STATE CENTER SUIT A group of 12 downtown commercial property owners filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland and a team of private developers in a bid to block the massive $1.5 billion redevelopment of State Center in Baltimore's Midtown neighborhood, Gary Haber reports for the Baltimore Business Journal. The massive project occupying more than eight-square blocks has had the enthusiastic backing of Baltimore elected officials and persistent skeptical analyses from the legislature's staff, reports Megan Poinski for MarylandReporter.com.
John Rydell of WBFF-TV reports that the lawsuit claims the project's approval should be declared invalid because competitive bidding laws were ignored or circumvented.
The developer heading up the planned redevelopment of State Center expects the court will rule in her team's favor in the lawsuit brought by commercial property owners looking to stop the project, Haber follows up for the BBJ.
HENSON RAID Investigators for the state prosecutor on Friday raided the home and office of Julius Henson, the political operative who ordered the controversial Election Day robocalls for former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, blogs Matthew Hay Brown for the Sun.
Jayne Miller of WBAL-TV broke the story on Friday. Here's her report, complete with video of the raids. Here's Joy Lepola's story for WBFF-TV.
2010 LAUREL RACING ENDS Saturday was the last day of racing at Laurel this year, and those who work and live there fear that it may be the last day ever. An industry that has been ailing in Maryland for years appears as close as ever to death, Theresa Vargas reports for the Post.
The Post's Michael Williamson has offers up a really nice photo gallery from the track on Saturday.
And Alexandra Garcia and Ben de la Cruz interviewed and videotaped a report on the Laurel track.
BIZ GROWTH FOCUS Maryland's business development arm will focus much of its energy in the coming year on small-ticket initiatives to better market the state and make it more responsive to the needs of the private sector, reports Nick Sohr for the Daily Record.
BENEFITS VOTES Members of a state employees benefits panel will begin voting today on how to resolve large unfunded liabilities in Maryland's pension and health benefit system for state workers. It hopes to cut state health care costs by 10 percent, writes the Salisbury Daily Times.
INMATES PROCESS SOC SEC NOs For the last seven years, Maryland officials have used inmates to process Social Security numbers and other personal information from low-income residents receiving medical benefits, Brian Hughes reports for the Washington Examiner.
FORECLOSURE SEMINAR WJZ-TV's Andrea Fujii reports on the fifth foreclosure prevention seminar hosted by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. It was held Saturday, she reports, and once again, it was packed. Scroll down to view the report.
Q&A WITH DUTCH U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger addresses a wide range of issues -- including the repeal of "Don't Ask" -- in an interview on WBAL-TV yesterday.
WHAT MICHAEL MUST DO Washington Examiner columnist Star Parker writes about what it would take for Michael Steele to remain head of the RNC.
MOONEY'S AMBITIONS In a scathing editorial, the Frederick News Post editorial board writes that Alex Mooney, recently ousted from the state Senate for his polarizing "firebrand red meat conservativism," became head of the state GOP due to that and his own personal ambition to unseat Roscoe Bartlett in the U.S. House. It's the wrong message, the News Post says, for the GOP to send to voters.
HOLLANDER CONFIRMED WBAL-Radio's Robert Lang reports that the U.S. Senate Saturday confirmed Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Ellen Lipton Hollander to the U.S. District Court of Maryland. Click here to listen to state Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski discuss Hollander on the Senate floor.
O'MALLEY FORUMS With weeks left in his first term, Gov. Martin O'Malley is hosting a series of five forums as he shapes his administration's priorities in his second four years in office. The first is being held today in Gaithersburg, the Salisbury Times runs an Associated Press story.
O'MALLEY REBUFFS ON HEALTH CARE Citing their different opinions on the importance of health care for all, Gov. O'Malley has rebuffed an offer by Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell to join him in requesting an expedited Supreme Court review of last week's ruling by a federal judge in Virginia that part of the nation's new health law is unconstitutional, the Post's John Wagner reports.
PG REQUEST MOCKED The Post's Wagner also writes that a request from Prince George's for $139 million more in state education aid than was budgeted this year brought a sharp rebuke from the O'Malley administration. "Your proposal ... suggests that you believe that the governor's winning reelection is the equivalent to winning the lottery," wrote O'Malley's budget secretary.
BAKER PEP TALKS Prince George's Executive Rushern Baker made the rounds of government holiday parties last week, offering pep talks to many of the county's 6,000 employees as they confront some daunting budget numbers, write Miranda Spivack and Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.
HOTEL TAXES Aberdeen city officials and Howard County tourism officials are seeking hotel taxes. Aberdeen wants the authority to levy the hotel room tax to help with the operating costs of Ripken Stadium and repairs to the 10-year-old facility, writes Rachel Konopacki for the Record.
And, writes Larry Carson of the Sun, Howard County's hotel taxes would be used to help boost tourism in the county.
FACEBOOK TOURISM Baltimore County is using Facebook and a new website to try to boost tourism, writes Steve Schuster of the Towson Times.
KAMENETZ IN AISLE 14 Schuster also blogs about how "small townish" it can feel to be grocery shopping on a Saturday and run into the county executive.
TRANSPARENCY Annapolis Capital opinionators say that Julian Assange and Wikileaks are giving transparency in government a bad name.
CHARGES UNAUTHORIZED The Washington Examiner's Hayley Peterson reports that a Maryland town mayor has been charging thousands in taxpayer dollars to an unauthorized debit card and not disclosing the receipts to council members for the past 11 months.
CHAPTER 11 OK'D The parent company of the Baltimore Jewish Times and two local magazines has received approval for its Chapter 11 reorganization plan that will let it continue to operate while paying creditors back over the next four years, reports Ben Mook for the Daily Record.
The BBJ's Gary Haber writes that despite the bankcruptcy, the 91-year-old Jewish Times and its sister publications continued to be published.