DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia plays tag on transportation improvement

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Overcast with 70 percent chance of rain and highs in the mid 40s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories being covered – Follow-up on the State of the Union address; emerging details from the manhunt in Southern California that appears to have ended with the death of ex-cop Chris Dorner; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Virginia’s House has approved a bill to keep secret the names of concealed gun permit holders. Do you think the identity of people who have concealed weapons permits should be kept secret?

OF TAXES AND GAS AND ROADS: All rolled into one – maybe, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Senate will have another chance today to pass legislation to pay for transportation improvements in Virginia, but it does not look much like the plan advanced by the House of Delegates for Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Senate Finance Committee voted 9-6 on Tuesday to approve a plan proposed by Sen. Frank W. Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, that would raise the state gasoline tax at the pump and at the wholesale level to raise $4.5 billion over the next five years.”

DORNER: This one most likely is a wrap, per the Los Angeles Times, “Charred human remains have been found in the debris of the burned-out Big Bear area cabin where police believe fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was holed up, authorities said late Tuesday night. Investigators will attempt to identify the remains through forensic means, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

“Dorner, whose alleged crimes have kept Southern California on edge for days, is wanted for the slayings of an engaged couple and two law enforcement officers. He was believed to have shot at pursuing law enforcement officials, then fled into a cabin shortly before it ignited Tuesday afternoon near ski resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains.”

STATE OF THE UNION: It’s strong but needs improvement, per the New York Times, “President Obama, seeking to put the prosperity and promise of the middle class at the heart of his second-term agenda, called on Congress on Tuesday night to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, saying that would lift millions out of poverty and energize the economy.

“In an assertive State of the Union address that fleshed out the populist themes of his inauguration speech, Mr. Obama declared it was “our generation’s task” to “reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth — a rising, thriving middle class.”

POLITICO PLAY: “For all the talk about bipartisan cooperation, Obama couldn’t have been clearer: he’s confident his agenda has popular support, he’s not going to compromise too much, and he’s prepared to spend as much time going around the country pressing his case as it’ll take. As for the Republican lawmakers who complain that he’s been too rough on them already—he’s just getting started. And Democrats better be on notice, too.”

MARYLAND AND THE FBI: Talking about land, per the Washington Post, “Officials of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority have proposed using 78 acres the agency owns at its Greenbelt station to bolster efforts to have a new FBI headquarters built in Prince George’s County. The real estate committee of Metro’s board of directors is expected to vote Thursday on the proposal.”

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: Virginia stacks up quite well, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Every year, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, a state watchdog agency, puts out a report comparing the Old Dominion to the rest of the nation on a wide variety of measures. The 2013 edition is out, and it provides relevant background for some of the major debates of this year's General Assembly session.”

MOCO PAY RAISES: At a cost, per the Washington Examiner, “Montgomery County employees are slated to receive a 13.5 percent pay raise under the terms of a new two-year contract that would cost the cash-strapped county $11.3 million just in the first year.”

COLLEGE PARK SHOOTINGS: Details on the murder-suicide, per the Washington Times, “A University of Maryland graduate student armed with a cache of weapons shot two of his roommates, killing one, then killed himself at their College Park home early Tuesday, Prince George's County police said. The murder-suicide took place around 1 a.m. at the home in the 8700 block of 36th Avenue, about a block from the University of Maryland campus.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps beat Florida 6-5.

PRINCE WILLIAM: The county, that is, per InsideNova, “Under Prince William County’s proposed budget for fiscal 2014, real estate tax bills are going up. The average residential tax bill, fire levy included, would be $3,661 on a recommended tax rate of $1.201 per $100 of assessed value. This amounts to a four percent increase to the average tax bill, which would pay for a number of new positions in public safety and social services.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Fairfax Board of Supervisors chairwoman Sharon Bulova, who will be asked abou this year's legislative session, the impact of potentially steep cuts in federal spending and more.

--Skip Wood


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