Courthouse closed by bomb threat
Joel Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
County Mayor Ed Mitchell said that the threat is being investigated. "The Sheriff's Office has requested a bomb dog, and it's coming out of Pigeon Forge. They advised it could be two or three hours, so, rather than have people standing out in this weather and waiting for that amount of time, we went ahead and shut the courthouse down."
Bomb threats forced the evacuation of 23 other courthouses across Tennessee Tuesday morning, including the federal building in Memphis, but authorities who are investigating said no devices were found.
Tennessee became the fourth state to deal with similar bomb hoaxes. One targeted 28 courthouses in Oregon and similar threats were reported in Nebraska and Washington this month.
Seven threats were in West Tennessee, four in Middle Tennessee and 13 in East Tennessee, said state Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt. No bombs have been found.
Dalya Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, said no arrests have been made and the agency is assisting local law enforcement to investigate.
Heidt said the threats were made by telephone to court clerk offices. “It’s been going on all morning."
The West Tennessee counties that received threats were Carroll, Crockett, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Chester and Shelby. The Middle Tennessee counties affected were Cheatham, Clay, Franklin and Giles. The East Tennessee counties that received threats were Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton and Hancock.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.