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Nation in brief

Four killed when small planes collide over Ohio

By wire services
Published October 15, 2005

ROOTSTOWN, Ohio - Two small airplanes collided Friday over northeast Ohio and crashed in a field, killing four men, the State Highway Patrol said.

The origins and destinations of the flights weren't immediately known. All the victims were from Ohio, patrol Capt. Jim Holt said.

One plane, a Cessna 172 L, came to rest upside-down in a field in this mostly rural community 15 miles east of Akron.

The other, a Lancair 235, crashed about a quarter-mile away near a housing development. The tail was broken off and one of the wings was nearly separated.

Christopher J. Erdovegi, 19, of Lakewood, and Alan L. Lyons, 38, of Shreve, died in the Cessna. John P. Plavcan, 55, and Mark P. Schaden, 36, of Middlefield, died in the Lancair, Holt said.

Pregnant woman confirms neighbor was her attacker

FORD CITY, Pa. - A pregnant woman whose belly was slashed with a razor knife in an attempt to steal her baby identified the attacker as her next-door neighbor, a prosecutor said Friday.

Valerie Lynn Oskin, 30, told investigators it was "definitely" Peggy Jo Conner who attacked her, officials said.

Oskin was rescued after a teenager saw the women, and the baby boy was delivered at a hospital in healthy condition, officials said. Oskin has head injuries but has been improving, officials said.

Conner, 38, is jailed without bail on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and aggravated assault of an unborn child.

She is accused of hitting Oskin with a baseball bat Wednesday, then cutting her abdomen.

Review of commentator's contract expands

WASHINGTON - Investigators at the Education Department have contacted the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding the U.S. Education Department's hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams to promote its agenda.

The action was disclosed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who has pressed for an investigation over whether Williams actually performed the work cited in his monthly reports to the Education Department.

The Government Accountability Office has concluded that the Education Department engaged in illegal "covert propaganda" by hiring Williams to promote the No Child Left Behind Act without requiring him to disclose that he was being paid. The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is now investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties.

The deal occurred during the tenure of former Education Secretary Rod Paige.

[Last modified October 15, 2005, 01:16:10]

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