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Week in review: 11/2/12

Sandy gives state the business

Superstorm Sandy left her mark across the state — from snow-covered hills in Garrett County to decimated piers in Ocean City and flooded basements everywhere in between — but she also made waves in the business community, where the ripple effects were still noticeable later in the week. Mandatory travel restrictions, power outages and other consequences of the severe weather prevented many people from conducting normal banking procedures, such as paying bills or making deposits. With normal operations disrupted, several banks took steps to minimize inconveniences to customers and ease their minds.

Child molester’s statements admissible, high court rules

A suspected child molester’s incriminating statements at a police station may be used against him when his case goes to trial, Maryland’s highest court has held. The Court of Appeals found that Konnyack A. Thomas was not in custody when he told Montgomery County detectives he had had intercourse with his 14-year-old daughter. The four-judge majority noted that Thomas, an Army sergeant, had driven himself to the station at the request of the officers — who told him more than once he was not under arrest — and was questioned in an unlocked room.

Family to appeal ruling on farm sold to Hopkins

Family members of the late owner of a farm near Rockville say they will appeal a decision by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge allowing the Johns Hopkins University to develop the 138-acre property into a massive “Science City” technology center. Judge Ronald B. Rubin ruled in favor of Hopkins last week after the university sought a summary judgment in the bitter legal feud over Belward Farm. A trial was scheduled to begin on Nov. 13.

Owings Mills Mall sued for alleged ADA violations

A Frederick woman with multiple sclerosis is suing Owings Mills Mall, J.C. Penney and Macy’s, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Deann Walter and her lawyer, Brien Penn, have filed nearly 20 such cases since 2010. Walter alleged in a complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court that, during her visits to the mall and at those two stores, she experienced “serious difficulty accessing the goods and utilizing the services … due to the architectural barriers.”

1st Mariner in black for 3rd straight quarter

Buoyed primarily by an increase in new mortgage activity, 1st Mariner Bancorp made money for the third quarter in a row, the Baltimore-based company said this week. The parent company of 1st Mariner Bank reported a third-quarter profit of $7.9 million, compared with a loss of nearly $8 million for the corresponding quarter last year. Earnings per diluted share were 42 cents, compared with a loss of 42 cents last year.

Board of Estimates OKs land deal for city casino

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved a land disposition agreement and ground lease for a new casino on the outskirts of the city near M&T Bank Stadium that guarantees $11.2 million for the city in the first year. The agreement between the city and CBAC Gaming LLC will allow the $375 million development to proceed after state voters approved slots parlors at five localities, including Baltimore, in a 2008 referendum.

GOP legislators irked at lack of gambling data

Republican legislators are riled up that data they asked for months ago on the proposed expansion of gambling has still not been handed over to them by the Department of Legislative Services. Since June, Del. Susan W. Krebs and House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell have asked for all the information supplied by PricewaterhouseCoopers that was used by legislative analysts to recommend a sixth casino in Prince George’s County. But all the GOP leaders have gotten so far is a copy of a $61,730 bill from Pricewaterhouse.