George W. Bush speaks in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH, Fla. - President George W. Bush will arrive on the Treasure Coast Monday to speak at Riverside Theatre.

The 43rd president is expected to fly in to the Vero Beach Municipal Airport before his 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. speeches, Indian River County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Eric Flowers said. The exact time of Bush's landing hasn't been announced, and it's unlikely to be revealed even to law enforcement until just before the arrival.

Law enforcement agencies also refused to talk about the route the former commander-in-chief will take from the airport to the theater, 3250 Riverside Park Blvd. They wouldn't say what traffic delays or road closures, if any, they anticipate because of the Bush caravan.

Bush is the headliner this year for Riverside's Distinguished Lecturer Series. Riverside spokeswoman Maureen Nicolace said the former president's arrival requires tighter security restrictions than other speakers. For example, the theater passed on the name of every ticketed audience member so they could be run through a background check, she said. Names of vendors and any other person who will be at the theater Monday were submitted by Jan. 20 for security checks.

Ticket holders have been warned the doors will close promptly for each lecture and they won't be allowed inside if they're late. They also won't be allowed to take cell phones or large handbags inside the theater.

The Bush lecture is curtailing activities at Riverside Children's Theatre, which has canceled all after-school classes for Monday.

"Godspell Jr." cast members still have rehearsal at 6:30 p.m., but they have been asked not to arrive before 6:30 p.m. because of the anticipated traffic congestion. The adjacent Beachland Elementary dismisses children after 3 p.m., when Bush will be in the midst of his first speech, so traffic issues are not anticipated there.
 

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