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Filene's Basement opens officially today

Filene's Basement will officially open today at 9031 Snowden Square Drive, in Columbia, the former location of Best Buy. The facility has been renovated to accommodate its new tenant.

"It was completely gutted, down to the bones," said store manager Steve Andrews. "We put in new tile, new carpeting, upgraded lighting, and naturally all our fixturing is brand new."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned at 9:30 a.m. today.

Filene's offers European and American name-brand and designer women's, men's and children's clothing, and some home furnishings and accessories, Andrews said.

Oktoberfest set at Fort Meade

Fort Meade will hold an Oktoberfest tomorrow through Sunday, with a family day Saturday for future employees who may relocate to the area because of Base Realignment and Closure.

The theme for the family day, to be held from noon to 5 p.m., is "Destination: Fort Meade -- Discover all Maryland has to offer."

The Oktoberfest, which is open to the public, will feature traditional German music, folk dancers, rides, children's activities, a farmer's market and cooking demonstrations. It will be held at the Fort Meade Pavilion from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow and Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Fort Meade Alliance, an organization that promotes Fort Meade as an economic asset and resource in the region, will meet for the first time in Howard County at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 400 of the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Building at Howard Community College.

Installation Commander Col. Kenneth McCreedy is scheduled to speak.

The meeting is open to the public. Reservations are required.

Information: Julie Snyder, 410-222-7410.

Solar focus leads to name change

Chesapeake Wind & Solar LLC, an installer of solar energy systems in Jessup, has announced that the company will now be known as Chesapeake Solar LLC to reflect its exclusive focus on solar energy projects.

Established in 1999, the company has designed and installed more than 200 residential and commercial solar energy systems. A recent project was the installation of a grid-tie solar electric system, which generates electricity that can also be sold to the power grid, at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The company has decided to focus on solar energy because wind resource in the region presents few opportunities for viable wind projects, said chief executive officer and co-founder Richard E. Deutschmann in a news release. The company's core mission to promote abundant, clean renewable energy has not changed, he said.

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