Suspicious powder deemed harmless
Tribune staff reports
Published December 24, 2002, 1:20 PM CST
A suspicious white powder that shut down a five-square-block area of Lincoln Park and disrupted traffic across the North Side for about two hours at midday turned out to be nothing more harmless than flour or, more likely, the chalk used to mark jogging paths, authorities said.
The substance was placed on the ground, near a west entrance to Lincoln Park Zoo, by a local running club this past weekend, Chicago Fire Commissioner James Joyce said.
Earlier, about 11 p.m., police and firefighters declared a hazardous materials alert and closed the zoo and a section of Lincoln Park as they investigated a report of a suspicious substance found near the intersection of Webster Avenue and Stockton Drive.
Streets in the area also were closed, as were southbound and northbound exit and entrance ramps of Lake Shore Drive near Lincoln Park.
Authorities looked at three piles of the substance and at about 1 p.m. held a news conference to announce their findings.
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