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Week in Review: November 19, 2010

Convention center-arena project urged

A plan to raze a portion of the Baltimore Convention Center, the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel and its parking garage and replace them with an expanded convention center and new arena has been endorsed by the board of the Greater Baltimore Committee. The project would be built in stages, with all elements connected.

BBB’s system attacked

The Better Business Bureau’s rating system was accused in an ABC news report of being little more than a “pay-to-play” system that gives higher grades to those paying an annual fee. The national organization and its local chapters, including the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, defended the ratings as a useful tool for consumers.

Bernstein’s changes

Baltimore City State’s Attorney-elect Gregg L. Bernstein hinted that he will borrow ideas from the U.S. Attorney’s office, he told The Daily Record. He is considering creating a unit of prosecutors to investigate, with police, the city’s most violent criminals, and he might assign prosecutors to each police district.

Prosecutor candidates

Gov. Martin O’Malley reportedly has three finalists to choose from to succeed retiring State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh: outgoing Charles County State’s Attorney Leonard C. Collins Jr.; Isabel M. Cumming, chief of economic crimes in the Prince George’s County state attorney’s office; and Emmett Davitt, deputy general counsel for the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Combined reporting opposed

The state Business Tax Reform Commission recommended Tuesday that lawmakers not implement combined reporting for corporate taxes in 2011. The commission suggested that the idea might be reconsidered in two years.

Energy drinks attacked

Associations representing Maryland’s liquor stores and beer wholesalers urged their members Wednesday to voluntarily stop selling caffeinated alcoholic beverages after Comptroller Peter Franchot joined other states’ officials in calling the drinks dangerous.

Arundel slots plan review

The state could review, as early December, a proposal to open a temporary casino next to the Arundel Mills shipping mall after a referendum vote cleared the way for developers to build Maryland’s largest casino on the site.

Lawyer pleads guilty

Frank P. Jones, a Charles County attorney who was disbarred in 2009, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to wire and mail fraud after he conned clients out of money he used for personal expenses and provided clients with fake deeds.

Less bell-ringing

Giant Food has instituted a policy that will limit to 12 the number days that the Salvation Army can solicit donations outside its stories for its holiday “Red Kettle” campaign.