Local Leads: 12/12/2009

News you need to know

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

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. is replacing his top deputy who runs the day-to-day operations of the transit agency and the chief safety officer in a major shake-up a day after Metro executives were harshly criticized on Capitol Hill for lapses in safety oversight and management accountability.   Both Deputy General Manager Gerald Francis and Chief Safety Officer Alexa Dupigny-Samuels will step down from their jobs, according to a memo sent late Friday by Catoe to Metro's board of directors. Metro sources said Francis will leave for a job in the private sector, while Dupigny-Samuels will remain at the agency. The sources asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

A man showed up at Herndon police headquarters Friday morning with a note saying he had killed his wife, police said, and when officers went to the couple's apartment, they found a woman's body stuffed inside a suitcase on the apartment balcony.   The 36-year-old woman's name was not released, pending notification of her family. Police think she was strangled, Lt. Jeff Coulter said, and her body was not dismembered or otherwise harmed. She apparently was small enough to fit inside a large suitcase, police said.   The man, Jamie A. Kuhne, 34, was charged with murder. He is being held in the Fairfax County jail.   The couple have a 1-year-old son. Police said Kuhne apparently took the boy to day care early Friday, then drove to the police station shortly after 7 a.m. and turned himself in.   Police retrieved the boy and placed him with Child Protective Services while they tried to find relatives to care for him, Coulter said.

A startled skunk has cost Allen and Leslie Scott hundreds of dollars so far and left them homeless since Monday evening.
A terrible smell awoke the couple at 2:30 that morning. When Allen walked outside to look around with a flashlight, he discovered a hole where a skunk had just sprayed in the crawl space under their log cabin home on Mountaindale Road.  The Scotts have been living in Allen's sister's basement since then and predict they'll need to replace all their furniture, mattresses, food and appliances to get rid of the sickening odor in the home they've lived in for six years. It may be as long as a few weeks before the house is habitable again, they said.  "We had a horrible, horrible time," Leslie said. "Everything smells -- our clothes, our food and our linens."
The Scotts brought a carton of eggs to Allen's sister's house, thinking that because they had been in the refrigerator, they wouldn't smell.  "They smelled awful. We had to throw them out," Allen said.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and First Lady Katie O'Malley are holding a holiday open house for members of the public.  It's scheduled for Saturday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Government House, which is the name of the governor's residence next to the Maryland State House in Annapolis.  Music will be performed by the The Star Spangled Chorus of the Dundalk Sweet Adelines International. The Watkins Mill High School Chamber Singers and the European Academy of Music and Art are scheduled to perform, too.
There also will be holiday cookies and hot apple cider.

Tiger Woods said Friday he is taking an indefinite leave from golf to try to save his marriage, the biggest fallout yet from two shocking weeks filled with allegations of rampant extramarital affairs.  "I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person," Woods said on his Web site.  Woods and his wife, Elin, have been married five years and have a 2-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son.  The announcement came two weeks after Woods crashed his SUV into a tree outside his Florida home, setting in motion a stunning downfall for the world's No. 1 player who for 13 years rarely made news off the golf course. One woman who said she had a 31-month affair with Woods shared a voice mail that she said Woods left her two nights before his Nov. 27 accident.  "I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods said. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."  Woods has not been seen in public since the accident

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