The only person charged in connection with the disappearance, death and dismemberment of Zahra Baker might not face the death penalty or life in prison.
The O-N-E has learned that as part of an agreement with District Attorney Jay Gaither, Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, won't face first-degree murder charges. Without a first-degree murder conviction, Baker would avoid the death penalty, as well as life in prison.
Many people choose to give charitably during the holidays, but residents should be wary about scams aimed to cheat generous donors.
"If there's a way to cheat someone out of money, someone will think of it," said Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid.
Reid said receiving requests for donations through the phone should immediately send up a red flag.
"We get people about once a year who call people to say they're collecting money for the sheriff's office," Reid said, "but we don't do that. We're not allowed to."
Demand for North Carolina nonprofit services increased substantially since the economic recession, forcing organizations to rethink they way they provide crucial services for needy residents.
Nonprofits in the state reported a 62 percent increase in service need since the recession started several years ago, according to the North Carolina United Way. This increase in demand was coupled with a decrease in private and federal funding and support for the nonprofit agencies.
Fire destroyed the kitchen of a Sherrills Ford restaurant Friday.
Firefighters responded to Lineberger's Steakhouse located on N.C. 150 East, after an employee driving by the building reported a blaze.
Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue Capt. Richard Harris said no one was in the building at the time of the fire, and emergency workers forced entry into the restaurant to fight the blaze.
A routine traffic stop resulted in three arrests Thursday when a sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle for running a stop sign.
A Catawba County sheriff's deputy was doing a property check in Newton about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid. The deputy saw a 1994 Honda Accord run a stop sign, and he noticed the vehicle's license plate was obscured.
Thousands of disadvantaged children and their families will have a merry Christmas this year, thanks to the generous giving of area volunteers.
The annual Catawba County Christmas Bureau expects to serve more than 3.400 children and their families this holiday season, providing them with food, clothes and gifts during a two-day distribution at the American Legion Fairgrounds in Hickory.
Little-known facts about people are interesting. Molly Rice, teacher, poet, author, actor, wife and mother owned five ferrets while she was in college and until she moved to Ireland. They were named Boogie, Scutch, Wikki, Hoss and Baloo.
“I was a strong member of the American Ferret Association,” Rice laughed.
Catawba Valleyâ€™s Tyree Griffin jumps Thursday to pass the ball along the baseline and avoids going out of bounds as Milliganâ€™s Weston McQueeney goes down. McQueeney was injured on the play. Ramon Herrera led CVCC with 15 points in the Buccaneersâ€™ 94-46 win at home.
Zahra Baker's obituary said she was a determined, outgoing child.
That spirit was reflected Thursday at the child's public memorial service in Hickory.
The service included a picture slideshow of Zahra in happier times: playing miniature golf, sticking out her tongue, hugging her father, riding on a motorcycle and playing with a snake.
Dozens attended Thursday's memorial service at Drum Funeral Home in Hickory. The number paled in comparison to the hundreds of people who participated in a candlelight vigil held in downtown Hickory on Nov. 16, what would have been Zahra's 11th birthday.
Capital defenders appointed to represent Zahra Baker's father and stepmother were removed from their positions Wednesday.
The North Carolina Capital Defender's Office in Raleigh confirmed the removal Thursday, saying the provisional counsel appointments weren't meant to be long term.
Lisa Dubs and Mark Killian, two Hickory attorneys were appointed to represent Elisa and Adam Baker, respectively, on what the Capital Defender's Office called "imminent" murder charges in Zahra's death.