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October 18th, 2010

Zahra fund spokesman has record

October 18, 2010

A fund was set up to provide financial and counseling support as police continue the search for a 10-year-old girl who was was reported missing 11 days ago.
And while one of the organizers of the Zahra Baker Fund was convicted of obtaining property under false pretenses, officials from the fund's parent organization, the Spiritual Counseling Network, say the felony charge shouldn't stop people from giving.
The fund, which was established Friday, aims to provide monetary and counseling support for those involved in the search for Zahra.

Area restaurant donates

October 18, 2010

Texas Roadhouse of Hickory will hold a special boxed lunch Tuesday to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The restaurant, which isn't usually open for lunch, will sell $10 boxed lunches available for dine-in or take-out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m..
"It's been such a tragedy in this community," said Patricia Hatch, a managing partner of Texas Roadhouse. "We wanted to do something to help."

Hundreds of Zahra tips received

October 18, 2010

Hickory Police received hundreds of tips in the homicide investigation of Zahra Baker, and they continue to search for her whereabouts.
One tip recently led police to a Hickory furniture store, where store employees said they saw Zahra and her stepmother, Elisa Baker, on Sept. 25.
"It was a Saturday, and it was really busy," said Pat Adams, floor manager of In Your Home Furnishings in Hickory, recalling the day Zahra and Elisa Baker came into the store. Zahra was reported missing two weeks later on Oct. 9.

Gourd Lady is Leno-bound - again!

October 18, 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.

Hickory BB&T robbed

October 18, 2010

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.

October 17th

Police receive 200-plus tips in Zahra's case

October 17, 2010

HICKORY (AP) — 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.

Zahra spotted in public Sept. 25

October 17, 2010

HICKORY (AP) — 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.

October 15th

Zahra's father speaks out

October 15, 2010

HICKORY (AP) — 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 — who used hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer — in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. But police don't believe them.

Zahra Baker - One week later

October 15, 2010

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.

Newton pursues historic registry

October 15, 2010

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.”

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