Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Bomb threat evacuates school

New Knoxville

By Shelley Grieshop
NEW KNOXVILLE - A bomb threat scribbled on a bathroom wall led to an evacuation Tuesday afternoon of students and staff at New Knoxville Local School.
Two dogs with the Lima-Allen County Bomb Disposal Unit searched the school and grounds but found no explosive devices or suspicious articles, according to Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon. No arrests have been made.
School superintendent Kim Waterman said prior to the evacuation two students alerted her and the high school principal to a brief message - "Yes, this is a bomb threat" - written in pencil on a small tile in an upstairs boys bathroom.
"We immediately made the decision to evacuate everyone," Waterman said.
The school was vacated about 2 p.m. and students were dismissed approximately 15 minutes later, she said. Officials utilized a "One Call Now" notification system to inform parents that students were being sent home early.
During the evacuation, several boys told officials they saw the threatening message on the wall as early as Monday, Waterman said.
"That eased our pain a little bit," she added.
Classes resumed on schedule today. Authorities are continuing to investigate the situation and may be assisted by surveillance cameras in use throughout the school, Waterman said.
She hopes her students understand the seriousness of the situation.
"Kids need to take it seriously," she said, adding such incidents are disruptive and can be dangerous.
Solomon said the bomb threat tied up emergency resources in the county for several hours. Assisting at the scene were deputies, New Knoxville Police and Fire departments, St. Marys Fire and EMS and officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The sheriff said the school reacted quickly and appropriately. He hesitated to comment on Tuesday's incident in fear of giving attention to the perpetrator(s).
"We will not give credit to these individuals and will do everything in our power to find them and prosecute them," Solomon said.
He believes media attention may have influenced five bomb threats in the Lima school district during the last month. Each time officials have cancelled classes and/or moved students to another location as a safety precaution. The cost of emergency response for each incident is estimated at $7,000.
A 17-year-old boy has been arrested and charged for one of the bomb threats in Lima. If tried as an adult, Paul Minor Jr. faces up to eight years in prison.
Solomon said the county prosecutor would determine what charges would be filed in the New Knoxville incident if a suspect is arrested.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 90 percent of all bomb threats are hoaxes. Bomb incidents involving real bombs are rare and relatively few bomb explosions are preceded by a warning or a threat, the DOJ stated in a study released last year.
The most common means of delivery of a bomb threat is via telephone. Motives include humor, self assertion, anger, manipulation, aggression, hate, fantasy and retaliation, the federal agency said.
Additional online stories on this date
New elementary, renovated middle school plan backed
CELINA - City residents responded to a call for feedback on a possible school construction project.
Approximately 75 residents attended a community [More]
Company that will use manure from the lake watershed secures state tax credit
CARTHAGENA - Plans are moving forward for a company that wants to set up an $11 million business to make organic fertilizer from local manure.
AG C [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
Recent local attacks call into question categorizing certain breeds
CELINA - A female pit bull recently ravaged a Celina man's leg as he approached a basement pen containing a pup in what Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser called the worst dog attack he's ever seen.
Coldwater Village Council may need to revisit its vicious dog policy to comply with a new state law, village solicitor Judy Koesters said.
Gov. Joh
Civil suit alleges breach of contract
A Chickasaw recycling company is suing Mercer County's solid waste department for an alleged breach of contract.
The civil lawsuit, which was filed
Coldwater schools
COLDWATER -   A report on the Race to the Top teacher inservice held recently at Coldwater schools highlighted Tuesday's brief board of education meeting.
COLDWATER - Lately, everything has been just "ducky" for a co-op, home-schooled group in Coldwater.
Six students in the group earned top honors in
MINSTER - A brother-sister team has opened an agency to provide home-care services to senior citizens.
John Paul and Maggie Slonkosky of Minster have a staff of 12 caregivers for their business, Visiting Angels, based at 96 W. Fourth St.
COLDWATER - From the feathered bangs and hippie styles of the 1970s to the casual silhouettes of today, Jean Homan and Rene Klosterman have witnessed a steady progression of hair fashions.
CELINA - The Celina Bulldogs used two big innings to improve to 2-0 on the season after posting a 13-3 win over Marion Local in five innings on Tuesday at Montgomery Field.
Local Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Taylor Walls put Parkway into the lead with a fifth-inning home run as the Panthers improve to 2-0 on the season f
Minster made history last June by winning its first-ever state championship in baseball.
The Wildcats rebounded from a 6-7 start to the season and
CELINA - Drew Braun is hoping that a strong work ethic and a versatile roster will be enough to offset a young and inexperienced team as the Celina baseball team begins the 2012 season.
CELINA - Only a 15-inning loss to Lima Shawnee a year ago prevented Celina's softball team from winning the Western Buckeye League championship.
COLDWATER - Brian Harlamert admitted that last year wasn't what is typically expected from a Coldwater baseball season as the Cavaliers finished 15-11, the first time since 2003 that the program had suffered double-digit losses in a single season.
COLDWATER - While the record stood at 11-13 at the end of last season, Coldwater's Ken Fisher was happy with how his softball team improved throughout the season as the Cavaliers won a sectional title before bowing out of the postseason at the district level.
FORT RECOVERY - It appears that baseball is getting some revival in Fort Recovery.
After two seasons of small numbers and just a varsity schedule, the Indians have bolstered their numbers enough to field both varsity and junior varsity teams this year.
FORT RECOVERY - Following a 12-14 campaign a year ago, Fort Recovery's softball coach Marie Osterholt will look to get her team back above .500 this season while also trying to retool her squad after the graduation of a talented senior class.
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local Flyers finished a respectable 13-9 overall and 4-5 in the Midwest Athletic Conference a year ago, and third-year coach Bryan Gray is hoping that improved depth will lead to an even better season this year.
MARIA STEIN - In his fifth year at the helm of the Marion Local Flyers' softball team, Russ Puthoff will be counting on a crop of underclassmen to contribute in a major way.
MINSTER - In the past 10 seasons, Minster's head baseball coach Mike Wiss has hit for the cycle as far as team accomplishments are concerned.
MINSTER - With a year of experience under his belt, Minster's head softball coach Scott Robinson is prepared to kick off his sophomore campaign with high expectations as he looks to guide the Wildcats toward contention in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
NEW BREMEN - When trying to describe the 2012 New Bremen baseball team, it might be tempting to use the "R" word, as in rebuilding, but fifth-year Cardinals' coach Greg Cox would rather use another word that begins with the letter R, as in retooling.
NEW BREMEN - After a quick glance at New Bremen's softball roster, it might appear that Cardinals' veteran coach Craig Griesdorn has a veteran team a
ROCKFORD - Veteran Parkway baseball coach Mike Schumm is excited to have nine returning letterwinners back from a team that finished 13-8 a year ago.
ROCKFORD - While Mark Esselstein has experience returning on his Parkway softball team after a 19-3 season a year ago, two key voids will need to be filled.
ST. HENRY - John Dorner's St. Henry baseball team won't be lacking experience as the Redskins welcome back 10 players from a team that reached the regional level of the postseason while finishing with a record of 19-12.
ST. HENRY - Although experience will certainly be an asset this season for St. Henry's softball coach Melissa Starkey, the Redskins must develop a pitcher in the early going in order to improve upon last year's 10-10 record.
ST. MARYS - Dave Huber is hoping that a veteran roster will help St. Marys' baseball team reach the top half of the Western Buckeye League standings for the first time since 2009.
ST. MARYS - It may sound like a cliche, but the focus for St. Marys' softball team will be one pitch, one out, one inning and one game at a time.
CELINA - Dan Otten's Celina track teams are perennially viewed as Western Buckeye League championship contenders, and this year will be no different for the Bulldogs.
COLDWATER - Depth will not be a concern for the Coldwater track teams this season.
Cavaliers' head coach Pete Lisi has experience in all of the events and the distance athletes for both the boys and girls are likely to lead the way this spring.
FORT RECOVERY - The biggest concern for the Fort Recovery track teams this spring is a lack of numbers as the Indians will have a total of just 23 athletes (13 boys, 10 girls).
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local track squads have been taking advantage of the balmy weather to get prepared for the upcoming season.
"Even with the
MINSTER - As Minster's boys' track coach Larry Topp dissects this spring's roster, he can't help but grin.
That is not good news for the rest of the Midwest Athletic Conference or those expecting to contend for the Division III state championship in June.
NEW BREMEN - Veteran New Bremen girls' track coach Sue Ritter-Burnell is working with a small and young roster this spring.
In addition to the loss
ROCKFORD - Michelle Agler's Lady Panthers will be a young group this season as 13 freshmen and five sophomores dot the roster.
"We have a couple o
ST. HENRY - Veteran St. Henry track coach Mike Eyink is welcoming back a talented group of athletes for both the boys' and girls' teams.
"Our boys
ST. MARYS - Kathy Sites is optimistic that her St. Marys' track teams have enough depth to finish with the top-tier teams in the Western Buckeye League this season.
CELINA - Experience may be lacking a bit, but the potential is evident according to Celina's boys' tennis coach Jan Morrison as she is optimistic that the Bulldogs can once again contend in the Western Buckeye League.
ST. MARYS - A senior-laden team helped lead the St. Marys' boys tennis team to a runner-up finish in the Western Buckeye League a year ago, and first-year head coach Bill Ruane is hoping to be reloading this season.