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Students forced to evacuate middle school

January 15, 2013
It's the start of a new year, but some terribly bad old habits are lingering as the Bonners Ferry Middle School was evacuated once again for a bomb threat scribbled in a restroom stall; the fourth so far in local schools this school year.

Sheriff's dispatchers received the call shortly after 1 p.m. today, a little over a month since the last scare, and once again city, county and federal peace officers dropped what they were doing to respond, as did volunteer city firefighters and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance personnel, who not much earlier responded to a single vehicle injury crash just south of town.

"These things involve an awful lot of people; city police, the sheriff's office, Border Patrol, not to mention fire and ambulance people,"said Boundary County Emergency Management Incident Commander Bob Graham, who was also summoned to the school once again. "They all have more important things to be doing, and if something else came up during one of these scares, they'd be stretched awfully thin. It's not a good situation."

According to Graham, the threat this time was considerably more involved than those in the past.

"This time, they were in ink, written in four separate location in the same stall," he said. "It's apparent that the person who did it went over a couple of them several times, making them much more noticeable."

In addition, today's threat included a time of detonation, though it was for 1 p.m., a few minutes before the threat was noticed and called in.

Students were evacuated to the high school gym and placed on lockdown until the scene was cleared after a physical search of the building by law enforcement officers at 1:59 p.m.

"We didn't call in a bomb sniffing dog because it just takes too long," Graham said. "We conferred with federal and state agencies involved in this sort of thing and determined that it wasn't necessary."

Once again, anyone with information on the person or persons who may be perpetrating these costly hoaxes is encouraged to contact the Bonners Ferry Police Department, (208) 267-2412. A $1000 reward is still out there for information leading to the arrest and conviction of who ever is responsible.
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