- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2007


Hit-and-run kills woman, 84

An 84-year-old woman was found dead early yesterday after an apparent hit-and-run accident near the assisted living center where she lived on the 5400 block of Connecticut Avenue Northwest, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Mary Gaegler was struck about 5:20 a.m. behind the Chevy Chase House. Investigators had no suspects as of last night, a police spokesman said.

Doctor sent to prison over Medicare scam

A prominent eye surgeon was sentenced to 18 months in prison and must pay more than $1 million in restitution after he pleaded guilty to bilking Medicare and other health insurers.

Prosecutors said Dr. Douglas Greer, 67, billed for services that were unnecessary or never provided.

Before his sentencing in federal court in the District last week, he also admitted funneling corporate funds to pay salaries to his children and housekeeper.

On a related felony tax charge, Greer admitted taking charitable deductions for contributions he used to partly pay for family vacations in the Cayman Islands.

St. Elizabeths accredited again

St. Elizabeths Hospital won back full accreditation for its clinical psychology internship program after two years on probationary status.

The city-run psychiatric institution showed it met “nationally endorsed standards in the profession of psychology,” according to the decision by the American Psychological Association.

Hospital officials said regaining accreditation was one of their major reform goals for St. Elizabeths, which was criticized for staffing shortages and failing patient care in recent years.

“National accreditation restores confidence in the strength of St. Elizabeths’ training program,” said hospital Chief Executive Officer Patrick Canavan.



Decision expected on land deal

A decision is expected this week on another state land deal that has prompted questions by Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Maryland is considering buying land at the northern tip of Kent Island for more than $7 million.

The Board of Public Works is scheduled to address the sale Wednesday after delaying a decision on the preservation of 74 acres. The high price of recent preservation acquisitions has led to questions about the way the state uses Program Open Space funds.

The board was set to vote July 11 on the Kent Island land, but Mr. Franchot questioned spending $7.2 million on the site of a port that accepts dredge materials.

Earlier this month, the board approved a separate multimillion purchase of land in Queen Anne’s County owned by a company with ties to Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat. Some have raised issue with that purchase because its price was higher than state appraisals.


Arson ruled in building fire

The state fire marshall’s office says a blaze early Saturday in Clear Spring was deliberately set.

The fire on Dam No. 5 Road was reported about 1 a.m. Twenty-five firefighters from Clear Spring and Williamsport responded to the scene and brought the blaze under control within 20 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

The fire marshall’s office says the fire caused about $10,000 in damage to the building and its contents.



Man dies in attack by crowd

One person was killed and two others were injured after they were attacked and beaten by a crowd of about a dozen people Saturday, police said.

James Robertson, a 19-year-old who was visiting from Georgia, died after the attack. The other two victims were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and released Saturday. Their names and ages were not released.

A group of five or six females and six to 10 males, all thought to be in their teens or 20s, attacked the three victims, stripping them of their clothes and then beating them, a police spokesman said.

Two of the victims broke free and escaped. Officers found Mr. Robertson at the scene, badly beaten.

Police did not immediately offer a motive for the assault and did not say whether the victims knew their assailants.


Maritime group awaits support

As the U.S. Maritime Administration awaits support from Congress to dry-dock the Savannah, the 1950s-era vessel has been shuttled to three temporary berths in Hampton Roads since August.

The delay is expected to add at least $400,000 in towing and berthing expenses.

The administration’s plan to dry-dock the ship for a hull blasting and repainting is part of the agency’s plan to remove the ship’s remaining nuclear components and prepare the vessel for a possible donation as a public attraction.

The agency’s senior technical adviser says the maritime agency had to adapt to fiscal realities. The agency expected to have money in hand to dry-dock the ship when a repair job at Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk was finished.

However, the agency’s budget was still in limbo after last year’s congressional battles.

The 596-foot-long vessel is now at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair.

Money for the dry-docking work is not expected to be available until October at the earliest, when the 2008 fiscal year begins.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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