Newton ready for Obama
President Barack Obama will be taking a tour of Trinity Structural Towers in Newton on Wednesday morning and the city has been abuzz with preparations for the president’s visit.
“This really is a great thing for our town,” said Newton Mayor Chaz Allen who received an invitation to attend the event. “It’s a great way for our community to showcase our successes.”
The president will land on Air Force One in Des Moines Wednesday morning and then travel to Newton for the tour of Trinity Structural Towers, according to a release from the White House.
Obama’s visit, which is closed to the public, will be approximately three hours in length but preparations for the first visit of a sitting president to Newton since Harry Truman has been taking place for at least a week.
“We were contacted along
with the Newton Police Department to assist with security issues, traffic control, road closures and to have a visible presence around the site of the event,” said Jasper County Chief Deputy John Halferty.
Halferty said both the sheriff’s office and the police department will be have extra staff on duty for Wednesday.
“Other than medical leave or scheduled vacation we’ll be utilizing full staff,” he said of the sheriff’s office.
During Tuesday afternoon, four U.S. Marine Corp. helicopters practiced landing at Trinity and could be heard and spotted flying over Newton for several hours. The sheriff’s office and police department helped control traffic while the helicopters landed and will provide the same services Wednesday when Obama lands.
To help control traffic and to keep the location secure, the NPD announced that North 19th Avenue East between First Street North and East 19th Street North will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We are helping the secret service build up safety and security and making sure that the area is safe so the president has a successful visit,” said NPD Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich.
Along with taking a tour of Trinity, Obama will discuss with the press components of his comprehensive energy plan, which includes promoting clean energy innovation to help end the nation’s dependency on foreign oil and create jobs like the ones created by Trinity and TPI in Newton.
The Newton mayor said Obama’s visit will be a great way to learn how Newton can be a front runner in the alternative energy industry and create more jobs in the community.
“I just want to hear his policies for biodiesel and wind energy and hopefully we can line-up our goals and help Newton continue to be successful,” Allen said.
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