Digest

May 15, 2008

Harford County

APG

400-acre complex gets its first tenant

The 400-acre research and development complex under development at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County has signed its first tenant.

CACI, a technical consultant and federal contractor based in Arlington, Va., has leased the first building at the Government and Technology Enterprise, a project designed to serve the needs of the Army base that will grow by about 10,000 jobs as part of the nationwide military expansion.

Rockville-based Opus East, which is developing the site in partnership with the Army, broke ground on a 60,000-square-foot, single-story building this year and is expected to begin constructing an 80,000-square-foot office building. Opus is leasing what the Army calls underutilized land for the next 50 years, an agreement that is generating funds to allow base officials to make improvements at APG.

Ultimately, the enterprise, known as GATE, will offer more than 2 million square feet of office, laboratory and research and development space for defense contractors and others working on missions at the base.

Mary Gail Hare

Baltimore

Health

Two businesses cited for lead

Two city businesses have received citations for selling children's jewelry with excessively high levels of lead, Baltimore health officials announced yesterday.

The Wal-Mart at 2701 Port Covington Drive was cited for selling stud earrings with blue hearts produced by Girl Connection, which were found to have 70,400 parts per million of lead. Murry's food store at 2317 E. Northern Parkway was cited for two vending machine necklaces that had lead levels of 2,940 parts per million and 3,740 parts per million, according to the Baltimore City Health Department.

The products were identified as part of 17 items of children's jewelry tested last month by the Health Department. City regulations adopted in September limit children's jewelry to no more than 600 parts per million of total lead.

City officials say they have banned the items from being sold in Baltimore and alerted the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Aquarium

Affiliate gets funds to clean waterfront

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding a $200,000 grant to an affiliate of the National Aquarium in Baltimore to help clean up a contaminated 13-acre waterfront site in South Baltimore that is targeted for a $110 million aquarium expansion project.

The funding, scheduled to be announced today, will pay for about a fifth of the cost of cleaning up heavy metals, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and semi-volatile organic compounds at the site, at 101 W. Dickman St. beside the Middle Branch.

The National Aquarium is proposing to build a center to care for marine animals, the Center for Aquatic Life, and a public park and conservation area with restored wetlands. The facility would not replace the aquarium's Inner Harbor flagship. Rather, it would be a 50,000-square-foot home for marine animals waiting to be displayed at the main aquarium.

The grant is part of the EPA's "brownfields" program, which encourages redevelopment of abandoned and contaminated industrial sites.

Tom Pelton

Police Department

Chief legal counsel to leave position

The Baltimore Police Department's chief legal counsel, Karen Hornig, is leaving to become an associate deputy commissioner at the Maryland Insurance Administration, representatives of both agencies said.

Hornig has been the department's top lawyer for 21/2 years, said Sterling Clifford, a city police spokesman. During her tenure, she reduced the number of pending lawsuits against the city from 137 to 88.

"I love the Police Department," she said yesterday. "It has been a blast to work for cops. I think in a Police Department in a large urban area is where every good and every part of society comes to roost."

Her office came under public scrutiny recently when a police sergeant was incorrectly charged with committing a rape at a police station. The sergeant was on vacation at the time of the alleged incident, and those charges were amended.

Hornig said that incident had no bearing on her decision to leave. Clifford said she has stayed in the job much longer than her predecessors did. The department has not determined her replacement, he said.

Karen Barrow, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Insurance Administration, said Hornig will be responsible for policy development. Hornig earned $98,000 a year with the city, according to public records. Her salary in her new job, which she is to begin June 23, will be about $120,000, Barrow said.

Annie Linskey

Convention

Arts event to draw thousands to city

More than 2,000 arts leaders and educators will meet in Baltimore in 2010 for the Americans for the Arts annual convention, city and state officials announced yesterday.

The nonprofit, which will use more than 4,000 hotel room-nights for the convention, is a leading organization for advancing the arts and works with communities to get people involved in art, convention officials said.

"The benefits of hosting this event will be felt for years to come," Mayor Sheila Dixon said. "This is our opportunity to show off Baltimore's thriving arts and cultural community."

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, the Maryland Office of Tourism and several other state and local agencies lobbied for the convention.

John Fritze

Carroll County

Hampstead

Route 30 lane to be closed

The State Highway Administration will temporarily close the southbound lane of Route 30 at Wolf Drive in Hampstead to reconstruct and repave the shoulder for the Hampstead Bypass project.

The road will be closed from 7 p.m. tomorrow to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible while the lane is closed. Flagging operations, portable intersection lighting and signs will guide motorists through the work zone.

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