What started out as an art project turned into a bomb scare at Healdton Middle School Thursday morning.


Capt. Eric Lewis, acting police chief, said Healdton police received a report of a possible pipe bomb about 7:30 a.m. and everything was all clear by 8:10 a.m.


What started out as an art project turned into a bomb scare at Healdton Middle School Thursday morning.

Capt. Eric Lewis, acting police chief, said Healdton police received a report of a possible pipe bomb about 7:30 a.m. and everything was all clear by 8:10 a.m.

A tube shaped object was discovered by the side road on the east side of the campus approximately 125 yards from the school. What the object turned out to be was an art project, known as a rainmaker, according to Don Lewis, Healdton Schools Superintendent.

Lewis said school officials thought it was harmless but didn’t want to take a chance.
“We’re kind of leery because of what happened at other schools across the country,” he said.

Healdton Middle School Principal Jason Midkiff said the rainmaker art project is a tube, filled with rice or other material, that is bound on the end. When turned upside down, the rice or other materials inside make a sound like it’s rain.

“The kids were all a safe distance away inside,” Midkiff said. “We kept them in the cafeteria. It happened in the morning at breakfast and all our kids were in the cafeteria. We didn’t say anything. We left them in there.”

A school board member, who is also a parent, spotted the art project and not knowing what it was alerted school officials, Midkiff said.

He said the Carter County Sheriff’s Department bomb dog and handler “responded very quickly,” adding, “They did a good job.”

Sheriff Ken Grace said although the unknown object turned out to be a harmless art project it was better to be safe than sorry.

“The way the world is today we simply can’t afford to ever take chances or overlook anything,” Grace said. “This is an example of that philosophy and we will continue to take every suspicious looking object seriously until we know otherwise.”

Marsha Miller, news editor, contributed to this report.