September 19th, 2011
Last fall, the Claremont Optimist Club was in bad shape.
The group, locally known for providing recreational leagues and activities for kids, had struggled financially for years, resisted talking with city officials and made poor use of its facilities. Â Â
It was a â€śsinking shipâ€ť on the verge of capsizing.
But now, after a year of electing new leaders, getting finances in order and re-opening communication with city officials two weeks ago, Optimist leaders say they are ready to put their rough waters behind them and head toward smooth sailing.
Cam Newton shined Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Packers, but the rookie's mistakes caught up with him.
After leading 13-0 early in the game, the Panthers (0-2) gave up turnovers on four of the next six possessions, including three interceptions by the rookie quarterback. Green Bay (2-0) took advantage of the takeaways, scoring 23 unanswered points on its way to a 30-23 win at Bank of America Stadium.
"The Rock" at Appalachian State is just as solid in night, if not more, than it is in the day.
The Mountaineers (2-1) knocked off their second straight MEAC team, Savannah State (0-3), in only the third Saturday night game held at Kidd-Brewer Stadium since 2001.
Saturday's victory comes one week after ASU demolished the TIgers' fellow-conference member North Carolina A&T.
Carolina's Cam Newton was stopped short of the yard to gain on fourth down, and with 3:09 the hopes for a Panthers upset faded. Two plays later Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers tossed a short pass to Jordy Nelson who raced the length of the field to score on an 84-yard strike. With that, hopes for the Panthers' first win disappeared completely - along with fans from Bank of America Stadium.
Many of those departing fans never saw Carolina engineer an eight-play, 83-yard drive. Newton scored on a four-yard run in the game's final minute, but the Panthers offense never saw the field again.
Going into Fridayâ€™s game at Gurley Stadium, Maiden quarterback Matt Johnson never beat the Red Devils of Newton-Conover.
â€śNot in middle school and not in high school,â€ť the senior said. â€śI have never done it.â€ť
He made up for all those losses â€”Â and then some.
Johnson rushed for 337 yards and six touchdowns to help lift the Blue Devils to a 62-39 victory over Newton-Conover.
The win was the first by Maiden in the series since 2006, and it was also the first time Maidenâ€™s Brian Brown scored a victory as head coach against Newton-Conover.
Bandys celebrated Homecoming on Friday, but Draughn spoiled the party.
The Wildcats (3-2, 1-0) collected two second-half turnovers to overcome a 7-3 halftime deficit and hold on for an 18-13 conference victory over Bandys (4-1, 0-1).
â€śThe biggest thing is that we had the lead and an opportunity to win,â€ť said Bandys coach Randy Lowman. â€śWe just made fatal mistakes.â€ť
Bandys took a halftime lead by running the football and shutting down Draughnâ€™s offense.
N.C. District 25 Attorney Jay Gaither defended and supported Friday his office's decision to pursue a second-degree murder charge for Elisa Baker.
Gaither's defense aligned with comments he made Thursday about what could have happened in the Zahra Baker case had the state not made the plea agreement with Elisa and her defense attorneys.
N.C. District 25 Attorney Jay Gaither on Friday defended and supported his office's decision to pursue a second-degree murder charge for Elisa Baker.
Gaither's defense aligned with comments he made Thursday about what could have happened in the Zahra Baker case if the state had not made the plea agreement with Elisa and her defense attorneys.
Elisa Baker's days in court are not done.
Baker still faces federal drug trafficking charges. The trial is currently set to be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Voorhees at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 in Statesville, according to the U.S. District Attorney's western North Carolina office.
The charges include:
n one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million
Before Elisa Bakerâ€™s sentencing on Thursday, Adam Baker had been primarily quiet.
â€¨He had talked openly to police and investigators, but to the public, his involvement in the murder of 10-year-old Zahra Baker was mysterious. â€¨On Thursday, however, he addressed the court, the public and Elisa herself for the first time openly.
â€¨â€śElisa, I trusted you with the most precious person in my life,â€ť Adam said. â€śYou not only lied to me, you also lied to Zahra. Zahra loved you more than anything in the world. ... You filled her life with lies.â€ť