‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – A 5-year-old is severely injured by a dog attack; playground fires in Prince George’s County; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Combining his passion for baseball and cycling, Jacob Landis is riding more than 10,000 miles, to every major league ballpark. His goal is to raise $1 million to help children benefit from cochlear implants. Meet Jacob in Kathy Park's report: http://wj.la/Xq HoLo Jacob's website: http://www.jacobsride.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JacobsRide2013
JEFF JONES: From D.C. to Norfolk, per the Virginian-Pilot, “A national search for the next Old Dominion University men's basketball coach lasted nearly two months and began with more than 150 applicants but ended with a familiar name, best known from more than a decade ago and living a few hours up the road. Jeff Jones, a seasoned basketball hand who became the University of Virginia's coach at 29 but has spent the past 13 years in the relative obscurity of the Patriot League, will be introduced as the Monarchs' coach today.
“He replaces Blaine Taylor, who was fired in February after 12 seasons. Jones, 52, has 21 years of experience as a head coach - most recently at American University in Washington - and 29 overall. That experience was among the factors that made him ODU's choice, Athletic Director Wood Selig said.” http://bit.ly/12hx5aq
MARYLAND’S GUNS: They remain on the shelf, kind of, per the Washington Examiner, “Gov. Martin O'Malley's sweeping gun control bill passed the House on Wednesday, but differences remain with a version the state Senate passed in February and must be ironed out before the final version can go to O'Malley's desk to be signed. The bill, which passed the House 78-61, maintains all of the key provisions proposed by O'Malley in January -- it bans assault weapons; it limits ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; it requires training, licensing and fingerprinting for new handgun purchases; and it prohibits the mentally ill from owning guns.
“However, the House made a number of changes to the bill handed to it by the Senate. The Senate can approve those changes or, more likely, the bill will go to a conference committee where members from both chambers will work out a compromise.” http://bit.ly/12icZR6
VIRGINIA’S ABORTIONS: They remain complicated, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The General Assembly on Wednesday narrowly approved an amendment by Gov. Bob McDonnell that will bar insurers that participate in the upcoming federal health exchange in Virginia from offering coverage for abortion. The vote in the Virginia Senate was 20-19, with anti-abortion Democrats Charles J. Colgan of Prince William County and Phillip P. Puckett of Russell County siding with a majority of Republicans.” http://bit.ly/YUr2Jf
NO GO FOR RUSHERN’S PLAN: He won’t go it alone after all, per the Washington Post, “A compromise bill to alter the leadership of the Prince George’s County school system won a key approval Wednesday in Annapolis, but the measure falls far short of the sweeping changes County Executive Rushern L. Baker III proposed in his bid to take over the schools. Baker (D) made an aggressive late-session push to wrest control of the school system’s $1.7 billion budget and its superintendent from the county’s elected school board, arguing that the struggling schools impede economic growth and that a single authority needs to be accountable. Although he asked for direct control over the superintendent and the budget, Baker ended up with a bill that gives him neither.” http://wapo.st/XQtktS
GRIM: It just is, per the New York Times, “The most rigorous study to date of how much it costs to care for Americans with dementia found that the financial burden is at least as high as that of heart disease or cancer, and is probably higher. And both the costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double within 30 years, skyrocketing at a rate that rarely occurs with a chronic disease.” http://nyti.ms/Z2yfUw
POLITICO PLAY: “The obsessive speculation about Hillary Clinton’s plans for 2016 promises to be the longest and most intense parlor game in the history of American politics. It is a consuming fixation already, not just among the operatives and reporters who always inhale this stuff but to an extraordinary degree among average Americans.” http://politi.co/14PDBK2
COPY CAT: Echoes of Virginia Beach, per ABC7 – WJLA, “A Leesburg restaurant is welcoming gun owners with open arms. Wednesday's special at The Cajun Experience is gumbo with a side of gun. Carrying customers get 10 percent off their purchase on Open Carry Night.” http://wj.la/XqIlDm
PAT MARA: If at first you don’t. . ., per City Paper, “They are the young college strivers from around the country, who flock post-graduation to jobs at the Capitol where they answer constituent mail, get coffee, and move up in the ranks. After a few years on the Hill, they cash in/sell out/move on to better paying lobbying and consulting jobs. They buy a house, they start a family, they grow roots. “When I first came here, I didn’t know I was staying,” says Mara, 38, echoing what thousands of other District transplants could say.
“What these newer residents tend not to do is run for a D.C. Council seat three times, and certainly not as Republicans in a town where Democrats enjoy a nearly 12 to 1 advantage on the voter rolls. But Mara, a socially liberal fiscal conservative who has lived in D.C. for the past 16 years, is in the midst of his third GOP bid for a Council seat and is pretty confident that he’s going to win this time around.” http://bit.ly/10yfI3S
GAS GOUGE: No more, per the Washington Times, “A downtown D.C. gas station known for its infamously high prices reopened Tuesday with a new look, new ownership — and new prices. The former Exxon station near the Watergate Hotel in Northwest that regularly charged more than $5 for a gallon of gasoline and routinely exceeded the surrounding competition’s prices by an average of a dollar or more debuted this week as a Valero station.” http://bit.ly/XZmZI8
UPON REFLECTION: Not the best idea, per Gazette.Net, “Six years ago, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins drew the ire of some of his deputies when he imposed stricter guidelines for them to work off-duty jobs. Now, the Jan. 12 death of a developmentally disabled New Market man after he was forcibly removed from a mall movie theater by three off-duty county sheriff’s deputies highlights some of the problems of secondary employment or “moonlighting,” Jenkins said.” http://bit.ly/ZbJLTv
OSCAR PISTORIUS: Just the facts, per the Associated Press, “A South African newspaper published a photograph of Oscar Pistorius at a running track in his carbon fiber blades Thursday as the Olympian's agent said his return to training was now imminent - but denied he was already in training. The Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper had the image of what it said was Pistorius, who was charged with murder for the Valentine's Day shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on the front page of its Thursday edition.” http://apne.ws/12iiteN
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Miami 3-0; Wizards lose 88-78 against Toronto.
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Mayor Vince Gray.