Friday, April 19, 2013

Bomb threat forces school evacuation

High school sophomore charged with felony

A sophomore at Wood River High School was arrested Thursday for allegedly making a bomb threat to the Hailey school earlier in the day.
    Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said the boy was taken into custody on a “felony charge of making a bomb threat.”
    The threat led to the evacuation of the high school and nearby Silver Creek High School. A “code yellow” security alert was implemented at all other schools in the district with the exception of Carey School.
    School was canceled for the day at both Wood River and Silver Creek high schools but remained in session at other facilities, although parents were allowed to pick up their children if they wanted.
    Numerous school events throughout the Blaine County School District were canceled.
    Gunter said the bomb threat came through a telephone call to the Wood River High School office at 9:57 a.m.
    “He called the person at the high school office and said the bomb was going to go off at noon,” he said.
    The police chief said the student was identified by the telephone he used to make the call and was taken into custody within about 20 minutes of making the call.
    Students from both high schools were escorted to the nearby Community Campus on Fox Acres Road in Hailey and taken into the gymnasium. The school district sent out text messages to parents advising them that they could pick up their children if they wanted. The students were released before noon.
    After the threat was made, law enforcement restricted access to the school and stopped motorists leaving the campus to identify them.
    Gunter said about 20 people, including his officers, Blaine County Sheriff’s Office deputies, an Idaho State Police trooper and School District officials, searched both high schools but did not find anything out of the ordinary. The search was finished by about 1:30 p.m.
    “Things went well today,” the police chief said. “It was a good effort among all the departments. We were able to get things wrapped up very quickly.”
    Heather Crocker, the district’s communications director, notified the Idaho Mountain Express shortly after the bomb threat was made. Both the district and the Express posted updates on their websites as new information became available.
    The incident follows a series of bomb threats made last week to Idaho schools and businesses, mostly in the Boise area. The Associated Press reported that a 16-year-old Meridian boy was arrested Friday, April 12, and charged with the felony crime of “making a false report of explosives.”

Terry Smith:

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