- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2006

Slain family moved recently to Florida

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A family of four found fatally shot along an isolated stretch of highway had moved to Florida from Texas four months ago, authorities said yesterday.

The family, including two boys ages 3 and 4, was found Friday along the Florida Turnpike in Port St. Lucie, about 100 miles north of Miami. Investigators think their vehicle, a 1998 four-door Jeep Cherokee, had pulled to the side of the turnpike before someone else in the vehicle shot them and drove away sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m.

No one had been arrested, but authorities were searching yesterday for clues into the deaths, Sheriff Ken Mascara said. A search warrant was issued for the family’s home in Greenacres in Palm Beach County, where they had moved in June from the Brownsville, Texas, area. Authorities also were looking for the family’s black Jeep Cherokee, which had a Florida temporary license plate, Mr. Mascara said.

FBI investigating Pennsylvania lawmaker

The FBI is investigating whether Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican, used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, two persons familiar with the inquiry said yesterday.

The inquiry focuses on lobbying contracts worth $1 million that Mr. Weldon’s daughter, Karen Weldon, obtained from foreign clients and whether they were assisted by the congressman, they said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the criminal investigation.

Mr. Weldon, a 10-term Republican from the Philadelphia suburbs, long has denied any wrongdoing, and his top aide yesterday said no one had notified him of an investigation.

“I think if there was an investigation, somebody would have contacted us,” said Russ Caso, Mr. Weldon’s chief of staff.

Gunman’s wife thanks Amish

LANCASTER, Pa. — The wife of a gunman who killed five girls and injured five others at an Amish school released a statement thanking the Amish and others in the Lancaster County community for their “forgiveness, grace and mercy.”

In the letter, released by a family spokesman and addressed to Amish friends, neighbors and the local community, Marie Roberts said she and her three young children have been overwhelmed by the community support since the Oct. 2 shootings.

“Your love for our family has helped to provide the healing we so desperately need,” she wrote.

Since the shooting, members of the Amish community have said they forgive Charles Carl Roberts IV, who killed himself after fatally shooting five girls at West Nickel Mines Amish School.

Democrats snub Louisiana congressman

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Democratic Party turned down eight-term Rep. William J. Jefferson yesterday and endorsed state Rep. Karen Carter, one of a dozen challengers who emerged after Mr. Jefferson became the target of a federal bribery investigation.

The State Central Committee’s 69-53 vote, at a special meeting to decide whom to endorse in Louisiana’s open primaries Nov. 7, was the first time in recent memory that an incumbent had failed to win the state party’s endorsement.

All seven of the state’s congressional seats are open.

Mr. Jefferson denies the bribery accusations and has not been charged. A former Jefferson aide and a Kentucky businessman pleaded guilty in a purported scheme to get kickbacks for helping the businessman get contracts in Africa.

Flood watches posted after snowfall

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A flood watch was posted yesterday as the region’s record snowfall melted, and about 350,000 homes and businesses still had no electricity.

More than a day after nearly two feet of snow buried western New York, travel bans were lifted yesterday, the airport was open and stores reopened.

Buffalo’s two snowiest October days on record claimed three lives, two in traffic accidents and one person killed by a falling tree limb while shoveling snow.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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