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April 13th, 2011

Embers cause cabin fire

April 13, 2011

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.

Ride to honor Zahra Baker

April 13, 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."

Adam Baker can't leave US

April 13, 2011

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."

April 12th

Breakfast meeting for businesses

April 12, 2011

Claremont business owners are learning about good business practices from the city's most knowledgeable people — 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."

Tax deadline approaches

April 12, 2011

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.

-Don't delay
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."

Adam Baker arrested again

April 12, 2011

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.

Meal prices increase in schools

April 12, 2011

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.

April 11th

Conflict delays Bakers' court

April 11, 2011

A scheduling conflict with defense attorney Scott Reilly once again delayed matters in the misdemeanor cases against Adam and Elisa Baker.

Adam Troy Baker, 33, and Elisa Annette Baker, 42, were expected to appear Monday in Caldwell County District Court for charges that stem from May 2010. However, Shell Pearce, who represents Adam Baker, said Reilly had to be in Newton for a separate trial. Since prosecutors plan to hear the evidence at the same time, their cases were continued until June 13.

Claremont resident works in Japan

April 11, 2011

A 7.1-magnitude aftershock rocked Japan on Thursday, making Claremont resident David T. Garrison's final night in the country an interesting one.

Garrison spent about two weeks in Japan with the Christian Relief Assistance Support and Hope program (CRASH), which is a network supporting Christian relief work in Japan and around the world.

Who said beer couldn’t be an art?

April 11, 2011

When it comes to beer, the Hickory Hops festival attracts a large crowd.

“This year, the Hickory Hops festival is expected to entertain 2,700 (people), that number came from ticket sales online, at Olde Hickory Tap Room and Amos Howards,” said Nikol Wuest, manager of Olde Hickory Tap room.

This year, brewers are traveling from as far as Georgia to showcase their top beer.

“I would say it has now doubled with brewers, as well as the interest of those who want to participate and sample the beers,” said Phil Bennett, a Hickory Hops volunteer.

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