Threat Closes North Dakota School

School temporarily bars students from campus in 'credible' incident that required full campus search


Feb. 6--A "credible threat," to the security of students and others led officials to close down Warroad Public Schools today as part of an investigation that began about 6 p.m. Sunday.

Warroad Police Chief Robert Cudaback said he couldn't release much information because the investigation is ongoing.

He became aware of the threat about 6 p.m. Sunday, Cudaback said.

"I can tell you it's a credible threat that we are taking very seriously," he said late Sunday. No one has been hurt, and no one yet is in custody over the threat, Cudaback said. But several people are being questioned, and he expects the investigation to result in serious charges being brought against someone, he said.

"There are people being questioned but nobody actually in custody," he said.

It's not a bomb-related threat and people living near the school are not in danger, and no one was evacuated, he said.

Superintendent David Kragness was at the school late Sunday night.

Maintenance staff were told to report to work today, a school official said. But no students will be allowed in or near the school.

About 15 officers from his department, the Roseau County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota State Patrol and the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were involved Sunday in the investigation, which includes a physical search of the school grounds, the chief said.

Today, search dogs will be brought in, Cudaback said.

All classes, "every practice and everything will be cancelled," at all the school's grades and buildings, he said.

He said Sunday that he and other officers would be working the investigation all night.

The elementary, middle and high schools all are located at 510 Cedar Ave. on the southwest part of Warroad with a total of more than 1,200 students in grades k-12.

Warroad has a population of about 1,700, and according to the city's Web site, a total of about 5,000 people live within five miles of the city.

Cudaback said he's not aware of any similar or related threat at the school this year.

Less than a year ago, a student in Warroad High School was taken into custody over threats of violence made against another student.

Then-Police Chief Lawrence Wright said the police department learned of the threat April 11. The juvenile was taken to the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center in Bemidji and was charged by the Roseau County Attorney.

Some parents voiced concern about wider threats at the time, but Wright said there was no reason to believe any further threats were looming, the Herald reported at the time.

"We don't have anything to corroborate that anything is going to happen at this time," Wright said.

Lee can be reached at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or e-mail him at slee@gfherald.com.

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