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Posted at 5:41 AM ET, 02/18/2011

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Sun, gay marriage, D.C. ballot

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's Friday. We've got plenty of headlines for you this morning -- and we've got some great stories on tap for you later today, including a look at the University of Maryland's new competitive eating team -- which held their first "practice" Thursday night. I believe pizza and chicken wings were involved.

Pinch yourself. If you were basking in Thursday's 60 degree plus temperatures, you'll be delighted to know it's going to be even warmer today. It's only February, but The Capital Weather Gang says we could be in for some record-breaking heat. It'll be sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 70's. Yes, you read that correctly, the 70's. Enjoy it while you can. Temperatures are expected to drop back to the 50's over the weekend and there's a chance we'll be in for some type of precipitation (rain, snow) next week. But for now -- enjoy!

Coming up:

Closures on Metro's Blue and Orange lines. A reminder that there will be closures on the Orange and Blue Metro lines this long holiday weekend. From 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, through the midnight closing on Monday, Feb. 21, there will be no service on the Blue and Orange lines between Metro Center and L'Enfant Plaza. Both the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations will be closed to replace four switches outside the Smithsonian Station that allow the trains to cross over the tracks. Shuttle buses will be operating to get passengers where they need to go.

Meeting of the minds. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is expected to meet with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker this morning in Silver Spring to discuss "issues of common concern" including including small business development, transportation, and public safety. (How much you want to bet fallout from Jan. 26 snow storm and traffic meltdown will also come up?)

Today's headlines:

A step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. A Maryland State Senate committee has approved a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The vote is significant because in past years similar measures have been voted down by this particular committee. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote next week.

Choices galore. It looks like it will be a long ballot in the special election set for April to fill the at-large D.C. Council seat left vacant by Kwame Brown's election as D.C. Council Chairman. Eleven candidates, including Sekou Biddle, who was appointed last month to temporarily fill the seat, met the deadline for submitting the signatures of at least 3,000 voters. The Board of Elections and Ethics has two weeks to determine whether the signatures are valid.

Ban lifted on alcohol ads in Va. In response to a lawsuit citing freedom of speech, Virginia legislators have agreed to lift a ban on alcohol advertisements on billboards. The state had generally banned outdoor alcohol advertising except at stadiums, coliseums and racetracks as well as on store windows. But under a consent decree quietly entered Jan. 7 with Lamar, a billboard business, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Department agreed to scrap its regulations on outdoor alcohol advertising.

In short. There was a fatal shooting in the South Laurel area of Prince George's County Thursday night (Post); a former investigator for the D.C. tax office was sentenced Thursday to probation for participating in a scheme that allowed businesses to avoid paying more than $100,000 in taxes (Post); one person is in custody in connection with a case of racist graffiti found at a private school in Maryland.
(NBC 4)

Other items:

A little bit of Abraham Lincoln in Montgomery County. A business woman from Frederick recently made a surprising discovery as she was rummaging through the bedroom closet of a home in upper Montgomery County. Sure, there were some valuable first-edition books -- but tucked inside them were items of even greater significance. Laurie Zook had found a rare trove of documents that included hand-signed notes by Abraham Lincoln. (The Gazette)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back throughout the day for more headlines and updates. Did you catch our story about what happens when "mean girls" grow up in Sunday's Washington Post Magazine? You can chat with the writer, Laura Sessions Stepp, today at 11 a.m. ET.

By Lori Aratani  | February 18, 2011; 5:41 AM ET
Categories:  AM Buzz  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Here comes the sun, D.C.
Next: Free ice cream at Ben & Jerry's!


Cool. Kudos to DC & MD.

Onward to full marriage equality rights!

Cheers, Joe Mustich
CT Justice of the Peace,
Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT USA

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 18, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Cool. Kudos to DC & MD.

Onward to full marriage equality rights!

Cheers, Joe Mustich
CT Justice of the Peace,
Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT USA

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 18, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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