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Good afternoon, Baltimore: Wednesday lunchtime lowdown

ON THE SITE...

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $290M: The top prize remains available after Tuesday's drawing, in which a Marylander won a $250,000 purse. The next drawing will be held Friday.

Brady Anderson returns to the Orioles as a trainer: The former star outfielder is carving out a new role with his old team, and is having a good time doing it, he tells Peter Schmuck in this Sun Magazine piece.

Ray Lewis III commits to Hurricanes during campus visit: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' son, who plays high school football in Florida, verbally committed to the University of Miami, his father's college team.

Record heat continues everywhere but Baltimore: A major swath of the eastern U.S. continues to rack up all-time records for mid-March heat, but not Maryland and other parts of the Piedmont Plateau. For a record, highs would have to reach the mid-80s and lows the mid-60s here.

New 667 area code to be launched Saturday: Getting a new phone this weekend? You may be among the first in Central Maryland and on the Eastern Shore to be assigned the new set of digits.

COMING LATER TODAY...

  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's circus elephants are at the center of controversy for trainers' use of bullhooks, the sharp prods used to guide the elephants. Baltimore native Jada Pinkett-Smith has criticized the practice vocally, calling on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to intervene, but the circus defends it.
  • Sen. Barbara Miluski is being honored this afternoon for becoming the longest-serving woman in Congress. The commemoration is being held at 2:30 p.m.
  • The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore releases its "State of Downtown" report Thursday morning, detailing figures on jobs, residents and office vacancies in the city's core.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is touring Maryland on Wednesday as part of his presidential campaign. That includes a town hall meeting in Arbutus, the hometown of Romney's Maryland campaign chief, former Gov.Robert L. Ehrlich.
  • Sun sports columnist Kevin Cowherd asks the question, with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward retired, who will become the target of Ravens fans' most intense loathing?
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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