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Posted at 06:03 AM ET, 03/30/2011

Mrs. Obama at Ballou; D.C. snow forecast

Good morning.
Wake me up when the temperatures are back in the 60’s, please. Sigh. Still, plenty of headlines to keep us warm. In the District, Acting Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has asked D.C.’s inspector general to look into reports that gains in test scores may be linked to cheating. In Maryland, state legislators continue to wrestle with the budget and questions of whether they should raise the alcohol tax and change retirement benefits for state employees. And in Virginia, Fairfax names its new Metro stations (meet you at Tysons Central).

And it just gets colder. Is it just me or are temperatures moving in the wrong direction? I distinctly remember a couple of days this month when I dared to go jacket-less (a memory that was confirmed by the guy sitting next to me on the bus last night). Well, it is what it is — even if it’s not very springlike. The Capital Weather Gang says we’re in for rain and possibly a combination of rain/snow in some parts of the area starting around mid-morning. Temperatures should be in the upper 30’s to low-40’s. Thursday’s also looking to be cloudy and cold.

Coming up:

Michelle Obama at Ballou HS. First Lady Michelle Obama is slated to speak today at Ballou High School as part of Women’s History Month. She’ll be one of several notable speakers appearing at schools throughout the area to talk about the importance of mentors and careers. (Associated Press)

The health of the D.C. region. new set of reports set to be released today by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, show that the D.C.-area is home to some of the healthiest communities in the U.S. — Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery and Howard counties. But the reports also indicate there still are pockets of poor health in the District and Prince George’s County.

Today’s headlines:

Children trapped behind drywall. More details are emerging in a disturbing story out of Bristow, Va., about parents who allegedly barricaded their small children in a filthy room by nailing a piece of drywall over the entrance. The 4-year-old girl apparently was able to escape. She alerted a neighbor, who rescued the children. Authorities said the parents of the three kids — ages 4, 2 and 6 months -- were passed out. Officers responding to the scene said they found prescription narcotics, smoking devices and needles in the room. According to court records, the mother of the children had previous lost custody of her twin sons after they were found wandering on the shoulder of Route 234 in Dumfries.

Virginia Tech officials fined. Officials at Virginia Tech have been fined $55,000 by federal officials — the maximum amount possible for violations of a campus safety law — in connection with the 2007 shootings that left more than 30 students and teachers dead. Virginia Tech officials deny wrongdoing and say they will appeal the fine.

The pundits were right. New redistricting maps released on Tuesday for Virginia showing that the fast-growing outer suburbs of Northern Virginia will pick up one new seat in the state senate and three new spots in the House of Delegates. New boundaries for the state’s 11 Congressional seats are expected to be unveiled in a few weeks.

In short. Tuesday night, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker focused his first major address on issues in the county on job creation (Post); the number of D.C. police officers earning six-figure salaries has jumped nearly 30 percent in the last four years; (Washington Examiner); a new hip-hop track produced by D.C. political gadfly Ron Moten takes aim at D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. (Post)

Other items:

Even Supreme Court Justices get tickets. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was ticketed on Tuesday, following a four-car fender-bender on George Washington Parkway, The Post’s Reliable Source reports. The Park Police’s Sgt. David Schlosser said Scalia was ticketed for following too closely. Fine: $70, plus a $20 special assessment, or, said Schlosser, “he can contest it in court.”

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading — stay warm and have a great day. Be sure to check back with Post Local for more headlines and updates throughout the day. Like what you see here? Have thoughts about how we can improve our coverage? Post a comment below or send a note to tellus@washingtonpost.com

By  |  06:03 AM ET, 03/30/2011

 
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