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Sen. Gordon Smith to hold a town hall meeting Thursday

US Sen. Gordon Smith
Everyone is invited to take part in a discussion on a wide range of topics at the meeting to be held in Prineville's city hall
   U.S. Senator Gordon Smith will visit Prineville this week to talk with constituents. Everyone is invited to the town hall meeting, set for 10:30 a.m., Thursday Aug.9.
   In announcing the meeting, Smith's office offered a list of topics up for discussion, although a staffer said the Senator usually lets those in attendance set the agenda. Anticipated questions on issues and topics that are expected be addressed include natural resources, agriculture, seniors' issues and economic development. The meeting will include a question and answer period.
   As part of the summer Congressional recess, Smith is scheduled to spend the day in central Oregon. Before the Prineville stop, the Senator will host a wildfire summit at the Wildfire Prevention Summit at the Redmond Air Center. Participants in the summit will include the fire manager for the Deschutes National Forest and offices from the Forest Service and BLM.
   The focus of the summit will be to inform the Senator on the National Wildfire Protection Plan and to hear the Congressman discuss his efforts to fully fund wildfire preparedness efforts. According to the meeting announcement, Sen. Smith has recommended that the Bush administration accelerate the implementation of a long-term plan for reducing the natural fuels that feed wildfires.
   After the Prineville meeting, Smith and his staff will travel to Madras where he will meet with city and county officials. Later in the afternoon he will attend a meeting with St. Charles Medical Center administrators.
   The focus of that session will be a discussion on issues such as the impending nursing shortage and legislation to provide health coverage to uninsured families.
   Smith will also be given a tour of the new building construction and later he will attend a reception in honor of Sister Catherine Hellman, President Emeritus of St. Charles Hospital.