Good morning, Baltimore: Need to know for Thursday

WeatherNatural ResourcesBrian L. RobertsHealthEnvironmental IssuesDundalkGlen Burnie

WEATHER

Today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a chance of showers, with a high temperature near 81 degrees. Thursday night is expected to be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature around 68 degrees.

TRAFFIC

Check our traffic updates for this morning's issues as you plan your commute.

FROM LAST NIGHT...

First black Naval Academy graduate dies: Wesley Brown started at the academy in 1945, after the first five black men to attend failed to complete their first year there. He graduated 370th out of nearly 800 graduates in 1949, gaining national media attention, and went on to have a 20-year career in the Navy.

'Unruly' school kids cause disturbance in downtown 7-Eleven: A crowd of "unruly" school kids rushed into a downtown 7-Eleven store about 2 p.m. Wednesday for a free "Slurpee" promotion, and didn't leave until they'd caused a commotion -- allegedly shoplifting and getting into a physical altercation with the store owner.

State approves last round of school construction projects: State officials approved more than $161 million in school construction funding Wednesday that will allow school systems in the Baltimore area to undertake renovation projects, tackling problems that include sweltering and overcrowded classrooms and dilapidated buildings and amenities.

Brian Roberts returns to field for first time in more than year: Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts made his first competitive appearance on a baseball field in more than a year while playing for the Bowie Baysox at Prince George's Stadium on Wednesday night and enjoyed every relatively uneventful minute of it.

TODAY'S FRONT PAGE

Fish kills grow in algae-tainted waters: State investigators expanded their probe Wednesday into what they believe are algae-related fish kills in Marley, Furnace and Curtis creeks in Glen Burnie, raising the estimated death toll there tenfold, while finding a new batch of finny carcasses in a Dundalk creek.

City again seeks to raise water, sewer rates: For the fourth consecutive year, Baltimore officials are proposing a 9 percent increase to water and sewer rates -- and the charges will continue to grow indefinitely to cover the costs of major projects, they say.

Mikulski plan for women's pay gets new push: A proposal to expand equal-pay protections for women, long championed by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, was thrust into the national political spotlight Wednesday in a Democratic effort to court female voters -- a crucial demographic in this year's election.

Researchers eye saliva for patient testing: No one likes to get stuck with a needle. But it's the only way doctors can get blood to test for diabetes, anemia and numerous other health problems. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing say there is a much less invasive and painless means of detecting illnesses in patients -- spit.

[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]

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