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UPDATE: Suspicious Backpack Belonged to Drunk Man

By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press Email
By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 4/17 at 11:41 a.m.

The Hurley Police Department says a backpack found wedged behind a newspaper machine outside the Gogebic Taconite office did not contain anything suspicious, and simply belonged to a man who says he was drunk and misplaced it.

According to a Michigan newspaper, police weren't taking any chances because of the controversy involving pro-mining advocates and environmental groups. Congressman Sean Duffy also had a town hall meeting scheduled at a nearby restaurant.

The Marathon County and Oneida County bomb squad responded to the scene and x-rayed the backpack, as it was originally thought a bomb may be inside.

Documents inside the backpack led investigators to the owner.

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UPDATE: 4/13 at 10:55 p.m.

HURLEY, Wis. (AP) -- Northwestern Wisconsin police say a suspicious backpack found near a company proposing to build iron ore mine did not contain explosives.

Gogebic Taconite president Bill Williams says an employee called him around 11 a.m. Saturday to find out if he had left a backpack outside their Hurley office. He told the employee he did not.

According to a Hurley police department statement, the area was cordoned off and a bomb squad arrived at about 2:45 p.m. They found the bag didn't have a bomb and the area was opened again around 4 p.m.

A message left for Chief Dan Erspamer was not immediately returned Saturday night.

The proposed mine is near the Bad River Chippewa's reservation. The tribe and conservationists are against it, fearing it would pollute the region.

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ORIGINAL STORY: 4/13 at 3:25 p.m.

HURLEY, Wis. (AP) -- Northwestern Wisconsin police have cordoned off an area near a company proposing to build iron ore mine after a suspicious backpack was found.

Gogebic Taconite president Bill Williams says an employee who went to the company's Hurley office Saturday called him around 11 a.m. to find out if he had left a backpack outside near the building. He told the employee he did not.

In a statement, Hurley police said the package was in front of the building and officials cordoned off the area.

The proposed mine is near the Bad River Chippewa's reservation. The tribe and conservationists have been against it, fearing it would pollute the pristine region.


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