Archive: April 6, 2008 - April 12, 2008

Early Briefing: Changes From Sallie

*Sallie Mae of Reston said it would start charging students who apply for federally backed loans and stop offering loans to consolidate student debt, citing the credit markets as a reason for the change. Starting next month, Sallie will charge fees of $35 to a few hundred dollars to apply...

By Terri Rupar | April 12, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

WPNI Publisher Steps Down

Caroline Little stepped down today as chief executive and publisher of Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), the subsidiary of The Washington Post Co. that oversees Web operations, the company announced. Donald E. Graham, chairman of the board of The Washington Post Co., has asked Little to stay with the company to...

By Terri Rupar | April 11, 2008; 5:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roundup: ICF and Gaylord

From wire reports: *Louisiana officials threatened to withhold $3 million from ICF International of Fairfax, which is managing the Road Home program for hurricane victims, unless possible errors and incomplete documentation problems are resolved. ICF has 14 days to fix problems in 607 aid cases or the state will keep...

By Terri Rupar | April 11, 2008; 4:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: Newseum Opening Today

* For many on the local urban planning scene, the Newseum -- which opens today -- represents a finishing touch on the two-decade transformation of the Penn Quarter neighborhood from a vacant corridor to a thriving downtown hub, featuring blocks of trendy restaurants, galleries and condos. "This is one of...

By Mike Shepard | April 11, 2008; 5:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Roundup: Saul Centers, Liquidity Services, Capital One

Some of today's news, from staff and wire reports: *Saul Centers of Bethesda said it bought three properties for a total of $60.6 million, including the assumption of a nearly $10.4 million mortgage loan. It bought the 89,000-square-foot Great Falls Center in Virginia, which includes a Safeway and a CVS,...

By Terri Rupar | April 10, 2008; 5:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where Do Choice Directors Stay?

By Mike Rosenwald Footnoted.org is a wonderful blog that digs deep into company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, shining a light on things that executives hope we journalists don't find. This week, an entry caught my attention: "Why won't Choice's directors stay at their hotels?" Choice Hotels is...

By Terri Rupar | April 10, 2008; 1:55 PM ET | Comments (2)

The Employment and Wage Picture

Workers in* the District had the third-highest pay in the country in the third quarter, with weekly wages clocking in at $1,376. Arlington was not far behind, at $1,364, and Fairfax was No. 9, at $1,244. Wages in the Washington region went up in the third quarter, according to numbers...

By Terri Rupar | April 10, 2008; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Early Briefing: Norovirus, Then Mice

*First, visitors to and employees of Gaylord's National Harbor development got sick with the norovirus. Now, some visitors say they've seen mice in the rooms. Sheldon Suga, general manager of Gaylord National, said that the hotel has hired an "aggressive extermination" company to rid the hotel of mice, which he...

By Terri Rupar | April 10, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Roundup: REITs, Dominion and Freddie

*Shares of real estate investment trusts ended mostly lower yesterday, part of the markets' general fall. Host Hotels & Resorts of Bethesda was down 2.1 percent, to $16.86 But shares of apartment REITs took an even bigger hit on a report from a Lehman Brothers analyst who said the state...

By Terri Rupar | April 9, 2008; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

At the Fair

Seemingly every federal department joined lenders big and small at Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's fifth annual Small Business Access to Capital Fair at the Washington Convention Center yesterday. There were 52 exhibitors at the event; 275 people registered, and at least 200 more showed up. Most attendees have small businesses...

By Terri Rupar | April 9, 2008; 12:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: Another Deal for HealthExtras

*HealthExtras of Rockville announced a $100 million deal to by HospiScript Services of Alabama, which handles pharmacy services for hospices in 46 states. The deal is the the sixth in eight years for the administrator of prescription benefit-programs. HealthExtras expects the acquisition to push its revenue to about $2.5 billion...

By Terri Rupar | April 9, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Q&A: Deborah Ratner Salzberg and Development

Due to human error (I forgot to push the right button), the full text of Thomas Heath's Q&A with Deborah Ratner Salzberg wasn't published here yesterday. Here it is, with my apologies. Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington, shared with Thomas Heath what her company is developing in...

By Terri Rupar | April 8, 2008; 5:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roundup: MedStar, Capital One, USEC

The afternoon roundup, from staff and wire reports: *MedStar Health of Columbia is teaming up with Rite Aid and Consumer Health Services to provide walk-in health clinics in some Rite Aid stores. Four stores in the Baltimore and Washington regions this summer will get the MedStar PromptCare clinics, which will...

By Terri Rupar | April 8, 2008; 5:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Value Added: Life After Radio

I didn't like Bennett Zier much when I first met him a couple of years ago over breakfast at The Four Seasons in Georgetown. He and Redskins icon John Riggins were pushing their new Redskins Radio venture - called Red Zebra -- under the team's owner Daniel Snyder. Zier...

By Dan Beyers | April 8, 2008; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: Settlement For WR Grace

* Specialty chemical company W.R. Grace agreed to settle outstanding asbestos-related claims with cash, future payments to a victims' trust and 10 million warrants that would allow claimants to buy company stock at a favorable price. The deal, worth about $1.8 billion, would allow W.R. Grace to move forward with...

By Dan Beyers | April 8, 2008; 6:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Up and Down: USEC, TNS, JER Investors Trust, Harman

*Last week's biggest gainer was Independence Federal Savings Bank (IFSB), whose shares fell 34 percent the previous week. Shares were up 45 percent this week, closing at a$7.96. Again, few shares were traded: 100 on Wednesday and 100 Thursday. *USEC (USU) finally had a good week, with shares up 41...

By Terri Rupar | April 7, 2008; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: The Pope, Local Banks and Hemp

It's Monday, which means we turn the Business section over to local news. A sampling of what's in the section: *There's Pope on a Rope soap, a bobblehead and cologne, as well as T-shirts, commemorative coins and miniature papal flags. These are just some of the souvenirs available in the...

By Terri Rupar | April 7, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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