04/06/04 — Briefly

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By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on April 6, 2004 2:00 PM

Lighthouse update

The Lighthouse of Wayne County has temporarily closed its thrift store, Etcetera, at 205 E. Walnut St.

The organization will continue to accept donations of cleaning supplies, toys, office supplies and toiletries, but asks that any other donations be taken to other agencies.

Cheri Seronick, director, said the Lighthouse hopes to reopen Etcetera in the fall.

In the interim, the Lighthouse will hold a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser April 23 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the office at 405 E. Walnut St.

The cost of each plate is $6 and includes spaghetti with meat sauce, a side salad, garlic bread and utensils. There will be take-out only.

Proceeds will go to help victims of domestic violence. For more information, call 736-1313.

More people employed

The unemployment rate fell slightly in Wayne County in February.

Around 2,615 county residents, or about 5.2 percent of the workforce, were unemployed in February, according to the Employment Security Commission.

That's a decrease of about 34 people from January, when the county's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in February was 6.4 percent, which was up from 6.3 percent in January.

The unemployment rate rose in these surrounding counties: Duplin, 6.8 percent in January to 6.9 percent in February; Johnston, 4.2 to 4.3 percent; and Wilson, 8.9 to 9.5 percent. The rate stayed the same in Sampson at 5.9 percent and fell in Lenoir, from 6 to 5.8 percent.

For the second consecutive month, Hyde County had the state's highest unemployment rate in February, 14 percent. For the fifth consecutive month, Watauga County had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent. This time, Orange County's rate was also 2.9 percent.

Keeping children safe

Several Wayne County fire and law-enforcement agencies are teaming up to sponsor "Child Safety Day" this month.

The event will include a bicycle rodeo; police dogs; displays of emergency equipment; demonstrations of New Hope Fire Department's aerial truck; and fingerprinting for children. Firefighters will give information about smoke detectors and will sign people up for fire and safety inspections.

Law enforcement officers will check child safety seats to see if they're installed correctly. Also, a Highway Patrol car, cut in half, will be used to demonstrate proper use of seat belts.

The event is set for Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Food Lion shopping center, U.S. 117, Pikeville.

Sponsors include the Wayne County Sheriff's Office; Wayne County Emergency Medical Services; the N.C. Highway Patrol; the U.S. Forestry Service; the Woodmen of the World; and the Antioch, Belfast, New Hope, Patetown and Pikeville fire departments.

Road closing

Stony Hill Road will be closed for three days for construction of a bridge for the new U.S. 117 North.

The closing starts today and will end Thursday, weather permitting. Drivers will be directed to a detour on Belfast Road.

Library schedule

The Wayne County Public Library will be closed Friday through Sunday for the Easter holidays.