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Police dispose of suspicious device at Rieke Elementary

HILLSDALE - Portland Police were called to Rieke Elementary Oct. 11 on the report of a suspicious device that had been found in the grass near one of the school's modular classrooms at about 8:20 a.m. as students and buses were arriving for the day.

The school, located at 1405 S.W. Vermont St., remained open, although students were evacuated from the immediate area as a precaution, Principal Andrea Porter told Rieke families in an email.

Portland Police were contacted and responded quickly, taking appropriate actions to dispose of the device. Officers determined the device was a duct tape-wrapped ball of cotton balls with a simulated wick that was about the size of a grapefruit, Porter said.

In a follow-up letter home to Rieke families, Porter outlined a timeline of events:

8:20 a suspicious device is reported to have been spotted near the water garden, behind the portables

8:25 Portland Police arrive at Rieke and assess area

8:26 Teachers are evacuated from building and Vermont Hills students are safely moved away from Rieke

8:30 Rieke parents and students are greeted at parking lot level and asked to wait while police conduct business

8:35 Students and families are released one grade at a time to move to designated classrooms in the main and north buildings (students in modular classrooms met in their Reading Buddy rooms with their teacher)

9:10 the 'All Clear' is issued by Portland Police and students return to their regular classrooms and activities