April 18, 2007

Breaking: U of M Evacuates Buildings For Bomb Threat

The University of Minnesota has evacuated at least eight buildings this afternoon after receiving a bomb threat:

Eight buildings on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities East Bank were evacuated in response to a bomb threat Wednesday afternoon.

The buildings included Morrill Hall, where the university administration offices are located, and Walter Library. None were dormitories.

A note was found in Smith Hall, and surrounding buildings were evacuated, said University police Lt. Chuck Miner. The threat was reported about 1 p.m.

Other buildings evacuated were Appleby, Kohltoff, Frasier, Johnston and the Science Classroom Building

The buildings will be closed until 10 p.m. and classes in these buildings are canceled. Police were also searching other buildings on the central mall area and officials were urging students to leave the area and go home.

At the moment, I'm trying to track down my son to find out what he knows; he's a student there and lives nearby. As more details come in, I will update the post.

UPDATE: Got in touch with my son, and he says the police are all over the place. The area of interest is Smith Hall and Kolthoff Hall, where there are chemical labs. He says that people were working in that area earlier, perhaps to turn on a waterfall that gets shut down in wintertime. Now they have it blocked off by police, and they've also blocked off the way he normally exits the campus. He'll call me back later with more information.

UPDATE II: The U of M is one of the largest campuses in the US. Snith Hall is at the north end of the East Bank campus. It's close to the area known as Dinkytown, where Minnesota students socialize in the shops and restaurants near the campus itself.

UPDATE III: My son's home now. Nothing much to add; he's more annoyed than any other emotion. I'm still checking for updates, but I'm almost certain that the perpetrator wanted to get a charge of scaring people after what happened at Virginia Tech.

UPDATE IV: No bomb, authorities say (at the same link as above). They're pretty sure that it was a hoax, but they're still investigating it -- probably until they can find the person who left the note.


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Comments (7)

Posted by aviazn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:24 PM

I just walked back from campus from my last class of the day. All of Northrop Mall is taped off as well (although I believe classes were continuing in most of the buildings around it) and there are at least four helicopters patrolling on the campus as well.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:43 PM

What ya have to hope, is that administrators are taking a harder look at some of their known wackier students. Especially of the "palestinian kind." Where Saudi money CAN BUY terror. And, administrators always seem to be "looking the other way" ... when they get tuition payments. To the point they no longer care about how "safe" a college or university "feels."


Now is not the time to dilly dally with a few of the students who are very capable of stalking others. And, terrorizing some.

It seems Virginia Tech has put out there "new" benchmarks. INCLUDING? This is now a news item. Where people coming here can see a breaking story. FASTER than it would even appear, elsewhere. That says a lot about words-of-mouth.

And, as I said, rather than just sweeping the campus to make students feel safe; now is the time to look at those "counseling" records. To see if some of the academics are way out of their league, in what they teach.

Nothing fades faster than trust.

Posted by Jim M [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:04 PM

Glad your son is home and safe, Ed.

But isn't U of M the University of Michigan, not Minnesota?

Posted by AntonK [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:07 PM

Here's a letter a commenter at Volokh always sends to newspapers after events like VT.

To the Editor:

A practical, commonsense way of reducing gun violence -- especially in the schools -- would be a federal law prohibiting, or at least seriously limiting, the interstate reporting of sensational gun crimes like Virginia Tech for five working days.

Such a law would not affect local coverage, where there is a need for the immediate dissemination of information, but would make the event 'old news' when it was finally reported nationally and therefore unlikely to get the massive publicity that invites further, copycat violence. Even a small reduction in today's intense coverage of such events might, by not stimulating some potential gunman to action, save lives.

While 'gun' laws are hard to enforce because of the easy concealment of firearms, the public nature of 'news' would make enforcement of this law virtually automatic.

Because the delay would be short and serve a compelling government interest, it should pass constitutional muster; the Brady law serves admirably as a precedent here. While First Amendment absolutists will cavil, the simple fact is that it is as wrong to hold that the Press Clause protects a media 'right' to lethally endanger the public as it would be to hold that the Religion Clause protects human sacrifice.


For some reason, even though the suggested law would clearly be 'worth trying' (a standard rationale of the Left), no 'anti gun violence' paper has ever published it.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:11 PM

Is the "left" a monolith? Just wondering.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:14 PM

Is the "left" a monolith?

Certainly it is CD, or at least it looks like it from way over here on the "right". Its a commonly shared distortion that the other side always looks monolithic, while we and our friends always seem diverse and varied and individual. They are "Borg" and ominously gray, while we are benign and colorful and hopelessly individualistic. Part of that mutually agreed upon blindness that we beat each other over the head with every day.

Good of you to notice.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 7:32 AM

What is the penalty for calling in a bomb threat?

Whatever it is now, it should be a minimum of five years in the state pen.

Catch one of these clowns and put tapes of him getting dragged out of his home and thrown in prison.

That would be useful. Instead of glorifying a murderer, like NBC did last night.