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Posted at 8:21 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: It's hard to be humble

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. The good news? It may be slightly warmer on Friday. The bad news? It's only Wednesday. But we're tough -- and according to census data released on Tuesday -- we're also the richest, most educated region in the nation. But we knew that. We just didn't want to brag.

"Frigid Canadian high pressure." Places like Miami, Los Angeles -- totally overrated weather-wise. Sure -- it's warm, sure it's sunny, but how do they even know it's almost Christmas? Now here in the D.C.area, we've got the cold and we've got the snow (a light dusting) thankyouverymuch. We can sing about sleigh bells sans the irony. So there. Today? Well, folks, The Capital Weather Gang predicts another breezy cold one with temperatures in the high 20's/low 30's. Tuesday, the high at Reagan National Airport (28) was four degrees below the seasonal average. Bundle up and think, well, sleigh bells.

Coming up:

U-Va. lacrosse slaying. There's a hearing scheduled for today in the case of George Huguely V, the U-Va. men's lacrosse player accused in the slaying of his former girlfriend and U-Va.women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love. (Washington Examiner)

Montgomery County Schools and the budget. Montgomery County's schools chief Jerry Weast is set to unveil his fiscal year 2012 budget plan for Maryland's largest school system this morning. But as the county struggles to close an estimated $300 million budget gap, Weast is also under pressure to make nearly $19 million in cuts from the current year's school budget. On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council took tentative steps toward closing that $300 million gap -- approving more than $30 million in midyear cuts. But council members acknowledge they still have a long way to go. (WTOP, Post)

Today's headlines:

Big boost for Va.'s Cuccinelli. Monday's ruling by a U.S. Federal Court Judge in Virginia that a key provision of the federal health care overhaul that required individuals to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional, was not just a victory for opponents of the law. It was a huge boost to Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who chose to go it alone rather to sign on to a lawsuit filed jointly by 20 attorneys general.

Troubles at Dunbar HS. More than two years after a private company was brought in by former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to manage Dunbar High School, the campus is in disarray, according to a letter made public by Interim D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. Nearly half of the school's seniors won't be getting a diploma this spring. The school has 22 incidents this fall deemed "serious," which means they involved fighting, assaults or incidents with weapons.

Accountability in Prince George's. In the wake of a far-reaching corruption probe, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker has appointed a familiar face to lead a task force on accountability in the county. Kurt L. Schmoke, a retired judge and a former Baltimore Mayor and retired Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge William Missouri will co-chair the Prince George's County Government Accountability and Integrity Task Force. Among the task force's possible focuses: establishing an Office of Inspector General and reviewing the County Ethics Board.

Metro headlines. There's word that the person who will become Metro's new general manager may not necessarily be someone with a transportation background. (WTOP); three Metro engineers may have lacked the proper engineering credentials for their jobs (The Washington Times); one in eight station manager jobs is vacant at Metro. (Washington Examiner)

In short: A man allegedly used the drive-thru window to rob a Germantown bank. (Post);  the penny has a new look - no more Lincoln Memorial. (Post); Kensington couple wins their fight to keep chickens. (The Gazette)

Other items:

Seriously? Post Editor Marc Fisher reports that someone broke into his home and stole several items -- but apparently didn't stop there. A few hours later, a picture appeared on Fisher's son's Facebook page of a man wearing Marc's new winter coat and holding cash.

Falling out of the middle class. Help us build-a-story. Post reporter Annys Shin is looking for help with a story that focuses on the fallout from the "Great Recession." She writes: "I’m looking to talk to individuals and families who long considered themselves solidly middle class, but because of changing economic conditions are now navigating for the first time the bureaucracy of public assistance, trying to secure services they never thought they'd ever need, such as unemployment benefits, emergency housing, and food stamps." Check out Annys' post on the Story Lab blog for more information on how you can help.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and try and stay warm. Have a great day and be sure to check back for more news and updates throughout the day. If you're on Facebook (and weren't the one who took Marc Fisher's new winter coat) become a fan of Post Local.

By Lori Aratani  | December 15, 2010; 8:21 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Education, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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Next: Md. 2nd in eco-friendly transit policies

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