DAYBREAK DAILY: Redskins training camp financially bumpy for Richmond
ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the low 60s. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – The latest about the missing Malaysia Airlines jet; Prince George’s Schools to elaborate on big donation; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP: New host city takes its licks, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Richmond made less than half of its required $500,000 contribution to the Washington Redskins for the team’s first training camp in the city, creating a shortfall that will cause the local offering of services, goods or cash to increase for the next six years. The city and the Richmond Economic Development Authority mustered $213,890, all of it in sponsorships and in-kind services, according to a written agreement with the team dated Feb. 18.
“To make up the difference, the local contribution will rise to $547,685 per year from 2014 to 2019, according to Rich Johnson, a member of the development authority board who served as its chairman during the Redskins deal. The initial shortfall and increase in subsequent years is allowed under the agreement, though the contract with the team states that any deficiency after the first year may constitute a default. That would allow the team to terminate the deal, but local officials say they are confident they can meet the obligation in the future.” http://bit.ly/1gb9FfH
FEDS LOOK INTO MARYLAND HEALTH EXCHANGE: Basically, what happened?, per the Baltimore Sun, “A federal inspector general is launching a review into what went wrong with Maryland's health insurance exchange, the first examination focused specifically on how millions of dollars in federal money was spent by the state, according to the lawmaker who requested the probe. Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican and vocal opponent of President Barack Obama's health care law, said officials with the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had contacted him and indicated they will look into the creation of the state's glitch-prone exchange.
“The probe, which Harris said would likely begin in a matter of weeks, is the first of its kind to be revealed publicly. It comes days after the U.S. Government Accountability Office said it would review the formation of state-based insurance exchanges — though experts say an inspector general's examination is usually more exhaustive and specific. State legislators also are scrutinizing problems with Maryland's online exchange, which crashed on its first day last fall and has had continued problems, including feuding contractors and major software issues. The state review is not expected to be completed until mid-2015 — well after this year's gubernatorial primary and general election.” http://bsun.md/1lmH73R
MEANWHILE: Vets and Medicaid expansion, per the Virginian-Pilot, “About 21,100 veterans in Virginia and 4,100 of their spouses could qualify for health coverage under Medicaid if lawmakers decide to expand eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, according to estimates. Most of these veterans either haven't enrolled for health care they can receive through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or they don't qualify for the benefit because they didn't serve for the minimum required amount of time or were dishonorably discharged.
"Some are signed up for VA health care but could use Medicaid as supplemental coverage to more easily see doctors and other providers outside the VA system. "A lot of people assume that if you're a veteran, you have VA health care. And that's simply not the case," said Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, which favors Medicaid expansion and compiled the data. "Closing the coverage gap and extending health coverage to more low-income working folks in our state can include a number of vets because they don't automatically have VA health care." http://bit.ly/1lNmrF2
DEEDS’ DEED: For the most part, mission accomplished, per the Roanoke Times, “In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, state Sen. Creigh Deeds came to Richmond in January on a mission to improve Virginia’s mental health system. Deeds, D-Bath County, left the Capitol on Saturday after the General Assembly embraced what he described as “a good start.” . . .Both houses of the assembly unanimously passed omnibus legislation (SB 260) to help ensure that psychiatric treatment beds are available to individuals in mental health emergencies. Lawmakers also approved a separate measure (SJ 47) that authorizes a four-year, comprehensive study of the mental health system to be overseen by a new joint legislative subcommittee.
“Deeds championed both measures, drawing on his own painful experience trying to navigate a mental health system that he said he believes failed his son. Deeds’ 24-year-old son, who had a history of mental illness, took his own life on Nov. 19. A day earlier, Austin “Gus” Deeds had been picked up on an emergency custody order in Bath County and later released because mental health workers could not find an available psychiatric bed before the order’s six-hour time limit expired. On the morning of Nov. 19, Gus Deeds stabbed his father multiple times before shooting himself to death.” http://bit.ly/1ghYj67
MEANWHILE: Worries of a quick fix, per the Washington Post, “. . . The outcome has left many to wonder whether meaningful, lasting reform will ever happen: If a school shooting couldn’t do it, if an attack involving a state lawmaker couldn’t do it, then what will? “It is hard not to be skeptical,” said James Reinhard, a psychiatrist and former commissioner for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. “It is a repeated pattern of making recommendations and getting a little bit of effort that is not sustained.”
“Focused on addressing the circumstances of Nov. 18, lawmakers this session voted to give emergency clinicians more time to find a psychiatric bed, and, if one can’t be found, to require the state to provide a bed of last resort. They also mandated closer monitoring of court-ordered outpatient treatment and initiated a four-year study of mental-health services to identify additional reforms. Del. David Albo (R-Springfield) said that broader reforms such as serious investment in community services are for future sessions. Advocates for the mentally ill and other experts have long argued that without more services to keep people out of hospitals and give those who are hospitalized a place to go, lawmakers will keep lurching from one crisis to the next.” http://wapo.st/1nzntTD
WEST COAST QUAKE: Just the facts, per the San Francisco Chronicle, “A series of earthquakes, including a magnitude-6.9 quake, shook off the coast of Humboldt County on Sunday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website. A 3.3 quake shook about 40 miles west of Eureka (Humboldt County) at 10:04 p.m., followed 14 minutes by a 6.9 quake, which was centered around the same area at a depth of 4.3 miles, according to the USGS. Within 45 minutes, there were at least six aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 2.9 to 4.6.
“The Associated Press reported that officials in Humboldt County said there have been no calls about damages or injuries. The National Tsunami Warning Center said on its website there is no tsunami danger for the region.” http://bit.ly/Ocd6IA
MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT: Search continues, per the New York Times, “More than 48 hours after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished, the mysteries over its fate have only multiplied. The Beijing-bound plane made no distress call, officials said, and the Malaysian authorities suggested it might have even begun to turn back to Kuala Lumpur midflight before it disappeared. Despite an intensive international search in the waters along its scheduled route, there were no confirmed sightings of the plane’s wreckage. And electronic booking records showed that the two passengers who were traveling on stolen passports bought their tickets from the same Thai travel agency.
“The seeming security lapse, which Interpol publicly criticized, might have had nothing to do with what happened to the jet and its 239 passengers and crew. Investigators said they were ruling nothing out, including a catastrophic mechanical failure, pilot error, or both. With Malaysian officials refusing to release many details of their investigation and sometimes presenting conflicting information, the families and friends of victims became increasingly frustrated. One woman in Beijing collapsed in tears Sunday night in the hotel ballroom where passengers’ relatives were waiting for news. “Why won’t anyone tell us anything?” she wailed.” http://nyti.ms/O8UHwp
POTUS TAKES HEAT FROM REFORMERS: Of immigration, per The Hill, “Immigration reformers are intensifying their pressure on President Obama to scale back deportations of illegal immigrants. The advocates are urging the administration to expand its deferred action program – which allows some undocumented youngsters to remain in the United States temporarily – to include unthreatening adults.
“While the advocates are quick to blame House Republicans for blocking comprehensive immigration reform legislation, they also maintain that Obama, in his wait for Congress to act, has been too aggressive on deportations at the expense of immigrant families. . . Janet Murguía, head of the National Council of La Raza, also hammered Republicans for refusing to take up a comprehensive bill, saying their claims that Obama wouldn't enforce such a law is merely an excuse not to act. But she also criticized Obama's deportation policies, saying they're unnecessarily tearing apart immigrant families.” http://bit.ly/1gjctnv
POLITICO PLAY: “Edward Snowden may be living on the lam in Russia, but he continues to be a lightning rod in American politics. The former government contractor’s stolen documents revealing vast amounts of government overreach have damaged poll numbers for defenders of the surveillance programs while handing Republican presidential hopeful Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul a potent wedge issue that threatens to upend his party’s traditionally strong national security stance.
“And that’s just in nine months. Big Brother critics see a big political payoff if they can keep riding Snowden’s coattails. They’ll get another opportunity Monday when Snowden is scheduled to address via videoconference the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It’s a debate that looks like it will endure through 2014 and possibly into 2016 thanks to Paul’s White House ambitions and the rhetorical challenges for anyone seen as supporting the National Security Agency.” http://politi.co/1hZFEzC
NEW WAY TO COMMUTE: Old idea again appears, per the Frederick News-Post, “Imagine reading the paper (preferably this one!) or a good book on your commute down I-270 instead of staring at the bumper of the car in front of you inching forward interminably. A Montgomery County man is advocating for a light-rail system that he says could make that a reality. George Barsky would like to see a rail line stretch from Shady Grove to Frederick to ease congestion by offering commuters options beyond driving.
“The idea is based on an old proposal from a Montgomery County citizens’ committee, the Action Committee for Transit, which would have built a light-rail line from Shady Grove to Clarksburg. That concept was scrapped for the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway, a proposed 9-mile bus rapid transit line from Shady Grove Metrorail station to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station. Barsky seems to consider it a mistake to abandon the idea of light rail.” http://bit.ly/PiMO8J
OBIT: Man of many hats, per the Loudoun Times-Mirror, “Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were largely made quietly and with little fanfare.
“His public persona was most closely connected with remarkable success as an owner, trainer and rider of some of Virginia’s most successful steeplechase horses, which ran under his familiar red silks with white cross sash. But his success in that rugged and dangerous sport was merely a visible extension of his commitment to protect Virginia’s rural countryside, a life mission he often defined as a moral obligation. In pursuing that connection between equestrian sport and countryside preservation, he was a founder of the Oatlands Point-To-Point of the Loudoun Hunt, as well as of the Morven Park Steeplechase—the latter being the first race meet in the modern history of Virginia to offer pari-mutuel wagering. He was instrumental in the creation of the Goose Creek Historic District, which includes several thousand acres of permanently preserved rural land, and put more than 900 acres of his own farm in preservation easements.” http://bit.ly/1i3xBT2
NO BOOTLEGGER: Just lots of taxes, per DCist, “D.C. restaurants can now distill their own liquor, which is a good thing because D.C. really loves it booze. An oversight report from the Office of Chief Financial Officer shows that D.C. took in $49.2 million in tax revenue last year from liquor sales. That's up from $47.3 million in 2012 and $22.4 million in 2009.” http://bit.ly/1lLDPdq
D.C. MAYORAL RACE: One reading, per City Paper, “(These) Mayoral Power Rankings are interactive. If Jeff Thompson is charged before the end of the day, just print this blog post out, cut out Vince Gray's entry, and paste it on to the bottom. And check back on LL Tuesday morning, when the campaign finance reports due Monday could upend the rankings.” http://bit.ly/1lkITSN
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: In final ACC home game, Maryland beats Virginia 75-69.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A Georgetown University student, Mark Adamsson, has died in the Dominican Republic while on spring break, school officials say. Adamsson was traveling with other Georgetown students, according to an email from Todd A. Olson, Vice President for Student Affairs, to students, faculty, and staff, sent Sunday afternoon.” http://wj.la/1cnWb0T
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Councilman Jack Evans, who will be asked about marijuana reform and his mayoral bid.