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Archive - Oct 14, 2010 - News Article

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Sparky's a movie star

October 14, 2010

When documentarian James Smith met the International Gourd Lady at a craft fair in Charlotte, he saw something special.
It was a spark -- Margaret "Sparky" Sparkman, to be exact.
"I met her, and I was really inspired," Smith said. "She really sparked that interest in me to do something unique."
Smith decided to do a documentary on the life of the woman known worldwide as the International Gourd Lady.
He soon discovered, however, that there is more to Sparkman than brightly painted gourds and a colorful outfit.

Search for Zahra comes up empty

October 14, 2010

Investigators came up empty Thursday in the search for Zahra Baker.
Maj. Clyde Deal with the Hickory Police Department said the search for clues in Baker's disappearance turned up nothing.
In the days since Baker was reported missing, police searched property in Burke County, including draining a pond. Deal declined to say the exact location of the property or how many locations are being searched.

Residents respond to pride event

October 14, 2010

Members of Catawba Valley Pride Inc. say it's time for a gay pride event in Catawba County, but the first-ever event is something residents remain hesitant to discuss.
The three-day event starts Friday at the Lenoir-Rhyne University and continues throughout the weekend at various locations in Catawba County.
During a survey of Catawba County residents, several people declined to comment about the event, citing its sensitive nature.
"I just don't want to comment about it," one woman said.

No home-school record for Zahra

October 14, 2010

Parents of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker were not operating a home school when Zahra was reported missing, according to records from the North Carolina Division of Non-public Education.
Hickory police said Zahra, who was reported missing Saturday about 2 p.m., was home-schooled at the time of her disappearance, and she previously attended Caldwell County Schools.

Australians say Zahra was a 'happy girl'

October 14, 2010

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Though Zahra Clare Baker was battling cancer that forced her to wear hearing aids and a prosthetic leg, friends who knew her in Australia say she was an outgoing, caring, happy girl.

Then her lonely single father moved her halfway around the world to North Carolina so he could live with a woman he met on the Internet. Now the 10-year-old with the freckles and wide smile is missing and presumed dead, and friends and family thousands of miles away are waiting anxiously for word about her fate.

Zahra might've moved to Hickory

October 14, 2010

CHARLOTTE (AP) — 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.

Fire destroys Newton home

October 14, 2010

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.

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