Beloit prepares for veep visit

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Tickets for Vice President Joe Biden's city visit are handed out at the Beloit Democratic Party Office on Wednesday morning. Biden is scheduled to visit Aldrich Middle School at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Vice President Joe Biden’s Beloit visit could cause some traffic headaches on Friday.

Biden is scheduled to visit Aldrich Middle School, 1859 Northgate Drive. Doors open for the event at 9 a.m. and will close at 10:45 a.m. for security reasons.

Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs said Biden also will visit another Beloit location that is not being announced.

“Only about 14 people in our agency won’t be working that day,” he said.

The Beloit Fire Department, Department of Public Works and eight other police jurisdictions also will be helping with perimeter security. The Rock County Sheriff’s Department, Janesville Police Department, Town of Beloit Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Dane County Sheriff’s Department, Rockford Police, Illinois State Police and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department all will have officers on the scene.

Jacobs said the secret service notified Beloit of the visit on Monday and spent the next two days planning the coverage. Beloit will lead the other jurisdictions, however, they are not aware of where Biden might go in the city besides Aldrich.

The visit by the vice president to Aldrich Middle School will include selected students. Permission slips were sent home to the families of these selected students and parents were given the option to have their children not participate in the event if they choose, according to a news release from the School District of Beloit.

The news release from the district also pointed out that the district does not endorse any candidate or political party.

“... the visit is simply seen as a memorable opportunity for students to see the vice president of the United States, welcome him and expose him to the district and city,” the news release from the district stated.

Tickets are available for the event at the Democratic offices in Beloit, 314 State St., and Janesville at 111 W. Milwaukee St. Tickets are free, but are required in order to enter, and doors are open from 9 until 10:45 a.m.

After his Beloit visit, Biden is scheduled to travel for an event at Superior Middle School at 1 p.m.

Beloit School District Superintendent Steve McNeal said the district will waive its policy regarding campaigning on school grounds to allow Vice President Joe Biden to stop at Aldrich Middle School on Friday.

He said the Board of Education is not only waiving the policy, but also reconsidering its provisions in order to allow for major events such as the governor or other officials to come to schools.

The current board policy states that if one side side gets to speak, the other side gets to speak. McNeal said the district is reaching out to the Republican party and would immediately make the school available if a Republican figure wanted to make a visit as well.

McNeal said he has spoken one-on-one with each board member and each agreed the visit from Biden would be a great opportunity for students. The Board of Education is holding a meeting today at noon at Kolak Education Center to vote on waiving the policy to allow Biden to come.

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