Good morning, Baltimore: Need to know for Friday

WEATHER: Sunny, high near 53. Tonight is expected to be mostly clear, low around 39.

TRAFFIC: Check our traffic updates for this morning's issues.

Maryland gets better budget news: For the first time since a recession gripped the country in 2008, Maryland is approaching a General Assembly session with good fiscal news: Neither tax increases nor drastic budget cuts are likely to be needed to balance the budget.

Morgan students, faculty support embattled president: Students, faculty and alumni rallied for Morgan State University's president Thursday, protesting the board of regents' abrupt decision to not renew David J. Wilson's contract weeks after a positive performance evaluation.

'Perfect storm' of errors led city speed camera to ticket motionless car: The case of a Baltimore speed camera issuing a citation to a stationary vehicle indicates multiple breakdowns in the ticket issuing process, the Police Department's chief spokesman said, beginning with the radar-equipped camera and continuing through a review by the city's speed camera contractor.

Sparrows Point steel mill to be razed, county exec says: The owners of the Sparrows Point steel mill plan to raze the closed plant, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said Thursday, as political leaders mourned the loss of a landmark that once employed tens of thousands.

U.S. defense chief orders missiles, personnel to Turkey: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order to send two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey with 400 American personnel to operate them, in a move to bolster Turkey's defenses against the threat of Syrian missiles.


RAVENS: Set to call plays for the first time at the NFL level, new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has to rapidly absorb the big-picture details that accompany his high-profile assignment.

Mike Preston: If the next three games are Jim Caldwell's audition to become the Ravens' permanent offensive coordinator, then the odds are stacked against him.

ORIOLES: "They were my first choice all along," outfielder Nate McLouth told reporters Thursday after his one-year, $2 million contract with the Orioles was finalized and announced.

Read more sports coverage.


The Hobbit: The first of three movies to be yanked out of The Hobbit is a moderately engaging launch to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins. 

Read more arts and entertainment coverage.

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