Woodstock bomb scares come in a flurry


Local police have been kept busy investigating a spate of threats or perceived possibilities of bombs going off in the past week or so.

The first was, as reported last week, one called in to Woodstock Police on September 15, alleging that a bomb was planted at the Creekside Grill at the Woodstock Golf Club.

Police closed down Route 212 from Chestnut Hill Road to the Woodstock Playhouse and Route 375 out to Maverick Road for several hours in the evening before declaring the area safe. Woodstock police chief Clayton Keefe said that this was the first bomb threat Woodstock has had since the late 1990s, when a bomb threat was phoned in to the town’s Grand Union on Mill Hill Road, where CVS Pharmacy now stands.



Onteora threat

Next was a threat at Onteora Middle/High School, at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 22 when a student found a note in a bathroom threatening that a bomb was going to explode that day. The student reported it to a monitor, who alerted the school Resource Officer.

The district implemented an evacuation plan of the Middle/High School while the investigation was being conducted. The building was searched by several Law Enforcement agencies with the assistance of the New York City DEP Police Explosive Detection Canine teams and the threat was determined to not be credible.

As of a result of the investigation, though, a 14 year old Onteora school district student was charged with the class E felony of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree. The student was released to parents and referred to Ulster County Family Court.

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the New York State Police, the New York City DEP Police, Town Police Departments from Olive, Shandaken and Woodstock and the Olive Fire Department.


Route 28 incident

In the early morning hours of September 26, staff from an unidentified business on Route 28 in Shandaken called 911 after finding a hand written note located in the business indicating that a bomb was going to off. The building was checked by Law Enforcement personnel with the assistance of the Town of Saugerties Police Explosives Detection Canine and the threat was determined to be not credible. An additional note was located during the  search of the building. Then more notes were found, and police determined that the four notes had been placed throughout the business by an employee.

Nicole M. Gorsline, 35, was subsequently arrested and charged with four counts of the class E felony of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree. Gorsline was arraigned in the Town of Shandaken Court and released on her own recognizance to appear at a later date. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the New York State Police and the Town of Shandaken and Town of Saugerties Police Departments.


What’s next? 

Well, police investigated a suspicious package left on the Village Green in the afternoon of September 26, forcing closure in the center of Woodstock, along Mill Hill Road and Tinker Street.

Woodstock Police responded to a report of an unattended bag on the Green at about 3:15 p.m. With the assistance of an explosives detection dog from the Saugerties Police Department, authorities determined the bag was not a threat. It contained some gift-wrapped items from a local store, Woodstock Chief Keefe said.

The road was reopened at about 4 p.m.

And last week, a report came in of an unattended piece of luggage near the Trailways bus stop in the center of Woodstock. But with the help of Trailways employees, police were able to locate a passenger, who had identified the luggage. No road closure was necessary in that incident.

Keefe said people are more alert in the wake of the bomb threat called into the Creekside Grill at the Woodstock Golf Club on September 15 and the other recent bomb threats.

And he encourages people to call police at (845) 679-2422 if they see something out of place.

New York State Police also responded to Monday’s incident and the Woodstock Fire Department Fire Police assisted in directing traffic.