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Canadian Bianca Andreescu beats Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open

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SeventyFour/iStock(NEW YORK) — Canadian Bianca Andreescu beat U.S. tennis star Serena Williams in straight sets to win the U.S. Open womens’ finals on Saturday.

Andreescu, who is 19, bested Williams 6-3, 7-5.

“I’m worked really, really hard for this moment. This year has been a dream come true,” Andreescu said after the match, calling Williams “a legend of this sport.”

But she jokes that while Williams was a formidable opponant, her biggest obstacle to victory was the crowd, which was firmly in Williams’ camp.

“I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I’m so sorry,” she said with a smile.

Williams, who was vying for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title and her first since giving birth to daughter Olympia two years ago, applauded Andreescu for playing an “unbelievable match.”

“I’m just so proud that I’m still out here and competing at this level because it’s not easy to be in this particular sport for 20 years,” Williams said.

She thanked her team for helping her through the ups and, lately, the” downs and downs and downs and downs and downs.” But Williams added, “Hopefully, we’ll have some ups soon!”

And she expressed gratitude to the fans.

“Honestly, the fans started cheering so hard… I was really grateful for that,” Williams said.

Among those in the stands was Williams’ close friend Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who took a last-minute flight from London. Meghan was seated between Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena’s coach, and Serena’s mother Oracene Price, at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Meghan and Williams have been friends since meeting at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami.

Williams was ranked No. 1 in the world when she went on maternity leave but has not won a Grand Slam since giving birth to her daughter in 2017.

After Williams spoke out about the unfairness of women players being penalized because of maternity leave, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) changed its rules to add more protections for moms on the tour.

Williams lost last year’s U.S. Open in a tense and controversial match against Naomi Osaka. More recently, she made it to this year’s Wimbledon final in July but lost in straight sets to seventh-seed Simona Halep.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ohio teacher still plans to work after hitting $5 million jackpot

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Oh! Lottery(NEW YORK) — An Ohio teacher is now $5 million richer, but she doesn’t plan on giving up her career anytime soon.

Brenda Simpson won the hefty prize Thursday after buying a $20 scratch-off ticket. All of her co-workers had the same question for her, she said: “Are you coming in tomorrow?”

“I still plan to work, but I told my husband he can retire,” Brenda Simpson, a teacher with Head Start, said in a statement.

Head Start is a federal program that provides early childhood education to low-income children and families.

Simpson’s lotto luck dates back to 2016 when she purchased a ticket that entered her into the Top Prize Drawing round, according to the lottery. The game, Fabulous Fortune, gave players a second chance to win the top prize of $5 million in August 2019, and Brenda’s ticket was a winner.

Simpson can get a lump sum cash payment or receive $250,000 every year for the next 20 years, according to the Ohio Lottery.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Inside a wrongfully convicted man's 24-year quest to clear his name

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iStock/moodboard(NEW YORK) — As Sundhe Moses sat in a Brooklyn courtroom more than 20 years ago, he insisted that he had been forced into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit.

Nevertheless, he was convicted and hit with a sentence of 15 years to life for a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn that left a little girl dead.

Moses went from a 19-year-old community college student and father of an 8-month-old boy to an inmate at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

He had been trying to clear his name ever since.

Despite being exonerated for the killing last year, he was still facing an additional sentence for an 18-year-old charge of attempted promoting prison contraband, a case prosecutors refused to drop until Friday, despite his argument that he wouldn’t have pleaded guilty in the drug case had he not been in prison.

“This is so vital for a black man in America to not have a criminal record,” Moses told ABC News.

Moses, 43, was convicted for participating in an August 1995 drive-by shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where dozens of children were outside playing. Four-year-old Shamone Johnson was killed, and four other young people, including an 8-year-old boy, were injured.

During his 1997 trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Moses testified that now-retired Detective Louis Scarcella beat him into confessing to the crime.

Four years into his jail stint, Moses was busted for allegedly having a marijuana cigarette that contained traces of heroin. In 2002, he was indicted by Clinton County prosecutors for promoting prison contraband, a felony.

“I was going back and forth to court fighting a case, again. Riding back and forth from prison to court, shackled, I can’t describe it,” said Moses, adding, “I just copped out … it’s not like I knew when I was going home.”

After entering a guilty plea in the drug case, the judge sentenced Moses to a consecutive sentence because he was a two-time felon, increasing his stint to 16 1/2 years. He had been facing up to seven years if convicted at trial. He had to plead guilty to a felony because he was predicate felon.

In 2013, Detective Scarcella’s questionable police tactics made headlines when the late Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes exonerated the first person whose criminal case was connected to the detective. Scarcella, through his attorneys, has repeatedly denied involvement with any of the cases.

To date, 12 men and one woman had their convictions Scarcella allegedly was involved in overturned.

That same year, Moses faced the parole board a second time. This time, Moses and his attorneys, Ron Kuby and Leah Busby, were armed with evidence of Scarcella’s pattern of wrongdoing, as well as two witnesses who recanted their testimony.

Days before Moses’ birthday in December 2013, he was released on parole without having to admit his guilt.

Kuby and Busby first filed a motion with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s revamped Conviction Review Unit as they were investigating more than 70 Scarcella-related convictions. In 2015, Moses’ legal team decided to file a motion with a judge requesting an evidentiary hearing in the hope of getting the conviction tossed in favor of a new trial.

After years of delays, Moses’ hearing commenced. Scarcella downplayed his role in the investigation, claiming repeatedly, “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” In January 2018, Justice Dineen Riviezzo overturned Moses’ conviction and ordered a new trial in a written decision that she read in court. The following month, prosecutors decided not to retry the case.

But Clinton County prosecutors were still pursuing the prison contraband case.

“The system encountered someone who has been exonerated for a charge, but while in prison for a case they were wrongfully in prison for, they picked up another conviction,” said Moses. “There wasn’t any case law similar to give a judge direction on how the case should be litigated.”

Earlier this year, Moses’ lawyers Kuby and Rhiya Trivedi filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea in the drug case because he was no longer a two-time felon.

“This situation presents the extremely rare case in which the Court cannot say the defendant would have entered a guilty plea to the crime of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree had it not been for the conviction on the murder charge,” wrote Clinton County Court Judge Keith M. Bruno in his written decision granting the motion to toss his guilty plea. Bruno did note that Moses did not dispute that he used marijuana in prison.

Still, prosecutors refused to drop the charges, Kuby told ABC News on Friday.

“The stigma of a felony or felonies on your record is a bullseye to normal society,” Moses said.

In June, Moses was offered the chance to plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of a felony, but he would still have a criminal record.

“I wasn’t comfortable with that. What if I had a dream to get into politics tomorrow? A misdemeanor or not, I don’t need that on my record,” said Moses.

On Friday, Clinton County prosecutors dismissed the drug case “in the interest of justice,” according to Kuby. The Clinton County DA’s office declined comment.

“As a black person they think it’s OK to have that on your record. They don’t see it as you shouldn’t have it at all,” Moses said. “They looked at it as ‘Just take it, you’re out, you’re free,’ but I looked at it from a whole other perspective.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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