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President Obama departs Coachella Valley

President Barack Obama is returning to Washington after a weekend spent largely playing golf in the Coachella Valley, his fourth visit to the area in two years. As he did Sunday, President Obama golfed with three friends from Hawaii at Porcupine Creek Golf Course in Rancho Mirage Monday morning.

Air Force One took off from Palm Springs International Airport at 1:48 p.m.

Kirk Douglas Way between Ramon Road and El Cielo Road was closed at 1 p.m. Friday but is expected to reopen by 4 p.m. Monday. Airport Center Drive between Avenue Evelita and El Placer Road was also closed to accommodate the presidential motorcade but it will reopen at 3 p.m. Monday.

As he did Sunday, President Obama golfed with three friends from Hawaii at Porcupine Creek Golf Course in Rancho Mirage Monday morning. The golf course is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison. The president’s playing partners are Bobby Titcome, Mike Ramos and Greg Orme.

The president’s motorcade arrived to the golf course at about 7:45 a.m. Monday.

But there was some official business conducted over the president’s three-day visit. On Sunday, he signed a memorandum codifying rules for all federal agencies regarding drones; they will be required to publish policies about their use of drones. The memo is intended to ensure that drones are not deployed in a manner at odds with the First Amendment.

A White House statement said drones are a “potentially transformative technology in diverse fields such as agriculture, law enforcement, coastal security, military training, search and rescue, first responder medical support, critical infrastructure inspection, and many others.”

“The administration is committed to promoting the responsible use of this technology, strengthening privacy safeguards and ensuring full protection of civil liberties,” the statement.

The release of the presidential memorandum coincided with the publication of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial drone rules proposal, which was also made public on Sunday.

The president stayed at a private residence in Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage.

KESQ News Team

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