Elementary Students Evacuated for Bomb Threat

MONTPELIER — School officials evacuated Union Elementary School students at 9:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 25, following a bomb threat that was called into the school, according to Brian Ricca, superintendent of the Montpelier Public School System, in an e-mail that was sent to families of the students who were involved. Montpelier Police Department was immediately notified.

“After all students were evacuated, the entire building was swept by the MPD and the all clear was given. As of right now, all UES students are back in their classrooms, except for the fourth graders who are on their field trip. We are telling the Union Elementary School students that this was just an evacuation drill,” Ricca stated, adding that he had been forewarned by the Vermont School Crisis Planning Team that there were “similar hoaxes” at other schools around the country, including one in Rutland, recently.

According to the Montpelier Police Department website, officers responded to provide security outside and to assist with the evacuation inside the building. Once all students and staff were safely outside, officers and administrative staff conducted a sweep of the building as a precaution.

Once the building was given the “all clear” officers assisted at several intersections with the return of the students to school. “Students and staff did a great job executing their safety plan,” the posting states.

The call is believed to be part of a nationwide hoax called “swatting” which results in a large emergency response to a false report.


$11,000 Raised by Concerts To Help Syrian Refugees

About 60,000 Syrian refugees who are camped at a temporary location just across the Syrian border in Turkey will be helped with proceeds from two recent concerts. Also to be helped are some 100 Syrian refugees who will be resettling in Rutland this coming October.

According to concert organizer and noted pianist Michael Arnowitt who spoke to The Bridge by phone, about 300 people turned out for the Syrian benefit concert at the First Congregational Church in Burlington on May 21. Then another 500 people supported the Syrian relief effort at a second concert at Smilie Auditorium (Montpelier High School) on May 22. All-told the proceeds from both concerts raised about $11,000.

Arnowitt said that half the money from the two benefit concerts will go to the Karam Foundation based in Chicago. According to its website the overall mission of the Karam Foundation is “to build a better future for Syria” by developing innovative education programs for Syrian refugee youth, by distributing what Karam calls “smart aid” to Syrian families and by providing money to support sustainable development projects “initiated by Syrians for Syrians.” The other half of the $11,000 from the two benefit concerts will help some 100 Syrians who are slated to be settled in Rutland during October. That money will help pay for a support center in Rutland that helps new Vermonters.

According to Arnowitt the two benefit concerts featured 30 performers who presented Syrian music, poetry, short stories and drama with special Syrian-born guests from Chicago, Albany, New Haven (Connecticut) and Vermont.

Arnowitt is inviting anyone who wants to make a donation to help Syrian refugees to send a check made payable to “Vermont Fund for Syrian Refugees,” P.O. Box 94, Montpelier, VT 05601. Contributions are also being accepted through the website www.mapiano.com


Thief (Thieves) Steals Inspection Stickers

WATERBURY — If you get a sweet deal on an inspection sticker, it might just be time to call Trooper Darryl Cremo of the Vermont State Police. Trooper Cremo issued a press release stating that, between the hours of 4 p.m. May 21 and 7:30 a.m. May 23, an unknown subject or subjects broke into the Snow Fire Auto at 100 U.S. Route 2. They entered the building by smashing a side window. After entering the building, cash and inspection stickers to vehicles were taken.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Trooper Darryl Cremo at 229-9191 or Central Vermont Crime Stoppers at 1-800-529-9998.


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