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The Stone County Courthouse, County offices and several businesses on the square in Galena were evacuated about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday (04-10-13) morning after someone called in at least two bomb threats targeting the courthouse.

The caller made the first phone call to the Stone County Emergency Services 911 Dispatch Center about 9 a.m. "The caller said he had left an explosive device and had just left the courthouse in a red pickup truck in one of the calls," said Captain Tim Gideon. 

Gideon says deputies are following up on several leads, but they "have a good idea" who may have been behind the threat.  He said it was up to individual business owners to make the decision to evacuate or remain open.

Sheriff Doug Rader, who was in Jefferson City with Presiding Commissioner Dennis Wood for lunch with the Speaker of the Missouri House, said in a statement, "After speaking with the Stone County commissioners, it was determined it would be safer to close the county offices than risk injury to an employee or to a citizen who was conducting county business."
 



The Stone County Sheriff's Office requested assistance from the Springfield police and fire department, who put their bomb squad on standby in case an explosive device was located.

An explosive sniffing dog from the Jasper County Sheriff's Office was sent to assist in the investigation.  "Deputies conducted a visual search of the building and determined there was nothing suspicious and then when the Canine arrived a thorough search of the building was performed," said Rader.

After several sweeps, the justice center was cleared to open back up about 1:30 p.m. However, most county offices remain closed for the day and will resume normal operations tomorrow.

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