Local Leads: 09/01/09

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    GOV. KAINE WASHES HANDS
    Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine got a lesson in hand washing from a group of Alexandria elementary students. At a news conference Tuesday at Samuel Tucker Elementary School to discuss Virginia's swine flu preparedness, a group of fourth graders demonstrated proper hand washing techniques.  (WTOP.COM)

    TEEN FACES TRIAL IN CROFTON BEATING
    The younger of two teenagers accused of fatally beating a 14-year-old Crofton boy entered a plea to manslaughter Tuesday morning in juvenile court, acknowledging that there was enough evidence to convict him, but not admitting to a crime. The teenager, now 15, will be sent to a juvenile facility. He had been charged with manslaughter and related counts in the May 30 homicide of Christopher D. Jones, who Anne Arundel County police said was a victim of youth gang violence even though he was not part of a gang. Safety concerns led a judge to close the courtroom to the public, admitting only people directly tied to the case and the news media. (Baltimore Sun)

    TEEN CAR KEYS
    Andrew Sarkisian says he finds inspiration in other people's lives, but raising two teenage girls may be more inspiration than he's willing to admit. Sarkisian, safety manager at Ford Motor, is considered the father of MyKey, a new technology to help parents control some of their teen drivers' behaviors. Ford is rolling it out on several models this year. The 31-year Ford veteran raised two teenage girls, now both in their 20s, and experienced firsthand something parents dread: learning his eldest daughter, Lauren, was in a rollover accident. (USAToday)

    LABOR DAY TRAVEL DOWN
    Long holiday weekends are prime time for racking up the family car's mileage. But this Labor Day weekend may see the roads quieter than usual. The 2009 school year began before the holiday with school bells ringing on Aug. 24. AAA Mid-Atlantic predicted a heavy Labor Day impact, saying about 39.1 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles round-trip or more. Last year about 45.1 million traveled the same distances (Frederick News Post)

    NO TAKERS FOR JFK'S SAILBOAT
    Here's a sign of a really tough economy: Sometimes history doesn't even sell in Annapolis. That's the case when it comes to the Manitou, a 62-foot Sparkman & Stephens sailboat used by President John F. Kennedy during his time in office. The boat has been docked at the National Sailing Hall of Fame on Spa Creek in Annapolis for almost a year, where it serves as a floating exhibit. But the boat also is for sale, although there haven't been any takers. (The Capitol)

    PENDING HOME SALES UP
    Pending sales of existing homes rose for the sixth straight month in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. Pending sales rose 3.2 percent, following a 3.6 percent gain in June. Pending sales are considered a more current measure of home sales activity, because it measures contracts signed but not yet closed. (Washington Business Journal)

    138-POUND WATERMELON
    Mechelle Suitt says she knew right from the start there was something unusual about the watermelon plant she bought in May. The cashier told the Ruthsburg resident it was a Carolina Cross, a variety known for producing large fruit, and the plant didn't disappoint her. She trimmed smaller watermelons from the plant during the summer to help the largest grow, and by the time she picked it last month, it weighed 138 pounds (WTOP.COM)