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VALLEY NEWSWATCH

September 26, 1993

COURTNEY AT HOME: After seven weeks on the run with her fugitive mother, Courtney Thomas was back home with her legal father, Kevin Thomas, of Van Nuys. (B1) . . . With her mother in jail and the fierce public battle over the girl's custody continuing, life for Courtney, 5, and Kevin Thomas, who is not biologically related to the girl, returned to a semblance of normalcy.

FEAR AT SCHOOL: Violence is an ugly fact of life on many Southern California high school campuses. Today, more than 100 area students share their thoughts and fears. (E1) . . . Among them, Ricardo Martinez, 17, a senior at Alemany High School in Mission Hills: "If you are worried about being shot, you can't learn." Rick DeGeorge, 17, a junior at William S. Hart High School in Newhall: "I've seen .357s and .22s in the parking lot. I've heard guys say, 'Hey, check out my 9-millimeter.' They can afford nice guns at this school."

FOOTBALL STANDOUT: Cal State Northridge senior Ralph Henderson, with wife, Danielle, and 2-year-old daughter, Tianna, is balancing football, school, marriage and fatherhood and is making it all work. (C12) . . . Despite his many responsibilities, Henderson has distinguished himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the Northridge school's history.

PIPES IN PERIL: The underground water pipe that burst last week, flooding a Studio City street, might not be an anomaly. . . . There are more than 30 miles of major pipelines under the San Fernando Valley that are over 50 years old and could be in danger of failing due to corrosion. Valley Briefing (B2)

AEROSPACE JOBS: More than a third of the state's aerospace-related jobs have been wiped out since 1986, with more to come. As defense budgets drop, companies keep looking for the cheapest places to manufacture. . . . Despite the glum news, though, aerospace remains California's biggest manufacturing employer with 300,000 jobs. (D1).

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