DAYBREAK DAILY: Details emerge about Bounty's demise off Hatteras

ABC7 TRAFFIC: Good Morning Washington has updates every 10 minutes beginning at 4:30 a.m.

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs in the low 50s.{ }

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories being covered: The “suspicious” death of a 94-year-old Alexandria man (details below), details of the expected merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways, a Valentine’s Day piece about Georgetown’s Sprinkles bakery on one of its busiest days of the year, and much more – beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: They have been a popular toy for generations. But now some parents are choosing to outlaw toy guns in their homes. Are your children allowed to play with toy guns?

THE OBX BOUNTY: Details finally are emerging about the ill-fated famous ship, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The first mate of the sunken HMS Bounty told a Coast Guard inquiry that he urged the vessel’s longtime captain and master to reconsider heading in the direction of massive storm Sandy. Three days later, the 50-year-old vessel sank, killing two people, including the captain. First Mate John Svendsen offered a nearly hour-by-hour account of the ship’s loss on Oct. 29 last year, including injuries sustained by Capt. Robin Walbridge as the ship gradually took on water, its pumps failed, and it rolled over on its starboard side and sank.”

AND THIS: Prepare to raise your eyebrows, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Shipwright testifies that the Bounty had rot in its framing. During testimony (Wednesday) in Portsmouth, the shipwright said he told the tall ship's captain, Robin Walbridge, about the damage, but Walbridge decided he would have it fixed at a later date.”

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: So much for transparency, per the Washington Post, “When Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s controversial gun-control bill came up last week in the state Senate, lawmakers held an open hearing that drew more than 1,000 people and lasted more than eight hours. But so far, members of the House have considered the proposal in secret, with the speaker and other key lawmakers meeting with lobbyists, experts and state officials in a closed-door conference room that has been off-limits to the public.”

THE DORNER CASE: per the Los Angeles Times, “Fugitive former police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner was apparently holed up inside a Big Bear area condo for as many as five days before the husband and wife who own the property surprised him and then were tied up and gagged, the couple said Wednesday night.”

WHAT’LL THE NEW POPE THINK?: Tsk, tsk, per the New York Times, “The use of morning-after pills by American women has more than doubled in recent years, driven largely by rising rates of use among women in their early 20s, according to new federal data released Thursday. The finding is likely to add to the public debate over rules issued by the Obama administration under the new health care law that require most employers to provide free coverage of birth control, including morning-after pills, to female employees.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Senate Republicans see the writing on the wall: Chuck Hagel will get his job at the Pentagon, and John Brennan will soon be headed to Langley. But that doesn’t mean they won’t drag out the proceedings to extract every possible concession they can get and weaken the nominees and the White House in the process.”

MARYWOOD: Or something like that, per the Washington Examiner, “Given the success of productions recently filmed in Maryland, such as HBO's "Veep" and Netflix's "House of Cards," a legislative panel on Wednesday discussed more than tripling the incentives given to companies that film in the state.”

A DEATH IN THE FAMILY: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “Police in Alexandria are investigating the "suspicious death" of a 94-year old man. The man was found dead shortly before 7:00 p.m. Wednesday in a home in the 2700 block of Holly St., which is on the outskirts of the city's Del Ray neighborhood. Police say the man lived with family and was home alone Wednesday until a relative came home and found him dead. Police say he had upper body trauma."

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN: That’s the vow, anyway, per the Washington Times, “A familiar name in D.C. political circles was missing from a D.C. Council committee hearing Wednesday to address concerns about a contract to salvage the money-losing, city-owned United Medical Center. But the prospect of the involvement of Reuben O. Charles II, a key fundraiser and transition team leader to Mayor Vincent C. Gray, has competitors wary and officials acting defensively.”

COPS AND ROBBERS: Advantage cops, per InsideNova, “Authorities recently arrested six men in connection with a string of robberies the Dumfries and Triangle areas. Detectives from the Prince William police department, investigators from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives completed the arrests and their investigation Monday, Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said Wednesday.”

RED CAB COMPANY?: Hey, no fair!, per City Paper, “While the all-red color scheme recommended for D.C. cabs (Wednesday) may be a relief to anyone worried about a more complicated design, a taxi company that's built its name on another color scheme isn't as thrilled. Yellow Cab Company, the District cab dispatch concern whose cabs are actually black and orange, plans to fight the move to red.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 96-85 at Detroit.

CHEEBURGER, CHEEBURGER, CHEEBURGER: With a side of Z, per ARLnow, “(The) finishing touches are now being worked on at the new Z-Burger at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Kenmore Street, between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations. After nearly two years of construction, owner Peter Tabibian hopes to open the restaurant in the next two to three weeks. . . Although there are a number of Z-Burger locations throughout the D.C. metro area, this will be the first in Virginia.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Washington Hospital Center's Dr. Michelle Magee, who will talk about a community-based program to reach men who, for whatever reasons, won't go to the doctor.

--Skip Wood

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