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TJN Mail Handlers Report Finding Suspicious Powder

The mail was opened in the White Plains Library parking garage Friday afternoon, police say.

Two mail handlers from The Journal News reported finding a suspicious powder in a package addressed to the media company's White Plains headquarters Friday afternoon, police say.

The package was opened inside a vehicle parked in the White Plains Library parking garage at 100 Martine Ave. A mail handler reported the incident at the White Plains Public Safety Building next door at 12:23 p.m., said White Plains Police Commissioner David Chong.

The vehicle, a Cadillac, was quickly secured and will be towed from the lot, impounded, and searched at another location.

"We are going to conduct the search of the vehicle in a safe environment, we are not going to open the car and remove that powder inside the public parking lot," Chong said.

Two mail handlers who possibly came into contact with the package requested to be decontaminated, Chong said, and that process is underway.

The package was addressed to The Journal News' White Plains office at 1133 Westchester Ave., Chong said. The mail handlers said they had picked up the mail at another location and decided to open the package in the parking lot, Chong said.

The Journal News has been at the center of an international firestorm since its publication Dec. 23 of a map and database with names and addresses of gun permit-holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. 

The powder discovery is the second of its kind this week. The paper had a story on its website, LoHud.com, on Wednesday about another suspicious envelope with powder in White Plains. The powder was determined not to be a threat, according to the article.

The Journal News has been on a heightened state of awareness since, on Dec. 23, it published a controversial interactive map showing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Putnam County officials announced this week that a similar request for data in their county is being denied. Rockland officials called on the newspaper to take its report from the Internet and vowed to fight to make gun permits private records.

The paper also reported threats to police in White Plains and Clarkstown, according to stories from Patch and The Rockland County Times. The paper also hired temporary security guards for its White Plains and West Nyack offices, its publisher confirmed to The New York Times, following a Rockland County Times story of the presence in West Nyack. The paper's small bureau in Mount Kisco does not appear to have guards.

Local bloggers and commenters continue to weigh in on the issue on Patch.

The Journal News has fielded many calls, emails and comments since the report's publication. Go here to read the FAQ they published in response.

Kristoff Lukas January 04, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Mr. Seidel, You make a very interesting suspicion point! A mail handler reported the incident? Meaning the carrier opened the JN Mail, inside a parked vehicle underground in the Library parking lot? Hundreds of cars there, this carrier had keys to the car, knew the exact car? How did the carrier know it was in that car? That needs some explaining. "The package was opened inside a vehicle parked in the White Plains Library parking garage at 100 Martine Ave. A mail handler reported the incident at the White Plains Public Safety Building next door at 12:23 p.m., said White Plains Police Commissioner David Chong" Carl Albanese
Kristoff Lukas January 05, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Way To Go Journal News All Public Safety - Law Enforcement now in danger. Including our citizens you published names of all legal gun owners. Way to go Journal News, your mission has been accomplished putting our Law Enforcement, WP Fire Department, and the public in Harms Way. Now costing me a White Plains taxpayer increased Public Safety, distracting our White Plains Public Safety from protecting the citizens in White Plains. What do you have planned next JN? Thank you Putnam County officials for the courage to Stand Up! Putnam County officials announced this week that a similar request for data in their county is being denied. Rockland officials called on the newspaper to take its report from the Internet and vowed to fight to make gun permits private records. Carl Albanese
Dan Seidel January 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM
WAAAAAY dif story from LoHud today - COVERUP!!? Lohud has the mail opened at the Westchester Avenue Lohud mail room, then placed into a plastic bag and brought to WP Public Safety. PUT UP JOB BY LOHUD!!!!!!!!! THIS REALLY REALLY STINKS ROTTEN!!! BOTH stories are suspect. If one opened the mail in a mail room, wouldn't you evacuate immediately and call the police to come with HazMat? Weren't HazMat protocols in place at LoHud? LYING LIARS AND THEIR ROTTEN BOSSES!!!!!!!! Now maybe we have the FALSE REPORTING OF A TERROR INCIDENT - isn't that a FELONY? This is worse than the Plumbers at Watergate.
Dan Seidel January 05, 2013 at 12:15 PM
GUILLOTINE!!!!! But I venture the younger generation would never know what I mean by the allegory - the book isn't even read anymore in middle school or high school. The kids are too dumbed down by our great educational system and it's grossly overpaid under skilled administrators and union teachers. America doomed - this is like a "stupid bomb" - implosion - attacked from all sides by dumb rays. The Constitution is in tatters and society says: "What's a Constitution? Who needs that? I have an iPod!"
Laura H January 05, 2013 at 01:18 PM
The police station is right next to the library. Why would anyone open up a suspicious and potentionally life threatening envelope in a public garage? The whole thing makes no sense.

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