Oregon courthouses receive bomb threats

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PORTLAND (AP) — Courthouses and government offices across Oregon were evacuated Monday following bomb threats that resembled similar incidents in other states this month, authorities said.

Seventeen courthouses, including the Umatilla County Courthouse, were targeted along with a Salem office building that houses the headquarters for the Oregon State Police.

State Police officials did not know of any suspicious devices being found, and the state bomb squad was not dispatched. Some courthouses were evacuated; others were checked for explosives while employees continued to work.

The telephoned threats began about 2:30 p.m. and continued for an hour, authorities said.

The threats follow similar incidents elsewhere. About eight threats were reported in Nov. 15 in Washington — including the Columbia County Courthouse — about nine in Nebraska.

A caller phoned the county government center in Klamath County at 2:37 p.m. and “indicated there were explosives in the basement of the courthouse set to detonate within 25 minutes,” said Undersheriff Jeanette Davidson. Both the government center and the courthouse were evacuated as a precaution, but no explosives were found and employees returned to work, she said.

The Oregon counties reporting threats were: Baker, Benton, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa.

The Public Service Building in Salem also was subject of a threat and was briefly evacuated. The building is across the street from the state Capitol, which was not evacuated. In addition to the State Police headquarters it houses offices for the Department of Education and the Secretary of State.

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