Bomb squad checks package at N.Y. editor's home

10:45 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
Rich Liebson, The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News/Gannett
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A bomb squad and police responded Thursday to reports of a suspicious package mailed to the home of the editor of a newspaper that has been the target of criticism after publishing a database of local gun-permit holders.

The package was delivered to the home of CynDee Royle, editor and vice president/news of The Journal News.

It was the fifth instance of a suspicious letter or package being delivered to the newspaper's White Plains offices or to the homes of company employees since Dec. 23 when The Journal News published a Dec. 23 article titled "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood." The report included an interactive map on the newspaper's website with the names and addresses of legal pistol-permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties.

The map ignited a firestorm of controversy and continues to be criticized by some who feel it threatens public safety and by others who feel it demonizes legal gun owners.

On Thursday, about 20 police officers from the city and the county, the bomb squad, a firetruck and two ambulances responded to Royle's street and remained for more than one hour.

"We're investigating a suspicious package that was delivered here," White Plains police Lt. Eric Fischer said.

He said the bomb squad had removed the package and transported it to a county public-safety facility for analysis.

Two envelopes containing white powder arrived at the newspaper's offices last week. Both were determined to be baking powder. Two other suspicious items were mailed to the home of a reporter. One of them was deemed not dangerous by police. The other, which arrived Thursday, was still being analyzed by police. Armed guards were hired at the headquarters shortly after the public outcry.

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