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Maryland Live! Generates 60% of State’s Fiscal ’15 Casino Revenue

Revenue generated from The Cordish Companies’ Maryland Live! Casino was responsible for 60% of the fiscal 2015 casino revenue contribution to the state of Maryland.

According to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Maryland casinos contributed $487 million in revenues to the state in fiscal 2015. Of this total, $301,168,736 was contributed by Maryland Live!, the state’s largest and top-performing casino, which averages $50 million in gaming revenue per month — more than double that of its closest regional competitor.

In addition, the state receives approximately $1 million per day in taxes from Maryland Live!, including gaming, property, employment, real estate, sales and use taxes, making it the highest taxpayer in the state.

With more than 10 million visitors per year, the facility, which employs 3,000 workers, consistently ranks as the top-performing casino in the entire mid-Atlantic gaming market, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. The Live! Casino brand is poised for considerable growth in the coming months, with plans soon to be unveiled for a hotel and conference center expansion at Maryland Live!, as well as the development of the new Live! Hotel & Casino, in Philadelphia.

SolarWindow Announces Revenue, Industry Partnership Initiatives

Columbia-based SolarWindow Technologies revealed, for the first time, its revenue, industry partnership and build-out strategy for bringing the company’s proprietary electricity-generating windows to market during its Aug. 20 webcast.

“I’ve never seen a technology with the kind of potential that I see with SolarWindow, where you have the very real prospect of turning entire skyscrapers into electricity power generators,” said Curtis Watkins, project manager, emerging technologies, Duke Energy, and a SolarWindow adviser.

“We are fundamentally stronger today than ever before,” said John Conklin, president and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies. “Our technology works. We are on track to bring the world’s first-of-its-kind electricity-generating window to market.”

The highlight of the webcast explained the build-out of commercial SolarWindow products. Industry experts and management also answered important questions, including how SolarWindow is preparing for commercial production and how the company is formalizing relationships with the glass, energy and building industries.

“SolarWindow has calculated the fastest financial return I’ve ever seen, under one year,” said renewable energy tax expert Ken Schuckers.

HCI & GBMC HealthCare Launch Patient-Centered Medical Plan

Glenwood-based Healthcare Interactive (HCI), a health benefits technology firm, has launched a new, patient-centered medical plan called Habeo Health in partnership with Baltimore-area hospital network Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) HealthCare and Group Benefit Services Inc., an employee benefits administrator.

The plan is at the forefront of a growing trend among health systems to use “patient-centered medical homes” to improve health care quality and reduce costs. Habeo’s integrated software platform will offer GBMC’s care teams powerful tools for managing patient health, incentives and wellness programs. Patients who participate in health screenings, wellness activities and health coaching will be eligible for lower health insurance premiums from their employers. They’ll also be able to communicate with their care team and access their health information through a secure, patient-focused portal.

“Our new, patient-centered plan differs from the conventional health insurance model,” said Henry Cha, the CEO of HCI. “Habeo, which is Latin for ‘to own,’ aims to build a culture of health in which individuals feel empowered to participate in their care. Primary care is provided through community health systems, like GBMC.”

“We’ve already begun receiving quote requests from brokers and anticipate the volume will increase as fall approaches,” said David Cardwell, Sr., executive vice president of group benefit services for Habeo.

Ruppersberger Intros Bill to Help Prevent Future Cyberattacks Against Federal Workers

In the wake of a massive cyberattack that jeopardized the personal information of more than 22 million federal employees, retirees, contractors and their families, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger has introduced legislation to help prevent future breaches against federal civilian computer networks.

While the Department of Homeland Security has been tasked to protect the government domain (known as .gov), it currently only has limited legal authority to do so. The Federal Information Security Management Reform Act (FISMA) of 2015 (HR 3402) would enable the department to monitor the networks of government agencies, conduct risk assessments, operate intrusion detection software and deploy countermeasures once a cyberthreat has been detected.

“The government computer networks contain highly sensitive personal data including the Social Security numbers, home addresses, birth dates and even extensive background information of many of our hard-working federal employees, retirees and contractors,” Ruppersberger said. “It is absurd that the government agency required by law to protect these networks does not currently have the authority to conduct any of these common-sense measures. This bill will give our federal government a fighting chance to prevent future cyberattacks.”

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) attack was one of the largest security breaches in U.S. history, compromising mostly the background investigation files of individuals holding security clearances. The hackers responsible for the attack reportedly used access codes from one of OPM’s contractors and infiltrated OPM computers for at least a year before they were discovered.

In addition to introducing FISMA, Ruppersberger is a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to provide free lifetime identity theft protection coverage, including insurance for losses up to $5 million, to all OPM hacking victims.

Kittleman Announces New Farm Academy During Fair

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has announced the creation of the Howard County Farm Academy, designed to increase awareness and cooperation among rural farmers and their suburban neighbors through public workshops at local farming operations. Kittleman made the announcement while meeting with 4-H youth at the 70th Annual Howard County Fair.

“Residents want high quality, locally-grown produce and meats in our restaurants, farmers markets and grocery stores,” said Kittleman. “The Farm Academy will help increase understanding and cooperation by opening the barn doors for farmers to show the community how they operate and conduct their business. This program offers a great education in sustainable living and advances the future of farming in the county.”

The county’s Office of Community Sustainability, in collaboration with the Howard County Soil Conservation District, will launch the academy this fall. Three-hour sessions, offered free on Saturday mornings to participants of all ages, will explain various kinds of farming operations, ranging from livestock to crops, produce and nurseries.

Each session will accommodate 20 to 25 people; additional sessions will be considered based on the level of interest. The first session will take place on Oct. 10, at TLV Tree Farm in Glenelg. To learn more about the academy and for registration, visit www.livegreenhoward.com, beginning in September. For more information about the Howard County 4-H program, visit http://extension.umd.edu/howard-county/4-h-youth.

Lease Signed for Annapolis Renewable Energy Park

Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides, Annapolis City alderpersons, Energy Park Project Manager Ted Siomporas and representatives from Annapolis Solar Park LLC gathered at City Hall as the 20-year Annapolis Renewable Energy Park (AREP) lease was signed.

The action begins the process of developing the 16.8 megawatt solar photovoltaic project, converting sunlight into direct current electricity, on approximately 80 acres of closed landfill. The closed and capped landfill is located in the vicinity of I-97, Route 450 and Crownsville Road in Anne Arundel County. The project will be operational by the end of 2016 and is anticipated to generate more than $5 million in revenue to the city during the course of the 20-year lease.

Annapolis Solar Park LLC is jointly owned by BQ Energy LLC, in partnership with Building Energy Development US LLC, which also will build and operate the plant through its joint venture with ABM Industries, one of the largest facility management services providers in the country. When completed, it will be the largest solar project identified by the Environmental Protection Agency exclusively installed on a closed landfill in the United States.

“This project has been a priority of mine since I took office,” Pantelides said. “This project is about turning a liability into an asset. This park will turn a large plot of unused land into a revenue generator and a job creator.”

AREP, throughout its 20-year lease, is expected to produce approximately 21,822,000 kilowatt-hours of carbon-neutral electricity, an amount that offsets the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3,168 passenger vehicles; in other terms, the production is estimated to offset the CO2 emissions of 2,070 homes’ electricity use for one year, or approximately 12.5% of the annual household electricity usage within the City of Annapolis.

St. John Properties to Build 100K Square Feet of Office Space at TOD

St. John Properties, in partnership with Somerset Construction Co., has revealed plans for the development of a new, four-story, 100,000-square-foot office building at 10170 Junction Drive in Annapolis Junction Town Center, a mixed-use Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) situated adjacent to the Savage Maryland Commuter (MARC) Station in Howard County.

The project represents the office component of the TOD, which will on completion contain 416 luxury apartment homes, a 150-room hotel, 17,450 square feet of retail space and the recently completed state-of-the-art MARC Station with its 700-space intermodal commuter parking garage.

The 19-acre development has been designated a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Zone by the state of Maryland. Southern Management Corp. and Somerset Construction Co. are developing the residential and retail portions of the TOD and are seeking a partner for the hospitality component.

Annapolis Junction Town Center’s 416-unit resort-style luxury apartment community component will consist of “Texas doughnut” configuration, which features apartment homes wrapped around a parking garage, enabling residents to park and live on the same level of their building. The hospitality element will include 150 rooms, and the retail element will include 17,450 square feet of space.

St. John Properties plans to initiate construction on the commercial office building this fall, with delivery scheduled for fall 2016. The company recently assumed control of this project, which was formerly being developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust.

Mikulski, Cardin, Cummings Announce More Than $815K to Treat Drug Addition

U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, with U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, have announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene $815,745 in federal funds per year for up to three years (depending on the availability of funds).

The grant will support medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for 271 patients with high-risk prescription drug or opioid addiction per year. The treatment will be available in two communities, Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, which have had especially high rates of opioid-related emergency room visits. Maryland is one of 11 states receiving this federal funding.

MAT is a comprehensive approach to address substance use disorders that combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the need for MAT significantly exceeds capacity, and increased access to the treatment is critical in fully addressing the epidemic of opioid abuse and dependence in the United States.

According to the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, in 2014 there were 578 heroin-related deaths in the state, 25% higher than the previous year and more than double the total in 2010. Only 11% of heroin addicts who need treatment receive it, according to National Institute of Drug Abuse.