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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Got rain boots?

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. it's the last day of November and the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree has arrived in town. (The lighting ceremony is next Tuesday.) Other evidence the holidays are right around the corner? Hanukkah begins at sundown Wednesday evening.

Good day for an umbrella, good night for rain boots. The day sounds perfectly fine. There won't be a lot of sunshine, but temperatures will be in the low to mid-50s, the Capital Weather Gang predicts. There's a chance of light rain this afternoon and heavier rain this evening. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch tonight for much of the D.C. area. Tomorrow: very wet.


Coming up:

Hearing on D.C. budget cuts. More than 160 residents, advocates and representatives of labor unions are expected to testify during today's D.C. Council hearing on $188 million in budget cuts proposed by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. The outgoing mayor hit nearly every city agency with a reduction to close a budget gap for fiscal 2010, leaving the council led by chairman and Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray to decide whether to swallow his proposal whole or move money around to save programs.

Who's on the list? Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray's transition team is expected to issue its first report of contributors today. Gray, set to be sworn in as D.C.'s new mayor Jan. 2, also announced on Monday that that individuals and groups, such as corporations and labor unions, are limited to $5,000 donations to the transition and $50,000 for the inaugural, which will include a ball. We'll have a full report as soon as the numbers become available.

Two tragic deaths.Some very sad headlines involving young people in the area. The body of a teenage girl was found in a trash receptacle in Columbia Heights Monday afternoon. Police have not yet identified the victim, nor is there a report on how she got there or how long she'd been there. We'll continue to pursue this story and bring you more details as learn them. In another incident, a 2-year-old child who allegedly was thrown from a walkway at Tysons Corner Center has died. The girl fell about 40 to 50 feet authorities said. A 50-year-old Fairfax woman has been arrested and charged in the case.

A new home for Silver Spring's books? Officials in Silver Spring are scheduled to unveil the final design for the Silver Spring library at a meeting tonight at the library's current site on Colesville Road, starting at 7 p.m. tonight. (TBD.com)


Today's headlines:

Chilly reception to pay freeze plan. President Obama's announcement Monday of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers was greeted with little enthusiasm. The freeze, which would have to be approved by Congress, would be the first two-year halt to federal raises in modern history. The proposal is designed to help reel in federal spending at a time of growing concern over the mushrooming federal deficit and an incoming Republican majority in the House who have talked about reducing the federal workforce. Here's a video of some federal workers reacting to the proposed freeze.

A less crowded Metro? Metro officials report that fewer people are riding its trains and buses resulting in lower-than-expected revenue for the regional transit agency. Since fare hikes went into effect this summer, riders seem to be more choosy about when they ride the system, Metro officials said.

A tough stance on bullying. D.C. Council members are considering some of the toughest anti-bullying laws in the country. Proposals by Council members Michael A. Brown (D-At Large) and Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) appear to have broad support on the council, but the measures, which would likely be voted on next year, have raised concerns among charter school officials and civil liberties advocates.

In short. A Prince George's County Council member is being accused of assault by a member of the county's Youth Commission (Post); an audit released Monday said that parole officers in Maryland have failed to report parole violations by convicted drunken drivers to the courts (Washington Examiner); a Potomac teenager who helped plot a robbery that resulted in the murder of a car salesman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. (Post)


Other items:

For the ultimate history buff. If someone on your holiday gift list is a U.S. History buff, here's your chance to buy him or her something really memorable. A rare copy of the "Star Spangled Banner" is set to be auctioned on Friday. It is one of only 11 early printings believed to be in existence. Estimated value is between $200,000 and $300,000 dollars (The Baltimore Sun)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure you grab your umbrella before you leave your house today. (Hey, better safe than sorry.) Be sure to check back for more updates throughout the day -- including updates on the toddler who died after being thrown from a skybridge at Tysons, and who's helping fund D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's inauguration. Thoughts or comments? Post them below or send me a note at aratanil@washpost.com. Have a great day.

By Lori Aratani  | November 30, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  
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