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May 21, 1981 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-05-21

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday,;May21, 1981-Page 5
Wave of phony
bomb threats
plagues N.Y.C.

Daily Photo by JACKIE BELL.
Out- to lunch
THE FAST-FOOD craze has filtered down to even the canine community.
Resident pooch Cicco-Poppu "deserved a break today" yesterday at his post
outside Maison Edwards in the Nickels Arcade.
" "
Wind-whipped forest
ire contain.ed i
nort ern Mi ig an

GAYLORD (UPI) - Hundreds of
firefighters contained a wind-whipped
forest fire late yesterday that raged
through dry northern lower Michigan
jackpine and forced some residents to
flee their homes.
But efforts were to continue through
last night to prevent the fire from
spreading anew this morning.
THE FIRE in southeastern Otsego
and western Montmorency counties
was one of at least 10 wind-whipped
blazes, most small, that broke out in
tinderbox-like forest deprived of rain
for nearly two weeks.
A state fire captain said the major
blaze may have been deliberately set.
"It's contained right now, but we
don't know what's going to happen,"
said Chuck Rich of the state Depar-
tment of Natural Resources Gaylord of-
fice. "We're going to have to work all
THERE WERE NO immediate
reports of injuries and the fires did not
immediately threaten populated com-
munities, said Bill Mittig, a DNR
But the Montmorency County
Sheriff's Department began evacuating
some residents from the western part of
the county as the fire approached.
Deputies were not immediately sure
how many persons were forced to flee.
Much of the land burning was state
forest, Mittig said, although some
private land has been hit. There were
no confirmed reports of property
damage and the nearest community
was West Twin Lakes, near Lewiston
some distance away in southwestern
Montmorency County.
STATE POLICE at Gaylord said they

and officers from the Otsego County
Sheriff's Department blocked off some
roads to keep people from straying into
the areas..
By about 9:45 p.m., all the fires ap-
peared contained. The major blaze.had
consumed some 2;000 acres of forest.
"It's a bad fire," said Ron Schmoke,
also of the DNR. "And we don't know
where it's gonna go if we don't get a
good liandle on it."
THE FIRE was a "crown fire," Mit-
tig said, the type of blaze that jumps
from treetop to treetop and hampers
firefighting efforts.
"The crown fire establishes its own
wind, so it's very difficult to put it out,"
Mittig said.
More than 250 firefighting personnel
from the DNR and surrounding com-
munities were battling the big blaze,
aided by dozens of pieces of equipment
sent from as far away as the Upper
Peninsula and southern lower
4W"r Ths space
contributed by the pubiishe5

From AP and UPI
NEW YORK - A deluge of phony
bomb threats inspired by a fatal
terrorist blast at Kennedy Airport kept
police on the run again yesterday in
New York, where thousands of people
have been routed from their offices by
Since a worker was killed in a
restroom explosion Saturday, New
York police have been called to check
out 475 reports of planted bombs, in-
cluding at least 149 such calls yester-
- day. Ina few cases earlier this week, an
elite 24-member bomb squad was called
to remove a suspicious object.
The only authentic report of ex-
plosives since Monday was the
discovery of two live, World War II vin-
tage shells by workers dredging the
East River under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Police said it was mere coincidence the
shells were found during the wave of
bomb scares and that the incidents
were not related.
On Monday pipe bombs turned up in
the morning mail at the U.S. Mission to
the United Nations and at the Honduran
The drain on the police department
prompted an appeal yesterday from
Police Commissioner Robert McGuire
for the fake calls to stop. "We call on all
responsible people in the city not to do
it," McGuire said. "Whether it's kids or
the parents, it's using up patrol time."
Detectives say they believe most of
the unfounded scares are not the work
of the terrorists but of "kooks," such as
workers seeking longer coffee breaks
and lunch hours. Police Officer Joseih
McConville of the department's'public
information staff, said, "Lunch time, a
' nice day - everyone wants out,"
referring to the 70-degree weather out-
Authorities said some of the calls

were from sincerely frightened people
who spotted unattended suitcases, can-
vas bags and strange-looking packages
containing items such as clocks and
even a foil-wrapped stale sandwich.
In one case, someone left a "hoax
bomb," several railroad flares tied
together with wire. "Somebody's sick
idea of a joke," said Detective Peter
Perotta of the bomb squad. One
anonymous caller said a "neutron
bomb" was in City Hall.
McGuire on Tuesday characterized
the rash of calls as a "full moon type of
reaction" following the discovery of
five genuine explosive devices. He said
yesterday "we have some evidence
we're following up" in the investigation
of the real bombs.
The obscure Puerto Rican Armed
Resistance Movement claimed respon-
sibility for three airport bombs. Police
believe the group is a splinter of the
FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist
organization believed to have planted
more than 120 bombs across the coun-
In the past few days, Perotta said, he
and his colleagues have checked
"anything and everything." "In a
climate like this, with bombs and
threats, everyone's paranoid," he said.
"A guy leaves his attache case to go to
the men's room and people think it's a
Mayor Edward Koch said Tuesday
those responsible for the bombs and
scares were "scum" who should be

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