DAYBREAK DAILY: Ex-NASCAR driver Dick Trickle kills himself

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs in the upper 70s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Continuing coverage of the IRS “scandal;” D.C. Mayor Gray and the flooding problems for Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park; bicycles and work; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

DICK TRICKLE: Just the facts, per the Associated Press, “Dick Trickle, a former NASCAR driver whose larger-than-life personality and penchant for fun won him legions of fans despite a lack of success beyond the nation's small tracks, died Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. He was 71.

"The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said authorities received a call believed to be from Trickle, who said "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Authorities tried to call the number back, but no one answered. Trickle's body was found near his pickup truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C., about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. Sheriff's Lieutenant Tim Johnson said foul play was not suspected.”

MARYLAND TO D.C.: Of weekend getaways, per the Baltimore Sun, “Maryland's MARC commuter trains, which have always operated Monday through Friday, will begin offering weekend service between Baltimore and Washington on the Penn Line in coming months. The expansion — put on hold in 2008 when the recession hit — is possible as the result of the new transportation revenue law that raises the state's gas tax, officials said. The governor signed the bill Thursday.

“The news was welcomed by Baltimore officials, who said it would offer city residents a less expensive means than Amtrak of traveling to Washington for weekend events while also encouraging D.C. residents to travel to Charm City.”

FLOOD ZONE: A lot of shrugs, per the Washington Post, “Work on the controversial 17th Street levee, designed to prevent floodwaters from surging across the Mall into downtown Washington, has stopped, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, and it’s not clear when the project will resume. The levee is more than a year and half behind schedule. And last month, the corps fired the chief contractor after no significant work had been done for several months, said Chris Augsburger, spokesman for the corps’ Baltimore district.”

IRS MESS: And so it goes, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “A top Internal Revenue Service official knew last year that the Richmond Tea Party was the target of extra scrutiny and reminded the Richmond organization to comply with requests for information, according to IRS letters.

“In March 2012, the Richmond group received two letters signed by Lois G. Lerner, the agency’s director of exempt organizations, following up on the status of their applications for tax-exempt status. Lerner’s letters to the Richmond Tea Party contradict claims in a recent inspector general’s report that the improper targeting was just a low-level effort and that she attempted to avert it.”

SITUATION SYRIA: Mr. Putin makes a move, per the New York Times, “Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday.

“Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.”

TEXAS TWISTER: And its toll, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “A black-and-white dog, heavy with milk, wanders from one pile of debris to another, sniffing, searching for her lost pups. Trees are twisted or snapped, stripped of branches and leaves, littered with clothing and pieces of metal roofs. In some spots, concrete slabs are the only evidence that someone used to call this place home. Many houses are now piles of rubble, destroyed by Wednesday night’s wicked tornado, which transformed the Rancho Brazos Estates subdivision into a uninhabitable wasteland.

“Six people were killed in the tornado — the deadliest in Dallas-Fort Worth since 1957 — and dozens more were injured. Seven people are still unaccounted for, according to Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds, but he thinks they will be found “alive and well.” Some of those visiting the damaged area Thursday were stunned that more people weren’t killed.”

POLITICO PLAY: “It took him a day or two to get started, but President Barack Obama this week signaled that he is going to follow the conventional Washington playbook for trying to tamp down scandal. He has furrowed his brow, sacked an agency head, pledged transparency and cooperation with official inquiries and piously declared that no one is more troubled than him about any wrongdoing. There’s no indication that Obama and his aides have paused to ponder the WWCD test: What Would Cheney Do?”

UNSETTLING: To say the least, per ABC7—WJLA, “Renee Palmer Gamby was just a toddler when she says she was molested by a male babysitter from her church. Covenant Life in Gaithersburg was the flagship church of the Sovereign Grace Ministries denomination until this past December, when it pulled out.

“Renee’s mother said that when she called their pastor about the abuse, he told her not to call police. Instead, Renee said she was required to meet with her alleged perpetrator and forgive him. Renee and her mother said they thought they were the only victims. But years later, they found story after story on the "Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors" blog. And now several are going public in what they hope will be a class-action civil lawsuit.”

SO MUCH WATER: It takes a village – and money, per the Gazette.Net, “Since 2002, Robert Leffler has been paying an annual stormwater management fee — which some dub a “rain tax” — to Montgomery County attached to his property tax bill. The fee has risen from $12.75 a decade ago to $92.60 last year. In addition, he said he has paid homeowners association dues and other fees to maintain ponds designed to mitigate storm water in the Kings Valley community in Damascus.

“In effect, I’m being double taxed,” Leffler said. “Why am I being charged a stormwater management fee when I’m already paying to address the problem?” The situation is the same in the newer communities that have ponds and other measures addressing stormwater runoff throughout Montgomery, where the County Council recently passed a new storm water program that extends the fee to most businesses. About 90 percent of homeowners will see a reduction in the fee as a result of the new program, said Steven Shofar, Montgomery’s watershed management division chief.”

CALIFORNIA CLASH: Of taking sides, per the Los Angeles Times, “Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday waded into the heated contest to choose his successor, calling for two ads aimed at Latino voters that attack candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel to be taken off the airwaves. Both were financed with independent donations not controlled by the candidates.”

GO-GO: That pretty much says it all, per City Paper, “Chuck Brown died one year ago (Thursday) on May 16, 2012. We have no way of knowing how many block parties, go-gos, and barbecues have been held in Brown’s honor since then. But at least a few major tributes to Brown have emerged in the last year, some of them with more staying power than others.

“Among the most enduring commemorations was the Howard Theatre’s regularly scheduled “Wind Me Up, Chuck! Mondays” that the venue inaugurated last fall. (Thursday), on the first anniversary of Brown’s death, Howard (picked) up where it left off with the Chuck Brown All-Star Go-Go Tribute Band and a battery of local go-go stars: E.U.’s Sugar Bear, Rare Essence’s Whiteboy, Junk Yard’s Buggs, and several others. If you missed the Howard Theatre show on Thursday, Ram’s Head On Stage in Annapolis hosts another edition on Friday night.”

COLLEGE COSTS: More, more, more, per the Washington Examiner, “Maryland's state universities announced that in-state undergraduate tuition would rise by 3 percent, the same amount as the past three years. That means local students at the system's flagship College Park campus will pay $9,161 in tuition and fees next year, up from $8,908 this past year. Out-of-state tuition increases vary by school -- College Park's rose 4 percent, from $27,287 to $28,347.”

LONELY COOCH: Hmmmmm, per the Washington Times, “Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II will formally accept the Republican nomination for governor Saturday, but he’ll stand alone at the top of the GOP with neither the man he hopes to succeed nor his onetime rival for the nomination in Richmond to help him unify the party. Gov. Bob McDonnell is scheduled to deliver a commencement address at the University of Virginia's College at Wise in the southwestern part of the state, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who ditched his own governor’s bid, has planned a fishing trip in West Virginia.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat San Diego 6-2.

COLD FOOD: Or something like that, per ARLnow, “Arlington County may soon officially drop its requirement that outdoor cafes close for the winter. The Arlington County Board is considering an amendment to its zoning ordinance to allow outdoor cafes on private property to stay open year-round. The county was previously enforcing an uncodified interpretation of the ordinance that requires all outdoor cafes to be seasonal in nature — typically only open from April to November.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Members of the D.C. City Council are planning to introduce bills to decriminalize marijuana. "We're not saying we approve of marijuana, but maybe it should be more of an administrative penalty than a criminal penalty," says Councilmember Tommy Wells who plans to introduce a bill along with Councilmember Marion Barry. Recent polls show D.C. voters support decriminalization. What do you think?

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who will be asked about the IRS “scandal”, the Justice Dept. seizure of journalists' phone records, Benghazi, the sequester and more.

--Skip Wood