City Desk

The Needle: Paging Mayor Franks Edition

Paging Mayor Franks: Irritated by Rep. Trent Franks' (R-Ariz.) bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks in the District, protesters met outside of his office with a list of other D.C. specific concerns they wished "Mayor" Franks would address. Rats, potholes, parking tickets and Metro were all fair game. Unfortunately for them, Franks and his staff cleared out of the office for the day to avoid the scrum. Unfortunately for Franks, if he keeps meddling in D.C. affairs he may find himself looking for new office space. +2

Another One Bites The Dust: Yesterday Gray aide Thomas Gore pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and lying to the FBI—today another Gray campaign guy, Howard Brooks, was charged with lying to the FBI about payments to Sulaimon Brown. "Brooks first broke onto the scene last spring, when an angry and recently unemployed Sulaimon Brown took a wild story about being paid with cash to run for mayor, then promised a city job, to the Washington Post. Brown told the Post that Brooks and Gray's campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green gave him cash-stuffed envelopes in return for attacking then-Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail. It turns out, we all know by now, that Brown wasn't kidding." -3

Red Means Stop: Apparently drivers need a reminder on Memorial Day weekend, which sees the highest incidences of red-light running. "People are anxious to get where they're going," David Kelly, president and executive director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads, tells WTOP. "They're not paying attention in the car to what they're doing, they're rushed because they're in traffic, there's so many different reasons." Sounds like a good reason to stay off the roads to us! -1

All Hail Wegmans: While he didn't respond to reporters' questions about the federal investigation and charges against his associates, Mayor Gray did talk about one possible new development: A Wegmans grocery store in the District. He didn't spill any details, but suggested that the grocer could be coming into town. +2

Friday's Needle rating: 48 Today's score: 0 Today's Needle rating: 48

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