Columbia startup looks to cash in on running craze with tracking device

Milestone Pod’s first product will be hitting store shelves starting in January. And when it does it, the Columbia startup will be going toe-to-toe against fitness industry giants like Under Armour and Nike. Milestone Pod’s first product is a wearable, pod-shaped device that fits onto a running shoe. Using a smartphone app, users can track their mileage, pace, time and cadence. The pod also tracks how many miles a runner has logged in a pair of running shoes and alerts the runner when a new pair is needed. Running shoes generally wear out after about 400 miles. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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After leasing miscue, NRC will share White Flint space with FDA

Another federal agency has forfeited office space after being scolded by Congress for leasing more real estate than it needed while the rest of the government cuts back. In 2009, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to a $350 million lease for a new office building, 3 White Flint, at 11601 Landsdown St. in Montgomery County. The agency, which regulates all 102 U.S. nuclear power plants, already occupied two buildings next door and expected that it would grow rapidly to oversee nuclear power expansion. (Wash. Post)

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Dec. 11 // Johns Hopkins prof says Harbor Point construction poses minimal public health risk

A Johns Hopkins University professor said there is an extremely low probability that public health is at risk during Harbor Point construction, where developers plan to pierce a protective cap over the 27-acre chromium-contaminated site. The chromium dust generated by the manufacturing era of the former AlliedSignal site is a real concern, given it is a cancer-causing carcinogen, Hopkins environmental science professor Peter Lees said during a meeting called by Harbor Point opponent Stelios Spiliadis. But it is also the type of carcinogen that only affects human health in high doses, which are unlikely to occur because readings on air monitors at the site would halt construction, and also because of the planned use of water misting to reduce dust at the site. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Saks distribution in Aberdeen's future in limbo with new owner, layoffs

Plans to lay off 191 employees from the Saks Incorporated Distribution Facility in Aberdeen, announced earlier this month, will end up affecting about 70 percent of the facility's workforce and are raising questions among workers if the facility is heading for a full shutdown. But Saks' new owner says the Aberdeen apparel and accessories distribution operation will not necessarily close completely, despite the size of the announced layoff and previous job cuts at the facility last year. (Aegis)

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Parx ups ante on casino bid with MGM seen as frontrunner

Greenwood Racing Inc. is upping the ante in the Prince George’s County casino war. The owner of Parx Casino outside Philadelphia has revised its bid for the proposed Parx Casino Hotel & Spa in Fort Washington, formally offering to fully fund the design and construction for two grade-separated interchanges — one at Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Road, and the other at Indian Head Highway and Livingston/Palmer roads. The last-minute offer (which Greenwood argues must be considered despite its late receipt) comes after a series of consultants hired by the Maryland Video Lottery Terminal Location Commission found that MGM Resorts International’s bid for MGM National Harbor was an all-around better deal for the state. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Home prices continue steady rise, as sales slow

Home prices in the Baltimore metro region continued a slow and steady climb in November, while sales grew sluggish, a seasonal trend exacerbated by economic uncertainty. Home prices rose just over 4 percent in November compared with the same time last year, according to a Tuesday report by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of MRIS. Prices have been rising at about that rate for almost two years, although the numbers still fall short of the pre-recession peaks. (Balt. Sun)

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Federal government shutdown created drag on D.C. area housing market

The Washington area housing market felt the effects of the government shutdown last month, according to data released Tuesday by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of MRIS. The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government in early October created a drag on the Washington area housing market, causing home sales to plummet, purchase contracts to dwindle and the number of properties for sale to wane. (Wash. Post)

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Trio of Baltimore-area businessmen look to invest in health care firms

Aging baby boomers, Obamacare and a greater push toward electronic medical records. Three Baltimore-area investment heavyweights — Paul Silber, Rick Kohr Jr. and Harrison Perry — are hoping that’s the winning combination for an investment fund they have launched to pump money into health care companies in the mid-Atlantic region. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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