DAYBREAK DAILY: McDonnell dodges questions about Star Scientific

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs near 80.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Coverage of Maryland giving the green light to medical marijuana; Southeast police-involved shooting; Germantown’s murder-suicide; Maryland’s General Assembly winds up with a busy day; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: The Maryland General Assembly passed a measure on Monday to make talking on a handheld cellphone while in driving a vehicle a primary offense.

MCDONNELL DUCKS: The question, that is, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday would not say whether members of his family have received gifts from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the CEO of Star Scientific Inc., other than a wedding gift to one of his daughters. Gifts that Williams has made to the governor and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have come under public scrutiny at the same time Star Scientific faces a federal investigation over securities issues.

“ “Mr. Williams gave my daughter a wedding present. And as you know under the reporting laws, the gifts that come to me, I report and I’ve been doing this for 22 years,” McDonnell told reporters in his first public comments regarding gifts from Williams. “Gifts that come to me I regularly and diligently ... report those (in) the statements of economic interest that are done annually,” McDonnell said after an unrelated event in his office building. “Gifts that come to other family members under the current law are not reportable.”

CARDS ARE NCAA CHAMPS: Michigan falls short, per the Louisville Courier-Journal, “No hill too high. No gap too wide. No deficit too daunting. No waiting any more for these Louisville Cardinals.The Floyd Street escape artists climbed back from 12 points behind for the second time in the space of one Final Four on Monday night, then mounted a temporary stage to celebrate their school’s first NCAA Championship since the adoption of the three-point shot.

“They beat Michigan, 82-76, and they did it while treading a tightrope of foul trouble. They did it behind backup forward Luke Hancock, who twice came off the bench in Atlanta to deliver epic performances. They did it behind prodigal forward Chane Behanan, who started the season under a gag order and ended it by making himself heard in deafening decibels beneath the basket.”

AND THEY’RE OFF!: Changes for Pimlico, per the Baltimore Sun, “This spring's season at Pimlico includes attractions designed to renew long-fading interest in thoroughbred horse racing: live music, a wine festival, beer and bourbon tastings, tutorials on betting and special contests. Get them to come once, the thinking goes, and spectators will be hooked on the experience. For the first time since the mid-2000s, Pimlico Race Course is poised to become more than an off-track betting center maintained just enough to host one of the country's most important races — the Preakness Stakes.”

THE ISSUE THAT WON’T GO AWAY: Of Mayor Gray and the campaign, per City Paper, “The chairman of a political action committee with ties to embattled businessman Jeff Thompson, who is at the center of a federal investigation into Mayor Vince Gray's 2010 mayoral campaign, says he had no knowledge the PAC had raised and spent money over several years last decade, raising questions about the legitimacy of the organization's political activity.”

MARYLAND WRAPS THINGS UP: In a big way, per the Washington Post, “The Maryland General Assembly completed one of its busiest sessions in years Monday, giving final approval to bills to legalize medical marijuana, expand early voting and help launch the construction of a new regional hospital in Prince George’s County. Lawmakers also stepped up restrictions on using cellphones while driving and passed legislation that would encourage private investors to pay for highways, bridges and other major projects.”

GUN CONTROL: Of making a public pitch, per the New York Times, “HARTFORD — President Obama came here on Monday before a roaring, enthusiastic crowd to remember the tragedy of 20 children and 6 educators slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School and put new pressure on a recalcitrant Congress to honor them with gun-control legislation. In an impassioned speech that at times took on the tone of a campaign rally, Mr. Obama told an audience of 3,100 at the University of Hartford that he came to Connecticut to ensure that the deaths in the school in Newtown would not recede and to remind Americans how important their voice is as the gun debates unfold.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Immigration reform opponents are opening a new front in their bid to derail an overhaul bill: the price tag. Conservatives contend that costs would be prohibitive — it’s not just about paying for beefed-up border and employer enforcement, but accounting for the burden it would place on Obamacare, Medicare and other government programs in the decades to come.”

MURDER-SUICIDE: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “The father of the teenage girl who was found fatally shot in an apparent murder-suicide frantically searched for his daughter when she stopped answering his texts and calls after leaving home to be with someone she said was suicidal. Kevin Miller said his 17-year-old daughter, Michelle Lynne Miller, left their Rockville home about 9:15 p.m. Sunday after receiving a text from a friend that said he was feeling suicidal.”

TEACHING TOOLS: That’s a loaded phrase, per the Washington Examiner, “Fairfax County school leaders are taking a second look at a new teacher evaluation system after teachers said it is overly burdensome. Roughly a quarter of teachers spend at least three hours a week preparing for their evaluations, according to a survey whose results were reviewed at a school board meeting Monday. School board members expressed concern about the complaints they have been receiving about the new system.”

SILVER SPRING: Transit details coming today, per Gazette.Net, “Now that design firm Parsons Brinckerhoff has committed to engineer the fixes at the Silver Spring Transit Center, Montgomery County officials hope to begin remediation work at the site by late summer, according to an April 5 memo to County Council President Nancy Navarro. David Dise, director for the county’s Department of General Services, is scheduled to brief the full county council Tuesday about the two-month design and validation period.”

STRANGE DUDE: Here’s his story, and he’s sticking to it, per the Washington Times, “A Florida man arrested at the U.S. Capitol after police found three unregistered guns in his car claimed he was helping to take down Osama bin Laden’s terror network and had the guns for protection, according to court documents made available Monday. U.S. Capitol Police stopped Ty Carroll Mitchum, 59, on Sunday afternoon near the U.S. Capitol after he was seen talking and muttering to himself and three guns were found in his car, state documents filed in D.C. Superior Court. On Monday, the court ordered Mr. Mitchum undergo a mental evaluation hearing.”

NEWBORN DEATH UPDATE: Just the facts, per INSIDENOVA, “The newborn girl found dead in a pond in Sterling's CountrySide neighborhood yesterday was full term, according to a preliminary investigation by the medical examiner's office. Sheriff Mike Chapman released today that the baby was 20 inches long and weighed about 7 pounds when it was found. It is believed the baby was in the water for no more than "a couple days," Chapman said. The baby has been determined to be Caucasian or possibly Hispanic.”

POT STATS WANTED: But not provided, per DCist, “Paul Zukerberg, an attorney and marijuana policy reform advocate running in the April 23 special election for an At-Large seat on the D.C. Council, says the Metropolitan Police Department and Metro Transit Police Department are not making public their statistics of pot-related arrests. But the number of marijuana arrests grew in recent years, and Zukerberg says police are not being transparent if that trend is continuing, though he suspects it is.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- A wrap-up of the Maryland legislature’s 2013 session. Joining us: Dels. Kathy Afzali (R-Frederick), Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s) and Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery).

--Skip Wood

Like us on Facebook: