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Raleigh's neighbors consider panhandler rules

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Communities around Raleigh are considering rules to deal with panhandlers driven from the capital city's downtown by a crackdown.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports those who beg on Raleigh's streets have moved to suburbs and
unincorporated parts of Wake County and parts of Johnston County.

Raleigh has issued at least 372 citations this year for begging without a permit. That's more than all of last year. Capt. Kevin Craighead says the city will not tolerate begging.

As those seeking handouts move out of downtown, Wake County has voted to require permits for panhandling.

Johnston County is considering a permit that includes a criminal background check.

Alice McGee with Raleigh's Church in the Woods says it's sad that people are getting police records essentially for being unemployed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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