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The Boston Globe

Nation

Threats, but no bombs in Tenn. courts

MEMPHIS — Bomb threats to 30 courthouses and other government buildings across Tennessee forced many to be evacuated Tuesday morning, including the federal building in Memphis, but authorities said no explosives 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.

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Nine threats were reported in western Tennessee counties — including the Memphis federal building — six in central Tennessee, and 14 in eastern Tennessee, said Dalya Qualls, spokeswoman for Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

No arrests have been made in Tennessee and authorities had searched about 14 courthouses by Tuesday afternoon.

Jeremy Heidt, a spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said the threats were made by telephone to court clerk offices.

The building in Memphis houses the federal court and offices for the Department of Justice, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Representative Steve Cohen. It was cleared around 9 a.m. while authorities checked it.

Police temporarily blocked a trolley line that ran by the federal building in Memphis and brought in a dog to search the building before letting people return around 11 a.m.

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