ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 60s and isolated showers. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Opening Day for D.C. as the Nationals play host to NL East rival Atlanta; University of Maryland reports peeping tom incidents; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
PRIVACY, PLEASE: Request denied, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Federal prosecutors are opposing a request by attorneys for former Gov. Bob McDonnell to keep private some information supporting their motion to separate the trials of McDonnell and his wife. McDonnell’s attorneys say the declarations contain confidential information that would reveal elements of the defense’s trial strategy — giving an unfair advantage to the government if it had access to them.
“. . .But federal prosecutors oppose keeping the information private, arguing that precluding government review of the declarations would prevent prosecutors from submitting to the court an informed response to the motions to sever the trials.” http://bit.ly/1j7Ilzy
BLAME GAME: Of Maryland and health care, per the Baltimore Sun, “Maryland's top health official told a congressional panel in Washington on Thursday that IT contractors were to blame for the state's troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and suggested that the state may reimburse the federal government if it can claw back money from those companies.
“Though Maryland Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein has repeatedly testified in Annapolis about the launch of the glitch-prone website, the hearing by a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was the first time he has publicly addressed questions from federal lawmakers about the exchange.” http://bsun.md/1lrWNDp
BUDGET BUSTER: Going out with a, something, per the Washington Post, “Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s final D.C. budget proposal, released to lawmakers Thursday, rejects several of the most ambitious and controversial tax changes recommended by a blue-ribbon commission last year. Gray’s budget proposal for fiscal 2015 includes a new, lower income-tax bracket for residents in the $40,000-to-$60,000 range, a change that would yield $200 in annual savings at the top of the range.
“Not included are commission recommendations for more dramatic structural changes in the city’s income and sales taxes and for a $25-per-employee fee to be levied quarterly on District employers. Gray’s spending plan came two days after his loss to D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (Ward 4) in Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary. Its submission kicked off an unprecedented nine-month lame-duck period for the 71-year-old mayor.” http://wapo.st/1mGoW9K
SO LONG, DAVE: And Paul, per the New York Times, “David Letterman, the longest-running host in the history of late-night television, will retire from his CBS show next year, the latest shake-up in a roiling talk-show lineup. Mr. Letterman, who has always used his show as the outlet for discussing developments in both his life and his career, announced his decision during a taping Thursday afternoon in Manhattan.
“He said he had informed the CBS president, Leslie Moonves, of his intention to step down from “Late Show With David Letterman” at the end of his current contract, which expires in 2015. Mr. Moonves has been steadfast in his assurances in recent years that he would never ask Mr. Letterman to retire, saying at one point, “You don’t do that to a television legend.” Mr. Letterman, who will turn 67 next week, is considered by many critics and fans to be the most original voice in the late-night format, and several of his comedy bits, including Stupid Pet Tricks, Stupid Human Tricks and his nightly Top 10 list, have become indelible pieces of contemporary American culture.” http://nyti.ms/1dSgioY
POLITICO PLAY: “TV host David Letterman sent shock waves through the entertainment community Thursday when he gave notice that he’ll retire from CBS’s “The Late Show” next year. In the spirit of his quintessential style that he developed over the past 22 years, here are 10 political moments from Letterman’s recent history.” http://politi.co/1jIN8bI
FORT HOOD SHOOTINGS: Details, details, per the Associated Press, “Guns are wall-to-wall at the Guns Galore shop near Fort Hood, and so are posters: No Idiots Allowed. This Isn't a Place for Children to Play. Firearm Trafficking is Illegal. But now that a second mass shooting at the Texas military base has been linked to guns bought at the squat brick store, which promises "3,000 Guns In Stock," the message Guns Galore clerks are emphasizing is don't blame them.
“Fort Hood officials say Guns Galore, perched along the main road to the nation's largest Army post, is where Spc. Ivan Lopez bought the .45-caliber pistol used to kill three people and wound 16 others this week. It also sold a semi-automatic pistol, laser sights and high-capacity magazines in 2009 to Nidal Hasan, who then killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in a base rampage.” http://apne.ws/1hbgY9w
MEANWHILE: Of a familiar, painful feeling, per the Dallas Morning News, “For the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood attack, Wednesday’s shooting forced them to relive the tragedy from which they had not yet fully healed. “It’s a shock, it brings up images of what we went through that day,” said retired Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times, with one bullet hitting him in the chest in front of his heart.
“Manning, 38, said that he had been in contact with other soldiers who survived the 2009 rampage and that Wednesday’s violence took them back to when Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at the base. Training can’t fully prepare soldiers for the flood of emotions that comes when they see someone they care about lying on the ground bleeding or dead, he said.” http://dallasne.ws/1hazWwK
UKRAINE: The latest, per The Hill, “President Obama briefed congressional leaders on his consultations with NATO allies and thanked them for passing a Ukraine aid bill during a meeting Thursday night at the White House. Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for over an hour in the Oval Office to discuss the latest attempts by the U.S. and Europe to punish Russia for their incursion into Crimea.” http://bit.ly/1lFhEFU
WINDING DOWN: With much to do, per Gazette.Net, “Maryland has three days left in its legislative session and as the state works to wrap up its budget, pass a minimum wage and medical marijuana and close a loophole for sexual conduct with students, Montgomery County’s top priority for the session appears to be headed nowhere. The session ends at midnight Monday.” http://bit.ly/PvmPdO
MEANWHILE: Mixed “reviews,” per the Frederick News-Post, “State legislators Thursday grilled leaders of Maryland’s health insurance marketplace shortly after the release of a report that did not determine who was responsible for key decisions during development of the exchange’s glitchy website.
“The report prepared by the Maryland Office of Legislative Audits reviewed concerns raised during construction of the problematic website. However, the legislative auditors acknowledged the limitations of their report, writing in an accompanying letter that the “review was not conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.” http://bit.ly/1j8UJQ2
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat N.Y. Mets 8-2 to complete three-game sweep heading into today’s home opener against Atlanta.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The University of Maryland is investigating two peeping tom incidents. Campus police say on Wednesday, a female employee reported the first incident in the women's bathroom at the biology-psychology building. The second incident happened a few hours later in a women's bathroom inside the Laplata Hall dorms. http://wj.la/1gUn5xD
NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- Attorney Chris Ashby talks about the Restoration Fund's campaign to defend former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell. Then, Prince George's County Council Chairman Mel Franklin discusses efforts to force the new MGM casino project to hire county residents.