- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2001

Doctor convicted of attempted extortion

OCALA, Fla. An abortion doctor was convicted yesterday of trying to extort millions of dollars by falsely accusing a county official of bomb threats and intimidation.
James Scott Pendergraft, who owns several Florida clinics, was found guilty in federal court of all charges against him conspiracy, attempted extortion and mail fraud and could get 30 years in prison.
His real-estate adviser, Michael Spielvogel, was convicted of the same charges, plus lying to the FBI and filing a false statement. He could get 40 years. No sentencing date was set.

Cafeteria table kills 5-year-old at school

PHILADELPHIA A kindergartner was killed yesterday when he apparently leaned against a fold-up table in a school cafeteria and it fell on him.
Jonathan Cozzolino, 5, died of head trauma, said a hospital spokesman.
About 120 pupils at the Hamilton Disston School had eaten lunch in the cafeteria just before the accident. Jonathan's class was the last to leave. His classmates witnessed the accident.
The table was folded in half and was being stored upright on casters.

Edwards to stay free during his appeal

NEW ORLEANS Former Gov. Edwin Edwards will remain free while he appeals his conviction for extorting applicants for riverboat-casino licenses.

Edwards, his son and two others in the scheme were scheduled to report to Texas federal prisons Monday, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that they could remain free.

The 73-year-old Edwards, who faces a 10-year sentence, said the ruling made him hopeful the court will overturn his conviction, and accused District Judge Frank Polozola of bias in the trial.

The appeals court gave no reasons for its decision.

Aryan Nation to meet at ex-Navy base

SPOKANE, Wash. A white-supremacist group losing the site of its annual conference to bankruptcy plans to hold this year's event at a former Navy base.

The Aryan Nation group has rented the northern Idaho site of the Farragut Naval Training Center, one of the largest training bases during World War II.

The group has paid a $325 deposit to camp for three days, starting July 5, at Farragut State Park near the Washington border.

"It may be a disagreeable situation, but unless they've done something illegal, what can you do?" said Gene Cooper, who schedules reunions for the sailors, including himself, who trained to fight the Nazis there.

Learning-disabled get extra help on tests

PORTLAND, Ore. Oregon youngsters with dyslexia and other learning disabilities will be able to use computerized spell-checks and get other help on statewide tests under a settlement announced yesterday.
The settlement with a group of Oregon parents who sued the state will affect fewer than 4,000 students, said state school officials.
But it could provide guidelines for other states considering additional help for learning-disabled students when they take standardized tests.

Adoption case couples squabble on TV

CHICAGO Two couples locked in a trans-Atlantic fight over twin girls adopted via the Internet confronted each other for the first time yesterday, with harsh words for the person both had gone through to facilitate the now-tangled arrangements.
Richard and Vickie Allen of San Diego, and Alan and Judith Kilshaw of Buckley, Wales, both said they believed they should wind up with the 6-month-old girls once the courts have completed the case.
The two couples appeared together on Oprah Winfrey's syndicated talk show taped in Chicago and made it clear they intended to continue pressing their claims.
The two couples should "work together to nail this lady Tina Johnson," said Mr. Kilshaw, speaking of the adoption facilitator with whom both couples had worked.

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