DAYBREAK DAILY: Gansler battles cyber bullying in Maryland

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the upper 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Comprehensive coverage of the Capitol-area chase and shooting; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

BULLYING PULPIT: And social media, per the Baltimore Sun, “Facebook and Maryland's school systems will pilot an initiative next year that should help make it easier to have offensive or hurtful language on the social media site taken down. The effort to combat cyber bullying was started by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who announced the new initiative, called the Educator Escalation Channel, at a meeting Thursday with school district superintendents.

“Under the initiative, Facebook will help educate school systems on better ways to combat cyber bullying and give them a channel to the social media giant to report offensive behavior. "When there is clear cyber bullying going on, then getting that language taken off Facebook as quickly as possible" is important, Gansler said.”

FALL FOILAGE: But if there’s no one there to see it. . ., per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “What do autumn leaves and historic sites have in common? The federal government shutdown is making it tough, in some places, to see both.

“October marks the beginning of the fall leaf-viewing season, particularly in western Virginia. But shuttered federal sites include Shenandoah National Park and its Skyline Drive between Waynesboro and Front Royal, a popular destination for Blue Ridge leaf peepers.”

MEANWHILE: Tighten that belt, per the Virginian-Pilot, “As he has done in previous years, Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked his agency heads to propose state budget cost-cutting ideas, a request partly inspired by the federal shutdown.The governor has directed agencies to find 2 percent savings for the current budget, which runs through next June, and recommend 4 percent "savings strategies" for the next biennial budget that begins in July.

“His instructions are spelled out in an Oct. 1 memo sent to state government managers by McDonnell's chief of staff, Martin Kent. Kent's letter explains that more belt-tightening is necessary because of a still-shaky economy beset by challenges that sequestration poses to a defense-reliant state. Magnifying those concerns is the potential economic drag on Virginia from the federal government shutdown, the memo notes.”

CAPITOL SHOOTING: Just the facts, per the Washington Post, “A woman with a 1-year-old girl in her car was fatally shot by police near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, after a chase through the heart of Washington that brought a new jolt of fear to a city already rattled by the recent Navy Yard shooting and the federal shutdown. The car was registered to Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn., law enforcement officials said, adding that they believed Carey was the driver.

“D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said that the driver tried to breach two Washington landmarks and that the incident was not an accident. But officials also said it did not appear to part of any larger or organized terrorist plot.”

MEANWHILE: At the scene, per ABC7—WJLA, “. . .There were plenty of witnesses around, and for some of them, their thoughts immediately turned to terrorism. Fortunately, police have since stated that there is no indication that terrorism was involved.

"Still, it was terrifying for many in the Capitol who were preoccupied with other things -- like John Zangas, who was taking part in a protest against the government shutdown: "It was very scary. They ran us all up to the top of the steps, and they ran us back down. It was scary." The shooting comes two weeks after a mentally disturbed employee terrorized the Navy Yard with a shotgun, leaving 13 people dead including the gunman. Huckaby says it’s a frightening time to be in D.C.”

SHUTDOWN SCRAMBLE: Searching for a solution, per the New York Times, “Republican efforts to resolve the fiscal standoff that has closed much of the federal government heated up Thursday, the third day of the shutdown, with new talks over a broad budget deal and an effort by more moderate House members to break the logjam.

“Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has initiated conversations with senior House Republicans on a broad deficit reduction deal that would allow some increases to federal programs squeezed by the automatic cuts known as sequestration in exchange for long-term changes to programs like Medicare and Social Security. The package would most likely include instructions to try to move along efforts to simplify the tax code as well.”

MEANWHILE: POTUS scrubs a trip, per The Hill, “President Obama cancelled his upcoming trip to Asia late Thursday night, blaming congressional Republicans and the government shutdown for his decision to remain in Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Indonesia and the East Asia Summit in Brunei in place of the president, Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

"Kerry is also expected to travel to Kuala Lumpur and Manila — the final, already cancelled legs of what had been an eight-day White House trip. "The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government," Carney said.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid privately told fellow Democratic senators this week what he really thought of Speaker John Boehner. “He’s a coward,” Reid angrily said, referring to Boehner’s private push for federal health care contributions for lawmakers and their staff. Boehner later backed legislation to end those subsidies in order to win points with House GOP conservatives. “He’s a coward!” Reid exclaimed.

“Reid’s outburst — confirmed by several sources attending a Senate Democratic policy luncheon on Tuesday — is the latest example of how the relationship between the nation’s top political leaders is now brimming with acrimony, distrust and pettiness at a perilous time for the country’s economy. The government shutdown — the first in 17 years — is in its fourth day with no end in sight. With the Treasury Department saying it might not be able to borrow money as of Oct. 17, the U.S. and global financial markets are already starting to fret about what would happen if the country defaults on its $16.7 trillion debt.”

CRUSADER: And then some, per City Paper, “Ralph Nader had a busy summer. In July, he launched a petition urging New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera not to retire; announced plans to open a tort law museum in his small Connecticut hometown; promised to recruit “enlightened billionaires or multibillionaires” to run for president; and wrote an open letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig protesting the all-you-can-eat food deals at certain stadiums. In August, he urged Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper not to allow Verizon to enter his country’s telecom market; tried (unsuccessfully) to persuade Mayor Vince Gray to sign a living wage bill based on a Canadian precedent; and spent two days counting the cars turning illegally onto Connecticut Avenue NW so he could complain to city officials about poorly positioned “No Left Turn” signs.”

WHATEVER: Again, whatever, per the Frederick News-Post, “Anyone who wants to honor the nation's flag before a county meeting can now feel free to stand and start pledging. Four Frederick County commissioners Thursday voted to allow all board and commission members to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of their meetings. Board members or meeting attendees can join in the pledge or refrain and will not face consequences either way, commissioners said.”

PURPLE RAGE: Or something like that, per Gazette.Net, “A proposal to disguise a power-converting substation for the Purple Line as a house isn’t fooling residents of the Seven Oaks Evanswood community.

“Maryland Transit Administration plans to build a power-converting substation for the Purple Line rail system on the corner of Wayne Avenue and Cloverfield Road. The facility would be 50 feet by 14 feet, but transit officials said surrounding it by trees, and a wooden fence would blend the substation into the neighborhood, making it look like just another home. But residents of the area are concerned about the constant noise, and the potential lack of maintenance on such large unoccupied stand-alone structure called by many a “fake house.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps beat Calgary 5-4.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “House Republicans will vote as early as Friday or Saturday on the decision to give federal furloughed workers their missed pay when the government shutdown comes to an end and the government finally reopens. The legislation is being backed by some of the chamber's top Democrats.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- With one month to go until election day, we'll discuss the race for governor in Virginia with Del. Charnielle Herring, head of the Virginia Democratic Party, and Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart.

--Skip Wood