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In the RegionLockheed wins FAA contract for...

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In the Region

Lockheed wins FAA contract for tracking equipment

Lockheed Martin Corp. will install new equipment at three U.S. air traffic control centers that closely track transoceanic flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday that the Bethesda company won the contract worth as much as $200 million.

Officials say the amount of the contract, which could change, is less important than the position it will give Lockheed Martin in selling its system to other countries with oceanic responsibilities, such as Britain. The new system, called Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures, will eliminate the current paper-based system of keeping track of planes crossing the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

NeighborCare elevates Smith to president

NeighborCare Inc. named Robert A. Smith its new president yesterday. Smith has been executive vice president and chief operating officer.

He replaces Wallace E. Boston, who had been president since December 1999. In a statement, NeighborCare said Boston "will be leaving the company to spend more time with his family."

NeighborCare, based in Baltimore, is a division of Genesis Health Ventures Inc. of Kennett Square, Pa. NeighborCare, with more than two dozen retail pharmacies in the Baltimore area and two in Pennsylvania, is the country's third-largest institutional pharmacy, supplying nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. It also handles medical supplies and equipment.

Southwest is to begin flights to Norfolk in Oct.

Southwest Airlines Co. plans to begin flights to Norfolk, Va., in October and later add service to Richmond, Va., extending an East Coast expansion that the largest low-fare carrier started almost eight years ago.

Southwest won't announce a Norfolk flight schedule until later this summer. Richmond service will begin at an undetermined date after terminal expansions are completed in several destination cities, the airline said.

It was unclear yesterday whether the Norfolk flights would connect through Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where Southwest is the largest carrier. But the airline has connected other new service in the Northeast through Baltimore and has indicated it plans to continue doing so.

GenVec develops viruses that can be targeted

GenVec Inc., a Gaithersburg developer of gene therapies, said yesterday that its scientists have demonstrated that the disabled viruses the company is developing to carry genes could be modified to target specific cells, potentially increasing the safety and selectivity of gene therapy.

The more highly targeted gene-carrying vehicles are modified to avoid grabbing onto tissues that aren't targeted, such as liver tissue, while delivering genes to cells that are, according to data presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Orlando, Fla.

C. Richter King, GenVec's vice president of research, said the technology has the power to increase the specificity and safety of gene transfer for many important medical needs, including the treatment of cancer.

Human Genome board adds 2 Clinton officials

Human Genome Sciences Inc. said yesterday that it has appointed Richard C. Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Richard J. Danzig, a former secretary of the Navy, to its board of directors.

Holbrooke was ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 until this year. As assistant secretary of state for Europe from 1994 to 1996, he was an architect of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement governing the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also was vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston and a managing director of Lehman Brothers.

Danzig was secretary of the Navy from November 1998 until this year. He had been a partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he handled white-collar crime defense work, civil litigation and corporate law.

Duratek wins pact to rid atom plant of components

Duratek Inc. said yesterday that it was awarded two multimillion- dollar contracts to dispose of large components, such as steam generators, from an unnamed nuclear power plant.

The contracts are with Bechtel Power Corp., which designs, builds and manages installations worldwide. Work by Duratek's commercial services segment, which is handling the projects, has begun.

The Columbia company, which cleans up hazardous and radioactive wastes, did not disclose the location of the facility or the value of the contracts.

MGH wins ad contract for tax amnesty program

MGH Advertising Inc. of Owings Mills has been awarded the $1 million account for the state comptroller's tax amnesty program.

The program will seek to collect more than $70 million in back taxes between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 by allowing delinquent taxpayers to pay the taxes plus interest and avoid late penalties.

The last time Maryland offered a tax amnesty was in 1987. More than $36 million was recouped.

Elsewhere

DaimlerChrysler to invest $1 billion to aid Mexico plants

DaimlerChrysler AG, the No. 3 producer of cars in Mexico, plans to invest $1 billion in Mexico during the next two years to increase production of engines and cars, such as the PT Cruiser.

DaimlerChrysler, which has plants in six Mexican cities, will more than double the size of an engine plant in Ramos Arizpe in northern Mexico. The company also will increase PT Cruiser production at its plant near Mexico City by 50 percent to 60 an hour, or 260,000 a year, to meet higher-than-expected demand for the retro-styled car.

The increase in production of 2- liter and 2.4-liter engines at the Ramos Arizpe plant will mean increasing the work force from 900 to 1,500, the company said.

Another consulting firm backs Weyerhaeuser bid

Timber company Weyerhaeuser Co.'s bid to gain three seats on the board of a smaller rival, Willamette Industries, gained momentum yesterday when Proxy Monitor became the second consulting firm this week to support its efforts.

Weyerhaeuser said in a prepared statement that Proxy Monitor, an independent firm that makes recommendations on pending proxy fights for large institutional shareholders, issued a report supporting Weyerhaeuser's rival slate of directors.

Willamette, which is also trying to fend off Weyerhaeuser's hostile $5.5 billion takeover attempt, will ask its shareholders to vote down the Weyerhaeuser slate and support the company-nominated slate at its annual meeting June 7 in Portland, Ore.

Cutbacks in Austin, Texas, cause FedEx to fire 130

FedEx Corp. will lay off 130 workers in Austin, Texas, as it reorganizes a unit and ends a contract to manage warehouses for Dell Computer Corp.

Jobs at FedEx Supply Chain Services Inc., a unit of FedEx, will be cut between May 31 and July 31, according to documents filed at the Texas Workforce Commission.

The move comes after FedEx decided to stop managing clients' warehouses.

Machinists union extends strike deadline at Boeing

The union representing 3,200 workers at Boeing Co.'s fighter aircraft plant has agreed to extend a strike deadline to June 3, putting off a walkout scheduled for midnight Monday.

The extension resulted from an informal meeting yesterday between leaders of the District 837 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and representatives of Boeing's Military Aircraft and Missile Systems division. They also agreed to resume talks Wednesday.

The union said that if a tentative contract can be worked out Wednesday, it would be distributed to the rank and file Thursday and Friday before a vote June 3.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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