ABC7 WEATHER: Partly Sunny. Hot and humid again. Mainly PM Heavy Showers and Storms. http://wj.la/1ivsSwP
'GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON': Among the reports - the Maryland Public Service Commission has approved a rate hike for Pepco; D.C. area residents prepare to travel for the holiday weekend; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
HURRICANE ARTHUR: Tropical Storm Arthur is now a category 1 hurricane, the first of the Atlantic season, the National Hurricane Center announced early Thursday morning.
Hurricane warnings on the coast of North Carolina have been extended and now cover an area from Surf City to the Virginia border. Arthur is centered about 340 miles (545 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving north near 9 mph (15 kph).
Early Thursday, Arthur was about 340 miles (545 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras and moving north around 9 mph (15 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). http://wj.la/1sYuzqV
PEPCO RATE HIKE: The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved an electricity rate hike for Pepco, but less than the utility requested.
The PSC said in a statement on Wednesday that Pepco, which serves Washington and Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland, had asked to increase its electric distribution rates by $37.4 million. http://wj.la/1jMwSnz
WAYNE CURRY: Former Prince George's County Executive Wayne Curry has died.
Curry died Wednesday at his Upper Marlboro home, his family said in a statement. He was 63 and had lung cancer.
Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement that Curry oversaw a "transformative" period for the county, with "explosive population and economic growth." He says Curry was "fearless" in advancing causes that helped Maryland's African-American community.
Curry, a Democrat, was elected in 1994 as the county's first African-American executive and served for eight years. http://wj.la/1vxPZXO
MCDONNELL INDICTMENT: Virginia's former governor should be allowed to call as many as 10 character witnesses in a corruption trial that boils down to "a credibility contest" between the onetime rising Republican star and the government's expected star witness, defense attorneys argued in court papers.
"In this case - more than most cases - character evidence is critical," Bob McDonnell's lawyers said Tuesday in a memorandum opposing a motion by prosecutors to limit the former governor and his wife, Maureen, to three character witnesses apiece.
The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting dietary supplements made by his company, Star Scientific Inc. Williams is expected to testify for the prosecution at the couple's jury trial, which is scheduled to begin July 28.
"Mr. McDonnell cannot adequately defend himself without relying heavily on character witnesses," defense attorneys wrote. "First, the heart of this case is a credibility contest between Mr. McDonnell on one hand and Mr. Williams, the Government's chief witness, on the other."
Prosecutors argued in their motion last month that any more than three character witnesses would be redundant. McDonnell's attorneys disagreed. http://bit.ly/1mWrEdC
RUFUS THE HAWK: A hawk, some dogs and several hundred people help prepare Wimbledon each day... Rufus the Hawk reports for duty weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces.
An ounce or two more and he's too sedentary. Any lighter and he ceases being the non-lethal deterrent Wimbledon contracts him to be and roams farther afield for mouse, snake or hare.
But if Rufus arrives at his optimum weight, he need only soar over Centre Court a few times to earn his hand-fed reward of raw chicken bits. The mere sight of his 40-inch wingspan is enough to shoo away the pigeons that might otherwise land on the court during a critical point, deposit droppings in the Royal Box or roost in the eaves to feast on grass seed all winter, as if the sod were a buffet table.
A 6-year-old Harris hawk with prodigious self-esteem, Rufus is just one of several hundred actors in the meticulously choreographed dance that unfolds between dawn and 10:30 a.m. daily throughout the Wimbledon fortnight. http://wapo.st/1lW6UCJ
NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM MAZE: The National Building Museum wants visitors to get lost in a new installation in the museum's Great Hall this summer.
On Friday, the museum is unveiling a large-scale maze with a series of twists and turns for visitors to navigate to find a big reveal at the center. The maze stands 18 feet high and measures 60 feet by 60 feet around.
The maze is designed by Danish architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingles Group. Unlike a traditional maze that becomes more convoluted at the center, the designers say this maze is different. As a visitor travels deeper into the maze, the path brings more clarity. On the inside, the walls slowly descend toward the center. http://wapo.st/1mbd5Co
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: The Nationals swept the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Wednesday night: http://wj.la/1rps9gt
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: According to a recent poll, President Obama is considered to be the "worst president since World War II." Obama tops the list of worst presidents since 1945 at 33-percent, with George W. Bush in second at 28-percent - followed by Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. http://wj.la/TPKtDX
NEWSTALK: Among Thursday's guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson who will talk about school reform, the mayor's race, the gym tax, the push for a soccer stadium and more.