ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 30s and a dastardly wind chill. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Exploring the death of a Naval Academy football player; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
BALTIMORE COLTS: Remember Bob Irsay?, per the Baltimore Sun, “Thirty years after the Colts left Baltimore in the middle of the night, the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards is asking local sports fans to return to the scene of the crime, where the museum will chronicle what happened on that snowy night and the sad days that followed. On Wednesday night, the Sports Legends Museum will remember the team's move to Indianapolis in 1984 with an event called "From Under the Cover of Darkness ... 30 Years Later." The event will be held at the Rockland Center on the Owings Mills campus of Stevenson University, the former grounds of Colts headquarters and the site from which the infamous Mayflower moving vans departed.
"We think that when the Colts left, it may have been as profound of a sports moment as this community has ever endured," said Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Sports Legends Museum. "It ripped our hearts out. It kicked us in the gut. It just hurt beyond anything that we could have imagined because the Colts really were the heart and soul of the community." The event will include a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session centering on how the sports landscape has changed since the Colts left Baltimore the night of March 28, 1984.
“The panelists include Bob Douglas, a former managing editor of WBAL-TV and press secretary for Mayor William Donald Schaefer; former Colts halfback Tom Matte; John Ziemann, president of the Baltimore Colts marching band; Vince Bagli, former WBAL-TV sports anchor; Michael Olesker, who covered the move for The Baltimore Sun; and John Patti of WBAL Radio.” http://bsun.md/QdWRfR
BOB MCDONNELL: And his wife, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Attorneys for former Gov. Bob McDonnell and former first lady Maureen McDonnell are asking a federal judge to dismiss the corruption charges against them, arguing that the U.S. government is trying to stretch the bounds of federal bribery law. In a flurry of court filings Tuesday night ahead of a midnight deadline for motions, the McDonnells also asked U.S. District Judge James Spencer to separate their trials.
“Lawyers for the former governor said a joint trial would prevent him from obtaining “the exculpatory testimony of his wife” and that she is willing to testify on his behalf but "would exercise her Fifth Amendment right not to testify in her own trial." McDonnell and his wife face a 14-count indictment stemming in part from more than $165,000 in gifts and loans they accepted from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., who at the time was CEO of Star Scientific. The McDonnells have pleaded not guilty to all charges.” http://bit.ly/QeNHj8
MEDICAID EXPANSION: Of concerted will, per the Virginian-Pilot, “What happens when one half of the Virginia General Assembly passes a budget and the other half isn’t there to receive it? Republicans in the House of Delegates put that question to the test by taking their version of the two-year, $96 billion budget to the vacant Senate after approving it on a 68-31 vote Tuesday night.
“The House left a “Gone Home” sign and a copy of its budget outside the dark, vacant Senate chamber. The move had a theatrical purpose: to show that while the House was focused on the budget impasse in Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s special session, members of the party that controls the state Senate had left after just one day. Medicaid expansion remains the holdup. Dispute on that issue caused the General Assembly to adjourn March?8 without a budget.” http://bit.ly/1fi9sUy
MEANWHILE: Another waiver, per the Washington Post, “The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline. Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
“Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth. The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.” http://wapo.st/1lkIfYH
PUTIN: And a sly POTUS, per the New York Times, “Amid the chest-thumping between President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in recent weeks, one question has lingered: How big a threat is Russia, anyway? Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama’s 2012 presidential challenger, made clear his own assessment during the campaign, saying repeatedly that Russia was America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe” and arguing that Mr. Putin’s aggressive stance demanded a similar response from the American president.
"On Tuesday, Mr. Obama offered his answer, saying that Mr. Putin leads a “regional power” whose real threat extends largely to its bordering nations. In language that seemed to be aimed at the highest ranks inside the Kremlin, Mr. Obama dismissed Russia as a country that is lashing out at its neighbors “not out of strength, but out of weakness.” Mr. Obama’s decision to engage a reporter’s question about Mr. Romney during a foreign trip suggests that the president was eager to deflect criticism at home that he has been naïve about his approach to Mr. Putin. In Mr. Obama’s first term, he pursued a “reset” in relations with Russia, and during the campaign, he mocked Mr. Romney, saying during a televised debate that “the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” http://nyti.ms/1j1mwlK
MUDSLIDE: Grim scene continues, per the Seattle Times, “On a day with no shortage of grim news, the family of Navy Cmdr. L. John Regelbrugge III found the smallest measure of solace amid the wreckage of what four days ago was a thriving community. Two of Regelbrugge’s brothers, joining in Tuesday’s expanded search for survivors of the Oso-area mudslide, found the body of the 32-year Navy veteran on his shattered property on Steelhead Drive, said his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton of Vacaville, Calif.
“His brother Greg put a work shirt over him. They said he had massive injuries, so at least he didn’t suffer,” Leighton said. The body of Regelbrugge’s wife, Kris, a mother of five, was found later. Both were among the victims that officials said were found Tuesday during a difficult search that can no longer be labeled anything but a recovery. Chief Travis Hots of Snohomish County Fire Districts 21/22 said two more bodies were recovered Tuesday, bringing the official death toll to 16.
“But Hots said searchers believe they have located eight more bodies that have not been recovered.” http://bit.ly/1jFKamn
IMF: Changes scrapped, per The Hill, “Senate Democrats on Tuesday dropped their demand for changes to the International Monetary Fund in Ukraine legislation, likely clearing the way for passage later this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced the reversal, saying he wanted to ensure that Congress could pass an aid bill quickly.
“As much as I think a majority of the Senate would like to have gotten that done with IMF in it, it was headed to nowhere in the House,” Reid said. A fight over the IMF language prevented Congress from taking action before Russia annexed Crimea, which just two weeks ago was part of Ukraine. The White House backed the IMF changes, but Republicans in the House were staunchly opposed to them.” http://bit.ly/1j2iYje
POLITICO PLAY: “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spent the past year getting battered over immigration reform — and building a presidential-level political operation with heavy investments in digital and data analytics. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has already visited New York City four times this year, pushing into big-money turf once dominated by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has gamed out his 2016 options with a small team of longtime advisers, while his Indiana counterpart Mike Pence has met with prominent conservatives, urging him to consider the race.
“The Republican presidential field is aflutter with behind-the-scenes activity even at this preliminary stage, giving early shape to a race that has been defined in public by a handful of outsized media personalities, including Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.” http://politi.co/1l3rrmi
SNOW DAZE: Of coping, per Gazette.Net, “Montgomery County Public Schools is sticking with its snow day waiver request — for now. The Maryland State Board of Education decided Tuesday that school districts can ask that up to five days missed due to bad weather be waived, but Montgomery County is still asking for a four-day waiver, according to Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the county school system.
“The school system, however, remains undecided as to whether or not it will ask the state to waive the additional day, Tofig said. County students have had ten wintery days off this school year — six days more than the four days the school system built into the school calendar.” http://bit.ly/1izk2u8
DEAD HEAT: Of the D.C. mayoral race, per City Paper, “With only seven days left until the primary, the District has come down with mayoral race fever, and the only cure is more polls. Two media organizations obliged today, with NBC 4 and the Washington Post both coming out with new numbers that confirm that Muriel Bowser and Vince Gray lead the field. (Washington City Paper and WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show had their own out on Friday, showing a 27-27 tie at the top. More details of that survey will be released today.)
“Bowser has 30 percent of likely voters to Gray's 27 percent in the Post poll, while the NBC 4/Marist poll puts them at 28 and 26 percent, respectively. Both polls put the two leading challengers within the margin of error of one another.” http://bit.ly/1dq4o59
MARYLAND WEED: Negotiations, per the Frederick News-Post, “A Maryland Senate panel Tuesday voted favorably on a medical marijuana bill after removing a cap on the number of licensed growers and opening the treatment to minors. The legislation, which would enable certain physicians to recommend marijuana treatments, is now headed to the Senate floor for a vote. As amended by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, the bill would give minors with caregivers access to the drug, a provision significant to Maryland parents who believe marijuana could provide relief to their children.
“Shannon Moore, a Frederick mother who has advocated for a medical marijuana proposal, said she thinks the Senate proposal stands a good chance of success. “I don’t foresee anything standing in its way, and that’s a really good thing because it means we’re that much closer for people who need this medicine,” Moore said.” http://bit.ly/1dq4Yjg
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps lose 5-4 against Los Angeles.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “D.C. Animal Control is investigating the discovery of nine slaughtered animals in Rock Creek Park. Officials believe that the dead animals were part of a ritualistic killing by followers of the Santeria religion. In total, there were six chickens, two pigeons, and one goat.” http://wj.la/1jt2iEc
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells, who will be asked about his mayoral bid. Also, Virginia lawmakers return to Richmond but are unable to resolve their impasse over the budget and Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposed Medicaid expansion. We'll talk with Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) and Del. Tag Gleason (R-Loudoun).