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CIVIL RIGHTS Landmark desegregation case ends after 27 years NEW YORK (AP) � A New York federal judge has given final approval to a housing desegregation plan in Yonkers, N.Y., ending court supervision of a 27-year-old case. U.S. Judge Leonard B. Sand said the plan guarantees that 425 owner-occupied homes, 315 private rental dwellings and 200 public housing units in Yonkers will remain affordable for at least 30 years. The last of them are to be completed in the next few months. In November 1985, Sand ruled that Yonkers officials intentionally and unlawfully promoted racial segregation through their housing and school policies. He ordered the city to desegregate the school system and build subsidized housing in predominantly white sections of Yonkers, a city of about 200,000 people north of New York City. CLASS ACTION Health insurers, doctors reach $128M settlement MIAMI (AP) � A group of managed health care companies have reached a $128 million settlement in a class action filed by about 900,000 physicians over alleged unfair payment practices. Under the settlement, 23 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association will pay the money into a fund. The physicians can make a claim or select a charity to receive the money. The physicians sued the companies in 2003, contending that they were systematically cheated by insurance companies that programmed computers to pay for less intensive services than were actually provided. POLLUTION Water agencies agree to groundwater cleanup LOS ANGELES (AP) � Four Santa Clarita Valley water agencies have agreed to a $100 million groundwater cleanup deal that ends a nearly seven-year legal battle with former and current owners of a defunct munitions plant. The Castaic Lake Water Agency, Newhall County Water District, Santa Clarita Water Co. and Valencia Water Co. sued current and former operators of the munitions site after perchlorate was found in five Santa Clarita Valley wells. The settlement calls on the Whittaker-Bermite facility’s current and former owners to clean up the perchlorate contamination. The chemical is used in the manufacture of explosives, munitions and rocket fuel. The 1,000-acre Bermite site manufactured ammunition, explosives, flares and detonators since the 1940s. Whittaker Corp. operated the site until 1999, when it was purchased by Remediation Financial and Santa Clarita LLC. The settlement reached by Whittaker, Remediation Financial and Santa Clarita provides $100 million for the construction of replacement wells, pipelines and a treatment facility. REGULATORY ACTION Brokerage firm settles SEC charges for $3.86M WASHINGTON (AP) � Brokerage firm A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. has agreed to pay $3.86 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it allowed mutual fund shareholders to be defrauded in market-timed trades by several brokers. A.G. Edwards will pay a $1.5 million civil fine and $2.36 million in restitution, plus interest. The SEC said that between January 2001 and late 2003, A.G. Edwards’ failure to supervise the brokers allowed them to defraud more than 200 mutual funds and their investors with deceptions that circumvented the funds’ prohibitions against market timing. The brokers made the trades on behalf of favored customers. TORTS Family of teen who died in boot camp gets $5M TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (AP) � Florida lawmakers have approved a $5 million settlement for the family of a teenager who died after being roughed up by guards at a state-supervised boot camp. Martin Lee Anderson died in January 2006 shortly after being kneed and beaten and having ammonia tablets held to his nose at the military-style facility run by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in Panama City, Fla. The state has already paid Anderson’s parents $200,000, the most allowed by law without legislative approval. The bill would pay the remaining $4.8 million of the proposed settlement. The sheriff’s office has separately settled with the Anderson family for $2.4 million. USURY ‘Rent-to-own’ deals suit settles for $109M in N.J. NEWARK, N.J. (AP) � Rent-A-Center Inc., the nationwide rent-to-own company, has agreed to pay about 100,000 New Jersey customers a total of $109 million to settle a putative class action claiming the company violated the state’s criminal usury statute. The deal will provide about $85.8 million to customers and $23.5 million in fees and costs. In rent-to-own agreements, customers lease household items with an option to purchase at a specified amount. The suit alleged that rent-to-own contracts violated the Retail Installment Sales Act and the Consumer Fraud Act by charging exorbitant time-price differentials � the excess amount over the price that the buyer must pay to purchase the goods over time.

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