Downtown Frederick hotel project may get more public funding

Frederick officials want more money to work with as they attempt to secure and prepare a spot for a long-envisioned downtown hotel and conference center. The Board of Aldermen agreed Wednesday to ask the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for a $250,000 Smart Growth Impact Fund grant, which could be used for many different costs, such as acquiring an option to buy the property, site design and analysis, architectural costs and ground work. (News-Post)

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Hagerstown To Review Liquor License Requirement

Officials in Hagerstown are considering lowering the number of seats restaurants need to have in order to obtain a liquor license. The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reports restaurant owners must currently be able to seat 75 people in order to obtain a license to serve alcohol. But the Hagerstown City Council will discuss lowering the number of seats during a meeting on Aug. 13. (AP)

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Maryland rejects health insurers' steep rate request

The Maryland Insurance Administration on Friday approved health insurance premium rates up to 33 percent below what insurers sought for 2014. The approved rates are for plans insurers want to offer through the state exchange's online marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. The plans will also be available to individuals and small businesses outside the new virtual marketplace. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Rocco's Capriccio sale could be soon

Agents at Alex Cooper Auctioneers are working to sell Rocco’s Capriccio through a private deal after they declined to sell the Little Italy restaurant at an auction on Thuesday. The auctioneers turned down a high bid of $275,000 because the owner was expecting a much higher sale price. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Wireless carrier MetroPCS comes to Baltimore

Wireless carrier MetroPCS is now offering service in Baltimore. The company says it offers nationwide 4G service and unlimited data, talk and text for $40 a month without a contract. Customers can upgrade or reduce service from month to month. The flat-fee monthly plans range from $40 to $60. (Balt. Sun)

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BGE said it will spend millions to check, replace poles

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said Friday that it expects to spend more than $15 million to inspect, maintain and replace utility poles in parts of the region this year. BGE said it plans to check the condition of more than 36,000 of the wooden poles in sections of Baltimore, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, treat them to protect against insects and replace nearly 1,800 through a program intended for that work. (Balt. Sun)

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TeleCommunication's revenue falls 19 percent with U.S. cutbacks

TeleCommunication Systems Inc., a provider of mobile communication technology, reported a 19 percent decline in revenue for the second quarter largely to a decline in sales to the U.S. government, a major customer. The Annapolis-based company said revenue reached $92.8 million for the April-to-June period, down from $114.6 million a year earlier. (Balt. Sun)

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COPT posts $4.4 million loss in second quarter

Corporate Office Properties Trust lost $4.4 million in the second quarter of the year, the Columbia real estate investment firm announced Friday. From April through June of 2012, in comparison, the company had net income of $11.9 million. (Balt. Sun)

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