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Week in review: 12/24/10

UM fires coach over empty seats

The University of Maryland, College Park fired its football coach, Ralph Friedgen, on Monday, even though the team will play next week in the Military Bowl and the school is obligated to pay him $2 million next year. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson blamed low attendance at Byrd Stadium.

Preakness, season saved

A day after the Maryland Racing Commission denied a request for the Maryland Jockey Club to hold an abbreviated racing calendar in 2011, the state approved a plan for a 146-day season. Under the plan, racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course will be subsidized for the year with up to $4 million from the state and $1.7 million from the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Former dean to repay $311K

Karen H. Rothenberg will return $311,398 in compensation she received while dean of the University of Maryland School of Law, under a settlement that closes the state attorney general’s investigation of the payments. The money included compensation for sabbaticals she never took.

Senate OKs judges

The U.S. Senate approved Ellen L. Hollander and James K. Bredar to become U.S. District Court judges in Baltimore. Hollander had been serving as a Maryland Court of Special Appeals judge. Bredar has been a U.S. magistrate judge at the Baltimore federal court.

Settlement terms revealed

The attorney for a Germantown man who was mistakenly arrested in 2007 and charged with child sexual abuse revealed to The Daily Record that Baltimore agreed to pay $200,000 to settle with the man. According to attorney Steven Kupferberg, the city wanted to keep the settlement a secret. The city denies this, but Kupferberg says e-mails and other correspondence support his view.

Neighbors accept Walmart

The Remington Neighborhood Alliance said in a letter to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the City Council that it will not appeal the city’s zoning change that will allow a new retail development at 25th and Howard streets.

Fee verdict overturned

The Court of Special Appeals on Tuesday overturned a $200,000 unjust-enrichment award to the law firm of Nathaniel E. Jones, who served as behind-the-scenes counsel in the defense of now-imprisoned investment manager Nathan A. Chapman Jr.

State Center plan opposed

A group of downtown Baltimore property owners has filed a lawsuit to halt the $1.5 billion redevelopment of State Center. They say the plan to build 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space would cause irreversible financial harm to nearby office towers.

Direct wine shipping backed

If state lawmakers follow the recommendations of a report released Tuesday by the state comptroller’s office, Maryland residents will soon be able to buy wine from out-of-state wineries and have it shipped to them directly. The report did not support allowing Maryland wineries to sell to consumers in other states, or for Marylanders to order from online wine retailers.