Nursing home admissions bannedState health officials have...

July 06, 1992

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY: — Nursing home admissions banned

State health officials have banned new admissions to the Autumn Gardens Nursing Home in West Baltimore after inspections last month found evidence of inadequate care and commingling residents' personal money with the home's operating accounts.

Nelson J. Sabatini, state secretary of health and mental hygiene, also accused Autumn Gardens, at 3313 Poplar St., of poor financial management and operating with 12 patients more than the 52 allowed in its license.

The state banned new admissions to the home June 23. It also moved to revoke the nursing home's state license July 30 -- an action that would close the facility. But co-owner Walter Dowe says he planned to appeal.

Mr. Dowe says he was "in the process of bringing in a new management team" for the home.

In a letter Wednesday to Mr. Dowe, Mr. Sabatini said the alleged violations represented "a threat to the health and safety of residents."

Facing a possible 25-year sentence after being found guilty of assault with intent to commit robbery last January, Sherrell E. Walker took advantage of a situation too tempting to pass up: a chance for freedom.

But a short-lived period of liberty that began when he escaped from the basement of the Anne Arundel County Courthouse Jan. 28 cost him an extra six months in prison Friday -- on top of the 15 years he already is serving at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown.

Walker, 29, was waiting to be taken back to jail after his conviction in January when a guard briefly left him and another prisoner unattended. The guard also left a set of keys in the lockup door.

Walker took the keys, unlocked the shackles around his feet and his handcuffs, and escaped. The other man decided to stay.

Walker was spotted outside by Assistant State's Attorney Steven M. Sindler, who was in his car driving home. He had just finished prosecuting Walker, and alerted the authorities that the man was on the loose.

Walker was found hiding in the stairwell of a nearby parking garage.

The security guard who left the keys in the door, David Reece, 54, of Linthicum, was suspended without pay for five days and ordered to undergo retraining.

Baltimore County:

Two men have been arrested in connection with fires early yesterday at the state's Rosewood Hospital Center in Owings Mills and in a nearby field, authorities said.

Mark Mathis, 22, of the 400 block of Shirley Manor Drive, Reisterstown, and Michael Rogers, 20, of the first block of Winesap Court, Catonsville, were charged with arson after a one-story building on the hospital grounds was set ablaze about 1 a.m., police said.

The building was undergoing asbestos removal and was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

The men also have been charged with setting a fire in a field in the area shortly before the hospital fire was discovered, according to Bob Thomas, spokesman for the state fire marshal.

Carroll County:

Consultants have recommended an increase in Carroll County's development impact fees, which could result in higher prices for homes.

Impact fees, adopted in May 1989, are levied on residential development and are paid by builders, who generally pass on the costs to homebuyers. The fees are calculated so each new housing unit pays a proportionate share of the costs for expanding public facilities to accommodate growth.

Tischler & Associates Inc., a Montgomery County consultant, recommends increasing the fee for single-family homes countywide to $4,166. The fee now is $2,700 -- $2,500 for new schools and $200 for new parks. An additional $800 has been charged in South Carroll for Gillis Falls Reservoir, a project that has been set back because of environmental regulations.

The report recommends a $3,283 fee for townhouses; that's a $583 increase, except in South Carroll, where there would be a $217 decrease.

The consultant also recommends dividing the county into school zones to assure that fees collected for development in one region are spent to expand school capacity in the same region.

Since all county residents can benefit from parks and water resource areas, regardless of location, the consultant doesn't recommend creating districts for collecting and spending the fee for those facilities.

Harford County:

A one-alarm fire burned out an attic of a home in the Fairmont development outside Bel Air last night, causing $25,000 in damage.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in about 20 minutes. The attic and several rooms in the one-story home in the 100 block of Fairmont Drive sustained extensive damage, according to Assistant Chief Edward Hopkins, of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company.

Chief Hopkins said the residents, Ellen and James Pfau, were not home at the time of the blaze, reported shortly before 7 p.m.

Fire officials said they rescued several animals from the home.

Howard County:

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