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DAYBREAK DAILY: Herring defends federal Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

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ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the upper 70s. http://wj.la/72e8x6

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – D.C. emergency medical procedures to get hearing; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

SAVE THE BAY: Or something like that, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Thursday that he filed an amicus brief in support of the federal Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan that is being challenged in a federal court case by the American Farm Bureau Federation and attorneys general in 21 states. The case is pending before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal district court had upheld the plan.

“. . . Efforts to clean the bay have been underway since the mid-1980s. The latest plan aims to put enough pollution controls in place by 2025 to restore the bay, with most of the controls being implemented by 2017. The effort could cost Virginians more than $15 billion, according to state estimates. Former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration worked to develop the current cleanup plan. But some environmentalists complained last year that the state was falling behind in meeting certain goals, including the use of modern methods to reduce stormwater runoff.” http://bit.ly/1hnlyAC

MEANWHILE: The challengers, per the Virginian-Pilot, “. . . Of the 21 states that challenged the cleanup, only West Virginia is within the bay's watershed. The other 20 states are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

“Eighteen of the 21 attorneys general in those states are Republicans. . . Maryland is working on a brief to join Virginia in supporting the bay cleanup, a spokesman for its attorney general said.” http://bit.ly/1evHmoL

ON HOLD: Of the ICC, per the Baltimore Sun, “This winter's harsh weather has claimed another victim: the planned spring completion of the latest stretch of the Intercounty Connector. The $90 million extension of the tolled highway from its current ending point at Interstate 95 east to Route 1 had been scheduled to be completed this spring, but that is now being re-evaluated, the State Highway Administration said Thursday.

“. . .The ICC, as the highway is known, opened in 2011 from I-95 in the east, in the vicinity of South Laurel in Prince George's County, to Interstate 270 in the west, in the North Potomac area of Montgomery County. The extension to Route 1, the final stage of the highway's construction, also includes the repaving of about two and a half miles of I-95 north of its intersection with the ICC.” http://bsun.md/1hEOA9U

SEBELIUS OUT: Move a relative surprise, per the New York Times, “Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.

“The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, convince a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall. Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy.” http://nyti.ms/1kP03rp

ALIVE AND WELL?: Perhaps, per the Washington Post, “Nearly four decades ago, police say, a State Department Foreign Service officer named Bradford Bishop unleashed a series of vicious attacks inside his Bethesda home. His mother, his wife and his three young sons — all beaten to death with a small sledgehammer. While it was still dark, Bishop loaded the bodies into the family’s maroon Chevy station wagon, police say, drove 275 miles to a swampy and wooded part of North Carolina, dug a shallow grave and set the corpses on fire. Then, he disappeared.

“In a strong indication that Bishop, who would be 77 now, is still alive, federal and local officials announced Thursday that he has been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. They portrayed Bishop — an experienced world traveler who was fluent in five languages — as smart, cunning and capable of blending in and building a new life in the United States or abroad.” http://wapo.st/1kOaY4v

DEADLY CRASH: Just the facts, per the Los Angeles Times, “A fiery head-on collision Thursday between a FedEx truck and a charter bus carrying Los Angeles-area high school students killed at least nine people and injured dozens.

“The crash on the 5 Freeway in Northern California had bus passengers en route to visit Humboldt State University fleeing for their lives. Dramatic images from the scene showed burned-out hulls of several vehicles. LAUSD officials said students from Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown and Manual Arts High School in South L.A. were on the trip to Humboldt, though it was unclear whether they were on the bus that crashed.” http://lat.ms/1evI3OL

D.C. FIRE OFFICIAL CAUSES STIR: On several fronts, per ABC7-WJLA, “A D.C. fire lieutenant accused of not helping an elderly man who was dying across from her fire house had been waiting to find out whether she would be disciplined for her alleged actions, and whether she would be allowed to retire. Lt. Kellene Davis was in charge when 77-year-old Cecil Mills suffered a heart attack and died across the street from Engine 26 back in January.

"It's something that I was personally and professionally disappointed in, and we've done everything we can to take the proper actions," said Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. Ellerbe had assured reporters that the trial board was finished deliberating, and expects to get their ruling in before next Thursday. He would then accept the ruling, either lowering it or refusing it altogether.” http://wj.la/1gcn2Jr

OUT TO LUNCH: In a manner of speaking, per The Hill, “In a rare Friday session, the Senate will do nothing. Votes on two nominees were scheduled to take place Friday, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to postpone those votes at 4 p.m. until after a two-week recess.

“On Thursday evening, Reid got unanimous consent to vote Friday on final confirmation of Michelle Friedland to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit and David Weil to be administrator of the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division. But now he will move those votes to Monday, April 28, when the Senate is schedule to return from an Easter break.” http://bit.ly/1jxF5xM

POLITICO PLAY: “Jeb Bush defended his controversial comments about immigration reform, insisting they were nothing new for him and urging “sensitivity to the immigrant experience.”

“At a Connecticut Republican party dinner Thursday night, the former Republican governor of Florida did not repeat his remarks from last weekend at his father’s presidential library, when he said that people who come to the United States illegally in search of a better life for their children “broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.” http://politi.co/1hFErtF  

KEEPS ON: Keeping on, per City Paper, “Another shadow senator election, another small fortune spent by perennial candidate Pete Ross on an unsuccessful campaign.

“After spending $202,000 of his own money pursuing the unpaid lobbying position in 2012, Ross spent $177,084 out of his own pocket trying to defeat incumbent Paul Strauss in last week's primary—and lost in a landslide. Believe him or not, Ross claims he doesn't mind. “Did I like losing that money?" Ross says. "No. Do I regret losing it? No." http://bit.ly/1evamgh

MARYLAND WEED: And the cops, per Gazette.Net, “A Maryland law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana won’t significantly lighten the enforcement workload, Montgomery County’s police chief said.

“The majority of marijuana cases that the police department handles are for amounts that suggest possession with intent to distribute rather than the 10 grams or less that the General Assembly made a civil offense this week, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.” http://bit.ly/1lNX6sg

MEANWHILE: Just say no, per the Frederick News-Post, “Narcotics prosecutors across the state are forming a task force to respond to the state's new marijuana decriminalization bill, Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith said. The Maryland State’s Attorneys' Association, of which Smith is president of the board, met Thursday to discuss the new legislation, which police and prosecutors say has critical omissions.

“The bill makes it a civil offense, no longer a crime, to possess or use less than 10 grams of marijuana. But the bill failed to establish rules for drug-free zones, smoking in schools and smoking in public, among other things, Smith said. The state's attorneys' association will send a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley urging him to veto the bill, Smith said.” http://bit.ly/1geLgTF

FORGET SOMETHING?: Like, say, a bomb?, per the Loudoun Times-Mirror, “Several old cluster bombs were discovered in Loudoun County, prompting a visit from both the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Loudoun County Bomb Squad. Authorities were called to Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn when two unknown devices were found in a box being prepped for auction at Tillet and Damewood.

“. . .Investigation determined the devices were old two-cluster munitions. Explosive and Ordnance personnel from the US Army and the Loudoun County Bomb squad rendered the munitions safe at the auction site before moving them to be destroyed shortly before 4 p.m. Belmont Ridge Road was closed temporarily as the devices were moved.” http://bit.ly/ONX1ZI

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Miami 7-1; Caps beat Carolina 5-2.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Yesterday, D.C. Mayor Gray said that Relisha Rudd's family must bear some of the blame for her disappearance: "Remember, parents have a responsibility...and the mother and the grandmother certainly played a role in this." Rudd's grandmother defended her family against the accusations.” http://wj.la/1sASHNr

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- Our monthly one-on-one with D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

--Skip Wood

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