Two Harts Run businesses were evacuated on Sunday when high winds threatened to topple a towering gas station sign, according to the White Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department. The Exxon gas station, whose sign was threatening to fall, and the neighboring McDonald’s were evacuated.
White Sulphur Springs Assistant Police Chief Jerry Smith was on the scene with MonPower, looking for a strategy to either stabilize the sign, visible from the interstate, or safely bring it down. Division of Highway representatives set up cones to direct traffic, but said they will not become further involved unless the sign collapsed on to Rt. 60.
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The Lewisburg Public Safety Committee tabled a possible law requiring the registration of all rental properties in city limits. Lewisburg Fire Chief Wayne Pennington told the committee, who recommends changes to Lewisburg City Council, that safety issues for renters, including lack of sprinklers and smoke detectors in converted single-family units, is the crux of the issue. Many single-family residences have been converted in order to house the high number of renters, including osteopathic school students, he said. Zoning officer Chuck Smith also told the safety committee that some neighbors have complained about too many cars parked in front of the properties in question.
The committee tabled the item to investigate how to proceed further.