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October 13th, 2010

Search returns to Burke County

October 13, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. — Investigators used a police dog to search among tree-trimming equipment and piles of mulch for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on Wednesday, a day after authorities said they believed the girl had been killed.

Hours earlier, Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother showed no emotion in court as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.

Vigil planned for Zahra Baker

October 13, 2010

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old disabled child who was reported missing during the weekend.
The public vigil is set for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at East Hickory Baptist Church on 16th Street Southeast in Hickory.

Missing girl's stepmother is 'scared to death.'

October 13, 2010

The stepmother of a missing Hickory girl appeared in court Wednesday under a felony obstruction of justice charge.

Elisa Baker, 42, stepmother of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, walked into a courtroom in the Catawba County Justice Center on Wednesday morning wearing a pink jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Baker's bond for the felony obstruction of justice charge is set at $40,000. Her court-appointed attorney, Scott Reilly, said he plans to file a motion to reduce Baker's bond. The process could take about five days, he said.

'She was always beating her' neighbor says of missing girl's stepmother

October 13, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — To relatives and former neighbors, Elisa Baker had a short fuse. In interviews and court documents, they portrayed her as nasty-tempered and willing to use a gun or her fists to settle an argument and say her disabled stepdaughter usually bore the brunt of her rage.

Investigators said Tuesday they believe someone killed 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, who was reported missing over the weekend. Baker was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.

October 12th

Honor code challenges students

October 12, 2010

Area high school students are working to create a unique honor code to govern their school's rules, regulations and policies.
Challenger Early College High School students will review and discuss their beliefs and values about what keeps a school running smoothly, and they'll put those values into an honor code.
Challenger Early College High School, located on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College, is a school of 380 students that blends the high school experience with the first two years of college.

Documentary highlights Gourd Lady

October 12, 2010

A documentary about one of Catawba County's jewels will air at the Adrian L. Shuford YMCA.
Margaret "Sparky" Sparkman, also known as The Gourd Lady, will be the feature of a documentary on her service. An open house and premiere screening will be 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday in the Sparkman Community Center located behind the YMCA.
James Smith, the documentary's creator, will be present at the event and will sell DVDs for $15 each. The Gourd Lady will be available to autograph DVDs sold Thursday.
Semi-formal or formal attire is optional.

2 county ambulances damaged in wrecks

October 12, 2010

Two Catawba County ambulances were involved in accidents Monday, with one being recorded as fatal.
Nathan Turner, 54, of Claremont, was driving an ambulance occupied with another paramedic and a patient from an Alexander County nursing home to a hospital in Catawba County. As Turner approached the Alexander and Catawba county line, a 2003 Ford Escape crossed the center line and hit the ambulance head on about 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Patrick Salmons, 67, of Taylorsville, was driving the SUV and died at the scene.

Maiden, Bandys vs. cancer

October 12, 2010

On the football field Friday, Maiden High School and Bandys High School will battle it out for a victory.
But as the clock winds down the game's final moments, both teams will emerge victorious against a common opponent: cancer.
The rival schools joined forces to help Bandys assistant football coach Chris "Chopper" Fulbright, 38, who is recovering from kidney cancer.

Search turns toward homicide query

October 12, 2010

Police canceled the Amber Alert issued for a missing Hickory girl and will instead investigate the case as a homicide.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said Tuesday that police will continue the case to locate 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker as a murder investigation.
Adkins fought back tears Tuesday as he briefed local and national media during a late-morning press conference about the investigation.

Police probe missing girl's past

October 12, 2010

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins will update the community on the disappearance of Zahra Baker during a press briefing at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Ahead of that meeting HPD announced that "investigators are working several leads, specifically addressing Zahra’s life before she disappeared."

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