DAYBREAK DAILY: UR basketball staff grapples with balloon-crash aftermath

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the low 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Oral arguments to begin in lawsuit pitting one branch of District government against another; Rally for missing girls at the Nigerian Embassy; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

UR WOMEN’S COACH TALKS ABOUT BALLOON ACCIDENT: per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Nothing in Michael Shafer’s past has prepared him for his present. Shafer, the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Richmond, fought to maintain his composure Tuesday afternoon as he discussed for the first time the death of two members of his staff in Friday’s fiery crash of a hot air balloon in Caroline County.

“Cruel circumstance has magnified Shafer’s burden. The Spiders head coach also attended and flew as a passenger at the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival. He witnessed the accident that killed associate head coach Ginny Doyle and operations director Natalie Lewis. The balloon in which Shafer was riding landed safely. Soon thereafter, the balloon carrying Doyle and Lewis struck a power line.

“Shafer answered without hesitation when asked how one copes with so horrific an experience. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just don’t know.” He said the value of Doyle and Lewis to UR’s women’s basketball program was inestimable — not only because of the skill with which they performed their appointed tasks, but also because of their uncommon ability to interact with others.”

UNDER ARMOUR: Of high ambitions, per the Baltimore Sun, “Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is far from alone in believing the relatively young Baltimore-based company has a shot at becoming the world's biggest sports brand. Among nearly 200 shareholders who crowded into the company's Locust Point headquarters for its annual meeting Tuesday were more than a few who shared the founder's enthusiasm.

“. . . The less than 2-decade-old sports apparel company is looking to take market share from bigger rivals such as Nike and Adidas by targeting the women's sports apparel and footwear markets, opening dozens of its own retail outlets and spreading its brand slowly but surely around the globe, Plank said during the presentation. Sales in Europe, Asia and Latin America accounted for less than 10 percent of Under Armour's revenue of $2.3 billion in 2013.”

TERM LIMITS IN P.G.: Or not, per the Washington Post, “The Prince George’s County Council is weighing whether to ask voters to change a law limiting elected officials to two consecutive terms in office, a restriction that is unique in the Washington metro area and reflects an anti-incumbent sentiment that county officials believe has started to wane.

“A commission is recommending a referendum measure that would allow the county executive and members of the council to serve up to three consecutive terms — an option it believes might be more palatable to voters than eliminating term limits altogether.”

GAY MARRIAGE: So much to talk (shout) about, per the Associated Press, “Federal appeals court judges aggressively questioned lawyers on both sides of Virginia's potentially landmark gay marriage case Tuesday while hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse, holding signs and shouting competing slogans.

“The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hinted at varying stances as they grilled attorneys for four couples challenging the state's same-sex marriage prohibition and lawyers for two circuit court clerks defending it. A decision is expected in a few weeks on an issue that both sides believe ultimately will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

CHEAP FLIGHTS: Relatively speaking, per ABC7-WJLA, “Frontier Airlines will begin flying to and from Dulles International Airport to 14 destinations including Chicago, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. . . Many airline analysts say the addition of Frontier will mean lower airfares for everyone flying through Dulles – considered one of the most expensive airports in the country.”

CLIMATE CHANGE: Don’t tell Marco Rubio, per the New York Times, “The accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk to national security and acts as a catalyst for global political conflict, a report published Tuesday by a leading government-funded military research organization concluded.

“The Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board found that climate change-induced drought in the Middle East and Africa is leading to conflicts over food and water and escalating longstanding regional and ethnic tensions into violent clashes. The report also found that rising sea levels are putting people and food supplies in vulnerable coastal regions like eastern India, Bangladesh and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam at risk and could lead to a new wave of refugees.”

DONALD STERLING: Dude. . .,per the Los Angeles Times, “Here was a story, it seemed, that resonated with a disparate and diffuse metropolis. It was the tale of one city and two men — one on the ascent, a giant who staked his life's claim not on his championship banners, but on minority ownership in business and professional sports; the other on the decline, shouting over his shoulder as he's being shown the door.

“Across the Los Angeles area — at a coffee shop in Ladera Heights, outside the gleaming office buildings of Beverly Hills — the verdict came down Tuesday and it was not generous to Donald Sterling, the 80-year-old billionaire Clippers owner. For decades, Los Angeles has served as an incubator for race relations. The melting pot was forged in the embers on Western Avenue, rendered by Watts and the National Guard, seasoned with O.J. Simpson and the LAPD, watched to a boil by a public that couldn't even agree on the difference between riot and unrest.

“It fell to Sterling, of all people, to deliver a moment of clarity and unity when he responded to calls for his ouster from the NBA by attacking Magic Johnson.”

TEA TIME: For a change, per The Hill, “National Tea Party groups breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday night after notching two much-needed primary wins as they work to overcome early disappointments this cycle. Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project and Citizens United all trumpeted Midland University Ben Sasse’s nomination in the Nebraska Republican Senate primary and former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney’s nomination for West Virginia’s 2nd district as a product of the conservative movement triumphing over the establishment.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The National Security Agency might be tracking your phone calls. But private industry is prying far more deeply into your life. Commercial data brokers know if you have diabetes. Your electric company can see what time you come home at night. And tracking companies can tell where you go on weekends by snapping photos of your car’s license plate and cataloging your movements.

“Private companies already collect, mine and sell as many as 75,000 individual data points on each consumer, according to a Senate report. And they’re poised to scoop up volumes more, as technology unleashes a huge wave of connected devices — from sneaker insoles to baby onesies to cars and refrigerators — that quietly track, log and analyze our every move.”

MARY CHEH: And suggestions, per City Paper, “Lawsuits aside, the D.C. Council is two weeks away from its first budget vote of the year. That means it's time for the Council's annual laff extravaganza, a humorous list of budget suggestions from Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh. This year, the councilmember-turned-insult comic turns her wit on targets including the convenient timing of shadow campaign financier Jeff Thompson's guilty plea.”

GERMANTOWN: And higher education, per Gazette.Net, “The opening in late August of Montgomery College’s new Bioscience Education Center sitting atop a windblown hill on the Germantown campus is big news, but there is also another major project on campus in the pipeline.

“When the biology, chemistry and biotech programs move out of the nearby Science and Applied Studies building into the new energy-efficient Bioscience building this summer with its rooftop wind turbines, the move will free up space in the older, drabber science building built in 1978. Planned there is a major two-phase, $39 million renovation and expansion project that will also contribute to the long-term growth of the Germantown campus as a center for training people for biotech and cybersecurity jobs.”

CHARGES: Just the facts, per the Frederick News-Post, “A 17-year-old Walkersville High School student faces attempted second-degree rape and sex offense charges in connection with attacks at Walkersville Community Park in April and November. Maryland State Police charged Kelby Ray Spence, of the 8500 block of Adventure Court in Walkersville, with three counts of attempted second-degree rape and three charges of third-degree sex offense Monday. Frederick County District Judge Janice Rodnick Ambrose set Spence's bail at $250,000 during a bail review hearing Tuesday afternoon.”

SIT DOWN: Or else, per DCist, “As part of their collaboration with the Smithsonian's National Zoo to raise awareness about the disappearing Sumatran Tiger, psych-rock band Portugal. The Man played a free show near that animal's exhibit. Things, unfortunately, did not go smoothly: a man was removed by police for allegedly refusing to sit down during the performance, disrupting the concert for fans sitting on the lawn.”

STREETCAR COST: Off the rails, per ARLnow, “The combined cost of the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar systems is now estimated at $585 million. Presenting an overview of her proposed FY 2015-2024 Capital Improvement Plan to the Arlington County Board this afternoon, County Manager Barbara Donnellan and her staff said that the cost of the streetcar systems had risen $190 million from the 2013 CIP due to changes in the size of the streetcar vehicles, higher engineering and start-up costs, higher inflation and a larger project contingency.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards beat Pacers 102-79; Nationals lose 3-1 at Arizona.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “MPD officers are asking the public for help in identifying the suspects of a brutal group assault that recently took place in Adams Morgan. D.C. Police released an image of this vehicle -- a black, 4-door Ford F-150 pickup truck. Anyone with information should contact the Metropolitan Police Dept.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) What impact would a state government shutdown have on state agencies and counties? We'll ask Fairfax Board chairwoman Sharon Bulova. Also, same-sex marriage advocates argue Virginia's ban on gay unions is unconstitutional. We'll talk with Chantale Fiebig, an attorney with the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

--Skip Wood