WINTERSVILLE - It will be school as normal Thursday at Indian Creek High School even though former President Bill Clinton will be making a campaign stop at the school gym in the afternoon.
The Obama campaign announced doors at the gym will open at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Clinton is expected to arrive around 2:45 p.m. and leave around 4 p.m.
THURSDAY APPEARANCE -- Former President Bill Clinton walks hand in hand with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. during a fundraiser in Royal Oak, Mich., on Friday. Clinton is scheduled to appear at Indian Creek High School Thursday.
-- Associated Press
Tickets for the rally were available beginning today at 9 a.m. at the Obama headquarters at 104 S. Fourth St. in Steubenville, as well as the Obama headquarters at 301 Fourth St. in Martins Ferry, and at the Obama campaign office at 7843 state Route 45 in Lisbon.
Clinton will be traveling from Parma on Thursday, where he will hold a campaign rally.
John Rocchi, Indian Creek superintendent, said school hours will remain the same on Thursday. Parking and traffic around the high school is an issue, so persons attending the Clinton event will be asked to park at St. Florian Hall and they will be taken by shuttle buses to the high school. Handicap parking for persons wanting to attend the event will be available at the high school.
Rocchi said there are two classes scheduled Thursday afternoon at the end of the high school where the gym is located. He said those classes will be moved.
"Our main issues is with traffic," he said.
Rocchi said people attending the rally will arrive before the students are dismissed at the end of the school day. The children will be let out of school while the gym is full and the event is ongoing. Then people at the the rally will leave.
Rocchi said it is an honor to have a former president speaking at the high school. Clinton is believed to be the first president to make an appearance in Wintersville.
Rocchi said the school district isn't choosing any political affiliation by hosting the event.
"We believe people need to be informed on all the candidates. We would welcome any candidate. I believe everyone should get out and vote on Nov. 6. We have an important issue (bond issue for a new high school) on the ballot," he said.
Students who want to attend the Clinton rally can do so. Rocchi said that is a decision for students and parents.
"It is an opportunity of a lifetime to see a former president speak," he said.
Village Mayor Bob Gale said he was excited to hear the news about Clinton coming to Wintersville and is looking forward to Thursday.
"It should be a good day for Wintersville and for Indian Creek High School," he said.
Gale said he was surprised that Wintersville was picked over Steubenville.
"We've got crews out making sure the village is clean," Gale said.
Abdalla said he will be meeting with the Secret Service on Thursday morning to discuss security for the event. He said the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be providing an escort for Clinton while traveling from Parma.
"We'll work out a few logistics on where they want deputies and how many. We are used to this already," Abdalla said.
He added the timeframe for Clinton's visit could change at any time.
"I'm always glad when they (presidential candidate or former president) come through but I'm also glad when they leave.
"I breathe a sigh of relief. It is a lot of pressure," Abdalla said.
The former president participated in a campaign rally at Steubenville High School four years ago when his wife, Hillary Clinton, was seeking the Democrat Party nomination for president.
Approximately 800 people listened to a 50-minute speech by Clinton in February 2008 when he stumped for Hillary prior to Ohio's primary election.
(Law can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)