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Suspicious package in Hastings prompts call to bomb squad; it turned out to be an empty cooler

A suspicious package was reported on Third Street in downtown Hastings on the road between the Hastings Police Department and the former Hastings Family Service building.

The package was a Styrofoam cooler with duct tape on it. The words "Do not move" were written on the cooler with a black marker. The package had been in the road for about four hours by the time Hastings Police received the call on it.

"Obviously, with something like that, we're going to err on the side of safety," Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell said. "The area was blocked off and the St. Paul bomb squad was contacted."

As the bomb squad was en route, a member of the nearby bridge construction project approached police and told them the cooler was used to secure drilling cores for the project. The cooler was empty and had blown away in the high wind.

The bomb squad was then called off.

The report came in at 12:24 p.m. Sept. 20.