DAYBREAK DAILY: McDonnell hits road amid damage control

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Sunny with highs near 90.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Coverage of North Korea’s continuing rumblings; Costco opens in Wheaton; a look at the blooming cherry blossoms; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: To better understand their classmate's cancer, second grade students at Bennett Elementary School in Manassas wrote a book called "Our Cancer Boy". The hope is that their message will reach other students who might be in their situation.

MCDONNELL SPLITS: Need a vacation?, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Bob McDonnell is putting some distance between himself and the Star Scientific controversy — about 7,000 miles. He departs today for a 16-day trade trip that includes visits to Japan and China. First lady Maureen McDonnell accompanies him to the first stop, California. They’ll do lunch there with their new BFF — no, not Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific’s CEO – but “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg.

“The McDonnells couldn’t pick a better time to get out of town. This was supposed to be Bob McDonnell’s valedictory, a celebration of his hard-fought fix for transportation. Instead he’s in damage control — and not just because he broke his promise not to raise taxes.”

SOCIAL UNREST: But no names, per Gazette.Net, “In the last month, some Montgomery County students have made threats to school safety, harassed their principals and teachers, made racial comments and bullied their peers — yet some of them have gone unpunished. Principals, parents and police say they can do only so much when the comments are being made anonymously on Twitter.”

GERMANTOWN MURDER-SUICIDE: Details surface, per the Washington Post, “The man who shot a 17-year-old student and then killed himself in Montgomery County this week was a U.S. Army recruiter who worked at several local high schools and married a young former recruit last year, police said. Police say Adam Arndt, 31, an Army staff sergeant, shot Michelle Miller, a Rockville High School senior, before killing himself Monday in his Germantown home, where both bodies were found Monday. Michelle was an honor student and a new recruit who was set to begin basic training this summer, according to her father.

“. . . Meanwhile, a portrait began to emerge of a married man who was romantically involved with one teenager and sending text messages and Facebook notes to others. Friends of Michelle’s have told law enforcement officials that the two were romantically linked, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.”

GUN CONTROL: Blocks are falling, per the New York Times, “Several Senate Republicans said Tuesday that they would not participate in a filibuster of the first major gun control bill since 1993, as Democrats appeared on the verge of overcoming a blockade threatened by a group of conservatives before a word of debate on the measure was uttered.”

GOP GOES HOLLYWOOD: No, really, per the Los Angeles Times, “After the crushing presidential loss in November, national Republican leaders offered a blunt message in a postelection report: Unless the party appealed to women, minorities and voters with divergent views, there was little hope of reversing their national losing streak. The first test of the party's will to reshape its image comes Wednesday as the 168 members of the Republican National Committee — who represent some of the party's most conservative voices — meet in Hollywood for a three-day retreat to discuss their messaging problems and calendar changes that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus hopes will position them to win in 2016.”

POLITICO PLAY: “On Wednesday, Senate Republicans will break bread with President Barack Obama at the White House. On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders, the most liberal member of the Senate Democratic caucus, was standing outside the gates rebuking Obama for selling out seniors.

“That jarring juxtaposition captures the upside-down political dynamic of Obama’s new budget proposal, due to be released Wednesday: Its centerpiece is a highly controversial plan to trim Social Security cost-of-living increases — a move one longtime Obama adviser called a “goodwill gesture” to Republicans and liberals decry as a shocking departure from Obama’s 2012 campaign rhetoric, a betrayal that warrants retribution.”

PHONE FLAP: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “The president of the parent-teacher association says representatives from Sprint will be at Forest Oak Middle School to propose the building of a cell phone tower. It’s an idea that has Janice Sartucci fuming. She's with Parents Coalition of Montgomery County, an advocacy group that keeps track of developments within the public school system. Sartucci has been in this fight for years. She says it all usually happens with little notice to parents and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.”

D.C. DOINGS: Of a DUI, per City Paper, “J.W. Lanum, who is in charge of procurement for one of the city's biggest agencies, pleaded guilty last month to a DUI charge. Lanum was sentenced to 30 days' suspended sentence and six months of probation, according to an online docket report. Emails and calls to Lanum and his boss at the Department of General Services, director Brian Hanlon, were not immediately returned.”

NRA BUCKS MARYLAND: Or at least it’ll try, per the Washington Examiner, “The head of the nation's largest gun lobbying group said Tuesday that the organization plans to sue Maryland to prevent Gov. Martin O'Malley's sweeping new restrictions on so-called assault weapons from taking effect. The General Assembly passed the ban last week and is waiting for O'Malley to sign it, but National Rifle Association President David Keene said the NRA is already preparing for a court fight.”

A RACKET: Strange read, per the Washington Times, “Efforts by the District to include local, minority-owned and small businesses in city contracts have led to a system in which goods manufactured by major companies, including sensitive medical equipment, are routed regularly through residences where self-professed entrepreneurs — whose only client is the government — mark up and resell them.”

MARCUS VICK: Remember him?, per the Roanoke Times, “Former Virginia Tech football player Marcus Vick failed to appear for another court hearing in Montgomery County this week, and a judge has issued a capias for his arrest, according to a lawyer involved in the case. Vick, 29, was found in contempt of court in January and ordered to spend five days in a local jail for not providing financial documents.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat White Sox 8-7; Capitals beat Montreal 3-2; Wizards routed 120-99 by Knicks.

DON’T DRINK THE WATER: Or swim in it, per ARLnow, “Arlington County is warning residents to keep themselves and their pets out of three streams following a sewage release. The sewage release was the result of a blocked 12 inch sewage pipe, in the area between the Dominion Plaza Apartments (1200 S. Courthouse Road) and the Arlington Village Condominiums (1400 S. Barton Street), near Columbia Pike.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- Part One of our two-part D.C. Council debate. First up, incumbent Anita Bonds (D) and challengers Matthew Frumin (D) and Patrick Mara (R). On Friday, we’ll hear from Perry Redd (S/G), Elissa Silverman (D) and Paul Zukerberg (D). The panels were determined alphabetically.

--Skip Wood