After months of debate and contentious public hearings, the first phase of the largest toll hike in Maryland history became official at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The increases affect seven of the state's eight toll highways, tunnels and bridges.
President Barack Obama's plan to combat unemployment by pumping $447 billion into the nation's economy won cautious praise from Maryland-based small business owners and labor groups Friday, but there was widespread skepticism about the proposal's chances in Congress.
As Baltimore's mayoral candidates present their economic development credentials and plans, economists warn that Baltimore stands at a crossroads: The city must draw new businesses and boost job opportunities or face continued population loss, declining property values and more crime.
If Baltimore manages to build the $900 million convention center expansion and arena proposed for the Inner Harbor, business and civic leaders say, the city will join a growing list of destinations competing to woo lucrative convention business with bigger, better facilities.
The number of jobs in downtown Baltimore grew 6 percent last year, the first gain in three years and a sign of an improving economy, statistics to be released Tuesday by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore show.