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Fast Company says Maryland is the third most innovative state

Maryland is home to a thriving startup community, says Fast Company. The magazine ranks the Free State No. 3 on its list of the most innovative states.

Florida, Texas, Arizona and Alaska rounded out the top five. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia were at the bottom three of the list, which ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Maryland also ranked No. 4 on Fast Company's breakdown of the number of startups per million residents.

The magazine culled data from a variety of sources to come up with the ranking: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity and others. 

Online grocer Relay Foods gets $8M to expand in Baltimore and D.C.

Online grocer Relay Foods has gotten a fresh round of capital, which Forbes says it is planning to use to expand further in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The Charlottesville, Va., company has raised another $8.25 million, from Battery Ventures, TomorrowVentures and many smaller shops, Forbes says.

“'It’s huge for the company in that this more than doubles our funding and allows us to expand aggressively into the D.C. and Baltimore markets,'" Relay CEO Zach Buckner tells Forbes. 

In addition to offering traditional grocery items, Relay delivers dairy, produce and other products made locally. It also sells eco-friendly products like Seventh Generation cleaning supplies. It is one of a handful of companies that are taking the buy-local food movement online.


Baltimore ranks No. 14 on list of most walkable cities

Baltimore may not be as pedestrian friendly as New York or San Francisco, but it's more walkable than Denver or San Diego.

That's according to Walk Score, which ranked the 50 largest cities according to walkability. The Big Apple and San Francisco took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, followed by Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Walk Score came up with the rankings based on whether a city's residents can walk to nearby amenities and manage without a car. The Seattle organization promotes walkable neighborhoods.

Md. oyster population up for the second year in a row

Maryland's oyster population is growing again, thanks to Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, writes the Daily Times of Salisbury, which ran an Associated Press story.

An oyster survey from the Department of Natural Resources showed population increases and that two oyster diseases are below long-term averages.

"DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell said oysters may be developing a resistance to the diseases, helped by the establishment of sanctuaries that provide adult oysters 'with a safe place where they can handle the stresses of disease and the ups and downs of reproduction,'" writes the Daily Times.

You can read the entire story here.

Mobile TV service Dyle expanding to Baltimore

Mobile TV service Dyle is expanding into Baltimore, USA Today reports. 

Launched in August, Dyle is growing rapidly and will be in 116 stations in 39 markets by the end of the year. It is currently in 91 stations in 36 markets.

"In using Dyle and MyDTV, TV stations send broadcast signals over the air to a smartphone or tablet (currently, limited to Apple devices)," USA Today writes. "Users must pay about $80 to $100 for an antenna dongle, inserted into their device, which receives the broadcast signals."

You can read the rest of the story here

New York Times features a tour of Jewish Baltimore

"I grew up on stories about the glory days of Jewish Baltimore, when, in my father’s telling, Jews were really Jews," writes Jennifer Moses in the New York Times. 

Moses says Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, in both the city and the suburbs. She points to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Attman's Deli and Eutaw Place Synagogue. 

"Happily, Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, and not just in the suburbs. On a cold day in February when I went in search of the settings of my father’s stories, I landed in a place where perseverance, preservation and memory have conspired to keep that vanished world available," Moses writes. 

You can read the entire story here

Maryland unveils database of the state's 131 farmers' markets

Wanna know where to find all the farmers' markets in your area? The Maryland Department of Agriculture has released a database of the state's 131 farmers' markets, MDBizNews writes

"The Maryland’s Best website now includes extensive, searchable information on market locations, hours, producers, vendors and product listings. A paper version of the 2013 Maryland Farmers’ Market Directory will also available in mid-May from MDA’s Marketing Division in Annapolis," MDBizNews says.

To find your local farmer's market, go on the Maryland's Best website and enter "farmer's market" in the search category. 

Food blog says Woodberry's Artifact is one of the best coffee shops in America

Woodberry's Artifact Coffee is one of the best places to get your java jolt, according to food and drink blog the Daily Meal.

The Spike Gjerde-owned venture comes in at No. 15 on its list of Best Coffee Shops in America. The Daily Meal raves about Artifact's " 'barn chic,' farm-to-table vibe" and its BYOB dinner service. (Read about Artifact's plans to serve beer and wine).

The blog editors asked shop owners and baristas to pick their favorite coffee joints based on quality of food and coffee, atmosphere and customer service to come up with its list of 33 shops and chains.

Coffee shops in Portland, Ore., and New York took the No. 3 and No. 2 spots. Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia came in at No. 1.

Baltimore named one of the best East Coast cities for young adults

College seniors graduating this May from area universities should consider staying put.

A recent study from the Business Journals places Baltimore No. 4 on its list of top cities for young adults on the East Coast. Washington, D.C., came in at No. 1, followed by Boston and New York.

The study factored the strength of the job market, cost of living and number of young, college-educated, employed adults to come up with its ranking.

In its national ranking of 102 cities throughout the U.S., Baltimore came in at No. 23. Austin, Texas, came out on top, followed by San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

You can read the entire story here.

Md. energy company proposes massive energy tower

An Annapolis company called Solar Wind Energy Inc. wants to build a massive energy tower on the U.S.-Mexico border, Forbes reports.

"Known as a downdraft tower, the project by Solar Wind Energy Inc., is an untested and hugely ambitious endeavor," Forbes writes. "It has, however, attracted some heavyweight partners, including GE Energy and Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., which has built everything from steel foundries to the Baltimore Ravens’ football stadium."

You can read the rest of the story here

Hampton Inn opening outdoor beer garden near Camden Yards

Orioles' fans heading to Camden Yards on Opening Day will have another spot where they can grab a post-game brew.

The Hampton Inn is opening the Deck at Camden Yards next to Pickles Pub, the Baltimore Sun reports. Get ready for some company if you head over there. Bar partner Fritz Brogan tells the Sun that he expects about 1,000 on Opening Day. 

"The idea for the bar came from MCR Development, the New York/Dallas-based hotel investment firm and management company that also owns the downtown Hampton Inn," the Sun writes. "Tyler Morse, MCR’s chief executive officer and a self-proclaimed “big Orioles fan,” says the recent successes of the Ravens and Orioles inspired the initial idea for the Deck."

You can read the entire story here

Philadelphia company comes out with a vodka that tastes like Old Bay

There's a new vodka that tastes just like the flavors of the Chesapeake Bay, the Washington Post writes. 

Philadelphia Distillers launched the Bay Seasoned Vodka , "which is flavored with 'traditional Chesapeake seasoning'," writes the Post.

"Served neat, it has a nose of celery salt and black pepper," the review says. "The taste is dominated by red and black pepper, allspice and a bit of cardamom, with a wave of salt in the finish." The vodka may have been inspired by Old Bay seasoning, but is not a clone. 

Well that sounds like a fine addition to the Sunday brunch bloody mary. But we're wondering why a Maryland company didn't come out with this first?

OpenTable diners name Food Market and Ouzo Bay top 'hot spots'

Two Baltimore restaurants earned a spot on OpenTable's Top 100 Hot Spots: Harbor East's Ouzo Bay and The Food Market in Hampden. 

If you have been to either, you probably know that they're both pretty busy, even if you pop in at 9 p.m. on a weekday. Specializing in fresh seafood, Greek restaurant Ouzo Bay opened last year.  The Food Market opened on The Avenue almost a year ago. 

OpenTable compiled the list based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews for more than 15,000 restaurants throughout the U.S.

You can see the list here

Obrycki's crabs at BWI among top-selling airport items

Next time you're in Austin, Texas, pick up a "Keep Austin Weird" T-shirt. It's among the Austin Bergstrom International Airport's best-selling items, USA Today writes.

And in Baltimore, airport travelers like to sink their teeth into Obrycki's crabs. "During the month of February 2013 alone, travelers bought more than 4,000 crab cakes and an equal number of deviled crab balls," USA Today writes. "Sleepless in Seattle" T-shirts are a hot item in Seattle, even though it's been 20 years since the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie came out. 

Obrycki's closed its Fells Point restaurant in 2011 and has airport locations in Cleveland and at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Maryland Live casino gets ready for table games

Maryland's largest casino is getting ready to test its luck with roulette, poker and craps.

Maryland Live Casino workers are installing the table games and wrapping up construction so the Hanover casino next to Arundel Mills mall can open them to the public April 11, Washington, D.C., TV station WJLA writes.

"It's an $800,000 investment that will take center stage at Maryland's premiere casino," WJLA writes. "The pristine red and gold tables will sit at the front of the floor, catching the eye of gamblers."

Table games arrived at the Hollywood Casino Perryville earlier this month. Maryland casinos will face competition from others across the East Coast, some analysts say.

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