His glass is half-full - and then some

BETWEEN THE LINES

July 11, 2005

Mayor Martin O'Malley's neighborhood news flash Wednesday contained startling news: "Today, AmerisourceBergen, a company ranked No. 24 on the Fortune 500 list, announced plans to bring their headquarters to Baltimore's World Trade Center."

Had that been true, the move would have made the Valley Forge, Pa.-based health care company, with $48 billion in 2004 revenues and 14,000 employees, one Maryland's biggest employers.

At a City Hall news conference that day to announce the move, however, the truth was less impressive. Turns out a division of the company, International Physician Networks, was moving its headquarters to Baltimore.

Well, as it turns out, that actually isn't true, either.

When asked where IPN was moving from, its chief executive officer, Dr. Jeffrey A. Scott, said the company wasn't moving but that it has been located at Baltimore's World Trade Center since it started in 1998 as a private company. Publicly traded AmerisourceBergen acquired IPN last year but recently decided to keep IPN in Baltimore.

"We lobbied hard to stay here," Scott said.

So it's not that they're moving here, which O'Malley said was "further evidence of the city's growth."

It's that they decided not to leave.

- Doug Donovan

Oh say can you propose?

For those who saw the marriage proposal on stage at the Catonsville fireworks last week - or the heart-shaped fireworks in the sky -- here are some of the details of Catonsville's latest love story:

Ted Leoutsakos, a spacecraft engineer from Oella, and his fiancee, Jeannie-Marie Sheppard, a Johns Hopkins doctoral student, are planning a 2006 wedding. They'll live in Oella.

Sheppard was pulled onto the stage at Catonsville High School last Monday, along with Leoutsakos and several other friends, by a fireworks and parade volunteer who pretended to need their help. But after announcing the winners of the parade mascot-naming contest, an event organizer handed the microphone to Leoutsakos who got down on one knee and popped the question. Sheppard said yes, to the relief of Catonsville fireworks and parade organizers who helped arrange the public proposal.

One of them, Maureen Sweeney-Smith, said she was confident that the young couple would be engaged and even told reporters about the planned proposal ahead of time. But Sweeney-Smith said she still had visions of the man who proposed during halftime of a professional basketball game, only to have his horrified prospective bride run off the court. Turns out the failed 2004 basketball game proposal was staged. But no one wanted to see a humiliated hopeful groom, Sweeney-Smith said.

Was the groom worried? "I was more excited than nervous, I think," Leoutsakos said.

- Laura Barnhardt

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