Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 11, 2013

Students arrested in THS bomb threat

TAHLEQUAH — Three Tahlequah High School students have been arrested and are expected to face felony charges in connection to Monday evening’s bomb threat at the school.

School Resource Officer Bryan Swim said officers received “credible information” Tuesday morning that led to interviews and two arrests later that day, along with a third arrest Wednesday morning. Neither police nor school officials would release the names of the three students, nor would they provide ages of the teenagers.

Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Presley said law enforcement officials are “handling the situation.”

“District officials are going to take care of matters related to the students’ conduct,” said Presley, who also confirmed the students are not being allowed on TPS property. “I would like to reassure the public that at no time were students or staff in danger.”

The three teens appeared before Special Judge Sandy Crosslin after their arrests, and a recommendation was made to hold them in a detention center. The Office of Juvenile Affairs was involved in the process, but authorities were unable to find available detention-center beds in Oklahoma, so the suspects were released to their parents, pending their next court appearance.

Swim said a note was left at the school Monday that included a “generalized threat directed toward the high school.”

The note was discovered after school let out at 3:10 p.m., and all students and staff remaining on campus were immediately evacuated.

“After everyone was accounted for, we made arrangements for them to get home,” said Swim.

Swim said several other agencies were dispatched to the site to help set up perimeters, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Tahlequah Police Department; Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office; Tahlequah City Hospital EMS; Tahlequah Fire Department; the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service; Tahlequah-Cherokee County Emergency Management; and investigators with the District 27 District Attorney’s Office.

After the campus was evacuated, no one was allowed back inside until the OHP brought in two canines to help sweep the site. Swim said the canines and their handlers were assisted in the sweep by THS administrators.

Swim praised the cooperation and response of local agencies.

“Communication and response worked really well among the agencies,” said Swim. “With the help of all of the responding agencies, we were able to set up a perimeter around the school and shut down the nearby roads, then set up a command post in the north parking lot.”

Swim said the OHP’s canines, which are trained to detect explosives, checked every area of the THS campus – a process that took more than two hours. At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, the scene was cleared and authorities announced they had discovered no explosive device inside the facility.

Authorities then began trying to determine who left the threatening note at the school. Police on Wednesday confirmed surveillanc

e footage from cameras at the school were instrumental in the probe.

Tahlequah Police Department Public Information Officer Brad Robertson said all of the TPS school resource officers were involved in the response and investigation into the threat.

“The school resource officers’ knowledge of their school sites is a critical asset to our department,” said Robertson. “We appreciate the work they do for the schools and our department.”

Swim said he will complete the investigation report and submit it to the District Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will make the final decision on what charges to file against the three suspects.

Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN