Here are our picks for the top local stories to start your day:

A gay man who was assaulted two weeks ago in a possible hate crime is speaking out , one week after more than 600 people silently walked through Columbia Heights to raise awareness of his attack.

Nick Maravell is an organic farmer who has been leasing land in Potomac from the Montgomery County School Board for 30 years.The board has suddenly ended the lease. (JUANA ARIAS/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

A small nuclear blast could wipe out the heart of D.C., but leave much of the region intact, according to a study by the Department of Homeland Security. Nevertheless, the Post’s Mike DeBonis opines, even a small nuclear blast would destroy D.C. as we know it.

Coming up today on PostLocal:

— The winner of our sixth annual Peeps Diorama Contest has just been announced! See the winning entry and check back soon for a video.

— Today’s Free Range on Food chat is about veggie burgers, kitchen equipment and more. Tune in at noon.

—This week’s cooler temps bring us closer to the seasonal norm, says the Capital Weather Gang. Expect strong winds and thunderstorms this afternoon.