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This Hour: Latest Maryland and Delaware news, sports, business and entertainment

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Federal court: Virginia marriage is for all

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An appeals court's decision to strike down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban adds to the growing list of decrees on a hot-button issue that will likely end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Monday ruled that state laws barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution.

It's the second federal appellate court to overturn gay marriage bans, after the Denver circuit.

The ruling also is testing concepts of states' rights and traditional, conservative moral values that have long held sway in the South.

The 2-1 ruling applies throughout the circuit that also includes West Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, where the attorneys general split Monday on what they'll do next.


University chiefs to testify on Corcoran merger

WASHINGTON (AP) - The presidents of George Washington University and the University of Maryland have been called to testify on their merger talks with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its college.

The testimony expected this week comes as the Corcoran's merger with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art is being debated in court.

George Washington President Steven Knapp is scheduled to testify Tuesday. University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has been called by opponents of the deal to testify Thursday. The University of Maryland's talks with the Corcoran fell through.

Nine Corcoran students, faculty and staff members are challenging the merger in court.

The Corcoran's board must win approval to go forward with the merger. Corcoran attorneys say the museum is in survival mode after years of financial shortfalls.


Wegmans plans 10 new supermarkets in 5 states

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Wegmans Food Markets says it plans to add 10 new stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions over the next year or two.

The supermarket chain based in Rochester, New York, says it's planning to open four stores in Virginia, two each in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and one each in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The first of the new stores will open this fall in Burlington, Massachusetts. Two others are scheduled to open in 2015 in Alexandria Virginia, and Westwood, Massachusetts, while opening dates for the others have yet to be determined.

Wegmans currently has 84 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

The company is continuing to upgrade or replace stores in older markets, including New York state, where Wegmans has 46 stores.


Red light cameras raise money local governments

WASHINGTON (AP) - Data from AAA Mid-Atlantic show red light cameras are raising big money for local governments.

WTOP reports that programs in the District of Columbia, Rockville, Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland and Arlington County in Virginia generated $21 million combined in 2013.

Last year, Montgomery raised about $2.8 million after 43,522 tickets were issued. That's a 94 percent increase over 2012. As of March, the county had raised about $2.8 million from 46,109 tickets, putting it on pace to shatter last year's revenue, partly with the help of 10 more cameras.

In the District, the number of tickets dropped from 91,550 in 2012 to 84,293 in 2013. But higher ticket prices still led to higher revenues for a total of $13.1 million in 2013, despite fewer tickets.


Montgomery officials avoid soccer controversy

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County officials are avoiding a fight between the school system and the county's major recreational youth soccer group.

The Washington Post reports that a county council committee on Monday approved moving ahead with bidding on a synthetic turf playing field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac. But the panel said it would not weigh in on a legal battle.

Montgomery Soccer is a nonprofit group with 900 teams and nearly 15,000 players. It filed a lawsuit against school officials in early July. The lawsuit contends the school system used "a flawed and unlawful process" when it awarded two stadium fields to clubs that serve only the wealthiest county youth.

Brian Edwards, a spokesman for the school system, says the complaint is "completely without merit."


Senate confirms Harris nomination to appeals court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Pamela Harris to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Harris fills a vacancy on the court created when Judge Andre Davis took senior status in February.

The Fourth Circuit is based in Richmond and has appellate jurisdiction over district courts in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Harris is a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. She previously served in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice.

The Potomac, Maryland, resident earned bachelor's and law degrees from Yale.

The Senate confirmed the nomination Monday.


Sign up for season's last boater safety class

ST. MICHAELS, Md. (AP) - Here's a sign that summer is winding down: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels is offering its last boater safety course of the season.

The museum said Monday that space is limited and early registration is recommended.

The two-night course will be offered Aug. 13 and 14. It costs $25.

Any Maryland boater born after July 1, 1972, must have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education to operate a vessel.

The course is also recommended for anyone looking to become a safer, more experienced boater.


Del. shop owner loses First Amendment fight

DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) - A Delaware shop owner has lost his free speech fight over the decor of a beach store.

The News Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark has ruled the store's owner wasn't persuasive in claiming Dewey Beach overstepped in repeatedly issuing fines over decorations.

Jason Fruchtman, the owner of Jeremiah's, had contended that regulating his store's appearance just because town officials thought it was ugly infringed on commercial free speech.

But the judge wrote that enforcement resulted because he was the most prominent violator, and his non-compliance incited other business owners to violate the law as well.

Town officials said in court records that they worried the garish merchandise attached to the walls of the store got in the way of people on the sidewalk and distracted drivers.


Fire department grant in Wilmington debated

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon says a $225,000 grant to the Wilmington Fire Department will be recalled, if city officials override the mayor's veto of a bill cutting $511,000 that funds eight vacant firefighter positions.

WDEL-AM reports that some county council members called for the grant money to be returned, if the override is approved on Tuesday. Gordon says they are concerned that the city was cutting its expenses while receiving financial assistance from the county.

The money has been included in the past two budgets.

Members of the city council will be voting on whether to nullify Mayor Dennis Williams' veto, which killed a bill that cut funding for eight firefighter positions that are currently vacant.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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