DAYBREAK DAILY: McDonnell's defense already has cost Va. $50K

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – More monuments, buildings defaced; Explosions rock Florida gas plant; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

SAY WHAT?: Of a hefty tab for Virginians, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The firm of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s state-appointed attorney has billed the state $53,530 for roughly a month’s work.

“That covers the initial services of former Attorney General Anthony F. Troy and some other staffers from his firm. Troy was appointed by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to represent McDonnell in legal matters related to a criminal case alleging embezzlement by the former chef at the Executive Mansion. The appointment, effective April 26, was made necessary by the “practical conflict previously noted by this office” in the case of the former chef, Todd Schneider, according to the appointment letter from Cuccinelli’s office to Troy.”

SOLD: Actually, the deal is pending, per the Washington Post, “Allbritton Communications of Rosslyn on Monday said it will sell eight television properties, includingWJLA and NewsChannel 8, to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $985 million, a blockbuster deal that ends a 40-year era in Washington media. The nearly billion-dollar deal is the latest in a series of big media acquisitions to pounce on the increasing value of broadcast television properties. Sinclair, the largest independent owner of television stations, is paying far more than the $300 million some analysts had expected the stations to yield.

“The deal also marks the end of a long chapter in the Washington media dynasty started by Joe L. Allbritton, who died in December. The company is now run by his son, Robert Allbritton, 44, who is exiting the television business his father built around its crown jewel, WJLA, known as ABC7. The Allbritton company, which once included television stations, newspapers and Riggs Bank, is being converted into a new media company building on the success of Politico, a political news Web site and newspaper launched in 2007.”

PEACE: Well, that’s the plan, anyway, per the New York Times, “For all of the intricacies of issues like the shape of future borders, security arrangements and the status of Jerusalem, the Middle East peace talks that resumed Monday night are dominated by two simple questions: If it took Secretary of State John Kerry countless phone calls and six trips to the Middle East just to get Israeli and Palestinian officials to the negotiating table, how will it be possible to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement? And what will happen if his herculean negotiating efforts fall short?

“In a brief appearance at the State Department on Monday, Mr. Kerry said his goal was to pursue “reasonable compromises” of some of the Middle East’s most intractable issues.”

WHEN THINGS GO BOOM: In the night, per the Orlando Sentinel, “A large series of explosions rocked a gas plant in Lake County late Monday, causing multiple casualties and forcing the evacuations of residents at least a mile away, authorities said.

“About two dozen people were working the night shift at Blue Rhino, a propane-tank business. By 2 a.m. Tuesday, all employees were accounted for, said Lt. John Herrell, a Sheriff's Office spokesman. There were no reports of fatalities, Herrell said. At least seven people were taken to hospitals, he said.”

GREEN SLIME: Or something like that, per ABC7—WJLA, “Metropolitan Police arrested 58-year-old Jiamei Tian on Monday for allegedly splattering green paint at the National Cathedral. She has been charged with Defacing Property. Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said the woman was arrested in the area of the cathedral Monday.

“Cathedral officials said in a statement that paint was splattered in the property's Bethlehem Chapel and the Children's Chapel. Officials say fresh, wet paint was found on the chapel's organ, leading them to believe that the vandals struck very recently.”

FATAL CHOPPER CRASH: Just the facts, per the Baltimore Sun, “Thunderstorms and heavy fog were rolling through northeastern Pennsylvania's rugged terrain Saturday night when a small helicopter crashed, killing all five people on board, including three from the Baltimore area. The local medical examiner's office identified the passengers as Bernard Michael Kelly, 58, of Ellicott City; his daughter, Leanna Mee Kelly, 27, of Savage; David Ernest Jenny Jr., 30, of Towson; Carl Robert Woodland, 29, of Lovettsville, Va.; and his son, Noah Robert McKain Woodland, 3.”

POLITICO PLAY: “They’ve been wined and dined by President Barack Obama, spoken repeatedly with the White House chief of staff and met privately in the Capitol. But after months of talking, the grand bargain between the White House and congressional Republicans is just as elusive as ever.

“As fall approaches, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough has met frequently with Republican senators in the hopes of finding consensus on an overarching fiscal deal. But the two sides are stuck in the same-old tax-and-spending debate — Democrats want to raise revenue, while Republicans refuse. The lack of progress underscores a growing belief in Washington: The long-sought grand bargain could very well be out of reach during the Obama presidency.”

EAT YOUR VEGGIES: We’re only doing what’s good for you, per Gazette.Net, “Rockville’s Planning Commission has recommended designating a home as historic over objections from the property owner, who says that designation is neither needed nor wanted. Those who supported the designation said it would preserve the building in the future, especially if it is sold.

“The commission voted 4-2 Wednesday evening to recommend historic designation for the house at 628 Great Falls Road, which is owned by the Rockville, Maryland, Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Commission Chairman Jerry Callistein and Commissioner David Hill voted against the recommendation. Commissioner Kate Ostell was not at the meeting.”

OF COURSE THEY DID: Shocker, per the Washington Times, “Virginia Republicans on Monday called on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe to reveal more information about his former car company’s ties to a federal official under investigation about his role in a visa financing program.

"In particular, state Sen. Tom Garrett singled out a 2009 email from state economic development official Liz Povar saying that “[I] still can’t get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount.” The Lynchburg Republican has repeatedly — and unsuccessfully — petitioned the federal government for answers about the EB-5 program, in which foreign investors put up between $500,000 and $1 million for American companies in exchange for legal status.”

HEAVY LIFTING: Or not, per City Paper, “The District's Office of the Inspector General hasn't been doing much quality inspecting lately. In one of its latest reports, the inspector general discovers that a Department of Parks and Recreation employee was using too much city gas—but can't prove that the employee was actually stealing it. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute. In another report, the inspector general continues its long-standing crusade against handicap placard abuse.”

KOKESH REBUFFED: No soup for you, per DCist, “A D.C. judge called Adam Kokesh a "very dangerous person" in denying bond to the gun rights activist on a charge stemming from a video Kokesh posted in which he appears to load a shotgun while standing on Freedom Plaza. Kokesh, 31, was in D.C. Superior Court on Monday morning in connection with the July 4 video, which Kokesh posted as to taunt the District's strict gun laws. He is charged with a single count of carrying a gun outside a home or place of business, which carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.”

SPOTLESS WINDOWS: And not only that. . ., per ARLnow, “A window cleaner is wanted by Arlington County Police for allegedly cleaning out jewelry and medications from some of the homes he worked on. Justin Honaker, 33, of Falls Church, is suspected in a string of residential larcenies in Arlington and Fairfax counties, police said Monday afternoon.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “According to the Associated Press, defense officials are saying that department workers will likely face up to five fewer furlough days than originally planned, taking six to eight unpaid days off rather than 11. The furloughs are expected to save roughly $2 billion.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who will be asked about drug arrests in the District, the arrest of Libertarian activist Adam Kokesh, the recent sexual assault on the Howard campus, the proposal to decriminalize marijuana possession and the recent ruling on All Hands on Deck.

--Skip Wood