, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 15, 2012

Mystery pen causes worries at Pentucket

WEST NEWBURY — Local police said a ballpoint pen containing white powder found inside the Pentucket Middle School's auditorium Tuesday afternoon will be sent to the state police's crime lab to determine the exact nature of the substance.

West Newbury police Sgt. Jeffrey Durand said the substance was checked to determine if it was a drug or dangerous substance, and it appears to be harmless.

Durand said the pen was found during the last period of the day by a student who handed it over to a teacher. The teacher then gave it the school's assistant principal who informed police. There were no reports of health problems caused by the substance.

Police checked the area where the pen was discovered and did not find a note. There were no phone calls to the school associated with the pen, further diminishing the possibility the substance was dangerous.

A call to the Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that the agency isn't investigating similar cases. The school was not evacuated, Durand added.

"If there had been a note or a call placed, it would have been handled differently," Durand said.

The student who discovered the pen was examined and found not to have been exposed to anything harmful, Durand said.

Pentucket Middle School, part of the Pentucket Regional School District, is located on Main Street in West Newbury. Students from nearby Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury attend the school.

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