November 17th, 2010
HICKORY (AP) â€” The father of a disabled girl who North Carolina police say was killed said he had nothing to do with her death and did not dismember the child.
"There's no way I would do that to my baby," Adam Baker told WBTV in a Tuesday interview. "There's no way in the world I would hurt my daughter."
Adam Baker said he avoided a public vigil Tuesday night on what would have been Zahra Baker's 11th birthday because he didn't want to take the focus off his child. He watched over the Internet along with his mother and lawyer.
The Fred T. Foard Tigers wrestling team made a quick turn around in the past three seasons. The Tigers went from a struggling team before coach Mike Carey got there in 2008 to sharing the 2009-10 Northwestern 3-A/4-A conference title with St. Stephens and Alexander Central in his second season as coach.
â€śI think we have a really good chance to be one of the state contenders,â€ť senior Caleb McRorie said. â€śWe started from nothing, and now we are one of the top teams in the state. Hopefully, we can keep going up.â€ť
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins learned a lot about Zahra Baker since the investigation into her disappeance started more than a month ago.
He spoke with several people who knew Zahra during her life, and each one told him the same thing: Zahra didn't want to be pitied.
"Nothing would slow her down," Adkins said. "She wanted no pity. She wanted to be like every other child."
Catawba County is one of two counties in the country chosen for a $30,000 grant from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and Motorola.
The funding will be used at the county's EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility to provide broadband capacity for real-monitoring between the site and its partnered universities and businesses.
"There's a lot of research that's going on, and there's a lot of data being developed," said Lee Worsely, assistant county manager, on Monday at the Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Elisa Baker's bond will not be reduced, if the District Attorney's Office has its way.
District Attorney Jay Gaither said Tuesday his office will fight Elisa Baker's request for a lower bond.
"As this point, we plan on arguing that the bond will not be reduced," Gaither said.
Elisa Baker filed a motion Monday to reduce her bond on a felony obstruction of justice charge.
Merle Bollinger Townsend, 75, of Hickory, died Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley in Newton.
Terry L. Scronce, 57, of Vale, died Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, at his residence. A receiving of friends will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, at the residence. A private family service will be held at a later date.
A North Carolina woman created a Facebook page to honor Zahra Baker in the hope that no child will suffer like Zahra did.
Kristie Austin Pope, 40, of Stokedale, started The Zahra Project on Facebook to achieve change within the Department of Social Services.
Pope and her husband watched the news coverage of Zahra's case, and the reports of abuse and neglect hit a nerve for Pope.
She watched people step into the media spotlight claiming they knew Zahra was being abused, but did nothing to stop the abuse.
Zahra Baker's stepmother told law enforcement that the 10-year-old child was dismembered and spread across Caldwell County. Now, after leading police to critical evidence, she is hoping her cooperation will sway court officials toward reducing her bond.
Birthdays are a time to celebrate life, and today is Zahra Baker's 11th birthday.
The Children's Protection Council will hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday to honor Zahra, the child whose struggle with cancer and reported abuse captured the hearts of people worldwide.
"It's a recognition of Zahra being part of our community and our community being overwhelmed by the possibilities of what could have happened," said Adrienne Opdyke, Children's Protection Council vice chairwoman.
Raindrops fell Monday on Zahra Baker's former residence in Hickory, but a newly added plastic tarp kept the ever-expanding memorial for the 11-year-old dry. Balloons, stuffed animals, angel ornaments and hand-written letters encircle a tree in the front yard of Zahra's former home, located at 21 21st Ave. NW. The plastic tarp that covers the memorial is held down with pieces of wood to ensure nothing is damaged by the rain scheduled to arrive in the coming days.