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Giffords makes 1st trip to Tucson since release

PHOENIX (AP) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lost little time after her release from the hospital in returning to her hometown, visiting Tucson for Father's Day for the first time since shortly after she was gravely wounded in a shooting rampage in January.

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," Giffords' astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, said in a news release. "Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery."

Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said the Democratic congresswoman traveled by private plane from Houston to Tucson with Kelly and one of his daughters, and she is spending Father's Day weekend with her family.

Giffords, released from a Houston hospital on Wednesday, is now living in Kelly's home in League City, Texas, a town 26 miles south of Houston. She will continue outpatient therapy in Houston.



Alpine residents return to homes as fire rages

PHOENIX (AP) -- Some residents evacuated because of wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico finally got to return home Saturday.

Meanwhile, firefighters throughout the Southwest battled strong winds and hot weekend temperatures to keep more homes, dry forests and stretches of high desert from the flames.

With summer rains weeks away, forecasters said crews would likely have little relief from the hot, windy weather that has dogged them for days.

In eastern Arizona along the New Mexico border, residents of Alpine were allowed to return to their homes Saturday morning. Greer residents still remain evacuated by the largest wildfire in Arizona's history.

The Wallow fire has consumed 774 square miles and more than 4,500 firefighters are trying to stop it.

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