'What we've done is nothing wrong': Former UMMS board member defends deals amid scandal

Robert L. Pevenstein, one of a handful of University of Maryland Medical System board members who resigned in the wake of a self-dealing scandal related to lucrative contracts their companies held with the system, said this week that he and his former colleagues have done “nothing wrong.” “I know what was disclosed in our committees,” said Pevenstein, who chaired the financial and audit committees that oversaw the board’s operations. “What we’ve done is nothing wrong.”  (Balt. Sun)

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UM, Gettysburg Foundation partner for a unique leadership learning experience

How does your leadership style compare to those who commanded during the Battle of Gettysburg? The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Gettysburg Foundation have partnered together for an executive training experience so you can find out and learn from it. Begun more than a decade ago, the Gettysburg Experience looks at strategies such as teamwork, communication, conflict management and succession planning that leaders used during that fateful 1863 battle and translates those decisions into lessons for today’s workplaces and boardrooms. (Daily Record)

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Maryland Jockey Club agrees to deal with Pimlico union workers as Preakness nears

The Maryland Jockey Club and its employees at Pimlico Race Course and other tracks have agreed “in principle” Friday to a new employment contract — possibly averting a strike the union workers threatened to begin before next week’s Preakness Stakes. The labor strife at Pimlico was just the latest bout of ill fortune to befall Old Hilltop this year, as its owners and elected officials battle over whether the Preakness will run at the dilapidated, 149-year-old track after next year. (Balt. Sun)

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Acting UMMS head: 'There will be accountability' when contractor's review of board dealings is done

John Ashworth, the acting CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, said Friday that he is prepared to act “swiftly and properly” upon completion of an internal review to hold staff accountable for any problems with contracts the system had with a third of its board members. After The Baltimore Sun reported on the contracts in March, then-CEO Robert Chrencik acknowledged several were no-bid contracts, and elected officials, the public and even other board members reacted with shock, outrage and questions about who else at the system knew about the deals. (Balt. Sun)

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Health insurers request 2.9% average decreases for 2020 individual plans

Health insurers operating in Maryland have filed 2020 premium rate requests, seeking price adjustments ranging between a 8.9 percent decrease and a 9.1 percent increase on individual health care plans. The requested rates stand in contrast to the much steeper increases sought in previous years, a fact which insurance regulators attribute to a cost-saving reinsurance program that was implemented last year in an effort to stabilize the Affordable Care Act-born individual market. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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BBJ taps two companies for Corporate Citizen of the Year award

The Baltimore Business Journal has selected two local companies to honor with its annual Corporate Citizen of the Year award. This award seeks to honor partnerships between businesses and nonprofits that have positive outcomes for both parties. For this award, we looked for companies that have ongoing involvement of its senior leadership team in social initiatives, actively promotes philanthropy and volunteerism among employees and has seen a measurable social impact from its philanthropic efforts. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Food Waste Is a Major Problem. Confusing Date Labels Are Making It Worse

Rummaging through your refrigerator, you come across a jar of mayonnaise labeled “BEST IF USED BY 06/10/19.” If it’s mid-July, are you risking illness by slathering it on your sandwich and eating it? It’s hard to say. Massachusetts and New Jersey are considering measures to clear up the confusion, following a California law that went into effect earlier this year. Several other states also are looking at labeling bills, as anti-food waste groups advocate for clearer signs to indicate when food is okay to eat, even if it’s not the freshest. (Md. Matters)

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Regulators pressed Western Maryland paper mill to cut pollution but preserve jobs. Now, both will vanish.

Maryland environmental regulators were in talks with a Western Maryland paper mill about how to significantly reduce the facility’s output of a harmful pollutant when its owner shocked state officials last week by announcing plans to shutter the 131-year-old factory. With data showing the Luke mill has at times exceeded the latest federal standard for sulfur dioxide emissions over the past two years, Maryland Department of the Environment officials and Ohio-based mill owner Verso Corp. said they were discussing what exhaust-scrubbing technology could be installed. (Balt. Sun)

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