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No bombs or hazards found after tip leads to search of Martinsburg High School

April 10, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Police searched Martinsburg High School before school Wednesday after receiving a tip that students had discussed planting a bomb, Martinsburg police said in a news release.

With the help of K-9 bomb-sniffing dogs from the Loudon County (Va.) Sheriff's Department, police searched the entire building and determined there were no bombs or other hazards in the school, Detective S.F. Doyle said.

The tip came in overnight through the West Virginia Safe School Hotline, which contacted police at about 12:50 a.m., Doyle said. Several students were heard Tuesday talking about planting an explosive device, police said.

Martinsburg Police arrived at the school and found an unsecured door, Doyle said. Police secured the perimeter of the building and contacted school officials, he said.

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The search was completed by about 4:15 a.m. and officials determined there was no need to cancel school, police said.

Berkeley County Public Schools spokeswoman Jamie Borger said she was pleased with how the incident was handled.

"As usual, the city police responded quickly and efficiently, and worked in tandem with us to meet their need," Borger said.

She credited the Safe School Hotline (800-SAFE-WVA) with allowing information about the situation to reach authorities in time to search the school before students arrived.

Borger said the door found unsecured at the school was a concern. All outer doors on school buildings are supposed to be locked at night, she said.

Doyle said Martinsburg Police would like to thank the student who reported the possible threat.

Police were continuing to investigate the matter Wednesday afternoon. Anyone with information may contact Martinsburg Police at 304-264-2100 or Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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