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Tower Avenue Partially Reopening, Object Not a Threat

Updated: October 02, 2019 12:56 AM

Superior Police are partially reopening Tower Avenue after determining that a suspicious object found in the road is not a threat.

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The road was closed for several hours while local police waited for the Marathon County Sheriff's Bomb Squad to arrive from central Wisconsin. A bicyclist spotted the item along Tower Avenue near the new fire headquarters at 9:15 a.m. and alerted authorities.

Officer Bradley Jago told WDIO News at about 2 p.m. that the device is "still suspicious" and they are still investigating it. The device isn't active at this point but Jago said it could've been active at one point.

Southbound lanes of Tower Avenue, which is also Highway 35, are reopening, but the northbound lanes remain closed for the time being.

Earlier, Mayor Jim Paine said at a press conference that there is "no threat that we know of to the surrounding area other than those places we have actually evacuated, which includes the fire hall and a dentist office next door."

On his first day as fire chief, Scott Gordon said his department did not stop going out on calls while the object was investigated.

"We did move our personnel out of the fire station," Chief Gordon said. "But we are still responding to 911 calls."

At the midday press conference, Police Chief Nick Alexander said the device "has the appearance of something that could be an improvised device, whether it is or not will be determined later."  He said the item was a piped shaped object that was sealed on one end.

Before the bomb squad arrived, the Superior Police Department's Tactical Technology Team brought a remote controlled robot that could approach the device and photograph it. Photos taken near the device confirmed its appearance as a homemade explosive device, per a police statement.

The Superior School District said none of its schools were within the evacuation zone.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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