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White powder forces Rocky Mount middle school lockdown

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ROCKY MOUNT (AP) -- Authorities are investigating a possible link between two powder-filled envelopes mailed to Rocky Mount schools in the past week. Police said a letter containing a white powdery substance was mailed to Parker Middle School on Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the school. That incident came one week after a similar envelope with white powder was sent to a principal at a nearby elementary school. Authorities said tests on both packages indicated that the powders were nontoxic. Powder-filled packages have been associated with anthrax since 2001, when five people died and 17 were sickened by the substance. Anthrax-laced letters were sent to lawmakers in Washington and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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