InvestMaryland targets three more startups
Three Maryland startups — a biodefense company, a producer of miniature antennas and an online retailer of eco-friendly home furnishings — are the latest recipients of state investments.
Under the new $84 million InvestMaryland program, the companies will receive a total of $1.16 million. The investment round follows an initial $250,000 given in September to BrainScope of Bethesda.
PathSensors, which will receive $200,000, is in the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore. It develops products designed to detect biological threats. The Maryland Venture Fund invested $100,000 in PathSensors in 2010, according to information from the Department of Business and Economic Development.
Maxtena of Rockville, which will receive $560,000, develops and manufactures external and custom miniature antennas for global navigation and mobile applications, including satellite phones, military radios, handheld navigation devices, GPS trackers and other wireless devices.
Bambeco of Baltimore, which will recieve $400,000, sells items such as solar-powered tea lanterns, recycled scrap steel trash bins, bicycle chain bottle openers and briefcases made from recycled truck tires with seatbelt shoulder straps. The Maryland Venture Fund previously made two investments in the company totaling $300,000.
The InvestMaryland Challenge, which promises $300,000 in grants to seed and early-stage companies with the best business plans, has received almost 100 applications, according to DBED. Applications are due in a month.
Exelon pays $400K to settle federal claims
Exelon of Chicago has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle federal charges related to its $7.9 billion acquisition of Constellation Energy Group of Baltimore last year.
Under the terms of its agreement, Exelon was required to sell off three power plants in Maryland: Brandon Shores and H.A. Wagner, both in Anne Arundel County, and C.P. Crane in Baltimore County. The company also was obliged “to bid certain of its electricity generating plants at or below cost to ensure that Exelon would not be able to raise market prices for electricity” before selling the plants, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
However, Exelon inadvertently submitted sales offers for electricity during this period at above-cost prices, the agency said.
Exelon’s $400,000 payment to settle the claims takes into account that the company recognized that “it had made above-cost offers, took appropriate remedial steps, including notifying the United States and market regulators ... [implemented] measures to ensure that no additional above cost-offers occurred and [agreed] with the market regulators to return any incremental revenues Exelon earned from, and to redress any market harm caused by, its above-cost offers.”
The $400,000 payment is in addition to payments Exelon is making to market regulators.
New hospital names president
Mohan Suntha was named president and CEO of the newly formed University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, officials said Thursday. The move is pending the transfer of St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson to the University of Maryland Medical System on Dec. 1.
Suntha is vice chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a professor of radiation oncology. Insurance company executive Francis X. Kelly was named board chairman of the new medical center.
The University of Maryland Medical System is a $2.7 billion private, nonprofit network of 11 medical facilities, employing more than 21,500 people. St. Joseph is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, a $10.7 billion nonprofit health system in Englewood, Colo., with 81 hospitals and numerous other facilities.
Foreclosure rate rises in October
Maryland’s home foreclosure filing rate last month rose 19.8 percent from September and 27.1 percent from October 2011, according to new data from RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif.
With one filing per 1,562 households, the state’s rate was less than half the national average of one per 706 households. The national rate was up 3.3 percent from September, but down 19.2 percent from a year earlier.
Charles County had the highest rate in the state, with one filing per 579 households, up 239.3 percent from September and 115.9 percent from October 2011.
Court upholds labor ruling against Upper Marlboro company
Union workers with an Upper Marlboro cleaning company scored a victory recently when a federal appeals court upheld findings by the National Labor Relations Board against Daycon Products.
The board had ruled that Daycon unlawfully implemented a contract that was not approved by the union and failed to reinstate workers who offered to return after they went on strike more than two years ago. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in early November found that the board’s findings against Daycon were “supported by substantial evidence in the record,” according to court documents. The court denied Daycon’s request for it to review the case and granted the labor board’s application for enforcement.
Employees for Daycon went on strike in April 2010 following several months of negotiations over a new wage contract between representatives of the company and the Drivers, Chauffeurs and Helpers Local Union 639, which is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Daycon then hired replacement employees, subcontracted out work and refused to rehire striking workers who offered to return to work in July 2010, the board said.
In September 2011, the labor board, an independent federal agency formed in 1934, found that Daycon violated the federal labor relations act by implementing its own contract in April 2010; refusing to reinstate workers who offered to return; and by subcontracting work on repairing snow-throwing machines. The board ordered Daycon to reinstate all striking workers and reimburse them for losses, as well as resume contract negotiations.
JBG installs electric vehicle charging stations
Chevy Chase developer the JBG Cos. has teamed up with a San Francisco company to provide electric vehicle charging stattions at 14 JBG locations in the Greater Washington, D.C., region.
All told, 28 stations from ECOtality are operating, according to JBG.
In Maryland, the stations are at commercial and residential locations in Rockville, North Bethesda and Chevy Chase.
“JBG is committed to being a responsible community partner,” Eileen Nacev, JBG’s director of sustainability, said in a statement. “We are dedicated to our role as a steward for sustainability, and partnering with ECOtality to provide drivers in the Washington region a network of Blink charging stations at JBG properties in Maryland, the District and Northern Virginia is the latest component in our Building Smart, Thinking Green program."