Threats force closure of USDA offices

By Philip Brasher

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2016 - The Agriculture Department plans to reopen on Wednesday most of the offices that were shut down because of anonymous threats that had been emailed to employees. 

The facilities that will reopen include the George Washington Carver Center, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md.

“The offices will reopen with additional security enhancements, including the presence of law enforcement or security personnel on site,” USDA spokesman Matthew Herrick said. “For the remaining sites,  we continue working to ensure these offices will be ready to reopen, safely and securely, as soon as possible.” Offices in five states were closed Tuesday because of the unspecified threats that were received on Monday.

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The other locations due to reopen Wednesday morning: 

Fort Collins, Colo. - All USDA offices except for the Forest Service, which will reopen at noon.

Beltsville - Agricultural Research Service Northeast Area Office

Raleigh, N.C. - All USDA offices. 

Kearneysville, W.Va. 

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USDA offices in Leetown, W.Va., as well as Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in Hamden, Conn., were to remain closed on Wednesday. 

Those will need additional security enhancements in place to ensure a “safe and secure opening or to make official notifications to union representatives,” said Herrick.  

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