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Careless Drunken Man to Blame for Hurley Bomb ScareSubmitted: 04/16/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


HURLEY - A suspicious backpack outside Gogebic Taconite's office in Hurley brought in police, sheriff's deputies, and a bomb squad over the weekend.

Instead of a serious threat, a drunk, careless Ironwood man was to blame.

G-Tac is the company exploring a controversial iron ore mine on the border of Ashland and Iron Counties.

The backpack was wedged between a newspaper stand and the G-Tac office.

"We thought it was suspicious due to the recent controversy between pro-mining groups and environmental organizations against the mine. Also, we had Rep. Sean Duffy due to speak that day at a restaurant just around the corner. Those two things kind of heightened our awareness as toward the backpack," said Hurley Police Chief Dan Erspamer.

Hurley Police evacuated two blocks surrounding the backpack and called in the nearest bomb squad, from Wausau.

The bomb squad used X-rays and eventually opened the backpack.

They found only normal items inside.

Tuesday, we learned they found a name inside the bag and talked to that Ironwood man.

"He indicated that he was extremely intoxicated the night before and did not remember where he had placed that bag. He did not even know it was at the G-Tac building. He didn't know where it was," Erspamer said.

The man said he didn't report the bag missing because it also contained some illegal drugs.

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