Courthouse evacuated after bomb threat

By Chris Collins November 19, 2012 02:03 pm

The Baker County Courthouse was evacuated about 2:30 this afternoon after a bomb threat was called in to the building, at 1995 Third St., about 2:20 p.m.

The offices were cleared and the building was closed while authorities attempted to locate a bomb-detecting dog to go through the Courthouse, said Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner.

Courthouse employees were pushed back to the sidewalk behind Ace Hardware at Second Street and Washington Avenue while county administrators decided how to proceed.

Baker City Police, sheriff’s department deputies and OSP officers blocked the streets around the Courthouse and directed traffic.

Police also notified Baker Middle School and that building also was locked down this afternoon.

Jennifer Trader, school secretary, said students would be released at 3:35 p.m. on the Broadway side of the school and would board buses on Broadway.

Baker County Circuit Court Judge Greg Baxter said he was notified that 15 Oregon courthouses were evacuated today. He said bomb threats also were received in these counties: Curry,Jefferson, Crook, Klamath, Clatsop, Wallowa, Umatilla, Morrow, Lane, Jackson, Wasco, Grant, Marion and Union. Bomb threats were received in these eight Washington counties on Nov. 15: Thurston, Chelan, Douglas, Benton, Adams, Clark, Pacific and Columbia counties, according to The Associated Press.

Those buildings also were evacuated and searched. No bombs were found.

Nine Nebraska couthouses received similar bomb threats on Nov. 2, according to The Associated Press.