, Newburyport, MA

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May 7, 2010

Bomb threat shuts down Pentucket High and Middle School

Kids sent home for day; after school activities will go on

WEST NEWBURY — Pentucket Regional High and Middle schools went on lockdown today after an apparent bomb scare this morning.

West Newbury police and fire departments, along with Groveland, Merrimac and State Police, surrounded the perimeter of the school and closed off the entrance to the school at around 9:30 a.m. this morning.

At 10:18 a.m., Superindendent Paul Livingston sent an e-mail to parents stating that the school received a bomb threat that "had some limited credibility" and that the school had followed its emergency procedures to evacuate all high school students and staff to the Middle School.

West Newbury officer Michael Dwyer said the State Police's Suspicious Device Unit had dogs sweep the school, and nothing was found, though the incident is still under investigation.

In his letter to parents, Livingston said high school students only would be bussed home around 10:45 a.m. and students who normally drive their own cars to school were recommended to be bussed home and return later for their vehicles, or stay at the Middle School until the high school area is released.

According to a letter that was sent shortly before 2 p.m. from Livingston, after school activities will be held today and students can secure their vehicles and/or needed school and personal items until around 5 p.m.

Further details of the nature of the threat have not been made availabe as of 2 p.m. A State Police trooper manning the entrance road told a reporter she could be shot if she continued to question West Newbury fire officials at the scene during the investigation.

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