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 blamed on a construction company failing to properly seal the building.

*Circuit City of Richmond managed to post a profit in its fourth quarter, though it still lost a record $319.9 million in fiscal 2008. And it expects to keep losing money in the first half of the fiscal year.

Management is scheduled to meet with activist investor Mark Wattles, who has been pushing for changes.

*Maryland proposed big cuts in the number of blue crabs that could be caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Regulators are aiming to reduce by 20 to 40 percent the harvest of female crabs. Virginia is considering similarly drastic measures.

That could hurt watermen, who now rely heavily on crabs since the traditional oyster fishery of the bay has almost collapsed.

*Mayor Adrian Fenty withdrew a proposal to award a lottery contract worth more than $120 million to local company W2Tech, created nine months ago, and international gaming giant Intralot. The move came at the D.C. CFO's request after D.C. Council members questioned the background and gaming industry experience of W2Tech's owners.

Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi said they're taking a second look at the contract but defended it, saying it will save more than $6 million a year.

*Managed health plan provider Coventry Health Care said President Tom McDonough will retire in July. McDonough has served the Bethesda company since April 1998.

In anticipation of the announcement, Coventry said it had implemented a succession program among its senior management. As a result, senior management's reporting structure will be realigned to ensure business continuity, the company said.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 10, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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