MARYLAND

Man Fatally Shot at Check-Cashing Shop

A man was shot to death in the parking lot of a check-cashing store last night in Oxon Hill, Prince George's County police said.

Witnesses told police that the man was shot just after 5 p.m. outside the Ace Check Cashing store in the 800 block of Southern Avenue. He was taken to Greater Southeast Community Hospital, where he died, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman.

Soon after hearing shots, an off-duty D.C. police officer saw a car speeding from the scene and contacted police. Another D.C. officer then saw the vehicle, followed it and saw an occupant throw a handgun out the window, Richardson said. Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun.

The D.C. officer and Prince George's officers pursued the vehicle to 19th Avenue and Culbera Drive in Oxon Hill, where five people fled on foot but were caught. No charges had been filed last night.

Worker Loses Case Against County

Montgomery County has been cleared of wrongdoing in a lawsuit brought by an employee who said it took officials 17 months to find her a desk job after doctors said she had multiple sclerosis.

Susan Cohen, 59, a social worker who spent nearly 20 years helping elderly and disabled residents live on their own, said that while her request for reassignment was pending, she endured exhaustion and other symptoms of MS because her duties required climbing stairs and standing for prolonged periods.

But after a week-long trial and four hours of deliberation, a Montgomery Circuit Court jury found late Monday that the county was not liable.

Associate County Attorney Sharon V. Burrell argued that the suit was groundless because the county did everything possible to respond to Cohen's request in a timely manner.

Campaigns Spar on Funding Rule

The reelection campaign of U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) filed a Federal Election Commission complaint yesterday against her opponent, state Sen. Edward J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's), alleging that he did not notify her when he triggered the so-called millionaire amendment.

The law, passed after the 2002 elections, raised contribution limits for any candidate running against a wealthy opponent. It requires a self-funded candidate to notify opponents throughout the race as certain money thresholds are passed.

Pipkin campaign spokeswoman Aileen Kelly denied the accusation. "We have confirmation that the Mikulski campaign received notification," she said.

Pipkin's campaign triggered the amendment last week after he contributed more than $630,000 to his campaign. Disclosure documents filed by Pipkin show that he has given $1.2 million to his Senate bid.

Juvenile Services Chief Promises Change

Maryland's secretary of juvenile services promised state lawmakers yesterday that he would make swift reforms at the state's troubled youth detention facilities.

Secretary Kenneth Montague told the House Judiciary Committee that he is well on the way to hiring dozens of employees to bulk up staffing at the $60 million detention center in Baltimore. He said the facility will be fully staffed by Nov. 22.

Last month, independent monitors found that an acute staff shortage created conditions so dangerous that even public defenders and ministers refused to enter the building to visit children.

THE DISTRICT

Help Wanted, Apply Within

More than 40 employers are expected to be recruiting at a job fair tomorrow at Noyes Elementary School in Northeast Washington, the office of D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. said. Orange (D-Ward 5) has organized the annual job fair in his ward for five years, since he was elected to the council.

Noyes is at 10th and Franklin streets NE. The entrance to the job fair, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be off Franklin.

Pharmacist Charged in Drug Case

Uduma Eni Nmagu, also known as Michael Nmagu, 49, was arrested yesterday after his indictment by a federal grand jury on 29 counts of drug distribution and health care fraud, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

The arrest, which marks the first District prosecution of a pharmacist on charges of illegally diverting prescription drugs, is part of Operation Market Crush, a joint investigation by the FBI, D.C. police, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the D.C. Department of Health into the illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals in the area of New York Avenue and North Capitol Street NE.

Nmagu is the chief pharmacist and president of Ennis Pharmacy at 1904 Fourth St. NE. According to the indictment, Nmagu ran a scheme to defraud Medicaid by illegally dispensing controlled substances to customers either without prescriptions or with prescriptions that were obviously phony.

SE Man Killed at NE Gas Station

D.C. police are investigating the shooting death last night of a man outside a Northeast Washington gas station, officials said.

Police said Paris Leland Goode Sr. of the 3300 block of D Street SE was found about 7:30 p.m. at the Citgo in the 3800 block of Minnesota Avenue. It was the same station where Fletcher M. Lyles, 66, of Northeast was fatally shot near the gas pumps Aug. 20.

Goode had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center.

City Seeks Real Money for Shadow Reps

The D.C. Council unanimously approved legislation yesterday that would create a nine-member city commission to raise private funds to support the District's elected, unpaid statehood lobbyists.

The District's so-called shadow delegation to Congress comprises Sens. Florence Pendleton (D) and Paul S. Strauss (D) and Rep. Ray Browne (D). Congress has forbidden the District to spend tax dollars to lobby for statehood or congressional representation, but council members said private dollars could be used for lobbying.

The bill, which goes to Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) for his signature, would authorize Williams and the council to appoint commissioners who could raise money from private donors for a separate fund. The money would be distributed equally to the three members for expenses but not to provide salaries for them.

"We say to this mayor and some members of the city council that you will not get this stadium when people are sleeping on the streets and schools are crumbling."

-- Damu Smith, head of Black Voices for Peace, addressing protesters at a rally against a publicly financed baseball stadium in the District. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Clarence Williams, Tim Craig, Matthew Mosk, Carol D. Leonnig, Debbi Wilgoren and Spencer S. Hsu and the Associated Press.