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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Here are five things you need to know on Thursday, July 3:

1. Arthur strengthens to hurricane

Tropical Storm Arthur has strengthened into a hurricane taking aim at North Carolina's Outer Banks. Hurricane Arthur has churned up a promise of rain Thursday, mild wind gusts Friday and a rough surf for Delaware's weekend. MORE

2. Yellow Alert, Flash Flood Watch through evening

A Yellow Alert remains in effect through the rest of the day for PM showers and T-storms that could have a big impact on the evening commute. It won't be as hot today, but still above average, and the humidity is still going to be high through tonight. FORECAST

3. DC sniper Malvo appeals ruling on sentence

Convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo is appealing a judge's rejection of his claim that his sentence of life without parole is unconstitutional. Malvo was convicted for his role in the sniper shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in the metro area. MORE

4. Md. commission approves rate hike for Pepco

The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved an electricity rate hike for Pepco, but less than the utility requested. The PSC says the rate hike, which takes effect on Friday, will raise a typical residential customer's monthly bill by $0.93, or less than 1 percent. MORE

5. Gray urges residents to boycott Eastern Shore

Mayor Vincent Gray is urging residents to boycott the Eastern Shore of Maryland this holiday, because of its congressional representative's position on decriminalizing marijuana. He says the city's residents shouldn't support someone who doesn't support them. MORE

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