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Updated: Two lockdowns end peacefully at valley elementary schools

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Lockdowns briefly closed two valley elementary schools yesterday in "code-yellows."

The first was due to a bear, who showed up at Somenos uninvited.

"Apparently, the bear was hungry and smelled something tasty in the compost bins that the school has set up right outside their doors," School District 79 superintendent Joe Rhodes explained. "The students were kept in for recess and lunch and the compost has been removed."

The second lockdown, at Bench Elementary School, also ended peacefully Tuesday afternoon.

Police had been called to a home near the school after 1 p.m., after a man had threatened to harm himself.

"The school went into lockdown mode until they heard further from the police," Rhodes said, adding police also had surrounding roads blocked.

"At the same time the primary students were returning from a field trip. Transportation was called and the buses were stalled until getting the all-clear to return to the school.

"The police had everything under control very quickly and the lockdown lasted only a short time."

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Cpl. Kevin Day confirmed the male was taken peacefully into custody after about 45 minutes.

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