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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Bomb threats in southeast Nebraska force evacuation of courthouse and jails, Richardson County inmates evacuated "chain gang-style"

  • The Otoe County courthouse is among nine public buildings to receive bomb threats this morning, but the Nebraska State Patrol reported by noon that no credible threat had been found.The first call at 11:06 a.m. to the clerk of county court's office in Nebraska City forced an evacuation and room-to-room search. Other c...
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  • Friday morning's bomb threat to the Otoe County courthouse was the first of nine reported across southeast Nebraska, but the Nebraska State Patrol reported by noon that no credible threat had been found.
    The first call at 11:06 a.m. to the clerk of county court's office in Nebraska City forced an evacuation and room-to-room search. Other calls were made to public buildings in Richardson, Johnson, Seward, Cass, Saline, Gage, Lancaster and Jefferson counties.
    Richardson County Sheriff Randy Houser said a caller to the treasurer's office  in Falls City said "the bombs start going off in 17 minutes."
    Deputies and police officers searched room-to-room for anything suspicious in the Otoe County Courthouse and Sheriff Jim Gress said courthouse cameras are being reviewed.
    At 11:50 a.m., Incident Commander Fire Chief Alan Viox gave the "stand down" order and word was given that employees would be allowed to re-enter the building.
    One employee standing nearby said most had left for lunch and would not be back for awhile because they were told it would "be some time" before they could re-enter.
    Sheriff Houser said the Richardson County jail is on the fourth floor of the courthouse there, so the jail was part of the evacuation.
    He said an extra deputy was called in and nine inmates were evacuated "chain gang-style" with handcuff apparatus designed for such purposes.
    The Hall of Justice in Lincoln was evacuated after a call at 11:36 a.m., also stating that there was an explosive in the courthouse.
    The Nebraska State Patrol reports that the last call went to Lancaster County.
    Sheriff Gress said the Nebraska State Patrol is assisting local agencies in the investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigations has been called.
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