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VALLEY NEWSWATCH

August 02, 1993

ROADWAY MAYHEM: A popular Valley spot for illegal street races may have claimed more victims. . . . Two people were critically injured Sunday when their car was broadsided in a suspected drag race in Sylmar. Witnesses deny it, but police say "suspicion is very high" that the accident grew out of a street race. Just a week ago, a woman was killed and her two children seriously hurt when their car was rear-ended by a speeding car on the way to another illegal road race (B1).

INSIDE JOB: Boxer Leroy Whitaker, 6 feet, 8 inches and 232 pounds, had used his superior reach to make it to the finals of the super heavyweight division at the U. S. Olympic Festival in Houston. . . . But Sunday, Whitaker ran into a foe eight inches shorter who stayed inside and effectively smothered the Northridge giant's attack. Reginald Blackmon of the Navy came away with an 18-9 decision, inflicting Whitaker's second loss in 17 matches (C4).

TRAWLING THE MALL: It's summer in the Valley, and teen-agers like Lisa Plaskow and Lewam Ghebremichael, both 13, above at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, are loose in the malls. . . . Many young people see the tile-covered, air-conditioned shopping centers as refuges from the heat and the coolest of playgrounds. They can meet friends, scope out the opposite sex and maybe even shop. Some people, though, would prefer that the mall rats would go away. "Kids these days," grimaced Eric Koesterer, a pet shop manager, "they're a pain in the neck." Eric is 17 (B1).

SENIOR SOLACE: Frank Mann is a volunteer army of one. . . . Mann is the only advocate who regularly monitors the care of 284 residents in Santa Clarita's two nursing homes and four board-and-care facilities. He looks for abuse and patient neglect. For those residents who have no surviving family, a visit from Mann shows that someone still cares about them (B14).

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