Diamond Comic Distributors loses second major client in a year

The Avengers won’t be assembling through Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. anymore. Marvel Comics announced Thursday it has entered into an exclusive, multi-year sales and distribution agreement with a division of New York-based Penguin Random House to deliver newly published and backlist comic books, trade collections and graphic novels to comic shops across the world. For Cockeysville-based Diamond, the deal marks the loss of a second major client in less than a year after more than two decades as the dominant distributor in the comic book industry. DC Comics ended a 25-year relationship with Diamond last year.

Record year for venture capital leaves Black founders behind

Last year was the strongest ever for Baltimore, for Maryland and for the nation in terms of venture capital performance. The number of dollars raised by growing companies across the country reached about $130 billion and funding to Maryland firms hit a record $1.159 billion, with companies in Baltimore taking about 26% of that. For Jeff Cherry, a Baltimore venture capitalist and startup accelerator founder, the record-setting raises of 2020 are encouraging. But as a Black investor who has long been vocal about the need for greater diversity among both the funders and the funded, he also saw some shortfalls and opportunities for greater progress.

Lockheed Martin, Omnispace explore space-based 5G global network

Omnispace LLC and Bethesda-based global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin Tuesday entered into a strategic interest agreement to explore jointly developing 5G capability from space. The proposed global 5G standards-based non-terrestrial network (NTN) would offer commercial, enterprise and government devices ubiquitous communications worldwide.

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Howard County terminates ICE contract

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Tuesday announced that the Howard County Department of Corrections gave notice March 19 of its intent to terminate the contract with the U.S. Immigration and  Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, under which the Department housed detainees in ICE custody.

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United Way of Central Maryland hopes to increase grants despite pandemic impact

During a time when many nonprofits across the U.S. are facing financial peril, the United Way of Central Maryland hopes to increase grant opportunities thanks to an influx of pandemic-driven donations and one large gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Challenges lie ahead for the nonprofit sector as a whole in the coming months and years. A recent study by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy estimated more than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years in a worst-case scenario because of the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Putting entertainment on the menu: Baltimore County seeks to boost musicians, restaurants with more live music

With the goal of supporting two industries hit hardest by the pandemic, the Baltimore County executive aims to change zoning rules and set up a permitting process for more restaurants and bars to host live music. The NOTE Act — it stands for New Opportunities for Tourism and Entertainment — would enable hundreds more restaurants and bars to hold live musical entertainment by amending zoning rules in areas where live music is currently prohibited. It’s modeled after a 2019 bill that changed zoning rules in Catonsville and Arbutus.

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Md. Senate gives preliminary OK to extending alcohol delivery option

A proposal to extend an executive order that has helped some restaurants in Maryland remain in business has sparked a public policy debate over whether alcoholic beverages should continue to be available for delivery when the pandemic ends.

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PNC closing 28 more branches, including one in Greater Baltimore

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. is shuttering another 28 branches, according to new regulatory filings, including two in Maryland. The bank’s branches at 737 College Pkwy. E. in Annapolis and 600 Linden Ave. in Pocomoke City in Worcester County are both slated to close as part of the latest round of cutbacks. Pittsburgh-based PNC (NYSE: PNC) is the third largest retail bank in Greater Baltimore, with $9.6 billion in local deposits. It had 187 branches in Maryland, including 84 in Greater Baltimore, as of the June 30, 2020 annual Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. deposit data.

Lexington Market extends vendor application deadline amid wave of interest

Food and retail vendors who want to open a stall in the redeveloped Lexington Market have a little more time to get an application in. Seawall Development and Baltimore Public Markets, which are spearheading the historic downtown Baltimore market’s revamp, announced Thursday they will extend the application deadline for prospective vendors by a week, to March 26 at 11:59 p.m. The previous deadline was Friday.

With spring nearing, Blossoms of Hope forges ahead to support beautification projects in Howard County

After having to cancel the majority of its events in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic — including its Pretty in Pink Ladies Champagne Luncheon and Fashion Show and the popular Power of the Purse — Blossoms of Hope’s board of directors had to find new ways to raise funds for the many organizations and beautification projects the nonprofit supports in Howard County. “We are blessed to have an incredible bunch of people on the board,” according to Flora Betro, a Blossoms of Hope board member. “It is just phenomenal.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun