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Week in review: 8/10/12

Rich casino, poor casino

Revenue at the Maryland Live casino at Arundel Mills mall propelled the state’s casino program to its second consecutive record revenue month, but the success of the state’s largest casino continues to come at the expense of a competitor 50 miles north. Maryland’s three casinos combined to generate more than $48 million in July, according to statistics released this week by the Maryland State Lottery Agency, but more than 74 percent of that revenue was generated at Maryland Live in Hanover. Without Maryland Live’s contribution, overall casino revenue would have dipped more than 18 percent year-over-year. The state’s first casino, the almost 2-year-old Hollywood Casino Perryville, is desperate to give one-third of its slot machines back to the state.

Board votes down settlement

The Baltimore Board of Estimates has voted down a $150,000 settlement to end a suit by a teenager who was picked up by three police officers and dropped in a wooded state park, sans shoes, far from his home. The settlement had been recommended by the Baltimore City Solicitor George A. Nilson’s Law Department seven months ago. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the board decided to vote against the settlement because the officers involved had been acting outside the scope of their employment and the city was therefore not liable.

Baltimore Co. settles suit on testing workers

Baltimore County will pay a total of $475,000 to 10 current, former and prospective employees to settle federal claims it has engaged in a “pattern or practice” of discriminating against police officers, fire fighters and paramedics with disabilities by requiring medical tests that were not job-related. The county also agreed to change its testing policy as part of the consent decree filed this week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. With attorneys’ fees and back pay, the settlement will exceed a half-million dollars.

University of Maryland teams with StubHub

The University of Maryland has partnered with San Francisco-based StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and Paciolan, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of ticketing, marketing and fundraising software to live entertainment organizations, to create a secondary marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets to events. StubHub will be the official fan-to-fan ticket marketplace of Maryland athletics.

Some GP vendors back on track

Some of the vendors who got stiffed by the organizers of last year’s Grand Prix of Baltimore are giving the race — and its new management — a second chance. The event has close to $1 million in contracts with businesses that took losses last year, said J.P Grant, president of Columbia-based Grant Capital Management and one of the owners of Race On LLC, which took over the event in May.

Judicial campaign ‘over the line’

Campaign flyers for a would-be judge went “way over the line” in trying to unseat the incumbent in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court, a judicial-election oversight panel found. One flyer for Joseph M. Stanalonis, an assistant St. Mary’s County state’s attorney, misleadingly stated that Judge David W. Densford “has never sentenced a single criminal to jail” and “opposes registration of convicted sexual predators,” the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee said. The campaign conduct committee found the sentencing statement “particularly egregious” because Densford, who joined the bench Feb. 3, has not yet presided over a criminal trial.

O’Malley seeks USDA aid for farmers

Gov. Martin O’Malley submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation for all Maryland counties affected by the severe dry weather and excessive heat during the months of June and July. Crop losses of more than 30 percent have been reported in Anne Arundel, Dorchester, Calvert, Somerset, Kent, Talbot, Caroline, Prince George’s, Wicomico, Cecil, Queen Anne’s, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.

Montgomery gets grant from DOD for traffic

Montgomery County has been awarded $40 million in Defense Department grants to deal with increased traffic at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the recently concluded Base Realignment and Closure process has increased personnel at Walter Reed by almost a third and doubled the medical center’s visitor load. Traffic-easing projects include a bicycle and pedestrian path under Maryland Route 355 that will connect the medical center and a Metrorail station. Three high-speed elevators are also planned to connect the street level of the medical center to the Metrorail mezzanine level 120 feet below.