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Midway doubles police force
mid cops sworn copy
New Midway police officers Brandon Baxter and Duvale Page Sr. are sworn in by Midway Mayor Don Emmons.
Midway doubled the size of its police force last week when Mayor Don Emmons swore in two new officers at the February city council meeting.
Emmons said with the total of four officers and Chief Kelli Morningstar, Midway will have 24-hour police coverage.
"That was our goal," the mayor said.
The swearing-in of Duvale Page Sr. and Brandon Baxter was the first use of the newly discovered power of the Midway mayor to administer such oaths.
In other business, the council agreed to remove tattoo and body art businesses and massage parlors from the draft adult entertainment ordinance. When adopted, that law will regulate adult book stores and similar businesses.
Those seeking permits for tattooing and body art, along with massage parlors, must come before the Midway council which will deal with them individually, on a case-by-case basis.
Council members heard a second reading of a sign ordinance, which will bring Midway into compliance with state law. Emmons said one of the provisions being changed was a limit on the brightness of electronic signs.
"Drivers should not be distracted by signs," the mayor said.
Michael Browning, an urban planner, talked with the council about its intention to make Butler Avenue the identified business center of the town.
Butler is a short street, stretching from the current Highway 84 to the old route of the highway which is now called Martin Road. Midway's Post Office and a convenience store/gas station anchor one end of Butler and The Heritage Bank's Midway Branch occupies the other end. Midway's grocery store, pharmacy Midway Mall and other businesses lie along Butler, which also has vacant land and unused storefronts.
Browning said Butler was poorly marked with signs and landscaping, and would benefit from streetscaping and an urban retrofit which his firm could do.
"You and I know where Butler Avenue is. We know where to go if we need the services of those businesses. But what is important is for the tourists to know ... and to use those services and to stay here and to spend their dollars here."
Without committing any funds, the council gave Browning the go-ahead for preliminary planning.

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