Marguerite Vann Elementary was evacuated this morning after officials discovered a "suspicious" package at the school, said fire chief Bart Castleberry. The backpack is not dangerous and children were back in class by the end of lunch, he said.

"It appears it's not going to be anything bad," Castleberry said.

Principal Bobby Walker called authorities at about 11 a.m. this morning after someone dropped off a backpack for a child in need. He called the police when he believed the package might be dangerous. An officer looked and saw wires in the backpack. Between 300-400 students and staff were evacuated.

After a partial X-Ray by the Conway Fire Department Bomb Squad, the wires appear to be from a listening device, like an iPod, Castleberry said.

The backpack is to be removed and "rendered safe," which means officials will shoot water or blast the backpack as a precaution, Castleberry said.

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Marguerite Vann Elementary in Conway was evacuated just after 11 a.m. Monday — the first day of classes for the district — after officials discovered a “suspicious package” at the school. After investigating, officials said no one was in danger.


“It was really a precautionary issue,” superintendent Greg Murry said. “Kids were never in danger.”


Principal Bobby Walker called authorities Monday after a man dropped off a backpack for a “needy child,” said La Tresha Woodruff, Conway Police Department public information officer. Conway Fire Chief Bart Castleberry said the school principal became concerned when he opened the backpack and saw wires.


Between 300 and 400 students and staff were evacuated to a safe distance, Woodruff said.


An official at Marguerite Vann referred questions to Murry. At about 1 p.m., children were allowed to re-enter the school for a late lunch after a partial X-Ray by the Conway Fire Department Bomb Squad revealed the wires are from a listening device, like an iPod, Castleberry said.


“It appears it’s not going to be anything bad,” Castleberry said.


The backpack was removed and was “rendered safe,” which means officials shot water or used a blast on the backpack as a precaution, Castleberry said.


Responding agencies include the Conway police, fire department, bomb squad and University of Central Arkansas police.