DAYBREAK DAILY: Herring has confirmed Va. GOP's worst fears

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny, windy, with highs in the lower 60s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – The latest on the search for Relisha Rudd; Laurel faces flooding concerns; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

HERRING COURTS CONTROVERSY: And does so bluntly, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “If there is one thing Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature can agree in on, it’s that Mark Herring hit the ground running. Only 13 days into his four-year term as Virginia’s 48th attorney general, the former state senator from Loudoun sparked a major controversy on the national stage when he deemed the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

“He wanted Virginia to “be on the right side of history,” the Democrat said in a news conference on Jan. 23, working to build a legacy at the beginning of his term. But to Republican lawmakers, Herring’s words confirmed their worst fears that he would begin his term on a highly partisan note — and that his refusal to defend Virginia’s marriage amendment in federal court was just a first step toward further dismantling carefully crafted Republican legislation at odds with the liberal agenda promoted by Democrats.”

RELISHA RUDD: Just the facts, per WJLA-ABC7, “D.C. police stormed the Gateway Days Inn on New York Avenue Friday night, a search warrant in hand for room 245. The hotel's clerk told ABC7 off-camera that he checked 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum into room 245 on March 1, along with his Chevy SUV.

“Tatum is now wanted for the murder of his wife, and for the March 1 disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd. Recently, ABC7 uncovered an Instagram video of Relisha, from an account in her's mother name, Shamika Young. The video is time-stamped March 1 - which is important, because Relisha's mother originally reported seeing her last three days earlier, before the 1st of March.”

HOT SUITS: Really hot, per the Baltimore Sun, “ "Saturday Night Live” skewered Jos. A. Bank this weekend, suggesting that the Carroll County-based company's suits are a cheap alternative to paper towels. "I spend a lot of my time cleaning up messes, so I need something that's absorbant and affordable. So what do I reach for? A suit from Jos. A. Bank," "SNL" player Vanessa Bayer says, playing a suburban supermom straight out of a Bounty commercial. "With their innovative buy-one-get-three-free pricing, a suit from Jos. A. Bank is effectively cheaper than paper towels."

“Bayer goes to list all the potential uses for the suits, including kindling, cleaning up pet stains and even diapers. At one point, a smiling Bayer lights up a pair of suits in a fireplace, and they instantly erupt into flames.”

WAIT AND SEE: Of a mayoral voting trend, per the Washington Post, “Despite predictions that more District residents would vote early for mayor, the opposite has turned out to be true — a sign of potentially historic low turnout and a reason for new uncertainty in Tuesday’s already fluid Democratic primary.

“Just over 14,000 voters cast ballots during a two-week early voting period that ended Saturday evening. Four years ago, more than 22,000 voted before primary day, and the precipitous drop occurred despite several additional early voting locations opening this year.”

MEANWHILE: Dueling rallies, per City Paper, “The two leading mayoral hopefuls campaigned 10 minutes away from each other Sunday morning, with Vince Gray visiting Allen Chapel AME on Alabama Avenue SE and Muriel Bowser going to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church near Fort Dupont Park.

“LL headed to Bowser's stop, where the homily centered on rejoicing during Lent. Bowser has her own reasons to rejoice, with recent polls showing her tied or slightly ahead of Gray. But Sunday brought less happy news for the Ward 4 councilmember, with Gray's camp releasing another anti-Bowser video for its suddenly ubiquitous "Muriel Not Ready" campaign.”

UKRAINE: Of a key meeting, per the New York Times, “Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart agreed on Sunday that a political solution was needed for Ukraine and said they planned to continue discussing ways to de-escalate the crisis over the country’s future and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But neither side claimed a breakthrough, and Russia did not commit to pulling back the more than 40,000 troops the United States says are massed near Ukraine’s border.

“Both of us recognize the importance of finding a diplomatic solution and simultaneously meeting the needs of the Ukrainian people, and that we agreed on tonight,” Mr. Kerry told reporters after meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov. In a separate news conference, Mr. Lavrov said he and Mr. Kerry had agreed to work on securing the rights of minorities and “linguistic rights” in Ukraine, which has a large ethnic Russian population. The treatment of ethnic Russians is considered key because Western officials have worried that it might serve as a rationale for military intervention in eastern Ukraine, where many Russian speakers live.”

OBAMACARE: Suddenly, big numbers, per the Los Angeles Times, “President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show.

“As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.”

CLIMATE CHANGE: And a warning, per The Hill, “The release of a United Nations report detailing the pervasive effects of climate change should serve as a call to action for the world’s nations to curb the emission of greenhouse gases, Secretary of State John Kerry argued Sunday night. “In a statement issued by the State Department, Kerry called denial of climate change science “malpractice” and warned the “costs of inaction are catastrophic.” “Read this report and you can't deny the reality: Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy,” Kerry said.”

POLITICO PLAY: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Sheldon Adelson in a meeting Saturday for stepping on a fault line in Middle East politics during a speech he gave earlier in the day, according to a source familiar with the conversation. Invoking a 2012 trip he and his family took to Israel, Christie recalled in the speech: “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

“While the story was intended to forge common cause with Adelson and the several hundred donors to the Republican Jewish Coalition to which Christie was speaking, his use of the term “occupied territories” set off murmurs in the crowd. The term refers to lands in which Palestinians live where Israel maintains a military presence, including the West Bank.”

CHARTER MOVE: And some unhappy parents, per Gazette.Net, “An Upper Marlboro charter school is planning to move to Forestville next school year, angering some parents who say the change is too far to travel and the announcement came too late in the school year.

“. . .Imagine Foundations, which serves 475 students from kindergarten through eighth-grade, is located at St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church but plans to move into the vacant Berkshire Elementary School in Forestville, which is about 10 miles away from its current site. Imagine Foundations officials said the move is necessary because its landlord, the church, wants to raise the school’s rent by about 13 percent, and the school needs faster Internet to meet the needs of upcoming online Common Core assessment testing, said Rhonda Cagle, Imagine Foundations spokeswoman.”

OF A SINKHOLE AND A DOG: And a rescue, per the Frederick News-Post, “A Frederick family pet was safe Sunday evening after a six-hour effort to save the dog from a sinkhole that opened overnight. Police, fire, animal control and public works crews were called to the home at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday after a homeowner reported that the dog had fallen into the hole, which was about two feet wide at the surface. A portion of Old Farm Drive was closed for several hours during the rescue effort.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps lose 4-3 against Nashville.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The road to redemption goes through North Texas for a fearsome Final Four of power programs with something to prove. Waiting for the Florida Gators at Jerry Jones' billion-dollar stadium on Saturday will be UConn. In the other national semifinal, Wisconsin will face all those Kentucky kids, before they head off to the NBA.”

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood

{ }

{ }