DAYBREAK DAILY: New poll gives Cuccinelli slight lead over McAuliffe

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs in the mid 50s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Coverage from the Wilson Building about D.C.’s ambulance situation; the NCAA tournament makes its return to the Verizon Center; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: A bill cracking down on parents of children who miss too much school is headed to the full D.C. Council for a vote. Parents will now be informed after their child misses 10 days that they could face prosecution. After 15 absences, cases would be referred to the attorney general. What are your thoughts on this plan?

VIRGINIA’S STRANGE RACE: We have a (slight) leader, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Ken Cuccinelli is narrowly ahead of Terry McAuliffe, 40 percent to 38 percent, in the Virginia governor's race for the first time since Quinnipiac University began polling voter attitudes on the contest last November, a year before the election. The Cuccinelli-McAuliffe tilt makes the state ground zero in national politics, with few other prominent races across the country this year and none with two polar-opposite candidates duking it out in a swing state.”

MARYLAND MONEY: It’s flowing, per the Baltimore Sun, “Average personal income rose slightly more in Maryland last year than in the nation as a whole, but not as much as in 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Wednesday. Maryland personal income increased 3.6 percent on average last year, compared with a gain of nearly 5 percent in 2011. Nationwide, the figure rose 3.5 percent last year versus 5.2 percent growth the year before.”

FELONS AND THE VOTE: Of a sticky issue, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Following a failed legislative effort to automatically restore voting rights to nonviolent felons, advocates are urging Gov. Bob McDonnell to do it himself. Several groups are calling on McDonnell — who backed the legislative effort — to use his executive powers to grant a blanket restoration to felons who have served their sentences. They have launched an online pledge to rally support and tout recent polling on the issue.”

NO ONIONS, PLEASE: Or anything else, per the Washington Post, “The latest proposed vending regulations determining how and where food trucks can operate in the District could make much of the central downtown business area off-limits to unlucky operators, according to the results of a recent sidewalk survey by the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington. The association spent hundreds of man-hours measuring the sidewalks in the Central Business District, the high-density area where food trucks sell lunch to hungry workers, to find out which parking spots would be legal under the proposed regulations. It found that the vast majority would be prohibited to vendors who did not secure a spot through the proposed lottery system for prime, extended-hour locations.”

DOMA DOOMED?: Could be, per the New York Times, “The Supreme Court appeared ready on Wednesday to strike down a central part of a federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as a majority of the justices expressed reservations about the Defense of Marriage Act. On the second day of intense arguments over the volatile issue of same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who most likely holds the decisive vote, returned again and again to the theme that deciding who is married is a matter for the states.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Kentucky is the Bluegrass State, but by the time Mitch McConnell is done with his reelection campaign, it may be better known for scorched earth. The top Senate Republican is preparing to wage a ruthless campaign to hang on to his job. He’s already on the air with nearly $200,000 in TV and radio ads, is assembling streams of data to target voters with tailor-made messages, and has quietly moved to lock down support from virtually every state GOP legislator. He says he’ll use “every penny” of a war chest certain to exceed the $21 million he spent in 2008.”

OBIT: Just the facts, per Gazette.Net, “Wayne Whigham had just one son but is being remembered as a father to many. The Montgomery County Public Schools community is mourning the loss of Whigham, 63, who died suddenly March 14 after suffering complications from a surgery meant to address ongoing health issues. Whigham, of Silver Spring, was director of the school system’s appeals and transfers team, which works with students, principals and families to find solutions for students who have been suspended or expelled.”

GOOD READ: Some allies are better than others, per City Paper, “Mayor Vince Gray has not been shy about firing high-ranking officials when they become inconvenient. . . But Gray’s tolerance for controversy or alleged ineptitude isn’t always so slight; he’ll stick with some department heads no matter how much heat they generate.”

ICKY: So it goes, per the Washington Examiner, “A University of Maryland student awaiting trial on child pornography charges was arrested in a separate case this week after he arranged to have sex with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, authorities say. Court documents describe how 18-year-old freshman Akshay Rajshekar walked to class Monday while discussing final plans to have sex with the girl and her father.”

DEATH ON A SHIP: Information coming, per the Washington Times, “Details regarding the suspicious death of a 64-year-old Virginia woman aboard a cruise ship that departed from Baltimore are expected to be released Thursday, FBI officials said. The Midlothian, Va., woman’s husband found her unresponsive Sunday inside their Royal Caribbean cruise ship cabin as the vessel was returning to Baltimore from a weeklong cruise, a spokeswoman for the ship line said. The husband alerted crew members who tried to resuscitate the woman. She was pronounced dead on the ship.”

ASHLEY JUDD: Not running, per the Los Angeles Times, “Ashley Judd put an end to speculation about a potential turn from acting to politics Wednesday, announcing that she would not challenge Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat in 2014. In a series of Twitter messages, Judd thanked her would-be supporters for their encouragement but said she needed to focus her energy on her family.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 103-80 against Oklahoma City.

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is former U.S. Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va.), who will be asked about the sequester's impact on the region, the president's second term, the GOP's demographic dilemma and the race for governor in Virginia.

--Skip Wood

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