The Washington, D.C., metro region finished 2010 with the nation's 78th-highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas, according to new data from RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif.
With one filing per 49 households, the rate was down 22 percent from 2009.
The Baltimore-Towson area was ranked No. 106, with one filing per 63 households. However, that was up 16.3 percent from 2009. The Hagerstown area, with one filing per 88 households, was ranked No. 88. Its rate was down 6.53 percent from a year earlier.
Among 206 metro regions in the rankings, Las Vegas had the highest rate, with one filing per nine households, or about 11 percent. The U.S. average was one filing per 45.
Optelecom stockholders OK
$9.1 million acquisition
Shareholders of video-equipment company Optelecom-NKF of Germantown on Tuesday approved its $9.1 million cash acquisition by TKH Group of Haaksbergen, Netherlands.
About 95 percent of the 60 percent of outstanding shares of common stock that voted favored the deal, which was expected to close Thursday.
According to a TKH statement issued in November, when the deal was announced, Optelecom has 120 employees, about 85 of whom work in the Netherlands.
"In a time of increasing consolidation within the global security industry, this transaction with TKH represents value for our shareholders and a good strategic fit for Optelecom-NKF," Optelecom CEO Dave Patterson said in a statement.
Optelecom, founded in 1972, does business in the Netherlands, Latin America, Europe, Dubai and Singapore. The company makes video surveillance equipment for traffic monitoring and security at airports, seaports, casinos, prisons, public transit, hospitals and corporate campuses.
SunEdison activates 17.2-MW
solar farm in North Carolina
SunEdison of Beltsville, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials of St. Peters, Mo., activated the final phases of a 17.2-megawatt solar farm it built in Davidson County, N.C., in conjunction with Duke Energy of Charlotte, N.C.
The project has more than 63,000 photovoltaic solar panels on more than 200 acres and is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 2,600 homes, according to a joint statement.
SunEdison designed and deployed the project and will be responsible for operations and maintenance. Financing of the project, reported at $173 million when it was announced in 2009, was through lease financing provided by MetLife and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Hinman CEOs director
takes first in competition
James V. Green, director of entrepreneurship education and the director of the Hinman CEOs Program in the University of Maryland's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute in College Park, took first place in the 2011 3E Learning Innovative Entrepreneurship Education Competition for his "Team Challenge of Risk and Reward" activity.
Green was selected from more than 30 entrants at the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship annual conference in Hilton Head, S.C. The award recognizes college educators who have created new and challenging learning activities that actively involve students in the entrepreneurial experience.
Green's winning activity engages students in a real-time classroom decision of risk assessment and team decision-making through a six-phase process.
New hospital will boost
Montgomery College, officials say
A new, $202 million Holy Cross Hospital facility, approved by a state commission last week, would mean a lot more than a 93-bed facility for Montgomery College's Germantown campus, officials say.
It also would anchor the college's 40-acre Science and Technology Park, attracting researchers and biotechnology companies to the campus and helping generate jobs and graduates to fill them, said Sanjay Rai, vice president and provost of the Germantown campus. Officials hope the park will become a magnet for biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology companies, as well as venture capitalists. The school eventually plans to have 1 million square feet for offices, laboratories and other uses in the park.
"In the end, it helps your curriculum, it helps your students," Rai said. "And students get opportunities for internships and also permanent employment." For example, students could see research translated into product development, he said.
A new Holy Cross hospital also would expand opportunities for other college students, officials said. Angie Pickwick, instructional dean of Health Sciences at Montgomery College, said the hospital would provide an additional clinical training facility for the college and grow the number of nursing students from 400 to 500 over time, although not all the additional nursing students would study at the new hospital.
New transmitter could
replace satellite trucks
Instead of huge, costly satellite trucks, news broadcasters soon will be able to send high-quality transmissions in real time with a much smaller and cheaper alternative that can be attached to a belt.
IT company EuroTech of Columbia has partnered with Nomad Innovations of Kentucky to provide the device, which weighs just 1.5 pounds while still working as a router for high-bandwidth live transmissions, company officials said.
The product, LiveEdge, recently was unveiled at a technology show in Las Vegas.
"Any field team, whether broadcasting the news or responding to emergency situations, has greater mobility and flexibility when communications options are no longer tied to microwave or satellite trucks and time-consuming setup procedures," said Sean Higgins, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nomad Innovations, in a statement.
While accessibility and mobility will be big selling points, cost also will play a role, he said. The new device costs about $40,000, versus $500,000 or more for a remote broadcast truck for news stations, he said.
aims to foster tech business
Montgomery County officials have signed the county's first partnership agreement with the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division in Bethesda.
The agreement will help the county identify Navy-developed technology that is available for licensing; participate in technology showcases targeting county businesses and Carderock research and development; and have better access to programs and resources for developing research and development collaborations with Carderock, according to a county statement.
A specific agreement between Montgomery College and Carderock is to provide the opportunity for students to benefit from the staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment related to surface warfare science and technology available from Carderock.
SBA drought loans
Federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and most nonprofits in Carroll and Fredrick counties due to a drought that began on June 5, 2005, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Loans of up to $2 million with 3 percent interest for nonprofits and 4 percent for small businesses and terms up to 30 years are available.
Information: 800-659-2955, firstname.lastname@example.org or sba.gov.
A North Bethesda physician under federal investigation for selling prescriptions for painkillers had his state medical license suspended last month by Maryland regulators.
Silviu Ziscovici, 56, was barred from practicing medicine Dec. 1, in part because 15 of his patients died from drug overdoses, according to information from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration probe contained in the public suspension order from the Maryland Board of Physicians.
The order, signed by board Deputy Director John T. Papavasiliou, details DEA and Montgomery County Police investigations and shows a physician who provided prescriptions to known drug abusers.
Papavasiliou quoted a medical expert who said Ziscovici's "medical decision making process was grossly incompetent."
"The action our board took speaks for itself," Papavasiliou told The Gazette. "It was swift; it was exact; that shows how important this is to the medical profession. It's a pretty troubling case."
Ziscovici declined to comment and referred questions to his attorney, Peter D. Greenspun of Fairfax, Va. Greenspun said the suspension was appealed Dec. 15 and he and his client will continue to seek reinstatement at future administrative hearings.
"He's a doctor that has taken care of a lot of patients over a lot of years, and that's what we are going to show," Greenspun said.
Wings chain to open
20 locations in region
Wingstop of Richardson, Texas, a chicken wings restaurant chain, plans to grow its presence in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area with 20 new locations during the next five years.
The company — with restaurants in Gaithersburg and Rockville, according to its website — said in a statement that it expects to open four locations in the region this year.
"We love the Wingstop product, and the concept of just serving wings and fries," co-owner Rahim Kurji said in the statement.
Wingstop has more than 475 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico. It was acquired last year by Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm in Atlanta.
Builders poll: Bay cleanup
deserves taxes or fees to fund
Maryland residents want the state to focus on job creation even if the environment suffers to some extent, but the Chesapeake Bay cleanup should be funded by higher taxes or fees, according to a new poll.
According to the poll commissioned by the Maryland State Builders Association, 83 percent of state residents say creating jobs should be a higher priority than reducing Bay pollution and 57 percent believe economic growth should be given priority even if the environment suffers. By comparison, 33 percent say protection of the environment should be more important even at the risk of slowing the economy. But 67 percent of those polled said the Chesapeake Bay cleanup should be funded with tax increases and additional fees.
The poll was conducted by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies among 802 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points