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Posted at 8:14 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Roger Clemens on deck

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors


Good morning. Does this recent cold snap have you longing for those long hot days of summer yet? Give it time, the Capital Weather Gang says. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is offering to pay state workers $15,000 to give up their jobs and Metro is continuing its search for a permanent leader. We've got these and other headlines today, so read on.


Coming up:

More cold, more winds. November was the ninth straight month of above average temperatures and even thought it's still early December, warmer than average is hardly the phrase that comes to mind. The Capital Weather Gang notes so far this month, we're four degrees below our normal temperatures. Today will be no exception. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30's but the winds are sticking around, which means it'll really feel like it's in the 20's. The good news? Just think how warm we'll feel when it's back in the 40's again. Good news, part 2: the winds are expected to subside a bit on Thursday. Cold weather also means -- water main breaks. There were more than 20 reported around the area Tuesday.

Roger Clemens makes court appearance. Baseball legend Roger Clemens is expected back in U.S. District Court in D.C. today. The pitching ace was indicted in August on charges of lying two years ago when he told a congressional committee that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. Lawyers for the former Yankees pitcher and federal prosecutors will update the judge on whether both sides remain on track for an April trial on whether Clemens lied to Congress about ever using steroids or human growth hormones.


Today's headlines:

D.C.: cuts not tax hikes. D.C. Council yesterday approved cuts in programs, rather than a tax hike, to close a $188 million gap in this year's budget. Protesters interrupted the hearing where there were also very testy exchanges between council members. But while they may have avoided tax hikes for now, many council members acknowledge tax increases could come next year, when the District faces a projected $440 million shortfall.

Johnson barred from committee membership. Prince George's County, council members began organizing themselves -- selecting a council chairman, Ingrid Turner (D-Bowie) and Eric Olson (D-College Park) as vice chairman. Newly sworn-in Council member Leslie Johnson was barred from sitting on any council committees though she would be allowed to attend committee meetings and vote on legislation that comes before the full council. The move is unusual but given the current ongoing corruption investigation of her and her husband, former County Executive Jack B. Johnson, the decision was designed to ensure extra scrutiny over development proposals in her district.

Who is Leslie Johnson? People know about the money and the bra - but do they really know Leslie Johnson? A profile of the woman who was the "silent partner" of her husband Jack Johnson -- who worked as an administrative law judge, campaigning tirelessly for her husband and raised a family.

Vincent Gray and the fence. Remember that battle between the Fenty Administration and Vincent Gray over the fence on Gray's property? Gray was ordered to pay fines and eventually took down a portion of the fence. There were allegations that Gray -- who did not file a proper appllication to install the fence -- saw himself as "above the law." Now it looks like the portion of the fence that was taken down will be reinstalled -- at taxpapyer expense. The reason? Security concerns.

In short. Wal-Mart is offerings some details of what its new D.C.-based stores might be like. Think: garage parking, "cartalators," fresh produce and of course, hundreds and hundreds of jobs. (Capital Business); New details emerge in the standoff at the downtown headquarters of Discovery Communications in September. At one point, gunman James J. Lee, who was shot and killed, said, "I have nothing else to live for." (Post); A D.C. firefighter has been paid for not showing up for work for two years. (WTOP)

Other items:

Capitol Christmas Tree lighting. For your holiday pleasure, we offer photos from Tuesday night's Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Thursday is the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House. Dr. Gridlock offers some tips for navigating traffic around the area.

Remembering John Lennon. Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. One Beatles fan writes about where he was that day and how 30 years later it's still difficult to believe it happened at all. Do you remember where you were the day John Lennon was shot? We invite you to share your story with us.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Be sure to check back with Post Local for news and updates throughout the day. If you're still trying to figure out your holiday plans, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide -- recipes, activities and tips for keeping the holidays stress-free.

By Lori Aratani  | December 8, 2010; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Virginia, Weather  
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Next: D.C. police investigating SW homicide

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