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Posted at 08:21 AM ET, 03/31/2011

Opening Day, Marion Barry’s car troubles

Good morning. Well, it’s not the greatest day for baseball, but it is indeed Opening Day for the Nationals, who will face the Atlanta Braves this afternoon. Note to fans: Bring an umbrella.
Plenty of headlines this morning, including word that yet another D.C. Council member is facing car trouble — and not the mechanical kind. In Maryland, wine lovers rejoice! A bill that will allow you to have wine shipped directly to your home is that much closer to being signed. And in Virginia, we’re discovering that Gov. Robert Mc­Don­nell isn’t afraid to wield his veto pen.

It’s getting warmer, but . . . How is it that it’s getting warmer, but the weather isn’t necessarily better? The Capital Weather Gang is predicting a gray day. Cold, cloudy with rain and possibly rain mixed with snow later in the day. Temperatures will be in the mid-to-high-40’s, but be sure to grab that umbrella (the coat, the scarf, the hat, the mittens) on your way out this morning. Thursday’s forecast? You don’t even want to know.

Coming up:

Opening Day. Not exactly the best weather forecast for it, but today is Opening Day for the Nationals. The Nats will face the Atlanta Braves this afternoon. Metro has added additional trains to accommodate the 20,000 people expected to use the system to get to the game. Fans will be keeping their eyes on Jason Werth, the much-heralded outfielder who will make his Washington debut today. Werth made headlines in the off-season after signing the largest contract — $126 million for seven seasons — in The Washington Nationals brief history.

Bringing order to Arlington National Cemetery. Sen. Mark R. Warner, (D-Va.) is expected to introduce a bill today that will do away with an informal reservations policy at Arlington National Cemetery and will force cemetery officials to determine exactly how many plots have been set aside under that system. Warner said he wants to ensure that Arlington officials aren’t playing favorites with its graves.

Metro board meets. While some of you are playing hooky at the ballpark (not that I’m bitter), Metro board members will be hard at work. Several Metro committees, including the Governance Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee, are scheduled to meet today.. The Board of Directors also is scheduled to meet in executive session to discuss legal matters.

Today’s headlines.

Discipline in Fairfax County schools. The Fairfax County Public School system is revamping its discipline policies. On Wednesday, Fairfax County School Superintendent Jack Dale announced several proposals aimed at changing a system that some believe is too rigid and unrelenting. Among the changes that will be considered by the school board: giving principals more leeway in how they handle cases in which students are in possession of their own prescription drugs, recording disciplinary hearings and speeding up the disciplinary process. These would be the first major changes in the school system in more than 10 years.

Marion Barry’s car trouble. And yes, we’ve got another D.C. Council member with “car trouble.” This time it’s Marion Barry. For more than six months it appears that the Ward 8 council member has been driving a car with “inactive” tags that is not registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Adding fuel to the fire, the car was booted this month because it was linked to nine unpaid parking tickets totaling $705. Barry later paid six of the nine fines and the car was freed — despite the tag issue. Barry said the fault lies with the dealer who sold him the car. The dealer, Barry says misplaced the car’s title and as soon as it turns up, the car will be registered.

Md. schools chief to retire. Maryland Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick announced Wednesday she is retiring at the end of June after two decades of work as the state’s top school official. Grasmick, one of the nation’s longest-serving state schools chiefs, is known for her focus on testing as a means of assessing how students are doing. She also championed early childhood education programs.

In short. A freshman at the University of Virginia has died after falling from a building on campus Sunday night; (Post); police are investigating a fight that allegedly broke out on a Z8 Metrobus in the Silver Spring area Wednesday evening (Post); the Maryland State Senate on Wednesday passed a measure that could require Pepco and other utilities to pay large fines should they fail to meet standards for reliable service. (Post); DCPS may investigate more District high schools for grade tampering. (Washington Examiner)

Other items:

Ballpark eats. Yes, we know, it’s about the baseball. But quality ballpark eats are also important — particularly when the home team hits a slump. Just in time for Opening Day, The Post’s Tom Sietsema offers this rundown of new food offerings at Nats Park. Ribs anyone?

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and check back with Post Local for more headlines and updates throughout the day — that is, until you fake sick and head to the ballpark.

By  |  08:21 AM ET, 03/31/2011

 
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