DAYBREAK DAILY: State Fair of Virginia set for new era

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the upper 60s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Grief counselors plan to be on hand Monday after the Saturday afternoon stabbing death of linebacker Kenny Joseph Diaz, who played for Woodbridge; Prince George’s County deals with thefts from cars getting gas; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

MEET THE NEW FAIR: Of animal tweaks, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The State Fair of Virginia, which kicks off Friday, is getting back to its roots. The 10-day event is under a new ownership structure this year, and organizers are putting a greater focus on the fair’s agricultural history.

“The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which previously had been a 50 percent owner of the fair, bought the remaining share earlier this year. The 150-year-old fair has changed hands three times since its longtime operator filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2011 after failing to pay about $75 million in loans.”

ENDORESEMENT IN MARYLAND: Just the facts, per the Baltimore Sun, “U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski threw her support behind Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown on Sunday in the 2014 governor’s race, praising him as “a man of honor and a man of commitment." For Mikulski, her endorsement of Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, breaks with her usual practice of neutrality in Democratic primaries. “I never make this endorsement lightly or easily,” she said. “Every now and then you have to put what’s best for me aside.”

“Mikulski announced her backing of Brown at a rally in Silver Spring in the home county of Brown’s two known opponents in the June 24 primary, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur. Mizeur announced her candidacy in July. Gansler is scheduled to formally join the race Tuesday.”

MEANWHILE: No endorsement, this, per the Washington Post, “A liberal think tank’s analysis of Ken Cuccinelli II’s economic plan for Virginia says the Republican gubernatorial candidate would cut a $1.4 billion hole in the state’s budget to shave $6,391 off a millionaire’s tax bill, all at a time when the state economy seems less able to withstand such a blow.

“The tax proposal would also put another $985 in Cuccinelli’s own pocket, based on his 2012 salary as attorney general, the report says. That’s 10 times higher than the average tax break a middle-class family would receive, the group says. The analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund treads similar ground covered by other critics of Cuccinelli’s tax plan but also examines his proposal in the context of recently increasing stress on the commonwealth’s economy.”

CLOSING A DEAL: And bringing home the bacon, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Smithfield Foods Inc., the 77-year-old locally based pork company, might turn into a division of a Chinese conglomerate this week.

“On Tuesday, Smithfield's shareholders will vote in a meeting in Richmond on the $7.1 billion takeover proposal by Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., based in Hong Kong. Stockholders would receive $34 from Shuanghui for each Smithfield share. If it is approved, Smithfield said, the changeover will take effect by Thursday. It would be the largest acquisition of a U.S. business by a Chinese company.”

MAYHEM IN KENYA: Just the facts, per the New York Times, “The standoff at a mall in Nairobi, which the Kenyan authorities vowed would end on Sunday night, continued into Monday morning, with gunshots and explosions emanating from the besieged shopping center.

“Seeking to end a siege that has left scores dead and shaken the nation, the Kenyan government said it was pressing an assault against Shabab militant attackers who had been holed up in the mall for almost two days. Early Monday, gunfire and explosions were heard from the Westgate mall after the Kenyan military announced that it had retaken “most” of it.”

HILLARY CLINTON: Such a tease, per The Hill, “In an interview with New York Magazine published Sunday, the former New York senator and Secretary of State was asked if she “wrestle[s]” with running for president. Clinton said that she does.

“I do,” Clinton said. “but I’m both pragmatic and realistic. I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and governmental challenges that are facing our leaders, and I’ll do whatever I can from whatever position I find myself in to advocate for the values and the policies I think are right for the country. I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Ted Cruz and his allies are fighting a battle they will almost certainly lose in the Senate this week. The freshman Republican from Texas, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and some vocal House conservatives, pushed House Republican leaders to pass a bill Friday that funds the government until Dec. 15 at a $986 billion annual funding level but denies money for Obamacare’s implementation. That defunding provision is a nonstarter with President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who says it’s “dead” in his chamber.”

THE EMMYS: The envelope, please, per the Los Angeles Times, “It was a good night for “Breaking Bad,” “Modern Family” — and Liberace. The outgoing AMC drama “Breaking Bad” — which ends its series run a week from tonight — won best drama series, while it was a fourpeat for best comedy series for ABC’s “Modern Family.” “This may be the saddest Emmys of all time, but we could not be happier,” said “Modern Family” co-creator and producer Steven Levitan.

“In terms of sheer hardware, however, HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra” proved to be the big winner at the 65th Emmy Awards on CBS on Sunday night, with 11 trophies. The biopic about the flamboyant and secretly gay pianist Liberace and his love affair with a younger man won eight trophies last week at the Creative Arts Emmys, and three more Sunday night, including best miniseries or movie, director for Steven Soderbergh and lead actor in a movie or miniseries for Michael Douglas, who played Liberace.”

ROADS: And congestion, per the Frederick News-Post, “County staff members and representatives from the State Highway Administration met with the commissioners last week to go over transportation priorities for Frederick County. Transportation projects tend to develop slowly, so many of the items on the county priorities list were carried over from earlier years. The overall top priority remains widening U.S. 15 between I-70 and Md. 26.”

BULLYING: Just the facts, per the Charlottesville Daily Progress, “Half of Virginia’s middle school students say bullying is a problem in their school, and 30 percent report being physically attacked, pushed or hit in school, according to a recent University of Virginia study. Thirteen percent report being bullied on at least a weekly basis during the school year, according to the Curry School of Education survey.”

CALORIE COUNT: In your face, per Gazette.Net, “People might see more numbers on the menu when they eat out in Prince George’s if the county passes a law requiring chain restaurants to list calorie contents next to items on all their menus. Restaurants with five or more locations in the county would have to list calorie and salt content for “permanent” menu items — those offered for at least 30 days a year — or face a $100 fine, according to the bill, CB-74-2013, that County Councilman Eric C. Olson introduced Sept. 17.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Redskins lose 27-20 against Detroit; Nationals split doubleheader against Miami.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Speaking at a memorial service Sunday for the Navy Yard victims, President Obama says change will not come from politicians in Washington, who have been unable or unwilling to change the nation's gun laws even when tragedy strikes the capital city. Instead, Obama says, change will have to come the only way it ever has - from people demanding action.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- Sara Weir of the National Down Syndrome Society and Emma Saylor talk about the death of Emma's brother, Ethan.

--Skip Wood