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Part of Putnam County courthouse evacuated

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said it evacuated the lower level of the courthouse in Palatka Thursday afternoon after it encountered a suspicious package in the building.

Deputy Paula J. Priester wrote in a press release that at 12:50 p.m., deputies responded to a call at the courthouse on St. Johns Avenue.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that an envelope containing a white, powdery substance was located on the lower level of the Courthouse,” she wrote. “For precautionary reasons, the lower level of the Courthouse was evacuated, and no one was permitted to enter the building.”

Priester added that the Putnam County Fire Department’s hazmat team tested the substance. She said those tests concluded the powder did not appear to be an active biological agent. The material was collected and taken to a laboratory in Jacksonville. No one was injured during the incident.

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