Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Students allowed back on MCLA campus after bomb threat

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Albany/HV: Students allowed back on MCLA campus after bomb threat
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Students are back on campus at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the school Thursday. As our Madeleine Rivera reports, even though the threats were unfounded, officials say these situations need to be taken seriously in light of the Boston tragedies.

MCLA students were evacuated to a location a few blocks away from the school. There, they waited for the clear that would allow them to return to campus after hearing of a bomb threat in their school.

"I was concerned, but I didn't know if there was a bomb or not. But, the longer we were there, I started to get more and more nervous," said Ashley Prand, an MCLA student.

A student found a note with the bomb threat in one of the school's academic buildings in Murdock Hall on Thursday afternoon. According to the note, the bomb would go off at 4:30 p.m. The student notified campus officials. It wasn't long before local and state police came closing off six blocks in the surrounding area to investigate.

"The state police bomb squad came to assist with their dog, which was a great comfort to have them on campus. And it took them about an hour to get to all the buildings," said Jim Stakenas, Vice President of Administration at MCLA.

Finding no credible threat, police and school officials allowed students to return to campus by 6:15.

Prand says she felt "relief."

It's a shared sentiment by many, especially after the recent tragedies in Boston.

"The first thing you think about is Boston. Last thing you want is for that to happen in your community. But, the reality is that things can happen," said Mayor Richard Alcombright.

But, thankfully, at MCLA that wasn't the reality.

"As soon as they let us all in, we were all relaxed and happy. There's still some nervousness going on but, I feel a lot better now, that everyone's okay," said Prand.

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