News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, Sept. 12 to 18

Tuesday | 14

La Plata Doctor Suspended

The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended the medical license of La Plata internist Waheed U. Akthar, 54, who has been charged with second- and fourth-degree sexual assault in connection with incidents at his White Plains office in which it is alleged he fondled the breasts of and kissed two patients.

Tuesday | 14

Babysitter Convicted of Abuse

Nancy J. Brookbank was convicted of child abuse after she entered an "Alford plea" in a high profile Charles County case involving permanent injuries to a La Plata boy in 1998. Under the plea, Brookbank did not admit any wrongdoing but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict her if the case was presented to a judge or jury.

Wednesday | 15

Man Charged in Wife's Slaying

John Otha Dickens, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Darlene Dowsey, 27, of Lexington Park on Monday night. Dowsey and Dickens, her estranged husband, had quarreled early Sunday morning at a club in St. Mary's County. Dickens had been under a court order to stay away from Dowsey.

Wednesday | 15

Number Passing Tests Rises

The percentage of students passing the Maryland High School Assessment exams increased this year -- but five years before the tests will be required for graduation, large numbers continue to fail. More than half the students who took each test -- in algebra, English, government and biology -- passed in all three Southern Maryland counties.