N.C. man claims $141 million lottery prize

RALEIGH - Frank Griffin of Asheville, a retired firefighter with over 20 years of service, won the $141.4 million Powerball jackpot Saturday.

Griffin and his wife of 46 years, Loretta, said on Monday they would take the lump sum payout of approximately $69 million in Raleigh on Monday.

He told reporters that after buying gas at the Wilco on Smokey Park Highway in Asheville, he had $5 left over and decided to purchase some lottery tickets. He let the computer pick his numbers.

- The Associated Press

Applicants sought for planning panel

Richland County Council is accepting applications for a vacancy on the Richland County Planning Commission.

The deadline is Feb. 23.

The nine-member planning commission reviews development proposals and makes policy recommendations to County Council. Members must live in unincorporated areas.

Applications are available at www.richlandonline.com or by calling (803) 576-2176.Recent vacancies have generated lots of candidates.

- Dawn Hinshaw

Owens Field Skatepark opens on March 5

A grand opening is set for March 6 for the Owens Field Skatepark , which will be finished about a month ahead of schedule, officials say.

The custom concrete skate park, the first of its kind in the state, features 14,500-plus square-feet of usable surface for skateboarders, including ramps, bowls, half bowls, stairs, ledges and inclined rails. It was designed by California-based Wally Hollyday Design.

The 10 a.m. grand opening at Owens Field will feature a ribbon-cutting and open skating.

- Staff Reports

Neighborhoods being primed on grants

The Richland County Neighborhood Council is reorganizing, and the Northeast Community Association is weighing whether to dissolve.

In the meantime, neighborhood meetings are being held in conjunction with grant-training workshops on the fourth Thursday of each month.

The next session is 6 p.m. on Feb. 25 in council chambers at the administration building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia.

Meanwhile, those with an opinion about whether the Northeast Community Association should continue may contact president Ed Judice at (803) 727-3832 or email gawcpi4@att.net.

Comments are due by Feb. 19.

- Dawn Hinshaw