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Billboard touting western North Carolina town stolen

Officials touting their North Carolina town as “simply unexpected” on a billboard soon found something they weren’t expecting.

The town of Marion is looking for the billboard posted along Interstate 40 to attract travelers and tourists after it disappeared last weekend. The 12-by-30-foot (3-by-9 meter) sign shows a colorful photo of downtown Marion and bears the message “Marion North Carolina Simply Unexpected.”

It was erected on July 30, but on Aug. 9, Marion Business Association director Freddie Killough said the sign was gone. The sign is valued at $875. It was paid for by the Marion Business Association in partnership with the city, Killough said. The space has been rented for $350 per month and it’s been paid for through next June, she said.

Because it’s vinyl to help it withstand the weather, the sign is also very heavy, according to Killough. She said a new sign has already been ordered and she hopes to have it up soon.

Marion is 36 miles (57 kilometers) east of Asheville.

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