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Posted at 5:45 AM ET, 08/24/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Free cupcakes!

By Washington Post editors

Good morning. Cheap gas and cooler temperatures? It looks like we're finally catching a break. Throw in the free cupcake giveaway today at Hello Cupcake! to celebrate their second anniversary (and you thought those Georgetown lines were long) and we've got the ingredients for a not-so-bad Tuesday. (But don't forget your umbrella!)

A cooling trend. Here's one for the weather trivia books: Today could be the first day since June 9 that we don't hit 80 degrees or higher. Seems after that long heat spell, we may be in for a streak of cooler days, the Capital Weather Gang says. Good news for those who hate the heat -- bad news for those who bask in the heat and humidity (who are you, btw?) But there will be rain: a 40 percent chance in the a.m. rising to a 60 percent chance in the p.m.

Coming up.

Md. voter alert. If you live in Maryland, today is the last day to register to vote if you'd like to vote in the Sept. 14 primaries. That includes the Republican and Democratic primaries for governor. If you're interested in changing parties or need to change your polling place, you need to do it by 9 p.m. today.

D.C. elections. Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray debate this evening at 8 p.m. (reservations are required so be sure to check before you go.) On Wednesday, we'll have profiles of the At-Large candidates for D.C. Council in tomorrow's Post. On Thursday and Friday, we'll continue our series of profiles of Fenty and Gray and what their previous records say about what kind of mayor each would be.

* Don't miss the Fenty-Gray debate hosted by the Post Sept. 1. *

Katrina volunteers. This week is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. If you were one of the many area residents who traveled to New Orleans or the Gulf region to help with the cleanup and recovery, we'd love it if you'd share your photos. We're looking for shots that chronicle the region's recovery -- from the initial devastation to its slow rebirth. Here's a link where you can share you photos and see those of others.

Today's headlines.

Abortion in Virginia. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is making headlines again. Monday, he issued a legal opinion that concluded the state can impose stricter oversight of clinics that perform abortions. The move drew an immediate outcry from abortion-rights advocates and others who noted that attempts to pass a similar measure in the General Assembly has repeatedly been rejected. Cuccinelli's legal opinion is not binding -- it will be up to the state Board of Health to make a decision -- and it is unlikely changes would occur soon. But Cuccinelli's decision has again garnered him headlines in his home state. (Post)

Good news for drivers. Gas prices are at an eight-month low. Why? Demand is down. Many folks are traveling less because of economic concerns. But analysts also say that improved fuel efficiency is also playing a role. According to AAA, the average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline eased to just under $2.71 a gallon, down more than 4 cents from a week ago and up only 8 cents from a year earlier. (Post)

State employees and cellphones. A study from the state auditor has found that Virginia officials are spending close to $1 million on cellphones for state employees that are never used. On the other end of the spectrum, they're spending $75,000 per month on overage charges for employees who exceed their minute allowance. (The Washington Examiner)

A case of karma? A malpractice lawyer in Montgomery County who stole more than $1 million in client funds before becoming the victim of an e-mail scam was sentenced to five years in state prison. The judge called the Bradley Schwartz case a "tragedy of Shakespearean proportions." (Post)

Other items.

Your neighbors will envy you. We know there are more than a few messy closets out there (it can't only be me.) So here's your chance: Our Local Living staff is sponsoring a closet makeover contest. Send us a photo and a reason why your closet needs help and you could win a professional makeover. The deadline is today, so don't procrastinate.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading. Check back with us for more updates throughout the day. Thoughts? Comments? Post them below -- or if you're shy, send me an e-mail at aratanil@washpost.com.

By Washington Post editors  | August 24, 2010; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Virginia, Weather  
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