Lingle latest governor to receive envelope with mysterious powder - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lingle latest governor to receive envelope with mysterious powder

Capt. Terry Seelig Capt. Terry Seelig

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii's Linda Lingle is the latest governor in the US to receive suspicious mail. A hazardous materials team rushed to the state Capitol Wednesday, after an envelope containing a mysterious powder arrived at her office.

Lingle's staff says it was prepared after hearing about similar deliveries across the country. Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got hers Tuesday.

A hazmat crew dons protective gear and heads to the top floor of the state Capitol. It's a lunch-time show for Albert Kamakana and his co-workers.

"Usually uneventful?" this reporter asked.

"Very uneventful," Kamakana replied. "This is the first, you know, something like this happens."

While sorting mail in Gov. Lingle's office, a staffer discovered an envelope from Texas.

"It was separated from the other mail because of the postmark, and because of the recent events around the nation," Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department, said.

This week, several governors on the mainland received envelopes, all with Texas postmarks, containing white powder.

"Because of that, we were just having our personnel keep a lookout for letters coming from Texas," Barry Fukunaga, Lingle's chief of staff, said.

After conducting a field test, fire officials determine the powder sent to Lingle is corn starch.

"It's unfortunate that there would be those that would choose to see this as a kind of a way to amuse themselves," Fukunaga said. "Certainly, it's very disruptive."

"They got nothing better to do, I guess, right," Kamakana said. "I mean, with the economy now, it's really, really regretful that they do something like that."

The FBI is leading the investigation. The envelope and its contents are headed to a lab for further analysis.

"You'd hate to see people think that this is just something they can get away with," Fukunaga said.

Lingle wasn't in the office. She was attending a visitors bureau meeting on Maui.

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