‘House of Cards’ threatens to leave if Maryland comes up short on tax credits

A few weeks before Season 2 of “House of Cards” debuted online, the show’s production company sent Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley a letter with this warning: Give us millions more dollars in tax credits, or we will “break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state.” In recent years, Maryland has spent more than $40 million to reward movie and television production companies that choose to film in the state, and most of that largesse has gone to “House of Cards.” (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore Sun Media Group to buy alternative weekly City Paper

The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced Thursday that it is buying the alternative weekly City Paper for an undisclosed price, bringing the city’s two most recognizable print journalism outlets under the same roof. City Paper will remain independent from the group’s other outlets with a separate newsroom and sales team, said Timothy E. Ryan, publisher, president and CEO of Baltimore Sun Media Group. (Balt. Sun)

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State bill threatens Somerset wind turbine project

Southern Maryland lawmakers are seeking to delay the construction of wind turbines in Somerset County. House Bill 1168 would prevent the state from approving construction of wind turbines that exceed a range of heights within the Atlantic Test Range used by the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. If approved, the legislation would suspend construction of the 70 megawatt Great Bay wind project in Somerset County. (Daily Times)

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April hearing likely on MGM National Harbor casino; project could break ground in summer

MGM Resorts International has submitted formal plans to Prince George’s County for construction of a $925 million casino complex at National Harbor. The county Planning Board could bring the application to a public hearing as early as April, a county planner said, as officials expedite the proposal for a possible groundbreaking this summer. (Wash. Post)

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Abell Foundation joins suit against Ford over hybrid patents

The Abell Foundation, best known for its charitable work battling poverty in Baltimore, went to court this week over a very different venture: designing hybrid engines for vehicles. Over the past 15 years, the foundation quietly became a player in the future of automobile development. It invested more than $25 million in Paice, a Baltimore firm that invented a way to improve the performance of combined gas/electric engines but in recent years has spent considerable time in court. (Balt. Sun)

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First Mariner Bank deal comes with $1M breakup fee

The group that wants to buy First Mariner Bank won’t go away empty if it gets outbid. An entity created by the investor group would receive a $1 million breakup fee and be reimbursed for up to $1.75 million of its costs if the U.S. Bankruptcy Court selects another buyer for First Mariner Bank. That's according to a filing in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the bank’s parent company, First Mariner Bancorp. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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SAK Construction to open Arbutus headquarters

SAK Construction, LLC which specializes in the repair of aging water and sewer pipes and has boomed as municipal systems reach their limit, has opened a new regional headquarters in Arbutus. The Missouri company, founded in 2006, won contracts last year to do work on the systems in Baltimore City and in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Chief Information Officer Jim Kalishman said. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard business leaders split on proposed minimum wage increase

Brian England and Pete Mangione both own businesses that have been Howard County institutions for three decades. They both say they care deeply about employees. But when it comes to whether or not state legislators should raise the minimum wage, they — like many other business leaders in Maryland — don't see eye to eye. (Balt. Sun)

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