- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2006

1:45 p.m.

CULPEPER, Va. (AP) — Culpeper County schools were closed today after police got a bomb threat targeting an unnamed school.

Officials decided to close all public and private schools because the threat was “nonspecific,” county schools spokeswoman Marla McKenna said.

Sheriff H. Lee Hart said that the phone call came into the county communications center at 11:31 p.m. yesterday and that the caller spoke in vague terms about placing an explosive device inside a school.

“The individual had a lengthy conversation, and in this conversation he said he was going to blow up schools,” Sheriff Hart said at a press conference. “We do not know which schools or his plans. We don’t know a lot about this individual.”

School officials canceled classes in the wake of a recent string of school shootings in other states.

Police teams planned to sweep all eight public school buildings and several private schools in Culpeper County for bombs or other possible dangers, officials said.

State police used explosives-detecting dogs and bomb technicians, state police Sgt. Les Tyler said.

Miss McKenna said that 7,263 children attend the county’s five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.

Several private schools and day-care centers also closed.

The school system has received bomb threats before but has never shut down because of them, Miss McKenna said.

The mostly rural county about 70 miles southwest of the District increasingly has become a bedroom community for people who work in the Washington area.

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