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Bomb threat prompted Esko evacuation

No device was found.

Esko evacuation
Esko families pick up students who were evacuated to St. Matthew's Church after a threat Thursday, March 17.
Dylan Sherman / Cloquet Pine Journal
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ESKO — A bomb threat prompted the evacuation of Esko Public Schools on Thursday, Carlton County Sheriff's Office Lt. Dan Danielson said Thursday evening.

At 12:49 p.m., the sheriff's office received an anonymous 911 call claiming an explosive device was seen in an Esko High School classroom, Danielson said in a news release.

After evacuating students and staff, the school district buildings were deemed safe late Thursday afternoon.

"As a result of the search, no suspicious items or threats were located, and the campus was determined to be safe," Danielson said in the release.

Danielson said the investigation into the bomb threat is ongoing and that there have been no arrests. He urged anyone with information to call 911.


The Esko School District "received information" that prompted the evacuation of students and staff, according to a district Facebook post at 1:44 p.m. Students were safely evacuated to St. Matthew's Church, 4 Elizabeth Ave.

Esko Superintendent Aaron Fischer told the Pine Journal that the main priority was the students' safety, while he helped parents pick up their children at the church.

Normal bus routes proceeded at 3 p.m. from the church and parents were allowed to pick up their children after the buses left. The school and parking lot were off-limits at that time due to the investigation.

The Cool Kids program and all after-school practices were canceled. Students who attend Growing with Love and Mini-Mos were bused to those facilities.

During the Thomson Township board meeting Thursday evening, Esko School Board Chair Jerry Frederick said the response "went extremely well."

Esko-Thomson Fire Chief Kyle Gustafson also said the school did well with its plan.

"We don't like using it, but the plan is very well done," Gustafson said.

This story was updated several times, most recently at 8:15 p.m. March 17 with more information from the Carlton County Sheriff's Office. It was originally posted at 2:25 p.m. March 17.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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