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BUSH WON’T BE IN UTAH FOR TAD GROUNDBREAKING

SHARE BUSH WON’T BE IN UTAH FOR TAD GROUNDBREAKING

Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, President Bush won't be coming to Utah Oct. 30 for the groundbreaking of the new chemical weapons destruction facility at Tooele Army Depot, a presidential assistant says.

Stephen M. Studdert, assistant to the president for special activities and initiatives, said Thursday, "It is not on his calendar. There are no plans for the president to attend." Barring unusual circumstances, such a visit would be on the calendar by now if it were going to occur, he said.Rumors had been flying among Army officials in Utah and Washington that Bush would attend the groundbreaking for the new facility, which will dispose of the largest single chunk - 42.3 percent - of the nation's chemical weapons arsenal.

Plans for the facility have been in the spotlight because of the president's recent chemical weapons speech to the United Nations. In that speech, Bush reiterated U.S. plans to destroy most of the current stockpile within eight years and challenged the Soviets and others to do likewise.