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More than two-thirds of Kentucky's school systems are potentially affected by an investigation into the rigging of bids by milk suppliers, according to state officials.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Fred Cowan said a civil investigation into allegations that milk suppliers conspired to rig their bids for school milk contracts could affect 120 school districts and involve large sums of money. The U.S. Justice Department also is investigating the charges.

Last October, G. Maurice Binder, a former sales manager for Flav-O-Rich Inc. in London, Ky., pleaded guilty in federal court to helping rig bids in sales to school systems in the south-central region of the state. He agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in an ongoing investigation of alleged bid-rigging in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Similar state and federal investigations have led to convictions or civil settlements against milk and bread contractors in Florida and Georgia. At least 10 states in the South and Midwest are investigating allegations of price-fixing in school milk contracts.

Kansans continue to give their schools and teachers high marks, a statewide opinion poll has found.

About two-thirds of the 901 adults questioned said they would assign a grade of A or B to the state's public schools and teachers. Both responses are much higher than results found in a national Gallup Poll last year.

The poll, which the Teachers College of Emporia State University has conducted six times since 1980, also found that 44 percent of the respondents named alcohol and drug abuse as the number one problem in the schools. Discipline problems came in second.

Vol. 09, Issue 23

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