Local hospital, school district among entities threatened during Thursday’s bomb threat hoaxes

An emailed bomb hoax distributed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the United States included Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center (LDRMC) and Cleveland ISD. The threats are not credible; however they caused widespread concern and frustration for those dealing with them.

The threats compel staff at the entities to make large payments in digital currency, said Matt Thornton, hospital CEO.

“Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center has been on high alert since yesterday after receiving word of threats to other hospitals in the state. This morning, administration was made aware of a threat that came in to administration via email,” Thornton said Friday. “Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center activated its bomb threat response policy. Liberty Police Department was notified and worked with hospital staff to sweep the facility for threats. The threat is not believed to be credible and has gone to hundreds of businesses across the United States.”

Even though the bomb scare seems benign, Thornton said the hospital takes every threat seriously and will respond promptly and diligently.

“Liberty Police Department did a wonderful job securing the facility and calming fears. Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center would like to remind all of our community members to always be vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity to authorities,” Thornton said.

In a Facebook message Thursday afternoon, Cleveland ISD addressed the bomb threat, which was directed toward Cleveland Middle School.

“Cleveland ISD is taking action by working with local authorities to ensure a safe environment within our district. The middle school campus will be thoroughly checked by trained professional personnel and K9 units for this type of specific risk,” the statement reads. “Cleveland ISD takes threats like this very seriously. We will be investigating this threat to the full extent. The safety of our students and staff is our first and foremost responsibility and concern.”

Later in the evening, the district provided an update that said the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office performed a sweep of the middle school campus and cleared it.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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