Surely you’ve seen the sign on I-26 advertising Hurricane Free Newberry. Well, today the P&C tries to get to the bottom of that mystery, devoting their front page to it.

The billboard has taunted the Lowcountry for months, sitting there on the side of the interstate, bragging that this little town — unlike some places — is “Hurricane Free.”

At first glance, most people think it’s a grab for Charleston tourists. Others figure it’s just a fun little civic jab at storm-sensitive folks who have to live in fear half the year, courtesy of those who don’t.

But trying to find the culprit behind the sign, or anyone who even knows about the billboard, in this quaint Midlands town is nearly impossible. Nobody in Newberry takes credit for the sign, no matter how they feel about the sentiment behind it.

However, the P&C has a pretty idea who put up the billboard; after all, there’s a phone number on the billboard, and although out of no longer in service, a Google search says links the number to Newberry Reality LLC. So much for anonymity.

So who is promoting it anonymously?

As it turns out, the phone number on the billboard traces back to a Newberry developer. Mention that and light bulbs start to go on.

Oh yeah, people say, that was a company developing homes, and perhaps the ad was meant to lure those snowbirds looking for a place to live in the South that’s not Florida.

And Newberry is that place. But what, exactly, happened to the development company apparently behind the billboard?

Well, the folks here are too nice to say.

Well, actually, what happened to the reality firm? I mean, it’s not terribly important to know because it’s not a terribly important story. It’s a fluffy little affair, but why leave us hanging, especially when it’s the purpose of the entire story, it’s sole reason for being?

Seriously, if you don’t tell us who’s behind the sign, which is the basis of this news story, and instead write a serenade to small-town life in Newberry and the wonders of its Opera House, then well, you’ve written a travel article and not a front page news story.

Newberry does sound charming though. Mystery solved.