Bomb threat, power outage disrupt Manhattan


Criminal threat shuts down courthouse

A bomb threat shut down the Riley County Courthouse for more than an hour yesterday morning as Riley County Police Department investigated the area for explosive devices. The telephoned threat was received by an employee in the courthouse shortly after 10 a.m., according to Mat Droge, RCPD Public Informations Officer. RCPD issued an Immediate Response Information System red alert for the area of 100 Courthouse Plaza, asking people to stay away. The IRIS is a program that sends emergency and police alerts directly to registered communication devices like cellphones and emails.

Droge said that a search of the area did not include suspicious devices, but RCPD is still investigating the incident as an aggravated criminal threat.

“We always take these threats seriously,” Droge said. “It was a ‘plan for the worst, hope for the best’ situation.”

RCPD has no suspects at this time, but encourages anyone with information to contact their department or the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers.

Cold weather responsible for major power outage

About 1,300 Manhattan residents lost power yesterday afternoon due to the cold weather conditions. The outage occurred shortly before 2 p.m., according to Erin La Row, a senior communications representative for Westar Energy.

According to Westar Energy, bad weather conditions such as lightning or ice are responsible for 8.5 percent of all power outages in their service area. La Row said the cold weather caused an insulator to go out on a line, which led to the outage. Affected customers had their power restored after about an hour of the disruption.