11-Year-Old Recovering from Surgery

Brenton Contee, the 11-year-old who was struck by a speeding car as he was rollerblading in his Northwest neighborhood last Saturday, was listed in fair condition yesterday after emergency surgery Thursday night to correct a colon problem.

Deborah Johnson, Brenton's mother, said the hospital called her at home to request permission for surgery because doctors feared his colon would rupture without it. "He was in severe pain, but [the surgery] was successful, so we are hoping he will feel better," Johnson said. She also said Brenton "is getting more and more inquisitive about his condition." A spokesman at Children's Hospital would not comment on the boy's surgery.

Meanwhile Johnson, a single mother, said a fund has been set up to help the family with medical expenses. Checks can be made out to: Brenton's Recovery Fund, c/o Crestar, 1111 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

City's Medical Services Director Leaving

Wayne E. Moore said yesterday that he will resign as director of D.C. Emergency Medical Services, a post he has held for four years, to take a job at Meharry Medical College in his hometown of Nashville.

"I just felt it was time to move on," said Moore, a doctor, who will leave the District job on June 30 to become director of the college's Emergency Medical Department. "My salary will double, and it will be a slower pace."

During his tenure, Moore, 42, said he reduced the average medical emergency response time from 13 minutes to 10 minutes and 30 seconds. He said that his goal was eight minutes but that a shortage of EMS vehicles and personnel stood in his way.

"All in all, I feel EMS has improved," he said, "but it's not where it needs to be."

Father's Day Event Set at Memorial

A Father's Day remembrance ceremony is scheduled for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial tomorrow at 8 a.m., according to memorial foundation President Jan Scruggs.

One thousand roses will be delivered to the memorial, he said, each affixed with a message sent from families of Vietnam War soldiers who were killed or are missing. Volunteers will read aloud each message before placing the attached rose at the memorial, he said.


Soldier Dies After Fitness Test at Ga. Base

A 17-year-old soldier from Upper Marlboro died after a fitness test at Fort Benning, Ga., base officials said yesterday.

Pvt. Kevin James Anderson had trouble breathing and passed out shortly after completing the fitness test Thursday, base officials said. He later died at Martin Army Community Hospital. Anderson had arrived at the base four days earlier.

The fitness test, which consists of push-ups, sit-ups and a one-mile run, is used to determine a trainee's fitness level prior to being assigned to a unit. Autopsy results were pending.

BWI Turns Parking Lot Over to Rental Cars

The Park 'n' Walk lot near Baltimore-Washington International Airport will be closed to the public as of Monday so it can be used for a growing fleet of rental cars.

Airport officials say passengers rented more than 840,000 cars last year, a 13 percent increase from 1997.

The airport still will have plenty of parking, officials say. There are nearly 6,800 spaces available in the BWI garage and the Express Service parking lot. There also are 9,400 spaces available in satellite parking lots. Later this summer, 600 spaces will be added to the satellite green lot.

The increased need for rental-car space stems from a record number of passengers using the airport--15 million last year. BWI also set its single-month record for passengers in April, when nearly 1.5 million people used the airport.

Nursing Home Owners Settle Allegations

The owners of a Greenbelt nursing home have agreed to pay the government $100,000 to settle allegations of improper billing and substandard care, federal officials said.

The Greenbelt Nursing & Rehabilitation Center was accused of improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid for substandard nursing care and falsely certifying that it was largely in compliance with some regulatory requirements.

The investigation into the nursing home goes back to June 1998. It resulted in appointment of a temporary manager, independent monitor and certified nurse practitioner, according to the U.S. attorney's office for Maryland. The nursing home closed in December 1998 after losing its funding.


VRE Will Pay Some Day-Care Late Fees

The Virginia Railway Express operating board approved policy and schedule changes yesterday that are designed to make the commuter line more attractive to parents with young children and non-government workers.

Under one change, riders who experience delays on certain trains will be eligible for reimbursement if they must pay penalties for picking up their children late at a day-care center. The train has to be more than 15 minutes late and the day-care center must be licensed and open until 6 p.m. The reimbursement program will start within a month, VRE spokesman Matt Benka said.

VRE also will begin running partial service on holidays when the federal government is closed but other offices may be open: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day. In addition, the line plans to add two midday trains on the Manassas line in October, Benka said.

Richmond Panel Still Mulling Lee Portrait

It will be about a month before a panel of Richmond leaders decides what to do about a portrait of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that was removed from an outdoor exhibit.

The committee of 19 community leaders met in private for the second time last week and decided to take 30 days to contemplate all the murals on the floodwall at the Canal Walk along the James River.

Richmond City Councilman Sa'ad El-Amin was largely responsible for having Lee's portrait removed from the floodwall gallery just two days before the Canal Walk opened June 4. El-Amin complained to the Richmond Historic Riverfront Foundation that Lee was a racist and is a pariah in the black community. The decision to remove the portrait has sparked numerous protests.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This is every judge's worst nightmare." -- Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge C. Philip Nichols Jr. He sentenced a man to home detention who has been charged with firing a bullet that killed a Capitol Heights woman in her living room.