Taking Stock by suestock

Help the SPCA win $10,000…

OK, this doesn't have a whole lot to do with retail, but you all know I have soft spot for animal rescue groups because we got our older dog from a shelter and our second dog from a rescue group. The Wake County SPCA is currently in the running to win a $10,000 prize from Care2.com's "A New Year of Hope for Animals" contest.

You can help them win by voting here.

Published – 20091301

Under the Dome by ryanteaguebeckwith

Mary Easley trips cost $109,000

Mary Easley took trips to Russia, Estonia and France that cost taxpayers $109,000.

The first lady's trips were not publicly disclosed at the time, and she did not respond to a request for an interview. But expense reports and other documents indicate the trips were considered cultural exchanges to build links with officials in the countries visited.

So far, they have produced no tangible benefits.

In May 2007, Easley and an assistant traveled to Paris and Compiegne, France, to see the ambassador and visit major museums. Once there, she was chauffeured round-the-clock in a Mercedes-Benz that cost more than $27,000.

In May 2008, Easley and a delegation of state arts officials went to St. Petersburg and Tallinn, Estonia. On that trip, they saw the ballet, stayed in an $800-a-night hotel and dined at a first-class restaurant at a cost of more than $100 a person. (N&O)

Published – 20080107