ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
37°
Clear
H -° L 31°
  • cloudy-day
    37°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H -° L 31°
  • clear-day
    Today
    Clear. H -° L 31°
  • clear-day
    56°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 56° L 33°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

News
Another weird Florida story: Stormy and Trump create vortex 
Close

Another weird Florida story: Stormy and Trump create vortex 

Photo Credit: Andres Leiva, Palm Beach Post
Who is Stormy Daniels?

Another weird Florida story: Stormy and Trump create vortex 

In Florida, the land of hanging chads and where the Cash Me Outside girl is a local celebrity, a porn star and self-proclaimed former mistress of the president of the United States wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a drive-by burlesque show.

>> Read more trending news

That it was within spitting distance of the Winter White House at Mar-a-Lago and the golf course that bears Donald Trump’s name, made Stormy Daniels’ stop on her “Make America Horny Again” tour a perfect fit in the bizarre news that regularly emanates out of Palm Beach County.

And so, as President Trump addressed the nation on U.S. bombs dropping on Syria on Friday, Stormy — her given name is Stephanie Clifford — a few hours later solicited patrons at Ultra Gentlemen’s Club to slap dollars on her oiled-up body.

Throughout the weekend, residents would show up just to take their photograph in front of club’s marquee announcing Daniels’ appearance. Her appearance added at least a footnote to Palm Beach County’s history. Maybe not as a big as the 2000 presidential recount, but certainly was on pace with with the face-eating teen or Danielle Bregoli, a 14-year-old from Boynton Beach whose utterance on “Dr. Phil” turned her into Cash Me Outside girl.

The legendary meme Florida Man didn’t stand a chance to “trump” the local headlines generated by Stormy this last week. The porn star’s revelations about an affair with Trump are smack in the middle of why the office of the president’s fix-it lawyer got raided last week by federal authorities.

South Florida author Carl Hiaasen — whose novels mine Weird Florida like few else — couldn’t make this up.

“They want to see what the big guy put his hands on,” said Fabian Uribe, a limo driver who ferried a group to the club and then stayed for the show. “I’ll pay $35 just to see what she looks like. I guess the president didn’t want to come.”

A man visiting from New York who didn’t want to give his full name said he showed up at the club with two friends because “We support the First Amendment.”

And there were T-shirts for sale with plenty of Stormy quotes, such as, “You want your 2nd Amendment Rights. She just wants her 1st,” alluding to Daniels’ fight to get out of a confidentiality agreement with Trump.

Yet, like one of Trump’s blustery tweets, in the end, Daniels’ appearance in Palm Beach County was a lot of sound signifying nothing except maybe the deafening hum of the daily reality show now called America.

After all, Stormy had a lot of competition. Besides Syria, there was the previously mentioned raid on lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, the release of fired FBI Director James Comey’s new book, and the drumbeat of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s ever-present investigation.

Could you blame anybody for claiming fatigue by Saturday night for Daniels’ repeat performances? Even the protestors – who yelled out “pervert” to men and women entering the bar for her shows on Friday night – didn’t show up.

But others eventually did and by about 11:20 p.m. when Daniels finally appeared — dressed in an exotic dancer’s version of a Wonder Woman get-up to the song “American Girl” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers — the club was packed. She skirted reporters outside and kept whatever comments she made to those throwing money at her – many of them women – around the stage.

Any venue where women take off their clothes for cash to pulsing music while a DJ on a loudspeaker screams “Bottles!” is surreal, but Daniels’ appearance added a new twist. While there were plenty of middle-aged men in Hawaiian print shirts, the crowd tended toward the penny loafer, Palm Beach casual set by show time.

Some regulars had enough and left before the star attraction took the stage.

“I just got bored,” said John Forrest, a contractor from Palm Beach County. “I don’t think she is doing the right thing. She is just exploiting Donald Trump.”

And indeed, many of those at the show Saturday supported Trump.

“I’m a Trumper. I just want to see what all the drama is about,” said Amanda Nelson. “It’s all hearsay anyway. You never know, he may walk through the door.”

For the record, Trump is expected to arrive at Mar-a-Lago Monday afternoon. He’ll be greeted by dueling billboards: one calling for his impeachment, the other thanking him.

As for Daniels’ performance -- too risqué to report in detail -- it certainly lived up to a star performance. The real winner, though, appeared to be the Ultra Gentlemen’s Club.

Owner Stacy Saccal had booked Daniels in January and then couldn’t believe it when the spinning satellites of constant controversy orbiting the president collided when Cohen -- the attorney who paid $130,000 in hush money to Daniels – had his New York office raided by the FBI on Monday.

“I cannot believe how it happened,” Saccal said. “I am stunned it worked out the way it did. I was worried she wouldn’t be relevant at this point.”

VIP rooms on Saturday were selling at $600 and $1,000 depending on the size, she said.

Still, those looking for drama on Saturday night should have been at the club the night before when a group of about a dozen protesters showed up outside.

A glass bottle was thrown at the group by someone in one car. It shattered at the feet of Erwin Bruner, wearing a red Donald Trump hat. Two motorcyclists cursed and gave an obscene gesture at the protesters, as well.

The Trump supporters said they were angry Daniels was receiving media attention and profiting from claims she made against Trump.

“It’s just tactless,” said Dan, a Trump supporter holding an American flag who would not give his full name. “She’s just trying to get a few more miles out of this.”

Other Trump supporters were taking Daniels’ strip-club tour less seriously. Ryan Farley, from West Palm Beach, held a Trump flag in one hand and a black sharpie in the other. He hoped to get Daniels to autograph his flag.

“I told my wife I’ll either be home in one hour,” Farley said, laughing, “or five hours.”

Daniel’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, poked fun at the modest protest and Trump, tweeting out that it was “the largest protest of kind in American history.”

Palm Beach Daily News reporter Ian Cohen contributed to this story.

Read More

News

  • A woman in Maitland, Florida, said an otter charged at her, bit her calf and scratched her while she was walking her dog last week at Lake Lily Park. >> Read more trending news Ann-Christine Langselius said the encounter happened Jan. 8 while she was walking on a bridge that traces the lake's eastern shore. She said she visits the park daily, but she had never before seen an otter at the lake. 'I saw an otter coming ... just looking at me. It went straight for me,' Langselius said. 'It went for the calf and then it bit first; once in my Achilles. And then it got a really good hold a little further down.' >> Photos: 25 ways Florida could kill you Langselius said she started running and the otter held onto her until she was off the bridge. 'It was so fast,' she said, when asked how large the otter was. 'Maybe like a dog (in terms of size); short legs and very wet.' On Wednesday, the city of Maitland posted flyers, warning visitors to keep their distance, to not feed wildlife and to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if they spotted any aggressive otters.  The Maitland Police Department said it had received several complaints about an aggressive otter attacking people and pets. The agency said a police officer fatally shot an otter Thursday near Lake Maitland. The Florida Department of Health said the otter tested positive for rabies. Langselius said she suspects it is the same otter that attacked her. The virus is almost always fatal if left untreated. The health department said it has treated three people for rabies in connection with aggressive otters.
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand entered the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Tuesday, telling television host Stephen Colbert that she's launching an exploratory committee. 'It's an important first step, and it's one I am taking because I am going to run,' the New York senator said on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.' She listed a series of issues she'd tackle as president, including better health care for families, stronger public schools and more accessible job training. Gillibrand, 52, has already made plans to campaign in Iowa over the weekend, more than a year before the leadoff caucus state votes. She joins what is expected to be a crowded primary field for the Democratic nomination that could feature more than a dozen candidates. Already, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has announced her own exploratory efforts, and decisions by a number of other senators are expected in the coming weeks. Gillibrand, who was appointed to the Senate in 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, has been among the Senate's most vocal members on issues like sexual harassment, military sexual assault, equal pay for women and family leave, issues that could be central to her presidential campaign. 'I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own,' said Gillibrand, a mother of two sons, ages 10 and 15. As she works to distinguish herself from likely rivals, Gillibrand will be able to draw from the more than $10.5 million left over from her 2018 re-election campaign that she can use toward a presidential run. Gillibrand pledged during her Senate campaign that she would serve out her six-year term if re-elected. She will use Troy, New York, where she lives, as a home base for her presidential efforts. Near the end of their interview, Colbert presented Gillibrand with a basket of campaign gifts, including an ear of yellow corn to wave in Iowa, a piece of granite for New Hampshire and a one-of-a-kind button that reads 'I announced on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
  • A day after travelers waited nearly 90 minutes in snail-speed security lines at the world's busiest airport, Atlanta's mayor is concerned about the waits that could result when the city hosts the 2019 Super Bowl. The ongoing partial government shutdown is 'uncharted territory' amid planning for one of the world's biggest sporting events, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday. 'Obviously, we are in uncharted territory with the shutdown that's gone on this long, and we are preparing as best we can from our vantage point,' Bottoms said. The mayor and others at a Tuesday news conference said two years of planning have them well-prepared to protect the public. 'Our goal is for our officers to be visible, for the public to feel safe, be safe, and be able to position ourselves so that we can react immediately to whatever scenario we are confronted with,' Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said. 'I think that with anything you can go in with a spirit of confidence if you have prepared, and we have prepared well.' But the government shutdown is a wild card that arose relatively late in that planning process. 'Certainly there are factors that we don't control such as what's happening with our federal government shutdown and with the long TSA lines,' Bottoms said. 'We are continuing to encourage people to get to the airport very early.' The expected crush of travelers is significantly more than normal. On a typical day, 60,000 to 80,000 passengers are screened at Atlanta's airport before departing, airport statistics show. On Feb. 4, the day Bottoms calls 'Mass Exodus Monday,' about 110,000 passengers are expected to be departing from Atlanta's airport one day after the Super Bowl. The partial government shutdown has meant missed paychecks for Transportation Security Administration screeners at airports nationwide. TSA workers have been calling in sick at a rate that's been more than double what it normally is, the agency has said. That's led to a shortage of screeners at some airports across the country. No-shows among screeners jumped Sunday and again Monday. The TSA had a national absence rate of nearly 7 percent Monday, compared to 2.5 percent on a comparable day a year ago, the agency reported Tuesday after getting complete numbers on the absences. A chaotic scene unfolded at Atlanta's airport on Monday, the first business day after screeners did not receive a paycheck for the first time. Mondays are typically busy for the airport as Atlanta business travelers depart for the work week, and some security lanes went unstaffed as lines backed up. Atlanta passengers led the nation Monday in terms of longest screening delays: The 'maximum standard wait time' was 88 minutes, the TSA reported. Passengers who went through TSA PreCheck — an expedited screening program which is typically faster than regular lines — waited 55 minutes, statistics showed.
  • Washington state's lieutenant governor declined to preside at Gov. Jay Inslee's State of the State speech Tuesday, saying he was concerned people might bring concealed weapons to the joint session of the Legislature. Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat, noted that the state House of Representatives, where the speech was given, does not have a policy banning concealed weapons, The Daily Herald newspaper of Everett reported . 'There is no specific threat to me. There is no specific threat we know of, period,' Habib said. 'It's about the policy.' The House and Senate ban openly carried weapons in their galleries, and in the Senate, where Habib is the presiding officer; he extended that ban to cover concealed weapons as well. Habib, who is blind, said he was concerned the House policy leaves elected officials vulnerable. Other statewide elected officials, from the nine Washington Supreme Court justices to the commissioner of public lands, attended. In an emailed response, the office of the chief House clerk, Bernard Dean, called Habib's decision regrettable. 'Washington state law is clear: Properly licensed concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry concealed weapons on the state capitol campus, including the galleries,' the statement said. 'Absent any specific security issue, and in accordance with the law, the House kept the galleries open so that the public could see its government in action.' Democratic Rep. John Lovick, of Mill Creek, the speaker pro tem in the House, presided over the joint legislative session for Inslee's speech in Habib's absence. Inslee, who is mulling a possible 2020 Democratic presidential bid, highlighted climate as his top issue in his annual address to lawmakers, who started their 105-day legislative session this week. ___ Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com
  • The White House says Ivanka Trump will take part in the nomination process for a new head of the World Bank. The senior adviser was asked to participate by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin because she has worked with World Bank leaders on a variety of projects. The White House said she is not a contender for the post. Jim Yong Kim, the current president of the World Bank, announced last week that he is resigning. With Kim's exit, President Donald Trump will have the opportunity to nominate his own choice to fill the position. The leaders at the 189-nation World Bank have all been Americans. But other countries have complained about this pattern. Kim's permanent successor will be decided by the World Bank's board of directors.