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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 11/22/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Ready for a short week

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's going to get colder and wetter as the week goes on, so be sure to enjoy the 60's while you can. Today's forecast? The Capital Weather Gang says the fog will burn off leaving us with a partly sunny day and temperatures in the mid-60's. Looks like rain is possible Tuesday afternoon.

Coming up:

Gobble, gobble Yes, folks it's Thanksgiving week -- already. And we've got everything you need to help you cook up a delicious Thanksgiving meal, find holiday shopping deals, or get you out of town as quickly and safely as possible. Dr. Gridlock will be chatting today at noon about Thanksgiving travel (including how to deal with airport screeners.) And Tuesday, Lon Anderson of AAA Mid-Atlantic will be online at 1 p.m. to discuss the Turkey Day getaway. Submit your questions now.
And if it turns out you're staying around the D.C.-area, Dr. Gridlock has these tips for navigating high traffic spots (including, gulp, Tysons Corner.) If you're planning to shop, check our Black Friday coverage all this week, and let us know what Black Friday deals you're seeing out there.

Vincent Gray talks numbers. D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray is expected to give a live address today on budget issues in the District. The event, tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m., will be held at the John A. Wilson Building and carried live on Channel 13. It's his second major address (on Friday he spoke about education) since winning the mayor's office Nov. 2. He'll be sworn in as D.C.'s new mayor on Jan. 2.

Budget talk in Montgomery. Vincent Gray isn't the only local elected official talking budget. In Montgomery County, County Council Chairwoman Nancy Floreen and Vice Chairwoman Valerie Ervin, will hold a briefing on the issue today. And the county's Office of Legislative Oversight is expected to formally present its diagnosis of what's behind Montgomery's chronic budget shortfalls.

Levy trial deliberations resume. Jurors in the trial of the man accused of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy return today for their fourth day of deliberations.

Today's headlines:

Too close for comfort? In Prince George's County, recent arrests in a sprawling corruption probe have put the spotlight on the close ties between politicians and liquor officials. So close in fact that the county's chief liquor inspector is also the head of the local Democratic Party. One of the five members on the Board of Liquor License Commissioners - responsible for granting and revoking liquor licenses - is also on the party's central committee, which helps choose the board members.

Ghost mall? Amid all the chatter about Black Friday shopping starting early this year, comes this story -- a reminder that's it's not just retailers but some local malls that are struggling to keep their doors open. A look at Springfield Mall -- once such a shopping destination that Prince Charles and Princess Diana popped by the JCPenney store.

D.C. and Wal-Mart's expansion. There was a mix of reactions to last week's announcement that Wal-Mart would be opening four stores in D.C. Some were excited about the possibility of new jobs at a time when many are looking for work. Others, however, raised concerns about the retail giant's business practices. In this piece, Capital Business' Jonathan O'Connell offers more insight on what the Wal-Mart deal could mean for D.C.

In short. Alexandria considers doing away with free parking for the disabled -- part of a plan to cut down on fraud. (WAMU); A week after getting a metal detector for his birthday, a Virginia first-grader has uncovered what some believe is a sword that dates back to the Civil War. (The Winchester Star)

Other items:

A Four Loko funny. A cartoon from the Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland, pokes fun at the controversy over Four Loko beverages.

Need cash for holiday shopping? Maybe the IRS owes you money. Check our new IRS refund searchable database on our DataPost page and see if your name pops up.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great Monday. Don't forget to check back for more news and headlines -- including a verdict in the trial of the man accused of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy. If you're on the move, remember: you can also get updates via Twitter.

By Lori Aratani  | November 22, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Education, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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