Downtown back in business after bomb hoax

The Ashland Plaza has reopened after a bomb scare.

The Oregon State Police bomb squad blasted a suspicious package found at the base of the Lincoln statue at the lower entrance to Lithia Park with a booming water cannon. They found that the package, labeled a hoax, was indeed a hoax. It consisted of D batteries, wires, a watch and duct tape. Officials said the device will be sent to a forensics lab for analysis.

Police continued to search downtown for other similar objects, but took down barriers blocking people from the Plaza and park around 5 p.m.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival canceled an “On the Razzle” matinee, but all tonight’s shows will go on as scheduled. People who had tickets for the canceled show can contact the box office by Sunday to exchange their tickets. After Sunday, all tickets automatically will be refunded, the box office said.

A few businesses that were evacuated shortly after 1 p.m. didn’t reopen this evening.

— Staff reports

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