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President comes to the Boro today
Bush to campaign for Max Burns at Hanner
President Bush will be in Statesboro today for a campaign rally. - photo by Associated Press
    Some Statesboro streets will be closed today to accommodate a visit by President  George W. Bush, who is expected to speak during the  "Georgia Victory 2006 Rally" at 11 a.m at Hanner Fieldhouse.
    The reason for Bush's visit is to show support for Congressional candidate Max Burns, who challenges incumbent John Barrow for Georgia's 12th Congressional seat.
    Local law enforcement have not identified which streets will be closed, citing security reasons. Officials from the Statesboro Police Department, Bulloch County Sheriff's Department, Georgia Southern University Police, Georgia State Patrol and other agencies met with United States Secret Service agents last week to discuss security measures for the event.
    The street closings will only be for a short period, said University Police Chief Ken Brown.
    Between 5,500 and 6,000 are expected to fill the stands at Hanner Fieldhouse to hear the president discuss current issues as well as support Burns' congressional campaign, said White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.
    Tickets to the event were limited, with folks having to request them from Burns' office, then pick them up at the Republican's Victory Office on Fair Road Saturday and Sunday. Both days were busy as folks showed up in a steady stream to pick up the reserved tickets. If you did not pick up your ticket Saturday or Sunday, it is too late. No tickets will be distributed today.
    But not everyone is eager to see the president. A host of people plan to show up in protest, but the must do so legally, Brown said.
    Protesters on campus will be put in a free-speech zone at the Russell Union Rotunda, which is over 600 feet away from Hanner Fieldhouse which is not directly visible from the rotunda.
    Others may choose to protest along city streets and elsewhere, but local ordinances and laws will be enforced, said Statesboro Police Major J. R. Holloway.
    Since parking would be limited at Hanner Fieldhouse, parking will also be available at the Kiwanis-Ogeechee Fairgrounds in Statesboro, where buses will transport attendees to the event and back at no charge.
    The fairground parking lot opens at 7:30 a.m, and the first shuttle bus leaves at 7:55 a.m., with others taking riders over the next few hours until the last shuttle leaves the fairgrounds at 10:15 a.m.
    Doors to the rally open at 8 a.m., and close at 10:30, with no one allowed to enter after doors have closed. Those attending the rally can bring a camera, but no video cameras, umbrellas, signs or banners will be allowed.
    Today marks a historic event in Statesboro, as it is the first time a sitting president has ever visited the city.
    According to information from "Life in Old Bulloch," a book on Bulloch County's history by Dorothy Brannen, the United States' 25th President William McKinley visited the Statesboro area around 1895, when he was Ohio's governor and campaigning for presidency. McKinley served as president from 1897 to 1901.
    Former president Jimmy Carter also visited Statesboro, but not while he was president.   
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