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Ex-House Speaker spends holiday in prison, gets more family time

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Former state House Speaker Jim Black is spending what could be the first of several Christmas holidays in prison. The defamed 72-year-old politician is serving a five-year federal prison sentence for political corruption. He was sent in July to a prison camp in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, which is more than 500 miles from his home in Charlotte. Camp spokesman Scott Finley said Black will have extra time during the holiday to see his family and talk on the phone. He also will receive a package from prison officials filled with crackers, turkey and other nonperishable items. Friends say Black is adjusting to prison life, though he had hoped for a shorter sentence. Black also is trying to find ways to pay more than $1 million in fines. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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