- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Officials in Joplin say Vice President Joe Biden will speak at next month’s dedication of the city’s new high school.

The district announced Wednesday that Biden will be joined by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for the Oct. 3 ceremony at the Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center.

Half of Joplin’s schools were damaged or destroyed in the May 2011 tornado that killed 161 people and flattened thousands of homes and businesses.

Construction of the new high school was the last of the district’s major rebuilding projects. It opened Sept. 2.

As part of the Oct. 3 dedication, students, parents and others will try to set a world record for the longest ribbon used in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The planned 6.5-mile ribbon symbolizes the tornado’s path through Joplin.

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