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GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY\ HEAT CAN'T KEEP AWAY JP'S FRIENDS
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GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY\ HEAT CAN'T KEEP AWAY JP'S FRIENDS

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As temperatures rose into the 90s this weekend, it was hard to imagine that summer was near the end.

But it is, as according to tradition; Labor Day is summer's last stand. Time to put away those white shoes and shorts. Switch from T-shirts to long sleeves.But the seasonal transition didn't mean much to David Hurt of Browns Summit. Sweat beading on his back, Hurt alternated juggling three balls and playing Hacky Sack Monday afternoon during a block party at Bert's Seafood Grille on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro.

``I moved here from New York,' Hurt said, bouncing a ball off his knee. ``Compared to New York, it always feels like summer down here.'

The block party was a fund-raiser for Jean-Pierre Koenig, a restaurant employee whose leg was amputated because he had a rare form of bone cancer. The owners of Bert's, Drew and Mary Lacklen, hope to raise $25,000 for a prosthesis that will allow Koenig to run marathons, compete in triathlons and continue his job as a waiter at Bert's. By 4:30 p.m. Monday, they were more than halfway to their goal, having raised $17,000.

The heat kept many residents indoors for the early part of the day. But as the temperature dropped, more than 400 people showed up for the party, milling about the stage and the beer gardens as the volunteers dished out barbecue and slaw.

Craig Mankoff of Greensboro and his family gave up their annual Labor Day weekend at Virginia Beach, Va., to attend the fund-raiser.

``It's a nice feeling to know one guy could have so much support,' said Mankoff, a family friend of Koenig. ``It's great for him. And it's good for the town.'

``It's just unfortunate it's so hot,' he added, wiping his brow.

But it won't be hot for long. Cool breezes are on the way, according to the National Weather Service.

A cold front is expected to move into the area, bringing with it clouds, breezes and possibly light rain this morning. ``Things will clear off in a hurry and cool down,' said Joel Cline, a lead forecaster.

Wednesday should be nice, Cline said, adding that he expects it to be clear, dry and in the upper 80s during the day and about 55 degrees at night.

Although the Mankoffs and others stayed close to home, more than 768,000 North Carolina motorists were expected to travel more than 100 miles from home during the Labor Day weekend, according to the Travel Industry Association.

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