Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Week in review – 9/28/12

City wants to shift funds to bridge

A plan to build a $32.9 million bridge from the foot of Central Avenue near Fells Point across a small inlet to Harbor Point — the site of the new Exelon Corp. divisional headquarters — will receive money originally targeted for other Baltimore road projects already in the pipeline, if officials at the city’s Department of Transportation have their way. In a recent application to the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, city transportation officials wrote that they were seeking to move the Central Avenue bridge project into a priority slot, using funding from other approved projects such as the reconstruction of Broening Highway, pedestrian improvements in Liberty Heights and Druid Hill, a new roundabout for Park Circle and the reconstruction of Boston Street in Canton, in part because funding is tight.

Court of Special Appeals affirms $5M asbestos award

The Court of Special Appeals has affirmed a $5 million judgment against Georgia Pacific Corp. in favor of a University of Maryland nursing professor who lost a lung to mesothelioma after inhaling asbestos fibers that stuck to her grandfather’s work clothes in the late 1960s. Farrar was diagnosed with mesothelioma 40 years later, at age 56. She filed suit against 30 defendants and obtained a $20 million judgment in October 2009. One-fourth of that amount was against Georgia Pacific, which appealed. Georgia Pacific claimed it should not have to pay Farrar because her grandfather did not actually use its product. Instead, he was present while other workers applied and sanded the material, creating copious amounts of dust. The appellate panel unanimously rejected that argument.

Del. Alston wants to return as lawyer

A lawyer for Del. Tiffany T. Alston said she will “sit out for just over a year” before seeking to have her law license reinstated, following her indefinite suspension this week by the Maryland Court of Appeals. The year will enable Alston, D-Prince George’s, to meet the requirements of a Conditional Diversion Agreement she reached with the Attorney Grievance Commission in 2010 and to show she is ready to return, attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said. The indefinite suspension is unrelated to Alston’s June conviction for misdemeanor theft and misconduct in office and her trial next month on charges of misuse of campaign funds.

Universities create public health school

Maryland’s flagship university and its university that houses premier medical and law schools announced the most meaningful signal of greater collaboration between the institutions to date. The University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore are applying to have one accredited collaborative school of public health, University System of Maryland officials said. The universities have begun a national accreditation process that, if successful, would allow the first master’s of public health degrees to be issued by the collaborative school in 2014.

Penn National reportedly seeks share of Maryland Live

Cordish Cos. officials declined to comment on reports that Penn National Gaming Inc. is in talks to buy a minority stake in Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills mall, the state’s most successful gambling site. Penn National, owner of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, has spent $13 million opposing a voter referendum — Question 7 on the Nov. 6 ballot — that would create a casino license for Prince George’s County, legalize table games such as blackjack and allow casinos to stay open 24 hours a day.

Gopost outdoor kiosk coming to Maryland

Gopost, a new product from the U.S. Postal Service — an outdoor locker kiosk that is open at all hours and features a touch screen that allows customers to send or receive packages — is coming to Maryland, giving nine-to-fivers the convenience of package delivery or posting at any time on any day. The pilot program begun in Virginia is expanding to three locations in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties this month.

No sanctions for lawyer in family ‘soap opera’

The state’s highest court has refused to impose any sanctions on a Baltimore-based lawyer whose stepmother accused him of deceit and fraud in handling the estate of his deceased father, who was a famed night club operator and real estate developer. The Court of Appeals issued its opinion in favor of David L. Zeiger this week, more than four years after hearing argument in a case it called “a virtual soap opera of alleged infidelity, divorce, estrangement, lawsuits, murder accusations, and other high drama within the Zeiger family.”