21 Aug 2014
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JN Mail Handlers Report Finding Suspicious Powder

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

JN Mail Handlers Report Finding Suspicious Powder JN Mail Handlers Report Finding Suspicious Powder

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 Web site, 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 off 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.

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