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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Bomb threat brings search of Buena Vista County Courthouse

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Local sheriffs find no worries

A vague threat to bomb an Iowa courthouse on Monday caused officials at the Buena Vista County Courthouse to search for anything suspicious, though nothing was found.

More than two dozen courthouses across the state were either closed or evacuated on Monday, though the Buena Vista County Courthouse continued operations with little disruption.

A bomb threat was called into KWWL-TV in Waterloo Monday morning, followed by a second call to the Iowa State Patrol's communication office in Cedar Falls, said Sgt. Bob Hansen, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

"There's no specific information as to where, when, how," Hansen said. "It's up to each individual county and jurisdiction to address the issue."

The state fire marshal's office sent an e-mail to each of the state's 99 counties that a threat had been made, Hansen said.

"That the threat was made to KWWL may have been intended for Black Hawk County. But it didn't give a specific location, therefore all agencies needed to evaluate it," Hansen said.

Buena Vista County Sheriff Chuck Eddy said as a precautionary measure, deputies checked the courthouse, while department heads and the custodian were asked to look for anything unusual or any suspicious packages.

"We didn't find anything," he said, adding that there was little disruption to the courthouse's activities.

In Black Hawk County the decision was made to close the courthouse until Tuesday.

In Harrison County, officials closed their courthouse Monday afternoon and sent everybody home.

Like Buena Vista, the Sac County courthouse was open for business as usual on Monday. Officials did a precautionary inspection, but found nothing unusual, Sheriff Roger Owens said.

The sheriff said the information they received indicated the threat was focused on the eastern third of Iowa.

"We did a precautionary inspection and found no problems," he said. "The way it appeared to us, we were out of the area. We did it real quiet-like, we didn't want to get anybody upset. We saw nothing out of place."

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