The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
SERENA BOUNCED FROM OPEN AFTER CURSING AT REF
Serena Williams walked toward the line judge, screaming, cursing and shaking a ball in the official’s direction, threatening to “shove it down” her throat. On match point in the U.S. Open semifinals Saturday night, defending champion Williams was penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct — a bizarre, ugly finish that gave a 6-4, 7-5 upset victory to unseeded, unranked Kim Clijsters. The match featured plenty of powerful groundstrokes and lengthy exchanges. No one will remember a single shot that was struck, though, because of the unusual, dramatic way it ended. With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault — a call rarely, if ever, seen at that stage of any match, let alone the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory. Instead of stepping to the baseline to serve again, Williams went over and shouted and cursed at the line judge, pointing at her and thrusting the ball toward her.
SNIPER DEATH DATE SOUGHT
Virginia is seeking a Nov. 9 execution for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the deadly 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area. A prosecutor requested the execution date in a letter sent on Wednesday to Prince William Circuit Court in Manassas. Senior Assistant Attorney General Katherine B. Burnett wrote that the November date has been coordinated with the governor's office to ensure consideration of an expected clemency petition. Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying of Dean Meyers, one of 10 people shot to death during a 2002 rampage that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area. Muhammad's attorney, Jonathan Sheldon, has said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
NOTE IN A BOTTLE
A note that a Maryland student put into a corked wine bottle and tossed from a cruise ship in the Bahamas five years ago was found this summer in England by a man walking his dog. Retired electrician Tony Hoskings of Cornwall spend weeks trying to find the sender of the note. After searching the Internet and seeking the aid of his local newspaper, Hoskings found Daniel Knopp, 19, a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. When Knopp was 14, he was traveling with his parents, James and Grayson Knopp, and his sister, Rachel, aboard the Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas. It sailed from Baltimore to the Caribbean. Knopp wrote the short note on June 21, 2004, put it in a discarded wine bottle, corked it and threw it from his family's stateroom balcony near Freeport. "I never thought of it again," Knopp said. "I completely forgot about that day. I thought it would be unreal if it were ever to be found, but I figured it would be destroyed by the ocean environment."
FORECLOSED HOMES UP FOR AUCTION
Dozens of foreclosed homes in the Washington area will be auctioned off this month. On Sept. 19, more than 50 homes in the region — including Silver Spring, D.C. and Greenbelt — will be sold during an auction at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church by Hudson & Marshall. About a dozen of the homes have already been sold through Hudson & Marshall’s Web site. Interested buyers will have to make a cash or certified check deposit of $2,500 for every winning property bid they make. “Slowly, home sales have been picking up and buyers are responding to the historically low prices and jumping back into the market,” said Dave Webb, principal of Hudson & Marshall.
(WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL)
KRISPY KREME SEWER LAWSUIT
Prince William County has been swept up in a legal battle between its northern neighbor and Krispy Kreme over a destroyed sewer system. The doughnut maker, facing a $19 million lawsuit from Fairfax County, is countersuing not only Fairfax but also Prince William. At the center of the dispute is a broken sewer that served Krispy Kreme's plant at the Gunston Commerce Center in Lorton. Fairfax says years of the company dumping yeast, grease and other doughnut byproducts clogged and eventually destroyed the pipes. Krispy Kreme argues faulty sewer design and operation are to blame, saying the sewage was allowed to stagnate and become corrosive. Because the waste from the doughnut plant eventually travels to Prince William's H.L. Mooney Treatment Works in Woodbridge, the company also is suing the outer suburb. Krispy Kreme's suit says both counties violated the Clean Water Act and asks each government be fined $37,500 per violation per day