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Two schools receive phoned bomb threats

Bomb threats called into two Lincoln County schools forced police to turn students and parents away from planned activities Thursday night.
At about 5 p.m., Lincolnton Police received a call from Lincoln County Schools officials about a possible bomb threat called into the school’s administrative offices on Generals Boulevard, police Detective Kameron Keener said.
An employee who answered the phone said the caller sounded like a white male, Keener said.
“He said ‘There are PTA meetings tonight and I’m going to blow them up,’” Keener said.
The employee asked the caller to repeat himself. He did, Keener said, and then became agitated and hung up.
City officers and firefighters secured the outside of LMS, Keener said. Police went inside the building and determined that there was nothing in the school.
Authorities with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to Love Memorial and also determined it safe.
Parent Teacher Organization meetings being held at both schools Thursday night were canceled after the call came in, said Phyllis Tallent, assistant superintendent for support services for Lincoln County Schools.
Tallent said school administration and central office staff were on hand at each school, but police had control of the situations.
“Once the bomb threat comes in, it does become a police issue,” Tallent said, adding that the procedure went “very smoothly.”
School officials have fielded calls from concerned parents this morning, some of whom refused to send their children to school.
But Tallent wants parents to know that the schools are safe.
“We took it very, very seriously. It was hoax, 99 percent of the time they are … but there are certain procedures to go through,” Tallent said.
After authorities determined that “the schools were 100 percent safe to be back there,” Tallent said, central office staff made the decision to hold school today.
Police have several leads, but are asking the public for more help.
Keener said the threatening phone call came from a pay phone near Jim’s Mini Mart at the corner of Childs Street and Riverside Drive.
A witness reported seeing a white male in his late 20s or early 30s near the phone, and another person described a white vehicle at the scene. Another witness told police a white male was seen running east on West Main Street from the direction of the phone.
Anyone with information should call the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900 or the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050.by Alice Smith

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