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UPDATE: Pleasants Co. Authorities Investigate Bomb Threat At County Schools; Students Being Allowed Back In Schools

Update: 6 P.M. 01/10/2013

WTAP news first heard of the incident through telephone calls from Pleasants County residents.

But some callers told us, before we heard it from police and the schools, that students from St. Marys Elementary and high school, Belmont Elementary and Pleasants County Middle School, were transported to nearby churches, where parents could pick them up.

"I got a phone call from one of our friends," said resident Jennifer Boley. at the Dewey Avenue Church of Christ to pick up one of her sons, "who told us there was a bomb threat and they evacuated all three schools."

Late in the morning, as remaining students returned to classes, Assistant Superintendent Donna Barksdale issued a statement saying, "There were reported allegations of a bomb threat to pleasants county schools which the board takes seriously. law enforcement has been notified and is working with school officials to investigate."

This follows by nearly a month a threat, also reportedly from social media, against St. Marys High School, which resulted in a lockdown at the school. That incident came two days before the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Another statement, issued by the Pleasants County Sheriff's Department, said that sweeps of the schools by the sheriff and other law enforcement agencies turned up no evidence of explosives. We were not able to ask whether a connection with last month's threat is being investigated.

"Whoever it is, they should be sent to a place like, going to jail," said high school student Devon Boley, "because I don't think it's right to risk innocent lives."

Besides the sheriff's department, the St. Marys Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, fire departments from St. Marys and Belmont, and Parkersburg's explosive ordinance canine unit were involved in the sweep.

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UPDATE: 11:30am 01/10/2013

According to Donna Barksdale, Assistant Superintendent of Pleasants Co. School, students are now being allowed to return to the classroom.

Stay tuned to WTAP-TV & TheNewsCenter.TV for more information on this situation as it becomes available.


UPDATE: 11:25am 01/10/2013

Donna Barksdale, Assistant Superintendent on behalf of Michael Wells, Superintendent released this statement:

"There were reported allegations of a bomb threat to Pleasants County Schools which the Board takes seriously.  Law enforcement has been notified and is working with school officials to investigate. Students and staff have been evacuated to secure locations and will be returned to their home schools once authorities have determined it is safe to do so. Pleasants County Schools continues to make the safety of our students and staff our highest priority."


ORIGINAL STORY

Pleasants County schools & local authorities are investigating a situation in its schools.

No information about the investigation is being released at this time.

The St. Marys Police chief does say students at St. Marys High School & St. Marys Middle School have been moved to area churches.

Stay tuned to WTAP-TV & TheNewsCenter.TV for more information on this situation as it becomes available.


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