President’s schedule unchanged |

President’s schedule unchanged

Local Democrats are continuing to prepare for President Clinton’s visit under an air of uncertainty caused by the disappearance and presumed death Friday night of John F. Kennedy Jr.

White House spokeswoman Julie Goldberg said the president’s plans to come to Aspen this weekend remain unchanged as he awaits word from the Kennedy family about a memorial service.

Kennedy, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette disappeared Friday night while flying in a private plane to Martha’s Vineyard.

Evidence gathered so far indicates the plane plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean shortly before it was supposed to land. As of yesterday evening, all three remained missing and are presumed to have perished.

President Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Aspen on Friday night and remain in town until Sunday.

“So far as we know, the trip is progressing on schedule,” said Pitkin County Democratic chairwoman Camilla Auger. “When and if a memorial is announced, that may change.”

While here, Clinton will attend fund-raising events geared toward major donors to the Democratic Party. No public events are scheduled at this point.

But even if the president isn’t visible to the public, it doesn’t mean his presence will go unnoticed. Both the Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office are continuing preparations to keep the president safe and, for now anyway, away from local residents and visitors.

The Secret Service is already in town to set up an incident command center and coordinate with local officials.

Goldberg said the president has kept much of his schedule here open so he can take the time to see Aspen.

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