The Nebraska State Patrol said Friday afternoon that bomb threats were received at nine southeastern Nebraska courthouses.
The calls, which were received between 11:06 a.m. and 11: 36 a.m., were made to courthouses in Cass, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Otoe, Richardson, Saline and Seward counties.
The first call came into Otoe County and the last call was received in Lancaster County. In each case, a male caller indicated there was an explosive device in the courthouse. Local authorities evacuated and cleared the buildings. Schools near the Otoe County Courthouse in Nebraska City went into lockdown mode.
Janene Bennett is the Otoe County clerk. Bennett and her staff were working inside the courthouse when the bomb threat came in.
“Someone came in and said that we had a bomb threat and we got up and looked out and then the police came in and said it was time to leave the building. So we followed procedures just as we would for a fire drill and we went out the door and got away from the building. I thought maybe it would be related to the election, that’s my primary job right now is getting ready for the election, so I just wondered if it was some way related because of the ballots being stored here.”
“We did a track and trace on the phone, we weren’t able to get a phone number from them, but at this point all we know from them, from Windstream, is that it was an AT&T carrier from where the call originated from,” said Nebraska City Police Sgt. Chris Angus.
No credible threat was found at any of the locations receiving the calls.