LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- At least two dozen people gathering at President Barack Obama's speech later this afternoon have been treated for heat problems at Desert Pines High School.
A News3 reporter said two dozen people had some form of heat problem as of 5:30 p.m. Victims had been placed under a tent and were receiving water or other treatment. At least two had been transported to a hospital, according to reporter Sandra Gonzalez.
"The event is outside on the football field and the problem is there is no shade. And some of them are elderly and can't take the heat," Gonzalez said. "They have taken many of them to the back, put them under tents and are pouring water on their necks."
The temperature at 4 p.m. was 96 degrees, about 10 degrees above normal for this time of the year. A steady stream of radio calls for medical assistance continued throughout the afternoon as the crowd gathered.
A group of anti-Obama protesters marched from Freedom Park east toward the school in an effort to spread their message. They were joined by Tea Party members after that group held a rally on the west side of Las Vegas earlier in the afternoon.
The Republicans also had a billboard truck circling the speech site with words blame the president for Nevada's 12.1 percent unemployment rate, highest in the nation. "You built this," the sign also said.
Obama is scheduled to speak at the rally in the northeast part of the valley shortly after 6 p.m. The Mexican rock band sensation Mana is scheduled to perform before the speech.
The president arrived in Las Vegas at 12:40 p.m. today to begin a three-day stay that includes the speech and then two full days of preparation for Wednesday's first debate in Denver.
The president bounded down the steps from Air Force One at McCarran International Airport shortly before 1 p.m. Among the officials to greet him were Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager, state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and Caesars Entertainment official Marybel Batjer. Obama then took a few minutes to greet some residents who were gathered outside a security fence before climbing into his limousine for a trip to his hotel.
The president plans to spend Monday and Tuesday in Henderson preparing for the first of three scheduled debates. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is playing the part of Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, during mock debates.
Obama is scheduled to leave Las Vegas for a flight to Denver on Wednesday morning.