msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/22/2008 4:15:40 PM ET 2008-10-22T20:15:40

The New York Police Department is investigating a letter containing white powder sent to the offices of The New York Times.

The newspaper told employees that the suspicious substance was found Wednesday morning when an employee opened a letter on the 13th floor of company headquarters in midtown Manhattan. Police were called to investigate.

The lobby of the building was closed for nearly four hours, the newspaper said.

Authorities determined the substance was not hazardous, and the lobby was reopened by 3:40 p.m. "We are glad that we can bring this unfortunate incident to a close," Dennis L. Stern, senior vice president and deputy general manager of The Times, wrote in an e-mail message to employees.

The Times, citing Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, reported that the letter was addressed to Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page director. The address of The Times was hand-written and there was no return address, the newspaper said.

The letter was turned over to police.

The discovery comes after more than 30 letters containing a suspicious powder were mailed to bank branches and federal banking regulators' offices in nine cities.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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