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Authorities Investigating Bomb Threat at Bard College at Simon's Rock

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bard College at Simon's Rock was on lockdown Thursday after an anonymous bomb threat was emailed to the campus. 
 
The all-clear was given at 1:30 p.m. after the grounds were searched by local first responders and the state police bomb squad.
 
According to Police Chief Paul Storti, the college notified police shortly after 7:15 a.m. of the threat and the college campus was locked down. Great Barrington Police also posted a notification on its Facebook page alerting the community of the situation, stating "appropriate emergency and investigative personnel are on scene. Further information will be released at a later time."
 
"The school immediately initiated their safety protocols while the Great Barrington Police Department investigated the threat," according to a release from the Police Department. "Great Barrington Fire Department, Officers from Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts State Police, MSP Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office, as well as the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Unit assisted on scene. The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe."
 
The college, which offers early entrance for high school students, posted on its web page that the all-clear was givin at 1:30 p.m. and that classes via remote would be resumed. Students are expected to return to in-person learning on Friday. The private college has an average student age of 16 and enrollment of about 450, although it's not clear how many students have been on campus during the pandemic. Students returned for the semester last week. 
 
Students were notified by an emergency campus alert and told to shelter in place during the incident. Tele-counseling services were made available to anyone who wished them.
 
"On behalf of the entire Simon's Rock community, I thank the officers and first responders who worked quickly and thoroughly to ensure our campus community was safe," wrote Vice Provost Sue Lyon on the school's web page. "Thank you to our students and our employees, who remained calm and cooperative as the authorities conducted their investigation. I know that for many students, the hour of the threat meant that this was how they were awakened this morning."
 
The incident is being investigated by Great Barrington Police and state police assigned to the DA's Office.

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Cause of Jacob's Pillow Fire Officially 'Undetermined'

Staff Reports

BECKET, Mass. — The destruction caused by the fire at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival last fall was so severe the cause cannot be determined. Officials pointed to failures with the alarm and sprinkler system as factors in the fire damage.
 
The morning fire on Nov. 17, 2020, burned the Doris Duke Theatre to the ground. It took six fire companies nearly two hours to contain the blaze. 
 
In a statement issued Tuesday, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Becket Fire Chief Paul Mikaniewicz and Becket Police Chief Kristopher McDonough said is officially "undetermined" after an "extensive investigation." 
 
The 6:50 a.m. fire destroyed the 1990 theater, the smaller of the two performance buildings at 358 George Carter Road, with damage estimated at $3 million. There were no injuries.
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