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Posted at 5:44 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Dog show, ICC, birth control

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's Wednesday -- we're midway through the week and that much closer to what will be the three-day President's Day Weekend for many folks.

Coming up:

Now that's more like it.  Tuesday, there was a definite chill in the air. Depending on your outlook and how many layers you donned, it was either "crisp" or just "cold." Today will be slightly warmer. The Capital Weather Gang says it should be sunny, with temperatures today should be in the 50's with 10-to-15-mile per hour winds from the south. And the same formula applies: The milder the winds, the warmer the day. It should get warmer the rest of the week and Friday could be fabulous.

Top dog. Hickory, a Scottish deerhound from Warrenton, Va., has won the 'Best of Show' title at the Westminster Kennel Club competition. Today, Hickory will enjoy a steak at famed Sardi's restaurant and a trip to the top of the Empire State Building. The 5-year-old is the first of her breed to capture the purple-and-gold ribbon and shiny silver bowl.


Today's headlines:

Previewing the ICC. Just a week before opening day, Maryland State Highway officials offered a tour of Maryland's newest motorway -- the Intercounty Connector. On signs it will be known as "Route 200" and this first stretch -- scheduled to open at 6 a.m. on Feb. 22 -- will connect interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and Georgia Avenue in northern Silver Spring. Remember: it's a toll road and Maryland Transportation Authority officials remind drivers that they'll need to buy an E-ZPass transponders if they want to use the all-electronic toll road without having to pay an additional $3 fee.

Birth control without a prescription?
D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At Large) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would allow women to obtain birth-control pills without a doctor's prescription.
Catania says that D.C. and other states District and states need to make more preventive medicine available without requiring costly visits to a doctor. But the measure is already raising concern among physicians and pro-life activists.

Ethics reform and Prince George's County. Monday's indictment of former Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson is raising questions about who is policing conduct among county government officials and employees. The county's ethics board did not meet at all in 2010 because it did not receive any complaints. But that overlapped with the same time period in which federal investigators contend Johnson was collecting thousands of dollars in bribes. Rushern Baker, the newly elected county executive, made ethics reform a centerpiece of his campaign -- but is getting resistance as he attempts to revamp accountability in Prince George's.

Breathalyzer tests scrapped. D.C. Police temporarily will rely on urine -- rather than breath tests -- in cases of individuals suspected of drunk driving.The move comes after revelations that nearly 400 people since 2008 had been convicted of drunken driving based on erroneous breath test results. The urine tests will be done in conjunction with field sobriety tests. Meanwhile, in D.C. district court, federal officials are accusing a man of avoiding a drug test in an unusual way -- using a prosthesis.

Verizon and 911 calls. Residents in Montgomery and at least two other Maryland counties have been unable to connect with 911 operators at times in the past several months due to a glitch with Verizon, the utility that provides service to emergency dispatch centers. The FCC thinks the problem might be occurring nationwide, an official said. Verizon officials have acknowledged the failure and said they were taking steps to improve their infrastructure and communication with local jurisdictions.  (The Gazette)

In short. A D.C. Police Officer shot and wounded a dog Tuesday afternoon in Northwest Washington;  (Post); a Charles County teacher allegedly shot and killed Tuesday by an acquaintance. (Post); the Montgomery County School Board has approved a $2.2 billion budget. (The Gazette)

Other items:

Music to fly by. Local officials have launched a new concert series at a most unusual venue: the airport.  "Our goal is to just give our passengers something to enjoy," said Courtney Mickalonis, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which controls Dulles and Reagan National. Don't miss our video.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for more headlines and updates throughout the day. On Facebook? Then think about becoming a fan of Post Local. You can also follow Post Local on Twitter. That way you'll get updates no matter where you are.

By Lori Aratani  | February 16, 2011; 5:44 AM ET
Categories:  AM Buzz  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Westminster Dog Show 2011: Va. dog wins best in show
Next: Urn with ashes donated to Va. thrift shop

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