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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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Public safety

Cortez Boulevard lanes reopen after suspicious package deemed safe

Times Staff Writer

SPRING HILLS — Shortly before noon, officials re-opened lanes of Cortez Boulevard near Mariner Boulevard after the Citrus County bomb squad determined a suspicious package found near the Twistee Treat restaurant was not a bomb, according to a Hernando County Sheriff’s spokesman.

Deputies responded to the scene before 9 a.m., closing off several lanes of Cortez and Mariner boulevards, snarling traffic at one of Hernando County’s busiest intersections.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call at approximately 8 a.m. from a county worker who reported a suspicious package in a newspaper or periodical box near the county bus stop and Twistee Treat in the Mariner Square Shopping Center, sheriff’s officials said.

The Citrus County bomb squad x-rayed the package and then shot it with a water cannon to determine it was not dangerous before allowing traffic to resume, said spokesman Michael Terry.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said earlier in a Facebook post that he believed it to be a hoax, but "we’re erring on the side of caution.’’

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