ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs near 50. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Northeast D.C. water main break at Bladensburg Road and Benning Road; The latest on the deadly train derailment in New York; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
ROLLING THE DICE: And the winner is. . ., per the Baltimore Sun, “The three players bidding to build a new casino in Prince George's County have shown their hands, and the state will pick a winner by the end of December. The stakes are high as the state prepares to hold a series of meetings beginning this week and culminating Dec. 20 to choose who gets to operate the state's closest casino to Washington. All three pitched casino resorts costing hundreds of millions of dollars to be built near where Interstate 95 crosses into Maryland.
“The decision will be made by a special casino site-selection body, known as the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission, based on what it deems best for the state. Some have said the bid by MGM Resorts International to build a $925 million resort casino on a bluff above the Potomac River at National Harbor and adjacent to I-95 is the front-runner simply because of its location, but others aren't so sure.” http://bsun.md/1cR1Ojj
THE VIRGINIA WAY: Just the facts, per the Washington Post, “Virginia may be for lovers, but for same-sex married couples who already had to go elsewhere to tie the knot, tax time could present new burdens. The reason is a recent decision by Virginia’s tax collectors to treat gay couples differently than the IRS does.
“The Virginia Department of Taxation, after consulting with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s office, has ruled that the state will not conform to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s new tax treatment of same-sex married couples because state law and a state constitutional amendment prohibit recognition of gay marriage. As a result, gay couples must now file their federal tax returns as married couples — either jointly or separately — but will have to file Virginia tax returns as single individuals.” http://wapo.st/1bD3JeO
YOUNG GUNS: Ditch the ties, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The membership of the Virginia Council of CEOs has a bit of a different look these days compared with when the group was organized more than a decade ago. “I recall back in 2000 having meetings at The Bull and Bear Club with guys in suits,” said Scot McRoberts, the council’s executive director. “That was what we looked like back then.”
“Now, McRoberts said, “when I think back to our CEO retreat at Kingsmill in April, there were lots of younger people, with no ties. Part of that reflects the culture of Richmond’s business community changing over that time.” The Council of CEOs, a business association that connects top executives at Virginia companies so they can learn from one another, has seen a trend toward younger membership in recent years, McRoberts said.” http://bit.ly/1bcPHdC
DEADLY TRAIN DERAILMENT: Of chaos, per the New York Times, “The 5:54 from Poughkeepsie was rumbling through the Bronx on Sunday morning. Only 100 to 150 people were onboard — department store employees who were bracing for another busy after-Thanksgiving day, tourists from Texas who wanted to climb the Statue of Liberty, a police officer moonlighting as a security guard on his day off.
“Some were dozing when the train rounded a bend near where tracks pass under the Henry Hudson Bridge. Some were listening to music on headphones. Suddenly, with a jerk that disrupted the steady train’s steady rhythm, their world turned upside down as they were hurled from one side to the other. . . Police and transit officials said four people on board were killed and more than 60 were injured, 11 critically. Three of the four dead were thrown from the train after the windows blew out, the officials said.” http://nyti.ms/18S3DxE
PAUL WALKER: An ironic end, per the Los Angeles Times, “Officials said it could take some time before investigators know how fast a Porsche was traveling when it crashed in Santa Clarita on Saturday, killing "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker and another man. Walker, 40, and his friend, whom witness Jim Torp identified as Roger Rodas, took a red Porsche out for a spin as a charity event held in support of Walker’s organization Reach Out Worldwide was winding down.
“Torp said he heard a loud boom, and knew his friends had been in an accident. The smoke from the crash was visible from Always Evolving Performance Motors, which Rodas owned, where car enthusiasts and supporters were still gathered -- some thinking it was just a fire on a nearby hill. Jim Torp's son, Brandon, 28, grabbed a fire extinguisher and headed up the hill, followed by about 20 other workers, the elder Torp said. "There was nothing they could do," he said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Sunday continued to investigate the single-car crash but did not reveal any details on a possible cause.” http://lat.ms/1irJLHO
OBAMACARE: The fix is in, per The Hill, “The Obama administration claimed victory Sunday for making HealthCare.gov workable for the vast majority of users, a standard that will be tested as millions of people flood the site in the next three weeks. Sunday marked the passage of the administration's self-imposed deadline for fixing the broken ObamaCare enrollment website, which serves consumers in 36 states.
“The agency that oversees HealthCare.gov said "we believe we have met the goal" of making the system navigable for most people, but cautioned that more problems may lie ahead. "Dramatic progress has been made," the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated in a report released Sunday morning. "[But] there is more work to be done to continue to improve and enhance the website." http://bit.ly/1hqO7NN
POLITICO PLAY: “The Supreme Court in early spring will hear two legal challenges to Obamacare’s contraception coverage requirement, a case that addresses a complex question that has never come squarely before the court: Can a for-profit company engaged in commercial activities declare religious beliefs?
“Under the women’s preventive health benefit in the Affordable Care Act most employers must provide all Food and Drug Administration-approved forms of contraception with no co-pays. There are exemptions for religious organizations and ways for religious-affiliated institutions to try to work around the requirement. But owners of nonreligious businesses who oppose some or all contraceptives say the government shouldn’t be able to require them to break with their religious beliefs.” http://politi.co/IA3eoM
UVA FOOTBALL: Searching for solutions but not a new coach, per the Daily Press, “Craig Littlepage scrapped Thanksgiving with family in his native Pennsylvania. He's delegating more to underlings and isn't nearly as conversant about early season college basketball as he'd like. "We're trying to fix football, and that's it," said Littlepage, Virginia's athletic director. "This is important. I'm not focused on anything other than making sure that I'm doing everything that I can to get us back on that path to having a great program."
“During an hourlong interview in his office, Littlepage expressed profound disappointment in football's prolonged tailspin (2-10 after Saturday’s 16-6 loss to Virginia Tech) and uncertainty about the root causes. But echoing statements he's made throughout this season, Littlepage professed certainty that embattled head coach Mike London will return for a fifth year and that London is an essential element to long-term solutions.” http://bit.ly/1b8rXaB
CYBER MONDAY: A local angle, per the Frederick News-Post, “Pitcrew co-owner Tim Reardon expects online business to jump 300 to 400 percent today. It’s Cyber Monday, the online shopping day that follows Black Friday, when millions of people hit brick-and-mortar stores to nab holiday deals. As people log back in at work today, many will jump online for Internet deals.
“Pitcrew on North Market Street in Frederick sees a “big boost” in online sales through deals offered by the store for Cyber Monday, Reardon said. The store sells skateboards, snowboards and clothing tailored to those sports. . . As many as 129 million people shopped online on Cyber Monday in 2012, with clothing and accessories making up the most, or 31.4 percent, of purchases, followed by books, CDs, video games and DVDs at 27.8 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. Consumer electronics and related accessories ranked No. 3 at 25.2 percent.” http://bit.ly/1c6tcrT
BANDWAGON: Of wineries, per Gazette.Net, “For several years, Rocklands Farm has humanely raised cattle, chicken and other animals on its 34 acres and maintained an organic vegetable and produce garden. Now, the Poolesville farm has added vino to its offerings, taking advantage of a new law allowing tax credits on 25 percent of the capital expenses to establish or make improvements to a winery.” http://bit.ly/1cQLcby
ALEXIS MURPHY: Search continues, per the Lynchburg News & Advance, “More than 100 people turned out Sunday to search the roadside and woods along U.S. 29 for any sign of Alexis Murphy, the Nelson County teenager who went missing in August. “Today proved that no matter where you are from, or what background you are from, or what color you are, people can come together for something positive, and it was a very humbling feeling,” said Ronald “B.B.” Shavers, a leader in the volunteer effort.
“The searchers “found a couple of things of interest that we hope can lead to something positive to bring this young lady back home,” Shavers said. Law enforcement personnel didn’t have any role in organizing the search, although they were notified of it, and didn’t confirm anything about its findings, Shavers said.” http://bit.ly/1dKMRVh
BAO BAO: That’s right – Bao Bao, per City Paper, “One hundred days after its birth, the baby panda at the National Zoo finally got a name today: Bao Bao, which means "precious" or "treasure." The name was announced during a ceremony at the National Zoo featuring speeches from State Department representatives and the ambassador from China, which owns the cub. First lady Michelle Obama and the first lady of China appeared in video messages at the event, declaring the panda a symbol of the growing relations between the U.S. and China.” http://bit.ly/188iFyx
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Redskins lose 34-17 against Giants.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Washington's long-debated height restrictions for buildings will once again be on the Congressional agenda today, scheduled for committee hearings in the House. The city would like the restrictions eased, while the National Capital Planning Commission has recommended no major changes to the current law.” http://wj.la/1dKKp10
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who will be asked about the rollout of Obamacare, the deal with Iran and the prospects for immigration reform.