Originally created 12/18/06

Across Georgia

Missing man's car found at rest stop

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police found the car of a missing Iraq war veteran but still do not know what happened to the man.

The 2000 black Honda Accord belonging to Jason Michael Roark, 26, was found in a rest stop in Morgan County off Interstate 20, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, Gwinnett County police spokesman.

The car was found in the past few days, but Cpl. Moloney did not know the exact date it was found.

Mr. Roark, who did two tours of duty in Iraq, was last seen leaving a Snellville hotel Nov. 9 in his car. Authorities do not suspect foul play but have not ruled it out. Police have no new leads and it is still considered a missing person case.

Mr. Roark left the Army in October 2005 and had been treated for depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome after returning from Iraq, his mother, Terry Roark, has said.

Justice Department looks into grant use

MACON - Federal investigators have served the city's finance office and police department with subpoenas, seeking information in an inquiry into the city's use of federal grants.

The subpoenas command the city to turn over financial data as part of a Justice Department investigation into "allegations of misconduct," according to documents released to The (Macon) Telegraph under the state Open Records Act.

No one has been indicted as a result of the inquiry, and Mayor Jack Ellis repeatedly has referred to the investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt.

But City Council President Anita Ponder said a federal inquiry brings concern.

Gingrich presidential run depends on others

WASHINGTON - Newt Gingrich suggested Sunday he might not run for president in 2008 if a rival has all but locked up the Republican nomination by next fall.

The former House speaker from Georgia said it would not be too late for him to enter the race after next Labor Day, if he believed no candidate had a clear advantage.

He praised Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as the ones to watch.

"If one of them seals it off by Labor Day, my announcing now wouldn't make any difference anyway," Mr. Gingrich said.

The nominee will not be picked officially until the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in September 2008.

"Of course I'm thinking about it," Mr. Gingrich said. "I hope between now and September, to help create with every candidate in both parties, a wave of new ideas, a wave of new solutions."

He said that in January he will write the heads of the state Democratic and Republican parties in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where there are early nominating contests, to recommend they hold bipartisan debates.


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