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Wind, fire derail Joe Biden education speech in Nevada

Manuel Rapada

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Vice President Joe Biden was forced to shorten his appearance at a Nevada high school Thursday when the smell of smoke from a nearby wildfire filled the gymnasium where he was speaking.

Poor weather conditions had already delayed Biden’s visit to Galena High School in Reno, Nev., by more than two hours, according to the Associated Press. The vice president’s flight was diverted to Fallon, Nev., which is approximately 60 miles away from Reno, due to high winds.

According to a White House press release, the vice president was scheduled to speak about college affordability as “part of a continuing national dialogue on the issue.” Average tuition and fees at a four-year public university have tripled since current high school seniors were born, the press release said.

Biden was originally scheduled to arrive at 11:30 a.m. but his speech on education costs didn’t end up starting until 1:45 p.m.

Twenty-five minutes into the speech, Biden was told to wrap up his remarks due to the nearby wildfire, the AP reported. After taking 15 minutes of questions, Biden finished by telling the students to “challenge authority” and attend college.

More than 10,000 people were evacuated due to the wildfire, which caused at least one confirmed death, according to the local NBC affiliate.

“We’re very disappointed,” a spokeswoman for Washoe County School District told the AP. “All the students and the parents have been looking forward to this, but it’s Mother Nature, and we can’t control that.”

– Manuel Rapada


About the Writer
Manuel Rapada, Web Editor

Manuel Rapada is a Medill senior studying journalism, business institutions and integrated marketing communications. His past positions at The Daily include...