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Published: Thursday, 10/18/2007

Threat closes 2 Lima colleges

LIMA, Ohio - Two state colleges in Lima evacuated their shared campus and canceled classes yesterday after a bomb threat was called in to a switchboard operator, authorities said.

No explosives were found during a search of nine buildings that ended about 3 p.m. on the shared campus of Rhodes State College and the Ohio State University regional campus, Maj. Gene King of the Allen County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies searched the buildings with the help of two bomb-sniffing dogs, the major said.

Someone called a campus operator shortly before 11:30 a.m. and said a bomb would go off in the afternoon but didn't give a location or time, Jacque Daley-Perrin, a Rhodes State College spokesman, said. The person who received the call immediately notified campus security, who informed campus administrators of the threat, she said.

"Campus administrators went through each building room by room and notified each group of students and staff that a threat had been made and they needed to evacuate," Ms. Daley-Perrin said. Students were notified by e-mail and a warning was posted on the school's Web site. The campus was evacuated by about 1 p.m., she said.

The two colleges also were evacuated in April after someone called in a bomb threat. The incident occurred a few days after the massacre at Virginia Tech, when a student killed 32 fellow students and then himself.

Rhodes State is a two-year college with an enrollment of about 3,500 students. About 1,200 students are enrolled at Lima's OSU branch.

Classes are expected to resume today.

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