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Ann McCrory appears at Durham Mission to help with lunch

First Lady Ann McCrory made a rare public appearance Thursday at the Durham Rescue Mission, reading books to children and handing out paper plate for lunch.

McCrory's handlers -- press secretary Ricky Diaz and the governor's sister, Linda Sebastian -- didn't let any reporters near her at the event and continually attempted to control photographers movements before asking them to leave the building before the end of the event, the N&O's Chuck Liddy reports.

More from the scene: Originally, photographers weren't allowed to photograph the First Lady and her sister, Kitty Hartung, reading a storybook to some of the children in the mission's daycare facility. Sebastian even attempted to have the mission's photographer banned from the room. The decision was changed minutes later and she allowed media still photographers about one minute to take photos of the event. Later at the lunch, the photographers and reporters were told to stand across the room from the first lady, unable to hear her interact at a table with two women who live at the mission's shelter. Before the event finished McCrory's press secretary escorted the photographers from the building.

No TV reporters were at the event. Only a photographer and reporter from the Durham Herald-Sun and the News & Observer/Charlotte Observer.


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One bad apple

I was in attendance as well yesterday. It's amazing how one person out of 100 spreads a negative view on what they saw and the other 99 saw something good. Just because no one would talk to Chuck Liddy everything was negative in his view. That's the problem with reporters today. They want the dirt in everything and they don't look at the good that is happening.

Chuck should feel special that he was even invited to attend the event. I can assure you, I wouldn't invite him again. Chuck couldn't look at the smiles on the ladies and children when the staff members took time to talk and listen to them.

This story is just not 100% true at all. An apology should be issued to the staff and to the Durham Rescue Mission. If you wish to see another view from a reporter that was in attendance, then read Laura Oleniacz of the Herald Sun.

You will see the difference in one bad apple and the other 99 that decided to not see the rotten fruit that Chuck is.

Mrs. McCrory's blessing to the Durham Rescue Mission!

This story is so inaccurate! I was present at the Durham Rescue Mission today and met Mrs. McCrory along with her kind staff! She touched many lives today with her presence and loving words of encouragement to the residents and their children! She came to serve NOT FOR THE MEDIA COVERAGE!!! She wanted to be a blessing to us & to give from her heart, a gift that will be carried by many of us for the rest of our lives! Mrs. McCrory was a humble, down to earth, precious person! She took her time & made all of us feel VERY special! Today she took a break from the political arena to give back! It was very refreshing for me to see that it was NOT for the publicity or to "impress" the media!!! I will never forget her kindness & her loving words of HOPE! This world would be a better place if there were more people, like her, wanting to serve NOT BE SERVED!! Many of us never felt loved, and today we were treated like royalty, and loved immensely by people who arrived as complete strangers & left as FRIENDS!

First Lady helps at Rescue Mission - That's the story

Isn't it terrible that the First Lady wants her privacy while she helps others at a Rescue Mission. Not everyone is comfortable in front of the media. Give her a break as it was her husband that got elected - she was not on the ballot.

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