Afternoon News Report; Aug. 17, 2011

LAROQUE ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir, held a press conference yesterday morning at the Lenoir County Visitor’s Center to answer questions raised by a N.C. Policy Watch report. Here are some links for your perusal:

My take: First off, kudos to LaRoque for allowing NCPW staffer Sarah Ovaska into the presser. Yes, he could’ve barred her from attending and asking questions, but he — rightfully, I might add — answered every question she and every other reporter (and citizen) asked.

The one true negative to the presser, though, was the sycophantic reactions from some of his supporters. Although I support anyone’s right to ask questions of their legislator — especially in a setting like yesterday’s — there probably should’ve been a separate presser for reporters and then a Q&A from citizens. There should never be applause in an official press conference for any reason and it took away from the official proceedings.

However, that’s about the only negative I pulled from yesterday. Rep. LaRoque answered each and every question presented to him, which made me question this quote in the N&O report from Isaac Hines (who, incidentally, sat beside me at the presser): “I don’t know the questions were necessarily answered. He answered only what he wanted to. I still have questions.”

LaRoque hung around for several minutes after the presser; if Mr. Hines still had questions, why didn’t he simply go up to LaRoque and ask them? Say what you want about LaRoque — and yes, I know he has his fans and his detractors — but the man will not back down from a question.

Finally, I’ll say this — after re-reading the PowerPoint and listening to the tape of the presser, I have no problem with how LaRoque responded to the questions. I’m no CPA (and I don’t play one on TV), but those who claim he didn’t answer questions (and there are a bunch of those dolts leaving comments on TFP story) are wrong. He broke down all the NCPW questions, point-by-point. The only question he didn’t answer was how much he made out of the compensation from the nonprofits — which, frankly, is not anyone’s business but his own.

BENEFIT PLANNED FOR BOBBY CARRAWAY

A benefit beach party hosted by Steve Hardy will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. at the DugOut in Kinston for Bobby Carraway, a popular restaurateur who has had some health issues of late.

My take: Anyone who has lived in Kinston in the past 20 years or so has probably eaten one of Bobby’s meals, whether at Carraway’s or the Broken Eagle. Bobby is one of the all-time great guys out there — so please get out there Thursday night if  and support him if you can. I’m going to do my best to be out there, too.

THE U IN A WORLD OF TROUBLE

The University of Miami athletic department finds itself in a boatload of trouble after a 11-month Yahoo! Sports report was released yesterday. In the excellently-written piece, it’s revealed that a renegade booster spent millions of dollars illegally catering to athletes and coaches.

My take: That was an extremely short synopsis — if you haven’t checked out the report yet, take 10 minutes and hit that link above.

I’ll say this after digesting this report for about 12 hours — if this doesn’t get the U the NCAA death penalty, nothing will. There were so many egregious acts taking place in Miami, it’s sickening — all the way to a stripper’s abortion.

This is college sports at its worst; I won’t be surprised if the NCAA simply shuts down Miami athletics — across the board — for a season or two.

The iPod shuffle

Sober — P!nk

Fergalicious — Fergie feat. will.i.am

Bicycle Race — Queen

Utha Side — Nelly

Rock The Bells — LL Cool J

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