WAKE GOP KEEPS USING PEEPING TOM'S VENUE FOR EVENTS: The Wake County Republican Party is holding a concert fundraiser Saturday at a local farm whose owner faces a felony charge for allegedly hiding a camera in the women’s bathroom there. The party also held its Flag Day celebration there last month, raising questions about why it keeps choosing to hold events at Lin Honeycutt’s Fieldstream Farm near Garner. Honeycutt was arrested in January and charged with one count of secret peeping, a felony. Alan Swain, chair of the Wake County GOP, told The News & Observer on Friday that he knows about the charge but believes Honeycutt deserves his day in court before anyone passes judgment. If they had any respect for women at all that place would be off-limits at least until charges are resolved.
LUMBERTON CAR DEALER POSTS RACIAL SLUR OF CUSTOMER ON FACEBOOK PAGE: Lumberton Honda posted a picture Thursday on its Facebook page of Trinity Bethune standing in front of a car outside of the dealership and a comment congratulating her on buying her first car, news outlets reported. But instead of using her real name, they called her “Bon Quisha.” While the dealership has not explained the mistake, it appeared to play on stereotypes of Black names. “It's something people use toward Black people as a racial slur and an offensive term,” Bethune told WTVD. “If I’m addressed, I should be addressed as Trinity Bethune.” Tyrone Jacob, who identified himself as Bethune's brother, posted a screen grab of the dealership's post and called it “intentional, disgusting, unfair.” The post was removed from the page, and the dealership offered the apology Friday, expressing regret for “the recent inappropriate post towards one of our valued customers.” The post suggested that an employee made the original comment and no longer works there.
PHIL BERGER DEFENDS HIS FELLOW VENOMOUS SNAKES: Don't expect statewide legislation cracking down on exotic animals in the wake of Raleigh's zebra cobra scare, the North Carolina Senate's top leader said Thursday. "I don't see us getting into that snake pit," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger told reporters after the Senate's early afternoon session. A pair of Wake County Democrats proposed legislation earlier this month to prohibit the possession of non-native snakes. It would grandfather in current owners but require them to register and carry $1 million in liability insurance. The two senators, and other officials, plan a town hall Thursday evening on exotic animal regulations. Berger, R-Rockingham, said he's heard only from Wake County about the issue, and he noted there are 100 counties in the state. "For me, there's just a general reluctance to get too involved in animal legislation," he said. "It seems not to be an issue anywhere else." What about puppy mills, Phil? You nixed that bill out of spite, even though it's a huge problem in NC. The truth is, you care even less about animals than you do people, also referred to as sociopathy.
TRUMP ASSOCIATE POSTS $250 MILLION BOND IN FOREIGN LOBBYING CASE: A California judge on Friday set bail at $250 million for the billionaire investor and longtime friend of former president Donald Trump indicted on a charge of breaking foreign lobbying laws, ordering him to appear in federal court in New York next week. Thomas J. Barrack, 74, who waived his court appearance for discussion of the prearranged release agreement, was freed from a jail in Los Angeles later Friday. His ex-wife Rachelle and son Thomas Barrack III were suretors on the bond. Jonathan Grunzweig, an executive at Colony Capital, the investment firm Barrack founded, was the third person to endorse the major bond. Grunzweig is now chief investment officer for other equity and debt at DigitalBridge, which absorbed Colony Capital in 2015. Barrack’s co-defendant, Matthew Grimes, 27, was freed on a $5 million bond. Both men must wear GPS monitoring devices and were ordered to travel to New York for an afternoon proceeding on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn. They were indicted on charges related to failing to register as lobbyists for the United Arab Emirates, whose government they worked for for over two years beginning when Trump campaigned for office in 2016. The pair allegedly sought to influence Trump’s campaign — and later his administration — to advance policies that were favorable to the wealthy Gulf state. Barrack, who served as chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, is also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents in 2019.
BIDEN ADMIN THINKS 65 AND OLDER WILL NEED BOOSTER SHOTS AFTER 6-9 MONTHS: Biden administration health officials increasingly think that vulnerable populations will need booster shots even as research continues into how long the coronavirus vaccines remain effective. Senior officials now say they expect that people who are 65 and older or who have compromised immune systems will most likely need a third shot from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, two vaccines based on the same technology that have been used to inoculate the vast majority of Americans thus far. That is a sharp shift from just a few weeks ago, when the administration said it thought there was not enough evidence to back boosters yet. On Thursday, a key official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the agency is exploring options to give patients with compromised immune systems third doses even before regulators broaden the emergency use authorization for coronavirus vaccines, a step that could come soon for the Pfizer vaccine. The growing consensus within the administration that at least some Americans will need a booster is tied in part to research suggesting that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective against the coronavirus after about six months. More than half of those fully vaccinated in the United States so far have received Pfizer’s vaccine, in two doses administered three weeks apart. Pfizer’s continuing global study of its clinical trial participants shows that four to six months after the second dose, the vaccine’s effectiveness against symptomatic infection drops from a high of 95 percent to 84 percent, according to the company.