Morning Shot: @hugocyshum/InstagramWeather: Rain and a possible storm in Newcastle (21 degrees), Raymond Terrace andNelson Bay(both 23 degrees). Rain at Wallsend (24 degrees) and Toronto (23 degrees). A shower or two across the weekend.
Traffic: A vehicle recovery at Freemans Waterhole changed traffic conditions on the M1 near Palmers Road from about 6.40am. Drivers heading north are urged to reduce speed and exercise caution.
Some traffic delays on Nwcstle Rd Lambton while we fix this little fountain that’s sprung up. Apologies 2 commuters pic.twitter南京夜网/FuoWqouawq
— Hunter Water (@HunterWater) December 15, 2016Hunter headlines Escape: Allan Stacey and dog Indiana. Picture: Perry Duffin
An Abermain resident who nearly lost his property in this week’s blaze says anyone who intentionally starts a bushfire is “sick”. Read more.
MADELINE King had tried not to think about receiving her Higher School Certificate results, worriedthat performing worse than expected would ruin her family’s Christmas.But after a turbulent 18 months in which she lost herpaternal grandparents, changed schools after being bullied and learned she was living on one of the most contaminated properties in theWilliamtown red zone, Madeline has emerged triumphant. Read more.
THE first letters were wrapped in white ribbons so they could be recycled by the alleged victims as a silent but telltalesignthey would comply with demands to give up thousands of dollars. Read more.
WITH thousands expected to descend upon the Bay this peak holiday season, the tourism industry has banded together to launch a promotion that encourages visitors to return in the quieter months. Read more.
Newcastle’s historic former courthouse has sold for $6.6 million under the hammer to an Australian company with Japanese interests. Read more.
Lake Macquarie City Council has partnered with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to promote child road safety during the holiday season through theHoliday Time: Slow Down, Kids roundcampaign. Read more.
A CONTRACTOR at the Rix’s Creek open-cut coalmine was badly injured while cleaning a truck at the mine on Tuesday. Read more.
HE will make way for skipper Nigel Boogaard in Newcastle’s starting side against Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night, but rookieJohnny Koutroumbis appears to have done enough to earn a new contract with the Jets. Read more.
BY full-time at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night, the Newcastle Jets plan to have climbed back into the A-League’s top six.And there they intend to stay for the next four months, culminating in the club’s first play-off appearance in seven seasons. Read more.
State of the nationNeed anational newssnapshot first thing? Well, we have you covered.
►BENDIGO:Bendigo International Madison chief executive officer Rik William McCaig has fronted court charged with four counts of corruption.
McCaig, 47, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Thursday following an investigation by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
Rik William McCaig
►WOLLONGONG:Nicolas Saravanja may have won a Pacific island resort in a raffle earlier this year but he wasn’t going to miss hisdate to graduate from a commerce degree – with his proud family watching on.
Here today: Although Nicolas Saravanja owns an island resort he is concentrating on his financial planning career. Picture: Adam McLean
►BALLARAT:Ballarat had one of the worst theft rates in regional Victoria, according to the latest official crime data.
The statistics from the Crime Statistics Agency, which werecollected fromOctober 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, showed a 12.7 per cent increasein the number of thefts in Ballarat.
►JIMBOOMBA:A south-east Queensland councillor has been charged and stood down after being accused of defrauding a Brisbane business of more than $180,000.
Police allege Logan City Division 6 councillor Stacey Lee McIntosh,34, stole more than $180,000 from an engineering company in Coopers Plains.
►ORANGE:For the convenience of paying for a sandwich or a pie at Orange High School’s canteen with an EFTPOS card, it will cost you.
Logan City Council
National news►CANBERRA:Two Liberal MPs who lost their seats at the federal election and a former Labor speaker are among those tapped for plum positions in George Brandis’s latest round of appointments.
Former Liberal MPs Russell Matheson and Andrew Nikolic, who were voted out at the 2016 elections, former Labor Speaker Anna Burke and retired Labor Senator Linda Kirk were among the 17 appointees to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
►MELBOURNE:The concrete silos beneath the Nylex sign could be saved as the site’s developer revises plans to placate the state’s heritage authority.
Attorney-General George Brandis has previously come under fire for appointments he has made. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Heritage Victoria is considering removing an exemption for the site that would have allowed the 1962 silos to be knocked over.
National weather radarCheck out what’s expected near you today.
The plan for Richmond’s Nylex site. Photo: supplied
International news►BANGKOK:The chairman of Australian gold miner Kingsgate says the forced shutdown of its mine in centralThailandhas sent a “horrendous” message to potential foreign investors in the military-run nation.
LONDON:Rolf Harris will be a ‘virtual defendant’ at his sex assault trial next year, in what a judge said may be a British legal first.
In a pre-trial hearing on Thursday at Southwark Crown court, judge Alistair McCreath ruled that given the age and health of Harris, who is 86, exceptional circumstances justified his attendance by video link.
Thailand has reaped tens of millions of dollars in taxes and royalties from Thai Stock Exchange-listed Chatree. Photo: Craig Skehan
Onthis day2013It was reported that Miley Cyrus had insured her infamous tongue for $1 million.
2001Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens
1993Schindler’s List opens, wins Spielberg his first Oscar
1969Nixon announces additional U.S. troop withdrawals
1915British begin evacuation of Gallipoli
The faces of Australia: Frances JardineFor 26 years, Frances Jardine has helped the community organisation make life a little easier for the widows and children of deceased service personnel.
Now the administration officer is retiring to enjoy more time with her own family, which includes nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
“You’ve got to make a decision sometime, haven’t you?” she said. “And I would like to leave on a happy note. It’s just been so much fun.”
Administration officer Frances Jardine has helped hundreds of war widows since she began with Albury Legacy in 1990. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS