DAYBREAK DAILY: Creigh Deeds to push for change in mental health system

ABC7 WEATHER: Overcast with mix of icy rain and light snow; highs in the low 40s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – With an early wintry mix set to roll in, coverage from all angles; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

CREIGH DEEDS: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “State Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, recovering from multiple stab wounds and the death of his son, has served notice that he intends to push for change in a mental health system that doesn’t work for the people it’s supposed to help. Deeds told a newspaper in Highland County on Monday that he faults the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board for what happened to his son, Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, who attacked his father last week and then killed himself 13 hours after the regional agency released him from an emergency custody order.

“I am alive for a reason, and I will work for change,” Deeds told The Recorder, based in Monterey. “I owe that to my precious son.” His primary target is the Rockbridge Area CSB, one of 40 community services boards and behavioral health authorities that administer the state’s mental health system at the local and regional levels. The agencies are responsible for emergency services, such as screening and assessing people who may pose a danger to themselves or others.”

FREE STUFF FROM O’MALLEY: Or not, per the Baltimore Sun, “Like Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Gov. Martin O’Malley has surrounded himself with top Democrats in his skybox at Ravens stadium over the past year. But the governor also has displayed a penchant for entertaining television stars — mixing business interests, politicians and celebrities while eating at taxpayer expense. For instance, “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey was among those at the Sept. 23 game against New England Patriots. Other guests included a top aide to Democrat Ken Ulman, the lieutenant governor candidate; a Sodexo Corp. executive; Rick Abbruzzese, a former O’Malley aide who’s now a lobbyist; and Del. Jon Cardin, who’s running for attorney general.

“In the past year, O’Malley hosted the cast of the HBO show “Veep”; Del. Jolene Ivey, the future running mate of gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler; House Speaker Michael Busch; and the mayor of Trenton, N.J. O’Malley dedicated one game to veterans, inviting U.S. military members and the families of deployed soldiers, records show. O’Malley’s group spent $3,400 on food and drink over nine games during the 2012 season and $400 at one game this year, according to documents and emails provided to The Baltimore Sun in response to a Maryland Public Information Act request.”

VIRGINIA RACE 2013: Finally finished – or is it?, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Monday's certification of Democrat Mark Herring's narrow win in the attorney general election draws Virginia closer to a likely recount in a historically tight contest, with 165 votes the difference out of more than 2.2 million cast. A court-supervised recount is one option for the other candidate, Republican Mark Obenshain. Failing a recount, he could also request adjudication in the General Assembly, where Republicans outnumber Democrats.

“Obenshain's campaign in a statement Monday emphasized that the vote split "is well within the margin that could be potentially closed in a recount." "Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount," read the statement, which called the contest "the closest statewide election" in modern times.”

SAME SONG: Just a different version, per the Washington Post, “When new Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza recently warned that a $140.7 million budget shortfall might lead to layoffs and devastating program cuts, several veteran county officials couldn’t help but think of a classic children’s fable: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

“Top officials say they’ve seen the story play out again and again during annual budget negotiations between school officials and the county board of supervisors, dating to the early 1990s. Each time, the school system declares an impending disaster only to finish the school year with minimal cuts and, often, millions of dollars in extra, unspent cash, county officials said. The schools ended 2013 with $55 million in unspent funds after schools finance officials projected a $126 million shortfall.”

SWITCHING COURSE: And narratives, per the New York Times, “The weekend ended with the first tangible sign of a nuclear deal with Iran, after more than three decades of hostility. Then on Monday came the announcement that a conference will convene in January to try to broker an end to the civil war in Syria.

“The success of either negotiation, both long sought by President Obama, is hardly assured — in fact the odds may be against them. But the two nearly simultaneous developments were vivid statements that diplomacy, the venerable but often-unsatisfying art of compromise, has once again become the centerpiece of American foreign policy.”

MEANWHILE: Of the Middle East, per the Los Angeles Times, “The interim accord hammered out between Iran and global powers focuses narrowly on Tehran's nuclear ambitions but the reaction across the Middle East points to a broader significance: the prospect of a geopolitical shift with repercussions across the region.

“The process is still embryonic and may go nowhere. But the Middle East is already abuzz with speculation about a thaw between Washington and Tehran emerging from the Geneva talks. Some analysts say it may turn out to be a "hinge" moment that — however gradually — alters the political landscape of the highly volatile region.”

OBAMACARE: The latest, per The Hill, “Obama administration officials said Monday that some visitors to will experience outages, slow response times or try-again-later messages in December. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delivered the message in the latest attempt to downplay expectations for Nov. 30, the administration’s self-imposed deadline for fixing ObamaCare’s federal enrollment site.

“CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said errors that persist past this weekend would be “intermittent” and, in line with a promise made by the White House, would not affect the vast majority of the site’s users. But Bataille acknowledged that some would still experience “periods of suboptimal performance” by the system due to either heavy traffic or technical issues that are still being addressed.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The Republican civil war erupted into full view this fall, and the establishment looked like it was about to shove the movement back in line. But the early skirmishes ended with the tea party no weaker than it was.

“And while the party’s internal fight will rage on, the opening battles suggest the establishment is just starting to see how much it will take to reclaim the power it has ceded to the movement in recent years. The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s first big play: threaten to blacklist any consultant who does business with a key group taking on sitting Republicans.”

HUH?: Robbery alleged, per the Frederick News-Post, “A local scientist believes the federal government has infringed on his intellectual property. John Hnatio says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration got ahold of his trade secrets and used them to create a tool that the FDA released on its website free of charge. Hnatio, chief science officer and founder of Frederick-based FoodQuestTQ, had been developing a product to sell to industry, he said.

“The government's actions have caused blacklisting of his company, he said. The Small Business Administration is referring Hnatio's complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.”

MINIMUM WAGE: Battle rages on, per City Paper, “D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange's business and consumer affairs committee is about to take up legislation for an $11.50 minimum wage. Last, Vince Gray told councilmembers he would support a lower $10 hourly minimum wage not tied to a cost of living increase. But a new poll commissioned by a coalition backing a $12.50 minimum wage ballot initiative suggest that District residents would be open to one that's higher than both the Council's bill and Gray's proposal.

“74 percent of the 606 D.C. residents in a Public Policy Polling survey conducted between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 said they would vote for a ballot initiative that imposed a $12.50 minimum that was tied to the cost of living and included an $8.75 tipped wage. The polling data was provided to LL by labor coalition D.C. Working Families.”

LOOMING: Shutdown II, per Gazette.Net, “With the 16-day federal government shutdown in October still fresh in many people’s minds, U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. of Maryland said Monday he was hopeful that most in Congress would want to avoid another shutdown, which some believe could be possible when funding expires Jan. 15. But it’s still possible some congressional representatives could push for another shutdown then, rather than come to a budget agreement, Van Hollen said to some employees at a Rockville laboratory of life sciences company Fisher BioServices.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Redskins lose 27-6 against San Francisco.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Watch as a soldier mom surprises her five children at school right before the holidays. Army reservist Kelly Leblanc has been deployed in Kuwait since January.” VIDEO HERE:

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett -- who will be asked about school construction, pedestrian safety, the Silver Spring Transit Center and the proposal to boost the region’s minimum wage – and Kevin Gover, Executive Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, with whom we’ll discuss the “Redskins” name controversy and the challenges facing First Peoples today.

--Skip Wood

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