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February 3rd, 2011

Elisa Baker married 7 times

February 3, 2011

GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — The stepmother of the North Carolina girl whose dismembered remains were found in the western part of the state was married seven times, and she was wed to more than one man on several occasions, according to an Associated Press investigation.
Elisa Baker was indicted last month on a bigamy charge involving her marriage to Zahra Baker's father, Adam, and another man, but AP found documents at half a dozen county courthouses that showed at one point she was married to three men at the same time, calling into question the single charge.

February 2nd

Car thefts move to Claremont

February 2, 2011

Claremont Police Department received six reports this week of vehicle larcenies, which continues a stream of thefts from unlocked vehicles in Catawba County.

Claremont Police Capt. Gary Bost said six cars were broken into late Sunday night or early Monday morning. The unknown suspects opened the unlocked vehicles and removed electronic items, such as radios, CD players or GPS units.

The latest crime wave is one of at least three to hit Catawba County in the past month, when Conover Police reported more than a dozen vehicle break-ins in the city's southeast and northeast quadrants.

Non-faculty coaches could face elimination

February 2, 2011

Select coaches in Catawba County Schools don't have a strong sense of job security they once held.

With a change in the school system's non-faculty coaching policy, people who aren't employed as faculty within a school or feeder district won't be top choice to fill coaching positions at the end of each school year or athletic season.

Newton prohibits parking on front lawns

February 2, 2011

Residential front lawns in Newton are now "no parking" zones.

Newton City Council approved a measure that prohibits the parking of cars and trucks, recreational vehicles and boats in the front yards of residential dwellings. The change in city ordinance comes about two years after city leaders began considering action to curb the practice of parking vehicles in front yards throughout the city.

Sewage issue closes elementary school

February 2, 2011

A sewage issue closes a Hickory elementary school early Wednesday.
Students and employees at Viewmont Elementary School were dismissed at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday after school toilets quit working. The malfunction is a result of a sewage back-up.
The city of Hickory is working to fix the sewage problem.

Groundhogs' forecasts differ

February 2, 2011

The world's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted an early Spring when he did not see his shadow Wednesday morning.
Conversely, North Carolina's official groundhog saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.
Sir Walter Wally's prediction at a ceremony just after noon Wednesday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh runs counter to Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil.

February 1st

Area woman returns from Egypt

February 1, 2011

The background of Lydia Marlene Stewart's cell phone is a photo of her standing in front of centuries-old pyramids in Egypt.

The photo was snapped during her 16-day tour of the country, which ended just days before political unrest erupted from Egyptians demanding changes in their government.

When Stewart, of Claremont, sees images of the violent protests calling for 30-year ruler Hosni Mubarak to step down, she hurts for the country that she said was a lifelong dream to visit.

Couple continues transplant after theft

February 1, 2011

It's been almost three months since a Newton couple was robbed of money for a double-lung transplant.

Patty and Ken Arnold are in the early stages of the transplant process at Duke University Medical Center in Durham and are continuing with Ken's procedure — with or without the money.

The Arnolds never recovered the $1,100 in cash stolen from them Nov. 6 when a supposed stranded driver asked Patty for a ride. The stranger was in the car momentarily before she jumped out of the back seat, taking Patty's wallet and the money donated to the Arnolds from American Legion Post 48.

No timeline for Zahra indictment

February 1, 2011

The District Attorney's Office won't provide a timeline for a possible indictment in the Zahra Baker case, saying they'll take their time reviewing the massive case file.

Hickory Police Department submitted its case file Monday detailing interviews, documents and other data in the investigation of 10-year-old Zahra's death. Now, the District Attorney's Office is charged with sifting through that information, which amounts to more than 30,000 pages of documents.

Reaching for a goal

February 1, 2011

Catawba County is thousands of miles away from Tucson, Ariz., where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured in a Jan. 8 shooting rampage.

But as Giffords recovers, her therapy mimics the therapy received by many Catawba County patients, who struggle every day to recover from once life-threatening conditions.

Giffords is currently undergoing treatment for her injuries at a Houston inpatient rehabilitation center, much like the rehabilitation center at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory.

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