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      Bomb threats come with costly price tag

      Friday's false bomb threats interrupted daily activities in some parts of Marquette County. Law enforcement resources were maximized in the investigation efforts.

      "In a situation like this we have to," said Capt. David Lemire of the Marquette County Sheriff's Department. "It takes a large amount of resources, especially when you have so many threats called in in such a short time."

      At Sawyer International Airport, passengers and staff were evacuated after a bomb threat came in at 1 p.m. Friday. Delta and American airline flights were postponed.

      "You had approximately 150 people flying in and 50 people flying out, there's 200 people," said Sawyer International Airport Director of Operations, Steven Schenden. "People are picking them up, dropping them off, it disrupts everything."

      Officials say it cost more than $13,000 to combine efforts.

      Here's the breakdown of the cost: $3,700 for the Marquette County Sheriff's Department, $1,800 for a bomb squad to arrive from Grayling, Mich., $6,000 for the Forsyth Township Fire Department, and an additional $1,700 for the Escanaba Public Safety, Forsyth Township Police and the Marquette Township Fire Department.

      For some, a pricey pill to swallow. But perhaps the larger damage came as interruption to daily activities and rerouting police officers.

      "When we had to leap frog from one threat to another, to another, it really did tie us up quite a bit," said Michigan State Police Sgt. Kevin Downling of the Negaunee Post. "The problem with that is that we're not available, or we have reduced ability, to respond to other complaints that don't stop coming in."

      Students from North Star Academy, where the initial bomb threat came in, were sent home Friday morning. Northern Michigan University, Marquette General Hospital and the Sawyer Medical Center also evacuated.