted a “good relationship” formed, to the point of whenever the kids saw them after getting to know them through sometimes taking them breakfast and praying with the officers, or just meeting them and talking to them, “…they would go out of their way to run out and wave to us.”
Stephanie said the family came back to Cherryville after having been gone for five years.
She said on the Facebook video, “When we first arrived our boys were very much afraid of the police because of everything we had seen on the news with what was going on. The first time Josiah saw a policeman, he ran.”
She noted that now the police department has become like family, as has the Fire Department and the emergency Responders, adding how these civil servants even turn on their police and fire truck lights when they see the Vroege children outside playing.
Said Mrs. Vroege, “We’re so grateful to the City of Cherryville and how they have loved us. We are grateful and give God the glory!”  
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March 5 CHS Homecoming to look a little different this year

Changes are due to COVID-19 rules and social distancing restrictions


According to CHS instructor and NHS advisor Emilie Pope, the CHS Homecoming, set for March 5, will look a little different this year, due to COVID-19 rules about social distancing restrictions.
Said Ms. Pope, “It is going to look a little different this year, but we are trying to make it as normal and special as possible.”
Pope noted the five young ladies comprising the 2020/2021 CHS Homecoming Court are: Maggie Beam, Ashlyn Beattie, Allie Kay Homesley, Riley Huffman, and Lindsey Lingerfelt. Ms. Pope added the Homecoming Queen will be chosen at half-time of the scheduled CHS football game at home against Pine Lake Prep, to be played at Rudisill Stadium.
Each of the young ladies submitted brief “bio” information to the Eagle, and they are listed here in no particular order.
Miss Lindsey Lingerfelt is the daughter of Barry and Susan Lingerfelt. In her “bio” she noted that after graduation she plans to attend Appalachian State University and major in Elementary Education.
She is a member of The National Honor Society, The National Technical Honor Society, was a Junior Marshall (2020), in the Interact Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of the CHS track team.
When not in school Lindsey said she works at Knobb Creek Orchards and is a member of First Baptist Church in Cherryville.
Miss Ashlyn Shayne Beattie is the daughter of Rick and Tonya Beattie of Cherryville. She is a member of both The National Honor Society and The National Technical Honor Society.
Ashlyn participates in Drama, Journalism, Interact Club and sings for the school Stage Band. Currently, Ashlyn is an apprentice at Gaston Emergency Medical Services. Following graduation from CHS she plans to pursue a career in either Nursing or Paramedicine.
Miss Allie Kay Homesley is the daughter of Kelly and Trudie Homesley. Allie Kay is a four-year Varsity Cheerleader and was selected for All-Region and the All-State team. She is a six-time State Champion and is the Vice-President of the Senior Class, as well as being a member of the National Honor Society, the FCA and the Metalheads Pep Club.
Allie Kay is very active in the Youth program at her church, St. John’s Lutheran, and helps with the Backpack Ministry, along with being crucifer and acolyte on Sunday mornings. When she is not cheering, she is spending her time with horses, sometimes her own horse Sandy, or other times she’s working a part-time job at Kristi Buff’s ranch tending to her horses. After high school, Allie Kay plans to attend Catawba Valley Community College to pursue a degree in becoming a Dental Hygienist.
Miss Riley Suzanne Huffman, is the daughter of Brandon and Jodi Huffman.
After graduation, Riley plans to attend Clemson University, majoring in Education, to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher.
Riley is a member of the CHS Ladies Golf Team, a Senior Editor of the CHENOCA yearbook staff, Vice-President of the Interact Club, and a Senior Spokesmodel with Carolina Top Shots. Riley is a past participant of Teen’s Westward Bound (2019), and was named Teen Miss CHS (2019).
When not in school, Riley works at Victoria-Cole Gifts, and is a member of Cherryville’s First Presbyterian Church.
Miss Maggie Beam is the daughter of Trent and Kim Beam. Maggie is a four-year varsity cheerleader and was picked for the All-Region and All-State team. Maggie is a member of The National Honors Society and was also a Junior Marshall. She is the Treasurer of her Senior class. After high school, Maggie plans to attend Appalachian State University to pursue her career as a Nurse Practitioner.
As for the Homecoming Court and their escorts, Ms. Pope noted they are: Maggie Beam, escorted by Quinlan Sanford; Ashlyn Beattie, escorted by Brady Buchanan; Allie Kay Homesley, escorted by Ben Huffstetler ; Riley Huffman, escorted by Gavin Cease; and Lindsey Lingerfelt, escorted by Ty Heavner .
Ms. Pope also noted that as things concerning the Homecoming events are still evolving, some of this year’s participants include Class Representatives as follows: Freshman – Malia Emory and Hunter Jackson; Sophomore – Kylie Reynolds and Collin Robinson; Junior – Macy Bridges and Jack Mulvey; and Senior – Lizzie Brannan and Noah Abernethy.
As for the Football Sponsors, according to information Ms. Pope sent noted they are as follows: Payton Godfrey, sponsored by Colton Godfrey; Lizzie Levine, sponsored by Ford Golden; Rylee-Grace Burgis, sponsored by Hunter Goodman; Marigrace Moyer, sponsored by Christian Hahn; Ashley Reep, sponsored by Dawson Long; Calista Spencer, sponsored by Gage Price; Khya Brooks, sponsored by Austin Thompson; Ciara Petty, sponsored by Matthew Torres; Briley Wright, sponsored by Carson Wright; and, as of this writing, Austin Houser has not yet chosen who he will sponsor. 
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CHS Principal Kevin Doran, Ben Hayes, and Athletic Director Scott Harrill each posed last week with Ben’s Lowe’s Campus Captain Award and Certificate, and his letter from NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

CHS senior Hayes gets Lowes Campus Captain Award


Cherryville High School senior Ben Hayes recently was awarded the NCHSAA and Lowe’s Campus Captains Award for the month of January for helping bring sports back to his high school.
He is one of three to be so honored, according to a Feb. 1, 2021 letter from NCHSAA Commissioner Marilyn Que Tucker, sent to him, congratulating him on his nomination and selection.
Hayes was nominated for the award by Athletic Director Scott Harrill on Jan. 12, 2021.
Harrill noted that Hayes, along with junior Landrie Wofford, started the Kindness Club. While Harrill said Wofford came up with the idea for the Club, Hayes got on board quickly and helped her with it implementation and getting the word out.
The award, added Harrill, is. “…more so for being a great team captain and following all COVID-19 protocols and helping in all areas.”
The wording of Coach Harrill’s submission for the award noted that Hayes is, “…an All-Conference Cross-Country runner, and a senior captain on the soccer team,” who “…started raising awareness to be kind, do the right thing, and wear a mask on our return to sports this year. He co-founded our brand-new Kindness Club. The club is designed to support anti-bullying, being kind, and doing the right thing.”
Harrill continued, “At the start of the Fall semester Ben and Landrie Wofford – the originator of the idea for the Kindness Club – came to me and asked for permission to raise funds for posters and life-size wall art to promote kindness and doing the right thing.”
Harrill said, “I am very pleased with the leadership and effort that Ben shows around our school. He is ranked first in the senior class and leads by example. Ben never missed a day of Cross-Country practice and was a leader in the '3 W’s’ and the fight against COVID-19.
“Ben is also trying to help raise mental awareness for students during this difficult time by promoting kindness to others. He is making a huge difference in the lives of others, our school, and our community. He has also carried this over to other schools in our community of Cherryville.
“He has spoken to the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager about his efforts. All of them support it. Ben is a leader in the classroom and on the athletic fields.”
In addition to ranking number one in his class and being very involved in extra-curricular activities, Hayes is also an Eagle Scout and is very involved in his church activities as well as many volunteer activities.
Said Harrill, “He really likes volunteering at Special Olympics and helping others achieve their Eagle Scout honor. He works on a crew that does road-side cleanup as well as their November food drive. During our first sports season, Ben was instrumental in making sure all students did what was needed for COVID-19 and sports to be safe at our school. We were proud that through the overall team efforts we had zero cases of COVID-19.
“Ben is one of the people who wants everyone to succeed and have the opportunity to be their best.”
For his part, Ben said he is “deeply honored” to get the award, adding, “I love doing what I can do to be able to make a difference, like with the Kindness Club. I have a great support system in my parents and my family, my friends, and my fellow students and athletes.”
In addition to being one of the first students back in school when they were allowed to be there, Coach Harrill noted that Hayes is an acknowledged leader in the school’s athletics.
CHS Principal Kevin Doran said, “I am proud of Ben for this great accomplishment and his leadership. He has really modeled the (COVID-19-fighting) three W’s policy (wear a mask; wash your hands; wait six feet apart) here at the school. He has also brought mental health awareness to the school as well as part of the Kindness Club’s endeavors.”
As for college, young Hayes said that while he has been accepted by several universities, he is “still looking” at hid options in order to make a more informed decision about his future.
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Foster families are a diverse group of people who want to take in, nurture, and foster children of all ages in order to help them grow and be better persons as they get older. (photo provided)

Local fosters group need more foster parents

CTSHealth – NC says there is a great need for concerned, caring people


When it comes to ways of helping children to know what a good family life can be like, one Gaston County company suggests fostering.
Julie Hill, Licensing Supervisor for CTSHealth – NC, Gastonia, said recently there is a great need for foster parents.
Hill noted the company has been active in the state for over 20 years, adding, “Our Foster Care Program has been active for a little over 14 years.”
They have agencies in Georgia, South Carolina, and Illinois.
She continued, “We provide more services other than foster care.” She noted their Executive Director is Leah Harvell.
She noted they are reaching out now to try and get more people to become foster parents, noting, “We have been, and constantly are, in need of foster parents, but COVID-19 has increased this need so much more. The number of children coming into care has doubled since COVID began. There actually are some children sleeping at DSS because there are not any homes for them to go to.”
She continued, “This increase is due to several reasons: people relapsing with drug and/alcohol addiction; people with mental health disorders (who) may regress due to all the stress and everything else that comes with this pandemic; people losing their jobs and are unable to provide for their children; and parents at home all day long with their children.
“Especially with homeschooling. Not all parents have the patience, education, or are very tech savvy to assist with homeschooling. It also is much more difficult to teach children with an ADHD/ADD, depression, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder Diagnosis (ODDD).”
Hill said that while sometimes people foster for wrong reasons, the facts are that foster parents “…are given a stipend that is enough to not only provide for a foster child – just as any other children (clothes, food, haircuts, travel, extracurricular activities, and much more) – but also to assist foster parents with the increase in their expenses (food, utilities, gas, etc.).”
She continued, “We also provide competitive pay for our foster parents. I feel like the most rewarding thing a person gets from fostering is to see the difference they make in a child’s life (love, safety, security, stabilization, and a positive role model).
“We have foster children that have graduated from college, gotten married, had children and still have strong relationships with their foster parents.”
As for dealing with the sadness of having a foster child that has been with parents for a long period of time leaving due to reunification or adoption, Hill said, “The huge difference you make in these foster children’s life and seeing them succeed in life totally outweighs the loss you feel when a foster child leaves.”
Hill continued, “We not only have Care Coordinators that work directly with the foster children and parents, but also Licensing Specialists that are strictly there to provide support for foster parents. We provide foster parents with more than enough training to allow them to provide care for these children.”
Hill noted that within their agency we have 95 foster homes and out of those homes they only have three that are available for placements, adding they get…anywhere from five to 10 referrals a day that we most likely cannot place.
“This is due to the age range of these children (not many people want to take in teenagers) or location of foster homes. We get referrals from as far as Burke County to Cabarrus County. DSS tries to keep the foster children somewhat local so that they are not taken away from everything they have known (schools, friends, family members, etc.).”
So, what can a small community like Cherryville do to get involved and try and make a difference, Hill was asked.
Her reply: “The first and foremost way that the people of the Cherryville community can do to make a difference is to become foster parents. Other ways to help are to assist us with getting our agency’s name out there in Cherryville and surrounding communities.
“This can be done by posting flyers at local businesses, allowing us to meet with various church congregations, posting information about are agency and dire need for foster parents on social media and/or media outlets, and just the word of mouth to family and friends.”
Said Hill, “We make sure to let people know, ‘do not stress over things you cannot control!’”
For more information on this agency, contact them at, or call them at (704) 864-1477, ext.102 (office), on their Crisis Line at 1-888-670-1477, or fax them at (704) 864-1476.
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The Cherryville City Council meets twice a month, unless otherwise noted, at the Cherryville Fire Station House. (Eagle file photo by Michael E. Powell)

Council work session items approved for further discussion at Feb. 8, regular session


On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the City Council met for their January work session. There were nine items on the agenda, with all nine receiving Council members’ unanimous approval, thereby moving the proposed topics to the regular session meeting of Feb. 8.
One item was tabled until Council’s next work session, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23. That item, fifth on the agenda, was the discussion for the location of a proposed Miles Gantt Food Pantry, which was previously submitted by Mr. Jody Fowler.
City Manager Jeff Cash said the first item for consideration on the work session agenda (Item II.) – a revised resolution approving results of the city’s bonds – was essentially fixing a “typo”, or a typing error, on the original resolution.
“That was corrected and the correction voted on unanimously by the council,” he said.
Council also voted unanimously on setting a public hearing for the conditional use permit for GIS parcel #216371, which is for a new wireless telecommunications tower to be built on land owned by Larry Gunnell and Steven R. Gunnell, located on Doc Wehunt Rd., Cherryville. The applicants are Vertical Bridge Development, LLC, located in Boca Raton. The property site area is 38.11 acres, and the application was submitted on Dec. 17, 2020, according to the information supplied by the City staff.
Next up was consideration of setting a public hearing date on a rezoning request for GIS parcel #22267, located at 112 Howell St., Cherryville.
“Council approved rezoning it from R-9 usage to GMC (General Manufacturing) status,” noted Mr. Cash.
Regarding the discussion of the Terrace Estate Subdivision, City Manager Cash said that would be also discussed at the Feb. 8, regular City Council session. That subdivision is located of Black Rock School Road.
Council also unanimously approved putting a memorial plaque on the Cherryville ABC store in honor and memory of the late Terry R. Fisher, who managed the store for a number of years before his retirement. The proposed name of the memorial is, “Terry R. Fisher Memorial ABC Board.” The application was filed on Jan. 14, 2021 by current ABC Board General Manager, Allen R. Fraley, who is one of the ABC Board members, along with Board Chairman, James R. Beam, and members Gail Jenkins and Timothy Moss.
Mr. Cash also noted Council approved a city-wide cleanup/Earth Day event initially planned for April 22-24.
The Council went into closed session shortly before the end of the session in order to discuss protected information, as per the rules of state statute NCGS 143.318.11(4).
“The City staff was instructed by Council to get more information for them on a particular industrial client,” said Mr. Cash.
In other business Mr. Cash noted the City staff was also asked to get “no parking” signs put up in the Westgate subdivision.
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Butter Me Up Bakery Cakes and Catering owner and chef, Rebecca Goins wields the big scissors as she cuts the ribbon, signifying the opening of her business in downtown Cherryville. Helping her out are husband, Justin; daughters, Lily and Piper; family, friends, co-workers and a host of City, Council, Chamber, and Main Street Program officials and representatives. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Butter Me Up Cakes and Catering now open for business in Cherryville

Ribbon cutting well attended by family, friends, and City, Chamber, Council and Main Street officials


It’s official! The ribbon is cut and Louisiana-born chef and Cherryville resident,  Rebecca Goins, is in business for herself as “Butter Me Up Cakes and Catering” in downtown Cherryville, opened Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at the recently remodeled 200 East Main Street building.
The building was recently remodeled by entrepreneur and businessman Patrick O’Leary and Vickie and Chris Spurling  of Spurling Realty, on Main Street.
Rebecca said the opening was overwhelming at first, getting everything to come together, but added, “It’s a dream come true. The support we’ve had means so much to us!”
Originally Goins ran her business out of her home, but she and husband Justin decided it was time to move to having her own building. Justin, Rebecca and their two beautiful daughters, Lily and Piper were down front when Rebecca took the big scissors and cut the symbolic ribbon to signify her bakery was open for business.
Helping Rebecca out in the bakery are two ladies who she said have been at her side pretty much the whole time: her sister, Madeline “Maddie” Anthony cookie decorator and so much more, and friend, Maleena White, who works in the kitchen and is one of the idea creators, as Rebecca termed it. They are joined by Megan Carpenter, who “works the front of the house,” and then there is Justin Anthony, whom Rebecca called “an all-around handy man, tech support, and (above all) my brother-in-law.”
The bakery is open five days a week, she said, “Monday through Thursdays, from 7 a.m., to 4:30; Fridays until 5:30 p.m. We aren’t open on weekends, and we still cater!”
The bakery offer an assortment of baked goods, as well as a breakfast and lunch menu, coffee, and catering for small businesses and events, as well as specialty and custom-made cakes, some of which can be seen on her Facebook page.
Chamber Board Chairman Pete Craft welcomed Rebecca and crew to Historic Downtown Cherryville. He was joined in that welcome by Mayor H.L. Beam, III, who added to his similar welcome the words, “Where life blossoms!”
Mayor Beam and Mr. Craft wished Mrs. Goins and her staff and family much success and thanked them for choosing Cherryville’s downtown as a place to do business.
Craft noted Goins has overcome a few trials and tribulations, as he called them, in order to open up, but praised her perseverance, sticking with her plan to open her bakery.
“We ask God’s blessing on you and your business,” said Mr. Craft.
Cherryville Main Street Program Chairperson Donna Beringer commented about what a nice turnout there was for the ribbon cutting, noting, “We’re all tired of this COVID business, so it’s great to see this many people come out for this. We are also glad you didn’t quit working to make your dream happen. Please know the City and the Chamber and Main Street are here to be of service to you and to help in any way we can.”
Rebecca spoke and thanked everyone for coming out.
“The support for us and the love you all have shown and we have felt is great! This has been a long time coming but it is definitely worth it! We look forward to seeing everyone come by.”
To contact Butter Me Up Cakes and Catering, Rebecca said to call her at (980) 241-6490, or email her at
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LIVESTRONG’s certified trainer Carl Greene and instructor Margaret Litton at the Dover YMCA, which offers the free program. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Individual workout in group setting
Shelby YMCA’s free

Cherryville woman says instructors provide each participant with
individual attention


Shelby’s Dover YMCA’s free “LIVESTRONG” is all about providing an individual workout in a group setting for cancer survivors 18 and older, said instructor Margaret Litton recently.
She is quick to point out that many in the class though, range in age from their 60s to their 70s.
Long-time Cherryville resident and Cherryville Historical Museum director Pat Sherrill – one of the LIVESTRONG class participants – said, “I love this class because it meets everyone where you are and the level you are on. It is not an age-related class. My class has people of different ages, so, as a senior, my level of energy may be different and it works.”
Sherrill continued, “Margaret and Carl are available to everyone throughout the class to make sure you are doing exercises safely.
“If you do it incorrectly you could be hurt. Before anyone can take this class, they need approval from their doctor.
“Recently I gave my doctor in Charlotte a copy of the YMCA flyer so maybe he would understand what he has signed me up for and hopefully get this class started in Charlotte, if they don’t have it already.”
Mrs. Sherrill noted, “When the YMCA closed as ‘nonessential’ I even sent an email to the Governor because I disagree with (the definition of) ‘nonessential’. This class is also a discussion class.”
Sherrill said she has been a “Y” member most of her life, since she was 18, adding, “The YMCA building on Park Road in Charlotte was built many years ago. As a Charlotte volunteer I also gave tours of the new building. That was over 40 years ago.”
For Mrs. Sherrill, the LIVESTRONG classes are important to her, not only for the health aspects but, she noted, she “…likes the personal interest taken by the class and its instructors.”
Said Sherrill, “If someone is sick, they are missed and a card is sent. This is truly a Christian organization and is totally essential. I am amazed that such classes would be made available to the public free of charge. These aware people take Christianity to a new level.”
Litton and fellow instructor Carl Greene, along with supervisor Johnny Stamey, oversee the program which has been going on at the Shelby “Y” for some time now.
Litton and Greene noted their program goals include rebuilding strength and endurance; increasing/improving flexibility and ability; reducing cancer therapy severity and side effects; preventing unwanted weight changes; and improving self-esteem and energy levels.
Regarding their participants, Litton noted they do require a medical clearance form from the participant’s doctor in order to document if there are any limitations for the participants.
Mr. Greene agreed, adding, “It’s required to release them (the participants) to be able to exercise. We do it on an individual basis.” Both added that with the LIVESTRONG program, they try and give their participants an overview of various ways to work out on the equipment provided, such as exercise bands, body weight, and any of the various machines at the facility.
The classes are tailored, said Greene and Litton, to each participant’s needs at the time.
“We ask them,” said Litton, “and go from there.”
Litton noted their class size right now is seven, adding, “We try to keep them (the classes) to no more than six. We started with 10, but due to COVID, it decreased a bit.”
For more information or to register, call Litton at (704) 484-9622, or email her at
The Dover YMCA is located at 411 Cherryville Hwy., Shelby, NC.

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An example of the “Hometown Hero” flag the Cherryville Main Street Program is wanting to start up again. This one is of U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. Jerry Walker, who proudly served his country from 1960 to 1964. (photo provided)

Commemorative Veterans’ flag orders being accepted

This year’s CMSP program began
Jan. 5; lasts until March 15


Cherryville Downtown Director David Day said last week the Cherryville Main Street Design Team is again taking orders for commemorative veterans’ flags to be displayed on Main Street during patriotic holidays.
They started on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and Mr. Day said, “We’re accepting orders up to March 15.”
He continued, noting that, along with the orders for the “Hometown Hero” pennants, the CMSP also needs a formal portrait photograph of the uniformed veteran who is to be honored must be either emailed to Day at (, addressed to him at: Cherryville Downtown Director David Day, 220 East Main St., Cherryville, NC, 28021, or delivered in person to him at the Main Street/Chamber of Commerce office at 220 East Main, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
There is a cost so please either email them and inquire as to the cost or call them at (704) 435-3451, or email him at the already listed email address.
Mr. Day noted all checks – after finding out the price – must be made payable to: “City of Cherryville” and tagged on the memo line “Veterans Flags”.
Once  made,  the  flags will remain property of the city of Cherryville, said.
This is a new venture undertaken by the Chamber and CMSP, said Day, noting, “We only began this past October 2020. We took orders for 12 and hung them during Veterans Day, in November 2020 on Main Street.
“It was so successful that we are now doing it to fill all the light poles throughout the town for special Patriotic and Veterans Holidays.”
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Members of the Traditional New Year’s Shooter’s group line up along the railroad tracks at the Cherryville Train Depot Museum for their “shot” on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media and Susan L. Powell)

FOLLOWING THE BOOM! – Shooting in New Year 2021 in Cherryville

Spirits in Cherryville; as far away as Lincoln County, and in Waco scared away so we can have a better new year!


“And for good luck we’ll fire our guns!”
And so it begins; the shooting in of the New Year 2021, and blasting out of the bad, old year – 2020. Everyone’s following the boom, as some not in the “know” have described it.
It is something we all need right about now, so the common consensus goes. Goodbye, and good riddance, to a bad and scary old year and hello to the hope of a new and better year.
And, it is a long-lived tradition; one which no little knobby-skinned virus is going to stamp out any time soon, if you listen to what some of the life-long practitioners of this ages-old tradition say.
That said, by all reports, each of the two Cherryville-based groups had a great “shoot” and no injuries or strange goings-on.
Oh, to be sure, much was different, what with the social distancing, masks and all. But, their members knew what was expected of them, and they all love the tradition so much, nothing is too difficult for them to adhere to so long as they get to go out and fire their muskets to honor this venerable, time-tested tradition brought over from the old country by their ancestors. Safety was first and foremost on everyone’s minds; make no mistake of that!
The weather, though forecast to be extremely rainy and damp, didn’t disappoint, though a wicked mist – similar to what one would find on the Scottish moors – stayed with everyone throughout the day.
Nevertheless the stalwart men and women of the Cherryville New Year’s Shooters, Inc., and the Traditional New Year’s Shooters, stayed the course, moving about Cherryville and places in Gaston, Lincoln, and Cleveland counties, doing their duty and scaring away the evil spirits of 2020 (and God knows they were Legion!), paving the way for a better, evil spirit-free, New Year, 2021.
As was reported in a previous Eagle article, both groups’ officers said things were indeed going to look different this year, what with all the Governor’s edicts, and general orders. To that end, plans were made by the groups and their leaders to see to it their members, their hosts, and all involved could have a safe and good time at all costs. They feel, looking back on their “shot” of 2021, they succeeded.
Rusty Wise, an officer with the Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s, Inc. group, said, “This New Year’s shoot went really well. We had only compliments
 on how smoothly everything went. We had 48 shots to get through in 13 hours and we stayed on schedule the entire time.
“The rain didn’t slow us down at all. We wanted to provide the shooters and hosts the full experience this year even though the timeframe was shortened from 7 to 8 p.m.”
Wise continued, “I’m proud that our group abided by the curfew and state CoVID-19 guidelines and did not put spectators, law enforcement, shooters, and hosts at risk.
“Not doing that would have been disrespectful and irresponsible. Our group is the original New Year’s Shooters group and we need to set an example of how things should be done. Our values are the true core of the tradition and we have 450 members and insurance guidelines that we are responsible for. Hopefully, the 2022 shoot will be back to normal. If not,  we’ll do the right thing and keep everyone safe and continue the original form of New Year’s Shooting going.”
Traditional New Year’s Shooter’s group officer Gary Dellinger said their group of around 200-plus started at midnight at Cherryville City Hall, then went out of county to shoot.
“We had 60 new members, and we shot throughout the countryside, then came back to Gaston County, wishing everybody a Happy New Year,” he said.
Gary said their group actually finished a bit earlier; around 5 p.m., at the Great Outdoors.
Dellinger noted that CoVID-19 was a big concern for their group going forward.
“As early as November 2020 our group had talks about what the shot was going to look like, what with masks being worn, social distancing, and their asking host families to serve no food, and all,” he noted. “We knew we were going to shoot to keep the tradition going.”
Gary said their original route was altered and changed somewhat this year due to CoVID-19’s issues, and added they aren’t yet sure their group will stay with that same schedule come 2022.
“There were no injuries and we had a great, safe time. The hosts were glad to see us,” he said.
The two groups will rest up, and then plans will be laid to start thinking about next year, once they all see what is going to happen with the CoVID-19 vaccine and all.
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Butch Boyd, Amy Butler, John Randall, and Sandy Homesley are all diligently cleaning the equipment at the Cherryville Family YMCA. This is an hourly routine at all the Gaston County YMCA’s in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cherryville ‘Y’ is hosting Open House Friday, Jan. 1, 2021

It’s a part of County YMCA’s “Resolve to help yourself, your neighbors this New Year’s”  program


According to Molly D’Avria, Director of Advancement for the Gaston County Family YMCA, and the staff at the Cherryville Family YMCA, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 will be a special day for the Cherryville Family ‘Y’.
D’Avria said simply in a media release, “We are preparing for New Years at the Y.”
The big deal that day, noted D’Avria, is that the Cherryville ‘Y’ is hosting an Open House that Friday, Jan. 1, from 7 a.m., to 2 p.m. “The community is welcome to come in to check out the ‘Y’ and work out,” she said, adding there is also a ‘No Joining Fee’ offer from that Jan. 1, to Saturday, Jan 9.
“We hope people take advantage of this offer,” she said, as we are asking that this New Year’s, we all resolve to help ourselves and our neighbors.”
Cherryville Family YMCA Administrative Coordinator Butch Boyd said, “As Molly said, we are doing our annual Open House on Jan. 1 2021, at the times listed, and anyone is welcome to drop in, tour our facilities, ask questions, get ‘demo’s’ or whatever, and if they join from Jan. 1, through Jan. 9, we will waive the $50 joining fee.
“Plus, we will give them a $20 off their first months’ membership fee, that’s a savings of $70!”
He continued, “If a current member gets a new member to join, we will also give that member a $20 savings for their first membership fee in January.”
Boyd said they will have invitations at the front desk at the Cherryville Family YMCA for their members to give out to prospective members in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
He also noted the Cherryville Branch will not have any group exercise class on Jan. 1, but added, “Members can take advantage of our Virtual Fitness, and Health and Wellness Classes. They can take a look at these on our Gaston Family website.”
Said Boyd, “We in Cherryville continue to follow the COVID-19 policies and protocols at all of our four locations and our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our members and guests. We are cleaning like crazy, so come join us on Jan. 1, 2021!”
Cherryville Family YMCA Member Services Coordinator Sandra Homesley agreed with Boyd, adding, “We are excited for our community to be healthy this new year! We challenge Cherryville to make a New Year’s resolution to join the ‘Y’!
“We are having a ‘no joining fee’ Jan. 1, through 9, and we will go the extra mile to keep our ‘Y’ safe and clean for our members!”
Also in the media release, D’Avria noted how membership to any of the Gaston County Family YMCA’s not only benefits the individual, but also Gaston County, as a whole.
Said D’Avria, “It’s always exciting to change the calendar from December to January. A new year is filled with potential and the chance to start fresh. And after the busy holidays filled with celebrations and tables of delicious treats, it’s not surprising that, according to a 2019 survey, 65 percent of people resolved to exercise more with the New Year.
“But what if your New Year’s resolution could benefit more than just yourself? When you join community-based organizations like the ‘Y’, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier; you’re supporting the values and programs that strengthen the communities where you live.”
Sharon Padgett, Gaston County YMCA’s CEO, said, “Community-based organizations like the ‘Y’ provide the resources and opportunities that people need to reach their full potential, and supporting those organizations through membership and philanthropy helps ensure they can continue to help build the communities we all want to live in.
“Membership at Gaston County Family YMCA helps provide support for programs that address distance learning, food insecurity, chronic disease prevention and so much more. From athletics to academic achievement, weight training to water aerobics, and virtual learning to volunteerism, the Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities.”
Padgett continued, “As our friends and neighbors look to make themselves healthier in the New Year, we want them to remember that when they join the ‘Y’, they’re not simply joining a gym, they’re joining a community.
“The ‘Y’ brings together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations and ensures that we all have access to the opportunities, relationships and resources necessary to learn, grow and thrive.”
To learn more about joining any of the Gaston County Family YMCA’s please visit

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All 2020 CFD awards recipients present at the Dec. 12 ceremony pose for a group picture. They are (left to right): Pete Craft, D/E Barry Heavner, Capt. Nathan Bowman, Tony Jones, Lindsey Lingerfelt, Tyler Heavner, AFC Jason Wofford, Trent Rayfield, and Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash. (Absent when photo was made was Adam Gunter.) (photo by Jhoan Alfaro)

2020 CFD awards banquet
was a little different this year

Ceremony was virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions


This year’s Cherryville Fire Department Christmas Banquet and Awards ceremony looked quite a bit different from past years, noted Chief Jeff Cash.
“Unfortunately, this year’s Cherryville Fire Department Annual Christmas Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held this past Saturday (Dec. 12) at the fire station due to the COVID virus,” he said.
Chief Cash said the ceremony was held virtually but for those who wish to view it, it can be found on their Facebook site.
A total of 10 awards, service pins, and scholarships were handed out that afternoon, which was also the same day the CFD staff gave away more of the face masks they had received back in August.
Chief Cash said, “We honored some of our finest folks and awarded two scholarships.”
He noted that special thanks go out to their various sponsors, adding, “It is great recognizing special folks which were chosen by their peers to be set apart! All award winners help us provide, ‘…exceptional service by safeguarding our community through exceptional service’”!
Also, Chief Cash said special thanks goes out as well to their Cherryville Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary; as well as Jhoan Alfaro who filmed the ceremony.
Said Cash, “We are so very blessed to have such loyal and dedicated folks serving our community!”
The following awards, service pins, and scholarships were given at the 2020 ceremony: Service Pins – Adam Gunter, 15 years of service; Barry Heavner, 30 years of service; and Chris “Pudge” Cash, 35 years of service.
Ms. Lindsey Lingerfelt and Capt. Nathan Bowman were the recipients of the 2020 Roy Carpenter Memorial Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Cherryville Fire Dept.’s Ladies Auxiliary.
Cherryville Chamber of Commerce’s Pete Craft was the recipient of the Chief’s Citizen Advocate of the Year, while the CFD nominee for Gaston County Firefighter’s Association Firefighter of the Year was Trent Rayfield. The award is given in memory of J. Ralph Beam, Jr., and is sponsored by the Beam and Davis Family.
This year’s “Top Gun”award went to Tony Jones. This award, noted Chief Cash, is given in memory of William B. Beam and Helen Q. Beam, and is sponsored by the Cash Family.
The CFD Officer of the Year award was presented to Assistant Chief Jason Wofford. The award is sponsored by the Beam/Davis Family.
And last, but certainly not least, the CFD Firefighter of the Year award, which is given in memory of Muriel M. Cash, Sr., and is sponsored by the Cash Family, was given to Tyler Heavner.

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Cherryville Head Start Center Manager Ms. Beverly Mobley and Classroom 2 teacher, Ms. Lakisha McCorkle. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

After 2018 fire Cherryville Head Start now back to business of teaching


The Cherryville Head Start program is back open, as of October 2020, and is moving forward after a devastating fire almost crushed their hopes of being able to provide quality care and education for Cherryville children.
Spokesperson Debra Lutz said the fire occurred on April 24, 2018, and forced the teachers and their students out of the building while Cherryville firefighters took care of the problem. There was, sadly, a great deal of smoke and water damage, which forced the closing of the building, located a little behind and to the side of the Cherryville Post Office.
Said Ms. Lutz, “The building had significant damages that caused the reconstruction of the building from roof to the sub-flooring.”
She noted the process took two years and six months to complete.
Meanwhile, said Lutz, Head Start allowed the program to carry out a home-based, program staff visiting children in their homes.
“The staff provided a socialization day each week located in the St. John’s Lutheran Church where children met with teaching staff for activities and then went to the Cherryville Library for literacy activities,” she said.
“The parents would come with their children, so the parents would participate in a parent group that met with the Family Advocate. The parents and children received breakfast from the Cherryville McDonalds each time they had the socialization day.”
Center Manager Beverly Mobley remembers the day of the fire well.
“We are so happy to have children back in the building,” said Ms. Mobley, a sentiment echoed by all of the teachers and Child Advocates as well.    
Lutz noted they now have a new Family Advocate in Amiee Palmer, along with Family Advocate, Janet Gordon. It is Ms. Palmer’s first time in Cherryville, she said, adding that she “loves it here.”
Additionally, and equally as important, the kids’ teachers are back.
Classroom I teacher Ms. Quawona Hill is back, as is Classroom II teacher Ms. Lakisha McCorkle, who has worked with children with special needs previously and has taught at Rankin 1 & 2; Highland Charter; and is now at Cherryville.
“The kids are all so excited about being her,” said Ms. McCorkle.
With Ms. Hill, who has been at Cherryville for six years, is Substitute teacher, Mrs. Charlene Withrow.
Rounding out the able and capable staff is Ms. Kristin Thomas, the Education Specialist for the Cherryville Head Start.
Both Lutz and Thomas said, “we are so excited about having children back in the building!”  
Currently, there are 20 children enrolled in the center at this time.
Mobley and Lutz said the students attend four days of the week, with Wednesday as the day for professional development and training for staff. This allows the staff to spend extra time in the center cleaning and sanitizing for the next session.
Said Ms. Lutz, “We are cleaning according to CDC guidelines. We have our staff cleaning daily and we also have a professional contractor cleaning each night, sanitizing and wiping down high touch surfaces. If there is an issue with COVID-19, we then get an electro-static fogger and go through the center to disinfect the surfaces.
“We feel the cleaning is going above and beyond the CDC guidelines for cleaning in daycare situations.”
Mobley and her staff are very thankful for the hard work and help of their “miracle worker”, a young man named Gary Washington, who said it took roughly, “923 days of ‘love’ (a.k.a. hard work!)” to get the center up to speed in order to open back up for the kids.
Additionally, Mobley said, “We would like to thank the community for being patient with the program. We are happy to be back to providing services in the center where children can be engaged with the teachers learning and accomplishing their goals.”
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Dr. Thomas R. White with his NC Family Physician of the Year Award, which he received on Nov. 6, 2020. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Dr. White receives NC Family Physician of the Year Award

Cherryville physician’s medical practice always been about his patient’s best interests


Cherryville physician Dr. Thomas Rhyne White was honored on Friday, Nov. 6, with the prestigious NC Family Physician of the Year Award.
Said White recently of the honor, “It’s an award I’ve witnessed being given every year at the Grove Park Inn (in Asheville) for as long as I can remember.
“It’s not voted on and you are nominated anonymously. A committee meets and looks at all of the nominees and goes from there.”
White, a 1972 Cherryville High School grad, said a career in the medical field was not on his radar then; he instead said he wanted to be a basketball coach and a biology teacher.
“I knew I wanted to go to Duke at a young age – around 5, I believe – and told my mom that’s what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be,” he said.
That all changed when, as a senior at CHS, young White had a serious burn injury requiring treatment by Dr. Marshal E. Agner, who White watched earnestly as he treated him and affected his eventual healing.
“He was an inspiration to me, as was Dr. Forrest Houser.  Watching  these men’s work ethic and devotion to their practice, their patients and their community made an impression on me,” he said.
After high school, Dr. White attended Duke, receiving his undergraduate degree, and later, his medical degree. After an internship and residency at Charlotte Memorial, now CMC Main, from 1980 to 1983, White said he knew he all along he wanted to eventually return home to Cherryville and set up practice here.
In the summer of 1988 Dr. White moved his family to Cherryville, and in September of that year opened his first practice.
“It was a real barn-burner of an opening,” he said, smiling at the memory. “That first day I saw 13 patients! That was the slowest day of my entire career,” he said.
Things went along until 2013, he said, when White noted it became apparent to him he wasn’t, in his words, “going to be happy working with a large hospital.”
White elaborated, “I thought, ‘that’s not how I want to end my career’. Medically speaking, I thought we had lost our focus, which was treating our patients and giving them the proper time they needed to be seen and heard.
“So, I left in 2014 and took a year sabbatical. I began making inquiries into the medical model of Direct Primary Care (DPC), studying different models, until I found one that answered many of my questions and met my criteria.”
White said DPC is not a true concierge medical service model, like some that have been touted in the past by the media, buy is rather a significantly less expensive model.
“In our office the patient has a direct relationship with the physician,” he said.
White’s practice has been so successful they have been, he said, full for about three years now. In 2017 Dr. White added another physician to their DPC – Dr. Joshua Carpenter.
“We anticipate adding another physician by this coming summer,” he said.
As for the honor given and the award itself, Dr. White had this to say, in the speech he gave at the November event held at the Cherryville Fire Station. Here is a part of that speech; his words speak volumes.
“We have all been through much together, and you all have made my life and career memorable and richer. Thank you all for my connection to you and your families, and for letting me be a dot in your lives.
“I understand this award honors me – but the truth is it honors many, many, other people. It honors my family; my wife, Diana, and my children, Whitney and Daniel – who deserve much bigger awards than me. Thank you, I love you.
“It honors my staff, Kristin, Shari, and Mary, who have worked with me for over 30 years, and my more recent staff, Liz Fowler and Amanda Harris. This award honors the great partners I have had over the years who have made me a better physician, Ashley Miller and Cheryl Baxter, at CPC, and in the past three years, at HTDC, Dr. Josh Carpenter, the best young doctor I know, and the recipient of this award in the year 2040.
“This award also honors my patients who have granted me the privilege of being their doctor and it honors the City of Cherryville and its citizens who have supported me and given me this opportunity.
“And lastly, this award honors a huge number of other doctors who should all be recognized and thanked. All those medical students who chose family medicine as a career, knowing that other specialties seemed more prestigious and certainly more rewarding financially.
“It honors all those family doctors who chose to practice in small towns and communities, foregoing the conveniences and, again, the higher salaries of the bigger cities. It honors all those family physicians who have returned to their home town to practice, even when told this was crazy. And it honors all those family physicians who have listened to a different drummer, who have practiced medicine the way they thought was in the best interest of the patient, and who have done other outrageous things, like painting their building pink.
“All those people – my family, my staff, my colleagues, my patients, my community, and the many other family physicians who chosen the same path as me – deserve to share in this honor today.”
After offering a quote from one of his favorite business role models, Apple co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, Dr. White closed with this thought, “Somehow, luckily, and with lots of love, support, and friendships, I became what I was supposed to become – a family physician, in my hometown of Cherryville, in a pink building, with a wonderful family, exceptional friends and colleagues, amazing teammates, and trusting loyal patients.
“I have been very fortunate. Thank you for this honor.”
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At the Saturday, Aug. 29, mask giveaway at the Cherryville Fire Dept., Chief Jeff Cash and his wife Cynthia (front, far right) show what the masks look like. With them are members of the CFD and HPVFD who came out to help out with the giveaway. Sitting down, from left, are: Colby Heffner and Ryan Gunter; and (standing) the Cashes. Standing, in back, left to right, are: Clay Thornburg (HPVFD), and Richard Winters and Capt. Kurt Black, who are with the CFD. (Eagle/CF Media file photos by Michael E. Powell)

CFD to host another mask
give-away Saturday, Dec. 12


In spite of the last face mask give-away being fairly successful, Chief Jeff Cash and his crew at the Cherryville Fire Department are still in a giving mood.
And, let’s face it… FREE is ALWAYS good!
With that in mind, CFD Administrative Assistant Brittany Bingham said recently that Chief Cash has decided to hold another drive-through face mask giveaway at the fire station on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m., until 2 p.m.
Bingham said the department had originally received about 33 cases of the white, washable face masks.
In a previous Eagle article, Assistant Chief Jason Wofford said the masks were donated by FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and N.C. Emergency Management. In that article AFC Wofford thanked Emergency Management Director Kevin Gordon, who contacted the CFD in August about the availability of the masks for the give-away.
Originally planned for this past August, Bingham noted the department had to settle on a September timeframe due to inclement weather, which forced the event indoors, or inside the fire truck bays, at CFD.
As for how many masks were handed out in September, Bingham said, “During the last mask giveaway, we handed out around 3,000 masks. We received somewhere around 13,000 masks initially. We have roughly 10,000 masks left.”
Ms. Bingham noted the event will be a drive-through event like last time.
“We will have two lanes open in the bay. Volunteers will have tables set up and will bring the masks to each car. We plan to run this event from 9 a.m., until 2 p.m.,” she said.
Brittany said if all the masks aren’t given away in this second give-away, then, “It is undecided at this point what we will do with the remaining masks.”
Bingham said she thought the first event “ran very smooth.”
“We were able to distribute a decent number of masks to the citizens of our community. We hope that we will have even more success with this event. It is important to us to keep the members of our community as safe as possible in the midst of this pandemic,” she added.
It should also be noted that if anybody needs a mask, they can call the fire station at (704) 435-1730, Monday through Friday, from 8 to 11:30 a.m., and later, from 12:30 to 5 p.m., to see how they can get masks if needed.
Chief Cash has said these masks are washable up to 15 times, and come in packs of five to a pack.
In the previous Eagle article, AFC Wofford’s feelings about mask wearing are, in order to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and help those most vulnerable to the virus, that wearing a mask seems to do just that… help. Both Chief Cash and AFC Wofford noted in the article that “…any protection from the coronavirus is better than none,” hence the importance of wearing face coverings of some sort.
AFC Wofford also noted, “I know masks can be a hot topic with those who do not like to wear them or believe they are any help, but these (masks) are being provided for those who dwo. It is important to replace or wash masks regularly.”

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During last year’s ‘shoot’, CNYSI Secretary Rusty Wise and his son Winston (in red jackets, 2nd and 3rd from left) watch as one of the group’s members prepares to fire his musket. (Eagle/CF Media file photo by Michael E. Powell or Susan L. Powell)

What will be different with this year’s New Year’s Shooters?

The obvious (and most discernible) things will be masks, social distancing, and no physical contact with hosts


The Cherryville New Year’s Shooters tradition we have all come to know and love so well will, thankfully, go on, according to spokesmen for both groups.
However – spoiler alert here – things will look a little different than in the past.
Cherryville New Year’s Shooter’s, Inc. Secretary Rusty Wise said, “We will be providing each member shooter with a custom logo mask as well as enforcing mask wearing by all shooters, social distancing, and hand sanitizing frequently.
“Also, we are asking the hosts to stay on the porch and shooters to stay in the yard and shooting area.”
His counterpart, Traditional New Year’s Shooter spokesman Gary Dellinger, said of changes for their group, “There will definitely be changes this year as a result of COVId-19.”
He continued, “All members will be required to wear a mask anytime they are outside of their vehicle; no members will be allowed in a host family’s house, on their porch, or to make physical contact,  such  as   shaking hands with the host family.”
As for anticipating fewer numbers of participants this year, Wise said, “We really do not know at this time the number of hosts or shooters. We’ve had no host to cancel or shooters say they are not shooting. We have several new hosts that have asked us to shoot for them this year. The shooting schedule will be the last thing we finalize this year.”
Dellinger said of his group (TNYS), “We have, on average, about 200 active members each year. I have no idea how many members we will have this year, but I haven’t heard anybody say they were not going to shoot because of COVID.
One of the important facets of the shooter’s experience, aside from the obvious shooting and camaraderie, is being able to eat a meal with a particular host of their family.
This year though Wise said their group has asked that no food or drink be provided by hosts this year.
“I know this is disappointing for the hosts and shooters,” he said, “but preparing and consuming food tends to make people gather. We are doing everything we can to make everyone safe. The shooters will have to bring their own food or take breaks as they need to.
“We’ve also lowered membership dues to ease the cost to members this year. Everything we have planned will be outside this year. There will be no meetings and even our member sign-ups will be outdoors and kept as short as possible.”
Said Gary, on their group’s handling of this issue, “We will not be going inside anyone’s house to eat. Some of the hosts have asked about ‘grab and go’ snacks. We advise members to plan on bringing food for themselves with them.”
As for the now-constant mantra to “practice social distancing”, the rule for both groups is simple: follow our rules or you don’t get to shoot this year.
Said Wise, “We are asking everyone to social distance as best they can and wear a mask. If they break the rules we will politely ask them to obey the rules. If they continually break our rules, we will call the authorities and have them removed.”
Dellinger noted, “We have a new form this year that all members will have to sign – prior to getting their badge – that states they agree to abide by the rules in order to shoot this year.
“We have a really good group and we don’t expect any problems, but it’s pretty simple, if you don’t follow the rules, you don’t shoot.”
Regarding the number of stops for the groups this year, Wise said, “As stated earlier, we may have more stops this year. We will be moving at a fast pace (this year) so we may have more stops than usual. We may throw a couple of planned breaks in also.
“The schedule will be fluid this year and could change at any minute. We will post updates on social media if need be. There might be a few “live” video ‘feeds’ also.”
Said Dellinger, “We are in the process now of contacting all of the hosts we shoot for to make sure they still want us to come. So far, all have agreed for us to come as usual. We have actually had a larger than normal number of requests for new shots to be added this year.”
In closing, Rusty said, “This year will be different. As to how much different we shall see. It really depends on the virus.
“We will not do anything to endanger our members or the public. I envision the custom logo mask being in a museum later on because this will be the ‘Year of the Virus’ for the shooters. We do ask that spectators pick various times to view the shooters and spread out. We do not need large gatherings of spectators. This may be a good year for spectators to stay home. You may not see us but you’ll definitely hear us.”
Gary’s closing comments no doubt echo his fellow shooter’s feelings.
“We always enjoy having followers join us on the route, but this year may not be the best year to do that,” he said.
“We want to keep everyone as safe from the virus as we can, but we believe the tradition that dates back hundreds of years is too important not to do all we can to preserve it, even through a pandemic.
“We ask if you do follow this year, please do as our members will be doing and wear a mask. Also, please stay separated as best you can from the shooters, hosts, and other followers. Or better yet, enjoy the tradition from your car or home.”
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New Marine Jerran Croft (second from left, front row) at his United States Marine Corps graduation ceremony held at Parris Island on Nov. 13, 2020. (photos provided)

2020 CHS grad, football player, now a USMC  boot camp grad


Ever since he was a six-year-old, Jerran Croft, formerly of Cherryville, and the son of Robin and Jesse Croft, knew he was going to be a Marine. At least that’s what he told them, and he never wavered, according to them, from that path.
The Croft’s; dad’s a laser operator at LeeBoy in Lincolnton, and mom works for Southwood Realty and is the property manager of Park Terrace Apartments in Bessemer City, said Jerran, a 2020 graduate of Cherryville High School, recently had another graduation ceremony, one for the United States Marine Corps at Parris Island on Nov. 13, 2020.
Mrs. Croft said, “Jerran told me when he was six years old, 'Mom, I am going to be a Marine.’ He was born right after 9/11 and the country was extremely patriotic there for awhile, so I think maybe that’s what led him to want to be a Marine.
“I thought it would pass, but he never wavered. When he was 17 he asked us to sign for him. The Marine Corps has always been his only choice. He said he wanted to 'be a part of the baddest and toughest’, and to him that was the Marines.”
After his graduation from boot camp, Robin said he was continuing his combat training somewhere in North Carolina, but noted she can’t say where that is due to national security concerns.
Though she said neither she nor his dad were in the military, Jerran was adamant in his choice of which branch of the service he wished to serve with. She added, “Jerran has enlisted for four years active and two years inactive service and has said that he wants to make a career out of it.”
Mrs. Croft said Jerran’s “MOS”, or school of training, is Construction Engineer.
She said, “He said he intends to go to trade school while he is there and learn a trade that goes along with his job. He intends to get all of the schooling he can while in the Marines.”
While a student at Cherryville High School Jerran was a wide receiver and cornerback all four years he was there.
Said Robin, “Even though Jerran’s decision was very hard on our family at first, we have learned to accept his decision, because it was his decision, not ours.
“We are so very proud of him and honored that he is one of the few that is willing to give it all for his country. I believe all people in the military must have a higher calling from God to do what they do. I am so thankful for each and every  one of them! They truly are very special people!”
Mrs. Croft continued, “Jerran is the youngest of four. My oldest daughter, Sierra Croft, graduated from NC State in 2017 with a Chemical Engineering degree. My other son, Jesse Croft, II, went to Cape Fear Community College but decided to come home and go to work. My youngest daughter, Savannah Croft, graduated this year from NC State with a Sustainable Materials and Technology degree, and then there is Jerran, my Marine.”
The Croft’s don’t yet know where their son will be posted, but they know he will give the Marines 110 percent, because that’s the kind of guy he is.
Cherryville High School has a proud and storied history of its students serving in the various branches of the U.S. military.
Ironman Jerran Croft now joins those ranks, continuing to make his mark as a part of that great bunch of young men and women who have served and continue to serve their country.
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2019 Thanksgiving Community Meal organizer Tammy Campbell (far left) talks with volunteer server, Dr. Jennifer Walls at the 11th Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal held last year. (Eagle/CF Media file photo by Michael E. Powell)

2020 Community Thanksgiving meal had different look this year

Drive-through service, “take out”, and
delivery the rule of the day for “Turkey Day” feast in the time of COVID


The 12th Annual Cherryville Thanksgiving Community Meal Drive-Through had a new look and new method of operation this year, said the event’s organizers.
The event, held on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 was a “To-Go Only” event, and started at 11 a.m., lasting until 2 p.m., and was on a “While Supplies Last/First Come First Serve” basis, according to the promoters.
As was done last year (in the good, old ‘pre-COVID’ days), it was held at the Post 100 American Legion building, located at 215 N. Pink St., Cherryville. The event was sponsored by Food Lion.
Organizer Tammy Campbell noted in last year’s Eagle article on the Community Thanksgiving Meal, they “…had a total of 711 people that received a meal; 159 (fed) at the Legion Building and 552 (meals) were sent out.”
She also noted that, in spite of the inclement weather last year,  she  and her fellow organizers and workers were just thankful they had people willing to get out in the rain to deliver those meals for them.
Campbell, who works for ACTEGA North America in Lincolnton, is no stranger to working out all the kinks, glitches, and what-not when it comes to this much-loved annual feast, having done it now for the past 12 years. She and all those who put in their time, efforts, and hard work to help their community know it’s all worth it, to see the hungry get fed a great meal.
In an email last week to the Eagle, Campbell acknowledged how different things were going to be thanks to the state’s many pandemic restrictions.
Speaking of the event’s uniqueness, she said, “Due to (those) restrictions we did a drive-through event only. We had the kitchen volunteers cooking – with everyone masked and gloved ¬– in the back kitchen.
“We had the take-out area set up like normal; we just had to limit how many people we had in there.
“Again, all volunteers had on masks and gloves. We had a few outside to get the number of how many plates a pick-up person needed. They gave that number to a person at the front of the building, who then relayed that to the to-go staff. They then got that number of plates and took them out to the front staff and who gave them to them, either by placing their food in their trunk or back seat, kind of like a pizza place. They then drove away and we went on to the next car.”
Campbell also said they also again served the Meals on Wheels people from the Cherryville area.
“They sent their drivers to pick up for their normal route and they deliver those for us. I also asked the local churches to send me the names and addresses of shut-ins that needed a plate delivered and we sent people out to do that.
“Hopefully, we were able to get everyone a meal that needed one, even with all the restrictions,” she said.
Fellow organizer Max Jonas said Food Lion cooked 38 whole turkeys, deboned them upon arrival at the Legion building before serving them, and also provided green beans, corn, turkey gravy, sweet potatoes and yams, dressing, and slaw for the meals.
“I want to say a word of thanks to Food Lion and (store manager) Tammy Evans and (department manager) Karen Newton for once again helping out with this,” he said.
Cherryville Area Ministries Director Sherry Curry was also one of the organizers and helped at the event.
Said Mrs. Curry, “This event being a drive-through was good as far as this pandemic was concerned. It meant less contact from us to them. I felt that would have an impact on possibly more people coming out that day. We hoped and prayed it would be a really good turnout.”
Curry said she knew the way they did the meal this year was going to be “something new”, but said she also felt it was, “kind of exciting” to still get people fed, which is a blessing in and of itself.
“It was also great to see many of the Cherryville-area churches and others volunteer and get involved with this feeding ministry,” she said.
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Natalie Poston, Chavis Middle’s 2020 Teacher of the Year is seen here teaching her 8th grade students some of the finer points of Math I. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

JCMS’ Poston “2020 Teacher of the Year”


John Chavis Middle School eighth grade Math I teacher Natalie Willis Poston is John Chavis Middle School’s “2020 Teacher of the Year”, an accolade which she said is a “first” for her.
Mrs. Willis, 34, teaches Math I, she said, which is high school level mathematics normally taught to the ninth through 12th grade levels. Her students get high school level credits for it, she added.
Mrs. Poston, a 2004 CHS grad, played softball, volleyball, and basketball
for the Lady Ironmen, and also played sports for the Lady wolverines during her time at JCMS. She attended Appalachian State University, where she majored in Secondary Math Education, and played softball there as well, she said. She graduated from ASU in 2008.
Poston began her teaching career in 2009 at Bessemer City High School, where she taught math.
“Math just came natural to me. I always wanted to be a teacher,” said Mrs. Poston, whose mother, Judy Willis, was a teacher in the Cleveland County School system. Her dad, Dennis, owns Willis Septic Systems. She has a brother, Bryson, who is employed at the family business, she noted.
Poston is married, and she and her husband are the proud parents of three; Joselyn, 5, and twin boys; Brady and Brayden, both 4.
Of her honor, Poston said, “I wasn’t expecting it! It feels a little intimidating to me, in a way. I never thought I’d be one.
“Also, I feel like there is a higher expectation for me to meet, but then again, I set high expectations for myself anyway.”
Chavis Principal Matt Rikard said, “Mrs. Poston believes all of her students can excel, and she holds them all to a standard of excellence.
“She wants what is best for her students academically and personally. She is a true example of what makes John Chavis Middle School so great.
“We are blessed that a product of John Chavis Middle School has returned home!”
When asked what her students said when they found out about her honor, she smiled and said, “They told me 'congratulations’. She said her parents told her they were proud of her, noting that “all that hard work paid off.”
Some of Poston’s hobbies, she said she likes, are to run, or be outdoors as much as she can, or to participate in any kind of sport.
“I’m very competitive, which, I guess goes hand-in-hand with my high expectations,” she said, with a big grin.
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Rev. Kyle DeLong, the new pastor for the Cherryville First Church of the Nazarene, stands outside by the church’s sign. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

New Cherryville Nazarene pastor says his past is his testimony

He wants to help people out of the walls they’ve built around themselves


When Rev. Tom Hartis retired as the pastor of Cherryville’s First Church of the Nazarene in 2019, the small church and its faithful congregation set about earnestly praying, seeking God’s help on filling their leadership vacancy.
Their search was going all right until the unexpected came along in the form of a national shutdown due to the Chinese coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19, which forced America’s faithful to rethink and retool their worship services.
The Nazarene faithful, like their Christian brethren of all denominations and names across the nation took a step back and tried to make sense of how to meet and worship in this “Time of COVID”.
Church Secretary and Treasurer Glenn Willis, a long-time member of the little church with a big history in Cherryville, noted, “We have been having preaching only for social distancing purposes.”
The Nazarene’s story is not too dissimilar from the Baptists, Lutherans, Methodist, Presbyterians, and even many of the Catholic faithful in the way they have had to tailor their Sunday and Wednesday services.
Then, the Lord worked a miracle and sent them one of His warriors in the person of the Rev. Kyle DeLong, a minister’s son, who’s past, by his own admission and witness, is, well… shall we say, a bit checkered?
At any rate, according to Mr. Willis, Rev. DeLong was called to be their pastor on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, and the installation service was held the following Sunday, on Oct. 25, 2020, at 5 p.m., with Dr. Greg Mason officiating.
Pastor DeLong and Mr. Willis sat down with the Eagle on Nov. 4, the day after the elections, and talked about what the Lord has in store for Cherryville’s First Church of the Nazarene.
Reverend DeLong, a youthful looking 51, was straightforward and honest about his past, before he came back to Christ.
“I am going on 24 years as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I am also a six-time felon, which is where God found me, met me, and saved me from certain destruction!” said Rev. DeLong.
DeLong, in addition to being the newly installed pastor at the First Church of the Nazarene, also pastors the Hickory Church of the Nazarene, splitting his time there and here, he said. Additionally, Rev. DeLong said he also teaches as a re-entry instructor at Catawba Valley Correctional Center.
“My father, Dennis, was a Nazarene pastor for 42 years,” said Rev. Kyle. “He retired in Salisbury at the First church of the Nazarene there, but sadly passed away last August.” He said he has an older sister, Lori Robinson, who is a teacher in Ashe County.
Rev. DeLong’s personal testimony begins when he was a 13-year-old teen in Indiana and was dabbling and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Fast forward to his 30’s, DeLong said he was in prison for his drug-induced wayward exploits when, as he put it, “God got a hold of me in prison! He told me to turn my life around. I just didn’t think I had anything left to give Him, but I gave my life to Jesus in my prison cell.”
DeLong, not yet a Reverend, got in the TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuse) Program, a two-year program, finished it, was released from prison, paroled, then accepted a call to preach the Gospel.
He said he got into a Carolina Scholar Program, which was an extension of the Nazarene Bible College (located in Colorado Springs, CO), received his District License in 2011, and was ordained in 2015.
“For two and a half years I interned under my dad, then became a full-time youth pastor at Concord Church of the Nazarene. I became the Senior Pastor of the Hickory Church of the Nazarene, which I held for six years. I was installed here as this church’s pastor on Oct. 25,” he said.
Glenn said he wasn’t sure who exactly was the first pastor of the small red brick church, but thought it might have been a Rev. Stamey.
Said Rev. DeLong, “The church started over on Jacobs Street in 1950, I believe.”
The church currently has roughly 20 to 25 congregants, noted Mr. Willis, and they meet on Wednesday nights and have a Sunday service at noon.
Rev. De Long said he and his wife Wendy have three children, ages 23, 20, and 16.
In addition to fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28, Rev. DeLong said he wants to help people out of the walls they’ve built around themselves and point them outwardly.
“I want to lead them to the Healer. I want them to get to know the community in which they live and work and play, and I want us all to be able to help the homeless, the addicted, the abused, and to absolutely help families! That is what we are called to do as followers of Christ!” he said.
Rev. DeLong can be reached at his email at, or you can call the church at (704) 435-4450. The church is located at 300 W. 2nd St., Cherryville.
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Marine Dell Garren (second from left) with his Fire Team on board the troop carrier, U.S.S. Denver (LPD-9), en route to their overseas deployment. With Garren are fellow Marines Lance Corporal Mark Rafet; Lance Corporal Ernest Villareal; and Lance Corporal Barella (no first name available). (photos provided)

For military veteran Garren, being a Marine was and is a way of life

GARREN: “Veteran’s Day is a day all service men and women should be recognized and remembered for their service!”


Serving others and giving back to one’s country and community seems to be in the blood of the many men and women who have served, and still serve in America’s armed forces.
When their time of active service is up, for the most part those same vigilant servants tend to gravitate toward public service careers in either law enforcement or a continuation of their government service.
Such is the case with retired Cherryville Police Senior Patrol Officer Dell Garren.
Garren, 54, was a fresh-faced teenager of 17 when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in August of 1984. He graduated from Cherryville High School in 1985, and on Dec. 2, of that year was sent to boot camp.
Garren, who, like many Americans, has a rich heritage of family members who also served their country, serving with such distinguished combat companies like the 82nd Airborne in WWII, or in Korea.
“My dad, Jack, was in the Navy for four years, then was in the Air Force for 18 years,” said Dell. His father passed away, he said, on Feb. 9, 2015.
Though some Marines describe themselves as “Retired Marines” Garren prefers to call himself a non-active duty Marine.
“I feel like you’re either an active duty Marine or a non-active duty Marine,” he said, adding, “once a Marine; always a Marine!”
Garren served with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, from 1985 until 1993, being sent to far-away places like Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea and Okinawa.
In 1990, he said he re-enlisted in order to become an electrician and was with the 11th Marines. That service was with the First Services Support Group, or FSSG, and he was at Camp Pendleton then.
After five months in electricians school, Garren was transferred to MWSS (Marine Wing Support Squadron) 373, 3rd Marine Air Wing at El Toro, CA.
“I was stationed, during our various deployments, in the Far East, for the most part,” he noted, adding, “However, while in the Corps, we were with the 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) in Panama during the operation to oust Gen. Manuel Noriega.
In November 1993, Garren’s time as an active duty Marine ended, and he came back to Cherryville. Prior to that, he had met and married the love of his life, Danielle (nee Yates) on Feb. 15, 1992, and they became the parents of two children, a daughter, Amanda, 27, who is currently CEO of the Nashville (TN) Angels organization, helping foster children. Son, Josh (21) is, like his sister, a graduate of Cherryville High School. He is majoring in Criminal Justice at Marshall University, said Dell.
Garren worked at Lazy Boy for a while, he said, then got on the Cherryville Police Force in 2004, retiring from there as a Senior Patrol Officer in January of this year (2020). He currently works for the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, as of March 2020.
Some of Garren’s hobbies (past and present) are working out and staying as fit as he can, building military models, coaching football, teaching firearms training, and helping out with the Rapid Deployment/Active Shooter Training for law enforcement officers.
Fond memories for Garren as a Marine include serving on a Recon Team, being an MOS/Radio field operator, being selected to Marksmanship Instructor School (1987), and generally just being able to see the world.
Of the Marines (and law enforcement as well), Garren said, “It’s a true brotherhood. I would do it all over again – be in the Corps. I wouldn’t trade ANY of it!”
As for Veteran’s Day, which he noted is the day after the official birthday of the Marine Corps’ founding – Nov. 10, he said, “It (Veteran’s Day) is the one day that is set aside for the men and women of the American armed forces who have served and are still serving their country faithfully. On that day, on Veteran’s Day, EVERYONE gets recognition!”

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Chief Judge Chip Childers and poll worker Leslie Lopez check on the number of voters who have come in to the First Presbyterian Church polling place (Precinct 37) on Tuesday, Nov. 3. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

High voter turnout as Cherryville; Gaston County go ‘red’ for Trump, Republicans

All vote numbers unofficial until count is complete


In what has been described as the biggest voter turnout in recent American history or memory, the citizens of Cherryville, Gaston County, and the citizens of the entire United States turned out in record numbers to vote.
We are now into Election Day plus eight, and, as of this writing, it appears we may have a new President in the person of the projected winner, at least by electoral standards and numbers, in former VP Joe Biden.
However, not all the numbers are in and all is still unofficial in spite of which news/media agency or polling group calls it.
That said, Mr. Biden’s projected win status is, as we all knew it would be, being contested by President Donald J. Trump, his staff, and the GOP party in the handful of states that were razor-thin calls on the part of the mainstream national media and according to many conservative media outlets and polls.
Closer to home, and in addition to the obvious political races on the ballot, a “big ticket” item for the City of Cherryville was the vote on the bond referendum, essentially three items actually on the Tuesday, Nov. 3 ballot, all concerned with getting the voters of the city to have their say on three items: namely bonds for downtown improvement; bonds for water improvement; and bonds for sewer improvement.
With all three of Cherryville’s precincts reporting in, the numbers for the downtown improvement bonds was 1,612, or 56.23 percent for it versus 1,255, or 43.77 percent against the bond. That bond vote was a little closer than the remaining two; bonds for water system improvements, 2,139, or 73.89 percent for the bonds opposed to 736 (or 26.11 percent) against it. The bonds for the sewer system improvements was 2,140, or 74.02 percent, for said bonds as opposed to 751, or 25.98 percent, against the sewer bonds.
City of Cherryville City Manager/Fire Chief Jeff Cash said of the vote outcome, “We are elated with the election outcome. The bonds for water, sewer and downtown were all approved by the majority of our Cherryville voting citizens.
“We are also excited to get to work with the final drawings and bid work
or the  projects  to  begin.  If everything
falls in place as expected, we should begin to see activity with these projects in April or May (2021).”
Mr. Cash continued, “We thank the citizens for believing in our vision, goals and objectives. Our Mayor, City Council and staff have worked very hard on our vision. We are such a blessed community. Once again, thank you for your vote of confidence and your support.”
The three Cherryville precincts (35, 36, and 37) all reported higher than normal early voting, as was evidenced by the numerous printouts with early voter’s names on there. However, Chief Judges Chip Childers, Becky Wood, and Mark Moss all noted they and their staff’s stayed busy from the minute the polls opened until they closed.
Childers and his crew of Michelle Hoffman, Leslie Lopez, Sherri Hayes, Iris Walls, and Jeannie Kiser; Moss and his crew of Brenda Beam, Dana Sturgill, Berniece Harris, Judy McSwain, Sam Allen, and Grayson Eubanks; and Wood and her crew of Bess Thornburg, Suzette Smith, Dianne Jenkins, Chris Barnett, Ron Beam, Wendi Beam, Pam Abernathy, and David Whitesides all noted voter turnout as being “steady” for most of the morning, once again attributing the lower physical turnout to the way folks cast their ballots either through mail-in voting or by voting early, in Cherryville’s case, at the Cherryville Fire Department.
Said Childers, “This is the biggest turnout I’ve seen since the last (presidential) election. We have certainly had a large early voter turnout.”
Though Ms. Wood noted their voter numbers as of 6:30 a.m., election day morning (Nov. 3) have been slow getting started. However, she said, “Though it (the turnout) since that time has been a little slower than we usually have had in the past, it picked up and has been the biggest I’ve seen since so far.” As an example, she noted that of the roughly 1,400 registered voters in their precinct (#35), about 1,153 had voted early.
Moss, Chief Judge at the largest of Cherryville’s voting precincts (#36), said he believes over 60 percent of those registered in their precinct had voted early.
Said Moss, “Counting early voting, this is the largest turnout I’ve ever seen. An amazing number of first-time voters have come out and we’ve given many of them a short course on how the process works. That group has been a mix of young and old.”
Moss continued, “We have never seen an election like this. North Carolina has never been as crucial to the election process as we are this year.”
According to the Gaston County Board of Elections web site, as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, 100 percent of the county’s precincts reported in (46 of 46) and 75.26 percent of the ballots were cast (114,140 voters out of a total of 151,667), with (at that time) an unofficial number of 72,132 votes (63.39 percent) cast for President Trump and 40,231 (35.36 percent) cast for Joe Biden.
In the Governor’s race, Lt. Gov., and challenger Dan Forest did well in Gaston County (68,362, or 60.37 percent) to Current Gov. Roy Cooper’s 43,272 (or 38.21 percent) but Cooper managed to get re-elected.
Republicans fared well overall in Gaston County as Sen. Thom Tillis grabbed more than 60 percent of the votes in his run to stave off challenger Democrat Cal Cunningham. Rep. Virginia Foxx  had 62.99 percent of the votes (68,303) to defeat challenger David Wilson Brown for her seat. Mark Robinson, a Republican, won the seat of Lt. Gov., and will be the state’s first black Lt. Gov.
Other Republicans who fared well in the county, were Representatives John Torbett, Kelly Hastings, Dana Bumgardner, Sen. Kathy Harrington, and Sen. Ted Alexander.
Newcomer Donald Rice defeated Judge Richard Abernathy in the county to take a seat on the District Court bench. Judge Abernathy had been seated since 2007.
In other election news, Cherryville Commissioner Allen Fraley was re-elected by voters. Former Cherryville educator Beverly “Robbie” Lovelace defeated incumbent Cherryville Township board member Terry Usery for the right to represent the town at the school board meetings. In addition to defeating Mr. Usery, she also had the lead over Mr. Daniel Ware, who was running for the seat as well.
For more information on the unofficial election results please go the Gaston County Board of elections web site at
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Last year the Toys for Tots items collected by the Cherryville Fire Department were picked up by their fellow firefighters from Gastonia. Cherryville Fire Department personnel, (retired) Capt. Wendell Poole (left) and Assistant Chief Jason Wofford (right) happily announced the three collection boxes were picked up Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (file photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

2020 “Toys for Tots” campaign will look a little different due to COVID-19


Cherryville Assistant Fire Chief Jason Wofford said this year’s “Toys for Tots” campaign will look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That’s true,” said AFC Wofford, stressing that their department is handling the ‘Toys for Tots’ Christmas toy drive a little different this year than in the past.
AFC Wofford said their department received an email from Chaplain Brad Hall, of the Gaston County Firefighters Association, which read (in part) as follows: “Last year we were able to help collect around 9,000 toys for 3,816 Gaston County children. This year the need is going to be even higher and due to the COVID pandemic, the 2020 Toys for Tots drive will be a little different.
“To keep our responders safe, the Gaston County Firefighters Association is not going to publicize any collections by our affiliated members or distribute boxes & yard signs.
“We do realize that citizens may drop off donations this year out of habit from years past. The decision of how to respond to this will be up to each department or agency.”
Chaplain Hall then noted two options for the departments regarding taking any toys: directing the givers to the website or any local donation boxes in the area; or receiving the donation at their respective stations and calling him, whereupon Chaplain Hall said he would get the donated toys and gifts picked up.
Chaplain Hall said in his email he has spoken to the local “Toys for Tots” director, who he said thanked the firefighters for their past participation and who fully understands that there is a great need to protect all responders from any unnecessary exposures to the coronavirus as they all work together to provide some Christmas joy for the needy children in Gaston County.
ASC Wofford said last year the CF was “…given boxes to accept donations of toys.”
He continued, “The ‘Toys for Tots’ folks came by and picked up the donations after the collection dates. The Cherryville Fire Department loves this program as we see many children who have the need to receive gifts during Christmas. We are also thankful to be part of a community who supports this type of charity fully.”
Captain Wofford noted that while they are not advertising for toys to be dropped off at the station house so as to limit exposure, they are advertising for folks to go to their website and make monetary donations.
Said AFC Wofford, “I believe they (the Gastonia Toys for Tots organization) have a system in place to purchase the needed toys once their fundraising is completed.”
As for how many toys were donated last year to CFD, Wofford noted, “Our community responded abundantly, and we overfilled two giant boxes of toys.”
From the Eagle article of last year (Dec. 13, 2019) CFD’s Administrative Assistant Brittany Bingham noted, “They (the Toys for Tots organizers for Gaston County’s fire departments) left us two boxes and we filled both of those. We also had enough toys in bags to fill up a third box.”
In that same article, AFC Wofford said he was, “very pleased” their department was able to do this “…and to have a part in making a child’s Christmas merrier.”
For those folks who do bring toys by, Jason said, “We urge people to make the monetary donations, but for those who deliver to the station, we will see that they are delivered to the ‘Toys for Tots’.”
He continued, “And, so far as monetary donations, anyone can visit this website, and select “donate local” and donate any amount they wish directly to the ‘Toys for Tots’ program. This is what we urge citizens to do if they would like to donate.”
For those who may have further related questions about helping out families and kids this Christmas, call the CFD at (704) 435-1730, or check with your local Cherryville charity organizations or churches.

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An International Express truck parked outside their former Lowell freight complex. (photos provided)

Warehousing, transportation logistics return to former Carolina Freight complex in Cherryville

A media release recently noted that International Express, with Corporate Headquarters located in Lowell, NC, has purchased the former Carolina Freight Complex in Cherryville.
This 70-acre complex, on Hwy. 150, houses seven buildings and will increase their capacity by over 300,000 square feet. The purchase was completed on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, according to the media release.
International Express is an asset-based carrier offering Warehousing, Logistics and Trucking Services with locations in Gastonia, and Charlotte; and in Atlanta, Georgia.
Their services include, warehouse storage, pick and pack, repackaging, distribution, U.S. Customs bonded warehouse services, full truckload, less than truckload, container drayage and final mile pick-up and delivery services.
Howard Shope, President and CEO said in the company’s media release, “Our plan is to renovate the site, returning it back to a functional transportation business park, while preserving some of history. We want to ensure Cherryville and Gaston County can once again be a transportation hub for the Domestic and International Logistics community.”
He continued, “The site will offer Regional Logistics Customers, and an Intermodal Logistic Business Park capable of supporting various transportation services needed within the geographical area.
“Carolina Freight did it right, plain, and simple. They were a ‘mecca’ in the freight world, and anyone that grew up here knows that. Trucking and logistics are in the blood of this community and we are very thankful to the community of Cherryville for the support they have offered.
“We are very appreciative of that and value it greatly. International Express looks forward to being a valued part of this great community”
On the business end of things, the sale was brokered by Doster Realty, John Doster, CCIM and John Barker Realty. Financing was provided by Select Bank, Alan Fletcher Senior Account Executive.
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Small Town Kitchen co-owners, Billy and George Kakavitsas (front, center, with scissors and holding ribbon) at their Oct. 14, ribbon cutting. With them were various City of Cherryville staff, Council, and Chamber of Commerce officials, as well as Chamber members and friends and employees. (photos provided)

Cherryville’s newest eatery,
Small Town Kitchen, now open

Sit-down style restaurant ideally located on busy Hwy. 150


Last week, co-owners and brothers Vasilios “Billy”, and Georgio “George” Kakavitsas cut a big red ribbon signifying they were soon to open their restaurant, “Small Town Kitchen”, in Cherryville. The “sit-down” style restaurant is ideally located on busy Hwy. 150.
The Kitchen formally opened its doors and began serving food on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and is located at 1011 E. Church Street.
Billy, 31, said the reason for choosing Cherryville as a place for a restaurant was simple; “The landlord, Jimmy Vikas, is our uncle.” Mr. Vikas owned the Milano’s restaurant that was previously in Cherryville, he added.
In addition to Billy and George being on hand for the Wednesday, Oct. 14, ribbon cutting, other City and Chamber staff, personnel and Chamber members were there as well, welcoming the new business to the community. George, 32, said they plan on having the restaurant open six days a week, with lunch and
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dinner being served Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10:30 a.m., to 9 p.m. On Saturday, he said they will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m., until 9 p.m.
“On Sunday, we will serve breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m., until 3 p.m.,” he said.
Billy, who said he has been working and or managing restaurants for the past nine years, noted having their own restaurant has been their goal “…for a long time.”
As for serving alcohol, brother George said it is in the plans, and for the foreseeable future, the two have no plans to serve any hard liquor, only beer and wine.
The restaurant has 25-30 employees, said Billy, and is open for dining in or for carry out orders.
For more information, or for menu options, please call (704) 769-8153.
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Downtown Director David Day speaks at the recent J. Ralph Beam, Jr. Heritage Park Committee meeting at the Cherryville Community Building. Listening to him is HPC member Becky Ross. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

City’s J. Ralph Beam, Jr.
Heritage Park getting a long overdue facelift


At a recent Heritage Park Committee meeting, the committee members discussed recent work being done on the old buildings by Mr. John Coley Houser, from Vale.
Chairperson Rita Beam noted a large donation was given by a note former Cherryville native to help with the work being done on the historical buildings by Project Manager Houser. Mrs. Beam noted Mr. Houser had submitted a plan to them for approval.
Members of the Heritage Park Committee are: Rita Beam, Chairperson; Mildred Beam Dail, Secretary; Hazelene Moss; Jack Bingham; Becky Ross; Councilman Jon Abernathy; and Cherryville Finance Director Dixie Wall.
“Jeff Cash, Cherryville City Manager/Fire Chief; and Brandon Abernathy, Cherryville Public Works Director, are the City liaisons to our committee,” said Mrs. Dail, who added that Mr. J. Coley Houser is the project manager.
“Mr. Houser is a knowledgeable parks, recreation, and tourist consultant,” she noted.
Mr. Houser noted, via email, that he was contacted about the old buildings at the park by Mr. Brandon Abernathy.
“Brandon Abernathy, with the City, approached Dr. Bob Hart, of Hart Square Village in Vale about how to go about restoration of the buildings.
“At the time I was working for the foundation he established to care for his village consisting of 100-plus log cabins, etc. He mentioned that the city was seeking someone to do the restoration and I was looking to begin a consulting business specializing in historical restoration. The timing was perfect and I jumped at the opportunity.”
Troop 323 Eagle Scout
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candidate and CHS senior, Colton Godfrey, was present to speak to the committee about what his Eagle project will do to help beautify the park as well.
Godfrey noted his project – which is to redo the grounds of the park – was approved by his Scoutmaster. He also noted the project is on a timetable and, according to him, must be finished in three months, from the time he is able to actually start on the project proper.
Mr. Godfrey noted he will turn 18 in December and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has received a three-month extension because of that.
In speaking to the committee, Godfrey said, “I have been told by some nurseries they are willing to donate materials to me for my project.”
City Manager Cash noted, that for the City’s part, they want for the park to be as maintenance-free as is possible, at least from the City’s standpoint, as allotting manpower to work on it may be hard to implement, as their staff may be needed elsewhere to work on other projects.
Downtown Director David Day, of the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce, spoke about Main Street’s main focus right now, which is the upcoming bond referendum, as well as future holiday projects. He talked with the committee about the possibility of getting more information on the Internet about Heritage Park than what is currently there.
As a bit of history and background, Mrs. Dail noted in an email/media release, “As you may recall, the park was opened in 1993. It was a longtime dream of my brother, J. Ralph Beam, Jr. and his wife, Rita M. Beam.
“Before and during this completion of the park they gave much time, historical artifacts and monetary contributions.
“There were many local people who contributed to the opening of the park, including Von Eva Allan and Ruth Anthony, who were daughters of the Ben Black family.”
She continued, “The City of Cherryville made many additional contributions.”
Mrs. Dail said a list of the contributors is displayed in the school house.
She also noted that throughout the years the Cherryville Garden Club has planted and helped maintain the grounds of the park, along with the Cherryville Public Works Department.
Mrs. Dail continued, “During these many years the park has been a source of education and pride for surrounding citizens as well for visitors from many areas. Many pictures are made in the park celebrating various occasions.”
She noted since its opening Mrs. Rita Beam has been dedicated to as well, as loyal to, the purpose of Heritage Park.
Said Mrs. Dail, “She and those assisting her have given educational and entertaining programs to as many as 800 students per year (before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic).
“Often dressed in period clothes, they would present programs depicting life and culture in much earlier days. Stories were told by Mrs. Beam along with an occasional meal served in the pioneer style to the attendees.”
The committee and its members know that after 27 years Heritage Park has been needing some renovations in order for it to be preserved.
Mrs. Dail continued, “Realizing the condition of the old log buildings, Mrs. Beam knew work was needed for it to continue to be a historical, educational place of interest and pride for the City of Cherryville, its residents and neighbors.
“Therefore, private funds were solicited to restore and preserve this valuable community asset. A very large donation – along with other donations – enabled the project to be started.”
It should be noted the project is not connected with The Cherryville Main Street Project, thus a committee was formed to lead the Heritage Park Project.
Mrs. Dail said, “Realizing all the expertise, dedication and devotion Rita has given throughout the park’s planning and completion, the group voted her as their chairperson.”
It was noted the Heritage Park Committee meets monthly in one of the City’s facilities.
J. Ralph Beam, Jr. Heritage Park is located behind the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce building, just off Main St., at 102 S. Jacob Street.
For more information about the park call the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce at (704) 435-3451, or visit Cherryville’s web site at
Cameraman Scott Clinton, of Blackbox Studios starts filming a scene for the Franklin Lowry movie “Charles Sloan” in downtown Cherryville, in front of Home Folk’s Café, as actor Mark Costello starts in motion. (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

Charlotte-based crew shoots movie scenes in Cherryville

Movie, “Charles Sloan” written, directed by Huntersville native


Folks driving down Main Street on Monday, Sept. 28, probably noticed what looked like a mini-Hollywood movie set and its crew shooting footage on Main Street.
If so, they wouldn’t be far from wrong as that was exactly what was happening.
Writer, director, and producer Franklin Michael Lowry and a crew from Scott Clinton Photography, based out Charlotte, NC, and New York, NY, were shooting scenes for an upcoming movie, tentatively titled, “Charles Sloan”, in front of Home Folks’ Café, as well as up and down the block in general. Mr. Clinton is the Director of Photography, editor, and one of the producers for the film.
The crew and Mr. Lowry also shot some footage in Kings Mountain, according to the Chamber’s Mary Beth Tackett.
In addition to “Charles Sloan”, Mr. Lowry and Mr. Clinton collaborated on two short films, “Permanence”, and “The Black”, both shot in 2019.
Playing the part of the character “Charles Sloan,” is veteran character actor, Mark Costello. Costello was also in the film “Permanence”, noted Mr. Lowry.
Costello, a St. Louis, MO, native, has been, according to his web site, acting for 28 years, and has appeared not only in the previously mentioned Lowry film, “Permanence”, but has also appeared in numerous television dramas and soap operas, as well as many syndicated dramas and theatrical productions.
Movie director and writer, Franklin Lowry took a few minutes out of his busy shooting schedule to talk with the Eagle about the movie and his art.
Said Mr. Lowry, “I worked on movies in Louisiana before moving to Los Angeles in 2007. I moved back to Louisiana and worked on movies in 2008 and 2009 to take a job in DC.”
Lowry, 37, is married and has a child. He has a bachelor’s degree as well as two graduate degrees, he said. He now lives in Huntersville, N.C.
The movie, “Charles Sloan”, is a fictional drama. Also, according to Lowry (and the movie’s Facebook page), it is about a terminally ill man, Sloan (played by veteran actor, Mark Costello), who has spent many years in prison and has been “…compassionately released from prison,” and who wishes to “…navigate through his remaining days trying to reconnect with his estranged son,” who we learn is “Charles, Jr.”
Said Lowry, “I found Mark in Atlanta, GA. He’s legit. We have several North Carolina actors in the film, and most of our film crew is also from North Carolina.”
Lowry also noted he has several other scripts in the works, and has written a feature tentatively titled, “The Cherry Blossom King”, which he said will be set in Cherryville.
The movie, “Charles Sloan”, has an IMDb page listing in addition to their Facebook page at
As for a timetable for completion and a release date for the movie, Mr. Lowry said to keep watching the Facebook page where more information is entered as they complete shooting scenes.
Scott Clinton Photography can be found at

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Standing under the mural for the “CHS Kindness Club” are its creator, Junior, Landrie Wofford (second from left) and Club co-founder, Senior Ben Hayes (third from left). With them are two Cherryville Walmart representatives, Assistant Manager Elizabeth King (far left), and Customer Service representative, Haley Clayton (far right). (photo by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

New Kindness Club program created to impact local schools; community

Club’s message is “Spread kindness,
not germs!”


Two CHS students are out to prove the old saying that “a little kindness” goes a long way”, by forming a club that does just that.
Senior Ben Hayes and Junior Landrie Wofford said recently the “Kindness Club” is a program that “…encourages students and our community to be kind to everyone through random acts of kindness.”
Hayes, a son of Jeff and Alison Hayes, and Junior, Landrie Wofford, a daughter of Jason and Danielle Wofford all of Cherryville, noted they started working on the project this past spring.
“We started working to raise funds and plan the idea for this needed
program,” said Ben, adding, “(CHS) Principal  Mr.
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 Kevin Doran and other faculty helped finalize plans for this program to make an impact on this community during these uncertain times. Ideas and the basis of this program was associated with resources and support from National Kindness Organizations for schools, such as ‘Random Acts of Kindness’, ‘National Bullying Prevention Center’, and ‘Kindness Evolution’.”
The duo received a $700 grant from Walmart to help spread the program’s message around Cherryville.
Walmart representatives, Assistant Manager Elizabeth King and Customer Service representative Haley Clayton came by CHS on Oct. 14, to see some of the posters and artwork created for the Kindness Project. They were representing Walmart manager Robert Kendrick, who sent a message through King, who said, “Mr. Kendrick said Walmart continues to help the Cherryville community in whatever way we can.” King and Clayton agree that anything that helps stop bullying is a good thing in which to be involved.
Besides receiving money from family and community members, Landrie and Ben noted that all funds received so far were used to purchase awareness posters and banners that are displayed at Cherryville High School.
“These funds were given to support funds needed for supplies for community service outreach,” said Ben. “We individually chose quotes for restroom stall doors, certain areas of the schools and for Rudisill Stadium and Nixon Gym. A variety of positive reminder messages have been displayed throughout the school, including each restroom stall door.
“These messages were individually chosen and approved by Mr. Doran. Artist James Lail of Cherryville Graphics also helped us design unique posters and banners that would be original and gender specific.”
Additionally, a wall mural was painted by Landrie, who is quite an accomplished artist, Ben noted, adding that “…more murals will be completed displaying, positive uplifting messages throughout the school year to promote this kindness program and club.”
Landrie said additional fundraisers are needed to help raise funds to allow for additional resources at CHS and for the other three Cherryville schools, who have all agreed to implement this program.
Said Ms. Wofford, “Each school will cost approximately $1,000 for posters, resources, and banners. Starting this program at Cherryville Elementary will allow students the ability to start spreading kindness through positive messages that will hopefully carry them through their high school years and life.
“Elementary students will be participating in fun school activities to encourage anti-bullying behaviors. Papers will be sent home with each student to discuss with their parents and complete a random ‘Act of Kindness Bingo.’ Students are also encouraged to sign the kindness pledge that will be displayed at the school on a banner.”
Wofford continued, “John Chavis Middle School will also participate with school activities and display an anti-bullying paper link that will be visible for all students throughout the school year.
“This will be an activity that will allow students to write positive messages on strips of paper that will be linked together as a ‘unity’ chain.”
The role of advisors and mentors in this have been taken on by CHS teachers, Mr. Lance Holt, Ms. Chloe Holt, and Mr. A.J. Hayes.
Ben said, “Each individual school will work on this and will have a group of students to implement monthly activities to share kindness among all students.”
Wofford and Hayes noted the Kindness Club is a national organization that hopes to help all students and teachers to be “lifted up” during this difficult time all are facing in the world today due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some possible future examples of activities planned by the club include supporting National “Unity Day” on Oct. 21, which is part of the National Anti-Bullying Organization to promote unity among all students.
In a media release, the two CHS students noted the National Unity Day motto is to “choose kindness, provide acceptance and give inclusion!”
Hayes and Wofford both said, “All students will be participating in a kindness week of activities on their respective cohort A/B days across all schools, which will include a crazy sock, hat and wearing orange day during the week of Oct. 19, through 23.
“Orange is the national color for anti-bullying. Other activities that this club will support are community service projects, school clean up days and other ‘random acts of kindness’ initiatives for teachers and students. Each month, the club will choose initiatives that will positively make an impact on our schools and community.
“’Cherryville Strong’ tee-shirts will be available to be pre-ordered through Oct. 30, for anyone who would like to purchase one.”
The duo also noted that other community businesses have agreed to participate in this community-wide project, like Cherryville’s Home Folk’s Restaurant.
Ben said their club will be printing labels for the restaurant to help with their ongoing kindness initiative, created by co-owner Janet Long, to display positive messages on their take-out boxes. Other community businesses have also agreed to share awareness by displaying banners for this program and take kindness initiatives with their customers as part of this program, he added.
The goal of this program is to encourage everyone to focus on positive thoughts and actions within themselves and to encourage positive support to other peers. A big part of this program is to ensure that students always feel included, safe, and encouraged to be their own unique self. As Dr. Seuss once stated, “Why fit in, when you are born to stand out?”
The idea, while simple enough, is far-seeing, and looks to have a wide reach.
Said Wofford, “This program’s mission and hope is to spread kindness and positivity one person at a time. One way to make a difference today is to remember that saying just one kind word can change someone’s entire day!
“In today’s world, there is so much focus on politics and germs, let us also focus on spreading kindness too!”
Hayes and Wofford noted a bank account will be started to assist with this program.
They said, “If you would like to donate, please contact Assistant Fire Chief Jason Wofford, at (704) 435-1730, or one of the club’s advisors, who can be reached through Cherryville High School, at (704) 836-9605.
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Medical Assisting graduate Crystal Bridges proudly shows off her pin and certificate of recognition to her daughter Savanna Bridges following the pinning ceremony at Gaston College.

Pinning ceremony honors Gaston College Medical Assisting students September 17

Cherryville’s Addison E. Pruitt among 14 MA’s honored

DALLAS, N.C. – A pinning ceremony on Sept. 17, honored 12 graduates of the Gaston College Medical Assisting program. The ceremony was held on a drive-through basis due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. As is traditional in health care programs, the graduates received a pin, to be worn on their uniforms, that signifies the completion of the requirements for the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting. The 12 AAS degree students are: Jennifer Coffey and Jesus Gonzalez from Lincolnton; Cathrine Cozad, Brittani Maney, Faith Rankin, Takeia Reid, and Kaitlyn Windham from Gastonia; Kaitlyn Greason from Kings Mountain; Jessica Lane from Bessemer City; Lauren Robison from Belmont; and Harlie Graham and Dara Williams from Dallas.
Nine of the 12 AAS have successfully taken the American Association of Medical Assistants certification exam and have earned their CMA (AAMA) credential. Seven of the 12 students have accepted jobs.
“Our pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of graduates into the medical assisting profession,” said Dena Bridges, Program Chair for Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy. “When people ask, ‘What is a Medical Assistant?’ I am always happy to tell them that this multi-skilled person is one who is cross trained for all areas of a physician’s office practice. MAs can run the front office, schedule appointments, code insurance, and can assist the physician with examinations and minor surgery and also know how to do a variety of laboratory procedures. The Medical Assistant is the most versatile member of the allied health team.”
Graduate Dara Williams, who was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Gaston County Chapter of Medical Assistants in 2019, is the second Gaston College MA student in five years to achieve a perfect score on her exam.
“I pushed myself hard to excel in this program,” said Williams, “but honestly I was surprised I got a perfect score in the exam. I consider myself lucky to have the love and support of my daughter and my fiancé. I couldn’t have done it without them or the support of my friends and classmates, and I thank all my instructors and others at Gaston College, like Peggy Grigg, secretary in the Health and Human Services division, for everything they did for me. Special thanks to Melanie Skinner, Chair of the Veterinary Medical Technology department, and Kelly Vass, Instructor of Nutrition and Dietetic Programs. Although I wasn’t one of their students, they always had a kind word of encouragement for me.”
Williams will be working at CaroMont Podiatry.
“I hope to have a long and happy career with CaroMont and may possibly continue my education later, but I look forward to working as a CMA (AAMA),” she said.
In addition to the AAS graduates, 14 Medical Assisting students who completed the first diploma program were also honored at the ceremony. They will receive their diploma degrees in October 2020. The diploma students are: Skylar B. Blalock and Crystal L. Bridges from Dallas; Alicia B. Conard from Shelby; Lisa S. Crawford, Morgan T. Holt, Latasha Moore Smith, and Janith L. Scott from Gastonia; Deepti Devabhaktuni from Belmont; Mary S. Johnson from Alexis; Savannah D. Pitchford from Charlotte; Addison E. Pruitt from Cherryville; Keisa Washington-Cruz from Iron Station; Brandy M. Weaver from Lincolnton; and Cierra J. Wilson from Bessemer City.
The diploma MA students will begin taking the AAMA certification exam in October, and several have received job offers. Five of the 14 students finished with a 4.0 GPA. In recognition of their hard work, the Gaston County Chapter of Medical Assistants will pay the exam fees for Janith Scott, Lisa Crawford, Deepti Devabhaktuni, and Keisha Washington-Cruz, who is the recipient of the chapter’s $500 scholarship for 2020. Mary Johnson’s exam fee will be paid by an outside source.
The Gaston College Medical Assistant program has been ranked by as the third best in North Carolina. Rankings are based on the site’s Editorial Staff ratings, graduation rate, average net price, admission rate, full-time retention rate, and total number of students enrolled in the program.
The Gaston College MA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs. Graduates of the program qualify to take the AAMA certification examination to become a Certified Medical Assistant.
For more information on the Gaston College Medical Assisting program, call (704) 922-2274.
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Cherryville educator/author Sadie Allran Broome in action, doing what she loves – having fun and a good laugh! (photo provided)

Local teacher authors humorous fictional memoir

“Sick & Twisted in Savannah: Memoirs…”
a thin volume, but a great read


What do you do when you’re bursting at the seams with a really great story to tell that is, on one hand, as real as it gets about your real job, but on the other hand, also spins off into the realm of juicy and gossipy (and sometimes VERY bizarre)?
Well, duh! You write it as a fictionalized version of what transpired, of course!
That’s exactly what Cherryville native and longtime educator Sadie Allran Broome has done with her book, “Sick & Twisted in Savannah: Memoirs of the Victory Street Irregulars”. The book is published by Gatekeeper Press, of Columbus, Ohio (
Broome, who has, according to her “bio” on the back cover of her book, taught “students with disabilities for over 40 years,” has also co-authored three books on teaching character in elementary, middle, and teenage years. Additionally, the blurb acknowledges she has been a “teacher of the Year” both in Gaston County, N.C., as well as Bibb County, Georgia.
Along with her many writing and teaching accolades, Mrs. Broome is the recipient
See TEACHER, Page 9
From Page 1
of the Cardinal Award and is an Order of the Long Leaf Pine recipient as well.
She and her husband, Dennis, live in Cherryville and she is a “proud mother and grandmother”, as her “bio” exclaims.
Broome noted the book’s story covers the fictional Victory Street School in Savannah, GA, which (as the back cover noted) “…had a number of vacancies. Six teachers were hired from various spots around the country. These teachers found themselves in a difficult teaching situation. They bonded and proceeded to have numerous adventures with humorous, lewd shenanigans throughout Savannah. This is their story.”
Broome delved deeper into the story, elaborating, “The time in Savannah was such a bonding experience for us teachers in a difficult situation.
“We got together regularly afterwards even though we are scattered across the country. We would retell stories and I was like the archiver. Then it just seemed that writing a fictional account would be amusing and might make others laugh.”
When asked what parts of the small book were “true” and what parts weren’t, Sadie said, “I am keeping the ‘true’ aspect under wraps. Yes, it is a fictional account with broad changes to the main characters, but (it is) based on our unique teaching experience and sick and sometimes twisted shenanigans. The names have been changed to protect the GUILTY!”
Mrs. Broome said the six teachers and friends still keep in touch regularly with texts and emails, and thought they could not have their reunion this year due to COVID-19, they are meeting monthly via Zoom.
Sadie continued on how the book came together, “Well, it has been 20 years since the Savannah experience but me and my friends just told stories and added in stories at each reunion. We met about every five years but were also together for weddings, funerals, and such.
“I started with an outline based on the months of the year and then would flesh out each chapter. Then I would email it out to the others for their additions, deletions, laughs, and such. I got really serious about the writing the last two years.
“As I did a chapter, it went into the computer and edits were added. At our last reunion last year in Asheville, N.C., we went over the whole book and laughed a lot. Then ‘Berkley Vera’ helped with a major edit and then it was ready for the publishing company in January.
“We had big ideas of book signings in each of their varied locations and of course, a big splash in Savannah, but alas, COVID-19 came along. Now, I can’t even do a book signing in Cherryville!
“I do think that making people laugh during this difficult time has been a plus. So, it is a ‘yin and yang’ sort of thing; bitter and sweet, like that.”
As for advice to young or future authors, Broome had this to say, “Everyone has a story or thoughts on topics that would be of great value to others. I would suggest that people keep notes, write notes, keep a journal, and then just start to write. It is truly a joy to share one’s experiences.”
Sadie is selling the book and has sold 150 copies so far. She noted she is, “so thankful to Carpenter’s Gifts and Victoria Cole in Cherryville (both businesses on Main Street) for carrying the book for those who do not ‘do’, or get on Amazon.”
Said Sadie,” I especially appreciate those who have taken time to put a review in Amazon for me or in Good Reads. Maybe this will help spread the word and the laughs.”
Broome said for her fans looking for more from the pen of Mrs. Broome, not to worry.
“I am starting on the second book, ‘Mischief in Macon’!” she said.
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Henry and Gloria Chapman (center right) cut the red ribbon at their store at 124 E. Main St., Cherryville, The Rusty Wagon Wheel, as family, friends, and a host of Cherryville City, Chamber, and CMSP officials look on. (photo by MEP/The Cherryville Eagle/CF Media)

Main Street’s newest store occupieshistoric Roy and Troy Grocery building

First-time owners/operators Gloria and Henry Chapman cut ribbon on new
downtown business


Being able to open their own bricks and mortar business, The Rusty Wagon Wheel, is a dream come true for Gloria and Henry Chapman, of Cherryville.
The Rusty Wagon Wheel, in addition to being a store for Gloria to market her own items and craft/art pieces, will be a place where other artisans and vendors can rent booth space from the Chapman’s in order to sell their own creations and craft/art items.
The young couple had a presence on Facebook and were known in Charlotte for work they had done for the Farmer’s Market there, but to be able to have an established store out of which Gloria could sell her artistic furniture items and such, as well as having a place with booth space they could rent out to like-minded artisans was right up their proverbial rustic artwork-themed alley.
The couple officially opened with a Chamber-sponsored ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 18, as family, friends, and Cherryville City and Chamber and Main Street officials attended and welcomed them to the community “Where Life Blossoms!”
Henry Chapman, a Navy veteran (Iraq and Syria anti-terrorism conflicts) and 22-year Charlotte City Police Officer, said he and his wife had the idea in their minds of owning and operating their own business now for “about four years”.
“This   (business)  is  a long-time dream we’ve been waiting to happen,” he said.
The couple, originally from Marion, N.C., now call Cherryville home, and have for the past two years, said Henry. The couple have two children; twins Rocky and Lyra, both 4.
Henry said of his wife, Gloria, “She loves arts and crafts, and is very good at what she creates. Also, we felt this would be a good business venture.”
The couple noted their desire for what they do came about quite by accident as one day, while shopping for a hall tree for their home, the prices were a bot more than they wanted to spend, in addition to not really being able to find exactly what they wanted.
“So,” said Gloria, “we decided to make our own!”
She continued, “I’ve always wanted to create usable items and place them in people’s homes. And, I love what I do and being able to create what I love is a big plus!”
Chamber Board President Pete Craft welcomed the couple and their family to Cherryville on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a nice turnout and it’s great to see another business start up in downtown Cherryville!” said Craft.
Mayor H.L. Beam, III echoed Mr. Craft, adding, “On behalf of our City staff and our City Council, we want to welcome The Rusty Wagon Wheel here.” Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett agreed, extending a welcome, also on behalf of the City Council, to “historic downtown Cherryville, where business and life blossoms. We hope it blossoms for you!” Mrs. Parker-Puett added that if she or any of the council can be of any assistance to the Chapman’s, for them not to hesitate to call upon them.
Cherryville Main Street Program Director Donna Beringer extended her welcome from CMSP, reiterating what Mayor Beam said, and adding, “We are thankful you chose Cherryville as a place in which to open your business.”
Mr. Craft also talked about the history of the building The Rusty Wagon Wheel occupied – 124 E. Main St., a.k.a. the old Roy and Troy Grocery Store, then a beauty shop, noting it is “a rich history.”
The couple spoke with Henry leading off by saying, “We thank the Lord we can be a part of the City of Cherryville,” followed by Gloria adding, “Thanks for all you’ve done to help us get going, and an especial thanks to Vickie Spurling; the building is PERFECT! Thanks again to all of you who came out for this.”
Gloria said they are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., and are closed Sundays and Mondays.
She recently noted that business has been good since the Monday opening and that they still have booth spaces for rent and also space to rent for shelving on which to place and sell items.
For more information, or to check them out, call (704) 802-4371, or go to their Facebook page at FB@TheRustyWagonWheel. You can also email them at

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Carolyn Sanders

CHS’ Sanders selected to be a 2020-21 Khan Academy Ambassador

Gaston County Schools notes she also teaches math with the Gaston Virtual


In a recent media release, Gaston County Schools announced that educator Carolyn Sanders is a Khan Academy Ambassador for the ‘20-21 school year.
The Khan Academy is described as “a nonprofit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.”
Ms. Sanders is a 9th grade math and science teacher at Cherryville High School. Additionally, she currently teaches math with Gaston Virtual Academy.
Khan Academy officials, in a media release of their own, noted Ms. Sanders uses Khan Academy “…to personalize learning by using our mastery system that gives instant feedback and recommendations on exactly which skills to practice next.”
CHS Principal Kevin Doran, has high praise for Ms. Sanders and her work.
“We are so proud that Carolyn Sanders was selected by Khan Academy to be an ambassador,” he said, adding, “She exemplifies the dedication and creativity we see in our teaching staff here at Gaston County Schools. Students in Ms. Sanders’ class know she has high expectations and gives them plenty of support – so they truly master skills, and learn how to learn.”
Khan Academy officials said in their release, their “Ambassadors are ambitious, energetic, and knowledgeable educators who are experts in using Khan Academy within a classroom context.”
Furthermore, it is noted, “They believe deeply in our mission and are ready to super-charge student practice at Khan Academy throughout their school and community during the 2020-2021 school year.”
Stephanie Yamkovenko, Ambassador Program Leader at Khan Academy said, “We are really grateful for our Ambassadors, especially this year, as a lot of teachers, parents, and students are struggling to figure out how to make distance learning work.
“Khan Academy is in a position where we are creating the tools that can be a part of the solution. Teachers are going to need help to understand how to use Khan Academy in their classroom, and the best people to help them are superhero educators like our Ambassadors.”
Ms. Sanders said she learned about Khan Academy earlier while teaching another grade level.
“I learned about (the all-virtual) Khan Academy (program) while teaching seventh grade math at John Chavis Middle,” she said.
She continued, “I have used their program ever since to remediate, enrich, and support my math classroom teaching. It is a perfect fit for virtual learning with today’s global pandemic. Students can access videos, practice, and (get) articles from anywhere.
“Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. They offer a standards-aligned content that teachers can assign and track student progress. They also offer many other content areas such as science, economics, and more.”
And when it comes to helping her students, no one is more energetic and ‘all-in’ than Ms. Sanders when it comes to her students.
“Does it help? Yes, it absolutely helps when used weekly. I receive weekly reports on the number of questions answered correctly and standards mastery,” she said.
Sanders noted NC DPI supports Khan Academy and has placed it on NCEdCloud under the Clever section.
She added, “Many teachers throughout our world use Khan Academy. I one-hundred percent recommend Khan Academy and I will continue to use it with my students!”
Of the program, she said, “As an Ambassador I will assist other teachers, administrators, parents and students on the use of Khan Academy. A simple email will get the process started. This can be done virtually for now but in the future (hopefully) I can reach out in person.”  

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Butch Boyd, Sandy Homesley, and Debbie Lesenger stand outside the Cherryville Family YMCA, which is now open, but still at a limited capacity, during Gov. Cooper’s Phase 2.5 scenario. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

Cherryville Family YMCA open to all members again

“Phase 2.5” of Gov. Cooper’s reopening not just for those having to have medical release


It’s official. Cherryville Family YMCA members can now come back to their beloved YMCA without having to have a medical release.
YMCA Administrative Coordinator Butch Boyd, and Member Services representatives Sandy Homesley and Debbie Lesenger, along with a handful of employees, are all back, providing Y members with the same excellent service and attention for which the organization is known.
Of their return, Boyd said, “Debbie is back opening in the mornings (7 to 11 a.m.), and Sandy and I come in around 9 a.m., and work until about 3 p.m. (Employees) Amy or Ryan work from 4 to 7 p.m., but these are only employees working at this time.
“Our Child Watch is currently still closed so those staff members are not working yet. As our hours change, we will be bringing back more staff.”
Boyd continued, “We are all so happy to be back at work! We loved seeing those that came back under the medical program and are now even happier to see all our members that chose to come back. It’s so good to see our members that we have not seen in five or six months. They feel the same.”
As for staff and members’ safety, Mr. Boyd added, “We’re really not worried about anything. We are following the CDC requirements as well as (Y) Corporation requirements. Social distancing is still part of the CDC requirements and we are still following them, and our staff are wearing masks. However, members are not required to wear masks, unless they gather around to talk.”
Butch noted the hours are the same as when the medical program started (August): 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday – Thursday; closed from 1 to 4 p.m., to clean; then back open from 4 to 7 p.m.
“On Friday we open at 7 a.m., and close at 2 p.m.; we’re open on Saturday at 7 a.m., and close at 2 p.m.; and we are closed on Sunday,” he said, adding the difference is that now their members or new members do not need a doctor’s note to be there.
Boyd said their ‘Silver Sneakers’ program is back up and meeting Monday and Wednesday’s down at the Ballard Park pool outside.
Said Boyd, “Myra’s class is also meeting down at the pool. Her classes are Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
“We are not going to be offering soccer this fall and not sure about gymnastics at this time. Also, there are no new programs at this time. Our ‘Happier Hour’ group will meet Oct. 13, for the first time since the Governor is allowing 25 or more to meet, but social distancing is still in place. We will have pickups and Bingo, but no lunch like we are used to having.”
The staff of the Cherryville Family YMCA are just waiting, they said, on the Governor to open “Phase 3”, and hoping that will be 100 percent capacity, like before.
Member services’ Sandy Homesley said, “We are so excited to be back and our members feel the same! We all just can’t wait to open at full capacity! We don’t have any concerns now; just working and cleaning to keep everyone safe.”
Sandy, like Butch, noted their social distancing rules are the same.
“We work hard to keep it safe for our members,” she said.
Regarding Myra’s classes at the pool and in the aerobic room, Sandy said that capacity is 11.
Mrs. Homesley noted the importance of working out by saying, “It is so important to work out for our mental and physical health! We want the ‘Y’ to be a safe and welcome place for our members! We strive to make it that way because we love what the ‘Y’ does for our Cherryville community!”
Deb Lesenger’s, also of Member Services, said of the 2.5 Phase services, “It is different in that all members can come in to work out versus only those with a medical release form. The number of people did not change.”
She noted that all current employees can return to work if they feel comfortable.
“So far it is only Butch, Sandy, and me on the morning shift, with Amy Butler on afternoons and Saturdays, and Bridget Booth on evenings and Saturdays.”
Lesenger said the overall feeling for the Y workers is one of relief.
“I enjoy the members that come in, in the morning. We care about each other and have missed seeing each other. I have had no reservations about coming back,” she said.
For Lesenger, being away from the ‘Y’ became a personal thing for her, but on a larger scale, she worried for those who couldn’t get back to some form of physical working out on a larger scale.
“Being able to exercise is not only beneficial for our bodies,” said Debbie, “but also for our minds and overall well-being. For a lot of our members the ‘Y’ is not only a place to exercise, it is a place to connect with others.”
For more information about the Cherryville YMCA, call (704) 445-9622, or visit them at
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Cherryville Fire Chief and City Manager Jeff Cash welcomes everyone to the 19th Sept. 11th Remembrance Ceremony, held on Friday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m., at the CFD Station House. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Nineteenth Annual 9/11
Remembrance Ceremony

CFD; City of Cherryville: The call to all us is to “Never Forget!”


The 19th Annual Cherryville Fire Department’s Sept. 11th Remembrance Ceremony, held last Friday, Sept. 11, like the original day of the terrifying spectacle, was held on a beautiful late Summer, early Fall, blue sky day.
The passion is still there for the many, many victims, but over the years it seems less and less people appear to remember the fallen.
Such was the case last Friday at the CFD’s ceremony to honor the fallen heroes of that horrible day and its aftermath. Even though America is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its social distancing rules and regulations in place, the crowd was painfully small compared to similar ceremonies just a few years back.
As he spoke, welcoming everyone who was able to make it out, Fire Chief Jeff Cash said the day will always be a day of remembrance for him, his family, and his CFD staff. It’s a personal promise in action from him to make sure that none of us in Cherryville ever forget that horrible day in 2001.
On that Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at 9 a.m., the world as we know it changed forever.
Chief Cash said, “We memorialize this event every year. I was very privileged to have been a part of a group of North Carolina firefighters who took $750,000 in donations we raised and five vans up to New York for our fellow fire services brethren up there,” he said.
After a call to attention by CFD Capt. Nathan Bowman, and the “Pledge of Allegiance”, led by Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks, the Cherryville Chamber’s director David Day sang the “National Anthem”.
As was dictated by NC Gov. Roy Cooper. Capt. Bowman then stepped forward and lowered the flags to half staff in honor and memory of the thousands of lives lost that day.
In remembrance of the firefighting brotherhood, Chief Cash recounted how he and a select few other firefighters later traveled to New York and were able to be on a bridge near the site when seven sets of human remains were found by searchers.
Chief Cash has, in past ceremonies, recounted the occasion by saying, “…(It) was a somber occasion and one I will never forget. All of us on the bridge stood in silent reverence as the remains were moved and escorted by the NYFD and the NYPD to another place where they would be kept until the families could be notified.”
He continued, “That day, all told, 343 NYFD firefighters; 27 NYPD officers; 37 New York Port Authority officers; and over 2,600 civilians died when the Twin Towers crashed.”
Cash continued, “It bothers me today that then, our country came together as one. We have done this every year but it seems every year the crowd gets smaller and smaller. Lives are still being lost to illness caused by the cleanup of the hazardous materials and debris, but God is in control!”
Police Chief Cam Jenks noted that 10 different agencies had members who died that day with more still dying as a result of contracting illness from the dust and debris from the fall of the towers.
“The officers and firemen paid the ultimate price, as did the many innocent civilians who died that day. Our duty is to every year, honor their sacrifice,” he said.
Mayor Beam spoke next, noting there were some students who  were not even born when the event happened, who were viewing the ceremony by live streaming it.
“We’re here today to honor the 3,000 innocent dead. I saw undying loyalty that day as I watched events play out. Let us always never forget! Thank all of you for coming together for this ceremony. My hope and prayer is that we can continue to do this every year and that we here in Cherryville send forth our personal message to the families that we will always remember! We remember… and we shall NEVER forget!,” he said, adding, “God bless our city and our great nation as well!”
CFD firefighter Quentin Cash talked of the tolling of the bells (The 5-5-5 Bell Toll for the Fallen Firefighter), and GEMS worker Hannah Orr placed the red, white, and blue wreath by the flag pole.
The opening and closing prayer were given by Cherryville Fire Chaplin, the Rev. Dr. Vince Hefner, of Cherryville First Baptist Church.
CHS student Tyler Foley, 14, said he takes classes virtually at the high school. While he wasn’t born when 911 happened, he said it was a sad day for America.
“I feel bad for the people whose lives were lost and for their families,” he said.
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At the Saturday, Aug. 29, mask giveaway at the Cherryville Fire Dept., Chief Jeff Cash and his wife Cynthia (front, far right) show what the masks look like. With them are members of the CFD and HPVFD who came out to help out with the giveaway. Sitting down, from left, are: Colby Heffner and Ryan Gunter; and (standing) the Cashes. Standing, in back, left to right, are: Cay Thornburg (HPVFD), and Richard Winters and Capt. Kurt Black, who are with CFD. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

CFD gives away almost 1,700 masks on Aug. 29

Inclement weather moves event indoors to fire station


The Saturday, Aug. 29, drive-through safety mask giveaway location was changed due to inclement weather.
Originally slated to take place in the First Baptist Church parking lot, Fire Chief and City Manager Jeff Cash said they moved it to the truck bay of the Fire Station instead, directing folks who came by to turn into the station’s drive area from off Hwy. 150/Church Street.
As of 10:30, Saturday morning, Chief Cash said they had given away almost 80 of the masks, which were part of roughly 3,300 masks, or about 33 cases of the white, cloth safety items.
Chief Cash said that by the end of the day they had given away almost 1,700 of the masks, adding, “
In an Eagle article last week, Assistant Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford said the department would receive a large number of masks which were to be handed out to the Cherryville, Crouse and Waco community.
Wofford said then the mask giveaway was to be a “drive up, grab and go event,” adding the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services were involved with the mask giveaway.
Wofford said, “The masks were donated by FEMA, the aforementioned Department of Health and Human Services, and N.C. Emergency Management, thanks to our Emergency Management Director, Kevin Gordon, who contacted us last week about the give-away.”
As for how many were given out last Saturday, Chief Cash said, “We gave out just short of 1,700 masks. We will line up another Saturday soon to give the remaining masks out.”
He continued, “Also, if anybody needs a mask, they can drop by the fire station Monday through Friday, from 8 to 11:30 a.m., and later, from 12:30 to 5 p.m., to pick some up. These masks are washable up to 15 times, and come in packs of five to a pack.”
AFC Wofford’s feelings about mask wearing are, in order to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and help those most vulnerable to the virus, that wearing a mask seems to do just that… help. Both Chief Cash and AFC Wofford noted that any protection from the coronavirus is better than none, hence the importance of wearing face coverings of some sort.
That said, he added, “I know masks can be a hot topic with those who do not like to wear them or believe they help, but they are being provided for those who do. It is important to replace or wash masks regularly.”
Chief Cash noted the help of volunteers not only from his own CFD, they had help as well from volunteers from Hugh’s Pond Volunteer Fire Department, and the Waco VFD.
For more information on how to get masks for you or your family CFD staff said to please call the Cherryville Fire Department at (704) 435-1730.

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Rocky Hullette, District manager for Nature’s by Woodgrain and HR Supervisor Wanda Church wield the big scissors as they cut the ribbon last Friday, Aug. 28, at the opening of Cherryville’s newest business. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Nature’s by Woodgrain opens in Cherryville

Company has ribbon cutting at old Southern Shavings building on Tot Dellinger Road


A 66-year-old, family owned millwork and animal bedding products company cut a ribbon on Aug. 28, signifying they were open for business in Cherryville and the surrounding area.
In addition to company officials and employees, a host of Cherryville City, Chamber, and Main Street Program officials came out also to welcome the town’s newest business.
The company’s web site,, noted that, “In 1954, Merrill ‘Bud’ Dame planted a seed – a moulding company in Utah named Dame Moulding and Lumber Company.” The company is now in its third generation as a family-owned business, and has expanded from its original location in Fruitland, ID.
Said Rocky Hullette, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, “We are 66 years old this year. We have products sold in 12 states and have facilities located in Idaho, Virginia, Alabama, and in North Carolina. This Cherryville location, in what was once Southern Shavings warehouse, is our newest location.”
Hullette said Southern Shavings owner Bill Culp, who opened in Cherryville back in 2004, sold to Natures by Woodgrain back in March of this year.
“We also have a location in Fallston,” said Hullette, “where we shave whole logs to make a specific size (wood) fake for our bedding products.”
Human Resources Supervisor Wanda Church said she has been with the company for seven years. She and the Cherryville location’s Supervisor, Ian Hotchkiss, along with the Fallston location’s supervisor, Dwayne Price, were all on hand, with other employees of the new business, watching the ribbon cutting for Cherryville’s newest business.
Cherryville Chamber Board President Pete Craft welcomed the Nature’s by Woodgrain crew, along with Mayor H.L. Beam, III, and a host of City Council members and City staff, and Cherryville Main Street Program staff members, to the city “Where Life Blossoms”.
Mayor Beam said, “It’s good to be here today, and on behalf of the Council, and our City staff, let me just say we are glad to have you here. We are proud you chose Cherryville as a place where you can do business.”
Mr. Craft agreed, adding he and the Cherryville business community wish the new shavings company well, affirming t them that, “We are at your service, and wish you all the best.”
In his third year with Nature’s, Hullette noted their company has seven divisions in the U.S.A. and one in Chile, South America.
“Cherryville is the only ‘whole log’ operation we have,” he said. “We purchased our competition here (Southern Shavings), and have put in a lot of long hours getting ready to get product out here. Animal bedding is a very competitive market, so we want ours to be the very best.”
Hullette said they have about 11 employees between the two locations: Fallston and Cherryville.
According to a company brochure, their bedding products are “triple-screened and 100 percent kiln dried pine, making them hypoallergenic, highly absorbent, while providing superior odor control”. They are known as being a “healthy choice” for animal bedding, particularly horses, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals.
For more information about the company, Hullette said to either go their web site (listed earlier in this article) or call 1-888-746-3001.
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Family and friends of Rustic Roots Salon & Spa co-owners Misty Calo and Bailey Richardson (front row, center with big scissors) at the Wednesday, Aug. 26, ribbon cutting for their new salon and spa. With them are members of the City of Cherryville staff, the Chamber of Commerce staff and board members, and Cherryville Main Street Program staff members. (photos by MEP/CF Media

New salon and spa open up in downtown Cherryville

Rustic Roots owners say this business a “first” for them


Cherryville has a new salon and spa which, by the two owners and operators own admission, is their first foray into being business owners. The new spa is located in what was once an old bank, built in 1914; then was Houser Drug Store, then was later The Agency Real Estate. The salon and spa are located at 100 E. Main Street.
Rustic Roots Salon & Spa is the brainchild of co-owners and friends Misty Calo and Bailey Richardson, who graduated from the Paul Mitchell School in Gastonia. The two said they have previously worked in Dallas, N.C., but wanted to open their own business.
Misty said, “Yes, this is our first time owning our own business. We are independent stylists, and our goal is to pamper our clients. In spite of this pandemic, we don’t feel the salon and spa business is going away.”
Calo said she is from Kings Mountain, and Richardson calls Cherryville home. The two young ladies were surrounded by family and friends for the ribbon cutting aspect of opening their new business, and had with them two young men – Jamie Pearson and Justin Johnson – who they said were their “moral support” and the two who “helped provide the backbone” for them to see this venture get off the ground.
The two young entrepreneurs have been in the styling business they said for about three years, and as Richardson said, “We are both color specialists; we do weddings, on-site styling as well as traveling as far as we need to for special occasions. We also do makeup, lash extensions, and brow and facial waxing.”
Additionally, the do on-line booking but prefer direct contact with prospective clients.
The pair have a passion for their work and for helping people look and feel their best.
Said Richardson, “I enjoy helping people and making them feel good about themselves.” This sentiment is echoed by Calo, who said, “It’s the same for me… I like making my clients feel good and look good, because when they look good, they get a big confidence boost from it.”
And the salon duo isn’t only doing just women’s hair, they wanted to make it clear they cut men’s hair as well.
“Just give us a call and we’ll set up an appointment for you,” said Misty.
Calo and Richardson were excited to see so many attend their ribbon cutting as City of Cherryville staff and Council members, as well as Chamber and Main Street officials came by to welcome them to the downtown business area.
Cherryville Chamber Board President Pete Craft welcomed the pair to the corner of Main and Mountain Streets, noting it was a nice turnout for their ribbon cutting.
Mayor H.L. Beam, III agreed, adding, “On behalf of the City and the Council and all of our staff, we welcome you both to downtown Cherryville where life blossoms.”
Beam noted he has a “lot of history” with the building their business is located in, adding, “we are here whenever you need us.” Main Street Manager Donna Beringer agreed, noting to the salon duo, “Whatever we can do for you, don’t hesitate to call on us.”
Misty and Bailey concluded the ribbon cutting by thanking everyone for coming out and inviting them in for refreshments.
Currently, Rustic Roots only has one booth available for rent, and the co-owners said they have tow, possibly three stylists who will be coming on board soon.
To make an appointment with the Rustic Roots stylists, call either (704) 898-4956, or (980) 4956.
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Captain Trent Carpenter shows of a few of his mementoes from his many years of service with the Cherryville Fire Department as a Shift Captain. (photos by MEP/CF Media)

CFD’s Captain Trent Carpenter retires after 30 years in fire service

Will continue with Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Operations Division on a part-time basis


After working for 30 years as a public servant; 23 of those at the Cherryville Fire Department as a Shift Captain, Fire Captain Trent Carpenter’s official “last day” there was Aug. 31, he said, adding his official last day on his shift was June 7.
Captain Carpenter was over the “A” shift, working 24 hours on, and 48 hours off, he spent every third day working that shift, he noted.
Still, he was very glad when they threw him a get-together with old friends, fellow workers, and some family members on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Cherryville Fire Station House, complete with all kinds of food and treats, mixed with a great deal of friendly camaraderie.
Carpenter, who received his Fire Captain’s insignia of two standing fire bugles six years ago, was all smiles as he walked around the room, greeting people, all from a socially distanced aspect, and talking about good times and the many fire calls they all made.
Captain Carpenter is also a Sergeant with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Operations Division, a position he said he will continue to work on a part-time basis. He said he has five more years before he can retire from there.
“So far, that’s the (retirement) plan, along with a ‘honey-do’ list my wife has already planned out for me,” he said, smiling.
His wife, Sherry, said she will be glad to have him home more often, as his jobs and profession have often meant he had to be away from home many times, sometimes leaving right in the middle of their enjoying time together.
“I’m happy to see him retire and get to be home more,” she said. She and Trent have been married 29 years.
The Carpenter’s have a son, Spencer, who has followed in his father’s footsteps, profession-wise, working for the City of Hickory, N.C., fire department.
Captain Carpenter loves his family, and he loves his job, and for him, the guys he has met while on the job at CFD and at LCSO are like family to him as well.
Said Carpenter, “What will I miss most with retirement from here? I will miss the guys, the camaraderie, and the joking and kidding around with each other.
“I will still be up here visiting them, because you can’t just stay away from guys like this. They are like family to me, and you can’t stay away from family. We’re brothers and sisters in this profession. We take care of each other.”
Trent said his most memorable fire while on-duty at CFD was the January 2000 Carlton Mill fire.
“That one was something!” he said.
Cherryville City Manager and Fire Chief Jeff Cash said, “Trent Carpenter has been an asset to the City of Cherryville Fire Department and he will be missed!
“I have always relied on his expertise and professionalism in the area of rescue and training. He has always been willing to assist new firefighters in learning the fire service skill set. We wish him the very best!”
One of Trent’s friends, Fred May, came by to wish his old friend well, noting how, when the two were younger, many folks would get them mixed up because they thought they looked a lot alike.
Others from the City of Cherryville staff, such as Mayor H.L. Beam, III, and many Cherryville Police officers who have worked with him, came by as well, wishing him all the best in his retirement.
“This is great to see all these people come by for this,” said Carpenter as he looked around the room.
“I’m going to miss ‘em, but I’ll still get by every now and then to see them.”
You could tell by the look on his friend’s and co-worker’s faces, they were banking on it.
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Name announced for Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort

The Catawba Nation today announced Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort as the name of the gaming and entertainment destination the Nation is developing in Cleveland County, North Carolina.

“Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort celebrates our rich history and hopeful future in our ancestral lands in North Carolina – where our people were established hundreds of years ago, as the names Catawba River, Catawba County and Catawba College suggest,” said Catawba Chief Bill Harris.

“The name pays tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and to the City of Kings Mountain, which will be home to the new casino resort. It also symbolizes the unique relationship that the Catawba people have historically had – and will continue to strengthen going forward – with fellow residents of the region,” Harris said.

The Catawba unveiled the name and logo for the new casino resort on Aug. 28 at a private event attended by citizens of the Catawba Nation community, casino project partners and City of Kings Mountain officials.

The Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort logo depicts a silhouette of King Hagler set against a representation of Kings Mountain.

The logo was developed in consultation with Delaware North. The global hospitality and entertainment company is advising the Catawba on the project.

King Hagler, Chief of the Catawba from 1750 to 1763, forged a peaceful relationship with the American colonists in the region while firmly defending the rights of his people. The Catawba helped protect the colonists, including during the French and Indian War, and in return the Catawba people received their support.
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John Chavis Middle School 7th grader Cameron Gatza talks with Principal Matt Rikard on the second day back to school. Mr. Rikard was with Blair Beam, soccer coach and teacher Michelle Cuomo, GCPD SRO Mark Johnson, and Elishia Oliver (off-camera) doing temp checks and welcoming students back last week. (photos by MEP/CF Media)

New school year; new procedures
for Cherryville’s four schools

In spite of many new changes, first day back went smoothly for principals, students, with few glitches


All things considered Cherryville’s four principals said their first day back at school last week, for them, their staffs, and their students, went smoother than they anticipated, which was good news indeed!
Better than ‘good’, it was great news for Cherryville Elementary’s Shawn Hubers, W. Blaine Beam Intermediate’s Todd Dellinger, John Chavis Middle’s Matt Rikard, and Cherryville High’s Kevin Doran.
Principal Shawn Hubers, of Cherryville Elementary, said, “I think it has gone better than expected. Our teachers and staff have just done a terrific job adjusting to all the procedural changes that had to be made and doing it with a positive attitude. Our teachers started engaging their students in meaningful learning that very first day and are helping students get comfortable with our remote learning plan too. This is going to be a big adjustment for our students and staff, but we are committed to working at it and improving each day.”
As far as student excitement Hubers said the younger kids, “(They) have done a great job making the adjustment. It isn’t easy for your students to wear their masks all day but they have done it and have done it well. There are, of course, fewer students in our building and a lot less movement of students, but our teachers have been creative to find ways for students to move around and still be safe.”
Teachers are considered “essential workers” in the fight against COVID-19, but still many have fears. Mr. Hubers had this to say about his staff, “All of our staff (and their students) have just done a terrific job. The best thing about our Cherryville area schools are our people. We have staff members who care and are invested in our school and our community.”
Mr. Dellinger of WBBI agreed with his contemporary Mr. Hubers, noting, “The (first day) opening has gone better than expected. Teachers have really been able to work on procedures with a smaller group of students and provide students with an excellent beginning to school.
“We have been very safe and careful in all we are doing!  The highlight for me is just having students back in the building, that is what we are all about. Virtual learning is great, but in my opinion, there are so many additional benefits to it being blended with face-to-face learning. I think it is outstanding that our school system gave parents a choice in what was the best fit and for their child and family.”
Dellinger said his students were glad to be back.
“The students are thrilled to be back. None of us believed when we left in March we would be out for so long. They have been amazing following safety procedures and doing what they need to do to adjust to this new way of being back in school. I am absolutely so proud of them!”
On his staff’s handling of the return to classroom teaching, Mr. Dellinger said, “I cannot share enough praise and honor to the passionate hard work of our teachers here at W. Blaine Beam. I have opened school 28 times and the challenges of this year have been the greatest.
“It has required, hard work, teamwork, new learning, patience, and an abundance of patience. Our teachers hit the ground running for a week before they ever came back into this building. Giving their own time to complete online and face-to-face training in our Learning Management System Schoology, (and) professional development on the Morning Meeting to support student social and emotional needs.
“They have worked to make sure they deliver the very best instruction possible to our students. They have worked so hard to make sure their students in both cohorts had the very best start to school, under these unique and challenging times. They have done it every day with love and it shows in every classroom in this building. I am so blessed to be a part of this great school and team.”
Dellinger continued, “I want to thank our local leaders, parents, and community for the patience, understanding, and support they have shown throughout this time of crisis. There is no better place to be a part of than here in Cherryville.”
John Chavis Middle School Principal Matt W. Rikard commented as well.
Said Rikard, “I feel that it has gone better than expected. We worked last week as a staff to have procedures in place to keep everyone safe, and to expedite the screening process.
“The main highlight would be how well the staff pulled together to accomplish such a smooth school opening under such unprecedented times. I also think that how well the parents and students have done with the procedures is amazing.”
As for his students’ excitement to be back in class, Mr. Rikard said, “Myself and (Assistant Principal) Mrs. Gillepsie have spoken to every class. They all seem excited to be back, and are anxious for things to get back to ‘normal’, (such as) having all of their peers back in school at the same time.”
As for his “Heroes that Work Here” (the teachers and staff at Chavis), Mr. Rikard noted, “I cannot say enough about the staff at JCMS and how hard they have worked.
“They are doing whatever it takes to keep everyone in the building safe, from making sure everyone is socially distanced, teaching in masks all day, to sanitizing – all while delivering excellent instruction.”
And just a few blocks across town, CHS Principal Kevin Doran noted, “A lot of planning went into the first day (back) and I am pleased to report that it went great! Our students followed directions, wore their masks, and socially distanced.
“Our teachers showed up early, helped with screening, and did anything they could do to make sure CHS was successful. I could not be more proud of everyone!”
About student excitement to be back in class, Mr. Doran said, “I think our students understand that in-person instruction is much more effective than online instruction. They miss their teachers and friends and are excited to get the opportunity to be back in school.”
Mr. Doran noted the CHS teachers and his entire staff – all “Heroes Who Work Here” – have “…gone above and beyond to ensure our students continue to have the opportunity for in-person instruction. Our custodial team disinfects all high touch areas every hour. This includes every door handle, light switch, hallway corner, bathroom, and anything else you can think of.
“They also utilize an electrostatic sprayer to deep clean and disinfect all surfaces each night. My teachers sanitize each desk and high touch area in their classrooms after every use. They also pull triple duty before school, after school, and during their planning periods ensuring that our students are wearing masks and social distancing.
“Everyone at CHS, from the front office to our bus drivers, are pulling together to make this work. We will continue to do everything possible to make sure our students are safe. We must follow all of our safety procedures strictly in order to continue offering in-person instruction.”

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Pastor Gertjan Vroege and his wife, Stephanie; their children Nathaniah (11), Josiah (10), and Sarah (7), with members of the Cherryville Police Department: Chief Cam Jenks, dispatcher John Rudisill, and Patrol Officers Vince Burleson, Sable Cranford, Edward Stivala, and Derek Thom.

Ugandan missionaries, their kids, fellowship over breakfast with Cherryville PD officers

Chief: “What they did for us was great!


Cherryville Police Department Chief Cam Jenks will be the first to tell you the year 2020 (and more than a few before it) have not been kind to law enforcement agencies and their image as perceived and reported on by the media.
However, he and his hard-working staff are greatly heartened by a recent kindness shown them by three breakfast serving tykes and their parents, Pastor Gertjan and Stephanie Vroege.
Stephanie and Gertjan are staying in the Second Baptist Church Missions House while here, and their children would see the CPD officers getting gas across the street from their house.
Said Chief Jenks, “What they did for us was great! With all the false narratives that play out in the media and how they play to the fears of kids nowadays, for us this was a blessing!”
Jenks said he knew that Stephanie and some of his officers interacted with the children, which helped them change their outlook about police officers.
“They (the Vroege family) came and showed us a lot of love in a time when law enforcement members aren’t feeling much of it in many places in America,” said Chief Jenks.
Stephanie takes up the thread of the story from there, noting, “From hearing things on the news, they were fearing (the police) with all that happened with (the killing of) George Floyd.
“But after meeting the Sisk family and their son (Patrol Officer Skylar Sisk), the cops have become their heroes. They see them every day as we are staying in the Second Baptist Missions house and the place (where) they gas up is across the road from us.
“So now they look out and speak to the police every day and have been able to meet most of them. They no longer fear (them). The police force here in Cherryville have been very kind and talked with the kids and answered their questions and made them not fearful anymore.”
Currently, Pastor and Mrs. Vroege are able to live off of support from family, friends and supporting churches, and are in the states, and Cherryville, pending the borders in Uganda opening, she said, adding, “We plan to go back in December of this year, to finish our work on the Islands and in the village (in which they ministered). All of this is depending on (what happens with) the coronavirus and the borders opening up in Uganda.”
Stephanie, who is originally from Cherryville, and is the daughter of the late Thomas B. Patterson. Her mother is Betty Patterson. She said she and Gertjan have been in Uganda since 2012 with their last time home as a family being in 2015.
She continued, “I was raised in Zion Hill Baptist Church; Pastor Roger Fuller; here in Cherryville, but after University, I lived in the Cary, N.C., area and our sending church is Grace Bible Fellowship, (located in) Cary, N.C.; Pastor Norman Peart; and in Holland, DeArk.
“My husband is from the Netherlands. He and I met in 2006 in Tema, Ghana, in West Africa. We have been in Missions and serving in missions since then. We most recently have been in Uganda since 2012 and recently adopted a little girl from Uganda, whose name is Sarah. This is our first time as a family in the USA in five years since our adoption, which was a longer process than anticipated.”
Mrs. Vroege said when they are ministering in Uganda, they teach the Bible and do trainings on the islands of Lake Victoria and in villages. They also teach discipleship, evangelism, and do some medical work, as she is an RN-PNP. Additionally, she does volunteer work at the local children’s hospital to encourage and work with local nursing staff and share the love of Christ. She is also a consultant to missionaries on care of their children. In addition, Stephanie helps to lead a missionary women’s Bible Study group.
Simply put, she said their mission is from the Gospel of Matthew (28:19-20) where believers are commanded to “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
She said, “Our desire and passion are to see people equipped with the Word of God. So, we partner with an organization (SHIM-Shepherd’s Heart International Ministry) and serve on the islands of Lake Victoria providing Bible teaching, training, and discipleship. We travel as a family one week out of the month by boat for about one and half hours on Lake Victoria and stay on the compound of SHIM.
“The students also travel and stay for the week. The students are primarily pastors and church leaders, and they attend a two-year Bible School. The school covers the Old and New Testament and cultural and Biblical topics; the students are taught how to study the Bible and how to apply it. The students are taught through Bible Storying, theology, character, ministry skills, and leadership classes.
“These Pastors have a desire for Biblical knowledge and training. Their life on the islands would otherwise not allow for funding or opportunity to attend a Bible school on the mainland. It is amazing as we see them grow in Bible knowledge, how they apply it, and to see their households and villages start living it out. We see them learning, growing, and changing by the power of God’s Word.”
Pastor Gertjan works in three local villages on land and is doing the same two-year Bible School curriculum that we use on the islands. It is life-changing as they grow in the knowledge of the Bible, how to study the Bible, and how to apply it in their daily lives. Our heart is Biblical truth, teaching, and discipleship.”
Stephanie said, “Lastly, but officially, our first ministry is to our family. We have three children that are homeschooled! God is good and we are thankful to serve in Uganda!”
For those who might wish to help the Vroege’s out by supporting their ministry in Uganda, Stephanie said you can give on line at, or mail it to: Global Outreach Mission-MissionGO P.O. Box 2010, Buffalo, New York, 14231-2010 (write check out to MissonGO and attach a note that it is for Gertjan and Stephanie Vroege).
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Cherryville artist Sherry Bingham sits in her soon-to-be-open studio at 200-B East Main Street, surrounded by a few of her creations. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Bingham wants everyone
to discover the joy of art

Her downtown Art Works studio and gallery will be opening soon


It is a fair statement to say that Cherryville artist is truly in her element when it comes to talking about her favorite subject – art.
And, to that end, she wants, as her business card says, everyone to “Discover the Joy of Art”. She believes in its healing power, its recuperative power, and most importantly, it unifying power in that it can bring even the most disparate types of folks together for a common goal – making something magical happen through creating a stunning visual painting, drawing, sculpture, or mixed media piece that will last for some time.
Mrs. Bingham, a retired art educator and local artist and art teacher, is one of two artisans who will be occupying the ground floor of Cherryville’s newest treasure, the newly-redone building at 200 E. Main.
Bingham’s studio/gallery is in the back, and though small, already looks as if it has been in use for a while, right down to the eclectic, “artsy” atmosphere and decor.
Sherry retired from teaching in 2012, and plans to use the space to teach small groups as well as create, show and sell her own art.
“I have a passion for art, and have had since I was in the second grade,” said Bingham, who can barely contain her excitement as she talks about creating art. “I knew then I wanted to be a teacher and wanted to let my students do art all day long!”
Bingham’s love for her profession is evident in the pieces in her studio; sculptures, prints, and brightly colored paintings of various sizes and themes, all geared toward eliciting questions such as, “What made you paint this?”, or “Why did you choose this as a theme?”
Most recently, Sherry noted she is dabbling more in digital photography and enhancing her photos on a computer, but still retaining their “specialness”.
Her late mom and dad, Patricia Lineberger Dellinger and Everette E. “Red” Dellinger, encouraged her, she said, adding her mother did watercolor painting, mostly as a hobby, though she also worked some in oils and acrylics.
The family, originally from Lincolnton, moved to Cherryville, where her father ran a dry-cleaners out of the very building she eventually wound up owning, then selling – the 200 E. Main St. building.
As for teaching, Bingham said she started teaching in 1968, then taught privately for 16 years, and returned to public teaching in 1980, in the Kings Mountain district, first in elementary school, then later on, in high school.
“I didn’t teach any students after my retirement,” she said.
Bingham said she taught noted Cherryville artist Gary Freeman, who later taught art at Gaston College, and now has a studio and gallery in Main Street, in the old Eagle office.
Bingham said she has taught many different styles of art, adding that she “loves surrealism, the unexpected and the whimsical” in artistic styles. Her love for the Victorian era has caused to dabble some in the “steampunk” style of art, which combines many of the technical aspects of the modern and the late 1800s art styles, often combining them in design “mashup” that is a style all its own.
To many Cherryville folks Mrs. Bingham is perhaps best known for her “Children’s Art Alleyway”, nestled between two buildings on Main Street.
“I feel it is my legacy,” she said, reflecting on what it took to bring the award-winning, real-space artwork to fruition as part of the Cherryville Main Street Program.
Bingham said she loves working in the downtown area; the hustle and bustle, and will hopefully soon have an open house for her studio, once it is all finished.
“I want to be accepting students by September,” she said. “also, I don’t want to teach online, so I will start at a low capacity. As for the cost for getting into one of her classes, which will offer a wide variety of artistic disciplines and styles, as well as differing mediums and platforms, she said it would be best to call her at (704) 913-8928, or email her at She is also in Facebook (Art Works with Sherry Bingham).
Bingham’s eventual goal, she noted, is to be able to get her students to sell as well as exhibit their work.
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Some of the helpful (and properly masked!) staff at the recently re-opened Cherryville Area Ministries, a.k.a CAM, are (left to right): Store Manager Barbara Decker, Community Outreach & Affairs Manager Sherry Curry, and truck driver and food room assistant Airan Smith. (photo by MEP/CF Media)

Cherryville Area Ministries
re-opened for business July 6

Store closed in March but continued its assistance program throughout that time


Cherryville Area Ministries Community Outreach & Affairs Manager Sherry Curry said she and her staff are glad to be back doing what they love most – helping others through in this tough time.
Curry, along with store manager Barbara Decker, truck driver and food room assistant Airan Smith, and store clerks Diane Beebe, Grace Stout, and Jenny Smith, who Curry noted can come back after the Phase 3 opening plans get under way, are all masked up (per COVID-10 safety protocols), and at the store almost every day, manning the phones, greeting customers, and helping folks out with their purchases and finding what they need, all at a great price.
Curry also said she didn’t want to forget Dale Towns with what she termed “an honorable mention,” for alt-hough he is not officially an employee, Curry said, “He dedicates his time to us and we are thankful to have him!”
Said Curry, “As I said, our last day opened (pre-COVID-19) was March 19, and that was, as she noted, “at full capacity.”
She continued, “On March 20, we continued our assistance program, and that was throughout the time the store was closed. We officially opened the store back up on July 6, with days and hours of operation being Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m. We are no longer open on Saturdays. Also, we are currently open at only 50 percent capacity.”
Sherry said that making the store safer and free from COVID-19 contamination requires constant attention and sanitization, which they are all happy to do to assure there are no problems.
“We have someone disinfecting all the buggies and front door handles after each use. Also, countertops, cash registers and other door handles within the store are wiped repeatedly with disinfectant wipes throughout the day.”     
She continued, “We also have signs asking people to stay six feet apart from each other, practicing positive social distancing, and we have ‘one-way aisle’ signs. We have a sign asking customers to not enter if they have a fever, feel sick or if they or anyone they have been around has tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are limiting our number of customers to 20 people at a time so we can take in consideration the staff and volunteers as well. Additionally, we all wear masks and make sure our customers wear their masks too.”
Additionally, Curry commented that, “Any clothes that have been tried on and not purchased are placed in a cart placed outside the dressing room doors and brought to the back and covered for 72 hours before they are hung back out on the shopping floor.”
Said Curry, “We do not touch donations, meaning we have individuals unload their donations of clothes and miscellaneous items into a bin that is placed out front. When that is full, we roll it to the back and cover it for 72 hours.
“After the 72 hours are up, we sort through it to put it out on the shopping floor. Furniture is to be left outside for 72 hours or until we can get out to wipe and spray it with disinfectant. Once we do that, we can bring it in and put it on the shopping floor.”
As for the gate out front, Ms. Curry noted, “Our ‘After Hours’ process is that we keep our gate at the road closed so people do not drop off donations.”
Curry said she and her staff have seen an increase in those in need due to the coronavirus, estimating that in-crease in food and rental assistance needs to be roughly about 25 percent.
She also noted that while they have not seen any reduc-tion in monetary support so far, there has been some re-duction in actual merchandise donations due to the COVID-19 restrictions and also due to their having to be closed for the length of time they were.
Curry said for those who wish to help or continue to help the Ministry, “They can call the store at (704) 435-3816, and I will call back the same day, unless it’s the weekend or after hours.
“They can email, or they can message us on Facebook messenger under Cher-ryville Area Ministries.”
The Ministry has a Board of Directors comprised of 12 members that guides them in their decision making and in overall policy-making.
They are: Clay Henley (President); Tammy Kiser (Vice-President); Kim Eaker (Treasurer); Barbara McDaniel (Secretary); and Debbie Funderburke, Rev. Jhoan Alfaro, Suzette Smith; Jody Hayes; Bess Thornburg; Ellen Jack-son; Rev. Dr. Bill Lowe; and Bernice Harris.
Curry said she is thankful for the Board, her staff, and the community and people of Cherryville.
“We would like to thank those in the community for understanding the safety measures we are taking and being patient with us.
“We have these measures in place for everyone’s safety and to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our commu-nity. It is important to us that all our staff, volunteers and customers stay safe during this pandemic. Although small, we have a great staff who work together well. And we are proud of each of them for sticking to the new guidelines and putting themselves out there during these unpredictable times,” she said.

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The groundbreaking for the Catawba Nation Casino gets under way (on Wednesday, July 22) as nine men, representing the Nation and its leaders, the City of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County Commissioners, Delaware North, and Sky Boat Gaming ceremoniously get a shovelful of dirt to toss into a pile, signifying work is officially begun on the long-awaited casino. Left to right are: Wallace Cheves (Sky Boat Gaming); Butch Sanders (Catawba Nation); Jason Harris (Assistant Chief of the Catawba Nation); Sam Beck (Catawba Nation Councilman); Johnny Hutchins (Cleveland County Commissioner); E. Brian Hansberry (Gaming President, Delaware North); Rodrick Beck (Catawba Nation Secretary/Treasurer), Scott Neisler (Mayor, City of Kings Mountain); and Catawba Nations Chief William “Bill” Harris. (photos by MEP/The Eagle)

Catawba Indian Nation breaks ground for a multi-million dollar casino

Project represents $273 million  investment and many jobs for Cleveland County; surrounding counties


Last Wednesday, July 22, representatives from the Catawba Indian Nation, located in Rock Hill, S.C., and the City of Kings Mountain, and from Cleveland County, met to break ground for the Catawba’s Casino Resort Project.
The group of individuals met at 10:30 a.m., at the Catawba’s 16-acres of land set aside for the casino, just off Exit 5 on I-85, the actual address being 245 Dixon School Rd., Kings Mountain.
In a Monday, July 20, media release from Tribal Administrator Elizabeth Harris, there was limited space available due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the expected mask and social distancing guidelines and rules were in place.
Catawba Chief William “Bill” Harris, after brief introductions of all those who were invited to speak and take part in the auspicious occasion, said, “We are privileged to work with the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners and the City of Kings Mountain. We are also pleased to be working with Delaware North as well as Sky Boat Development.”
Chief Harris spoke about the history of the Catawba Nation and the tribe’s close historical ties with first the English during the French and Indian War, then with the Colonial Americans, when they later took up arms against the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain.
He spoke of the Catawba’s great King Hagler, who in the 1750s spoke about living in peace, love and friendship with all nations. King Hagler, or Nopkehee, who was born about 1700, and died in 1763. He became Chief of the Catawba in 1754.
“We, the Catawba Nation, were there to read the signs and warn the colonists of British attacks,” Chief Harris said, as he continued on the history of the Catawba Nation.
Chief Harris referenced how their nation has developed many partnerships over the many years, bringing it home by referring to the coming casino and its many job opportunities by saying, “Today, we celebrate the thousands of jobs that will be created; we celebrate the economic growth that will come about.”
Regarding that economic growth: it is estimated that a total of $428.1 million will be realized as far as an annual economic impact is concerned. The breakdown is as follows: $308 million (once operational, in per year of direct economic activity and employment of an estimated 2,600 workers); $77.3 million (an additional per year in indirect impact through local purchases from local business); and another $42.8 million per year in induce impact from employer expenditures, according to information provided by London & Associates (February 2020). This same study projects that construction activity alone will generate $311 million, with a “total employment of 2,347 from direct, indirect, and induced effect”, as per that same media release.
Harris continued, “Today the Catawba Nation wants to express it gratitude to Kings Mountain, Delaware North, Cleveland County, and Sky Boat, as well as others as this project unfolds. Some of those others he talked about include U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, Richard Burr, Tom Tillis, and Sen. Scott for their 2019 support that encouraged the request to accept the 16 acres of land into trust for the Catawbas. That decision is still being contested by the Cherokee Tribe but the casino continues to move forward, noted Chief Harris, in a March 2020 article in the Eagle.
According to the Project History & Timeline handed out at the groundbreaking, the projected Introductory Phase, complete with 1,300 operational gaming devices is possibly summer of 2021.
Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler, who was one of the project leads, along with Cleveland County Commissioner Johnny Hutchins, was quoted on the handout as saying, “Finally, the Catawbas have the opportunity to perpetuate their culture as a meaningful elevation of their place in North American history.
“Before today, this eight-mile stretch of I-85 had little to offer to locals and tourists. With this project we will become the premier destination between Atlanta and Washington, DC, for entertainment.”
Neisler said at the groundbreaking, “Today, we are standing on official Catawba Nation lands! This is historical Catawba land! We are all Americans, and we are in lockstep with them, and wish them well in the furthering of their culture. I want to thank Chief Harris and others of this Catawba Nation for having us as guests on their land.”
Commissioner Hutchins was quoted on the handout as saying, “Our steadfast partnership with the Catawba Indian Nation has brought us to this moment in time to celebrate their culture and their desire to improve the future of tribe members and those in Cleveland County and the region through jobs, tourism, and economic potential.”
He added at the groundbreaking, “This (casino and its jobs) is going to be beneficial to us all.”
In addition to Hutchins being there for the Cleveland County Commissioners, Chairperson Susan Allen was present as well, as was Delaware North’s Gaming President E. Brian Hansberry, and a host of dignitaries and others. Sheriff Alan Norman and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department provided security and direction for the event.
Hansberry noted that Delaware North wants “to create a world-class operation here,” and that they were “glad to be working on this.”
In closing, Chief Harris, said, just before inviting everyone to the actual groundbreaking area, “This project will have a huge economic impact on this area!”
Providing tribal music and prayers for the event, along with ceremonial drumming were Jason and Ronnie Beck.
For those desiring more information on the Catawba Nation Casino or the tribe, contact Elizabeth Harris, Tribal Administrator at, or call (803) 366-4792, ext. 225.

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Cherryville Postal Clerk Cynthia Wright takes care of customer Brodis Baxter of Vale, who came by last week to get a postal money order cashed. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

Keeping mail moving “Job One”
for Cherryville’s Post Office crew

Staff can now add word “pandemic” to their “Postman’s Oath”


(Ed. Note: This is Part Six of the Eagle’s “Heroes Work Here” series showcasing those in our small community who work hard to make all of us safer and help life to go on as near to normal as can be during this coronavirus pandemic.)

If you remember your elementary school, then later, your civics classes and teaching, you probably can recite the “Postman’s Oath”.
According to a search on the site Google, the full and complete “Postman’s Oath” goes something like this: “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Today, with all that is going on with the coronavirus perhaps they should add the words, “nor COVID-19 pandemic” to it.
For the Cherryville Post Office Postmaster Catherine Brock and her crew, keeping the mail going forward and making sure everyone gets their mail is, as it has always been, an essential job.
“We work together as a family to get the job done,” she said recently.
With Brock at the Cherryville Post Office are about 25 staff and mail carriers.
“We have 10 full-time mail carriers,” said Brock.
Like Brock, and others who serve the public in today’s pandemic world, all of the postal workers at Cherryville’s branch don’t see themselves as “heroes” though they have a sign in their lobby that proudly states that “Heroes Work Here!” And, like Ms. Brock, they all have many years invested in working for the United States government, and all very proud of their job and their ability to do it well.
Supervisor Scott Smith said he has 24 years in as a postal employee. He takes great pride in being able to make sure his employees have the health supplies they need on hand to combat this pandemic.
“From the git-go, that is, the time we found out about the virus, we went to work making the building safe for our employees. Also, we’re fortunate in that the command center in Forest City has supplies we can get when we need to. I think we’ve done an awesome job in taking care of sanitizing the building and vehicles. The USPS has done a great job also in getting the materials to us that we need.”
For Smith, his faith in God has stood him in good stead through out all of this pandemic.
Likewise, for rural mail carrier Patricia Mooney, of Vale, who has been with the post office for 12 years, three of them at Cherryville.
“Since I’ve been here,” she said, “safety is the number one thing we take care of.”
Mooney said it’s her faith in God that keeps her going during this pandemic as well as the joy of just getting to say “Hello!” to folks whose mail she delivers on her route.
Brock, who has 20-plus years in the business, also attributes her faith in the Lord and her being able to help others, seeing satisfaction in that, is what makes the job special to her.
Likewise, for clerk Cynthia Wright, who noted, “I take pride in my job and my job is service to my community.” Wright has 30-plus years with the Post Office.
Rural carrier Julie Clinton, who has five years of service with the Post Office, said her faith in God keeps her here doing what she does every day.
Said Julie, “It’s an honor to provide an essential service such as this to others.”
Allison Sitar, who has been a clerk at the Cherryville Post Office for about a week, agreed.
“I feel privileged they gave me an opportunity to work here and to help provide this service to the community. It’s great to be able to do what I get to do!” she said.
Twenty-year-plus postal veteran Lisa Roach, also a rural mail carrier, said, “I always count it an honor to work at the post office. We bring people valuable information and get to see the instant gratification on their faces when we bring them good news.”
Like her fellow workers, Roach noted the pandemic is a “scary thing”, but added, “We try and remember that in our jobs there are people who are counting on us. We have great people working here too! Scott (the supervisor) always takes care of us!”
Rural carrier Renee Peeler said she has the same sentiments about her job at the Cherryville Post Office. She has been a mail carrier for 13 years.
One of the more visible mail carriers that was there the day of this interview was 17-year mail carrier veteran Heather Barger, whose smiling face has been a staple in downtown Cherryville, and all along her route.
Barger said she started in Pineville, but has been in Cherryville for the past 15 years.
“I love my job, and I love getting to see my customers,” she said. The best part, since I love being outdoors, is being out in town and greeting people.”
Brock said, “We have an awesome staff and hard-working crew. Everybody’s been at work every day.”
Smith agreed, adding, “We provide normalcy to the public. When they see our mail trucks out delivering the mail, it equals stability.”
Cathy also added, “We would also like to include our thanks to the many businesses and customers who have provided support to the staff during this pandemic.”

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Some of those at the June 10 meals prep event for local law enforcement and service personnel at Cherryville’s First Baptist Church. Left to right are: Scretia Hartman, of Cherryville’s First Baptist Church; Belmont Police Dept.’s Asst. Chief, B.P. Falls; Cherryville First Baptist pastor, the Rev. Dr. Vince Hefner; Belmont Police Dept. Lt. A.C. Pullen, Cherryville First Baptist Church Secretary Abby Hawkins; and Cherryville First Baptist Church Minister of Youth, Rev. Jhoan Alfaro. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

Church puts Matthew 5:3
into practice by feeding local
peacemakers, service personnel


On June 10, the staff of Cherryville First Baptist Church, and four area businesses, set about providing meals for local and area police forces, to show their appreciation for the work those police and law enforcement agencies do for the many communities they serve.
Cherryville First Baptist pastor, the Rev. Dr. Vince Hefner said then of their intended goal, “We will serve over 300 meals to different people in law enforcement and public safety.
“We want to do something positive by serving the people who serve us!”
He continued, “I believe our desire in providing a meal to the police officers and first responders was to encourage the men and women who serve and protect us. In difficult and challenging times people need to hear, see, and experience the love of Christ.
“The goal is to lift up the downtrodden in Jesus name. You never know what just one kind act in Jesus’ name will do for someone who is discouraged.
“As Americans, we need each other, and we need to respect and love one another. If we remain divided, we will never be able to stand. If we cannot forgive, we are doomed to live in defeat and fear. If we live in the past, we will never experience the blessings of the present.”
Abby Hawkins, who helped with getting the meals together and delivering  them,  said they had

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 delivered “altogether 350 meals.”
Reverend Hefner wanted to thank Scretia Hartman and those FBC volunteers who helped cook and prepare the meals and put them together for the officers. He also noted he wanted to thank all the sponsors who donated to help with the meals.
“Our sponsors were Carolina Federal Credit Union, Heath Jackson Plumbing, Sun Drop/Choice USA Beverage, Scott Beam and Beamco, of Cherryville, and Cherryville Signs and Graphics,” Dr. Hefner noted.
The police and other public agencies they provided meals for are as follows: the Cherryville Police Department; the Cherryville Fire Department; the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office; the Gaston County Police Department; the Belmont Police Department; Hugh’s Pond Volunteer Fire Department; Gastonia City Police Dept.; the Mount Holly Police Dept.; the Cramerton Police Department; the police departments for Lowell, Bessemer City, Ranlo, Stanley, and Dallas, and the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Dr. Hefner also noted that in addition to feeding the local public safety officials to show appreciation for their service, FBC also mailed 33 letters across the U.S. to various police departments thanking them for their service, and to let them know that the folks at FBC in Cherryville were praying for them daily.