Journal News will screen incoming mail after it receives suspicious powder

The Journal News

An envelope containing powder was opened by a Journal News employee Wednesday. "Emergency officials secured the room and the envelope, and the employee underwent decontamination procedures," John W. Barry reports.

Police determined the powder was nontoxic in preliminary tests. The building's landlord says the paper's mail will now be screened.

The incident may be related to Westchester County, N.Y., paper's decision to publish the names and addresses of local gun owners. Officials in Putnam County, N.Y., have said they will not fulfill the paper's Freedom of Information Act requests for the public records there. They plan to elaborate at a press conference today.

White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong told Barry any connection between the powder and the gun map "would only be conjecture on my part right now." Since the map was published, the paper has hired armed security guards, and outraged readers have published addresses and personal information about Journal News and Gannett staffers.

Related: The Journal News' FAQ about its gun map (The Journal News) | Jack Shafer: "Exactly how publishing public-record data constitutes privacy invasion is a topic worthy of a Poynter Institute seminar" (Reuters)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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