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 In the News, January 30, 2017 

Coastal towns offer free wedding venue with a view. Looking for a free wedding venue? Try the beach. Couples can get married free of charge on almost all beaches in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. Wrightsville Beach is the odd one out, charging couples a special event permit application fee based on the number of participants in the event.

Programs share goal of seeing Roseboro progress. The NC STEP and Roseboro Small Town Main Street committees have made great strides in the last year to work and promote the growth of the town and enhance the quality of life for all of the town’s citizens. “We were awarded a large grant from STEP that allowed the town to create a brand, replace banners, erect wayfinder and welcome signs, and complete several other projects,” West shared. “After the grant money was spent in 2014-2015 fiscal year, it made sense to combine the two organizations since both groups were composed of essentially the same people.”

Towns aim to make government more transparent, accessible in the Triangle. Within the past five years, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill and, most recently, Wake Forest have launched portals that allow residents to sift through troves of data, including records on crime reports, development plans, demographics, budget information and greenways. A group of volunteers from Girl Develop It, a nonprofit that gives women opportunities to learn software development, led the push for Wake Forest’s program. Last fall, they built a portal for the town at CityCamp NC, an annual event where attendees pitch ideas for how technology can improve government and better inform citizens.

IKEA coming to Cary? Town mayor weighs in. The Town of Cary's mayor is now adding to the speculation about rumors of IKEA coming to Wake County. In a blog post, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht revealed that he spoke with the town manager about the redevelopment of Cary Town Center, which is being referred to as "project emerald." According to Weinbrecht, all he could "say is that project emerald equals blue and yellow" - and those happen to be IKEA's colors. "We will see how this is presented to the council in the future," Weinbrecht wrote.