Things like this don't happen around here very often...as in, ever.
Suspicious package leads to evacuation of courthouse
Basic story: Guy comes into the county clerk's office about 4:30p, asking where he can turn in old documents he doesn't want anymore. While this is not odd in and of itself, he was described by EVERY employee he talked to as being jittery and just 'off'. He left, but he left the satchel back - basically a night-drop type pouch (see below) laying on the counter. Based on his behavior, they took the satchel and put it on a bench outside the back door and asked the sheriff's office to bring in their bomb-sniffing dog. Dog hit twice on the package, so they called in the IL State (SecState's office, apparently?) bomb squad.
Bomb squad checked it out, got x-rays, turned out to be nothing, just a packet full of documents, so the all-clear was sounded about 9:00p.
Here's the offending package (photo from local news, I added the highlight):
Now, here's the big kicker. This was on the ground floor. The county jail is in the same building, with cells on 3rd and 4th floor. The sheriff said they talked to the state's bomb experts while they were en route, and based on the description of the package, the experts said the jail would be safe, even in case of a detonation (VERY old, solid building). Of course there have been folks screaming ALL night about "move the inmates! If it's not safe, move them! They're people too! The cops don't give a damn about our loved ones!!!"
Anyway, a bit of excitement tonight that will now be followed by days, weeks, maybe months of people trying to rip the sheriff's department apart for 1) 'overreacting' to the threat while at the same time 2) NOT treating the prisoners with 'respect' when there's a threat. The hypocrisy will be missed by nearly all.