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Top 5: ‘It’s important that we don’t drop the ball’

The Port of Baltimore was named the No. 1 automobile shipping hub, and the organizer of the Baltimore Grand Prix, Baltimore Racing Development LLC, is trying to raise a lot more money. Those stories and more in this week’s business top 5.

1. Md. Energy Administration opposing BGE acquisition – by Ben Mook and Nicholas Sohr

The Maryland Energy Administration and the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley are opposing Constellation Energy Group’s $7.9 billion acquisition by Exelon Corp. unless changes are made in the deal.

MEA Director Malcolm Woolf said in sworn testimony filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission on Friday that the deal would harm customers of Constellation, the parent company of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. Woolf said the deal posed “significant risk of harm to BGE customers.” He said BGE would lose its independence after 195 years and would become a small cog in a much larger company.

2. Hopkins president lays out plans for East Baltimore Community School – by Melody Simmons

Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels launched a public campaign Tuesday outlining Hopkins’ plans for the new East Baltimore Community School, a public contract school in Middle East.

During an hour-long presentation at the Hopkins Carey Business School, Daniels unveiled the university’s philosophy and intent to use the public school to help attract new housing and turn around the blighted urban community, now part of a $1.8 billion redevelopment by the nonprofit East Baltimore Development Inc.

3. Port of Baltimore now No. 1 international auto shipping hub – by Nicholas Sohr

The Port of Baltimore was the busiest international automobile shipping hub in the United States in the first half of 2011, according to figures released Monday.

Baltimore eclipsed New York, the top auto shipper last year, with 270,700 vehicles handled from January through June, about 30,000 more than in the corresponding period in 2010.

4. Middle East residents fear rising values will lift tax bills – by Melody Simmons

Residents of Middle East met for the fourth time Thursday night with developers and officials at East Baltimore Development Inc. to discuss a new master plan for the 88-acre site.

The meeting was at times tense, with charges of mistrust and fears about rising property values and higher taxes. It was a continuation of three other meetings between the group and the EBDI officials over the future course of the development.

5. Baltimore Grand Prix organizers looking to raise additional $1.5M – by Ben Mook

Baltimore Racing Development LLC, the organization behind the recent Baltimore Grand Prix, has issued another offering to its investors, looking to raise an additional $1.5 million.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Baltimore Racing Development said it had already raised $423,000 from eight investors. The organization said $200,000 of the offering would go toward salaries. It also estimated that its revenues were in the range of $5 million to $25 million.