Salahi vehicle seen leaving Linden, VA home

Warren County Report Managing Editor Roger Bianchini is interviewed by News 4 at the Linden, VA home of Tareq and Michaele Salhi.

[Greetings to our visitors from News 4 in Washington, DC.]

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

Two satellite vans, SUVs and cars filled with national, regional and local news reporters kept watch over the Linden, VA home of Dinnergate suspects Tareq and Michaele Salahi Monday.

CBS News got a big scoop when they taped a white Audi with temporary license plates driven by a man as it left the house closely followed by a Warren County Sheriff’s Office animal control vehicle.

Warren County Report was shown the tape by CBS but it was not clear whether Tareq Salahi was driving the vehicle on the satellite truck’s monitor.

Oasis Winery tasting manager Diane Weiss and former Oasis employee Tasha Smelser both confirmed that Michaele Salahi is known to own a white Audi that has for several months had temporary tags.

Warren County Report had previously reported that a dog, presumably the Salahi’s doberman Rio, was still in the house, prompting concerns for the animal’s welfare and a check by the sheriff’s department.

Crews from ABC, NBC 4, The Washington Post, Time Life were also seen at the home.

Warren County Report Managing Editor Roger Bianchini appeared this evening on NBC News 4 and with Fox News Channel correspondent Griff Jenkins for On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

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Dan McDermott: editor@warrencountyreport.com

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Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 11:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Salahis also crashed Black Caucus dinner, were kicked out- Fox 5

Dinnergate instant-celebs Tareq and Michaele Salahi also crashed the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner in September according to our friends at Fox 5 in Washington, DC.

Multiple sources told Fox 5’s Will Thomas the couple snuck in through a bus boy entrance and were told to leave when they were caught by an official.

Read the exclusive full story at Fox 5.

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm  Comments (1)  

Salahis to appear on Today Show tomorrow morning

Michaele and Tareq Salahi will appear on NBC’s Today show tomorrow morning (Tuesday) according to The Washington Post to tell their side of the White House State Dinner story.

Michaele Salahi is a contender to appear in Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. next year on the Bravo cable network which is owned by NBC.

The Salhis had previously “postponed an appearance set for tonight on CNN’s Larry King Live.

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

EXCLUSIVE: Salahi winery getting abusive, angry calls – Oasis manager pulls the plug

[Greetings to our visitors from The Washington Post.]

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

In the days since the Washington Post first reported that Tareq and Michaele Salahi were uninvited guests at Tuesday’s White House State Dinner, the Hume, VA winery they once called home has received several disturbing phone calls, according to the the winery’s tasting room manager.

Diane Weiss, who has worked at Oasis Winery since 2007, said the callers are dialing the wrong number. “If they want to vent to Tareq and Michaele, they need to call America’s Polo Cup. Tareq and Michaele have no affiliation with Oasis anymore,” she said.

Weiss said the winery had received about 7 abusive calls in the past few days. “Most are just nuisance calls. One said ‘You are terrorists who need to be removed from face of earth,'” she said.

Weiss said she has had to unplug the phones for periods of time and has plugged them back in periodically to check messages.

“Tareq and Michaele have not lived here since 2006. In Feb. 2008 the courts removed them from any affiliation with Oasis Winery,” she said.

Weiss said she hasn’t called police since the calls aren’t clearly threatening. “I know these are angry people. I understand that. But they don’t need to call us. I just don’t want some crackpot coming up here thinking Tareq and Michaele are part of Oasis Winery anymore. They don’t live here or work here or have anything to do with us,” she said.

Weiss said she plans to contact authorities if the calls get more threatening.

For now, Weiss said, she hopes to see more customers in to taste wine and fewer reporters.

Oasis Winery remains open for business on the weekends.

Secret Service agents visited the winery Friday morning in search of Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

They have declined to comment through their Facebook page.

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Dan McDermott: editor@warrencountyreport.com

Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm  Comments (30)  

Limo, dog but no sign of Tareq or Michaele at Salahi house

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

According to one neighbor, news reporters and photographers from all over the country–and a few feds in unmarked SUVs–have steadily streamed past the Linden, VA home of Tareq and Michaele Salahi since The Washington Post broke the story that the reality TV hopefuls were uninvited guests at Tuesday’s White House State Dinner.

On Saturday, the couple’s white stretch limo was parked in the driveway of the house and a dog, presumably Michaele’s doberman Rio, could be heard barking and moving inside the home. A sign near the front door was posted that said “Hi Dana, Thanks for watching the dog. See you after weekend.”

Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron said his office had not received any complaints about the couple’s dog but that his office planned to make contact to check on the animal’s welfare.

Tasha Smelser, who has worked at the Salahi family’s Oasis Winery off and on since 2005, described Rio as “very sweet and gentle.”

“I watched him for a week in 2005 when Tareq and Michael went on vacation. If they go to jail I hope I get to keep him,” she said.

The Salahis live on the normally quiet Scenic Overlook Dr., a pavement and gravel road in the 5-home Moseby’s Estates subdivision.

Pausing for a moment while riding on horseback past the Salahis house, homeowners association president Travis Frantz, who has battled his controversial neighbors for years over unpaid association dues, said he hopes the Salahi’s are “not in this community much longer.” Frantz said he has been visited by sheriff’s deputies a few times since he bought his home in 2006 looking to serve papers on the Salahis but said he had not been contacted by the Secret Service.

Frantz said he nor his wife had seen the Salahis since Michaele was spotted at the mailbox with her Audi on Wednesday, the day before the state dinner scandal broke.

Warren County Report first reported that Secret Service agents visited Oasis Winery Friday in search of the couple.

The Salahis have not responded to requests for comment made through their Facebook page which has been active for hours a day since the incident.

More photos here.

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Dan McDermott: editor@warrencountyreport.com

Published in: on November 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm  Comments (8)  

EXCLUSIVE: (VIDEO) Oasis Winery manager describes Secret Service agents on hunt for Salahis

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Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Concerned and embarrassed’ – Secret Service Director

On Friday, November 27, 2009, United States Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan issued the following statement:

“The Secret Service is deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the State Dinner on Tuesday, November 24.

The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.

Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours.

The Secret Service safely processed more than 1.2 million visitors last year to the White House complex. In the last several years, the agency has successfully protected more than 10,000 sites for the President, Vice President and other Secret Service protectees, screening more than 7 million people through magnetometers at campaign related events, with more than 1 million during the Inauguration alone.

Even with these successes, we need to be right 100% of the time. While we have protocols in place to address these situations, we must ensure that they are followed each and every time.

As our investigation continues, appropriate measures have been taken to ensure this is not repeated.

The men and women of the U.S. Secret Service are committed to providing the highest level of security for those we are charged to protect, and we will do whatever is necessary to accomplish this mission.”

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Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exclusive: Secret Service at Oasis Winery in search for Salahi’s

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

Warren County Report has confirmed that U.S. Secret Service agents were at Oasis Winery less than one hour ago looking for Tareq and Michaele Salahi to question them about their uninvited appearance at Tuesday’s White House State Dinner.

According to Oasis Winery manager Diane Weiss, two SUV’s were waiting near the entrance gate when Weiss arrived to open the winery at about 11am today for tastings.

Weiss said one SUV was at the entrance and the other was further up the road.

When Weiss arrived, two agents–one male and one female–said they wished to speak with Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Weiss said she told the agents that they did not live there and hadn’t since 2006. The agents asked why they had a mailbox there. Weiss explained that it is an ongoing issue and that they do receive mail and list Oasis Winery as their home address on their driver’s license but actually reside in a house in Linden.

Weiss said the agents were pleasant but in a hurry. “We are not here to arrest the Salahi’s today. It is imperative that we speak with them If they do not sit down with us and talk we will take whatever action necessary,” Weiss quoted the male agent as saying.

Weiss said the agents spoke with Corinne Salahi, Tareq’s mother, before leaving.

Tareq and Corinne have been locked in a family feud for ownership of the Hume, VA winery and have competing websites. Corinne controls http://oasiswines.net while Tareq has http://www.oasiswine.com

Weiss has worked at Oasis since 2007.

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Dan McDermott: editor@warrencountyreport.com

Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm  Comments (21)  

Dan McDermott discusses the Salahi/White House State Dinner story on Fox 5 DC

Warren County Report Publisher Dan McDermott discussed the Salahi/White House State Dinner controversy on Fox 5 DC earlier this morning.

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Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Area couple crashes White House state dinner

Published in: on November 26, 2009 at 1:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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