By Marc Thompson
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- Presidentialcandidate Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin,will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday in Grand Rapids.
The event will take place at the Ford Fieldhouse on the campusof Grand Rapids Community College. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with theevent beginning at 7 p.m. Stay with 24 Hour News 8 and WOODTV.com for complete coverage.
It will be the first town hall meeting in the country for McCainand Palin since they accepted the nominations at the RepublicanNational Convention on September 1.
GRCC officials say the McCain campaign office distributed some3,500 tickets, including 500 for GRCC students faculty and staff.Classes will go on as scheduled Wednesday.
"I want to commend our fieldhouse staff because it's a lot ofwork," said Patrick Cwayna Sr., the vice president of CollegeRelations for the college.
Volunteers at the Kent County Republican headquarters areworking the phones and making a record number 7,000 calls tosupporters.
"Right now we're doing a lot of voter ID work and trying toidentify who our voters are and get them out to the polls inNovember," said Sam Moore, who works at the headquarters.
Buttons, hats, and T-shirts promoting the event are goingfast.
As did the tickets.
"Yesterday when we ran out of tickets there were some prettyangry people," said Joan Johnson, a McCain supporter.
Officials with the Grand Rapids Police Department, Kent CountySheriff's Department, State police and Secret Service will be inuniform and plain clothes providing security.
Grand Rapids police encourage the public to take advantage ofparking garages, but not near the fieldhouse as currentconstruction, media, and foot traffic will equal congestion.
GRCC officials will hand out parking tickets, as they alreadyhave, in anticipation of the event.
Taking no political stand, GRCC organizers say they are honoredto host an important event in a closely contested election. Andthey encourage students to take advantage of history at theirdoorstep.
"For our students on campus and staff to say, 'I remember when,'this is very significant to our country and we're proud to be asmall part of having that happen," said Cwayna.
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.