ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 50s. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Coverage of the Chris Brown bodyguard trial; Serial animal abuser to be sentenced; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
NICE PLACET TO VISIT BUT: Wouldn’t want to live there?, per the Baltimore Sun, “Is Ocean City the most dangerous place to live in Maryland? Even more dangerous than Baltimore? “The surprising answer is yes, at least according to analysis by Movoto, a California-based real estate brokerage firm known for its data-based research of various trends and market conditions across the nation.
“The company this week released its list of the safest places to live in Maryland. Movoto said its report looked at places with populations of at least 5,000 and then ranked them based on FBI crime statistics in 2012. Ocean City landed on the bottom of the list, with residents facing a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime. The beach town fared worse than Baltimore, while two more Eastern Shore towns - Cambridge and Salisbury - also ranked near the bottom.” http://bsun.md/1j1cD5A
EVER-RISING TUITION: This time it’s U.Va., per the Washington Post, “Undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Virginia would rise 4.3 percent for Virginians in the coming year under a proposal the governing board will consider next week. The basic in-state price of the public flagship university, not counting room and board, would be $12,998 if the Board of Visitors approves the increase at its meeting Wednesday in the southwest Virginia town of Abingdon. The current price is $12,458.
“Board member Edward D. Miller said it was hard to justify the rate increase at a time when the national inflation rate is about 1.5 percent. Miller said he plans to oppose the proposal, and board member Helen E. Dragas expressed reservations about it. Miller acknowledged that it is likely to pass.” http://wapo.st/1leSf2c
GET OUT OF JAIL: And get out the vote, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to announce today that he will shrink the time violent felons must wait to seek reinstatement of their voting rights and will remove some offenses from that list.
“The policy slated to take effect April 21 comes on top of years of work to streamline the process, and aims to make the system easier to understand and to allow more felons to petition the state more quickly.” http://bit.ly/1pfzkdQ
UKRAINE: A tentative deal, per the New York Times, “The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union reached an agreement on Thursday evening that called for armed pro-Russian bands in eastern Ukraine to surrender the government buildings they have seized and that outlined other steps to defuse a crisis that has rattled the international community.
“The diplomatic accord, while limited in scope, represented the first time Russia and Ukraine had found common ground since protests toppled a pro-Moscow government in Kiev, leading the Kremlin to annex the Crimean Peninsula and threaten other parts of Ukraine with 40,000 troops on its border. The deal came hours after Ukrainian security forces killed three pro-Russian activists in a firefight.” http://nyti.ms/1i1d0KT
MARIJUANA WARNING LABELS: Lest there be confusion, per the Denver Post, “A bill in the Colorado legislature to put extra safety restrictions on marijuana-infused edible products passed its first test Thursday. The bill would require marijuana edibles to eventually be made in a unique shape or with a unique stamp or color to differentiate them from other food products. It would be up to the state Department of Revenue to figure out the exact regulations and have them in place by 2016.
“The bill won unanimous approval in its first legislative committee hearing Thursday, but it still must survive several more votes in the session's closing weeks to make it to the governor's desk. Proponents of the bill, House Bill 1366, say it is needed to prevent accidental ingestion of marijuana-infused products — such as brownies or candies — once they are removed from their labeled packaging. Supporters say kids and adults alike have increasingly consumed marijuana products accidentally since the beginning of legal sales.” http://bit.ly/Qsdtjl
POLITICO PLAY: “House Democrats, battered by Koch brothers ads and facing a grim outlook for the midterms, are providing the clearest indication yet of how they plan to respond: By shoring up imperiled incumbents and only the most promising challengers, but most likely leaving some of the party’s upstart hopefuls to fend for themselves.
“The aim of the strategy, detailed in nearly two dozen interviews with party officials and strategists, is a tacit acknowledgement of the ominous political environment Democrats are up against this year. The goal is to stop Republicans from padding their 17-seat edge and keep the party within striking distance of the majority in 2016, a presidential election year that could well be more favorable to Democrats.” http://politi.co/1lcirid
OBAMACARE: Rolling along, per The Hill, “A defiant President Obama on Thursday announced that 8 million people have enrolled in ObamaCare plans while exhorting Democrats to “be proud” of what they’ve achieved.
“Holding an unscheduled press conference at the White House, Obama took a victory lap on the healthcare law and assailed Republicans as refusing "to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working." . . ."They said nobody would sign up. They were wrong about that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country. They were wrong about that," Obama said.” http://bit.ly/QjsvZ5
PETER LABOY: And a gold medal, per ABC7-WJLA, “Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy’s road to recovery has been a long and difficult one. . ., beginning with the moment on February 27, 2013, when Laboy was shot in the head while making a traffic stop.
“. . .At Thursday’s Alexandria Valor Awards, Laboy received a gold medal – the highest honor for valor and heroism. Park Police Sergeant Kevin Chittick, the helicopter pilot who flew Laboy to MedStar Washington Hospital Center after quickly doing an emergency landing in a school playground, is receiving a bronze medal.” http://wj.la/1nt0yJ9
BICYCLE SHORTAGE: And bankruptcy, per City Paper, “Call it the butterfly effect of bike sharing: A bankruptcy and sale in Montreal could mean no new Capital Bikeshare bikes for a while here in D.C.
“In January, the Public Bike System Company, known as Bixi, filed for bankruptcy. Bixi supplies bikes for bike-sharing systems in 15 cities, including the District. On April 12, the Washington Post reported that the bankruptcy had halted purchases of new bikes and docking stations that could have expanded the Capital Bikeshare system in the District and into College Park.” http://bit.ly/PaXhCg
A RETURN: Of Pete Piringer, per Gazette.Net, “Having served nearly 40 years as the face of public safety in and around the nation’s capital, Pete Piringer has returned to Montgomery County with a flurry of tweets and a mission to engage the community — be they online or in neighborhoods. “They call me Tweety Peety,” Piringer joked.
“Piringer began his duties as Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service’s official spokesman on March 24. He has tweeted more than 400 times in less than a month on the job, averaging 20 tweets a day from his @mcfrsPIO account. “For us to be successful in keeping our community well and safe, we have to be engaged,” said Piringer.” http://bit.ly/PaXBRm
DOUBLE SHOT: Truly, per the Frederick News-Post, “A Frederick woman who faced panhandling and drug charges a little more than two weeks ago has now been charged with burglary. Lorrie Jenkins, 48, of the 1400 block of Key Parkway, was charged Wednesday after a man called Frederick police to report Jenkins broke into his home and demanded money, according to documents filed in Frederick County District Court.” http://bit.ly/1qSXCaO
D.C. LAWSUIT: Just the facts, per DCist, “Standing in front of the D.C. Superior Court before members of the media (Thursday) morning, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and attorneys Karen L. Dunn and Brian D. Netter, announced that the D.C. Council has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Vince Gray and the city's Chief Financial Officer over the budget autonomy referendum.” http://bit.ly/1leXYoR
RUN AGROUND: Virginia Beach oceanfront has quite the big problem, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Efforts to move the grounded bulk carrier Ornak are scheduled to begin again Friday morning. Grounded near the 2800 block of Shore Drive since Tuesday night, the 751-foot ship will have ballast water pumped off the vessel in the morning and then tug boats will try to move it at high tide, around 10:45 a.m., according to a Coast Guard news release.
“Once the vessel is freed, it will be moved to Lynnhaven Anchorage for a hull inspection by a dive team. After the ship is deemed safe, it should be allowed back into service. The ship ran aground Tuesday night during a storm that featured wind gusts of about 60 mph. It was stuck in a little more than 15 feet of water a few hundred yards from where it had originally anchored.” http://bit.ly/1jai0iW
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 8-0 against St. Louis.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “After two tough weeks of searching for the remains of victims in the Washington mudslide, members of a canine team sent by Fairfax County returned home Thursday night. The rescuers say the job wasn't easy, but the dogs handled the situation remarkably well.” http://wj.la/1miGV6P
NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- We'll discuss the D.C. Council's lawsuit against Mayor Vincent Gray with attorney Brian Netter.