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Bomb threats evacuate two Aurora schools

Officers stoutside Institue for Collaboratiafter bomb threThursday October 10 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

Officers stand outside the Institue for Collaboration after a bomb threat on Thursday, October 10, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:24AM



Two Aurora schools received bomb threats Thursday, causing evacuations at both Aurora University and Jefferson Middle School on the city’s West Side. No explosives were found in either incident and no one was injured, Aurora police said.

Around 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning, Aurora University officials received a phoned-in threat targeting the campus’ Institute for Collaboration building in the 400 block of South Calumet Avenue.

University spokesman Steven McFarland said that Aurora police were contacted immediately after the threat was made, and that messages were sent out to students via text message, e-mail and on social networking sites notifying them of the evacuation.

Commuter students Haley Studebaker and Emily Hanson were concerned. Studebaker, a freshman, was in the Institute building Thursday during the evacuation.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” she said. “I was freaking out.”

She said the situation got worse when she realized she couldn’t leave campus. Her car, parked in the Institute lot, was off limits. At 11 a.m., Studebaker and Hanson were still waiting to leave.

The building was closed to staff and students until 12:30 p.m., but classes remained canceled for the remainder of the day Thursday.

The rest of the campus remained open throughout the incident, and classes were expected to resume normally Friday morning, University spokesman Steven McFarland said.

McFarland said officers did a thorough sweep of the building.

“We were very impressed with them, and thankful for their assistance,” McFarland said.

Then, Jefferson Middle School, 1151 Plum Street, was evacuated around 3:04 p.m. Thursday after a student claimed he was in possession of a bomb, according to Aurora police spokesman Dan Ferrelli.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the report was a hoax, Ferrelli said. Officers took a 12-year-old male student into custody, and canine units were called in to thoroughly search the building as a precaution, police said.

No one was injured and classes were scheduled to resume as normal Friday.



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