DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia latest to introduce veterans-only prisons

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy and windy with highs in the low 40s.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, as well as linebacker/special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander and tackle Trent Williams were among those selected to play in the Pro Bowl. LIKE this post to congratulate them.

VETERANS UNITE: Behind bars, that is, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Virginia is the latest in a series of states with large military populations, including Florida and Georgia, that have established veterans-only prison facilities to house and assist the growing numbers of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who find themselves in trouble with the law.The Indian Creek dorm (in Chesapeake), open since spring, is one of two veterans wings started this year by the Virginia Department of Corrections. The other is in Haynesville.”

FICSAL TIFF: Meanwhile, eyes glaze over, per the Washington Post, “With historic tax increases set to hit virtually every American in five days, President Obama and members of the Senate are headed back to Washington on Thursday to take one last shot at a deal to protect taxpayers and the gathering economic recovery. If anything, hope for success appeared to have dimmed over the Christmas holiday.”

THEY GOOFED: And now they will pay, per the New York Times, “Toyota Motor agreed on Wednesday to pay more than $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to issues of unintended acceleration in its vehicles. The proposed settlement, filed in a Federal District Court in California, would be one of the largest of its type in automotive history.”

FIRE: Just the facts, per ABC7, “One person had to be rescued from a Greenbelt apartment during a two-alarm fire Wednesday afternoon. Fifty firefighters responded to the Franklin Park Apartments fire. The affected units were located at 9133 Edmonston Terrace.”

MARYLAND’S HOUSE OF CARDS?: per the Washington Examiner, “As Maryland increases its reliance on gambling revenue, questions linger about how long a budget built on slot machines, poker chips and scratch cards can be sustained. The Free State's take from casino revenue continues to rise, from $103.1 million in fiscal 2011 to $194.5 million in fiscal 2012, and that number is expected to grow as new casinos open in Rocky Gap in 2013 and Baltimore in 2014.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied Hobby Lobby’s request for an emergency injunction to block the health reform law’s contraceptive coverage requirements and said it will not decide the case before lower courts have ruled. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the store owner doesn't meet the extremely high standards required for a preliminary injunction.”

GUN DRIVE A HIT: The good kind, per the Los Angeles Times, “Mall parking lots were packed with after-Christmas shoppers. But nowhere were the lines longer than at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, where thousands of people came to exchange their guns for Ralphs gift cards. Cars queued up for blocks at the drive-through events, with the city giving cards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. There was a bit of haggling involved, but the guns were all taken.”

DEATH FOR THE DEATH PENALTY?: That’s the way it’s trending, per the Washington Times, “The death penalty, already on the decline across the United States, could face its own demise at the hands of several state legislatures next year. Accelerating a trend, lawmakers in Colorado, Maryland and New Hampshire are expected to make a push for pulling the plug on capital punishment in the next legislative session, following the moves of Connecticut, which abolished the death penalty this year.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 87-84 against Cleveland at home.

PRESENTING AMERICA’S NEW TEAM: Hint – the QB is kind of popular, per DCist, “With their win last weekend over the Philadelphia Eagles, the 'Skins are poised to win their first divisional title since 1999 on Sunday, assuming they can beat the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale. And while FedEx Field can only handle 85,000 fans, assume nearly the rest of the nation will be there in burgundy-and-gold spirit. An poll revealed that in every state—save the obvious outlier—NFL fans of all persuasions would like to see the 'Skins knock off the Cowboys.”

PSA: Taking off the tinsel in Arlington County, per ARLnow, “If you have a live Christmas tree in your home, you’ll get to enjoy it for at least another 12 days. . .Holiday tree collection will run from Jan. 7-18, on residents’ regular trash collection day. The trees will be picked up by county crews and recycled into wood mulch for garden use.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10:30 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is former Cowboys and Redskins tight end Jean Fugett, who will be asked about Sunday’s clash between the two teams.

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