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Bomb threat closes reservation school, partially locks down another

Submitted by Newsroom on March 2, 2011 – 4:00 pmNo Comment

UPDATE: 4 p.m. March 2, 2011

Bomb threat closes reservation school, partially locks down another

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

ARAPAHOE, Wyo. – A bomb threat closed Arapahoe Elementary School in Fremont County this morning, and resulted in a stay-put order for much of the afternoon at St. Stephens School. That stay-put order was issued by the Wind River Police Department, and lifted at about 2 o’clock. And by 4 this afternoon, we’d received a call from the principal’s secretary at Arapahoe School that classes will resume tomorrow as scheduled.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs refused to release any information about the incident. Special Agent Bill Lecompte of the BIA office in Billings, Mont. said his agency was the lead investigator on the case, but he could not release any details. The feds controlled the situation because the schools are on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

We did get a hold of FBI spokesman Dave Joly this morning. He’s based in the Denver office. At that time, he said the ATF had been called to the scene. That’s the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency that protects communities from violent criminals and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms and explosives. We also called Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker and learned hat deputies were on site keeping traffic from going in and out of the area.

We first heard about the problem just before 9 this morning when Arapaho school superintendent, Rick Lindblad, called to ask that a public service announcement be made to alert parents that students were being sent home and an investigation was underway into what he called an “incident.”

Then just before noon, a call came in from St. Stephen’s Homeland Security manager Jeremy Francom saying Wind River police had ordered a stay-put there because of threats at Arapahoe school. As part of that stay-put order, students were kept in adult-supervised rooms until the issue was lifted this afternoon and students went back to their regularly scheduled classes.

UPDATE: By noon today, St. Stephen’s School was ordered to go into stay-put status by the Wind River Police Department of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Jeremy Francom is the school’s Homeland Security manager. He said the stay-put order was a direct result of the threats made against Arapahoe School, and students would be kept in adult-supervised rooms until further notice.

SCHOOL INCIDENT — First Broadcast at 8:50 a.m. March 2, 2011

Bomb threat closes Arapahoe school

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

ARAPAHOE, Wyo. – A bomb threat forced the closing this morning of Arapahoe Elementary School in Arapahoe. By mid-morning we learned from Dave Joly of the FBI that ATF had been called to the scene. That’s the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms federal agency.

We could not confirm, however, that a bomb squad had been brought in to the area. A call was made to the lead agency on the case – the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But Special Agent Bill Lecompte of the BIA office in Billings, Mont., said his agency could not release any information at this time. The incident is under federal jurisdiction because the school is on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

FBI logo

We do know that deputies with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office are on site re-directing traffic. That information comes from Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker.

We learned of the closing this morning from the school’s Superintendent Rick Lindblad. He called the station and left a public service message that the students were safe, but had been sent home at 8:45. At that time, he said only that they were investigating an incident at the school. A return call was made to the school from the KVOW/KTAK newsroom, but it was picked up by an answering machine.

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