Early Briefing: Aggressive Hospitality

*"Aggressive hospitality" is how the manager of the Sam's Club in Laurel described his store's approach, as staff writer Ylan Mui learned when she spent a day behind the counter there. See story

*Human Genome Sciences of Rockville cleared a significant hurdle when its experimental treatment for anthrax infection, ABthrax, was shown to dramatically increase survival in animals exposed to lethal doses of anthrax spores. See story

*The area's foreign-born population is growing, and with it demands for custom home builders for Indian prayer rooms, feng shui, and white brick and mortar houses for people from the Middle East. See story.

*The D.C. Council voted 10 to 3 to give schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee the power to fire nonunion central office employees. See story

*Leonard S. "Hobie" Mitchel abandoned a proposal to build up to 995 houses south of Leesburg. The Loudoun County Board of Superviors will be more critical of the county's explosive growth when it reconvenes next month. See story

*The Pennsylvania Health Department approved the sale of one of the nation's largest nursing-home chains to the Carlyle Group, a District private-equity firm. The Carlyle Group will be licensed to operate 46 Pennsylvania nursing homes owned by Manor Care.

*Gannett, a newspaper publisher based in McLean, said revenue fell 4.6 percent last month compared with November 2006. Real estate, employment and automotive advertising fell at its local newspapers. Ad sales at Gannett's USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper by circulation, fell 1.6 percent. See news release

*SureScripts, an Alexandria firm working to expand the number of doctors who send prescriptions to pharmacies via the Internet, said chief executive Kevin Hutchinson will leave at the end of January after 5 1/2 years with the company. SureScripts' chief operating officer, Rick Ratliff, will be acting chief executive.

By Terri Rupar  |  December 19, 2007; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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