October 18th, 2011
The countyâ€™s annual vigil for child homicide victims is always an emotional event.
Hearing the name â€śZahraâ€ť this year struck a special nerve with most in attendance.
On Tuesday, the Childrenâ€™s Advocacy and Protection Center (CAPC) remembered 20 child homicide victims that were killed by a parent or guardian in 2011.
The names included 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Zahra is the Australian girl who traveled to Catawba County at age 7 to live with her father, Adam Baker. She was killed by Adamâ€™s partner, Elisa Baker, in September 2010.
For the first time in eight years, Newton will have a new mayor in November.
Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax is not seeking re-election this fall, and both candidates vying for the position bring new ideas to the table.
Anne Stedman, Newtonâ€™s current mayor pro-tem and owner of the Trot House Inn, wants to reinvent downtown. Wes Weaver, Newton Merchants Association president and business entrepreneur, wants progress in Newton and hopes to bring more businesses into the area.
Both candidates say job growth is essential to the cityâ€™s future.
Candidates running for Conover City Council point to growth â€” both in jobs and services â€” as a key to the city's prosperity in the future.
Six candidates are competing for three open seats on the city council as early voting begins Thursday. Most of the candidates say the economy's impact on businesses and residents is the biggest issue facing the city and its board in the next four years.
After councilwoman Penny Corpening withdrew from the council race last month, Kyle Hayman and Don Beal are the only two incumbents running for re-election.
The last time Newton-Conover and Bandys met on the soccer field, the Red Devils blew out the Trojans 7-2 on the road.
On Monday, Bandys played much better but still was unable to get over the hump, dropping a difficult 3-0 game at Gurley Stadium.
For Scott Anderson, President Barack Obama's message hit home.
The 34-year-old construction worker from Asheville has been out of work for almost a year and listened Monday as Obama touted his jobs bill, which is stalled in the Senate.
The president said the package would turn around the troubled economy, creating tens of thousands of jobs for teachers, police officers, firefighters and construction workers.
"This is what the country needs," said Anderson, a father of three.
A federal drug trial has been postponed for Elisa Baker, the North Carolina woman who pleaded guilty last month to killing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
The drug trial for Elisa Baker â€“ who was sentenced in September to 15-18 years for the second-degree murder of Zahra â€“ has been delayed until Jan. 9. It was originally scheduled for Nov. 7.
Attorneys requested more time to prepare for the trial
In May, a federal grand jury indicted Baker on seven drug charges that accuse her of illegal drug activity between 2006 and 2010. She's accused of misusing painkillers and anxiety medicine.
With seven candidates vying for three open seats, the Maiden Town Council race is competitive this year.
Both familiar and new names line the 2011 ballot, and candidates say increasing jobs and industry in the town will be key issues to address.
Early voting for the Maiden council race â€“ and all municipal elections â€“ begins Thursday at the Newton Main Library.
All three incumbents are running for re-election on the Maiden council. They are challenged by four candidates who offer varying degrees of public-office experience.
A Catawba County man is lucky to be alive after running his car off an exit ramp and slamming into a tree Friday night.
Jamie Lee Abernathy was driving on the I-40 westbound off-ramp at exit 135 on Friday night when he drove off the road and slammed into a tree at a high speed.
Police say Abernathy sustained a cut to his forehead in the accident and was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center with minor injuries. His car was totaled in the wreck.
Claremont police say Abernathy was intoxicated, and authorities are still investigating what caused the wreck.
Sidewalk signs are currently prohibited outside businesses in downtown Newton, but that could all change.
A measure that will be discussed during Newton City Council's meeting tonight proposes new rules for temporary signs in the city's central business district. Under the proposed ordinance, business owners could apply for an annual permit to display sidewalk signs outside their downtown storefronts.
The measure comes after city staff met with representatives from the Downtown Newton Development Association and the Newton Merchants Association, according to Newton Planner Max Sigler.
Matt Kenseth may have started second in Saturday's Bank of America 500, but he played second fiddle to no one when all was said and done.
The driver of the No. 17 Fluidmaster Foard passed Kyle Busch with 25 laps to go on his way to his 21st career victory and second-ever win in Chase races.