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VALLEY NEWSWATCH

September 19, 1993

BATTLE FOR COURTNEY: The fight over 5-year-old Courtney Thomas of Thousand Oaks will continue at a hearing Monday in Pittsburgh, where her mother was arrested last week. (B1) . . . Her mother fled the Southland in July with Courtney after a judge awarded custody of the girl to a Van Nuys man.

TOXIC DANGER: When a truck carrying caustic chemicals takes a tumble, a unique team of firefighters rolls into action. The Hazardous Material Task Force, equipped with chemical-resistant suits and other specialized gear, descends on the scene to identify the spills and devise a plan to eliminate possible danger . . . For a detailed look at how the task force operates, see Valley Briefing (B3).

HIGH WATER: A ruptured water line, one of the city's largest, sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of water cascading down Coldwater Canyon Avenue, carrying parked cars and big chunks of asphalt. (B1) . . . No one was injured in the daylong ordeal, but about 75 people were forced to evacuate.

HE STILL DELIVERS: Legendary math instructor Jaime Escalante, whose work inspired the film, "Stand and Deliver," returned to Southern California Friday to deliver one more time. (B2) . . . At a Hispanic Heritage Month event, the teacher told students they control their own destinies, and he took a few digs at the local school system.

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