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WEATHER

The National Weather Service is calling for Thursday to be

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and northwest winds of 7 to 10 miles per hour. A heat advisory is in effect between noon and 8 p.m. Thursday with heat index values expected to be as high as 108 degrees. Thursday night is expected to be partly cloudy, with a low around 84 and light northeast winds.

TRAFFIC

for this morning's issues as you plan your commute.

FROM LAST NIGHT...

: Braving sweltering heat, strident warnings of roving gangs and a killjoy calendar that let the Fourth of July fall midweek, Marylanders and visitors from around the world flocked to the Inner Harbor Wednesday night to catch their share of rockets' red glare. As the first fireworks soared skyward at 9:30 p.m., a crowd of a couple of hundred thousand seemed to be in high spirits -- reassured by a highly visible but conspicuously laid-back police presence.

: Utility crews whittled the number of Baltimore-area power outages below 100,000 Wednesday for the first time since the weekend, but the continuing storm cleanup made for an unusual Fourth of July for the unlucky remainder without electricity making the best of a holiday in the heat. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. reduced the outages to 67,000 by 7 p.m., from a peak of more than 675,000 after Friday's storms.

Chris Tillman threw a career-high 8 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits -- two unearned runs were charged to him after he left the game -- and striking out seven as the Orioles beat the Mariners, 4-2, in the series finale at Safeco Field.

TODAY'S FRONT PAGE

: Braving sweltering heat, strident warnings of roving gangs and a killjoy calendar that let the Fourth of July fall midweek, Marylanders and visitors from around the world flocked to the Inner Harbor Wednesday night to catch their share of rockets' red glare. As the first fireworks soared skyward at 9:30 p.m., a crowd of a couple of hundred thousand seemed to be in high spirits -- reassured by a highly visible but conspicuously laid-back police presence.

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: Utility crews whittled the number of Baltimore-area power outages below 100,000 Wednesday for the first time since the weekend, but the continuing storm cleanup made for an unusual Fourth of July for the unlucky remainder without electricity making the best of a holiday in the heat. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. reduced the outages to 67,000 by 7 p.m., from a peak of more than 675,000 after Friday's storms.

: Millions of people in the path of Friday's powerful storm knew what was coming and braced for the worst. Many hunkered down in their basements, warned by meteorologists who had tracked the storm over 600 miles as it gathered speed and strength and drew a bead on the Mid-Atlantic. But just outside Annapolis, the Maryland Transportation Authority never considered temporarily closing the Bay Bridge, because an instrument atop the bridge was recording winds around 30 mph in the minutes before the storm.

: A dramatic change in how Maryland pays for substance abuse treatment programs is leaving some providers short on cash and displacing more than 200 drug and alcohol addicts, even as the state's four-year transition to a new funding system has significantly increased the number of people getting help.

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