Archive - News Article
October 15th, 2010
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.
Investigators came up empty Thursday in the search for Zahra Baker.
Maj. Clyde Deal with the Hickory Police Department said the search for clues in Baker's disappearance turned up nothing.
In the days since Baker was reported missing, police searched property in Burke County, including draining a pond. Deal declined to say the exact location of the property or how many locations are being searched.
Members of Catawba Valley Pride Inc. say it's time for a gay pride event in Catawba County, but the first-ever event is something residents remain hesitant to discuss.
The three-day event starts Friday at the Lenoir-Rhyne University and continues throughout the weekend at various locations in Catawba County.
During a survey of Catawba County residents, several people declined to comment about the event, citing its sensitive nature.
"I just don't want to comment about it," one woman said.
Parents of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker were not operating a home school when Zahra was reported missing, according to records from the North Carolina Division of Non-public Education.
Hickory police said Zahra, who was reported missing Saturday about 2 p.m., was home-schooled at the time of her disappearance, and she previously attended Caldwell County Schools.
CHARLOTTE (AP) â€” Though Zahra Clare Baker was battling cancer that forced her to wear hearing aids and a prosthetic leg, friends who knew her in Australia say she was an outgoing, caring, happy girl.
Then her lonely single father moved her halfway around the world to North Carolina so he could live with a woman he met on the Internet. Now the 10-year-old with the freckles and wide smile is missing and presumed dead, and friends and family thousands of miles away are waiting anxiously for word about her fate.