Pr. George's Tutoring Falls Through

School System Deemed Ineligible for U.S. Funds

Maryland education officials notified Prince George's County that it cannot use federal money to provide extra tutoring because a large number of its public schools are failing under the No Child Left Behind law.

The school system had announced that it would offer after-school and Saturday instruction for low-performing students. But in a letter, Prince George's schools chief Andre J. Hornsby told parents that the program had to be scrapped before it started because the state Department of Education had declared the county ineligible for the federal money.

Black Bear Hunt Ends Early

Worries About Exceeding Quota Prompt Halt

Maryland's first black bear hunt in 51 years ended after just one day, when hunters bagged two-thirds of the quota set for the season, officials said. The hunt was supposed to stop when 30 bears were killed, but Paul Peditto, the Department of Natural Resources official in charge of the hunt, said he decided to stop before that limit was reached because he worried about public reaction if it was exceeded.

Democratic Chairman to Step Down

Move Comes at Start of Push to Unseat Ehrlich

State Democratic Party Chairman Isiah Leggett said he will step down shortly after next week's elections, just as the party formally launches a drive to unseat Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Leggett said he will leave soon to give the party time to build momentum for the effort to retake the governorship.

Lawmakers Pan Malpractice Plan

Ehrlich Proposal Aimed at Holding Down Costs

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s proposed solution to skyrocketing rates for medical malpractice insurance got a frigid reception from legislative leaders, who accused the governor of playing hardball politics with a health care crisis.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said the governor's position was too extreme to justify bringing the legislature to Annapolis before January to intervene on behalf of doctors. Ehrlich (R) delivered the plan to House and Senate leaders, saying it would resolve concerns over fast-rising malpractice insurance rates.

He responded to criticism, saying: "That's not the kind of attitude I'm looking for. Everybody needs to come to the table in good faith."

Across the Region

Schools on Watch; Pedestrian Access to FedEx

* School systems in Prince George's, Charles and St. Mary's counties have been placed on a watch list that puts them at risk for sanctions -- including eventual state intervention -- if scores on reading and math tests do not improve in the next few years, Maryland officials announced.

* The Montgomery County Council is considering toughening laws against predatory lending after a study found that blacks and Hispanics are far more likely than whites to be charged excessive fees or given loans they cannot afford.

* Starting Nov. 14, Washington Redskins fans will again be able to walk to FedEx Field, after a Prince George's County panel lifted restrictions on pedestrian access that had been in place for most of four years. The Board of Administrative Appeals decided that the county did not have authority to close five roads around the stadium.

* A former intensive care nurse at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville agreed to plead guilty to five counts of neglect in connection with the deaths of five of her patients in 2002 and 2003, according to documents filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

* Maryland health officials announced the state's first flu case of the year and reminded residents to take extra care to prevent the spread of the virus because of the vaccine shortage. The first case was confirmed in an elderly Baltimore County resident.

Star outing: The USS Constellation arrives at the Naval Academy after making its 150th anniversary voyage.