Here are our picks for the top local stories to start your day:

View Photo Gallery: In the National SeaPerch Challenge, 70 high school and middle school teams from across the country — including five from the District, 10 from Virginia and 18 from Maryland — competed to see who could build the best underwater robotic vessels.

In robotics battle, it’s sink and swim. Area students, with their parents and nervous coaches in tow, gather in Virginia for underwater robotics challenge. (Photos)

Proposed Metro fare increases have been given the first go-ahead. The full board still needs to vote on the package, which would boost parking fees and increase bus and rail fares by 10-75 cents.

Four medical pot shops near approval. The dispensaries are ready to locate in various commercial corridors across the District. (Photos)

Profile in speed: An aspiring Olympian from Virginia has learned that strategy can trump speed. (Photos)

Coming up on PostLocal:

Roger Clemens. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

— The ballot count in D.C.’s Biddle-Orange race is expected to be announced after 5 p.m. Friday.

— The Wizards take on the Knicks in New York on Friday night.

— Here comes the sun. Capital Weather Gang brings you the latest weekend forecast.