April 13th, 2011
Motorcycles aren't the first things that come to mind when someone mentions Zahra Baker's name.
But Gail Boyce, of Conover, is working to change that.
Boyce, with the support of Catawba County businesses and individuals, organized the Angel Wings Zahra Baker Memorial Ride to honor the murdered 10-year-old, who was reported missing in October.
"This is so much more than a memorial ride," Boyce said. "It's a memorial ride, but it's so much more. I can't talk to anyone who this child hasn't touched a part of their heart."
Police aren't yet ready for Adam Baker to return to his native Australia.
Hickory Police Department said Wednesday that officers hastened criminal proceedings to keep Baker in the country.
"The charge was going to come," said Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal.
"We would have preferred to have waited to do it like we did everything else, with a grand jury indictment. ... We did have to speed it up."
Taylor Sigmon was in a bit of a slump at the plate entering Tuesdayâ€™s softball game against Newton-Conover.
When the game was over, she left little doubt that she had found her swing.
The junior drove in four RBIs and blasted four hits, including three doubles and a home run, lifting the Lady Trojans to their eighth conference victory.
Absalon Velasco Gomez, 23, of Newton, passed away Sunday, April 3, 2011. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 4 p.m. at Christ Alive Church in Newton with Pastor Mark Ivey officiating.
Wilma Frances Cato Eggleston, 94, went home Saturday, April 9, 2011, at Abernethy Laurels. The family will receive friends at 2 p.m. at Jenkins Funeral Home on Startown Road.
Claremont business owners are learning about good business practices from the city's most knowledgeable people â€” each other.
Area business leaders and officials met Tuesday for an informal gathering to discuss economic development opportunities in the community during Claremont's inaugural Business Breakfast.
"I heard, 'Gosh, I wish there was a way businesses could get together and talk,'" said Doug Barrick, Claremont city manager. "It's an economic downturn, so any information they can get today will help."
The deadline for residents to file their taxes looms in less than a week.
Area tax officials and government organizations offer their suggestions to ensure preparing and filing taxes is as easy and stress-free as possible.
Catawba County accountant Ronald McGee said his business experienced a "title wave" of customers this tax season. He estimated his business increased from 10-15 percent since previous years.
"It's been very busy," he said. "I think it's harder economic times, but I think (customers) are willing to pay for quality."
The District Attorney's Office says it doesn't appear Zahra Baker's father was involved in the child's death and disappearance, but that doesn't mean he is immune to other criminal charges.
Adam Baker was arrested Tuesday on one count of identity theft and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses after he allegedly falsely obtained utility services from Duke Energy.
These charges are unrelated to the investigation into Zahra's death, according to a press release from Hickory Police Department.
Students in Newton-Conover City Schools will have to pay a little more for breakfast and lunch meals.
Starting in the 2011-12 school year, breakfast prices will increase 25 cents, while lunch for elementary students increases 20 cents and middle and high school students' lunch prices rise 15 cents. NCCS has not increased meal prices since 2007.
The price increase came after a 4-1 NCCS Board of Education vote Monday, with Chairman Scott Loudermelt opposing. Board member Mark Murphy was not present at the scheduled meeting.
Itâ€™s one simple word that is changing the complexion of the Maiden womenâ€™s soccer program.
Last season, Maiden held a 5-12-2 overall record, were 2-12-1 in the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference and scored 18 goals for the entire season.
So far this season, the team nearly doubled its total victories from a year ago with a 9-5-1 record. They hold a 5-2-1 conference mark and have scored 26 goals.
Third-year coach Dennis Ly said the change is due to a couple of reasons.
Barbara Jean Brongo, 64, of Newton, died Sunday, April 10, 2011, at Conover Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The Brongo family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Alfred “Al” McKinney, 67, of Hickory, passed away April 10, 2011, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley in Newton. The McKinney family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Hickory.