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Police: Package found by bomb-detection dog wasn't connected to threats
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. - There are new details on a series of bomb threats made to the Blair County courthouse Wednesday night that prompted a two-block radius to be evacuated.
A Penn State bomb squad was called in to search the building and a bomb-detection dog located a suspicious package in the basement, but police are now saying they don't believe it had anything to do with the threats.
Some would call it pandemonium Wednesday night but Hollidaysburg Police Chief Jeff Ketner described it more as organized chaos. He said everyone worked well together, everything that needed to happen did and he said any threat made was quickly cleared.
"I just realized what could have happened and now it's a little scary," said Eleanor Daras.
Daras left her house and spent the night with family Wednesday as police said many of her neighbors, who live within two blocks of the Blair County courthouse were evacuated, after several media outlets received threats of a bomb inside.
"It had something to do with a pending trial and I'm almost positive they didn't mean for us to take any action last night," said Ketner. "They wanted us to wait till tomorrow, but that's not how things work."
A bomb squad and a bomb-detection dog was called in to search the building but Ketner said the only thing they found was a package sent to the commissioners office -- apackage that was supposed to be there.
"We found a box that had CMR on it and what that was was the commissioners meeting room project," said Ketner. "It some microphones and stuff in there and I'm not sure what they're doing with that, but there was what they call pro chloride on it which is from the chloride family and that's what the dog hit on."
Meanwhile back at the courthouse Thursday it was business as usual.
"Anyone that is not an employee is screened by our deputies at the front door of the courthouse. There's no exceptions to that," said Chief Deputy Sheriff Holly Garner. "We're not doing anything new. We're taking the same precautions we have always taken."
Ketner said his department has a team already tracking down the sender of the threats and he said he's confident they'll make an arrest. He couldn't speculate on charges yet, but said they'll be "very serious."