Wisconsin state capitol evacuated following bomb threat

Threat later cleared, people allowed back in building


MADISON, Wis. --

Business is back to normal at the state Capitol on after an investigation into a bomb threat turned up nothing.

Those in the Capitol were told to leave the building shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday.

"They just said we had to get out. There was a rumor that there was a bomb threat," Capitol employee Mary Thornton said.

Employees and visitors poured out of the Capitol by the hundreds after Capitol police announced on the public address system that there was an incident, and everyone needed to get at least a block away.

Police said that they were responding to a phoned-in bomb threat.

Gov. Jim Doyle as well as the state Supreme Court were in the Capitol at the time and were also evacuated.

By 12:20 p.m. -- nearly two and a half hours later -- the Capitol police gave the all-clear but wouldn't say whether they had found anything. They would only reveal only that the threat came in by phone to a local media outlet.

The Dane County Sheriff K-9 Unit and others assisted the Capitol police as they searched the building and its perimeter.

"I think the Capitol police do a good job and it's important to be very conservative about threats like this so it's the proper response, but it does waste a lot of people's time, and it's unfortunate," Capitol employee Jim Rosenberg said.

Shortly after, business inside resumed as normal, including the ever-present school class trip tours.

This evacuation came 10 months since a similar scare here forced an evacuation. In that case, nothing was ultimately found.

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