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The Grundy County Courthouse was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat last Tuesday. The call was one of 30 received by courthouses and other government buildings across the state.
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt said several of the courthouses that received calls in Middle Tennessee included Bedford, Benton, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Cumberland, Decatur, Fentress, Franklin, Grundy, and Giles.
Tennessee is the fourth state to deal with phony bomb threats. Last week, a similar bomb threat hoax targeted 28 courthouses in Oregon. Threats were also reported in Nebraska and Washington state in recent months.
The calls started coming into Tennessee facilities early Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon 30 had received threats and at least 14 had been evacuated and searched. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) said the calls began around 10:00 a.m. and continued until about 1:00 p.m. All of the calls were made to the County Clerks offices.
No bomb devices were found in any of the 30 counties reporting threats.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is trying to determine if there is a connection among telephone bomb threats to facilities in Tennessee and similar incidents in other U.S. states. According to Joel Siscovic, the bureau’s spokesman in Memphis, the FBI is working closely with state authorities and will pursue federal charges if necessary.