Archive - News Article
October 18th, 2010
After a documentary about her life debuted last week, the National Gourd Lady is going back to Hollywood.
Margaret Sparkman will return NBC's The Tonight Show on Oct. 29 during the late-night show's normal 11:30 p.m. broadcast. Sparkman, "The National Gourd Lady" first appeared on the show hosted by Jay Leno in 2003.
During that appearance, "Sparky" stole the show when she "bopped" the comedian host's head with a gourd dipper.
The Hickory Police Department is searching for a man who allegedly robbed the BB&T on U.S. 70 on Monday afternoon.
A white male with a light-colored complexion entered the bank around 1 p.m. and gave a bank teller a note demanding money. HPD Sgt. Robert George said the note indicated the man had a weapon, but no weapon was shown.
George said the bank had several customers and employees present at the time of the robbery, but no one was injured.
HICKORY (AP) â€” Hickory police say they have found someone other than a family member who saw a missing girl as late as Sept. 25.
Investigators said in a news release Saturday that they have received more than 200 tips about Zahra Clare Baker whose family reported her missing Oct. 9. The little girl uses hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer.
Hickory police would not comment further on the timeline or the case Saturday, but WCNC-TV in Charlotte reported that Zahra had been seen by employees at a Hickory furniture store.
HICKORY (AP) â€” A missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl was seen in public as recently as two weeks before she was reported missing, police said Saturday, narrowing an uncertain timeline that has hindered their investigation.
Investigators said previously they couldn't find anyone outside Zahra Clare Baker's household who had seen her alive in more than a month. That uncertainty has made it difficult for police to narrow places to search for the girl whose bone cancer left her with hearing aids and a prosthetic leg.
HICKORY (AP) â€” The father of a missing 10-year-old said Friday that he is still not sure whether his wife was involved in the girl's disappearance.
Baker said he just wants to find Zahra Clare Baker and take her back to the family's native Australia if she wants to go. Police believe the girl is dead.
Baker and his wife Elisa, the girl's stepmother, reported her missing Oct. 9. They said they had last seen Zahra â€” who used hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer â€” in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. But police don't believe them.
What happened to Zahra Clare Baker? Police continue to put together a timeline regarding, what many fear, were the last weeks of the 10-year-old's life.
North Carolina officials believe Newton’s central business district is among the nation’s historic areas, and that could be good news for downtown property owners.
“I think this is a benefit not only from the cultural aspect of historic preservation of buildings,” said Rob Powell, Newton’s commercial development coordinator, “but with the tax credits … if you do a project that meets federal guidelines you can basically get federal and state tax credits for completing renovations.”
Less than one year after its opening, a Newton business is giving back to the community that helps keep it in business.
2 Pink Magnolias in Newton, in conjunction with The Newton-Conover Women's Club, will hold a Wine and Charity event to benefit a service of the Family Guidance Center.
Mother and daughter team Becky and Jennifer Stiver are co-owners of 2 Pink Magnolias, and ever since their store opened in February.
Disturbing reports of violence and mistreatment surfaced this week during the investigation of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker.
Could those acts of violence have been stopped if someone knew what to watch for?
Area child abuse prevention adovocates say people shouldn't wait to act if they suspect violence against a child.
Possible indicators of physical child abuse include welts, unexplained burns, bald spots and unexplained bruises, said Adrienne Opdyke, victim advocate for the Children's Advocacy Center.
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.