College to discuss accelerated degree

The College of Notre Dame of Maryland will hold an information session about its accelerated college's business program at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Laurel College Center, 312 Marshall Ave., Laurel.


The accelerated college enables students to earn a bachelor's degree in business in as little as 2 1/2 years. The program is designed for working professionals interested in further learning.

Business students form a cohort of about 20 to 25 people and move through the program together. Several courses are completed during a semester, taking one class at a time. Classes, which are five to seven weeks long, meet on the same day and at the same time each week.


Information: 410-532-5500 or visit

Bank donates to Carson Scholars

Howard Bank, the county's locally owned and managed community bank, has donated $1,500 to the Carson Scholars fund for a scholarship to be awarded to a Howard County public school student, and another $4,000 to the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation Inc. to fund a public interest fellowship in Howard County during the summer of 2007.

The fellowship will allow a law school student to spend the summer working for a Howard County nonprofit organization.

The Carson Scholarship Fund was founded by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, Candy, to recognize students in grades 4-11 who strive for academic excellence and demonstrate a commitment to their community.

Howard Bank, which has branches in Columbia, Ellicott City and Fulton, plans to open a branch early next year on U.S. 40 near Centennial Lane.


Drivers needed -- Drivers are needed to provide bus transportation for students in Howard County schools. The school system provides classroom and practical instruction to help drivers acquire the required license and endorsements. Wages are about $13 an hour. Hours of work range from four to 10 hours a day. The school system's Office of Student Transportation will put interested drivers in touch with contractors. 410-313-6733.


Health care plan -- The Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are offering a limited health care plan to members. The plan, which does not require employer contributions or minimum employee participation, includes access to health care providers in Alliance PPO. Literature about the plan is available in Spanish. Shirley Redd, 301-725-4000.

Energy -- The Columbia-based Restaurant Association of Maryland is holding open enrollment for the Mid-Atlantic Aggregation Group Independent Consortium, an energy group of retailers and others, of which the association is a member. The consortium's goal is to offer power to commercial participants at a fixed rate that is lower than that offered by the local utility. The program offers long-term fixed pricing for up to five years, a price-reduction clause should energy rates decrease, the right to assign the contract should a business be sold, no historical-bandwidth usage requirement (the price is fixed) and elimination of additional charges in high-demand summer months. Paula Kreuzburg or Joe Gabriel, 800-874-1313.

Agriculture -- The Agricultural Marketing Program of the Howard County Economic Development Authority is offering its 2006 edition of the Howard County Farms & Services Guide, a resource for consumers interested in buying directly from farmers or farmers' markets. Listings include icons for each farm that provide a quick view of the products offered, including produce, farm products, agritourism, educational experiences, horse stabling and others. Agricultural support agencies, farmers' markets, a harvest calendar and other features are included. The agricultural marketing program has distributed the guide to the Howard County tourism office, libraries, welcome centers, the county extension office, the county agricultural preservation office and participating farms. To request a copy: 410-313-6500, or write to Ginger S. Myers, agriculture economic development specialist, Howard County Economic Development Authority, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 500, Columbia 21046.

DVD on pastures -- The Hudson Mohawk Resource Conservation & Development Council, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service Grazing Land Conservation Initiative, is offering a free digital video disc on pasture management, Keepin' It Green. The one-hour presentation by experts covers rotational grazing, fencing, sacrifice areas, soil testing and soil amendments, weed control, grasses, water quality, manure management, drainage improvements and nutritional benefits of good pasture management.

Web -- The Howard County Economic Development Authority is offering a Web-based resource for assessing, developing and marketing new agricultural enterprises and specialty food-processing businesses: its Electronic Agriculture Resource Center. In addition to information on business planning and management, the site, at, also offers information on local, state and federal regulations and one-click access to county zoning and health code regulations. Ginger Myers, 410-313-6500.

Business Digest items may be sent to or faxed to 410-715-2816.