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Three Chicago-area companies and their executives have been charged with rigging school-milk bids worth more than $4.3 million, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The federal indictment contends the companies and other unnamed individuals conspired to allocate among themselves the contracts to supply milk to public schools, to fix the prices, and to rig their bids for the contracts to the Chicago Board of Education.

Distributors named in the indictment were: C&C Dairy of Palos Heights, Ill.; Cloverleaf Farms Distributors of Crestwood, Ill.; and Roger Gillund Dairy Service of Country Club Hills, Ill.

Roger Gillund, president of Roger Gillund Dairy Service; Terrence Gillund, owner and operator of Terry Gillund Dairy Service; and William Gillund, owner and operator of William Gillund Dairy Service, were arraigned Sept. 11.

Michael Bailey, president and chief executive officer of Cloverleaf Farms Distributors; Robert Bailey, chairman of Cloverleaf; and Michael Stajszczak, general manager of C&C Dairy, were scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 17, a spokesman in the Justice Department's antitrust division said.

William Gillund was charged with one count of mail fraud; the other five defendants were charged with one antitrust violation and two counts of mail fraud.

The Granite, Utah, school district has asked a federal court to support its decision to keep a severely handicapped elementary-school student from attending regular classes.

The 6-year-old girl, identified as Shannon M. in court papers, has congenital neuromuscular atrophy and scoliosis. She is confined to a motorized wheelchair and breathes through a tube, documents filed with the court say. She also requires the constant care of a nurse, which would cost the district $30,000 a year if the child attended regular school.

The appeal was filed after rulings by a local hearing officer and state education officials that the district must provide the nurse under the federal law that requires a free public education for all handicapped students.

The district argues that the provision of a full-time nurse goes beyond education-related services and that it should be allowed to provide private tutoring for the girl in her home.

Although the city of Philadelphia is facing insolvency, a $44-million package of tax increases approved last spring by the city council has enabled the Philadelphia school district to raise $120 million in short-term bond notes to meet expenses until the new tax money is collected, school officials say.

The district reported having no trouble selling the notes, in contrast to the city, which has been trying unsuccessfully to sell $375 million in bonds to stave off bankruptcy. The district's budget for this year is balanced, officials report, and suppliers are being paid on time.

Because of the tax increase, investment services gave the district's short-term bond notes the highest possible rating, according to district officials. But the district's rating for long-term notes is lower because of an anticipated budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.

About 8,000 students in Harrison County, Miss., would continue to attend county schools even if an upcoming annexation effort makes them residents of Gulfport, a state judge has ruled.

An annexation being considered by Gulfport officials would dramatically shift the enrollment and demographics of schools in both the city school district and the Harrison County district, which has operated under a federal desegregation order since 1980.

To avoid creating problems for the two districts, a chancery court judge ruled on Sept. 5 that the annexation should not alter the county district's boundaries.

The decision is only the first step toward solving the potential problem, said Albert Necaise, the lawyer for the county district. The county also is seeking a ruling from the U.S. Justice Department and a U.S. District Court judge.

If the current boundary is not maintained, Gulfport's annexation could turn the county district, which now includes about 11,000 students and a 25 percent minority population, into a district of 3,000 students with a 2 percent minority enrollment, Mr. Necaise said.

A high school teacher in Evansville, Ind., has sued the local school board to allow him to teach a lesson on a four-letter obscenity during his semantics class.

The suit, filed Sept. 4 by Jim Wootton, a teacher at Central High School, contends that the Evansville-Vanderburgh County School Board violated the state's "open door" law when it banned the word during an Aug. 20 public hearing. Mr. Wootton was told that he could no longer teach a semantics lesson on the four-letter word.

In the suit, Mr. Wootton, with the support of the Evansville Teachers Association and the Indiana Teachers Association, alleges that the matter was decided in a secret closed session on Aug. 6 before the board voted in public to ban the word, said Jack VanStone, a laywer with the Evansville Teachers Association.

Indiana law requires government bodies to conduct their business in public meetings, Mr. VanStone said. The school board could use a closed executive session only for certain subjects, such as personnel matters.

Issues of academic freedom and freedom of speech raised during the public meeting are not raised by the suit, Mr. VanStone said. The case hinges entirely on the open-meetings law, he said.

A parent filed a complaint at the end of last school year about the use of the word in Mr. Wootton's classroom.

Advocates for a 4-year-old disabled girl are pressing Los Angeles school officials to make the child's neighborhood school--and every other school in the district--accessible to children with handicaps.

In a federal class action filed this month, advocates for Xochitl Soto say school officials should build a ramp into the pre-kindergarten classroom at the Bushnell Way elementary school three blocks from her home. The child, paralyzed since infancy by a stray bullet from a drive-by gang shooting, cannot negotiate the four steps leading into the classroom with her wheelchair.

School officials, contending that the school was unsafe because of its hilly location and because it is more than one story tall, had proposed sending the child to a school three miles away. That school, which enrolls a large number of special-education students, has access for the handicapped.

"She doesn't need special education," said Sande Buhai Pond, a lawyer for the Western Law Center for the Handicapped, which is representing the child. "All she needs is a ramp."

The lawsuit also asks district officials to abandon their policy of limiting such architectural improvements to a few selected schools in favor of a plan for making all schools more accessible for the physically disabled.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for last Friday.

Striking teachers in the South Orange-Maplewood, N.J., school district have been threatened with jail terms if they do not return to work.

Superior Court Judge Irwin Kimmelman ordered 15 union officials and bargaining-team members to begin serving 30-day sentences in the Essex County jail late last week for defying his back-to-work order.

A hearing on a request for a stay of that order was scheduled for last Friday.

The judge also ordered that for every day of work teachers skipped beginning last Friday, they would spend a weekend in jail.

He also fined the 572-member union, a local affiliate of the National Education Association, $35,000 and imposed $500 fines on the 15 people he found in contempt of court.

He then ordered both sides to begin bargaining sessions and to continue until their differences were resolved.

The union has been on strike since Sept. 5 over issues of salary and working conditions.

The last time teachers in New Jersey, which bans strikes by public employees, were jailed was in Teaneck in 1982. At that time, about 150 people were locked up in trailers during school hours for three days.

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