Paddock Lake Village Hall closed for bomb investigation

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Investigation into whether a small device picked up by the village building inspector this morning might be an explosive has closed Paddock Lake Village Hall for business this morning.

Village President Marlene Goodson said the small device, which building inspector Tim Popanda originally thought might be a lost cellphone, is outside the building. Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the device, but village staff cannot answer the phones because part of the building is closed.

Popanda returning to Village Hall from an inspection saw the device along the road near Highway 50 and 236th Avenue, Goodson said. Thinking it might be a lost cellphone, Popanda picked it up thinking the village could publicize that it had it if someone wanted to retrieve it.

However, after returning to Village Hall and looking at it more carefully, Popanda realized the device was not a cellphone, Goodson said. It is wrapped in black electrical tape and has a wire sticking out of it.

“He set it down and backed away,” Goodson said.

A deputy who happened to be coming to Village Hall (6969 236th Ave.) conferred with Popanda and Sheriff’s Department bomb experts were consulted. As of 11:25 a.m., that investigation was continuing and the device was still in the parking lot.

UPDATE 11:56 a.m. — Deputies have removed the device in a safety container, but they do not believe it was an explosive. Village Hall is back open for business.

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