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Week in review: December 31, 2010

EPA unveils bay restoration plan

The federal Environmental Protection Agency outlined a plan of action Wednesday to restore the Chesapeake Bay, involving Maryland and five other states and the District of Columbia. The plan involves individual agreements for each state and the District to sharply reduce the flow of pollutants and sediments that have choked the bay, leading to “dead zones” where algae blooms suck the oxygen from the water and block sunlight from reaching underwater life.

Police settlements OK’d

On the same day The Daily Record reported the details behind a previously confidential $200,000 mistaken-arrest settlement, the Baltimore Board of Estimates approved another $195,000 in settlements related to city police incidents. All three were fully disclosed. From mid-2007 to mid-2010, the city spent $7.25 million settling police misconduct claims.

State disbars lawyer

The Court of Appeals unanimously disbarred David E. Fox, an attorney who failed to keep his clients informed about the status of their personal-injury cases and to cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation of his lack of diligence. In a case he had filed in Prince George’s County, Fox neglected to keep two clients up to date because he was “completely oblivious” that the case had been dismissed, the court said.

TV stations threatened

Viewers of WBAL-TV who watch via satellite provider DirecTV could find themselves without the station Jan. 1 in the latest series of spats over fees that has also embroiled Time Warner Cable Systems and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair said on Tuesday that its latest offer to Time Warner Cable had been rejected without a counterproposal. Sinclair operates Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates in the 21 markets that would be affected by the expiring carriage contract.

Bonds give hotel boost

A $45 million payout of tax-exempt federal Recovery Zone bonds was granted to developer John Paterakis on Wednesday for completion of the 256-room luxury Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore’s Harbor East. The bonds will enable Paterakis’ H&S Development to obtain tax-free financing from PNC Bank to complete construction of the interior of the $197 million hotel, which is scheduled to open in late 2011.

Former editor dies

Fred Kardon, a former top editor of The Maryland Daily Record during a time of great change at the paper and in the news industry, died Sunday in South Carolina. He was 70. Kardon worked at the paper from July 1999 to May 2002. His accomplishments included the revamping of the company’s website.

CoStar wins lawsuit

A U.S. District Court judge in Greenbelt has awarded more than $1.1 million to CoStar, a Washington-based commercial real estate information company, as compensation for unauthorized use of its online property database.

Wind power backed

A bill requiring utilities to enter into long-term purchasing agreements for wind-generated power is in the works for the 2011 General Assembly. A similar bill that was filed in the last session did not specify a purchasing agreement with offshore wind producers, but wind was the only form of renewable energy that qualified. The new bill would support renewable energy and expansion of the wind-generated power industry in Maryland.

Developer owes $524K

A Florida couple has won a $524,000 verdict in federal court in Baltimore for restrictive easements that were improperly placed on their Carroll County property, which interfered with a planned sale of their remaining land. The jury found developer Kennard Warfield Jr. breached the contract of sale in the confirmatory deed.