Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

USDA Closes W.Va. Offices after Threats

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

USDA Closes W.Va. Offices after Threats

Article excerpt

Some U.S. Department of Agriculture offices in West Virginia and several other states were closed on Tuesday, after anonymous threats were received regarding the offices. The offices ordered closed in West Virginia were in Kearneysville and Leetown, in the Eastern Panhandle. Other closed offices are in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and North Carolina.

The Kearneysville location includes the Appalachian Fruit Research Station, and Leetown houses the USDA's Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research program.

Two USDA service stations in West Virginia, one in Ranson and one in Martinsburg, also closed their doors because of their proximity to the other two offices, said John Pettit, executive officer for the state's Farm Services Agency. The service stations act as business offices and connect with local farmers.

USDA spokesman Matthew Herrick said in a statement on Tuesday that the department had received "several anonymous messages that raised concerns about the safety of USDA personnel and facilities. …

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