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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    Get the snacks and a scorecard ready for the 2019 Emmy Awards. As TV academy voters honor what they consider the small-screen's best, viewers can join in by tallying up wins, snubs and records during the no-host, three-hour ceremony airing Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox. The reward for TV geeks whose predictions pan out at the 71st annual Emmy Awards: no trophy, but bragging rights. There's also the fun of cheering your favorites and rooting against their competitors. Conflicted feelings may loom for 'Game of Thrones' fans who loved the series, hated its finale. HBO's fantasy saga headed into the ceremony with a record 32 nominations, collecting 10 awards at last weekend's creative arts ceremony for technical and other achievements. If the series adds three more wins on Sunday, it will break its own record for most awards in a season, 12, which it earned in 2015 and again in 2016. If it claims the top drama trophy, it will be its fourth and make it one of a handful of series to achieve that tally. It could also build on its record of the most Emmys ever for a drama or comedy series, now at 57. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' is defending the top comedy award it captured last year, when three-time winner 'Veep' was on hiatus. As with 'Game of Thrones,' the political satire is entered for its final season and could benefit from voter sentiment as well as evident respect. Same goes for 'Veep' star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose potential seventh Emmy for the show would combine with two others she's won to make her the most-honored performer in Emmy history. 'Game of Thrones' is competing in six categories besides best drama, including directing, writing and acting — with stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington vying for lead acting honors for the first time, and Peter Dinklage seeking his fourth supporting actor award. Clarke's competition includes Sandra Oh of 'Killing Eve,' who would be the first actress of Asian descent to win the Emmy, along with Oh's co-star Jodie Comer and past winner Viola Davis of 'How to Get Away with Murder.' A win for Clarke or any of the four 'Game of Thrones' actresses competing for a supporting trophy would be the first for a woman on the show. The best drama actor field includes Billy Porter of 'Pose,' who would be the first openly gay man to win the award, and past winner Sterling K. Brown for 'This Is Us.' Presenters are set to include Angela Bassett, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hugh Laurie, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Randall Park. Actor-comedian Thomas Lennon has the off-camera job of regaling viewers with factoids and jokes as winners head to the stage. Halsey will perform during the in memoriam tribute. ___ Online: http://www.emmys.com . ___ Lynn Elber is at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber
  • It's no joker. The night is lighting up Saturday around the world with the famous bat signal to mark a special anniversary for Batman. DC Comics is carrying off a celebration of Batman Day to mark the 80th anniversary of the appearance of crimefighter Bruce Wayne and his masked identity. Fan gatherings happened all over the world. But the most ambitious party plan was the illumination of the bat signal. It started at Fed Square in Melbourne, Australia. The signal is also appearing in 13 other cities, including Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, Paris, London, Montreal, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg, as well New Yor City's Domino Sugar Refinery. Los Angeles also celebrated with a fan experience concert and the Batman Inaugural 5K run.
  • Bands played to a dwindling crowd of Earthlings late Saturday at one remaining festival spawned by a 'Storm Area 51' internet craze in the remote Nevada desert. Lights were dark at another venue where promoters pulled the plug because of low attendance. Little A'Le'Inn owner Connie West vowed that a music program topped by the Los Angeles band Wily Savage would continue until midnight, as scheduled, in the tiny town of Rachel. But bands playing from a temporary stage faced few people beneath a sky full of stars at a dusty venue where authorities tallied a peak of about 3,000 attendees on Friday. 'Things are ramping down,' Lincoln County emergency services chief Eric Holt said as darkness fell and first-responders from around the state began heading home. 'Area 51 Basecamp' was already dark, after pulling the plug the morning after a Friday concert-and-vendors just that drew just 500 attendees in Hiko. 'We put on a safe event for the people that showed up,' promoter Keith Wright said. 'It was a gamble financially. We lost.' West, in Rachel, said she was sad to hear the Hiko festival didn't succeed. 'This is the most fabulous time,' West said. 'It's been a great turnout, and it wasn't the humanitarian disaster that everyone claimed it would be.' Holt, who said resources had been mustered to handle up to 30,000 people, called the low turnout a 'best-case' scenario for a county with 5,200 residents in an area the size of Massachusetts. The county dipped into a $250,000 emergency fund to deal with an event that drew interested internet clicks from more than 2 million Facebook users. Despite an initial suggestion that people rush the gates, festival organizers and authorities discouraged people from entering the military base. More than 1,000 people visited gates Thursday and Friday, and more made the trek on long dirt roads near Rachel on Saturday. Officials reported six arrests overall, mostly for misdemeanor trespassing on base property, a $1,000 fine. One man was arrested for disorderly conduct at a festival venue and one for public urination at a base gate. In Nye County, west of Las Vegas, authorities reported no arrests after a total of about 200 people showed up early Friday at two remote gates to the once-secret Area 51 facility. In Lincoln County, Sheriff Kerry Lee said about 20 people broke from among revelers early Saturday and 'acted like they were going to storm, but stopped short.' Holt said two people badly hurt Saturday in a rollover crash of a vehicle on a dry lake bed near Rachel were sent to hospitals in St. George, Utah, and Las Vegas, Holt said. On Friday, one man was treated for dehydration by medics at the Rachel festival. Two crashes also were reported involving vehicles hitting cows, Holt said. The cows died, but motorists weren't hurt. Officials noted the highway between Hiko and Rachel is open range for cattle grazing. While costumed space aliens were a common and sometimes hilarious sight in events that began Thursday, no one has reported seeing actual extraterrestrials or UFOs. Keegan VanLuven, an 18-year-old from Auburn Hills, Michigan, who was thumbing a ride from Hiko to Rachel on Saturday said he experienced all he traveled to Nevada to do. He visited the gates of Area 51, enjoyed the music at the 'Area 51 Basecamp' concert on Friday night and made new friends, including a 23-year-old woman from Charlottesville, Virginia, with whom he was hitchhiking. She identified herself only as Amity. 'The people that didn't come,' VanLuven said. 'They missed out.
  • This is the time of year when the cast of HBO's 'Veep' would usually be shooting a new season. Now that the show is done, actor Tony Hale says they'll have to settle for getting together at the Emmy Awards. 'Obviously, a win would be so much fun,' Hale said at Friday night's reception for nominees. 'But it's more a celebration just to be together. This is around the time we'd be shooting, so we're just kind of sad. So, it'd be nice to see each other and just kind of celebrate the culmination of ... the seven-year journey we had.' 'Veep' has won best comedy the last three times it was nominated and will try for a fourth at Sunday's Emmy Awards. Hale, who played loyal aide Gary Walsh to star Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character of Selina Meyer, has won two Emmys for his role. Louis-Dreyfus has the more crowded shelf of trophies, having won six times as best comic actress for her character. There's a similar feeling for Carice van Houten of 'Game of Thrones,' another honored HBO series that has wrapped up. 'We've had a lot of parties along the way, of course,' she said. 'But this feels like it really is the end. So, I feel like we really want to go out with a blast and, you know, hopefully we'll take them all.' Actress Patricia Clarkson of 'Sharp Objects' plans to wear a Christian Siriano dress 'that he literally kind of draped on my body.' You feel like Cinderella at an event like this, she said. 'It's like you've died and gone to heaven,' she said. 'But it is work. You know, you have to make sure you get it right. And, you know, I'm not 25. I'm not wearing a slit up to my you know what. So ... I'm careful.' Clarkson is 59. Jonathan Banks of 'Better Call Saul,' a six-time Emmy nominee, is not looking forward to the temperature extremes of Emmy night. Even though he shoots a series in the desert, he said Emmy's night is 'hot enough just to kill you.' 'You wear a tuxedo because your wife makes you wear a tuxedo, and other people suggest that you do it,' Banks said. 'So you're boiling hot and then you go into a place that is 60 degrees. And, immediately, you're a candidate for pneumonia.' ___ Media writer David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.
  • Performance artist Marina Abramovic is displaying her work in her native Belgrade for the first time in 44 years, and she says that returning home has been highly emotional. Abramovic summoned journalists to Belgrade's Museum of Contemporary Art at the crack of dawn on Saturday for the symbolic opening of her retrospective 'The Cleaner.' 'You have no idea how emotionally excited I am,' said Abramovic, best known for her piece 'The Artist Is Present,' which in 2010 saw her sit silent and motionless for 736½ hours opposite a parade of strangers at New York's Museum of Modern Art. 'I came to Belgrade with an open heart,' Abramovic, who has visited Belgrade privately, said of her professional comeback. 'It's not easy, lots of nostalgia and memories.' Born in Belgrade, Abramovic studied and launched her career in the Serbian capital before moving abroad in 1975. Her show 'The Cleaner' contains more than 100 videos, photographs, paintings and live re-creations of her performances over the past decades. The show is concluding in Belgrade after touring seven cities in various countries since 2017. While hailed as a major cultural event for the Serbian capital following the crisis years in the 1990s, critics have argued that the exhibition is too expensive and is serving to boost the image of Serbia's populist authorities. Abramovic said she hoped 'The Cleaner' will help Serbia's art scene. 'I am no politician, I am an artist,' Abramovic said. 'I believe this exhibition has shown to the politicians that if you invest money in culture you get high standards.' Carefully selected, Abramovic's retrospective focuses on what she says is her best art, some of which also drew inspiration from the Balkans — in a 1997 performance 'Balkan Baroque,' Abramovic sat among a heap of bloody animal bones in criticism of the ethnic carnage that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia, earning her a Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale. In other performances, Abramovic cut her body, screamed, ate raw onions and covered her face with honey and golden leaves, seeking to test her own and the audience's limits. Young Serbian artists in the Belgrade museum revived a performance in which a naked man and woman stand in a doorway and visitors must slip between them to get through. 'I didn't really want to make a retrospective, a retrospective seemed like a very sad thing to me ... like retirement,' Abramovic said. 'Cleaning was like a metaphor ... you get rid of the bad work and keep only things you think you really should show.' As she opened the exhibition, Abramovic briefly sat down to re-enact her 'The Artist is Present' performance that saw thousands lining up outside for a chance to sit opposite her. Now 72, Abramovic said 'I have no intention to retire.' 'I think I will die working,' she smiled.
  • The American Film Institute is honoring Julie Andrews with its Life Achievement Award. The organization said Friday that Andrews will receive the award at the Gala Tribute on April 25 in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on TNT. Andrews' acting career has spanned several decades, winning an Academy Award in 1965 for her starring role in 'Mary Poppins.' She also starred in 'The Sound of Music' and 'The Princess Diaries.' Andrews received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She also won two Grammys through 'Mary Poppins' and 'Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies.' The 83-year-old actress will be the 48th recipient of the prestigious honor from the AFI, joining Mel Brooks, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and George Clooney. This year's honoree was Denzel Washington .
  • The former chief makeup artist at Charlie Rose's interview show is suing him, saying the disgraced television journalist ran a 'toxic work environment' for women. Gina Riggi said in her harassment lawsuit filed Thursday that she worked for 22 years for Rose and Bloomberg, the company where his Manhattan studio was located. She lost her job in 2017 after Rose was fired by PBS and CBS News for sexual misconduct. Her lawsuit seeks unspecified damages 'and equitable relief for the harm she has endured,' it says. Riggi charges that Rose treated his studio as a sexual hunting ground for attractive young women. She says he groped and pawed female staff members, stared at their breasts, and dangled job prospects to wine and dine women. 'Far from being an advocate for their careers, Mr. Rose treated them as sexual targets, using his power and influence to serve his personal desires,' Riggi says in the lawsuit. His attorney, Jonathan Bach, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. But he told Variety that Rose denied the charges and would vigorously contest them. The lawsuit was inconsistent with friendly messages that Riggi had sent to Rose, he said. Riggi said Rose would demean and humiliate women who rejected him and once swatted at her. Many women who were shaken by encounters by Rose would use her makeup room as a refuge, she said.
  • Jennifer Lopez won Milan Fashion Week on Friday, wowing the crowd at Versace when she emerged wearing a version of the jungle dress that nearly broke the internet almost 20 years ago. Building up to the big reveal, Donatella Versace announced from backstage a Google search for 'Versace jungle dress,' and a dome ceiling above the circular runway filled with images of J-Lo wearing the 2000 Versace dress at the Grammys. Then Versace intoned: 'The REAL jungle dress,' and Lopez appeared in an updated version of the iconic gown, which maintained the plunging neckline but in a sleeveless version and with a train that billowed below the open back. Not a smart phone remained dormant as the fashion crowd jostled to catch video of the fashion ah-ha moment. The original jungle dress made not only fashion history, but Google history. According to Versace's press notes, millions of people searched Google in an effort to see the dress, inspiring tech giant to create Google Images. 'The world had the same reaction: jaw-dropping,' Versace said in show notes. 'Today we live in a technological world, but back then, one event promoted the creation of a new tool that now has become part of our lives.' Highlights from the third day of Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews for Spring /Summer 2020: ____ VERSACE RETURNS TO THE JUNGLE For next spring and summer, Donatella Versace did what she does best: Make fun and cheeky fashion. Versace started low-key with a series of little black dresses, revealing in a business-like way, worn with strappy, nearly invisible sandals, some wrapping up the leg gladiator-style. The collection played with the tailored silhouette, enlarging the shoulders in an apparent ode to the 1980s, and keeping the waist cinched. The real star was the jungle print, as the fashion house celebrated the 20th anniversary of the iconic jungle dress worn by Jennifer Lopez. A street version of the same dress, with a bandeau top to break up the plunging neckline, appeared in standard green and eye-popping orange and red, both worn with psychedelic tights. More subtly, the print over-laid a very masculine gray Prince of Wales check jacket, giving a slight acid-wash effect, and accented tie-dye T-shirts. Palm motif also appeared as pins and metal mesh, while leaves adorned plastic sliders and the laces on some Roman-sandals, like a creeping vine. The styling was strong on trademark Versace hardware. Tiny metallic bags were worn like jewelry, three at a time. And golden bangles worn off belt loops were very tongue-in-cheek, including pill packs, a tape dispenser and an open matchbook. Eyewear resembled welding glasses. Closing the show was Amber Valletta, the model who wore the original Jungle dress for the Spring/Summer 2000 collection. For the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, she wore a sculpted black dress with deep leg slit. ____ MARNI'S JOYOUS PROTEST On a day when thousands of people marched worldwide to combat climate change, Marni took a first step toward making the collection more sustainable. Designer Francesco Risso said the season 'marks a new beginning,' as the fashion house is both trying to raise awareness about plastics through artistic collaborations and work with more organic and recovered textiles in the runway collections. Marni also did not send out physical invitations this round. 'When I hear sustainable, I get a bit itchy, because it is easy to promote that word and not really be sustainable,' the designer said after the show. This season's Marni print is hand-painted, by Risso and his team. The collection of all skirts and dresses -- there were no trousers -- had a raw, almost post-industrial feel, as if they were constructed from a memory of a peasant blouse and skirt or twisted Tahitian skirts. While the looks had a primitive touch, emphasized by the hand-painting and the mud-slicked hair, muslin skirting under dresses gave a couture edge. 'The process was a lot about freeing silhouettes,' Risso said. 'This is our joyous progress.' _____ MARCO DE VINCENZO'S RAINBOW Marco De Vincenzo set his runway show against the watery backdrop of Milan's Darsena, linking the city's major canals, for a collection that was a study of color and motion. The collection was titled 'The Wave.' And movement was evident in the knitwear molded into three-dimensional patterns, tight pleats on dresses with laser-cut detailing, clingy dresses with a wavy pattern beneath sheer organza shirt and skirt, metallic fringe on a shimmery crop top and skirt combination and tiered chiffon dresses. De Vicenzo said he used techniques like laser-cutting to modify classic textiles: organza, knitwear, chiffon and lurex. It was his first monochrome collection and he put it to good effect. Each of the 47 garments was a different color, even if just a shade off the one before, so that when the models completed the finale, they posed briefly on the arching bride over the canal, forming a fleeting fashion rainbow. ____ ANTONIO MARRAS Antonio Marras has woven a yarn about an unlikely romance between a Sardinian shepherd and Japanese princess as the backstory for his collection for Spring/Summer 2020, centering around interpretations of the kimono. 'The collection is a meeting between two worlds that in many ways are opposite, but they amalgamate, which gives novelty to this collection,' Marras said. Japanese prints are the starting point for the looks, and kimonos are deconstructed and reinterpreted as dresses, jackets and skirts worn with collared shirts. One kimono dress was constructed out of contrasting materials -- lace, plaid cotton and jacquard -- and fastened with a long, trailing karate belt. The collection was presented in a theater, with a Japanese theater performance in the background. The arrival of the Japanese princess, wrapped in a regal red robe, signaled the close of the show.
  • Robert S. Boyd, who shared a 1973 Pulitzer Prize with colleague Clark Hoyt for coverage of Democratic vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton's exit from the campaign due to mental health issues, has died. He was 91. The journalist died of congestive heart failure at a retirement home in Philadelphia, Hoyt said. Boyd spent 20 years as Washington bureau chief of Knight Ridder, once the nation's second-largest newspaper chain with properties like The Philadelphia Inquirer and Miami Herald. He witnessed the secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War and received a tour of the Bay of Pigs from Cuban leader Fidel Castro. At 65, Boyd became a science writer and traveled with a scientific expedition to the South Pole. He is survived by his wife and five children.
  • Suzanne Whang, whose smooth, calm voice provided the narration for HGTV's 'House Hunters' for years, has died. She was 57. Her Tuesday death was confirmed Friday by her longtime agent, Eddie Culbertson. Whang first gained fame as the on-screen host of the show, where anxious home buyers are shown trying to choose between three potential options. Later, she was moved to the narration role only, but her recognizable voice was as much a draw as the homes. Culbertson says Whang was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and in 2011 was told she would not live a year. She beat the disease for years until it returned in October 2018. Culbertson says Whang — who was also a comedian and actress— included her cancer battle in stage performances. 'Her courage, humor, determination and optimism, with which she notably confronted the disease, emboldened and gave hope to countless others facing serious life challenges,' he said in a statement. 'She remained a loving spirit, and in the end she passed away peacefully at home with her great love by her side, having been true to herself and the journey she chose.'  She is survived by her parents and a sister.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Usually the Central Florida International Auto Show starts over Thanksgiving, but this year, they chose to have it in September to make more room on the show floor for more manufacturing companies. This weekend's event at the Orange County Convention Center features more than 400 of the latest brand of cars, trucks, crossovers, you name it- and you can test them out! Good thing is you don't have to feel pressured to buy anything because everything on display is for informative and planning purposes only. You can get in, get a feel for it, read all the stuff like mileage and what not, and eventually, you can decide for yourself if its something you want to invest in. Some of the new models include the 2020 Toyota Supra, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, and the 2020 Nissan 50th Anniversary Z. They have product specialist there to answer any questions you may have.  There is also plenty of stuff to do for the kids in case they get bored. They can bounce around on a bungee rope, have their picture taken in a Formula 1 type racing car, get their faces painted, or even take a ride as many times as they want at the Camp Jeep test track which features the iconic Jeep Mountain, which is an 18 foot, 35 degree hill climb.  You can check out our exclusive look at the ride so you know what to expect here:   https://www.facebook.com/965Orlando/videos/627153287691443/ The event lasts throughout the weekend with it wrapping up on Sunday from 10 am to 6pm. Admission for adults(13 and over) is $12, $7 for seniors(62 and older), military or first responders( with ID) and students 21 and under, and free for kids under 12 with an accompanying adult.  You can check out our gallery which features some of the newer cars and even some of the classic cars on display here: https://www.news965.com/news/local/check-out-these-cars-the-central-international-auto-show/G5U1EOCfSRM0mpO0AkXrQK/
  • School leaders at Lake Mary High School in Seminole County say that two students have been arrested for reportedly brining weapons on school campus. According to a Seminole County Sheriff's Office incident report, 14 year old Curtis Leonard was called to the discipline office on Thursday for an unrelated incident. When he he opened his backpack, that's when an administrator noticed a gun and notified a deputy. Deputies say the chamber was loaded, but the gun was disassembled.  Leonard now faces a felony charge of possession of a firearm of school property and was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. This is the second incident within the last year where a student managed to sneak a gun onto the campus.  Following this incident, school leaders say another situation happened on Friday where students came forward and accused a 15 year old student of carrying a weapon on school grounds. They say 15 year old Bernard Blackmon was located with a 7 inch fishing knife and was arrested. The arrest report shows Blackmon has also been charged with possession of a weapon on school property.  In response of these incidents, school leaders say that they are testing new technology as part of a pilot program which acts similar to metal detectors, but can be used in more places. They also want to remind students to report any suspicious activities by calling the SpeakOut hotline at 800-423-8477 or use their campus app.
  • A North Carolina sheriff stands accused of urging the murder of a former deputy who had a recording of him using racially offensive language, authorities say. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted Monday on two counts of felony obstruction of justice, according to court records. Wilkins is accused of trying to get another man to kill former Deputy Joshua Freeman, who he believed was going to expose his racist talk. >> Read more trending news  Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, who is prosecuting the case, said Wilkins' Aug. 12, 2014, phone conversation with the 'well-known' man who threatened Joshua Freeman's life was caught on tape, according to The News & Observer in Raleigh. Lorrin Freeman and Joshua Freeman are not related. Joshua Freeman worked for the Sheriff's Office from November 2011 to August 2014 but was let go in the days leading up to Wilkins' alleged crimes, WRAL in Raleigh reported. Wilkins, who was reelected in 2018 for a third four-year term, is accused of advising the unnamed man to kill Joshua Freeman, 'whom the defendant knew to have expressed his intention to soon publicly reveal a purported audio recording of the sheriff using racially offensive language to authorities in Raleigh,' the indictment states. The court records do not detail what Wilkins is alleged to have said, or what ultimately happened to the recording of his words. The indictment against the sheriff alleges Wilkins encouraged the man to 'take care of it' and said, 'The only way you gonna stop him is kill him.' According to the indictment, Wilkins counseled the would-be gunman on how to kill Joshua Freeman in a way to avoid getting caught. He offered two tips, according to the document: Get rid of the murder weapon and keep quiet. 'You ain't got the weapon, you ain't got nothing to go on,' Wilkins allegedly told the man, the court records allege. 'The only way we find out these murder things is people talk. You can't tell nobody nothin', not a thing.' Wilkins and the individual discussed a time in which to kill Joshua Freeman and a location that would ensure it would be Wilkins' own Granville County Sheriff's Office investigators who would get the case, the indictment says. Wilkins assured the man he would not tell investigators of his prior knowledge of the crime. The indictment accuses Wilkins of failing to prevent harm to Joshua Freeman or warn him of the 'credible threat' to his life. It alleges the sheriff also failed to seize the gun the other man planned to use, despite the person showing him the weapon at one point. 'The defendant failed to properly execute his duties because of his personal animosity towards Joshua Freeman,' the indictment states. Joshua Freeman was never harmed, though the indictment offers no indication why the alleged plot failed. Wilkins went before a magistrate Monday and was released on $20,000 unsecured bond. Court records show he was ordered to have no contact with anyone named in the indictment. He was also ordered to surrender his passport, if he has one. Read the indictment against Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins below.  Brindell Wilkins Indictment by National Content Desk on Scribd 'No one is above the law,' Lorrin Freeman said Monday, according to WRAL. 'It is always painful when someone who has the public trust faces these types of allegations for voters who put them in that place. 'Any time you have someone who is sworn to uphold the public trust, to protect their community, to investigate and report crimes, allegedly engage in this type of conduct, it is something that needs to be brought to justice, and so we will continue to follow the evidence in this case.' Several followers of Wilkins' public Facebook page offered support in the wake of the indictment. 'You will always have our support,' one woman wrote. 'Praying for you and your family.' 'Our friendship goes back 30 years or more and you have always been a great friend to me,' another woman wrote. 'You were there for me many times. I believe in you and you have my support, always.' Lorrin Freeman said Wake County is handling the case because Mike Waters, her counterpart in Granville County, could potentially become an important witness at trial. Waters, who addressed the case in a statement on his office's Facebook page, wrote to Lorrin Freeman in November to ask her to look into the case. Watch Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman discuss the case below, courtesy of the News & Observer. WRAL reported that Joshua Freeman, who Waters represented in 2014 while in private practice, gave the future prosecutor the tape recording of Wilkins' conversation with the man who talked of killing the former deputy. It was not clear Friday how Freeman obtained the recording. Waters said he immediately turned the tape over to the FBI. The Washington Post reported that Waters met with North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agents about the recording in January 2017, but nothing happened. 'Quite frankly, it did not get to the top of their investigative list,' Lorrin Freeman told WRAL about SBI agents. Waters gave the recording to a different SBI agent in October 2018, but still, no investigation was initiated, the Post reported. That is when Waters turned to Lorrin Freeman to initiate a probe into the sheriff. She agreed. 'I have reviewed this recording,' Lorrin Freeman wrote to SBI agents, according to the Post. 'It contains a conversation between two individuals, one of whom appears to be the Granville County sheriff, about a former deputy sheriff and culminates in a discussion about committing a homicide.' In his Facebook statement, Waters expressed frustration at the amount of time it took to get an investigation going. 'At all times since (turning over the recording), I have provided assistance to investigators, and once Ms. Freeman opened a criminal investigation, have urged that this matter be given investigative priority,' Waters wrote. 'I understand it is a matter of great importance to the people of Granville County, and it has been a point of frustration that the investigative process has not been more expeditious.' He wrote that any allegations of wrongdoing by law enforcement are troubling, particularly when they involve a sheriff elected by the community. 'Over the next few months, my office will continue to lend assistance to the ongoing investigation as requested, while we continue to do our daily work of protecting victims, prosecuting those who violate the law and seeing that justice is administered,' Waters said. WRAL reported Lorrin Freeman said she worked to obtain obstruction charges against Wilkins because obstruction would be easier to prove in the five-year old case than solicitation of murder or conspiracy. The Granville County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss the indictment, but County Attorney Jim Wrenn said the board has no authority to remove Wilkins, an elected official, from office as his criminal case winds its way through the court system, WRAL reported. Lorrin Freeman confirmed that fact to the News & Observer. 'Technically, he can continue to serve if he chooses, until convicted,' Freeman told the newspaper. Spectrum News' Charlotte bureau reported that Wilkins has indicated he will not step down. Wrenn said he is considering trying to get Wilkins out of office through the courts but wants to hear the recording himself before making that decision. Gerry Cohen, former special counsel to the North Carolina General Assembly, said state law has a provision allowing a judge to suspend a sheriff and allow a county commission to appoint a temporary replacement pending the outcome of a criminal case. 'The statute is there to allow removal of sheriff,' Cohen told Spectrum News. 'One of six causes is, in fact, conviction of felony. Others are some of the things in his indictment, like willful misconduct, corruption, willful neglect or refusal to perform duties of his office. Some of them match the charges in his indictment.' The News & Observer reported that the probe into Wilkins' alleged actions against Joshua Freeman has led to investigations of the Granville County Sheriff's Office's accounting practices, as well as the operations of its drug unit. Freeman was a member of the drug unit when he was with the agency. 'Part of this investigation has centered on why this sort of conversation would have occurred, what the underlying motivation would have been,' Lorrin Freeman said Tuesday, according to the newspaper. 'Additional information has come to light regarding operations and accounting practices of the Granville County narcotics interdiction team.' Those investigations remain ongoing.
  • President Donald Trump called reports that a U.S. intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against him last month 'a ridiculous story' while speaking Friday to reporters in the Oval Office. >> Read more trending news  According to the Washington Post, the president made an unspecified 'promise' to an unidentified foreign leader that concerned the intelligence official. The official filed a complaint Aug. 12, two anonymous former U.S. officials told the newspaper, though lawmakers said Thursday they had yet to see the complaint. The intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, appeared before the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors Thursday but declined, under administration orders, to reveal the substance of the complaint. Update 7:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a statement on the whistleblower's complaint against President Trump. In it, Biden describes Trump's alleged behavior as 'abhorrent' and calls on him to release a full transcript of the call 'so that the American people can be judged for themselves.' The entire statement reads: Update 4:40 p.m. EDT Sept 20: The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the son of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The Journal reported Trump asked Zelensky to work with Rudy Giuliani to determine whether Biden 'worked to shield from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden.'  Trump made the request about eight times during a phone call in July, according to the Journal. Trump was asked Friday if be brought up Biden in the call with Zelenskiy, and he answered, 'It doesn't matter what I discussed.' But then he used the moment to urge the media 'to look into' Biden's background with Ukraine. Trump and Zelenskiy are to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations next week. Update 1 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the person behind the complaint filed against him was a 'partisan whistleblower' who 'shouldn't even have information,' though he added that he did not know the person's identity. 'I don't even know exactly who you're talking about,' Trump said. 'I don't know the identity of the whistleblower. I just hear it's a partisan person, meaning it comes out from another party.' Trump said Friday that he's spoken with several world leaders and that his conversations with them were 'always appropriate.' Details surrounding the complaint remained unclear Friday afternoon, though The Washington Post and The New York Times reported at least some of the allegations centered on Ukraine. Both newspapers cited unidentified sources. Asked if he knew if the whistleblower's complaint centered on a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the president responded 'I really don't know' but continued to insist any phone call he made with a head of state was 'perfectly fine and respectful.' Update 9:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 19: The whistleblower complaint against Donald Trump centers around Ukraine, two anonymous sources confirmed to The Washington Post Thursday evening. The New York Times and ABC News are also citing anonymous sources, saying the complaint involves Ukraine. It's not clear exactly how Ukraine fits into the allegations. However, Trump spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, the Post reported. That call was already under investigation by House Democrats, who are looking into whether Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, tried to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping with Trump's re-election campaign, according to The Post. Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 19:  The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee suggested Thursday that lawmakers could ask a judge to compel White House officials to share with Congress a whistleblower complaint allegedly filed last month against Trump. The complaint was filed Aug. 12 and involved an undisclosed 'promise' made by the president to an unidentified foreign leader, CNN reported Atkinson declined to share details of the complaint during a closed meeting of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, citing a lack of authorization. 'We do know that the Department of Justice has been involved in the decision to withhold that information from Congress,' Schiff told reporters Thursday. 'We do not know -- because we cannot get an answer to the question -- about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress.' He said lawmakers had yet to see the complaint by Thursday afternoon. 'We do not know whether press reports are accurate or inaccurate about the contents of the complaint,' he said. Earlier Thursday, the president denied having done anything inappropriate. Update 1 p.m. EDT Sept. 19: Trump on Thursday denied any wrongdoing after reports claimed a whistleblower had come forward with a complaint about the president making an unspecified promise to a foreign leader. 'Another Fake News story out there - it never ends!' Trump wrote Thursday in a tweet. 'Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. 'Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!' Original report: The promise occurred during a phone conversation with the leader, one source told the Post. Details about the alleged pledge and the leader's identity was not immediately available. Although Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general, believed that the whistleblower complaint warranted 'urgent concern,' acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire so far has declined to provide information about the communication to the House Intelligence Committee, the Post reported. A closed hearing with Atkinson is slated for Thursday, the committee said. Maguire is expected to testify publicly Sept. 26, according to the committee's chairman, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Police are responding to the Woodfield Mall after an SUV drove into a Sears and through the mall walkways. WGN is reporting that the driver is in custody.  So far there have been no reports of injures. Video posted on Twitter shows a black SUV driving past a Forever 21, and people running away.

Washington Insider

  • The White House campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) teetered on the edge of being abandoned in coming days, as the candidate on Saturday publicly confirmed the existence of an internal memo which bluntly said that unless Booker could get a surge of donations in the next ten days, his 2020 campaign was doomed. 'I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory,' Booker wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, 'but I can’t walk it alone.' Booker's comments came soon after NBC News had reported that the campaign's top aide told the candidate and staff that a major infusion of money was needed to keep Booker's campaign going. 'This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press,' said Addisu Demissie. Booker's predicament in the Democratic race is much like a large number of other candidates right now - they are mired in low single digits in most polls, and have shown no ability to break out of that group to challenge the leaders in the race. For example, in the latest national poll from Fox News on the Democratic race, Booker is a 3 percent - that's where he was in August, June, and May. Others who have shown little to no ability to jump up in recent polls would include Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, John Delaney and Michael Bennet. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in that group - he officially quit the race on Friday. Others stuck in the polls have been Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke - and even Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris - who while they are above most of those in the race, the two have been unable to make up ground on the Democratic Party leaders. Harris encountered rough waters in the last week as repeated stories reported that her campaign was going to focus much more on Iowa - a decision which is often a signal of broader difficulty for a presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders seem locked in to the top three spots in the Democratic race, with little evidence that any of the other Democrats were going to be able to pull them down at this point. And for Booker - it's been a bridge too far. “Now or Never,” his campaign chief wrote.