- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The latest on President Barack Obama’s two-day visit to Oklahoma:

9 p.m.

Gov. Mary Fallin says she gave President Barack Obama an Oklahoma City Thunder T-shirt after he arrived at Tinker Air Force Base as part of his two-day visit to the state.

The president spoke earlier Wednesday in Durant and is spending the night in Oklahoma City ahead of a visit to the El Reno federal prison on Thursday. The president plans to talk about ways to make the criminal justice system more fair.

After Obama’s motorcade left the air base, Fallin met with reporters. She said that in a brief visit with Obama on the tarmac she was able to thank him for disaster aid after the suffered through wild spring weather. She said she also thanked him for the administration’s recent re-approval of federal funding for the Insure Oklahoma program, which provides coverage for low-income Oklahomans.

Christina Fallin, the governor’s daughter, said the president asked her “about young people and what they do in Oklahoma.” She didn’t say what she told Obama but said the experience of meeting the president “was pretty cool.”

___

8:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama has arrived in central Oklahoma as part of a two-day swing through the state.

At Tinker Air Force Base, Obama worked a receiving line while a number of people took photos. He shook the hands of several military members and asked them how they were doing.

Gov. Mary Fallin and her husband, Wade Christensen, and her daughter, Christina, posed for a photo with the president before his motorcade pulled out to take him into downtown Oklahoma City.

Elsewhere in the crowd, kids stood on their parents’ shoulders and waved to the president. He reached into the mass of people to shake even more hands.

___

8:23 p.m.

Air Force One has landed at Tinker Air Force Base.

President Barack Obama traveled to Oklahoma on Wednesday for an economic development speech in Durant, and on Thursday he is to visit the El Reno federal prison to talk about criminal justice issues.

Gov. Mary Fallin was at Tinker on Wednesday evening to greet the president. Her husband was with her, as well. About 200 people went out for the president’s arrival, as well, including about 50 military personnel.

___

8:05 p.m.

Upwards of 200 people are waiting at Tinker Air Force Base for President Barack Obama.

The president spoke earlier Wednesday in Durant about economic development and is heading to central Oklahoma to spend the night. He is to visit the federal prison at El Reno on Thursday.

Gov. Mary Fallin was set to head the delegation to greet the president when he arrives at Tinker on Wednesday evening. About 50 military personnel were in the greeting area, plus another 150 or so were waiting inside a building nearby.

Meanwhile, preparations for the president’s visit have impacted traffic in downtown Oklahoma City. Police and other agencies have blocked roads in portions of the business district while awaiting Obama’s arrival.

___

6:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama has concluded his speech in Durant after extolling the virtues of a connected life.

The president traveled to Oklahoma on Wednesday to discuss economic development. He promoted an initiative called ConnectHome, to expand access to provide high-speed Internet and digital devices. The program targets the Choctaw Nation and 27 cities across America. The Choctaw Nation is based in Durant.

He said all American kids should have Internet access regardless of their ability to pay.

In his remarks, which lasted 28 minutes, the president talked about Washington being politically divided but said parties needed to get past differences so the country can help the next generation have the same opportunities as the previous one.

Obama is scheduled to travel to Oklahoma City this evening, then visit the federal prison at El Reno on Thursday to discuss ways to make the criminal justice system more fair.

___

6:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the United States can’t reverse a history of broken treaties and promises to American Indians, but can still work to improve economic opportunities for tribal children.

Obama was in Durant on Wednesday to announce the ConnectHome initiative, a pilot program to provide high-speed Internet and digital devices. The Choctaw Nation is among the areas targeted, along with 27 cities across the nation.

Standing in front of the shield of the Choctaw Nation, Obama said the nation has special obligation to make sure tribal youth have an opportunity to reach their potential and have a chance to succeed, “not by leaving your communities, but by coming back and investing in your communities.”

Obama says the internet is not a luxury, but a necessity for “creating opportunity for all people - not just some but everybody.”

___

6:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he and his wife Michelle want to ensure that tribal children achieve their full potential.

The president is speaking Wednesday afternoon in Durant in southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation is based at Durant.

Obama said he and his wife believe they have a special obligation toward tribal youth. He said Native American children should have a chance to succeed so they can build up their communities, not leave them.

The president said he met with some youths before his speech and during his remarks thanked them for giving him ideas on how to reshape America.

He said children have a whole range of options, and was in Durant to launch a new effort to improve high-speed Internet access. He called the Internet a necessity, not a luxury.

___

6 p.m.

Hundreds of people have gathered at the Durant High School gymnasium to hear President Barack Obama’s speech on economic development.

The president announced earlier that he wants to provide high-speed Internet access in the Choctaw Nation and 27 cities across the country. The Choctaw Nation is headquartered at Durant.

Before traveling to Oklahoma, the president held a news conference in Washington in which he defended a deal reached with Iran on its nuclear program. Obama had been scheduled to speak in Durant earlier Wednesday.

Following his speech, the president will travel to Oklahoma City, where he is to spend the night. He is to visit the federal prison at El Reno on Thursday.

___

5:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama has arrived in Durant, where he will give an economic development speech.

The president traveled into Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon after Air Force One landed in Denison, Texas. Earlier Wednesday he announced an initiative to provide high-speed Internet and digital services in the Choctaw Nation and 27 cities across the country.

Last year, Obama had designed the Choctaw Nation as a federal “Promise Zone” in an effort to fight poverty.

The president is scheduled to travel to Oklahoma City later Wednesday, then visit the El Reno federal prison on Thursday. That visit is part of an effort to make the federal criminal justice system more fair.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide