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Strong nominations for Taree-Wingham race meeting

TRAINERS and owners looking for racing action with meetings being washed out with rain have “swamped” nominations for Taree Wingham Race Club’s eight-race card at Bushland Drive next Tuesday.
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The club has received 182 nominations from most racing centres north of Sydney, no doubt boosted by wet weather causing the abandonment of the TAB fixture at Port Macquarie on Tuesday. Even Coffs Harbour trainer Anthony Honess has taken the precaution of the Warwick Farm meeting, postponed from Wednesday to Friday, not going ahead by nominating Lizards Lover from the Sydney race to one at Taree. The four-year-old Snippetson mare is in race five over 2200m in Sydney and has also been nominated for the Can Assist Fund Raising on April 4 Benchmark 60 Handicap over 2018m at Taree.

The winner of three races, also placed a further eight, in 17 starts has never started on a heavy track and the Bushland Drive track is famous for recovering quickly from a deluge.

The mare was only a length away from Kempsey gelding Brasileiro Macho over 1900m at Kempsey on January 13 and was carrying the steadier of 59kgs, 7kgs more than the winner.

Brasileiro Macho prior to that had run second to Rigamarole in the Woop Woop Cup at Wauchope on Boxing Day and the winner franked the form by also winning at the Kempsey meeting next start.

The Julie Lynch trained gelding wasn’t disgraced when fourth to promising Coffs four-year-old mare Just Atina, trained by Brett Dodson, at Taree’s last meeting and both of them add spice to the nominations.

Also in form in the race is Shehadtohavehim, trained at Cessnock by Jeremy Sylvester, which won at Taree and Scone at its past three starts.

Taree trainer Bindi Cheers has also nominated three-year-old gelding Zigbee and it showed plenty of pace and cheek to be a half-length behind Just Atina in that Taree race over 2018m.

Taree trainer Ross Stitt has taken mare Shazza’s Bubbles to Sydney for its past two starts and he looks like staying home with nominating her for the Easter Saturday Raceday on April 4 Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1257m. She was eighth first start but then was a good fourth next start, this race maybe more to her liking third up from a spell.

Her likely opposition could be Port Macquarie seven-year-old mare Just Si, trained by John Sprague, which was a most unlucky second at Taree on January 6 when a neck second to Broadmeadow gelding Presaro, a previous winner in Sydney, trained by Paul Perry.

Last start winners also nominated here are Taree’s Jest Mamboo, trained by Bart Dening and Dodson’s Murvate.

Broadmeadow trainer Mick Dwyer had seven-year-old gelding Dubai Dusk looking a picture when fifth behind Just Atina over 2018m at Taree last start but has opted for the 1614m to nominate his charge for this meeting and the distance may prove more suitable.

A turn to finer weather should have the track in great order despite the recent rain.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New ball game for Taree soccer star

A new ball game: Ricky Campbell will make the switch from soccer with the Taree Wildcats to rugby with the Manning River Ratz this year.SINCE he first started kicking a soccer ball around when he was aged four, Ricky Campbell’s No 1 supporter was there to watch and encourage him.
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Campbell’s mum, Debbie, was at just about every game he played through his junior days and into seniors, when he became an integral member of the Taree Wildcats Football Mid North Coast Premier League side.

In the past few years Campbell has scored something like 60 goals for the Wildcats and his mum was there to witness most of them.

He was a member of Taree’s premiership winning sides of 2009 and 2012. Season 2012 in particular was a stand out when Campbell was the most potent attacking weapon in the league.

But last year Campbell lost his mum – Debbie succumbing to cancer after a long fight. So for that reason he doesn’t want to play soccer, at least for this season.

“It would just be a bit weird playing without mum there watching,” he explained.

Campbell admits his mind wasn’t always on the job with the Wildcats in 2014 in what was personally a mixed year – the exhilaration of the birth of twin boys when Campbell and partner Shannin Wrigley became parents for the first time, contrasting to the devastating loss of his mother. He only scored about 10 goals for the Wildcats, well down on his tally from the previous campaigns.

So this season he’s decided to take on another sporting challenge. He’ll turn out for the Manning River Ratz in the Lower North Coast Rugby Union competition.

Campbell has never played rugby although he dabbled a bit in rugby league while at school.

“It’s going to be a change – but I think I need that,” he said.

“I didn’t want to play another season of soccer and end up hating it. Who knows? Halfway through the year I might go back to soccer, but at this stage I’m keen to test myself in rugby and see how I go.”

Campbell has good mates who play for the Ratz and he said that’s made the transition a bit easier. He told Taree Wildcats coach Ben Sedlen of his plans and he said Sedlen was fully understanding.

“Ben and I have been mates for a long time,” he said.

“He wished me all the best.”

Campbell was at Tuncurry last year to see the Ratz lose the grand final to Forster-Tuncurry while he said he’s watched a lot of rugby on television. But he knows it is a complex game.

“I’m not going to learn all the rules from TV, but I have a bit of an idea,” he said.

Campbell fully realises that getting caught on the bottom of a ruck or maul or being crash tackled or hit high will be totally different to what he’s experienced in soccer. But he’s prepared for the bumps and bruises.

Training at this stage hasn’t been much different to what he’s used to in soccer.

“It’s mainly fitness but I guess that’ll change as the season gets closer,” he said.

Campbell played centre or on the wing in his brief flirtation with schoolboy league and expects that’s where he’ll be required in rugby. He’s also been practicing his goal kicking and he could the answer to a problem area that plagued the Ratz last season.

He has some rugby in his DNA, as his dad, Paul, played in the forwards for many seasons with the now defunct Taree Bulldogs.

The Ratz will play trial games before the start of the season-proper. Campbell expects he’ll be ‘pretty nervous’ before his first run.

He says he has no idea how long he’ll stay with the new code.

“I’m only 23 so I can still go back to soccer whenever I?want, that’s one of the reasons I’m playing rugby,” he said.

“But if I enjoy rugby, I might stay there.

“It’s a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Taree skier stars in Trans-Tasman challenge

Clive Bloomfield from Iguana with this week s sportstar, Kye Cornall.BAREFOOT skier Kye Cornall made a successful transition from juniors to seniors at the Australia/New Zealand Challenge held at Liverpool.
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Making his first appearance as a senior, the 17-year-old Cornall won his three events – tricks, slalom and jumps. He was also part of the winning Australian side in the annual event, avenging a heavy defeat in competition held in Perth last year.

Cornall is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.

He said he was ‘sort of’ confident of success in the three events, but admits to being more nervous than usual before the start of competition.

Cornall will now concentrate on the Australian titles to be contested in the man-made lakes at Mulwala in Victoria – the venue for last year’s world championships in March and then the New Zealand titles in April.

He was rated four in the world as a junior but admits he has some work to do yet now he’s in open ranks.

“I think I around 27,” he said.

However, Cornall is confident he can gain a top five placing in his events at both national championships.

He’ll compete around 10 times this year. His sport takes him around the country, with events in venues including Darwin, Perth, Victoria and NSW.

He’s training every second day at the moment but will step that up to daily sessions as the nationals approach. He currently coached by Ken Derry while he also has weekend sessions with Greg Adams.

Cornall virtually trains 12 months a year battling on through the cold of winter.

His longer term ambition is to gain a place in the Australian team for the world titles to be held in the US next year.

He hopes to qualify by gaining enough points in competition, although an easier path would be to gain selection in the Australian side to be named after the 2016 nationals.

He represented Australia as a junior last year in Mulawa.

It’s been a prosperous few weeks for Cornall as he recently gained a new sponsor, barefootcentral南京夜网.au

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Craftathon new date and new venue

CRAFTATHON 2015 has a great new venue and a new date.
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The long standing annual event will be held in air conditioned comfort at Club Taree in Wingham Road, on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27 which coincides with the September school holidays.

The event is organised by Taree Craft Centre and co-ordinators Gail Robinson and Wendy Gibson are excited to be able to offer a new level of comfort to exhibitors and patrons.

Club Taree is able to offer excellent facilities for meals and refreshments and with lots of convenient parking, everything is in place for an enjoyable experience.

Excellent craft exhibitors are currently being booked for the show and all of the regular, popular features will be in place. Put the date in your diary now for a show not to be missed.

Inquiries to Gail on 0416 078 429 or Wendy on 0410 609 248 or email [email protected]南京夜网.au

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Summerfest: Manning talent showcase

Pictured: Headliners Eleven Eleven performing at Summerfest 2013.SUMMERFEST, an annual outdoor youth music event, is on this Saturday, January 31 from 5.30pm to 9.30pm at Harry Bennett Park on the riverbank at Taree.
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Summerfest is run by the Manning Youth Action Team (MYAT), supported by Greater Taree City Council, to showcase the talent of young bands and musicians from across the Manning Valley.

Summerfest was postponed in December due to thunderstorms. MYAT team member, Carly Walker, is hopeful for better luck with the weather this week.

“We were unlucky with the stormy weather last month, but with most people now home from holidays, we’re looking to celebrate summer with a big crowd at Summerfest this Saturday,” Carly said.

All acts have reconfirmed, including Sweet Nothin’, Soar, Featuring and The Respectables, as well as a number of acoustic performers.

Headliners will be Eleven Eleven, who are long-time supporters of MYAT events and were a big drawcard at Taree’s recent New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Summerfest is a family-friendly drug and alcohol-free event. Entry to Summerfest is $5 or $10 per family.

MYAT will also be hosting a barbecue on the night.

All proceeds from the evening go to support MYAT’s activities for young people in the Manning Valley.

For more information about Summerfest go to the Manning Youth Facebook page at facebook南京夜网/ManningYouth, council’s online events calendar at gtcc.nsw.gov.au or contact council’s youth development officer, on 6592 5399.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Council writes to minister with coal seam gas concerns

GREATER Taree City Council will “write to the minister expressing our concerns with the circumstances that have lead to the voluntary cessation of coal seam gas activities in Gloucester and seek an assurance that no further drilling will occur until the matter is fully investigated by the relevant authorities.”
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Council resolved to write to the Minister for Planning and Environment at its meeting on Wednesday.

Mayor Paul Hogan stated, “council and MidCoast Water have regularly expressed concern about the potential impact of coal seam gas mining in the catchment of the Manning River on the water quality of the area. The latest developments are very concerning and we are requesting that the State government and the Environmental Protection Agency leave no stone unturned in understanding what has happened at the pilot site run by AGL”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Situation dire: Petition seeks guaranteed government funding for hospital

Community pressure is needed to effect change on how government funding is allocated: Country Labor candidate and Taree doctor, David Keegan (second right) with Bryan Clancy, Marion Hosking OAM and Nola Binder discussing the lack of hospital funding. THE “dire situation” facing Manning Hospital in Taree is the catalyst for a community campaign to try to secure a State government guarantee that it will fund stage one infrastructure works.
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Counter tops in doctors’ rooms, chemists and general stores in the three State electorates that feed patients to the hospital will display a petition that seeks to focus State government attention on Manning Hospital. It reads:

“This petition of the citizens of the Greater Taree, Great Lakes and Gloucester local government areas, brings to the attention of the House, the dire situation facing the Manning Base Hospital in Taree. After years of lobbying for hospital funding, a Clinical Services Plan and Building Master Plan was completed in July 2013 and has been endorsed by Hunter New England Area Health Service. The undersigned petitioners ask the Legislative Assembly to guarantee funding to implement stage one of Manning Base Hospital.”

Driving the petition initiative is Dr David Keegan and he is hoping to mirror the success of the community campaign to stop the closure of the Nita Reed Community Dialysis Centre in Taree. Dr Keegan stepped forward in October last year to expose the concerns of hospital medical staff and patients about the Hunter New England Health (HNE Health) decision to close the dialysis centre. A petition as part of a broader campaign by Dr Keegan, Greater Taree City Council mayor Paul Hogan, Nita Reed OAM, Lyn Mayo OAM and dialysis patients saw HNE Health act to stop the closure of the centre.

Dr Keegan contends that community pressure on the State government is the only way to effect change in how funding is allocated to our region and he recently announced that he will seek to advance issues politically by standing as the Country Labor candidate for the Myall Lakes electorate in the March 2015 election.

He says it is critical that Manning Hospital be urgently allocated funding and “sadly, it seems that only when our community is forced to rally together to fight, like we did with Nita Reed, that anything seems to be done.”

“Three years ago the creation of a Clinical Services Plan (CSP) was considered urgent. It was done and nothing has come of it, and now we’ve been told that it’s really only a concept plan,” Dr Keegan said.

“We need the State government to direct money to our hospital so that we can get urgent capital works underway and I’ve now learned that it’s not even in the State government’s forward capital works program.”

Dr Keegan is also utilising www.change.org to provide people with access to an online petition. To access the petition go to the website and enter ‘Manning Base Hospital’ in the search box to locate the petition or click here.

Dr Keegan’s petition comes in the wake of recent comments about the infrastructure crisis and the political representation of member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead by Manning Health Committee chair, Don Macinnis.

Mr Macinnis described the infrastructure crisis as “a festering sore” and said “millions of dollars was urgently needed”. He said “the biggest challenge to be addressed is to get our local member who specialises in sound bytes, press releases and photo opportunities to get off his backside and do something.”

The reference to Mr Bromhead stems from the committee’s frustration at being repeatedly told “that money is coming”.

“Having spent all that time drawing up plans and ideas we want to know how they (State government) are going to go about it, and when they are going to start,” Mr Macinnis said.

“We want Mr Bromhead to put his hand-up for a new hospital. It is as simple as that.

“The front portion of the hospital was completed 57 years ago. That’s the front wing the other wing is older and inside that time, it has been gutted and rebuilt four or five times.

“It’s just a festering sore, I prefer to call it, and it’s not just us, Forster is just as much involved when you think about the issues.”

Two weeks ago Mr Bromhead issued a media release stating, “it is very pleasing that the NSW 2014/15 Budget contained $50 million in the Restart NSW program for six regional hospitals from which Manning Base will receive $5 – $10 million to kick start the project.”

The release did not provide the exact funding figure or details of when monies would be provided to enable works to begin but further questions to Mr Bromhead revealed that “the amount will be determined by the treasurer, the health minister and cabinet.”

The Manning River Times this week sought an update from Mr Bromhead regarding any further developments in relation to infrastructure funding. No response from Mr Bromhead was received at the time of going to print.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

MORNING RUSH: news, sport, weather, traffic and online buzz

​Don’t forget to refresh for updates. Got a news or traffic tip? Would love to hear from you – [email protected]南京夜网.au
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8.30am That’s it from us this morning. Have a fantastic Wednesday. See you tomorrow!

8.24am WORLD NEWS:A South Carolina judge has sentenced fugitive mother Dorothy Barnett, who kidnapped her baby daughter two decades ago and lived a secret life in Australia, to 21 months’ jail. Read more.

8.22am Arrrrr look at this baby seal, oh so cute!

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8.12am Mark Feb 22 at 5pm in your diaries – it’s the last Hawks home game.

8.10am The team over at Three Chimneys have been baking again – this time, they’ve whipped up some yummy coffee cream & walnut scones.

three8.08am BREAKING:Two men have reportedly been arrested in Sydney in connection with an alleged beheading plot.

8.06am Port Fairy in Victoria has been dubbed Australia’s most liveable town.

Port Fairy, Victoria

8.04am TV NEWS: Have you been watching MKR? Canberra mum & daughter Gina & Anna made some SHOCKING food & were eliminated. If you missed it, here’s a recap.

8.02am LOCAL NEWS:Four Illawarra companies are among those interested in removing the defunct Oceanlinx wave generator off the coast of the coal-loader at Port Kembla.

*Reporter Glen Humphries has the story.

8am CELEB NEWS:IsHome and Awaystar Steve Peacocke poised to follow in Chris Hemsworth’s footsteps?Peacockehas been cast in a new film based on the bookTaliban Shuffle.It also stars Tina Fey & Margot Robbie.Nice!

7.58am Good morning! Welcome if you’re just tuning in.Today, we’re in for another partly cloudy day with a slight chance of a shower this morning. Expect a top of 26 degrees. All good on the roads & rail.

7.56am TRAFFIC UPDATE -Unanderra:All eastboundlanes have reopened on Five Islands Rd,approaching the F6,after that earlier accident.

UNANDERRA: All e/b lanes have reopened on Five Islands Rd approaching the #M1PrincesMwy following an accident.

— Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) February 10, 2015Pitch Perfect. The sequel is set to hit theatres in May. Can’t wait!

7.46am Austinmer Rock Pool is set to close again on Monday for further repair work. The pool is expected to re-open on Feb 23.

7.44am TRAFFIC ALERT – Unanderra:a two-car accident is blocking two lanes eastbound on Five Islands Rd approaching the F6.Expect delays.

UNANDERRA: A 2 car accident is blocking 2 lanes e/b on Five Islands Rd approaching the #M1PrincesMwy. Expect delays.

— Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) February 10, 2015Taken 3 on Thursday night.

7.34am Haha this is too good – this dog is just catching up before the release of 50 Shades of Grey this week…

507.32am EDUCATION:As the Abbott government hopes to get its controversial higher education reforms through to the upper house, the Senate could be looking for an alternative. Debate on the legislation to deregulate university fees will continue in the lower house today. (AAP)

7.30am Okay, time for a game of “anywhere but here”. Today I’d rather be winning some $$$ at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Sigh.

Sweet Charity is coming to the IPAC. It’s on from March 11-15.

7.26am HEALTH:Damage to the brain’s outer layer caused by smoking may be reversible after quitting, but it could take years,a study says.

7.24am ARRRRR TINY HAMSTER IS BACK! You remember him – the little guy that eats little tacos and pizza!? Well he went on a tiny Valentine’s Date. OMG I AM DYING….

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7.22am Today is a sad day for ice-cream -Aussie icon Dairy Bell will close its factory doors by the end of the month. 🙁

7.20am Good news for Eurovision tragics – Australia is joining the Eurovision Song Contest. YES!!!!!!!! Who cares that it’s not in Europe!?

Australia is joining the Eurovision Song Contest. We know it’s not in Europe. We don’t care. http://t.co/jwI46MPhU1pic.twitter南京夜网/wjrnwXAjl3

— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) February 10, 2015Post by wyatt.

7.14am POLITICS:Tony Abbott needs to let his ministers do more talking and better understand his opponents’ perspectives if he is trulyto reset his leadership, negotiation experts say. Read more.

7.12am Don’t forget there is HEAPS of solid music theatre opening in the region this week – Evita at Roo Theatre, Once A Catholic at the Phoenix and A FairyGrimm Cabaret at Workshop Theatre. Phew!

7.10am Happy birthday Jennifer Aniston! The actress turns 46 today. Happy birthday to other Feb 11 babies too.

Post by jen.

7.08am LOCAL SPORT:FootballSouth Coast announced the opening of the region’s first Girls Football Academy on Monday. Very cool.

7.06am TV NEWS:Breaking Badspin-offBetter Call Saulhas broken a ratings record.The highly-anticipated drama drew an audience of 6.9 million during itslaunch on Sunday in the US – that makes it cable television’s highest-rating debut in the 18-49 demographic. Sheesh!

7.04am POLITICS:Independent senatorJacqui Lambie is threatening to introduce a private senator’s bill to stop what she believes is “halal money” funding terrorist group Islamic State. Read more.

7.02am CELEB NEWS: Hundreds have flocked to a candlelight vigil for Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney Houston’s daughter.

Post by bobbi.

7am If you missed this yarnby the talented Bri Parkins over the weekend, grab a cuppa and read it now – we love small bars!

6.58am Good morning! Welcome if you’re just tuning in.Today, we’re in for another partly cloudy day with a slight chance of a shower this morning. Expect a top of 26 degrees. All good on the roads & rail.

6.56am Awww look at this little goat. CUTE!

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6.54am Finally, the truth is out there – women ARE better drivers than men. Well at least in NSW. And probably not me because I really am a HOPELESS driver. Here’s the story:figures released by the Roads Minister Duncan Gay show female drivers in NSW are benefiting at an outsize rate from a scheme that gives discounts to motorists with unblemished driving records.

6.52am Don’t forget this Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Oooo.

6.50am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Garbage singer Shirley Manson has hit out at Kanye’s Grammys rant re Beck v Beyonce, stating:”You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt… I am pretty certain Beyoncédoesn’t need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she’s got everything covered perfectly well on her own.” Ouch! #kanyevhollywood #ohkanye

Post by kanye.

6.48amNSW: Some commercialdivers in Newcastle havevideoed a HUGE shark under their boat as they prepared to enter the water. Freaky!

6.46am Want to win a family pass to the Pixar Film Festival on Feb 21 @ Greater Union Shellharbour? We’ve got some to give away. Enter here.

6.44am In some weeeirrdnews this morning, convicted killer Charles Manson and his 27-year-old fiancee have called off their wedding. Because … she was only marrying him to SECURE THE RIGHTS TO HIS CORPSE. WHA!?

Post by manson.

6.42amQantas Airwaysfrequent flyers will be allowed to bid for upgrades to any empty business class seats a week before they fly, in an initiative designed to increase loyalty to the ­airline and boost revenue.

6.40am SYDNEY:A Sydney GP has been found incompetent to practise medicine because he has a narcissistic personality disorder, which impairs his ability to relate to, diagnose and treat patients. Read more.

6.38am O-Week is coming! And to celebrate, His Boy Elroy is hosting 99c wings on Wednesday night, $5 hot dogs on Thursday night & cheap drinks over the weekend. Nice!

Post by oweek.

6.36am LOCAL NEWS:The imminent arrival of the Qantas 747-400 has been the major focus for HARSin recent months, but another new addition will take centre stage this week -a former Royal Australian Air Force Mirage.

*Reporter Alex Arnold has the story.

6.34am TV NEWS: in what can only be described as perfect casting (pun completely intended), Eddie Perfect has joined the cast of Play School.

Eddie Perfect.

6.32am People, a diary date: local historical documentary Pig Iron Bob will screen at the Wollongong Town Hall on March 21.

6.30am WORLD NEWS:US President Barack Obama has confirmed the death of Kayla Mueller, a US aid worker who had been held hostage by Islamic State militants, saying the US would “find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible”.

Kayla Mueller. Photo: AFP/Mueller family

6.28am POLITICS:So big is the hit to the budget from commodity prices and the measures held up in the Senate it may “never get back to surplus”, Treasurer Joe Hockey has told the Coalition party room. Ouch. Read more.

6.26am Awww, does anyone else have a puppy that has THIS face?!

Post by dog.

6.24am MOVIE NEWS: Okay, so 50 Shades of Grey opens in theatres tomorrow. Will you be going to see it? I’m not keen – I feel like it’s come WAAAY too late after the “buzz” of the books. Thoughts?

6.22am Have you been snapped out & about in the Illawarra? Check out this week’s social pics – you never know who you might spot.

6.20am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Got a spare $3.88 mil? Excellent – you could snap up this pad from Scarlett Johansoon who just bought this LA home.

Post by la.

6.18am NATIONAL:Australian households are paying far more than people in comparable countries in electricity network charges, with huge discrepancies across different states, a new report has found. Read more.

6.16am LOCAL NEWS:A Sydney truck driver has been slapped with a hefty fine for sending an offensive religious text message to a North Wollongong woman.

*Reporter Bree Fuller has the story.

6.14am STRANGE BUT TRUE: I had to share this with you – I bought a robot vac awhile back and let me tell you, I eyed that thing off last night after reading this story. I don’t even know how this happens!?

Post by vac.

6.12am WORLD NEWS:South Africa has marked 25years since the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

South Africa has marked 25-years since the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison. #9Newspic.twitter南京夜网/zk4tEmA9nL

— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) February 10, 2015Bachelor winner Anna Heinrich had been in the jungle for just one day before she started wailing on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here. Missed last night’s ep? Here’s a recap.

6.08am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Rumours are circling that Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt are planning on adopting again. This time, a little boy from Syria.

Post by brang.

6.06am And in national news, via the SMH:

*A manpolice suspect was a mastermind of the Bali Nine drug importation is living a life of luxury in Sydney while two junior members of his syndicate, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, await the firing squad in Bali.

*A young woman has been shot dead by a police officer outside a western Sydney fast food restaurant. Read more.

*One of Georgina Bartter’s closest friends has been charged with supplying the ecstasy that led to the Sydney teen’s death at a music festival last year.

6.04am Here’s what’s making news in your Mercury today:

*A Thirroul couple whose car was wiped out by a 30-centimetre piece of falling rock as they drove up Bulli Pass say they are lucky to be alive.

*A Wollongong man who threatened to shoot and slit the throat of a child witness in a court case against him has been jailed for a minimum six months.

*University of Wollongong researchers have struck gold in their search for a more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Read more.

6.02am Let’s kick things off with the latest weather & traffic

WEATHERMan alive, it was muggy overnight. Today, we’re in for another partly cloudy day with a slight chance of a shower this morning. Expect a top of 26 degrees.

TRAFFICAll looks good for your morning commute around town & to Sydney or south.

TRAINSThere is a good service on the South Coast line.

6am Good morning! It’s Wednesday, happy hump day. Middle of the working week already, roll on the weekend!

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Famous author from Wellington passes away

Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough, the internationally famous Australian author, has died in hospital on Norfolk Island. She was 77. The author was born in Wellington
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McCullough worked as a neuroscientist in the United States before turning to writing full-time.The Thorn Birds, a romantic Australian saga published in 1977, has sold 30 million copies worldwide and is the highest-selling Australian book, helped by the popular 1983 mini-series.

The paperback rights forThe Thorn Birds,McCullough’s second novel, were sold at auction for a then record $US1.9 million.

Her 25 books included a deeply researched fictional series set in Ancient Rome, which won her the admiration of readers including former NSW Premier Bob Carr and Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, and was credited with renewing interest in ancient history among university students.

McCullough lived on Norfolk Island for most of the past 40 years and married Norfolk Islander Ric Robinson in 1983.

She died on Thursday afternoon after suffering a series of small strokes. She had lost her sight from macular degeneration and was restricted to a wheelchair.

In 2013 she published her final book, the novelBittersweet, about four sisters in 1920s New South Wales.

Her publisher at HarperCollins Australia, Shona Martyn, said McCullough had been dictating a sequel, set around World War II,into an old-fashioned dictaphone but had only completed a third of the novel when she died.

Sydney literary agent Selwa Anthony, one of McCullough’s closest friends, said she had encouraged McCullough to return to writing the mainstream women’s fiction that had made her name.

“She finally gave in andBittersweettook her back to Colleen’s storytelling. She said she would call it ‘chook lit’ and I said ‘Don’t you dare.’

“The book has done extremely well [with Australian sales at 65,000 copies] and pulled in a lot of mainstream readers who had moved away.”

Anthony was working as a buyer at Graham’s bookshop in Sydney whenThe Thorn Birdswas published.

“I was so excited when I read it before it was published that I said I’ll take 500 copies and the sales rep nearly fell over. We had already sold half of them when she came in and signed books for two hours.”

Australian readers lovedThe Thorn Birdsbecause McCullough wrote about Australia in a way that hadn’t been done.

“I thoughtThe Thorn Birdswas as good asGone with the Windbut set in our landscape,” Anthony said. “It was over the top and a real page-turner.

“She encouraged me to become a literary agent and gave me the courage to say I’m going to discover lots of popular Australian fiction writers.”

McCullough turned to the Roman novels she had always wanted to write when she had enough money to live and employ researchers to help her gather the vast amount of historical information she used. She accumulated an impressive private library of material on the Roman republic.

As NSW premier, Bob Carr quoted from McCullough’s biography of Sir Roden Cutler at the funeral of the former NSW governor. This led to a friendship based on a shared passion for Roman history.

Carr read all but one of McCullough’s seven Roman books (“that one had one siege too many”).

“Her research was unimpeachable,” he said. “She spent 13 years before she wroteThe First Man in Romein the most systematised research.

“She took rolls of telex paper, got all the resources of the Roman Republic and typed up everything that happened in every year. I think her background as a medical researcher explained that cast of mind.”

“The artistry became more finely honed as she got to the end of the series and her touch became lighter and livelier. She outshone others who have nibbled at stories of the Roman Republic. [Scottish author] Allan Massie was pallid by contrast.”

Carr said McCullough was “easy to get to know; she exuberantly shared her life story and gave a colourful account of her father who was revealed to have had two families. She had a great partnership with Ric, which was hugely apparent, and they were great company.”

While publishers continued wanting her to write anotherThorn Birds, McCullough went on to write a series of detective thrillers set in 1960s America.

“She wrote what she wanted,” Anthony said.

Anthony described her friend as “a big lady who was open to interviews and the passion was always there. She had a big life and leaves a big legacy through her wonderful books and her generous spirit; she was always helping people.”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, paid public tribute, saying, “Colleen McCullough AO was one of Australia’s most-read authors. She enthralled readers for decades.

“Colleen McCullough was a unique Australian personality and Norfolk Island’s most famous resident.

“Her bookRoden Cutler VCwill always be required reading for those who want to know the story of one of Australia’s great heroes and NSW’s longest-serving governor.

“She will be missed.”

Read more:http://www.smh南京夜网.au/entertainment/books/colleen-mccullough-author-of-the-thorn-birds-dies-20150129-131dka.html#ixzz3QEl541Sg

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Arise, my Hubby’ … Buckingham Palace maintains silence over knighthood bestowed on the Duke of Edinburgh

Under fire … Tony Abbott has faced a backlash for recommending the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, for knighthood in the order of Australia.What’s wrong? Ask Grong Grong – the locals will be honest
Nanjing Night Net

London: Buckingham Palace is maintaining a stony silence on the knighthood bestowed on the Duke of Edinburgh even though, technically, the Queen herself is knighting her husband.

In response to a list of questions submitted by Fairfax Media on Thursday, the palace even refused to confirm whether the Queen would personally hand Prince Philip the insignia of the Knight of the Order of Australia.

The previous two Dames and a Knight, since the order was reinstated last year, all were ‘invested’ in the order by the Queen in person.

Dame Quentin Bryce visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace last July, Sir Peter Cosgrove was invested at Balmoral in Scotland in August, and Dame Marie Bashir received the order’s insignia in an audience with the monarch at Buckingham Palace in July.

However, when asked when and where the ceremony would take place between the Queen and her husband, Buckingham Palace referred all questions back to the Australian government, saying it would not give any “guidance” on matters of process.

“The Queen acts on the advice of the Australian government on any appointment to the Australian order, just as she would act on the advice of the UK government for any British Knighthoods. We would direct you to the Australian government for further guidance on your below questions,” a Palace spokesperson said.

The Palace also declined to answer whether it was common practice for a royal to acknowledge, or express thanks, for honours and honorary positions bestowed by foreign governments or organisations.

The Duke of Edinburgh has made no public comment on his appointment (and we are unlikely to find out whether he has thanked his wife in private) – his most recent comments are about engineering, in an article in New Scientist.

And the Palace press office has not reflected it in their press releases or Twitter feeds.

This has led to speculation in the ‘electronic graffiti’ of social media that the Palace wants to stay out of a fight that has turned embarrassingly political – though another theory is that they have been too busy dealing with the scandal enveloping the Duke of York.

The knights and dames in the order of Australia were reinstated by ‘letters patent’ amended by the Queen under the great seal of Australia at St James’ Palace (the most senior palace of the Sovereign), on March 19 last year.

According to those letters patent, appointments to the order as knight or dame are made “with the approval of the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, by Instrument signed by the Governor-General and sealed with the seal of the order”.

There is no explicit instruction that the honour must be invested by the Queen in person. Technically, it seems, it could be signed by the Governor-General and sent to the Duke in the post. Or not.

However, the Queen has conferred titles on her husband in the past – and did it in person.

Most recently, she formally presented him with the title and office of Lord High Admiral of the Navy, as a present to mark his 90th birthday. The ceremony took place at Admiralty House in Whitehall in November 2011, four months after it was announced.

In the UK honours system, recipients of an honour are members of the order from the moment it is announced. The ‘investiture’ is a subsequent, ceremonial element.

It appears that Prince Philip has already been knighted, whether or not the Queen ever officially whacks him with a sword.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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