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ONLY ON 3: Downtown group targets hip-hop listeners not to loiter downtown

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Downtown group targets hip-hop listeners not to loiter downtown

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Keep downtown safe. That's the message a new public service announcement is getting out to radio listeners in hopes that arguments come to an end.

The PSA is running on a local hip-hop station, Coast 97.3. The message is simple: loitering outside downtown establishments can often lead to trouble. The message came about after several violent incidents downtown raised serious concern.

"There was a 17 and 18-year-old involved in an altercation in which one of them was stabbed and the other one shot," said John Hinnant, executive director of Wilmington Downtown Inc.

That got Hinnant thinking about what can be done to address the issues about downtown nightlife. He said the victims in the stabbing turned shooting were loitering that night. He reached out to Coast 97.3, who agreed that loitering downtown is a problem.

"Downtown Safe came about because there were some incidents that happened downtown (around) 2nd and Market (Streets). We're just trying to diffuse that by letting folks know not to hang out and loiter. Go to the club have a great time," Coast 97.3 program director Brandon Hickman said.

The question now is will there be more PSA's to come rather than just sticking with the hip-hop crowd that frequents the 2nd and Market area. Hinnant says WDI is considering expanding its campaign for a safe downtown, but admits the message will have to be tailored to a targeted audience.

The PSA airs Thursday through Sunday nights. Coast 97.3 says so far the PSA is getting listeners attention. Many have posted comments on the station's Twitter page.

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