Archive - News Article
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.
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.
Sheriff David Huffman can still catch criminals -- it just might take him a little longer than it used to.
But that's OK, Huffman said Thursday, because a new sheriff will soon be in town.
Huffman, 65, retires Friday after 28 years as the county's top law enforcement official.
"There comes a time in a person's life when you know it's time to step down," he said. "And this is the time."
The word for the Jewish Festival of Lights is Hebrew for "dedication."
The celebration, which started Wednesday, marks the rededication of the Jewish temple, which was desecrated.
Rabbi Morton Kaplan, who serves at Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory, said the eight-day holiday is a time of celebration with family and friends.
"It's really a home celebration, for the most part," he said.
Jews gather with their families at home during Hanukkah and light the candles of the menorah, which commemorates lighting the lamp in the Jewish temple more than a century before the common era.
A man was shot to death Wednesday by his girlfriend's father after a disagreement about a cell phone.
Randal Douglas Alfonso, 30, of Hickory, died from a shotgun blow to the stomach early Wednesday morning at a home on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory. The man charged in the crime, Mark Steven Bell, 55, of Hickory, is the father of Alfonso's girlfriend.
Bell lives at the residence on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory.
Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid said the family had a domestic dispute late Tuesday night when Alfonso and his girlfriend starting arguing about a cell phone.
Dan Massey knows if Wednesday's bone marrow registry doesn't help him, it will help someone else in need of a transplant.
And that's all that matters.
Massey, 61, is a former principal and educator in Catawba County who needs a bone marrow transplant after a recent diagnosis of acute mylogenous leukemia.
Viewmont Baptist Church in Hickory organized a bone marrow registry drive Wednesday to benefit Massey and possibly save his life.
"If I don't get a donor, which I hope I do," Massey said, "someone else could get help. This could potentially save the lives of 10-15 people."
DNA from remains found in Caldwell County match Zahra Baker's personal items.
Hickory Police received results from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation lab stating DNA evidence from bones found near the creek area on Dudley Shoals Road matched a DNA sample taken from the home on 21st Avenue Northwest. The sample from the home was taken from personal items believed to be Zahraâ€™s.
HPD is still waiting on a DNA profile for Zahra that will be created from cheek swabs collected from her biological mother and father.
Lucinda Robinson is a Christian, but there is no Christmas tree in her home this holiday season.
Instead, Robinson, of Hickory, will light a menorah for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, which starts Wednesday.
Robinson is a Messianic Jew, who studies the teachings of both the Old and New testaments of the Bible.
"I feel that, as a Christian, there are historical stories about the true God," Robinson said. "You're embracing the whole Bible."
A Superior Court judge mandated Tuesday that 11 search warrants relating to the Zahra Baker case be unsealed.
The warrants were previously sealed to the public and media outlets, claiming that, "the release of the information contained in the search warrant would jeopardize the right of the state to prosecute a defendant or defendants, or jeopardize the right of a defendant or defendants to receive a fair trial or undermine an ongoing or future investigation."