February 23rd, 2011
First the woman accused of murdering 10-year-old Zahra Baker was arraigned, and then she wasn't.
At 1:47 p.m. on Wednesday, District Attorney Jay Gaither's office widely distributed a press release reporting that Elisa Baker appeared before Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin during a court proceeding on Tuesday. According to that release she was "arraigned" and received Scott Reilly as court-appointed counsel.
In an arraignment hearing, a defendant typically enters a plea to the charges they are facing.
Iâ€™ve probably typed her name hundreds of times in the past five months.
Monday was another one of those days when I typed Zahraâ€™s name over and over again as I learned more about what happened to the freckle-faced cancer survivor. The more I type Zahraâ€™s name, the more I hope to see swift, firm justice delivered in the case.
With only a handful of exceptions during the past decade, I have spent at least a couple of evenings every month attending regular and special meetings of some elected government body or another. Some months, particularly when I was a fledgling cub reporter covering anything and everything that came my way, I toted a notepad and pen into a couple of meetings every week.
Laurels to four Kiwanis Clubs in Catawba County and the city of Hickory, which are partnering to create a special playground to honor the life of Zahra Baker.
The project aims to create a play space suitable for children with disabilities, who are like the 10-year-child who used a prosthetic leg and hearing aides until she died and was dismembered in 2010.
By Cody Dalton
O-N-E Sports Editor
Individual wrestlers from all around the Catawba County area are preparing for this weekâ€™s NCHSAA state wrestling tournament and many are working together.
On Tuesday, the state qualified wrestlers from St. Stephens and Bunker Hill spent time together in practice trying to prepare one another for the competition they will face.
Indians coach Billy Baker likes the idea of changing up the daily routine to help his wrestlers not become used to their familiar surroundings.
United States postal workers take an oath to provide mail service to the country's citizens. But area members of the American Postal Workers Union feel that oath to provide superior customer service could be comprised if the U.S. Postal Service Hickory distribution facility in Conover is closed.
Betty Jean Poteat Smith, 79, of Hildebran, died Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, after a period of declining health. Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Betty Jean Poteat Smith.
A quick-thinking dirt bike owner didn't let himself become a victim of a crime Monday when he found his stolen motor bike, chained it to a tree and waited for the thieves to return.
Lincoln County sheriff's deputies responded to the 4700 block of Burton Lane in Denver after the dirt bike owner, Lance Markevitch, called 9-1-1 to report that he and his neighbors apprehended two suspects who allegedly stole the man's dirt bike Sunday and hid it near the man's home.
An increasing cost of doing business coupled with decreasing town revenues caused Catawba leaders to rethink the way the town operates for the upcoming fiscal year.
Catawba hasn't seen revenues exceed expenditures since 2007, leaving the town with a budget trending toward a $200,000 gap between revenues and expenses.
That gap won't be closed in one year, town manager Brian Barnett told Catawba Town Council during a budget workshop Feb. 15. The town, however, can start closing the gap year by year with reduced operating and capital costs.
For years, a Claremont businessman owned A. Klein & Co. and manufactured iconic heart-shaped boxes for candy and other gifts.
The company has since ceased production, but that hasn't stopped Jesse Salwen from creating other things that make people smile.
Salwen, of Claremont, started taking photographs in the 1940s with a Brownie Box camera. Photography has changed a lot since then, but 73-year-old Salwen's love for capturing images on film hasn't.