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Giffords spending weekend in Tucson

Sept. 3, 2011 at 1:23 PM
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TUCSON, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is back in Arizona this weekend for what a top aide says is a private visit and break from rehab.

The trip to Tucson is only her second since January when she was transferred to a Houston rehabilitation hospital after being shot in the head, The Arizona Republic reported. The Arizona Democrat has also traveled to Florida to watch the launch of her husband's last space shuttle mission and to Washington to vote on a critical deficit reduction compromise.

Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, said the congresswoman plans to spend time with her parents and "see the mountains, see the desert."

"Obviously she misses Tucson a ton," Carusone said. "She's working really hard at her therapy program so for her, this is like a vacation."

Jared Loughner, charged with a shooting spree at a Giffords constituent event in Tucson that left six people dead and 13 wounded, has been found unfit to stand trial.

The dead included a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and a member of Giffords' staff.

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