UPDATE: Parts of County Building to Reopen after White Powder Scare

By Beacon Staff

Flathead County’s Earl Bennett building was shut down Thursday after an envelope containing an unknown white powder was opened at the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, certain offices will reopen Friday at noon after authorities determined the powder did not pose a credible threat.

According to the Flathead City-County Health Department, the Earl Bennett building was still closed off at 8 a.m. on Friday morning. The building currently houses the county’s DMV, treasurer, property tax, health department and planning and zoning offices. The health department and planning offices are scheduled to reopen at noon on Friday, but the DMV, property tax and treasurer’s offices will remain closed.

The white powder fell out of the envelope just after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. The building was evacuated and secured until a credible threat could be evaluated.The powdery substance was sent to the public health laboratory at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

According to the Kalispell Fire Department, no credible threat was found. Further testing at the state lab on items associated with the powder also confirmed no credible threats. There have been no reported injuries or illness, and the powder does not appear to have been malicious, the report said. Authorities will continue their investigation.

Assisting the fire department, which also serves as the Northwest Regional Hazardous Materials Team, were the Kalispell Police Department, the county health department and other state, county and federal entities.

For more information or for questions, call 751-8188.

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