Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
December 26, 2012     The New Era Paper
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December 26, 2012

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Page 10 Vc tJ C .C mMIJNITV ~;1"i~ - December 26, 2012 From page 1 tainer. "We're actively pursuing leads and information as it comes in and have reached out to other agencies regarding tips we've re- ceived to identify the suspect," said Det. Cyndi Pichardo. Burford said the suspect dis- played a handgun inside the bank. "The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money," Pichardo said. Police declined to say how much money was stolen to protect their investigation. The suspect was last seen running west on foot toward the downtown area, Burford said. Sweet Home police officers, aid- ed by Linn County deputies, im- mediately attempted to locate the suspect, spreading through the downtown. "We made contact with sev- eral businesses in the downtown area in an attempt to locate any witnesses who may have ob- served the suspect fleeing the area," Pichardo said. As a result of the incident, the Sweet Home High School, lo- cated within a few blocks of the bank, was placed on lock-down for approximately 45 minutes for safety reasons, Burford said. Sweet Home Police Officer Jason Ogden,. left, and search for a suspect at the corner of 13th Avenue the bank robbery.. Photo by Scott Swanson Police Chief Bob Burford and Main Street minutes after Sweet Home Police Officer Ryan Cummings surveys the Umpqua Bank parking door to the bank during the investigation. Photo by Scan C. Morgan Police vehicles surround the front door of the bank early Thurs- day afternoon as officials inside investigate the robbery. Photos by Scott Swanson lot half an hour after the robbery. Above, police tape protects the front From page 1 dia throughout the state last week. Some parents kept their chil- ~en home from school Thursday. Sweet Home High School had about 68 percent attendance, said Principal Keith Winslow. For the most part, he believed students were staying home because of the rumor. All of the teachers were at school. "And many of our teach- ers have kids here too," he said. "Things were pretty safe." Winslow said district officials understand why some parents kept their students home. "Oregon police agencies began tracking potential threats earlier this week after another rural school dis- trict learned via social media sourc- es of rumored threats to their school district," said Sweet Home Police and they believed Sweet Home had school," he said. Most of the posts assisted with the robbery investi- Chief Bob Burford. "Those rumors "dodged a bullet." They learned are simply repeats of the same gation, Pichardo said, helping the indicated a possible shooting could differently later that day, when the poSts. SHPD maintain assignments at occur on Friday. The basis of the School District contacted the de- Police started Thursday with the schools. The assignments just rumors were tied to the end of the partment, a visible presence at all schools in changed a bit. Two officers came 'Mayan Calendar.' From there the Sweet Home School District town, and Burford went out to Hol- back from vacation to help with the s0cial media rumors began to spread officials contacted the Sweet Home ley School, located southwest of school assignments. to multiple other Oregon communi- Police Department after the Face- Sweet Home. "It was perfect," Winslow said ties spread across the state." book and Twitter postings apparent- The police had to rotate offi- of the lock-down. "The kids were In Eugene a high school stu- ly reached the area on Wednesday, cers differently following a robbery outstanding, cooperative, relaxed dent was charged with first-degree Burford said. at Umpqua Bank and other calls, and tookit in stride. It was as smooth disordedy conduct after allegedly "District officials contacted but police maintained assignments as it could have gone really." making threats against a teacher and students involved with the postings at the schools, attended two assem- He also complimented the po- sfudents and two other high school and learned that they were repeat- blies'and ate cookies with the stu- lice for their efforts. students, who had falsely been ru- ing rumors from social media post- dents, Burford said. At the end of the day, there mored to be planning to bring guns ed from other areas outside of our After the robbery, "we locked were no incidents and no false re- to school, Were interviewed by po- community. The only change to the down the high school (for about 45 ports at the schools, Pichardo said. lice, the Register-Guard newspaper Sweet Home postings was the date minutes) because it was in the direct "It didn't have anything to do reported. According to news re- had moved up to Thursday, since no vicinity of the area where the sus- with our school, fortunately," Win- ports, hundreds of students in Port- school is in session for Friday. pect was last fleeing toward," said slow said. "It sounds like it's go- land stayed home due to circulating "We're aware of it across the Det. Cyndi Pichardo. ing across the country, really. Who rumors, state and into other states. It cer- That was the only school that knows where it originated? We Local police were aware of the tainly didn't start in Sweet Home." was locked down that day, said spent much of the day looking into rumors in other areas of the state The posts simply identify Supt. Don Schrad~r. the rumors. Students kept coming to early on Wednesday, Burford said, the target of the shooting as "the Linn County Sheriff's Office us all day long." And the winner is... Here are the finalists in The New Era's holiday lights contest, which in the process of time took on the moniker "Got Lights?" At left is 29221 Fairview, a stunning sight, as is Dave's Little Slice of Heaven, above, at 43189 North River Road. But Troy Cockrell's creation at4410 Airport Road, at right, required two photos to get the sheer impact of it all and the judges agreed Troy is the winner based on color variety and design. He gets a year's subscription to The New Era, as does Samantha Bowen, whose name was drawn from the individuals who nominated entries in the contest. After publishing our list last week, we've seen more nice lights at 1075 North River, on 47th Avenue and on the corner of Highway 20 and Dew Road. Not to be too sap- py, but the real winners were those of us who enjoyed the cre- ativity and effort that went into all the great lights we found.