Authorities clear letter found at Rep. Welch's office - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Authorities clear letter found at Rep. Welch's office

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"Our lunch business is a tremendous part of the business plan," said Leslie Logan.

But Monday, Logan's lunch menu didn't matter.  She was forced to close her Market and Café on Burlington's Main Street. "We will open up as soon as they give the go ahead," she said.

That would take more than four hours. Police, fire, the FBI, and Hazmat teams wouldn't let customers inside.  A suspicious letter to Congressman Peter Welch arrived at Welch's office in the same building.  It was discovered by a staffer in the mail room around 10:30 a.m. "It did have a return address but parts of that return address were what I might describe as something to raise concern," said Burlington Police Deputy Chief Andi Higbee. "There was some notations that were on the outside of the letter that were unusual."

About 200 employees were quarantined inside the building and the air handling system was shutdown as a precaution.  Hazmat teams located the envelope.  Authorities tested it and determined there was no threat. "We inspect the envelope for any substances and check to see what they are and then based on conversations we were having with the FBI we were able to determine that there was no risk associated with the letter," said Vt. Hazmat Team Chief Chris Herrick.

Police don't expect to charge anyone, and call the emergency response -- 'protocol.' "Because of the characteristics, it rose to a level where we felt we needed these extra resources," Deputy Chief Higbee said.

"We are in full cooperation with the folks here who are doing such an amazing job," Leslie Logan said. She said she's just glad no one was hurt, and that she'll be back open for business on Tuesday. "I think in light of the terrible things that have gone on, I think we're all a little on edge from time to time but we're just here to support the guys doing the front line stuff," she said.

Congressman Welch was not in Burlington Monday.  He's on a work trip in the Middle East and has been notified about the incident.


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