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LIVE FROM REC HALL: Instant Coverage of President Obama at Penn State

on February 03, 2011 5:38 PM

5:38 p.m.: We've posted a more thorough report about the day's events. And we've posted more photos, too.

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1:56 p.m.: President Obama appeared on stage at 12:30 p.m. and spoke for 22 minutes, focusing in large part on his new Better Buildings Initiative. The idea, he said, is to give businesses incentives and support to improve their buildings' energy efficiency. Homes and business facilities account for 40 percent of the country's energy use, Obama said.

He also called for cuts in government subsides to the oil industry, saying that oil companies "are doing just fine on their own."

Research led by Penn State will be a key in helping the U.S. move toward greater energy efficiency, Obama declared, saying that "innovation is what this country is all about."

About 3,000 tickets were distributed for the Penn State event, and the house appeared to be full. Speaking in an interview afterward, Penn State President Graham Spanier said he felt that Obama had given a substantive speech.

StateCollege.com will post additional coverage later this afternoon. Here are some photos from the event.

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12:15 p.m.: President Obama is expected in Rec Hall shortly. For more immediate updates over the next hour or so, check out our news presence on Twitter: @SCNewsDesk.

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11:55 a.m.: State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and U.S. Rep. Glenn "G.T." Thompson have arrived in Rec Hall, WPSU's Emily Reddy reported. Onward State reported that the presidential motorcade was traveling on College Avenue just moments ago.

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11:44 a.m.: The official White House website, whitehouse.gov, is providing a live stream from Rec Hall. WPSU radio (91.5 FM and online) is expected to carry President Obama's remarks live, as well. Not to mention the live coverage on the Big Ten Network.

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11:36 a.m.: Campus Minister Alicia Anderson led the Rec Hall crowd in a prayer. The national anthem has been sung. The pledge was recited. And Obama was just spotted on the ground at University Park Airport, greeted there by State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Dana Reeser reports.

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11:28 a.m.: Air Force One has landed at University Park Airport, Dana Reeser reports from the airport.

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11:23 a.m.: Lots of local elected officials and familiar faces are in the house at Rec Hall. Those spotted so far include state Rep. Scott Conklin, state Rep. Camille "Bud" George, university President Graham Spanier, a number of members of the Paterno family and current and former leaders of the Centre County Democratic party.

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11:18 a.m.: President Obama is indeed running behind schedule. He's now expected to land at University Park Airport at 11:25 a.m., StateCollege.com reporter Dana Reeser reports from the facility.

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11:06 a.m.: Joe Paterno, Sue Paterno and Jay Paterno arrived to cheers and rounds of applause in Rec Hall about 10:57 a.m. "We are!" cheers soon followed. Crowd's quieting down a bit now.

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10:56 a.m.: It appears that President Obama may be arriving a bit behind schedule at Penn State University Park. On Twitter, West Wing Report noted that a prayer breakfast Obama was attending earlier today ran longer than expected. Seems unclear exactly what that could mean for his remarks' start time at Rec Hall. Officially, the start time was scheduled for 12:15 p.m.

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10:51 a.m.: Students in the Rec Hall crowd started the wave about 10:36 a.m. It's since died down. Looking like a full house in the main gym right now.

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10:31 a.m.: After President Obama lands at University Park Aiport, he'll be touring a Penn State engineering lab or two before he heads to Rec Hall, university VP Bill Mahon tells us. He said the president also will meet with university President Graham Spanier and university board Vice Chairman John Surma before he speaks in the main gym.

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10:16 a.m.: We're starting to post more photos from Rec Hall in a separate gallery. Meanwhile, the "We are!" chant just broke out in the main gym of Rec Hall. Lasted a few seconds.

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10:03 a.m.: Security dogs conducted a thorough sniff-down of journalists' equipment as we entered Rec Hall. Now that we're inside, on the floor of the Rec Hall main gym, we can't see too much outside. But Penn State reported that the line to get inside the building is now stretching down past the Sigma Nu fraternity, 340 N. Burrowes Road. Seats in gym are filling up fast.

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9:54 a.m.: Rec Hall's doors opened to the crowd outside at 9:06 a.m., sending up a cheer among the hundreds already gathered and waiting in the cold. Some people had started to arrive at 5:30 a.m., Twitter user @gobeckygo reported. By 6:50 a.m., she noted, 12 people were in line.

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7:52 a.m.: By the way, as always, we welcome and encourage observations and tips from StateCollege.com readers. Feel free to send photos, details about what you're seeing, etc., to Adam Smeltz at adam.smeltz@statecollege.com. Or find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/scnewsdesk.

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7:31 a.m.: As thousands of people gather Thursday to hear President Barack Obama, StateCollege.com will post continuous coverage from Penn State's Rec Hall.

Much of that coverage will be posted right here -- on this live-blog page -- immediately as developments unfold. We'll have information and images rolling in from our local journalists on campus and at the University Park Airport, where Air Force One is expected to land Thursday morning.

Stay tuned.

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