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Two threatening notes found at Windom school

WINDOM -- The Windom Area School District is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in leaving two threatening notes in the building.

The notes were found at the Windom Area Schools Middle/High school building two days in a row, according to Wayne Wormstadt, school superintendent.

The first was found Monday, making reference to a vague threat for Tuesday's school day, and officials at Windom Area Schools took it seriously, notifying authorities, staff and parents.

When a second note was found Tuesday, extra precautions were made.

According to a letter from Wormstadt, there was no specific time reference other than a day in the first note, which was found between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. Monday at the middle/high school.

Within minutes, the Cottonwood County Sheriff's Office and Windom Police Department were on scene, and thorough searches were done throughout the evening.

The school remained locked overnight until opening for classes Tuesday.

Extra-curricular activities and events were canceled Monday night after district staff was informed of the potential threat.

Classes were conducted Tuesday with increased security, and parents were told they could keep their child home if they felt it necessary.

"At this time, there is no concern at Winfair, but administration and staff will be there to greet students in the morning," a letter to parents states.

The district notified parents through the Honeywell Instant Alert system at 6:30 p.m. Monday and posted a letter on the school's website.

"Please understand that all reasonable measures are being taken to assure the safety of all out students," the letter states. "Counselors and administrative staff are available to assist students who wish to talk about their concerns or fears regarding this or other issues."

Tuesday evening, a second letter was posted on the school website, informing parents, students and staff of a second note.

The note was found between 1:30 and 2 p.m. and made reference to a potential bomb threat in the future.

"We are working hard to keep our schools safe," the second letter from Wormstadt states. "Your administrators, teachers and other staff members are taking extra care to investigate any threats or problems that come up and to talk with students to make sure they are comfortable at school. But we need your help. Our school is being disrupted through threats and hoaxes. These actions will not be allowed."

Today, classes will be conducted as usual, but the middle/high school will have a locked campus, with morning drop off at the east and west doors only.

During the school day, the letter states, all incoming students will need to use the east door, and increased security will be in place. All students will remain indoors for the entire school day.

Anyone with information about the note is asked to contact the school at 831-6901 or law enforcement at 831-6134.