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Powdered substance that prompted courthouse evacuation not hazardous, officials say

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WATERVILLE, Wash. -- Authorities say a powdered substance that prompted an evacuation at the Douglas County courthouse on Thursday is not hazardous.

The unknown substance was reportedly found at about 4 p.m. Thursday inside a ballot envelope at the courthouse in Waterville, KPQ reports.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Thursday on Twitter that the courthouse was evacuated and a shelter-in-place order was issued for up to 300 feet from the building while officials investigated.

Four courthouse employees were also taken to the hospital for observation after the initial incident, the sheriff's office said.

A state patrol bomb squad determined Thursday evening that the substance was not hazardous.

The incident remains under investigation and the courthouse will be closed on Friday.

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