October 14th, 2010
CHARLOTTE (AP) â€” A missing 10-year-old may have been alive when her family moved to a new home in North Carolina in mid-September, police said Thursday.
Investigators are having trouble finding anyone outside Zahra Clare Baker's household in Hickory who has seen the girl alive in recent months, making it difficult to narrow down places to search.
Thousands of runners from around western North Carolina hit the gravel Wednesday for the annual United Way Invitational. They ran the 5K course around Southside Park in Newton, which includes three laps around the path behind the National Guard Armory.
Asheville Roberson was the big winner in the event this year sweeping the boys and girls awards. Cole Rains, a junior at Roberson, won the boys race in 15 minutes 51.91 seconds for his first-career win, and Brooke Gordon, a sophomore, ran the race in 17:55.63.
Newton firefighters responded to a mobile home fire on Old Ladder Road about 8:35 Thursday morning.
The home was vacant at the time of the fire, and neighbors say its owner, Clayton Garr, left the residence about 15 minutes before the fire was reported.
Cause of the fire is under investigation.
The American Red Cross is assisting Garr.
Area law enforcement drained a pond late Wednesday on property in Burke County where they've been searching for missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
The land is owned by a family who runs tree trimming company where Zahra's father, Adam, works. It is an area where mulch, wood chips and heavy equipment are all stored. Hickory Police Deputy Chief Clyde Deal said there was nothing specific they were looking for.
"We always want to err on the side of doing more than you need to than not doing as much as you should have done," he said.
The sound of children's laughter drifted Wednesday night from the playground at East Hickory Baptist Church, a painful reminder for everyone gathered there of one child who was noticeably absent.
East Hickory Baptist Church hosted a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening at the church playground to honor missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker.
"A child's life should be something of joy, of fun and laughter," said David King, chairman of deacons at East Hickory Baptist. "Not of tragedy that evidently has happened with this young child."
A Hickory man was convicted this week in Catawba County Superior Criminal Court of two felony charges.
Ricky Dean Reina, 25, was convicted of felony first-degree kidnapping and felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Reina was sentenced to prison for no less than 44 months and no more than 58 months.
The incident occurred in February when Reina stole a vehicle from the Sunhouse gas station on U.S. 70 in Hickory. The car was running at the time, and a child was inside.
Reina drove the car a short distance and then let the child get out of the vehicle.
That's what members of the Catawba Valley Pride Inc. say about Catawba County's upcoming gay pride event, the first held in the county.
The event is scheduled for Oct. 15-17 at various locations across the county, from Lenoir-Rhyne University to area churches.
"I have gotten many e-mails with people saying, 'It's time, and we're wishing you the best in turnout,'" said Christy Austin, Catawba Valley Pride president. "We're really excited for this event."
Clyde Andrew Josey, 75, of Maiden, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010, at Valley Nursing Center in Taylorsville. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Josey family.
DeVere Rogers Smith Sr., 82, of Hickory, died Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Newton. The Smith family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
HICKORY, N.C. â€” Investigators used a police dog to search among tree-trimming equipment and piles of mulch for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on Wednesday, a day after authorities said they believed the girl had been killed.
Hours earlier, Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother showed no emotion in court as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.
Comfortable chairs and a sofa surround a coffee table to form an area for conversation and knitting that lends a warm-hearted ambience to Wildskeins Yarn Co.
Owner Ann Dobbins, 60, works in the shop and graciously welcomes everyone who walks in — new customers as well as old.
The warmth and coziness is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the newspaper newsroom. where Dobbins worked for almost 10 years — the Catawba Valley Neighbors, a bureau of the Charlotte Observer.