Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Week in review: 7/22/11

Borders to close as markets shift

The closure of all 399 Borders bookstores nationwide, including 18 in Maryland, not only dramatically illustrates changes in the highly competitive publication industry, experts said this week, but also reveals the delicate relationship between large companies facing industry-wide problems and the commercial real estate market.

TIF bond payment due soon

Property taxes at the Clipper Mill development near Hampden will not generate enough money to cover an upcoming bond repayment, and Baltimore officials say more payments are needed from developers and possibly property owners to make up the difference.

Robocall defendants’ pleas

Two political operatives for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. pleaded not guilty Monday in Baltimore City Circuit Court to charges of using robocalls on Election Day to encourage voters in two jurisdictions with large numbers of black voters to stay home, saying that Gov. Martin O’Malley had won.

State pensions get $73M win

A decades-old error by Milliman Inc., its former actuarial firm, cost the Maryland State Retirement System $73 million in lost earnings and contributions — money that the firm must now repay in full, the Court of Appeals held Wednesday.

Alleged police beating settlement

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates is poised to approve a $100,000 payment to a 65-year-old man who alleged he was badly beaten outside his home by plainclothes police officers who suspected he was rolling a joint.

Taverns’ pay deal on hold

A U.S. District Court judge has held up the $115,000 settlement of a labor lawsuit against the owner of two Federal Hill taverns because the portion earmarked for the plaintiff’s attorney — $100,000 — was not well documented and “likely not reasonable.”

Franchot opposes State Center

In the second blow in less than a week to Baltimore’s $1.5 billion State Center project, state Comptroller Peter Franchot said he has withdrawn his support for the redevelopment because of its cost and risk to taxpayers.

Casino bid deadline delayed

Bids for the Baltimore casino license will be due Sept. 23, two months later than planned, to give the state more time to review questions raised about the project and a federal reverse discrimination lawsuit filed to disrupt it.

New Middle East plan

Developers of an 88-acre site in East Baltimore will soon unveil a new blueprint for the stalled $1.8 billion redevelopment near Johns Hopkins Hospital that includes a proposal to rebrand the area and change the name of the Middle East community to Beacon Park.

Disbarred over side practice

The Court of Appeals decided Monday to disbar an attorney who kept a side practice without his employer’s permission and deposited client checks into his personal account instead of a trust fund.

Congregation sues P.G. County

A Seventh-day Adventist group has filed a federal lawsuit against Prince George’s County for thwarting the congregation’s plans to move forward once again with building a church on its property.