US oil is likely to be China’s next target as trade war rages, energy analysts warn

China is expected to dramatically reduce its intake of U.S. crude imports over the coming weeks, energy analysts have warned, following the latest flare-up in trade war tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The tit-for-tat tariff dispute between the U.S. and China has already sent oil prices plunging, in large part because of worries about a severe global economic slowdown and potentially even a U.S. recession. Wednesday’s session saw crude drop at one stage to a seven-month low. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in his administration’s protracted dispute with Beijing last week, threatening to impose new charges against the country from September 1. (CNBC)

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Georgetown tech company secures $15 million in early financing

Location technology company Radius Networks has capped its recent rapid growth with its largest round of funding to date. CEO and co-founder Marc Wallace confirmed that the Georgetown company raised $15 million in a fresh Series A round. While a total 62 investors were involved in the round, a few notable names included venture capital firms Core Capital of D.C., New York’s Contour Venture, and Seattle’s Pendrell. This round follows three other early-stage rounds for Radius Networks — most recently $6.5 million in 2015 — amounting to $8.4 million in total funding since its founding in 2011. This included investments from Core Capital and Contour Venture. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Report: Waning convention center business is taking its toll on Baltimore hotels

Declining convention business is taking its toll on downtown hotels, according to a new analysis of the local lodging market. In a report released Wednesday, global credit rating agency DBRS suggests that decreasing hotel occupancy rates in Baltimore could have more to do with waning conference bookings at the city's 40-year-old convention center than oft-cited concerns about the city's troubled image. "While the well-publicized court case involving the city's police department garnered much negative publicity, the city's aging and obsolete conference-center infrastructure and decline in tourism are perhaps most responsible for the overall weakening of Baltimore's lodging-sector performance," the report posits. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Demolished historic Baltimore mill properties’ owner pursues apartment building

The property owner who razed historic mill properties in Baltimore’s Woodberry neighborhood has resumed efforts to build apartments on the obliterated buildings’ site. JP2 Architects LLC presented schematics for a 51-unit apartment building at 3511 Clipper Mill Road to Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel on Thursday. The panel’s agenda listed Woodberry Station LLC as the project’s developer. John Hutch, principal at JP2 Architects, said the development team intends to use recycled materials from the razed structures for wrapping around the base of the new apartment building. (Daily Record)

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HomeServe acquires Gaithersburg electrical services company

Gaithersburg-based FAB Electric, an electrical services company serving both residential and commercial customers, has been acquired by HomeServe USA. FAB, founded in 1987 by Jim Fabiszewski, is the second area company bought by HomeServe in 2019, following its acquisition of Merrifield-based CroppMetcalfe, a building maintenance and pest control company, in March. Terms of the FAB deal were not disclosed. “Jim Fabiszewski has worked to establish FAB Electric as a leading electrical services provider in the greater D.C. area since 1987," John Kitzie, CEO of HomeServe North America, said in a release. "Having him and the FAB team as part of HomeServe allows us both to grow exponentially.” (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland corrections officers, state employees protest over thousands of unfilled positions

Dozens of Maryland government employees rallied Wednesday in downtown Baltimore, protesting what they say is the Hogan administration’s refusal to fill thousands of vacant positions in state government. “There’s a crisis in staffing and a crisis in services,” said Patrick Moran, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Maryland Council 3 union, which represents correctional officials and other state employees. “But Governor Hogan has ignored this much in the same way he has ignored Baltimore City and the rest of the state, because it doesn’t give him any donations. It doesn’t bring him any opportunities for his business in real estate.” (Balt. Sun)

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Novavax looks to next flu vaccine trial following sale of manufacturing business

Novavax Inc. has the green light to start a late-stage clinical trial for its seasonal flu vaccine, less than six months after a phase 3 trial for its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine failed and sent the company’s future into question. The Gaithersburg biotech, having finalized its phase 3 study design for NanoFlu with the Food and Drug Administration, expects to initiate the trial this fall and report results in the first quarter of next year, CEO Stanley Erck discussed on an earnings call Wednesday. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Ocean City’s Shark on the Harbor puts the focus on Maryland seafood and produce

Our sojourn south to Ocean City was inspired by a Facebook post. Baltimore chef Chad Wells, after vacationing with his family there this summer, wondered why it is that so few restaurants in Ocean City take advantage of the bountiful fish and produce found on the Eastern Shore. There was an exception, Wells wrote: Shark on the Harbor. The 11-year-old restaurant in Ocean City, “is still the best restaurant in Ocean City Maryland, and one of my favorites in the state.” And so I, while on summer vacation in Delaware, had my excuse for dinner out. (Balt. Sun)

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