The Week That Was

October 29, 2006

Energy merger called off

Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Florida's FPL Group Inc. gave up on their merger plans after executives concluded that the deal was mired in a political debate in Maryland over deregulation and rising electric rates.

Warning on cold remedies

Baltimore's health commissioner and leading pediatricians warned parents not to give children ages 5 and younger over-the-counter medications designed to relieve cold ailments. The products, they said, could cause harm.

Return of the department store

Eighteen years after the last department store closed in Baltimore, the downtown is in line to get a large-scale retail enterprise again, as Filene's Basement signed a lease in a new Pratt Street shopping center.

Wal-Mart prescription plan

Wal-Mart's $4 generic-prescription program began in Maryland and 11 other states in an accelerated rollout that will likely provide price relief for the uninsured, a surge in sales and matching deals from large retailers.

Audit faults state subsidy

The Maryland Aviation Administration violated state law by agreeing to pay an annual subsidy of up to $5.5 million to keep British Airways flying out of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport -- and failing to tell legislators, according to a legislative audit.

Baltimore weighs smoking ban

The Baltimore City Council held a hearing on whether to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. If approved, the city would join Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Talbot counties.

Md. got flawed machines

Diebold Election Systems shipped Maryland flawed e-voting machines used in the 2004 election, then quietly replaced them last year, documents and interviews showed.

Absentee ballot shortage

Warning that a shortage of absentee ballots is approaching crisis proportions, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. asked state elections chief Linda H. Lamone to develop a contingency if more cannot be delivered.

Severna Park Marine killed

Lance Cpl. Eric W. Herzberg, a 2005 graduate of Severna Park High School, was killed in combat in Anbar province in Iraq, the Defense Department announced. He was 20.

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