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Posted at 7:50 AM ET, 02/25/2011

A.M. Buzz: Wild weather on the way

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's Friday.

It's going to be messy. First the good news: temperatures are going to be in the 50's today. A nice warm-up. Now, the bad news: it's shaping up to be a messy, messy day. The Capital Weather Gang says the big news today will be the winds. The National Weather Service on Thursday issued a wind advisory for most of the D.C.-region and CWG is saying that we could get gusts up to 60 miles per hour. (Yes, you read that correctly). Look like the wind gusts will also be accompanied by rain and possibly, thundershowers. So here's the dilemma: do you even bother carrying an umbrella if there's a good chance it's just going to get blown away?

Coming up:

Rockfish season reopened. State officials announced that rockfish season will reopen for two days beginning today in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources had temporarily shut down the season following the discovery of several tons of illegally caught rockfish in anchor nets this month. (WAMU)

Sweet tooth. If you thought the line was long before . . . Georgetown Cupcakes is giving away free cupcakes today to mark the beginning of the second season of their reality television show "DC Cupcakes." (WTOP)

Today's headlines:

New regulation for Va. abortion clinics. The Virginia General Assembly agreed on Thursday that most of the clinics where early-term abortions in the state are performed should be regulated in the same way that same way that hospitals in Virginia are. The decision raises concern among abortion rights advocates that the new rules could be so restrictive that they could force as many as 17 of the state's 21 abortion clinics to close. Antiabortion activists, however, say the guidelines are necessary to ensure that the centers are operated safely.

Targeting youth crime on Metro. Metro and D.C. officials said they will begin issuing special identification passes to D.C. Public School students -- part of a plan designed to reverse the recent rise in crimes involving youths on the area's premier transportation system. More than a quarter of the 2,012 arrests made in 2010 by Metro Transit Police involved young people. The ID cards will enable police to be able to identify troublemakers and restrict the use of the card, which allow students to ride the system for hal price.

Foggy Bottom stair collapse. Metro officials said Thursday that a 'foreign object' led to the collapse of a portion of escalator stairs at the Foggy Bottom Metro station last week. Officials declined to offer additional details other than to say the object in question "was not related to the escalator."

Catholics, same-sex marriage and Maryland. In this intriguing piece, The Post's John Wagner looks at the debate over gay marriage in Maryland through another lens noting that "the presence of three Catholics at the helm in Annapolis hasn't stopped a same-sex marriage bill from wending its way through the legislature, triggering deep disappointment among church leaders as it suggests a waning of Catholic influence in this heavily Catholic state."

Pepco regulator on the hot seat. This time it wasn't Pepco on the hot seat in Annapolis on Thursday, but rather the state regulator charged with monitoring and evaluation the performance of utility companies in Maryland. At a hearing in Annapolis, state lawmakers charged that the state's Public Service Commission had been "absent" for years in evaluating the performance of Pepco and other electric failed to adequately hold the utility company accountable for lengthy power outages even as the company had cut back on maintenance and increased investor dividends.

In short. Alexandria is considering joining the Capital Bikeshare, the regional bike sharing program (Post); Zachary Adam Chesser, the Virginia man who tried to join an al-Qaeda linked terroist group in Somalia and made threats to the creators of "South Park" over their depiction of the prophet Muhammad, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison (Post); A strange day in D.C. government after Sulaimon Brown is terminated from his job as a special assistant in the Gray Administration and then escorted from the his office by security.(Post)

Other items:

Peep show. It's time for The Post's 5th annual Peeps Diorama contest. Here's your chance to show-off your creative side using the the medium of colored marshmallow chicks and bunnies. Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Join us today at 11 a.m. ET for a live Peeps chat with Holly E. Thomas -- our own in-house Peeps expert.

Phew. That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back with Post Local for more news and headlines throughout the day. And don't forget: this is Oscar weekend. Here's an Oscar preview as well as a list of all this year's nominees.

By Lori Aratani  | February 25, 2011; 7:50 AM ET
Categories:  AM Buzz  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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Next: Did somebody say free cupcakes?

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