DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia Tech drone program has U.S. funding

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Snow mixed with rain at times with highs in the low 40s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Coverage of potential messy winter weather with snow changing to rain by the afternoon; an alleged teen intruder is fatally shot; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: PHOTOS: St. Patrick's Day Parade in D.C. People, dogs, and classic cars came from near and far for the 42nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in D.C. More photos:

HOKIE DRONES: No, really, per the Roanoke Times, “Drones aren’t only prowling the Middle East to try and incinerate terrorists. They fly over such American communities as (Virginia’s) New River Valley. Virginia Tech possesses six drones that it uses as limited-performance research aircraft. Engineering faculty and students on the ground control the aircraft with a remote and permit autonomous flight. . .

“Entities such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Virginia Small Grains Board have paid some of the drone-related bills for equipment and compensation of graduate students. Federal defense-related agencies have furnished financial support as well and could choose to apply some research results to weapons. But no weapons are being handled or developed in Tech’s drone programs, nor is the work classified or protected under national security safeguards.”

MONTGOMERY COUNTY REVENUE: It’s on a speedy upswing, per the Washington Examiner, “Montgomery County police are expecting a 7 percent increase from speed cameras in fiscal 2014. According to County Executive Ike Leggett's proposed fiscal 2014 budget, police expect to bring in about $14.6 million on revenue from speed camera citations -- up from the $13.6 million projected for fiscal 2013. The budget also notes police are estimating they will actually get about $15.8 million in camera revenue this fiscal year, which ends June 30.”

MARYLAND TAX REFORM: Strange stuff in Anne Arundel, per the Baltimore Sun, “Law enforcement officials are watching a test program in Anne Arundel County that entices people with open criminal warrants to turn themselves in — so they can get their state tax refunds. Thus far, the results of dangling a refund as bait have stunned the sheriff who pitched the one-year pilot project. "If I had gotten 10, that would be good, too. But 134? That's huge," said Sheriff Ron Bateman. "It's baseball season, and this is a grand slam."

PG’S BAKER GAINS SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS PROPOSAL: Of a one-voice solution, per the Washington Post, “A newly elected Prince George’s County school board member said Sunday that she strongly supports County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s plan to take over the county’s struggling school system, saying the board is hampering the schools and is averse to accountability. Carletta Fellows (District 7), whom the board recently censured for her outspoken criticism, said in an e-mail that she endorses Baker’s proposal, which would put him directly in charge of the superintendent of schools and the school system’s $1.7 billion budget while limiting the role of the county’s elected Board of Education.”

ELECTION? WHAT ELECTION?: So says the GOP, per the New York Times, “. . . In Congress, Republicans are pushing an agenda that is almost identical to the one that their party lost with in November, with no regrets and few efforts to reframe it even rhetorically. The House will vote this week on the third iteration of Mr. Ryan’s budget, which would again try to turn Medicare into a subsidy for private insurance purchases, slash the top income tax rate and cut deeply into programs the president campaigned to protect. . . On the Sunday political talk shows, a few conciliatory words from rank-and-file Republicans were all but drowned out by the resolute tone of Republican Congressional leaders.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Warring 10-year budget plans come before the House and Senate this week, even as lawmakers must pass a six-month stopgap bill to avert a shutdown and keep agencies operating in the wake of cuts ordered under sequestration. President Barack Obama is counting on Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to get her resolution across the Senate floor and set up talks this spring with the Republican House. Playing Martha to Murray’s Mary is Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), whose charge is to keep the government household running through the summer while the “grand bargainers” — well, bargain.”

FATAL JUVENILE SHOOTING: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “Police say a homeowner fatally shot a juvenile intruder inside a Sterling, Va. home early Sunday. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting took place around 2:30 a.m. in the 45900 block of Pullman Court. The homeowner told police he had shot an unknown person inside his home.”

CRUSADING IN MARYLAND: Not everyone’s happy, per the Washington Times, “Maryland has long been one of the nation’s most Democratic-leaning states, but its progressive politics seem to have ramped up even further of late. The General Assembly’s passage last week of a bill repealing the death penalty was the latest of several progressive proposals to pass the legislature in recent years.

“State lawmakers made national news last year by legalizing same-sex marriage and in 2011 they approved the Dream Act, which allows in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants. They are also considering a bill this year that would ban assault weapons and strengthen the state’s gun laws, which are already among the nation’s toughest. The wave of liberal legislation has been matched in few states and has been worn as a badge of honor by Democrats who say Maryland is setting positive trends for the country, even as outnumbered Republicans argue they are moving too far.”

BEACH TOYS: But we ain’t talking sand buckets, per the Los Angeles Times, “Santa Barbara County officials discovered $4-million worth of marijuana next to a boat Sunday at Arroyo Camada Beach. Officials said they found an estimated 2,000 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags on the beach.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps beat Buffalo 5-3.

HORRORS IN D.C.: That’s the narrative, anyway, per City Paper, “Councilmember Anita Bonds' campaign sent out a breathless email to supporters (Friday) asking them to volunteer for the campaign in order to ward off catastrophe. "According to the press, for the first time in years a Republican has a real shot of winning a seat on the D.C. Council. If we do not win this race, the consequences could be disastrous for the residents of the District," the email starts. It goes to point out how Republican candidate Pat Mara (who came close to winning an at-large seat two years ago) was a Mitt Romney supporter and received a donation from a far-right PAC (which Mara returned after another at-large candidate, Elissa Silverman, called for him to give it back).”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m, NewsChannel 8) is former Prince George's Councilman Peter Shapiro, who will be asked about Executive Rushern Baker's attempt to take over the county school system.

--Skip Wood

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