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Network Solutions, Thomson Unit Sign Marketing, Distribution Pact

Domain registrar Network Solutions Inc. and Thomson & Thomson, a trademark and copyright service firm, said yesterday they had signed a marketing and distribution agreement.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Network Solutions, which until last year had a monopoly on registering names ending in .com, .org and .net, was recently acquired by VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., and Thomson & Thomson, a unit of Canada

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School for Transmission Builders

Allison Transmission employees soon will be leaving the factory and heading back to the classroom after plans for a new work-force training program in Baltimore County are finalized.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The Indianapolis-based manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty automatic transmissions for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment and military vehicles will open a new facility in White Marsh in September, where it will produce about 140,000 transmissions annually for light commercial vehicles.

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Columbia’s Class A Market Growing

Liberty Property Trust will break ground tomorrow on a six-building office complex in Columbia — its first new development in Maryland in 10 years — and it expects Howard County’s tight office market to quickly absorb the space. <@SM><@SM><TAB>Liberty Place at Columbia Crossing will feature four 31,000 square-foot, single-story office buildings and two 62,000 square-foot, two-story office buildings. The Class A development will sit on 28 acres of sloping land at the intersection of Dobbin Road and Route 175.

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Travel Company Settles Complaint That it Charged for ‘Free’ Vacations

As part of a federal crackdown on travel fraud, a Wisconsin company and its managers have settled charges that they lured customers with “free” trips only to make them pay hundreds of dollars each.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Defendants James Burns and John Bundy will be permanently banned from travel-related telemarketing for misrepresenting the value of the trips or telling consumers that they had won free vacations, according to the Federal Trade Commission complaint. Both men were senior officers at First Impressions, which also operated under the name “Air-Land-Sea.”

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It’s Summer, and Meatpackers Wage War Against Killer E. Coli

Summer is here, and so is E. coli. At this time of the year as many as one of every four cattle being herded into Excel Corp.’s slaughterhouse and others like it may harbor the deadly human pathogen.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Before this plant’s meat reaches consumers, the cattle and their carcasses will be put through a state-of-the-art system of scrubbing, washes, rinses and steam pasteurization designed to remove or destroy the bacteria.

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Gore, Bush Visits to Conferences This Week Put Spotlight on Baltimore

Two national conferences this week will draw the top two presidential candidates and other national leaders to Baltimore, spotlighting a city long in the shadow of neighboring Washington, D.C.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush will speak at the 91st annual National Convention of the NAACP, which began yesterday and runs through Thursday.

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Heafner to Buy American Tire Distributors

Heafner Tire Group, Inc. said it will acquire American Tire Distributors, the wholesale operations of Merchants, Inc.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The ATD transaction, which is subject to completion of financing and other items, is expected to close within 20 days. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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MIE Strays From Flex to Class A

MIE Properties Inc. will build a 135,000 square-foot four-story office building in Annapolis, straying from its typical flex product, to help loosen the tight office market in Annapolis. <@SM><@SM><TAB>Construction of the Class A office building

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