DAYBREAK DAILY: McDonnell scrambles to repay loans and gifts

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‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Three winning tickets in Wednesday night $448 million Powerball jackpot; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

MCDONNELL SCRAMBLES: Virginia’s governor has no choice, per the Associated Press, “Gov. Bob McDonnell has refinanced his private residence and restructured loans on other properties as he repays a businessman and donor who showered him and his family with gifts. Court and government records reveal real estate transactions that could free up cash while McDonnell and his family return gifts and loans totaling more than $150,000 to Jonnie Williams, the CEO of an obscure nutritional supplement maker who is the central figure in a political scandal that began to emerge in April, when the governor initiated the series of property transactions.

“However, public documents do not indicate if McDonnell has spent any of the money freed up by those transactions, or whether any of it may have been used to repay Williams. Besides the repayment of the politically embarrassing loans, McDonnell faces unspecified costs for a legal and public relations team he hired as he faces federal and state investigations into his dealings with Williams.”

P.G. SCHOOLS: Of security concerns, per Gazette.Net, “To ensure student safety in Prince George’s County Public Schools, the school system is beefing up security by adding electronic safety devices to all schools and practicing emergency protocols. The school system is investing $7.5 million in devices such as surveillance cameras, electronic entry and panic buttons, and a system for alerting authorities in an emergency situation for its 205 school facilities, said Michael Blow, director of security for Prince George’s County Public Schools.”

D.C. JOBS: Mixed bag, per the Washington Post, “Cranes are the most obvious signs of economic activity in the District today. They seem to be everywhere, raising new commercial spaces and condo complexes, towering over a summer of construction that few other U.S. cities can match. They are also masking a local labor market that is struggling, largely because of federal budget cuts. In the city, and the city only, the across-the-board federal cuts known as sequestration are dragging the economy down faster than builders can lift it up.

“The District has lost about 2,600 jobs on net since October, even as the metropolitan area has added about 30,000. Wage growth has stalled for District residents, and economists predict that wages will fall over the rest of the year. City unemployment is not rising, but it remains well above the national average, especially east of the Anacostia River.”

NSA TACTICS: The latest, per the New York Times, “The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials.

“The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.”

U.VA. MAKES A CHANGE: Of low-income assistance, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The University of Virginia will drop an original tenet of its financial-aid program that assured low-income students could graduate without debt, raising concerns that socioeconomic diversity will suffer in the effort to shore up the finances of AccessUVa. At its weekend retreat, U.Va.’s board of visitors with two dissenting votes approved a change that will limit grant awards and include loans for the first time in the aid packages of undergraduates with the most financial need.”

GOOD CALL, POTUS: That’s what they’re saying, per The Hill, “Lawmakers rallied around President Obama after he canceled a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday as U.S.-Russian relations appeared headed toward a deep chill. Both Republicans and Democrats praised Obama for snubbing Putin and opting not to travel to Moscow for the bilateral summit ahead of the September G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he will still attend.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Rep. Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez secretly spoke to wealthy donors at the Koch brothers’ recently concluded summer gathering on the outskirts of Albuquerque. The 2012 vice presidential candidate and No. 2 House Republican are return participants to the twice-annual seminar, which also drew wealthy donors and conservative nonprofit leaders including American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks.”

DISTURBING: And then some, per ABC7—WJLA, “The 33-year-old man suspected of killing his girlfriend's 4-year-old son punched him several times in the abdomen with enough force to lacerate his liver, police say. MPD officials have charged Peter Hendy with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Kamari Zavon Taylor, who was found unconscious and later died on Monday afternoon.”

SOCCER SCRAP: Or something like that, per WAMU, “D.C.'s plan to build a new soccer stadium in southwest Washington has been hailed as a "landmark" deal by city officials. But a new complication might make the deal more difficult to complete than many realize. If you pull out a map of where the city plans to build the new $300 million, 20,000-seat D.C. United stadium, get in a car and drive down to where the middle of the field might be, you'll hear the crunch of metal on metal, smell the kind of acrid smoke that burns your nostrils, and see 10-, 20-, even 30-foot piles of steel, aluminum and other materials. Welcome to D.C.'s last remaining salvage yard.”

GROUNDED: Of ambulance repairs, per the Washington Times, “Nearly three-fourths of the D.C. fire department’s ambulance fleet had to be pulled from the streets for repairs during a July heat wave that wreaked havoc on the units’ air conditioning systems, according to new data provided by the department. A total of 67 ambulances required some type of mechanical service from July 19 to 26, with 22 ambulances requiring service more than two times, according to fire department spokesman Tim Wilson.”

MIXED SIGNALS: Just the facts, per the AP, “The Pentagon is poised to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of August, but may reverse earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married. According to a draft Defense Department memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 6-3 against Atlanta.

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--Skip Wood

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