Improperly stored drugs foundAdministrators of a Pocomoke...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

March 04, 1992

MARYLAND STATE — Improperly stored drugs found

Administrators of a Pocomoke City nursing home now say a search last month for improperly stored prescription drugs in a nursing director's office turned up two different forms of morphine.

The search was prompted by rumors that a patient at Hartley Hall Nursing Home who died Jan. 29 may have been given a lethal dose of Roxanol, a powerful prescription painkiller.

Hartley Hall Administrator Rebecca L. Sutton said officials searched offices at the home and found two bottles labeled Roxanol, which is liquid and given orally, and 13 smaller containers of injectable morphine. Ms. Sutton said the drugs, which by law should have been stored under lock and key, were in a manila envelope in a file drawer used by Karen Alpaugh, who has resigned as the facility's nursing director.

Speculation that Maidie Lang Shay, 91, died as the result of being given an unauthorized drug led State Police to order her remains exhumed and tissue samples tested for morphine.

Police announced Thursday that preliminary findings of an autopsy show traces of morphine in Mrs. Shay's remains. A criminal investigation is continuing, but no charges have been filed.

New Juvenile Services deputy:

Baltimore City

Col. Joseph Newman, chief of the Special Operations Division of the city Police Department, has been named deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

Colonel Newman, 45, who begins his new position in April, replaces Alfred I. Murphy, who has left to work for Concepts Inc. in Louisville, Ky. Colonel Newman's appointment was announced by Secretary Mary Ann Saar.

A 23-year-veteran, he worked several years in the narcotics unit.

As chief of Special Operations, he was in charge of the Traffic, Tactical and Services bureaus.

Fraud charge:

Anne Arundel County

A clerk at the Motor Vehicle Administration has been charged with fraud after police arrested her for issuing herself a phony registration.

Theresa K. Rice, 33, of Baltimore, also was charged Monday by county police with theft, driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license and using a false registration card.

Investigators said Ms. Rice, a clerk in the tags and title department of the Glen Burnie MVA office on Ritchie Highway, took a 1992 registration sticker and issued herself a false registration card.

Her plates were revoked in 1990 when her insurance expired but the plates never were turned in, police said.

Officers confiscated the phony registration when Ms. Rice was charged. She posted a $225 bond, court records show.

Bill would add to preservation power:

Baltimore County

To preserve the setting of a historic 1820s hunting lodge on the Gunpowder River in Chase, County Councilman Vincent Gardina has proposed legislation to expand the authority of the Landmarks Preservation Commission so it can include, in its preservation efforts, a structure's surroundings.

The two-story, Federal-style house was designed by Robert Mills, who designed the Washington monuments in Baltimore and Washington, and built by Robert Oliver.

Oliver House, now converted into an apartment building, was listed by the county landmarks commission last November. But the land around it, which is not protected, has been approved as a site for a dozen single-family houses.

Hung jury in malpractice trial:

Carroll County

After deliberating almost two days, a circuit court jury deadlocked six to six on whether Dr. John S. Harshey of Westminster was negligent in his care of a Manchester woman.

The $2.5 million lawsuit, filed in 1989 on behalf of Bertie Simpers, also named Randallstown neurologist Solomon D. Robbins and Baltimore neurosurgeon Fred N. Sugar. Dr. Sugar and Dr. Robbins, called in as consultants in her case, were found not guilty by the jury.

Ms. Simpers died at Sinai Hospital in 1985 a few days after Dr. Sugar determined she had a brain aneurysm.

3 held on drug charges:

Harford County

State troopers yesterday arrested three people in Interstate 95 on drug charges after stopping two cars near Havre de Grace for traffic violations.

Clarence Clyde Holmes, 37, of Willow Grove, Pa., was charged with possession of cocaine after 3.1 grams of cocaine were confiscated, police said.

A trooper found 387.5 grams of cocaine in the trunk of another car. Ashton Lloyd Dabriel, 45, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and April Mitchell, 21, of Winston-Salem, N.C., were charged with smuggling cocaine and possession of cocaine.

2 fires at mall:

Howard County

Arson fires caused $5,000 in damage in two stores at the Mall in Columbia yesterday afternoon, fire officials said.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said one fire was set in the Sears store and the other in Country Interiors, a furniture store.

No injuries were reported among employees and customers, who were forced to evacuate the stores. Firefighters from several county stations doused the fires.

Two similar fires were set last month at two other stores in the mall.

6 held on drug violations:

Harford

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