A Kuwaiti royal sunk millions into redeveloping Baltimore’s Howard Street with a local restaurateur. Where did her money go?

When a Middle Eastern royal stepped into his little restaurant in a rundown stretch of Baltimore, Jean Agbodjogbe felt touched by fortune. The West African immigrant had worked his way from a job at KFC to opening a small eatery on Howard Street. Now a woman from the Kuwaiti ruling family wanted to buy dinner. Lots of dinner. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore developer plans to build another business park in North Carolina

A Baltimore developer that recently entered North Carolina has announced its second project in the region with the purchase of 74 acres in Wake Forest. Merritt Properties has unveiled its plans for Merritt Capital Business Park, a 452,500-square-foot industrial development with plans calling for up to seven new buildings with sizes ranging from 30,000 to 85,000 square feet. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Safeway parent will lay off 520 in Prince George’s County

The parent company of Safeway grocery stores is closing a distribution center in Prince George’s County, a move that will lead to the elimination of 520 jobs, the company said in a filing Wednesday with the state. (WTOP)

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Who's overseeing Md.'s cannabis industry? How the state built a board without local experts.

The head of the regulatory body that oversees Maryland's medical marijuana industry had only a limited understanding of cannabis law before a few years ago. Yet, Will Tilburg is about as much of a cannabis industry expert as any professional in Maryland can be, given that a legal cannabis market did not exist in the state before 2016. Tilburg is the executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, which is tasked with regulating the burgeoning cannabis industry and its more than 130 licensed growers, retailers and processors. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Dozens more Baltimore businesses reported missing water bills after Ritz Carlton spurred audit, officials say

Dozens of additional businesses in Baltimore have contacted city officials to report issues with their water bills — or lack thereof — since revelations last fall that wealthy waterfront condominium owners at the Ritz Carlton Residences hadn’t paid for their water service in over a decade, Baltimore officials said. “When the story about the Ritz came out, we had other people reach out to us who had concerns about their water bills — predominantly people who had accounts but hadn’t received bills in a timely fashion,” said Sheryl Goldstein, chief of operations for Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. (Balt. Sun)

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Federal Reserve proposes weakening ‘Volcker rule,’ key post-financial crisis regulation

Federal regulators on Thursday proposed weakening key post-financial crisis restrictions on risky trading, handing Wall Street more momentum in rolling back tough industry regulations. The proposed changes would lift restrictions on big banks, such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, investing in venture capital and other types of funds. (Wash. Post)

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Baylen Brees, Artist Team Up To Design Custom Lamar Jackson Sneakers

The Ravens, we all know, won’t be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday like we were all hoping. But that’s not stopping some people from showing off their Purple Pride. Baylen Brees, the son of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, got a pair of new sneakers. (WJZ)

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Johns Hopkins pledges more jobs and investment for Baltimore

A three-year-old effort to hire and invest locally by Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System was expanded Wednesday as the HopkinsLocal program entered its second phase. HopkinsLocal was started in 2015 in the wake of the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Its goal was to boost local hiring and increase the amount of investment in local businesses. The program is being expanded to offer more opportunities in the city and to help boost the local economy, Hopkins officials said Wednesday. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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