Threat keeps kids away from school at Cascade High

Herald staff

EVERETT — About three-quarters of Cascade High School students stayed away from school Friday in an apparent response to a "vague threat" discovered earlier in the week.

"We gave parents the option to keep their students home," Everett School District spokeswoman Gay Campbell said.

School officials discovered the threat Wednesday and sent a letter home to let parents know. A second letter Thursday informed parents that the threat involved the school on Friday, and that while school officials felt the school was safe and police would be present, students could stay home with parental permission, she said.

Washington State Patrol troopers and Everett police were at the school starting about 5 a.m. to make sure there were no problems, Campbell said.

"It was absolutely fine," she said.

Only about 400 students showed up, compared with normal attendance of 1,600 to 1,700, Campbell said.

  • Sex offender visiting: Island County sheriff’s officials issued a warning Friday about a registered sex offender who is scheduled to visit a friend in the Oak Harbor-north Whidbey Island area this weekend.

    Steven Nelson Shields, 34, is scheduled to visit a home in the 3300 block of Green Road, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Smith said.

    He is a registered sex offender, considered among the most likely to commit further crimes. Shields pleaded guilty in April 1998 in Island County Superior Court to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and for unlawful possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 34 months in prison, with credit for time already served. He has since been released and lives in King County, Smith said. The crime involved boys.

    Shields had an earlier conviction in Palm Beach County, Fla., in August 1994 on six counts of lewd assault of a child younger than 14. Those victims were boys 4 to 9 years old who were in a day care where Shields worked, Smith said.

    He is a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 147 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, and wears glasses.

  • Motel clerk robbed: Investigators are looking for two men who robbed a clerk at the Fairgrounds Inn at gunpoint and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, Monroe police said Friday.

    The robbery occurred about 10:10 p.m. Thursday in the 18900 block of U.S. 2. The desk clerk, a 36-year-old woman, told police that two men entered the business and demanded money. They pulled the telephone off the counter before they fled.

    Police, assisted by Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies, searched the area with a tracking dog, but were unable to locate the pair.

    The witness described one robber as a white male, about 19, with a slender build, blue eyes and crew cut. He wore a red bandanna, a white windbreaker with blue stripes, and black, "biker style" gloves with the fingers cut out. She described the second suspect as a white male, about 19, with brown eyes, a stocky build, wearing a red bandanna, a hard plastic mask and a black "fuzzy" coat.

    The investigation is continuing.

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