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Bomb threat closes W. Hempstead schools

West Hempstead's high school and middle school were closed Tuesday after a bomb threat was left in a voice-mail message.

A Nassau police canine unit found no explosives during a two-hour search Tuesday afternoon, a police spokeswoman said. The schools will reopen Wednesday morning, assistant superintendent Richard Cunningham said.

Students were transferred to other district schools or sent home after the bomb threat was discovered shortly after 7 a.m., Cunningham said.

The voice mail message said a bomb would be placed at West Hempstead High School sometime this week, a note on the school district Web site said.

The message was found before classes started, but some students already were in the building for other programs hosted by the school, Cunningham said.

Those students were evacuated from the building, he said.

The high school was closed immediately, as was the middle school, which is on the same property and is attached to the high school with a breezeway, Cunningham said.

High school students were sent to Cornwall Avenue Elementary School and middle school students were transferred to George Washington School. Students who live in Island Park were taken home, the district said.

Police are expected to return to the high school Tuesday afternoon and inspect the building with a canine unit, Cunningham said.

The high school and middle school remained closed on Tuesday "so we can be sure the buildings are secure," Cunningham said.

"The police are going to make sure as of now the building is free and clear," Cunningham said.

Events scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and evening at the schools, including a board of education budget meeting, were postponed, Cunningham said.

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