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Southwest Tech campus closes after threat

POSTED November 1, 2017 10:10 a.m.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.

FENNIMORE — The campus of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College was closed Wednesday after what SWTC officials called "a direct threat to campus safety."

William Howell, 42, Livingston, was arrested for disorderly conduct after the reported threat resulted in the closing of the campus, according to the Grant County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Howell became angry at Facebook Likes of his children Tuesday evening by a SWTC student, who Howell believed was having an affair with Howell's estranged wife.

After sending his estranged wife Facebook and text messages through the night, including a threat to assault the SWTC student, Howell confronted his estranged wife Wednesday around 7 a.m. and tried to prevent her from taking their children to school this morning, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

Fennimore police and Grant County deputies responded to the threat, according to the Southwest Tech website.

Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman said Wednesday morning that he believed Howell's intent did not involve use of a weapon.

Southwest Tech posted the closure online and sent students and staff an image of Howell advising that 911 should be contacted if he was seen. Howell was arrested in Livingston "without incident," according to the Sheriff's Office, and he is free after posting cash bond.

SWTC expects to open Thursday, according to the Southwest Tech website.

Dreckman said there is no threat to the public at this time.

Further updates will be posted on

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