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Waysmeet Center Reopens

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 21, 2010

The Waysmeet Center, home to Campus Ministry and the Cornucopia Food Pantry, has reopened after being shut down in December because of low-level anthrax contamination.

On Friday, April 16, Larry Brickner-Wood, chaplain and executive director of Campus Ministry, met state officials at Waysmeet to have the quarantine officially lifted.

In an e-mail to board members, Brickner-Wood wrote, “I have been waiting for three and a half months to write words such as these (announcing the reopening). It will be good to be back home.”

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the building was cleaned following specific Environmental Protection Agency procedures.

“We have conducted follow-up testing, and the results show the building is no longer contaminated with the naturally occurring anthrax,” said José Montero, DHHS public health director. “Since we have determined there is no danger to the public, we are lifting the order and clearing the Ministry building for normal use.”

The building was closed, and its offices and the food pantry temporarily relocated, in December after a Strafford County woman became seriously ill following a drum circle held at Waysmeet. Authorities suspect she ingested aerosolized anthrax spores that originated from the drums, which are made from animal hides.

Meanwhile, the Cornucopia Food Pantry is in the middle of its food drive to fill spring baskets. Donations for the winter food baskets filled 205 baskets, aiding more than 1,000 people. For a list of suggested food items visit www.cornucopia.unh.edu.

Baskets will be distributed on Wednesday, April 28. Financial donations are welcome. Checks can be made payable to the Cornucopia Food Pantry, and all donations are tax deductible.

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