200 new warehouse jobs to come to Harford Co.
A northeastern furniture chain has chosen Harford County for its Mid-Atlantic distribution center and will eventually employ about 200 workers at the warehouse in Perryman. Bob's Discount Furniture, which began in 1991 in Newington, Conn., now runs 35 showrooms in seven states. It plans to open a warehouse in Perryman, along the U.S. 40 corridor, this summer. The facility will immediately employ 70, but plans to continue its expansion at the location and add to its work force. The county offered the company income tax credits for job creation and enterprise zone economic incentives, officials said.
- Baltimore Sun
U.S. economy to grow up to 10%, Bill Miller says
Legg Mason Inc.'s Bill Miller said the U.S. economy may grow as much as 10 percent this year, almost four times faster than companies and economists forecast, driven by a surge in corporate profits. With profits forecast to grow between 25 percent and 35 percent this year, economic growth should reach at least 7 percent, Miller said in his quarterly letter to investors Monday. That compares with a consensus forecast of 2.7 percent economic growth, he said, citing a Bloomberg survey of 58 firms. Miller is chairman and chief investment officer of Legg Mason Capital Management Inc., a unit of Legg Mason.
- Bloomberg News
Sierra Military Health Services to pay fine
A one-time Baltimore-based military health services contractor will pay $2.2 million to settle allegations that it over-billed the federal government and filed false claims in a double-payment profit scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of Maryland. Under the federal False Claims Act, Sierra Military Health Services LLC, a subsidiary of Sierra Health Services, Inc., was accused of submitting false claims for payment from the Tricare Management Activity, which operates under the Defense Department. The TMA manages the health care program for the military's active duty and retired personnel and their families. The U.S. Attorney's office said that Sierra and a sub-contractor, Post Acute Care LLC, billed the government for the same services. As part of the settlement, Sierra, which was bought by UnitedHealth Group in 2007 and is no longer in operation, did not admit to violating the False Claims Act.
Gus G. Sentementes
Existing home sales fall almost 17% nationwide
WASHINGTON - Sales of previously occupied homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years last month, sinking more than expected after lawmakers gave buyers extra time to use a tax credit. The report reflects a sharp drop in demand after buyers stopped scrambling to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners. It was set to expire Nov. 30. But Congress extended the deadline until April 30 and expanded it with a new $6,500 credit for existing homeowners. December's sales fell 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million, from an unchanged pace of 6.54 million in November, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales had been expected to fall by about 10 percent. In the Baltimore metro area, home sales rose almost 10 percent compared with a year ago, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. The local figures are not seasonally adjusted to allow for true month-to-month comparisons.
- Baltimore Sun staff and news services