March 28, 2013
THE DISTRICT
Former Gray aide to be sentenced in probe

A former campaign aide to Mayor Vincent C. Gray is scheduled to be sentenced in July after he admitted making illegal campaign contributions and destroying records.

Thomas W. Gore, who served as the campaign’s assistant treasurer, pleaded guilty last year to providing illegal donations to a minor mayoral candidate in the 2010 Democratic primary and to destroying a notebook that documented the payoffs. Gray eventually defeated incumbent mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

Gore, one of three former Gray campaign aides to plead guilty to a federal crime, has been cooperating with the government’s broader investigation.

He could face 12 to 18 months in prison, although prosecutors could recommend a lesser sentence.

— Ann E. Marimow

MARYLAND
Lanham group given $1 million grant

The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence has won a $1 million grant to expand a program that seeks to prevent domestic-violence homicides.

The grant was announced this week by Maryland Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, both Democrats.

The funding will allow the Lanham-based organization to partner with the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center of Massachusetts and Jacquelyn Campbell, of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, to expand its efforts to other parts of the country.

“This pioneering approach to reducing domestic violence homicides protects women and families from abuse and possible death by helping local police identify a high-risk situation, and quickly connecting victims to shelters, counselors and other wraparound services that remove victims from harm’s way,” Mikulski said.

— Lori Aratani

Woman sentenced in disability fraud case

A woman convicted of collecting federal disability benefits while operating a fitness center has been sentenced to five months in prison.

Forty-eight-year-old Darlene Altvater of Mechanicsville was also ordered to pay restitution at sentencing Wednesday.

According to evidence presented at trial, Altvater, who worked for the Postal Service, sustained on-the-job head and neck injuries. She began collecting federal workers’ compensation benefits in 2001.

Prosecutors say from January 2005 through December 2011, Altvater operated a salon, day spa and fitness center. Witnesses testified that Altvater demonstrated the use of fitness equipment. She was still receiving disability benefits.

— Associated Press

VIRGINIA
Cruise ship traveler died of heart disease

Heart disease killed a 64-year-old passenger on a cruise ship out of Baltimore, the FBI said Thursday, ruling out foul play and ending a brief mystery as to how the Virginia woman died last weekend.

“It’s considered a natural death,” FBI Special Agent Rich Wolf said. The FBI also identified the woman as Katherine Kennedy of Midlothian, Va.

Kennedy and her husband were on a six-night, seven-day cruise that began March 18. They were onboard Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, a 989-foot ship with 11 decks that had stopped in Port Canaveral, Fla.; Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas.

The ship was on its way back to Baltimore on Sunday when Kennedy fell dead in her cabin. Her husband, who was in the room, summoned ship officials. Because the death occurred miles from the mainland in U.S. waters off the coast of North Carolina, the FBI was the investigatory agency notified by the cruise ship.

Kennedy had fallen in the cabin, sustaining a cut on her forehead, which caused the FBI to rule her manner of death as undetermined or “suspicious” until an autopsy could be performed.

— Baltimore Sun

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