- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 8, 2006

Gunman’s mourners include Amish

GEORGETOWN, Pa. — Dozens of Amish neighbors came out yesterday to mourn the milkman who killed five girls and wounded five more in a brief, unfathomable rampage.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, was buried in his wife’s family plot behind a small Methodist church, a few miles from the one-room schoolhouse he stormed Monday.

His wife, Marie, and their three small children watched as Roberts was buried beside the pink, heart-shaped grave of the infant daughter whose death nine years ago apparently haunted him.

About half of perhaps 75 mourners on hand were Amish.

Roberts stormed the West Nickel Mines Amish School on Monday, releasing the 15 boys and four adults before tying up and shooting the 10 girls. Roberts, who had come armed with a shotgun, a handgun and a stun gun, then killed himself.

The five surviving girls remain hospitalized, and one is said to be in grave condition.

Evacuated residents allowed to return

APEX, N.C. — Residents who left their homes to escape fumes from a fire at a hazardous materials plant began returning yesterday, two nights after officials urged 17,000 people to evacuate.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze at EQ Industrial Services at 12:22 a.m., Apex Fire Chief Mark Haraway said. About 90 percent of evacuated residents were allowed to return at 9 a.m., and by noon, those who live in the area immediately surrounding what was left of EQ Industrial Services also were allowed back into their homes.

“We’ve been given every assurance that it’s safe for our citizens to go back home,” Mayor Keith Weatherly said.

There were no reports of serious injuries caused by the fire or the chemical haze it produced. Officials said 44 persons went to emergency rooms, most complaining of breathing problems, but nearly all had been released by midday Friday.

Study begins on autism causes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a $5.9 million study in six states to try to find the causes of autism.

The study, the next of the agency’s promised initiatives to research the disorder more closely, would look for factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, the CDC said.

It said 2,700 children ages 2 to 5 and their parents would take part in the five-year study. Researchers will look for infections or abnormal responses to infections in each child or parents, genetic factors, the mother’s reproductive history, hormone levels, potential gastrointestinal problems in the child and other factors.

In May, the CDC said the first national surveys of autism showed the condition occurs in as many as one in every 175 children.

Protesters corner Florida governor

PITTSBURGH — Protesters taunted Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on his way to a campaign event for a senator from Pennsylvania, and he briefly took refuge in a subway station supply closet to avoid the anti-Republican demonstrators.

The president’s brother encountered protesters on their way to join a demonstration outside the exclusive Duquesne Club, where Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, was holding a fundraiser Friday.

Officers used stun guns to subdue two protesters, saying they disobeyed orders to disperse, said Bob Grove, a Port Authority spokesman.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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