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December 1st

Man killed after cell phone argument

December 1, 2010

A man was shot to death Wednesday by his girlfriend's father after a disagreement about a cell phone.

Randal Douglas Alfonso, 30, of Hickory, died from a shotgun blow to the stomach early Wednesday morning at a home on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory. The man charged in the crime, Mark Steven Bell, 55, of Hickory, is the father of Alfonso's girlfriend.

Bell lives at the residence on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory.
Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid said the family had a domestic dispute late Tuesday night when Alfonso and his girlfriend starting arguing about a cell phone.

A swab to save a life

December 1, 2010

Dan Massey knows if Wednesday's bone marrow registry doesn't help him, it will help someone else in need of a transplant.

And that's all that matters.

Massey, 61, is a former principal and educator in Catawba County who needs a bone marrow transplant after a recent diagnosis of acute mylogenous leukemia.

Viewmont Baptist Church in Hickory organized a bone marrow registry drive Wednesday to benefit Massey and possibly save his life.

"If I don't get a donor, which I hope I do," Massey said, "someone else could get help. This could potentially save the lives of 10-15 people."

December 2, 2010

December 1, 2010

Neva Black Brotherton, 94, of Aiken, widow of Willys H. Brotherton Sr., died Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, at Pepper Hill Nursing Center.

Troy Brooks Sharon, 40, of Conover, passed away Nov. 30, 2010, at his residence.

DNA match confirmed

December 1, 2010

DNA from remains found in Caldwell County match Zahra Baker's personal items.
Hickory Police received results from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation lab stating DNA evidence from bones found near the creek area on Dudley Shoals Road matched a DNA sample taken from the home on 21st Avenue Northwest. The sample from the home was taken from personal items believed to be Zahra’s.
HPD is still waiting on a DNA profile for Zahra that will be created from cheek swabs collected from her biological mother and father.

Hanukkah starts Wednesday

December 1, 2010

Lucinda Robinson is a Christian, but there is no Christmas tree in her home this holiday season.
Instead, Robinson, of Hickory, will light a menorah for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, which starts Wednesday.
Robinson is a Messianic Jew, who studies the teachings of both the Old and New testaments of the Bible.
"I feel that, as a Christian, there are historical stories about the true God," Robinson said. "You're embracing the whole Bible."

Judge orders warrants open

December 1, 2010

A Superior Court judge mandated Tuesday that 11 search warrants relating to the Zahra Baker case be unsealed.
The warrants were previously sealed to the public and media outlets, claiming that, "the release of the information contained in the search warrant would jeopardize the right of the state to prosecute a defendant or defendants, or jeopardize the right of a defendant or defendants to receive a fair trial or undermine an ongoing or future investigation."

Source: Zahra was raped

December 1, 2010

Recently unsealed court documents reveal grisly details about Zahra Baker's final days.
The documents, which were unsealed Tuesday, contain detailed information about Zahra's life leading up to her death and how her body was disposed.

November 30th

N-C Ends Hickory's Reign

December 1, 2010

The Newton-Conover Red Devils accomplished something no other Catawba County team has in the past five years. They defeated the Hickory Red Tornadoes in a girls basketball game. It is Hickory’s first loss to a Catawba County team since 2005.
“Obviously this is a huge game for both teams,” Newton-Conover head coach Jonathan Tharpe said. “Both teams are two of the best in the western part of the state in 2A and 3A. It’s just a big rivalry and just a lot of passion to win the game on both sides.”

Court opens search warrants in Baker case

November 30, 2010

Catawba County Superior Court Judge Nathan Poovey on Tuesday allowed access to search warrants related to a murder investigation that started when 10-year-old Zahra Baker was reported missing on Oct. 9.
The 11 warrants, totaling more than 100 pages, reveal Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, responded deceptively during a police polygraph test, and she detailed how the young cancer survivor was dismembered inside a Hickory house.

Private memorial set for Zahra

November 30, 2010

Drum Funeral Home announced Tuesday that Zahra's family will hold a private memorial service.

The Hickory girl was reported missing Oct. 9, and police in Hickory announced Nov. 12 that they believed they had enough evidence to show that the Australian native was in fact deceased.

Visitors may stop by the funeral home to sign a register book and view a memorial tribute to Zahra from 5-7 p.m. Thursday and 1-4 p.m. Friday.

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