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Archive for March, 2012

Mega Millions ticket sales boost earnings for state education

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (NC EDUCATION LOTTERY) — Mega Millions players trying their luck at the biggest jackpot ever led to the N.C. Education Lottery on its sixth anniversary recording its highest day of sales ever. Sales of Mega Millions tickets Friday, added to those for all 19 drawings that occurred during the jackpot’s climb to $640 million, resulted in an estimated $12.9 million extra for education programs in North Carolina.

“Lots of North Carolinians had fun this week dreaming of winning that jackpot on Friday and we were glad to see four tickets in our state produce wins of a quarter of a million dollars,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the Education Lottery. “The biggest winner, however, was education because we’ll raise a lot more money this year for teacher salaries, school construction, college scholarships and our pre-k programs.”

Sales for those 19 drawings, recorded between Jan. 25 and March 30, were $34 million for the Mega Million game alone. During those drawings, more than 735,000 tickets in North Carolina won prizes ranging from $2 to $1 million, totaling $8.1 million. Those sales also boosted the local economy as lottery retailers recorded $2.3 million in lottery commissions. The Education Lottery set a new record for a single day of ticket sales on Friday, the sixth anniversary of the start of the lottery on March 30, 2006. The new record is $17,660,273, up $8.7 million from the previous record of $8.8 million set on March 12, 2008. Mega Millions ticket sales on Friday accounted for $12.3 million of all the day’s sales.

In Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland all matched the winning jackpot numbers to split the $640 million jackpot. In North Carolina, there were 369,594 winning tickets totaling $3 million in prizes. Four tickets sold in North Carolina beat odds of 1 in 3.9 million to match all five white balls and win $250,000 each. The lucky tickets were purchased at the Piggly Wiggly on Richlands Highway in Jacksonville, the Kroger on Six Forks Road in Raleigh, the Swift Mart on Marshburn Road in Wendell, and the Seminole Mart on U.S. 421 North in Broadway. The winners have 180 days to come to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim their prize.

Ten other tickets sold in the state matched the numbers on four of the five white balls plus the number on the Mega Ball to win $10,000 each. Two other tickets matched numbers of four white balls plus the Mega Ball and are valued at $30,000 because they were $2 Megaplier tickets. The Megaplier number drawn on Friday was the No. 3 so the initial $10,000 win was multiplied by three.

By law, lottery funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for these initiatives statewide.

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Nature writer to speak

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

David Gessner will address Cape Fear Audubon Society

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Couples prove their love lasts through war and peace, rain or shine

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Often times, we focus on the men and women fighting in the forefront and forget about their loved ones holding down the home front. For 70 years, the USO has encouraged and supported US troops and their families. Saturday, to mark its 70th anniversary and to celebrate military families, the USO held a vow renewal ceremony on the Battleship North Carolina.

Through rain or shine, these couples took a vow to love and cherish each other once before and now again to prove their commitment. But these men and women may know a little more about hardship than the rest of us. Their love has been tested by war and distance.

“I’d say ‘I love you, dear. Over.’ And she’d be in the States, and she’d say, ‘I love you, too, dear. Over,’” recalled Tom Conaty.

Conaty married his wife Dianna in 1962 in the Quantico Marine Corps chapel then left his new bride to serve in Vietnam. The Conatys were one of dozens of couples to renew their vows on the USS North Carolina Saturday.

To celebrate the vital role family support plays in the lives of service men and women and to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the USO put on the vow renewal ceremony, complete with flowers, pictures, cake, bubbly and of course, kisses.

“Rough times, good times and in between, so it’s time to renew and start anew,” said Mindy Songer, whose husband Aaron served in the Army for four years.

Dick and Judy Erickson took the opportunity to start anew in their 50th year of marriage. They were married on Navy Day, October 27 of 1962, before they had technology to keep them connected.

“Lots of letters, and actually one time, he called me from sea, on a radio, which was surprising because there were no cell phones then,” recalled Judy Erickson.

Cell phones are something Jason and Heather Ward are certainly thankful for these days.

“Telephones and computers are a great thing,” said Jason Ward. “That’s pretty much how we kept in touch.”

But both couples know it takes more than technology to make love last.

“Stay together, and just look at the bright side,” said the Ericksons. “Try not to think about the bad things. Work at it. It’s a work in progress every day. But it gets better every year.”

All the couples say they are so thankful for the USO, the recognition of their service and the opportunity to renew their vows in such a special place.

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Antique cars bring back sweet memories

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Antique car lovers of all ages braved the rain Saturday to get a look at about 100 of the Cape Fear’s finest rides. The Cape Fear chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America brought out the best of the best for this weekend’s antique car show.

Folks ooh-ed and aah-ed over all makes and models. AACA member Dick Hitchcock has an old school beauty of his own and says the cars bring back great memories.

“Most of us grew up in the early 50′s for high school, early 60′s,” Hitchcock said. “No doubt, most of us had these cars. I think if you talk to anybody that’s an older person, they’ll look at the cars here and say, ‘oh, I used to have that one.’ Most of us have had five or six that are represented here in the car show.”

Hitchcock hopes the hobby of collecting and restoring antique cars is something that sticks with generations to come.

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Students show skills in Science Olympiad

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Elementary students from all over the Cape Fear put on their thinking caps and got to work this weekend. The annual elementary Science Olympiad competition was held Saturday at Ashley High School.

Kids showcased their science and math skills by doing things like shooting off rockets, building ramps and model cars and taking tests on the constellations. The program’s funding has been cut from the state budget, an issue regional co-director Kim Bierstedt says she and others are trying to change because she feels these skills are so important.

“We want students to learn that science is hands-on. You’re not just learning things, but you’re applying what you learn. That’s what the students are doing here,” Bierstedt said. “They are taking what they learn in the classroom and applying it.”

“Number one, it helps you learn, but you can have fun at it, and while you’re learning, you’re having fun,” participant Caleb Olsen said.

Olsen is a fifth grader who participated in the ‘Sky Quest’ and ‘First in Flight’ competitions. He says studying the stars and making paper airplanes are things he likes to do at school and at home.

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