Monday, March 24, 2014

Manic Monday

Bomb squad on scene
Photo courtesy: Jared Roberts
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

March 24, 2014 started off like any other day.  I went in to work, prepped for and anchored the morning news, and was working on Tuesday's show when we got word that a "suspicious package" had been found in the mailbox.  I can't go into exact details, but the item prompted our staff to take the necessary precautions, which included calling the authorities. 

Evacuation time
Photo courtesy: Mandy Robertson
Police and firefighters were soon on the scene and escorted us out of the building and next door to River Radio.   The staff there was very inviting as more than a dozen of us gathered in their conference room.  We made small talk and drank coffee for the first 30 minutes or so.  Then people started getting antsy, wanting to get out and cover stories or get back to their desks and work.  I wanted to get back to the station to finish my usual preps for the next day.

Police kept us away though.  The two entrances to the station were blocked off. Unfortunately, I had left my wallet in my car and wasn't allowed to go back to the parking lot to get it.  By 11:30 I was starving and just wanted a snack from the vending machine, but that wasn't happening.  My stomach rumbled as I updated (or tried to) our website from my iPad.  I wasn't able to upload pics, but eventually that happened too.

No threat found
Photo courtesy: Jared Roberts
About 12:30 Monday afternoon we received word that the package had been secured by the bomb squad and no threat was found.  We were given the all-clear and returned to the building.  The FBI and police are still investigating.  It was strange seeing other TV stations and media covering something happening at our station.  

Waiting things out at River Radio
While the situation was less than ideal, I'm thankful for the quick response from all the agencies involved.  I don't want to name names because I'm afraid I'll overlook someone.  I'm also thankful for the friendly folks at River Radio who shared their space with us for 3-and-a-half hours.  Many of my friends texted, tweeted, and Facebooked their concerns, thanks for that too guys.  We're all safe, mostly just annoyed, although as you can see, we had some fun with it too.

To read more about the situation and to see a collection of pictures, click this link.

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