Local News

Chester school threatened twice

Law enforcement agencies including the Chester Police Department and the Vermont State Police are investigating two threats that occurred this past week at Green Mountain Union High School in the town of Chester.

The initial threat was received Monday, Feb. 4, when a student at the high school learned of a message online in which an individual made threats of violence toward the student at school.

That threat was traced to an individual in Michigan. And late Thursday, Feb. 7, authorities took Jason Graham, 23, of Three Rivers, into custody on a parole violation related to possession of firearms, drugs and alcohol. According to Michigan law enforcement, Graham was on parole for escape from a work crew, with underlying charges of retail theft and carrying a concealed weapon. Graham’s computer was seized, and investigators are in the process of searching it in connection with the Green Mountain Union threat.

No charges related to that incident have yet been filed.

Then, at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, the school received a call from an individual who made a threat of violence toward the school, including a bomb threat. The school was placed in lockdown, and police responded.

Law enforcement evacuated the school.

The Vermont State Police Bomb Squad and explosives detection K-9s also were utilized, and no explosive devices were found. The investigation into the source of this second threat remains active and ongoing.

Friday morning, Feb. 8, police were on hand at the beginning of the school day and met with students to explain the situation. A normal class schedule then resumed.

Assisting at the school were police departments from Barre City, Newport, Rutland City, Springfield and Weathersfield in Vermont, and from Lebanon, New Hampshire. Vermont Fish and Game wardens and Chester and Springfield fire departments also responded.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Chester police at 802-875-2233.

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