Early Briefing: Yelp!

*Yelp.com launched in the Washington area last year, and some local business owners are keeping an eye on users' reviews and responding to them. See story

*Legislators and higher-education leaders proposed a $5 million state program to try to make Maryland a hub of biotechnology research through awarding research grants and luring companies. "Maryland is putting the flag down: Come here," said Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery). "This industry is poised to be an economic blockbuster for Maryland." See story

*Taxi drivers expressed concern over the possibility of losing income when D.C. taxis switch to a meter system from the zone system, but the change appears to be moving forward on schedule. See story

*Maryland Public Service Commission members grilled attorneys for Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group, charging that the company will probably receive a $1.4 billion windfall because it is charging customers more than it will need to decommission the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plan. The lawyers said that it's too early to determine the cost of dismantling the plant. See story

*Fannie Mae of the District and Freddie Mac of McLean are in talks with New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo over a deal designed to prevent inflated mortgage appraisals. See story

*The Supreme Court sent back to a lower court a case involving a woman who was a middle manager with Sprint in Kansas. The question is whether "me too" evidence is admissible in the case. See story

*Ciena, a communications equipment provider in Linthicum, said the government cleared its $290 million acquisition of World Wide Packets. The company said it expects the deal, which was announced last month, to close in the second quarter.

*Israel's ambassador to the United States confirmed his nation's interest in buying Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighters. "We are obviously interested and in discussion with the administration," the ambassador, Sallai Meridor, said. "This has the high potential of resulting in a significant deal. I cannot tell you exactly how many, what configuration and when."

*Dominion Resources of Richmond proposed a $2.6 billion program to replace some of its pipeline system. The 25-year program would replace about 4,100 miles of the system, Dominion said in a statement.

*Grocery industry veteran Robin S. Michel was named executive vice president and general manager of Giant Food. Michel was previously group vice president of procurement and merchandising at Roundy's, in Milwaukee.

By Terri Rupar  |  February 27, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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