ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy, chance of rain with highs in the upper 80s. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Prince George’s County teenager shot during armed robbery; Zimmerman trial nears its conclusion; Adam Kokesh’s saga; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.
ARTHUR ASHE: Of an exhibit, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “About 250 people got the first look Wednesday night at a Richmond exhibit honoring Arthur R. Ashe Jr. that focuses as much on his character and contributions to society as it does his career as a tennis legend.
“The “Inspirational Tour Exhibit” will be open to the public at the Science Museum of Virginia through July 24, featuring interactive games, videos and history timelines highlighting the Richmond native’s life. Wednesday night’s opening ceremony for the exhibit created by the Arthur Ashe Learning Center was timed for what would have been Ashe’s 70th birthday.” http://bit.ly/1arSm9t
HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT: Of sorts, per the Virginian-Pilot, “The Navy for the first time landed an unmanned aircraft on an aircraft carrier Wednesday afternoon, making naval aviation history and setting the backdrop for the day when all carriers are equipped with their own drones.The tailhook landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush, steaming in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia, took place less than two months after the prototype X-47B conducted another aviation first: launching off the carrier by catapult.” http://bit.ly/174ELPQ
PRISON BREAK: This one’s mandated, per the Baltimore Sun, “Thirteen inmates convicted of murder have been released from prison — and dozens more could be freed — after Maryland's highest court ruled that jurors had been given improper instructions in the decades-old cases. The Court of Appeals ruling effectively entitled as many as 200 prisoners convicted before 1980 of crimes including murder, attempted murder and rape to demand new trials. The difficulty of retrying the old cases has prosecutors throughout the state fighting to keep violent offenders behind bars.” http://bsun.md/1dkSxzj
BUSTED: Of shrooms and guns, per the Washington Post, “Adam Kokesh and libertarian activists expected to provoke a police response when he posted a video of himself apparently loading a shotgun on Freedom Plaza in violation of D.C. law on the Fourth of July, but it arrived on his doorstep with an overwhelming boom Tuesday night. A U.S. Park Police SWAT team and other officers knocked on the door of his single-family home on a quiet Herndon cul-de-sac, then kicked the door in and tossed a flash grenade into the foyer as police helicopters whirled overhead, his roommates said.
“The rabble-rouser and Iraq war veteran who promised “we will not obey” on the video and has advocated for overthrow of the government “by whatever means necessary” was removed in handcuffs and charged with possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms while possessing a firearm, according to court papers. His housemates allege that they were mistreated by police, who they say used too much force.” http://wapo.st/1bq0S6D
ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: Jury gets ready to debate, per the Orlando Sentinel, “By early Friday afternoon, jurors should be deliberating whether Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman is a murderer. After nearly a year and a half of public debate about racial profiling and gun rights, six jurors - all women, five of them white - will decide whether Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense or committed a crime.
“Zimmerman, 29, says he shot Trayvon after the unarmed Miami Gardens teen attacked him, bloodying and breaking his nose and pounding his head on a sidewalk. On Thursday Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson must decide what jurors should consider in reaching their verdict. Prosecutors charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder, but they also want the jury to consider two less serious charges: manslaughter and aggravated assault.” http://bit.ly/152kMji
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS: Not guilty?, per the Boston Globe, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, made his first public appearance since the April 15 attack Wednesday in a federal court room and pleaded not guilty to a sweeping terrorism indictment that carries the possibility of the death penalty. With 30 bombing victims in the courtroom, some wearing the Boston Marathon gear, Tsarnaev entered “not guilty” pleas in a thick accent seven times to groups of charges including using a weapon of mass destruction.” http://bo.st/12Z1vAt
IMMIGRATION REFORM: Going, going. . .per the New York Times, “Meeting for the first time as a group to hash out their approach to immigration, House Republicans on Wednesday came down overwhelmingly against a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, putting in jeopardy the future of sweeping legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“Despite the resistance, Speaker John A. Boehner warned about the steep price of inaction, telling House Republicans that they would be in a weaker political position against a bipartisan Senate coalition and President Obama if they did nothing to answer the immigration measure passed by the Senate last month.” http://nyti.ms/1548kQe
POLITICO PLAY: “Republican lawmakers have spent the past three years blasting Obamacare, but now they have a new role: helping people sign up for it. It’s a role reversal that puts party politics at odds with constituent service. Even Obamacare’s most strident opponents say that if people call their offices looking for help when enrollment starts in October, they’ll direct their staff to assist.” http://politi.co/10OlX6x
IN MEMORIAM: Omar Sykes, per ABC7—WJLA, “Opening his memorial with the same fraternity tune Omar Sykes so often sang, Sykes’s Alpha Phi Omega brothers sang with sadness on Wednesday night. The Howard University student was remembered by family who talked through tears, and by friends who recalled the 22-year-old marketing major’s encouraging nature and uplifting smile.
As Omar Sykes’s own parents expressed, the memorial service was a celebration of love – love both for and from a son they were proud to call a young man. It has been nearly a week since police say Sykes was gunned down as he walked near his home on Fairmont Street just off campus.” http://wj.la/175qLFm
POT IN D.C.: Bill gains support, per City Paper, “Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells' marijuana decriminalization bill earned nine other backers at today's D.C. Council mega-hearing. That means there could be a Council majority for an inevitable vote on the bill, which would replace criminal penalties for possession of less than an ounce of pot with a $100 fine.” http://bit.ly/10Nnx8J
STICKY: Of differing priorities, per Gazette.Net, “A Prince George’s councilwoman’s proposal to have the county government buy apartment buildings to preserve their use for low- and middle-income residents is coming under fire from property owners. County Bill 27 would give the county first right of refusal to purchase apartment complexes of 20 units or more in which the buyer plans to turn the property into condominiums, or demolish or remove more than a third of the existing units.” http://bit.ly/175vOG0
GANG VIOLENCE: For the wealthy, per the Washington Times, “The D.C. area’s increasingly high-end neighborhoods do not provide a haven from gang violence, police department officials say. The number of gang-related crimes are still “creeping up” in the Washington area, Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook said. Overall, crime numbers last year were generally on par with those in 2011, although the area saw increases in rape, larceny and aggravated assault.” http://bit.ly/1dl3Mbd
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Philadelphia 5-1.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A new D.C. smoking ban passed on Wednesday at first reading with the majority of votes. Smokers are now prohibited from smoking in city parks, community centers, and at bus stops in addition to restaurants and bars. The second reading is scheduled for this fall. http://wj.la/187xL61
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is legal analyst Scott Bolden, who will be asked about the Zimmerman trial, the Tsarnaev hearing and the arrest of Adam Kokesh.