Emergency crews, police respond to anthrax hoaxes In...

Arundel Digest

October 28, 2001

Emergency crews, police respond to anthrax hoaxes

In addition to responding to about 400 reports of suspicious packages and white powder in the past two weeks, Anne Arundel County emergency crews have dealt with several hoaxes, authorities said.

They have found dry chemical spray from fire extinguishers in people's mailboxes, a sprinkling of flour on a car and kitty litter in a letter addressed to the White House, said Fire Division Chief John M. Scholz.

They have arrested several teen-agers in connection with anthrax hoaxes, including a 14-year-old Meade High School student arrested Thursday for crushing a breath mint and placing the powder in another student's text book.

The boy was issued a juvenile citation and charged with making a false report of a bomb, in this case a purported toxic release, fire officials said. A county schools spokesman would not comment on disciplinary action taken against he student charged in the hoax, but said anyone making a false report of a bomb likely would be expelled.

Officials remind residents to check smoke detectors

Anne Arundel County fire officials are reminding residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they turn their clocks back from daylight saving time today.

"A working smoke detector cuts the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half," Fire Chief Roger C. Simonds Sr. said in a statement.

Although smoke detectors are in 93 percent of American homes, National Fire Prevention Association statistics suggest that more than 30 percent of them do not operate, most often because of low, dead or missing batteries.

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