Bomb threat evacuates downtown Newport

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by Meghan Wayland

NEWPORT — Down­town New­port was shut down Thurs­day af­ter­noon af­ter a man called NEKCA a little before 2 p.m. and threatened that there may be a bomb in the build­ing.

According to Newport Police Chief Travis Bingham, the man told NEKCA staff there may or may not be a “ticking package” on one of the lower levels of the building.

Chief Bingham said police had a suspect in custody.  The motive is unknown — so, too, is the suspect’s relationship to NEKCA.  The suspect wasn’t someone the police department had much or any previous contact with, Chief Bingham said.

The Newport Fire Department, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, Vermont State Police, and U.S. Border Patrol were called to the scene.  Newport Ambulance was on stand-by, according to Chief Bingham.  Fire engines, emergency medical vehicles, and patrol cars blocked all roads leading to downtown Railroad Square between approximately 2 and 4:30 p.m. while the NEKCA building was searched.  Neighboring buildings were evacuated.  After a thorough search, no suspicious packages were found inside the building, Chief Bingham said.

The Newport Police Department plans to issue a press release with more information.  For full coverage, see our upcoming story in next week’s Chronicle.

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