Andalusia, Covington County schools close early in response to bomb threat

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

***Update from Andalusia Star News

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said two persons of interest are in custody after duffel bags were found in a traffic stop in Wicksburg.

Meeks said that someone called the Probation and Parole Office in the Covington County Courthouse Thursday morning and stated two people had a plan to blow up a government building. The caller gave two names.

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The call prompted the evacuation of the courthouse and other government buildings, as well as the closing of Andalusia and Covington County schools.

Meeks said one of the men in custody is a person identified by the caller.

The men were taken into custody after bomb dogs hit on bags, Meeks said.

Meanwhile, bomb-sniffing dogs from Bay County were used to check the courthouse, which has been cleared.


By Michele Gerlach | Andalusia Star News

All city buildings are being closed and Andalusia City Schools students are being released immediately in response to a vague threat phoned in to the Covington County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The caller said a package of explosives would be delivered to a government building, Lt. Paul Dean of the Andalusia Police Department said.

Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan asked that all superintendents and mayors be notified.

Mayor Earl Johnson has ordered all city buildings closed out of an abundance of caution, and Andalusia Superintendent Ted Watson is dismissing school for the day.

Because there was not a specific threat made, all government buildings are on notice.

Andalusia City Hall and the library are being closed until personnel can adequately check the buildings.

“We don’t want people in the buildings until they are checked,” Dean said.

Opp municipal buildings also are being evacuated, but Opp schools remain in session.

“We are aware of the situation currently in the area,” OCS superintendent Michael Smithart said. “We have been in constant contact with law enforcement and we have implemented our safety procedures. Our students are safe in their classrooms and we will continue on a regular school day. We will keep you informed if something should change. Thank you for your understanding.”

The Star-News will update this story as it unfolds.