A 47-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Thursday's bomb threats against local schools.
Lawrence Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the man, identified as Michael Parker, had been arrested on suspicion of three counts of aggravated criminal threat.
Police have also recovered the cell phone used to make a bomb threat against local schools, Lawrence Police Capt. Dave Cobb said during a news conference earlier Thursday afternoon.
Officers found the phone during the search of an East Lawrence home; Cobb said a "person of interest" was still being interviewed on the matter at mid-afternoon.
"The person is still talking," he said.
According to the press release:
"A 47 year old Lawrence resident is currently being interviewed at the Lawrence Police Department. A search warrant was served at a residence in East Lawrence where officers recovered the phone used to call the Douglas County Dispatch Center with the threats. Officers conducting the search of the residence did not locate any evidence to indicate materials were present to make an explosive device.
"Officials have notified the school district that we have secured a person of interest and the phone used in the threats. No evidence of explosives was located."
Earlier, Cobb said said a series of "three or four" bomb threats were made this morning to 911 dispatchers.
The threats have been "non-descript and generic" without being specific about a location, Cobb said. The caller, a male, has mumbled words about a bomb at a school and city hall. The caller doesn't say what school or even what city, Cobb said.
City manager David Corliss said that city officials are looking into whether today's bomb scare is linked to the city's recent denial of an insurance claim from a man matching Parker's name. But Corliss said he didn't know enough details of the claim to say whether they were conclusively linked.
"We're still trying to check all of that and get some records," Corliss said. "We've given some records to the police department. ... City staff is reviewing a claim from a Mr. Parker that we had previously denied on a claim for an alleged injury on a city sidewalk."
According to court records, Parker has a paralyzed right hand and suffered a work injury in 2005 that limited the use of his right hand.
Meanwhile, Lawrence school officials sent out the following press release:
"The Lawrence Police Department has notified the school district of an all-clear and that there is no credible threat against our schools.
"Schools will follow normal procedures for the remainder of the school day and for school dismissal."
Several school activities were canceled:
¢ Broken Arrow canceled tonight's music program.
¢ The Southwest Junior High grade track meet is canceled. All other clubs and activities on the SWJHS campus this afternoon are canceled.
¢ Kennedy Elementary has postponed its music program
¢ Deerfield's music program is canceled.
¢ The Pinckney Elementary School Evening of the Arts has been canceled.