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Archive for January, 2013

Area jobless rate drops, but stays above 10 percent

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Southeastern North Carolina is one of only four North Carolina areas with double-digit joblessness last month.

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Temporary restraining order could keep sweepstakes cafes in business

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Some sweepstakes cafes may be in the clear for a limited time.

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West Bladen at South Columbus Basketball Rescheduled

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

West Bladen at South Columbus Basketball Rescheduled

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BUILDING HISTORY: Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With more than 17,000 square feet of fun, it’s every child’s dream, but the Children’s Museum of Wilmington also offers something for history buffs.

“It’s awfully exciting, I have to tell you, when I look at this building behind us, because it was built 20 years after the birth of the country,” museum executive director Richard Lawson said. “It’s been a hotel. It’s been a doctor’s office. It’s been a restaurant. It’s been a number of things over 250 years.”

If you are looking for history in Wilmington, there are three historic buildings here.

“I’ll call them three and a half, because we’ve got the Masonic Temple, we’ve got the Cowan House that used to be the governor’s mansion when he came for the summer, and the Greek church, which is now across from the university,” Lawson said. “And we added the steel and glass to create the Children’s Museum.”

The Masonic Temple is the oldest of the buildings. Construction started in 1803 and finished in 1805 as the St. John’s Lodge Number 1. It is still quite a place today.

Around the corner is the Cowan House, which was built around 1840 as a private residence and used as more of a summer home.

And not to be left out, the former location of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is at the corner of 2nd and Orange streets. It was finished in 1945 and used here until 1979.

Now thanks to some clever architecture and joined by a glass and steel structure, it all became home to the Children’s Museum.

“About eight years ago they were across from the high school in a 3,000 square foot house. When St. John’s Museum moved out, we came in here,” Lawson said.

Some of our youngest residents play, unaware of the history at their fingertips.

“Across the hall here, right now we’re standing in the original backyard porch, and there was probably a garden, is the lodge, the Masonic Temple Lodge Room, and inside is an 1840 altar I guess it is and some pictures,” Lawson said.

While there is plenty of new technology, the old original buildings were built with low-tech but long-lasting construction methods.

“We don’t hardly use them any more, but there are continuous pieces of timber that are notched,” Lawson said. “To put the house in nowadays we use nails and steel girders, but it’s notched downstairs, and there are some Roman numerals, and I wonder what they were for.”

Children and families stream into the Children’s Museum, and the emphasis is on kids learning and having fun. But look around next trip. There is a lot of history here.

There is always something happening at the museum, which celebrate Chinese New Year Feb. 10.

If you have a building with a great story contact cphillips@wwaytv3.com.

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Make-a-Wish sending UNCW freshman to Super Bowl

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A UNCW student’s wish of going to the Super Bowl is coming true thanks to the people at the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Freshman Alex Harris is one of just 12 kids in the United States getting an all-expense paid trip to the big game from Make-a-Wish.

When Harris was 18, he started noticing some discomfort in his leg. After the pain would not go away, a doctor diagnosed him with early stage sarcoma. Aggressive chemotherapy put the cancer in remission, but Harris says during his battle there was always one thing that kept him fighting: Football.

“I never really played NFL football, so I can’t personally know how hard it is, but I know they go through a lot of training and hard work to do that throughout the year,” Harris said. “Cancer was definitely the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to go through, so I will say they are both equally hard.”

Harris says he will be get a private tour of the Superdome pre-game. He hopes to meet Ravens lineback Ray Lewis.

Harris and his family leave for New Orleans tonight, But not before he finishes his 6 p.m. lab class at UNCW.

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