Morning Roundup: March 29

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FORMER VIRGINIA SEN. GEORGE ALLEN is beckoning newly energized anti-establishment, fiscal-hawk activists with one hand while gripping a beefy political resume in the other as he embarks on a campaign to capture the Republican nod for the seat he lost five years ago, he tells The Washington Times in an exclusive interview.

A PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY COUPLE faces felony child abuse charges for allegedly shutting their naked children in a room, then sealing them in with nailed drywall, according to WRC-TV (Channel 4). The children are 4 months, 2 years and 4 years old. The oldest was able to escape and went to a neighbor’s house for help, police said. That neighbor was able to free the other children from the room, which was covered in feces and urine, and then alerted authorities, county police said.

THE D.C. COUNCIL began hearings Monday on the questionable personnel practices of Mayor Vincent C. Gray, The Washington Times reports. Among the first to testify was former city worker Talib Karmin, who said he was directed by Mr. Gray’s chief of staff to find a job for 2010 mayoral contender Sulaimon Brown, who says he was offered a job and given cash to bash incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “I would assume he was interviewed,” said Mr. Karim, a Gray campaign supporter who landed a job with the city, then resigned when questions surfaced about his domestic life.

D.C. MAYOR VINCENT C. GRAY, a Democrat, gave his first State of the District address on Monday night, saying the city is “making progress” under his leadership. Among the examples he cited in the hour-long speech were a growing D.C. population and how the city offered immediate help to those infected with HIV. Mr. Gray said future plans include making the city a place of economic opportunity for residents and having the best schools in the country. He made only a minor reference to the problems that have plagued his young administration. He said he upholds the public’s trust, according to The Washington Times.

D.C. DRUG DEALER RAYFUL EDMOND III, who had an estimated $1 million-a-week crack cocaine businesses in the late 1980s, testified in federal court nearly a decade ago as a witness for the prosecution in a massive murder-for-hire drug case, The Washington Times reports.

By all accounts, his testimony was riveting, including details about his about custom-made $100,000 Rolex watch. But now a judge considering an appeal from the defendants in those cases is questioning the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to put Edmond on the witness stand.

FARES ON THE D.C. CIRCULATOR could soon double, the first fare increase in the bus system’s six-year history, according to the Washington Examiner. The D.C. Department of Transportation is calling for the bus service to charge $2 per trip for cash rides. Under the plan, those using plastic SmarTrip farecards would pay $1.50. Riders now pay just $1 per trip, a convenient fare because no coins are needed. It also makes the D.C. Circulator popular because that rate undercuts the fares on Metrobus.

MARYLAND GOV. MARTIN O’MALLEY’S legislative agenda was dealt another blow Monday when his signature offshore wind proposal failed to get either a full House or Senate vote before a major General Assembly deadline, The Washington Times reports.

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