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Former President Carter to visit Du Pont executives

September 09, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Former President Jimmy Carter visited Shepherdstown Thursday for a private corporate-sponsored meeting at the National Conservation Training Center, center Director Rick Lemon said.

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Carter met with about 30 executives from the Du Pont Corp. and several nongovernment organizations for about two hours, Lemon said.

After eating a 45-minute lunch with the group, the Georgia Democrat spoke for almost an hour on the topic of environmental sustainability, Lemon said.

"He talked a lot about ending world hunger and about corporate responsibility," Lemon said.

Lemon, a former Peace Corps volunteer who was working in Africa when Carter was elected to the White House in 1976, said it was an honor to meet the former president.

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Carter and his Secret Service escorts arrived at the training center at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and left about two hours later, Lemon said.

Jefferson County Sheriff William Senseney said he met with the Secret Service earlier this week about Carter's visit but declined to discuss specifics of the meeting.

"This was a low-key visit," Senseney said.

Senseney said Carter's trip to the Eastern Panhandle was a lot easier to handle than the visit President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore made to Harpers Ferry for Earth Day last year.

"The Secret Service was here months in advance for that one," Senseney said.

Carter flew into Martinsburg's Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in a Du Pont corporate jet Thursday morning and left in the afternoon, Lemon said.

A marked Sheriff's car escorted Carter's motorcade to and from the training center, Senseney said.

Du Pont approached the training center about the meeting about six months ago but it was not until two weeks ago that the center found out Carter would be coming, Lemon said.

A Du Pont spokeswoman in Wilmington, Del., would not comment further on Carter's visit.

The National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown is primarily used by fish and wildlife conservation professionals but can be used by private organizations, Lemon said.

There was no cost to taxpayers for Carter's visit to the federally funded training center, Lemon said.

The visit was the first presidential stop at the training center since it opened in Shepherdstown in October 1997, Lemon said.

"But it probably won't be the last," Lemon said.

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