AROUND D.C.

Maryland presidential candidate disqualified
A student running for president of the University of Maryland’s Student Government Association was barred from the election after serving alcoholic drinks to minors at a party.

Pat Wu, presidential candidate of the TANG party, has challenged the ruling, the University of Maryland Diamondback reported.

On April 5, Wu attended a party held at his campaign manager’s house. A keg of beer and a cooler of Tang mixed with alcohol were served to guests free of charge, Wu said, adding that neither he nor any TANG party member were responsible for buying or distributing the alcohol. He also said no TANG members were drinking at the party.

“People have parties all the time,” Wu said. “I don’t know why our party was targeted.”

While serving alcohol to minors doesn’t violate a specific election guideline, all candidates must adhere to University policy, which states that minors can’t possess alcohol, an SGA Election Board member said.

Wu said he believed he violated no election guidelines, and was appealing the decision before Friday’s deadline.

In addition to Wu’s disqualification, the Election Board fined each of four vice presidential candidates present at the TANG Party $75, totaling $300.

Prisoner-of-war returns home
Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch, who was held captive by Iraqi forces for a week, returned to the United States Saturday night.

Surrounded by security personnel and hospital attendants, Lynch was taken off the plane in a gurney and sent to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington to be treated for wounds, the Washington Post reported.

Hospital officials told the Post that Lynch was “in satisfactory condition so far.”

U.S. Special Operations troops rescued Lynch, an army supply clerk, from an Iraqi hospital April 1. She was then transferred to a hospital in Germany, where she was treated for a damaged vertebra in her lower back. She also sustained fractures in her upper right arm, upper left leg, lower left leg and right ankle.

Paramilitary fighters attacked Lynch’s convoy March 23 town near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. The fighters killed several U.S. soldiers in the attack and captured several others. Eight members of Lynch’s outfit were killed while in captivity.

Southeast hospital may close its doors
Citing poor management, doctors at Greater Southeast Community hospital said their bankrupt hospital might have to close its doors to District residents.

Doctor’s Community, which owns Greater Southeast, filed for bankruptcy in November, the Washington Times reported. The hospital also lost its accreditation last month at a Joint Commission on Healthcare Accreditation hearing.

“It stands to lose its (accreditation), failed to establish trauma care and established a two-tier system of health care that ill-serves the citizens of the District of Columbia,” Dr. Edgar V. Potter wrote in a letter to Congress March 31, the Times reported. “It is highly likely that all of the citizens of far Southeast Washington … will be without a full-service hospital unless immediate remedial action is taken.”

Doctors Community is awaiting approval of a $35 million loam from Merrill Lynch Capital, $2 million of which will go toward restoring Greater Southeast’s accreditation.
-Michael Barnett

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