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3 Norwin bomb threats cost up to $21,000, chief says

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 9:27 p.m.

Norwin High School's three bomb threats in February and March cost between $4,000 and $7,000 each in manpower and resources expended by the police and fire departments in investigating what turned out to be false alarms, North Huntingdon's top police officer said.

Lt. Rod Mahinske on Wednesday gave the North Huntingdon commissioners his estimate as he discussed the bomb threats that occurred on Feb. 23 and 27 and March 8.

In response to the threats, explosive-sniffing K-9 officers and their handlers from Westmoreland, Alle­gheny and Butler counties were dispatched to the high school, Mahinske said. Township police also spent more time patrolling the school in the evenings, he noted.

The arrest of a 14-year-old male student in connection with the bomb threats was made “with a lot of cooperation” from Norwin school officials, Mahinske said.

When contacted after the meeting, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said his office intends to seek restitution for the emergency responders' expenses. Peck said that has been the practice in other cases of terroristic threats that turn out to be false alarms.

The student faces three counts each of terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct in Westmoreland juvenile court, Mahinske said when the juvenile was arrested.

The Feb. 23 threat involved just one word, and details about it weren't released to the public, Mahinske said.

Students were evacuated Feb. 27 after another threat was reported to township police. The school day resumed about noon after the building was cleared.

Renatta Signorini contributed to this story. Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or

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