Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 19, 2004

In The Region

Lockheed Martin breaks ground on N.Y. copter facility

Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, said yesterday that it began work on a new helicopter complex as part of its bid to build the next fleet for the U.S. president, even before the contract is awarded.

Ground was broken yesterday on the 176,000-square-foot facility in Owego, N.Y., that will include offices, laboratories, parts storage, aircraft maintenance facilities and hangars, Lockheed said.

The winner of the $1.6 billion contract for 23 next-generation Marine One helicopters won't be announced until May, but the Bethesda company said it was necessary for the company to invest its own money in the facility to be able to meet the delivery schedule, if it wins the contract.

TV One headquarters to be in Silver Spring

TV One, the new cable channel targeting African-American adults, said yesterday that it would locate its headquarters in a 16,000-square-foot space on Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring in June.

The cable network now works from temporary offices at the Lanham headquarters of parent Radio One Inc., the country's largest radio company aimed at African-Americans. TV One is a joint venture between Radio One and cable provider Comcast Corp.

TV One will receive a $100,000 conditional grant from the Montgomery County Economic Development Fund and permitting and work force recruitment aid. It also will receive a $75,000 conditional grant from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority Fund and a $75,000 grant from the Maryland Industrial Training Program to assist with employee training.

TV One is committed to bringing 50 new high-paying jobs to the area over the next two years.

MedStar sues to block rival heart program

MedStar Health, which operates seven hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington area, has sued in Howard County Circuit Court to overturn a decision by the Maryland Health Care Commission to allow a new open-heart surgery program at a hospital in Maryland's Washington suburbs.

Columbia-based MedStar filed its lawsuit Monday when the commission's new heart regulations went into effect.

MedStar, whose Washington Hospital Center has the dominant heart surgery program in the Washington area, filed a similar lawsuit three years ago, and eventually won a Maryland Court of Appeals decision in June blocking the opening of a new program.

Constellation unit to sell power to N.Y. hospitals

Constellation NewEnergy, a subsidiary of Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group Inc., said yesterday that it has reached an agreement to supply electricity to Continuum Health Partners, a consortium of three hospitals and a medical specialty treatment facility in New York City.

Continuum comprises Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Long Island College Hospital and the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, which have almost 3,100 beds in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Constellation NewEnergy, which supplies electricity, natural gas and energy-related services to more than 8,000 commercial and industrial customers throughout North America, will provide Continuum with 25 megawatts at peak demand, enough electricity to meet the energy needs of about 25,000 homes.

Hanger Orthopedic forms unit to deal with HMOs

Hanger Orthopedic Group Inc., a Bethesda company that operates more than 600 centers to fit patients with braces and artificial limbs, announced yesterday that it is forming a subsidiary called Linkia to contract with HMOs and other managed care insurers.

Linkia will offer the HMOs easier administration and lower costs, said Michael F. Murphy, who was named to lead Linkia. The new subsidiary will manage care and process claims for the HMOs from its own centers and independent providers who join its network.

Elsewhere

House votes, 392-25, to make it easier for banks to expand

Legislation to reduce regulations on banks and credit unions easily won approval yesterday from House members who said the changes could help more Americans get financial services they need.

The House, on a 392-25 vote, passed legislation that would make it easier for banks to open branches in other states and to complete mergers with less paperwork. The measure would make it harder for commercial or retail companies to expand their bank-like industrial loan companies across state lines.

Commercial companies are not allowed to own banks but they can own industrial loan companies, which offer many bank-like services.

Under the legislation passed by the House, only companies that have more than 85 percent of their business in financial services can open branches of their industrial loan company in other states.

Skilling lawyers were paid $23 million to defend him

Attorneys in the criminal case against Enron Corp.'s former chief executive, Jeffrey K. Skilling, reportedly received $23 million for his defense before the government froze the assets of the highest-ranking former company executive indicted so far in the scandal, according to court filings.

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