DAYBREAK DAILY: U.Va.'s Dragas supported by head of Va. Senate

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Rainy and chilly with highs in the mid 40s.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: More than a dozen animals, victims of Superstorm Sandy, are now in Washington for a shot at a new life. Eight dogs and five cats waited for weeks at a Queens, New York animal shelter after Hurricane Sandy, just in case their owners came back. They arrived Monday afternoon at the Washington Animal Rescue League. For more photos, click here:

VOW OF SUPPORT: From high places, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The majority leader of the Virginia Senate said Monday he will vote to confirm Helen E. Dragas to a controversial second four-year term on the University of Virginia board of visitors. In announcing his support, Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, cited comments by U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan that it wouldn’t “be productive to continue to re-hash the events of June.” But he also said refusing to reconfirm Dragas would weaken the governing boards of public universities. A House subcommittee could take up Dragas’ confirmation on Tuesday morning.”

DON’T SHOOT: Unless conditions are met, per the Baltimore Sun, “Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Monday broad details of a plan that would give Maryland among the nation's strictest gun laws. No one would be allowed to own a handgun without first passing a training course and giving fingerprints to a police database. That licensing provision, expected to be controversial in Annapolis, is the most sweeping change in a proposal that also includes a ban on the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, which were used in the Newtown school shooting that has sparked a national debate on gun control.”

MEANWHILE: More of the same, per the New York Times, “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders tentatively agreed on Monday on a broad package of changes to gun laws that would expand the state’s ban on assault weapons and would include new measures to keep guns away from the mentally ill.”

AND THIS: The NRA may smirk, but. . .per the Washington Post, “Most Americans support tough new measures to counter gun violence, including banning assault weapons and posting armed guards at every school, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than half of Americans — 52 percent in the poll — say the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has made them more supportive of gun control; just 5 percent say they are now less apt to back tighter restrictions.”

POLITICO PLAY: “If you thought the fiscal cliff was bad, just wait for the triple threat. The White House and Congress are facing three critical deadlines — the country hits its debt limit as early as mid-February, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts take effect March 2, and the government runs out of money to fund operations later that month.”

A D.C. SPLIT: Rather, she split, per City Paper, “Ex-Mayor Adrian Fenty has told friends he and his wife, Michelle Fenty, are separating, people familiar with the situation (including one source close to the former mayor) tell LL. Michelle Fenty, who took a job in Trinidad and Tobago last year with the Inter-American Development Bank, remained mostly out of the spotlight during her husband's four-year term.”

SEAFOOD LOBBY: Go fish, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Things are getting a bit fishy this week at the Virginia General Assembly. Representatives from the state's seafood industry - a load of fresh-caught fish in tow - have taken over a section of the General Assembly Building, which houses legislators' offices and meeting rooms. They'll be staked out there for the week, hoping to educate legislators about their contributions to the economy and encourage them to support policies they say will help their businesses.”

HELPING HAND: Some smell a rat, per the Washington Examiner, “D.C. Councilman Vincent Orange in December sought to intervene when the city's health inspectors shuttered a grocery store for an infestation of rodents, District records show.”

GRIM DOINGS: Just the facts, per the Washington Times, “A D.C. police officer killed a 20-year-old aspiring sheriff’s deputy and left their baby to die in a sweltering car because he did not want to have to pay her for child support, Prince George’s County prosecutors said Monday as the officer’s double-murder trial began. Richmond Diallo Phillips, 40, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the 2011 deaths of Wynetta Wright and their daughter, Jaylin Wright, who went missing on May 31, 2011, the day before Mr. Phillips was scheduled for a child-support hearing in a paternity suit involving the year-old girl.”

OF A PROTEST: And a union, per ARLnow, “Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada will participate in a protest against an Arlington-based company Tuesday morning. The demonstration, organized in part by the Laborers International Union of North America, will protest the “use of immigration status against workers” by Corinthian Contractors, Inc. Arlington residents and local immigration groups are expected to protest outside the company’s Shirlington-area headquarters.”

TAXI!: With a twist, per DCist, “The sedan-by-smartphone company Uber is making the most of its newfound legality in D.C. with the introduction (Monday) of service that will permit users to reserve standard-issue taxicabs. With Uber Taxi, the company is contracting with cabs around the District to tap into the mobile dispatch market currently occupied by programs like TaxiMagic and Hailo.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who will be asked about the inauguration, efforts to grow the police force, the gun debate and more.

--Skip Wood

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