April 13th, 2011
Most people have never heard of a retreat called the Shelton Challenge, except Jade Stewart.
Stewart, a junior at Newton-Conover High School, has participated in this experience for two years and was accepted for a third year as a peer leader.
"The camper is the first stage of the camp and after you have been a camper you can apply to be a peer leader, which is like a camp counselor," said Stewart.
Stewart's was a camper her first year and became a peer leader her second year. She will hold the peer leader position her third year, too.
Officials warn emails users to not become victim to a scam.
With the recent breach of Epsilon's data from about 50 companies where email addresses and names of company clients were released, criminals now have easier targets for possible scams.
"Epsilon maintains all that was compromised was names and email addresses," said Thomas Foss, director of Center for Information Assurance at Catawba Valley Community College. "However, it appears evidently compromised were the company IDs that people had relationships with."
A controlled burn apparently caused major damage to a Hickory cabin Tuesday after embers made the house catch fire.
Hickory Fire Department responded at 3:39 p.m. to 2609 Valley View Drive.
Upon arrival, firefighters discovered flames and smoke coming from the building, according to a press release from Terri Byers, of the Hickory Fire Department.
Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder truck, three tankers and a command vehicle.
Catawba County EMS, Mountain View Fire Department and the Catawba County Fire Marshal's Office also responded to the scene.
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.