Alex Melchert heads home to Wisconsin tomorrow

Here’s the latest update sent to campus this evening from Dean of Students Scott Brown:

 Dear Wooster Family:

I write with the great news that Alex is well enough to travel back to Wisconsin tomorrow, where he will continue his rehabilitation from the comfort of his own home. He and the Melchert family send their sincere gratitude for all the continued support from so many people from so many places. The Wooster family has been in full force.

We wish Alex continued progress on his long road, and look forward to welcoming him back when he is able! Thank you all again.

With my warmest wishes,

Dean Brown

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Alex Melchert Making Steady Progress in His Recovery

The latest update from Dean of Students Scott Brown on Alex Melchert’s recovery …

Dear Wooster Community:

I write to share a brief update on Alex’s progress. His sister said yesterday was “a very good day,” with Alex able to get out of bed and sit in a chair for a while to eat some solid food. “Alex is easily exhausted, but has been strong enough to talk on the phone with loved ones and answer some text messages,” she says. “He knows not to feel obligated to reply if he’s wiped, so students that know him are welcome to send love through that means. While pain management and stamina will be an issue for the foreseeable future, we look forward to more small improvements in his independence and the return of normalcy.”

Also, with the help of an alum, we were able to deliver all the packages and some Wooster wear to Alex. Some local Wooster families have helped support Alex’s sister with meals and laundry. They have been grateful for the support.

I hope all are enjoying the break and finding time to relax, seeing or connecting with loved ones, and even catching up on some projects. All come back safe and sound!

With my warmest wishes,

Dean Brown

 

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More encouraging news for Alex Melchert

An update on Alex Melchert from Dean of Students Scott Brown …

Dear Wooster Community:

I am happy to report that Alex’s recovery has continued to progress very well. The doctors removed his breathing tube and he is able to speak (albeit quietly). He has been moved from the ICU to the Step Down unit for the next step in his recovery. Even though Alex has been making very encouraging progress, he must be under careful observation with such significant abdominal injuries.

We all continue to be grateful for the support from our community. We will be sending many items to Alex from the larger Wooster community, including get well cards from students, notes from classes and professors, and a signed baseball from the baseball team. We have continued to have an outpouring of support from alumni and families, especially those in the Columbus area. We have also been fortunate to have a Wooster Board of Trustee member, who is a surgeon at his hospital, checking in on him regularly.

We will send updates periodically when Alex reaches any other milestones in his recovery. In the meantime, I wish you all a good week, a restful break, and I look forward to your return to campus safe and sound.

With my warmest wishes,

Dean Brown

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Alex Melchert’s Dad Says “Odds are Excellent for Full Recovery”

An update on Alex Melchert from Dean of Students Scott Brown …

Dear Wooster Community:

I spoke with Alex’s father twice today and he shared that Alex has just completed his third and final surgery, which he said went very well. Alex remains in critical condition, but is in good spirits.

We emailed photos of the letters that the community wrote to Alex, and his father has shared some of those messages with him. We will send the actual letters, plus a signed copy of The Other Wes Moore, with a hand-written message from Moore that says, in part, “You inspire us all and we can’t wait to have you back at Wooster.”

Alex’s father says that the odds are excellent for a full recovery, though the road ahead will be long. He also wanted me to tell all of you that “We are grateful for all the support of the Wooster community.”

With my warmest wishes,
Dean Brown

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First-year student remains in critical condition

Alex Melchert, a first-year Wooster student who was shot yesterday at a rest stop on northbound I-71 near Columbus, about 60 miles from here, remains in critical condition. His parents and siblings have all arrived in Columbus and are with him at the hospital.

Please continue to hold Alex, his family, and friends in your prayers. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

 

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Wooster student shot at I-71 rest stop near Columbus

The College has learned that one of our students, Alexander S. Melchert, a first-year from Wisconsin, was shot at a rest stop on northbound I-71 in Delaware County, Ohio around 11 a.m. this morning. He was transported to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, he is in critical condition.

Police pursued the suspect, a standoff ensued, and at approximately 3 p.m., the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed to Channel 10 in Columbus that the suspect had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Dean of Students Scott Brown is in Columbus. Alexander’s parents are on their way to Ohio. College staff have reached out to his roommate, faculty, and others who live on his hall, and counselors and faith professionals are on hand for support.

We will share more information here as it becomes available.

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Waste basket fire in Kauke Hall

There is no indication that this was related to Monday’s bomb threats, but given heightened sensitivities on campus, when a fire truck arrived outside Kauke Hall this afternoon, the following email was sent to all students, faculty and staff at 12:50 p.m.:

A bit before 12:30 p.m. today, a student discovered a small trash can fire in a second floor men’s room in Kauke Hall and immediately notified Security and Protective Services. The building was evacuated, Wooster police and fire units responded, and the fire was quickly extinguished. There is some minor smoke damage in the men’s room, but nothing more. The building will reopen shortly and 1 p.m. classes will go on as scheduled. 

Kauke did reopen at 1 p.m. and classes proceeded on schedule.

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A Message to Campus from President Georgia Nugent

The following email was sent to the campus community earlier this afternoon:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I want to take just a moment to thank you all for your response to yesterday’s events. Your cooperation, resilience, and good spirits during a very challenging, very long day represented Wooster at its best. 

The Wooster police continue their investigation into the two threats which, as they noted yesterday afternoon, they believe are related. They have been in contact with the FBI and are following up on a number of leads. We are grateful for all they have done and are doing to ensure our safety and to identify the source of those threats. As they release new information, we will share those updates with the campus community. 

Today, we are glad to be back about our business of liberal education, and I wish you all well as you finish out your classes this semester and prepare for exams. 

President Nugent

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Buildings cleared, classes resume tomorrow

WOOSTER, Dec. 7, 2015 – Here is the latest update on the bomb threat situation.

Police and canine units have completed their sweeps of Taylor and Kauke halls and found nothing. Classes remain cancelled and academic buildings closed for the remainder of today.

Tomorrow morning, classes will resume and all buildings will reopen at their usual times. The last week of classes and final exams will proceed as scheduled. Access to all campus buildings for all faculty, students and staff will be by card swipe only until further notice.

The Wooster Police Department will continue to maintain a presence on campus, and their investigation of these incidents continues. According to Chief Matt Fisher, the detective bureau is following up on several leads. A statement from the Wooster PD follows:

Statement from Wooster Police Department (12.7.15, 3 p.m.):

“Since the early morning hours of Monday, December 7, the Wooster Police Department has responded to the College of Wooster for two separate bomb threats. It is believed that the two threats are related. The second threat specifically mentioned two academic buildings on the campus, Taylor Hall and Kauke Hall, both of which were searched with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs from the Summit County Sheriff’s Department, Canton Police Department and The Ohio State University.  Nothing has been found, and the time given in the threat has passed without incident.

“The Wooster Police Department Detective Bureau continues to investigate this matter and is following up on several leads.

Chief Matt Fisher of the Wooster Police Department commented: ‘The safety and security of the college community is something we take very seriously, and we will continue to investigate this matter until it is fully resolved.  We will use every tool at our disposal to bring to justice the person or persons responsible. This event has utilized multiple resources, and we sincerely appreciate the cooperation from the college, and our local and federal law enforcement partners.'”

Anyone with any information that might be related to these bomb threats should contact Security and Protective Services at x2590, or the anonymous tip line at x2337.

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College receives two bomb threats; classes today cancelled

WOOSTER, Dec. 7, 2015 – Last night the college received a bomb threat directed against our libraries. Our Security and Protective Services officers immediately evacuated all three libraries and notified the Wooster police who conducted a thorough search of the buildings using explosive detection canine units. Nothing was found during their sweep of the buildings and a follow-up notification to that effect went out to campus at approximately 5:30 a.m.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. this morning, a second bomb threat was received, this one naming Taylor and Kauke halls. Both have been evacuated. All classes on campus today are being cancelled and academic buildings closed. Lowry Center and Scot Center will remain open with security officers at the entrance.

Wooster police are on the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

We will provide more information as we have it.

 

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