Police clear suspicious package near Central High School
Updated 8:40 a.m.
CHAMPAIGN — Police investigated and cleared a suspicious package near Central High School in Champaign on Tuesday.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team investigated a suitcase found on the sidewalk, said Champaign Police spokeswoman Rene Dunn, and the police followed protocol in investigating it. The suitcase was cleared and found to be empty, she said.
Champaign Deputy Police Chief Troy Daniels said a suspicious package near the high school prompted an investigation. He declined to specify its location but said it was close enough to be of concern.
Daniels said the school's students were not in danger while police investigated. Champaign schools spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said they stayed in the school's gym during the investigation, and were released to their first-hour classes before 8:30 a.m.
Traffic around the high school was being diverted shortly before 8 a.m., but University Avenue was reopened before 8:30 a.m.
The case is the fourth item in the last week the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has investigated: previous items include an empty backpack left in West Side Park last Thursday, an empty suitcase near Leal School in Urbana last Wednesday and a suitcase in a parking lot in the 400 block of East University in Champaign last Tuesday.
The team also investigated a suspicious package July 21 near the northeast corner of Sixth and Green streets on campus in Champaign, and another near the Orpheum Children's Science Museum on Aug. 17.
All the suspicious items turned out to be harmless.