Hunter breakfast blog – April 11 2016

MORNING SHOT: melljeanette captured this shot of the afternoon sun in Newcastle.
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►History will be made at this weekend’s 30th anniversary of Hunter Valley Steamfest with four engines racing four planes. More here.

►A TRANSGENDER person refused a haircut from a Raymond Terrace barber is using the experience to call for greater acceptance of those battling with their gender identity. More here.

►SUPPORT is growing for a review of bat management policies as an increasing number of Hunter communities grapple with colonies of flying foxes taking up residence on the urban fringe. More here.

►The Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted the annual Business Awards at Muswellbrook RSL on Friday night.The awards are all about taking stock of what went well and what went not-so-well in the past, and setting a course of continuous improvement for the future. More here.

►WHEN in Rome, do as the Romans do.But if you don’t have a passport handy, try the next best thing – venture to A Little Bit of Italy in Broke. More here.

►When the April 2015 super storm hit, Betty Kelehear was in one of the bottom units at Alison Court in Dungog.She was rescued by neighbour Beth Elford who helped get her to safety and for the last 11 months has been living with her daughter Cheryl and her fiancé Paul Lancaster. More here.

►While the 12-month anniversary of last year’s April superstorm is looming, there are still five households who are not living back in their homes. More here.

► Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon has continued his call for aSenate inquiry into flying foxes, saying it would give political momentum to serious situation.Mr Fitzgibbon met with residents on Wednesday at East Cessnock, where an estimated 30,000 bats have taken up residence. More here.

►The April 2015 superstorm might have sealed the fate of Abermain’s Frame Drive bridge, but traffic issues on that road had been ongoing for at least 12months prior. More here.

►THERE’S no reason to be bored during the school holidays.Upper Hunter Shire Council has released the ‘What’s On’ guide to all the fun activities available. More here.

►WHATcould more greenery, seating, shade and public art do for the street appeal of Upper Hunter towns?Upper Hunter Shire Council is seeking residents’ feedback on draft Town Centre Revitalisation Masterplans for Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone. More here.

►There has been a successful start to the safety training inductions for Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre and TruckWash facility.Over 120 regular users of the Saleyards attended inductions this week in Scone, Murrurundi andMerriwa. More here.

►Two Cessnock Pistol Club shooters have been named in the Australian team for this year’sOlympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. More here.

►HUNTER VALLEY police are appealing for information to help locate a missing Singletonteenager. More here.

►Teralba’s Andrew Douglas took a bowel cancer test that saved his life – his son Callan Douglas did a trek to raise awareness of the disease. More here.

►AN Upper Hunter gun club president has expressed surprise after a Cardiff gun owner with 322 registered firearms topped the state in individual gun ownership. More here.

►DETECTIVESinvestigating the alleged murder of home invader Ricky Slater-Dickson areidentifying a significant number of burglaries committed by him in the weeks leading up to his death, including a violent attack on a young woman after she woke to find the suspect in her bedroom. More here.

►NEWCASTLE celebrated their first successunder coach Nathan Brown–and ended a 231-day, seven-game winless run–with a gripping 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium on Sunday. More here.

Trains: Good service on the Hunter and Central Coast and Newcastle line.

Roads: No incidents to report on Hunter roads.

Weather: Sunny day for Newcastle (24 degrees), sunny day for Maitland (28 degrees) and a mostly sunny day for Scone with a chance of showers (29 degrees).

Beach watch:Few waves around winds have swung to the south putting a bit of a bump on the, if you get in early before the winds kick right in you will get a few. Swell should pick up through out the day with that so will the SE winds.

State of the nationNeed anational newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.

Australian Aerial Patrol general manager Harry Mitchell. Picture: Sylvia Liber

► WOLLONGONG: The Illawarra’s iconic red and yellow shark-spotting planes were back in the skyon Saturday following a brief hiatus caused by internal turbulence.

The Australian Aerial Patrol (AAP) was grounded last month after theresignation of its chief pilot left the service without the operating licence required by theCivil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

More here.

►BENDIGO:WITH just a few kilometres left to goin one of Victoria’s toughest endurance events, Golden Square man Bruce Wright thought he could battle through crippling stomach pain.

The 50-year-oldhad already made it past 17 kilometres of the 2015 Tough Mudder event on Phillip Island in October, battling through thick mud and some of the toughest obstacles on earth. More here.

RECOVERY: Golden Square man Bruce Wright went into cardiac arrest twice during last year’s Tough Mudder event. Picture: DARREN HOWE

►BARNAWARTHA:It was a spectacular sight–110 trucks, polishedto the very last wheel nut, lined up for kilometres along Plunketts Road in Barnawartha.

The drivers were friends, colleagues,some just acquaintances–unitedto pay tribute to Barnawartha man Wayne ‘Marto’ Martin.

The truck driver, who died in a head-on collision with another truck on the Riverina Highway, touched so many peoplehis family had to put a cap on the number of trucksconvoying in hishonour to thefuneral on Saturday. More here.

Picture by Chris Ludlow

► BALLARAT:The Montague Street bridge is a light rail overpass, the lowest point of which is only three metres off the road. In the last six years, it has knocked the top off, knocked over, trapped and even exploded the canopies of 99 trucks and buses that were too tall to pass safely underneath. More here.

A bus that crashed into the Montague Street bridge. Photo: Jason South

►DUBBO:DUBBOnow has two world records under its belt after more than 1000 women and their bikes gathered on Saturday.

In 2014 the 2WheelBabes set a record for most women on bikes (221) at Ballina for the annual Babe Raid, but this record was beaten in August 2015 by a group of 246 women in the UK.

now has two world records under its belt after more than 1000 women and their bikes gathered on Saturday.

In 2014 the 2WheelBabes set a record for most women on bikes (221) at Ballina for the annual Babe Raid, but this record was beaten in August 2015 by a group of 246 women in the UK. More here.

►NOWRA:Personnel from 808 Squadron returned to HMAS Albatross after a five-week deployment on Operation Fiji Assist.

The aircrew, engineers and three MRH90 helicopters formed part of the Australian Defence Force’s humanitarian assistance relief to Fiji in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston. More here.

►QUEENSLAND:Every dog has its day and a 31-year-old Mudgeeraba man found that out the hard way.

Police spotted an allegedly stolen car in Eudlo on Saturday night and attempted to intercept it before a man fled the vehicle. More here.

►LAUNCESTON:Engines were revving at Symmons Plains on Sunday as motorsport legends gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Targa Tasmania.

Infamous duo, driver Jim Richards and his navigator Barry Oliver, prepared to take on their 24th Targa Tasmania together.

Over the years the pair have won eight Targa Tasmania’s through a combination of skilled driving, great machines and localroad knowledge. More here.

LEGENDS: Eight-time Targa Tasmania winners Jim Richards and Barry Oliver hit the track at Symmons Plains as they gear up for the 2016 event. Picture: Scott Gelston

►BLANEY:Outgoing member for Calare John Cobb has hit back at allegations he has endorsed Nationals Bathurst branch candidate Sam Farraway, but says he has a right to have his own view and exercise it.

Nationals sources have contacted the media expressing concern Mr Cobb is showing favouritism to Mr Farraway because he placed a picture of him, at the Gulgong show, on the front page of his four-page newsletter. More here.

►BUNDANOON: Theannual Brigadoon festival brought together Scottish and Southern Highlanders for a fun family day out.

Attendees were treated to performances by the official Brigadoon Ceilidh, Mary Kiani, the String Loaded Celtic Fiddle Band, Bundanoon Primary School choir, Bob McInnes, Jane Ellis and Jacob Casey as the Lone Piper. See the photos.

National news►An Australian television crew detained in Lebanon have not been charged and there is not expected to be movement in the case until Monday night Australian time, according to the Nine Network. More here.

►Seven Australian frog species are on the brink of extinction and will be wiped out by a killer fungus without immediate action, biologists have warned.

The scientists, from the University of Melbourne, Taronga Zoo,Southern Cross University (Lismore) and James Cook University, said that Australia still had a chance to save the frogs with a relatively small injection of funds for research and disease management. More here.

►Extra buses to Sydney Airport for people wanting an alternative to the city’s most expensive train trip remain a pipe dream, more than two years after the state government unveiled long-term plans to “improve bus access”.

The lack of any new buses comes as road traffic in and around Australia’s busiest airport continues to worsen. More here.

Any increase in bus services to Sydney Airport is still years away. Photo: Shu Yeung

►Sheep enthusiasts made their way to a small town just outside of Hay in Western NSW in record numbers on Saturday for the 18th Booligal Sheep Races.

Nomad travellers, locals from the regionand even families from Victoria were some of the 700-strong crowd that pitched their tentsinBooligal,which usually has a population of 15.

National weather radarInternational news►SINGAPORE: An unprecedented family feud between Singapore’s prime minister and his sister over the death of their father Lee Kuan Yew has burst into the open in the strictly-controlled city-state.More here.

►CHINA: Malcolm Turnbull is often fond of pointing out he and ChinesePresident XiJinpingshare an interest in the history of thePeloponnesianwar and theThucydidesTrap.More here.

► NEW DELHI: India’s transgenders are so despised that they use a little psychological trick to prevent their sense of worth being crushed under the weight of contempt.More here.

On this day2013:Kate Bushreceived her CBE for services to music from the Queen at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England. The singer-songwriter, who was catapulted to fame in 1978 when Wuthering Heights topped the charts, said she was “incredibly thrilled”. The 54-year-old dedicated the award to her family and joked that it would have pride of place at the top of her Christmas tree.

The faces of Australia: Di Milne Therapy dogs Robert and Caddie with handler Di Milne bring smiles to the elderly residents they visit in Nowra.

Two little white balls of fluffare bringing smiles to elderly people around Nowra.

Caddie and Robert, a mother and son duo are trained therapy dogs and make it their mission to bring happiness to nursing homes.

Handler Di Milne said the pedigree shih tzus are loved by many for their kind hearts and calm nature.

‘There was a lady called Marjorie in Bupa who we visited for three years and she adored Caddie,” she said.

“Caddie knew where Marjorie was so she used to march into Marjorie’s room and Marjorie would put her hands either side of her face and kiss her and say ‘I love you Caddie.” Read on.