Lil Wayne: Skate park project has troubled start

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne's skate park project in the city's rebuilding Lower 9th Ward is off to a bumpy start.

The building that houses the park didn't pass a city electrical inspection and had to be re-wired, and only a handful of children are able to skate at a time because of a shortage of staffing. Many days, the Trukstop skate park -- named after the rapper's skateboarding-inspired Trukfit clothing line -- hasn't been open at all.

Ward "Mack" McLendon, who manages the facility, says Lil Wayne dropped by the facility and skated with some kids on Super Bowl weekend.

"He's on board, and he really wants this for the community," McLendon said.

The 30-year-old rapper announced the park's launch last September, along with corporate partners Mountain Dew and Glu Agency, a New York-based advertising firm . At the time, the park was supposed to be open to the public seven days a week beginning Oct. 1, 2012, but opening was delayed because the facility didn't have enough staffing or insurance coverage.

The insurance issue has been resolved, so the park is open. Staffing remains a problem, so it park is open only when there is adequate supervision, and organizers are relying on volunteers.


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