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Posted at 05:46 AM ET, 03/15/2011

Gray, Fenty and Brown


Good morning. It’s Tuesday and we’ve got plenty of headlines for you today. There’s good news for former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on a contracting scandal that dogged him during the mayoral campaign, but bad news for current Mayor Vincent Gray. Montgomery County Police revealed more grisly details from the killing at a Lululemon store in Bethesda. And in Virginia, Fairfax County School Board members are taking a closer look at school discipline policies in the aftermath of a 15-year-old student’s suicide.

Just so-so. OK, it’s not the nicest of forecasts, but it could be worse. The Capital Weather Gang says it will be mostly cloudy today with temperatures in the high 40s to low 50’s. There’s about a 40 percent chance of showers by late afternoon. but the rain will likely be heaviest late Tuesday night. There’s hope though — the end of the week could be spectacular and we could be setting high temperature records. Spring!?

Countdown to spring:

Coming up:

Budget day in Montgomery. We’ll get a look at Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s $4.35 billion budget today — a document that is unlikely to make anyone very happy. Leggett’s proposed budget seeks to close a $300 million budget gap, calling for cuts in library staffing and a hike in property taxes. Still, it does increase spending slightly over this year’s budget. Union officials already have begun lobbying County Council members who will have the final say on Montgomery’s budget.

Jack B. Johnson in court. Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson is scheduled to be arragined this afternoon on charges of evidence tampering and destruction of evidence. Last month, federal officials also indicted Johnson on bribery charges. Earlier this month, Johnson’s wife Leslie Johnson, sought to delay her court appearance. We’ll be at the hearing and will bring you details from Johnson’s appearance later on today.

Today’s headlines:

Fenty cleared in contracting probe. For awhile last fall, it seemed like Adrian Fenty just couldn’t catch a break (or win a vote) but these days it’s Vincent Gray who seems to be taking all the knocks. Investigators on Monday cleared Fenty of wrongdoing in the award of parks contracts that had raised eyebrows because they were awarded to individuals with close ties to the former mayor. Now it appears that Fenty did nothing wrong in awarding the work — but the individual contractors may be in trouble for overchraging the City for work.

Gray appointee had arrest record. Even more questions are being raised about the hiring of Sulaimon Brown, the former mayoral candidate who was hired to a $110,000 job in the Gray Administration — before being fired and escorted from the building by security. Turns out Brown had six run-ins with law enforcement including an attempted murder charge in Chicago at the time of his hiring and that the Gray Administration knew of at least three of the charges in D.C. Brown alleges that members of the Gray campaign gave him money during last fall’s campaign to continue his verbal attacks against Fenty and also promised him a city job.

Fairfax rethinking discipline policies. School board members in Fairfax County began a review of discipline policies on Monday. The comprehensive review comes in the aftermath of the suicide of a 15-year-old football player from W.T. Woodson High School. The suicide of Nick Stuban wasn’t addressed directly by board members and no public comment was allowed at the meeting. However, it’s clear that board members will delve into dozens of discipline issues raised by the case in coming weeks.

He’s in? It looks increasingly likely that former Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrate Jim Webb. Kaine told students in a class he teaches once a week at the University of Richmond that he was “likely” to run. We’ll be watching for and will bring you Kaine’s official announcement.

In short. A Maryland State Trooper saved the life of a newborn baby on the side of a state highway near Pasadena Monday night (NBC 4); some D.C. college students are organizing to protest a new noise law that went into effect in the District on Feb. 1 (The Washington Times); interest in DCPS lotteries for preschool, pre-kindergarten and K-12 out-of -boundary seats continued to grow this year, with unique applicants increasing by more than 25 percent over 2010 (The Post)

Other items:

Remembering Japanese quake victims. Organizers of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival are urging people to donate to the American Red Cross for earthquake relief efforts in Japan ahead of the festival that honors U.S.-Japanese relations. Festival spokeswoman Danielle Piacente says they are working on plans to recognize the tsunami tragedy during the festival, which runs March 26 to April 10. (Associated Press)

An agonizing wait. One D.C.-area resident, who has already suffered several personal tragedies, talks about the agony of waiting for word on relatives in quake and tsunami- ravaged Japan.

Obesity summit. Don’t forget to join us for today’s summit on the childhood obesity epidemic in America, which will feature a panel or prominent government officials, health experts, professional athletes, celebrities and young people.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Be sure to check back with us for more headlines and updates throughout the day, including a noon chat with Lunchline columnist Clinton Yates.

By  |  05:46 AM ET, 03/15/2011

 
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