Jobless claims increase for the second week in a row; 1,434,000 new claims filed

The number of new unemployment insurance claims rose again last week — the second week in a row after months of declines — a concerning sign about the pressure that the pandemic is exerting on the labor market anew. About 1.43 million people filed claims last week, up by about 12,000 from the previous week’s jobless claims, which was also revised upward, according to the Labor Department. The number of workers continually claiming unemployment insurance also rose, by about 867,000 workers to 17 million for the week ending July 18, up from 16.1 million for the week ending July 11. That statistic lags by a week. (Wash Post)

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Harford youth show livestock, take prizes in event organized after Farm Fair was canceled because of coronavirus

Reese McNutt snagged a top prize for her nearly 2-year-old heifer, Dottie, at the Harford County Youth Livestock Show and Sale on Wednesday, the first day of an event aimed to rewarding local youths for their work with animals amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I like being out there [in the show ring]; I like having fun, and even winning is really fun too,” said Reese, 9, of Bel Air after winning the champion Simmental heifer prize. (Balt Sun)

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Tyson Foods to add nurses, increase virus testing in U.S. meat plants

Tyson Foods says it plans to administer thousands of coronavirus tests per week at its U.S. facilities under an expanded effort to protect workers and keep plants running. The Springdale, Arkansas-based company, which processes about 20% of all beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., will randomly test employees who have no symptoms, as well as those with symptoms. Workers will also be tested if they were near someone who tested positive or displayed symptoms. (Balt Sun)

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Nine Greater Baltimore stores will close as Justice, Lane Bryant parent files for bankruptcy

Hundreds of stores will close — including nine in Greater Baltimore and 19 in Maryland — as the parent company of Ohio-based retail brands Justice, Lane Bryant and Catherines navigates bankruptcy. New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group (NYSE: ASNA) – also the parent company of Loft, Ann Taylor and Lou & Grey – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Virginia last week. The company has disclosed the locations of more than 1,100 stores within its portfolio that are set to close. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Vendor Overbilled Baltimore City By $160K Over Several Years For Work It Subcontracted To Other Company, Report Finds

Baltimore City has suspended a vendor it had been working with to maintain city equipment after the vendor reportedly overbilled the city by $160,000 over the course of multiple years, according to a report from the city’s inspector general. The report states the unnamed vendor submitted inflated invoices to the city for work the vendor then subcontracted to another company. The vendor then billed the city as if it had done the work, though the report noted the vendor did not have the knowledge or equipment to do. (WJZ-TV)

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Proposed $105M East Baltimore TIF adds Hendler Creamery site to deal

The stalled $75 million Hendler Creamery redevelopment has been tapped to help underwrite a tax increment financing package for the nearly $1 billion redo of East Baltimore. The former ice cream plant off East Fayette Street near the Ronald McDonald House is one of four properties that was added to the footprint of the Perkins-Somerset-Oldtown redevelopment over the past year as a way to boost a $105 million TIF deal in the works at City Hall. (Balt Bus Journal)

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After Marlins’ COVID-19 crisis, Orioles try to balance staying safe while staying on the field

Two days spent wrapped up in the Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak added perspective for an Orioles team that has now had its schedule drastically changed. The rapid spread of cases in the Marlins’ clubhouse brought all the risks of playing baseball in a pandemic to the forefront, raising questions about how the league could continue its shortened season. (Balt Sun)

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Bluebird reopens in Hampden with a new burger and milkshake pop-up

The Bluebird Cocktail Room & Pub in Hampden reopened Wednesday with a new pop-up concept designed to help the restaurant keep doing business amid the Covid-19 pandemic until normal dining can resume. Thus, the concept is aptly named Until Conditions Improve, and will feature burgers, gourmet hot dogs, bottled cocktails and boozy milkshakes. (Balt Bus Journal)

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