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2014 will be the year of the university in Lithgow

LITHGOW district residents will next month have their first opportunity to inspect the city’s latest tertiary education establishment.
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Contractors are in the final stages of construction at the Hoskins Institute to prepare for its new role as an outreach campus for the University of Western Sydney.

The university’s Main Street shopfront office that has been providing information to prospective students for some months is already preparing to close.

Staff will be relocating to the new site ahead of the arrival of the first students.

Some people have already had a sneak peek when the university conducted ‘drop in days’ but had access only to the foyer and one study room where interviews were taking place.

There is much more to the new complex spread over two levels yet to be revealed to the general public.

The multi million dollar redevelopment was made possible through a grant from the previous Labor government in Canberra.

NEARING FINALISATION: There was a good deal of interest from prospective students and the just plain curious when the University of Western Sydney utilised its new premises for the first time for a drop-in session. There will be another session on January 24. lm010114LA7918

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Trouble free New Year’s Eve for Esperance police

DESPITE thousands of people descending on Esperance overnight for the annual New Year celebrations, police reported a relatively trouble-free evening.
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Officers were out in force for the event in Esperance and surrounds.

Esperance police Sergeant Beswick said police attended a number of disturbances sporadically throughout the night, but said there was little more than the average Friday or Saturday night.

“Everyone was pretty well behaved,” he said.

Four motorists were charged with drink driving offences between 0.02 – 0.08.

Officers seized two vehicles on the night.

“All tasks were quickly dealt with and were under control,” Sgt Beswick said.

Police patrolled out as far as Condingup and the Duke of Orleans overnight and reported all individuals as “well behaved.”

Police report a fairly trouble-free evening in Esperance over New Year’s Eve

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Wallerawang School community recognised

WALLERAWANG Public School held its annual presentation day with a large crowd gathered to recognise students, parents and the wider community for their achievements over the year and the ongoing commitment they give to the school.
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Relieving Principal Jenny Lamborn spoke about the strong partnership between home and school and the commitments of the staff in providing a quality education for the students.

Students were acknowledged for their academic achievements, effort, sporting prowess and citizenship.

Parents and community members were bestowed with awards from NSWPSSA sport, P and C Life Membership badges were presented and Outstanding Service to the School recognised.

Musical items formed part of the event and Year 6 were acknowledged for the contribution they have made to the school over their past seven years.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE SCHOOL: Tony Luchetti, Sloan Beecroft and Julie Clark; front Melissa Miles and Shireen Sheehan.

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Shark frenzy in WA turning popular jetty into a’kill zone’: diver

A slashed eagle ray and a severed sharks head. A severed shark head. Photo: Jenny Ough
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An eagle ray, right side up, with deep cuts near its head and across its wings. Photo: Jenny Ough

Mangled shark body parts. Photo: Jenny Ough

An injury to the back of the head of a two-metre tiger shark. Photo: Jenny Ough

A Perth diver disgusted at the sight of severed shark heads and slashed bodies of marine creatures says some locals have been “whipped into a frenzy” over the possible threat of sharks.

Jenny Ough told Fairfax Media she was excited about photographing pregnant male seahorses when she headed into the water beside Ammunition Jetty at Woodman Point on December 23 but was instead met with morbid scenes of fish carnage.

She said she’d heard about a number of similar incidents that other divers had seen and said action needs to be taken to stop the “wasteful killing.”

Ms Ough said she believed a disproportionate amount of attention on shark attacks had encouraged some people to treat sharks and other marine life cruelly.

WA has seen seven fatal attacks in the past three years and sharks have attracted a lot of attention in the state.

While she saw a pyjama squid, pregnant male sea horses and a dolphin whizz by on her dive, those great experiences were overshadowed by what else she saw.

Within the space of three or four pylons she saw a severed shark tail, three small decapitated shark heads and two dead sting rays with deep vertical cuts along its wings.

“At this point, I was struggling to continue the dive, so moved back into the inner portion of the jetty to find some peace,” Ms Ough said.

But that was not the end of the disturbing scenes.

“I headed to another pylon then saw a beautiful tiger shark about 2 metres long lying on the bottom on its side, panting weakly as if it was suffocating,” she said.

Ms Ough turned the shark, that she believed had been caught and kept out of the water too long before being returned, upright.

“It took quite a few breaths there [I could see it’s gills moving in and out], then I thought I should start trying to swim it along a bit, when as I started to move, its tail fired up and off it went,” she said.

“The strength with which that spectacular tiger shark swam off with gives me some hope that whatever happened to it topside was not too damaging, and that maybe, just maybe, it will survive. So many others did not survive that night.”

Earlier in the year divers recorded a similar rescue operation which saved a tiger shark that was stabbed and left to die off the same jetty.

Ms Ough said she was aware of a group of people who go the the jetty and chum up the water, catch sharks, haul them up to get their “hero shots,” then cut them up and throw them back.

She said she did not mind people catching fish to eat by described this type of behaviour as senseless.

“They are nutters,” she said.

“This jetty is just a ‘kill zone’ for teenagers and crazed fishermen – not rational people.

“They’ll tell you they’re doing a community service.”

Edith Cowan University school of psychology and social science senior lecturer Dr Jennifer Loh said a disproportionate amount of attention on sharks in WA across the few years as a result of shark attacks, could have led some people to have a “warped” view of the threat that sharks and marine life pose.

“The perception of sharks is created through things like social media and what people see on TV and how much they see it through these forums, it does affect people’s perceptions of whether sharks are bad or good,” she said.

“We humans in general other than people like divers don’t have much exposure with sharks, so we take our knowledge of them from other places.

“If someone’s been hurt or horribly mauled by a shark, people can have a very visual impression of them and it lasts for a while in the mind even though most scientists would probably have a different perspective on the animals.”

While numbers obtained by Fairfax Media on December 14, 2012 showed that there were 14,580 stories about sharks across WA media outlets until that point in that year, the number of shark-related stories in WA media according to Sentia Media went up to 21,920 in 2013.

The Department of Fisheries has not compiled full details of the number of complaints it has received about cruel behaviour against marine life this year but urged Ms Ough to contact the department in regard to the incident.

Department spokesman Ashley Malone said it would not be appropriate to comment without details of this specific incident.

“The department does not condone the torture or inhumane treatment of fish,” he said.

“As noted earlier this year… there is a National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing, which promotes responsible fishing; including looking after our fisheries, protecting the environment, treating fish humanely and respecting the rights of others.

“Education is considered to be the most effective tool in limiting unnecessary suffering and we encourage all fishers to adhere to that code.”

Mr Malone urged anyone who had information about such incidents to report them online.

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Jim kept busy at Christmas and Beyond

IT was a busy period in the lead up to Christmas Day for Pastor Jim Abberton.
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Pastor Abberton was kept on the go picking up donated goods from Westfund’s annual Christmas Appeal at the Main Street branch.

At least $6000 worth of toys and food was collected, thanks to the generosity of Westfund members, local community groups and the general public.

There was also hundreds of dollars in cash donated with some Westfund members returning their health fund cash benefit straight back to the Appeal.

All donations went to Christmas and Beyond, who gave gifts and catered for up to 300 lonely and disadvantaged families and individuals on Christmas Day.

PRESENTS BY THE UTE LOAD: Pastor Jim Abberton and a trailer load of goodies he picked up from Westfund in Lithgow. lm010114appeal

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Nitro Circus’ Jackson Strong injured in fireworks explosion

Original source:The Daily Advertiser
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Lockhart’s motocross star Jackson Strong is one of two menseriously hurt in a fireworks explosion at his home.

Details of the incident are still being gathered, but Mr Strong’s father, Lyndon,confirmed his son had been hurt in a New Year’s fireworks blast.

Strong has made an international name for himself in the daring motocross arena, rising from performing at the Lockhart Show as a youth to bagging swags of medals on the international stage.

PHOTOS: Jackson Strong in action

Strong, the reigning X Games Best Trick gold medalist,has ridden for Nitro Circus and most recently performed in Wagga as part of the Nitro Circus regional tour.

Ambulance media said paramedics responded to reports of a fireworks explosion on Milbrulong Road about 12.10am today.

A spokeswoman said two patients were taken to Wagga Base Hospital.

Jackson Strong, 22,is reported to be the more seriously hurt.

He suffered a serious leg injury as well as chest and facial injuries.

Pictures of Mr Strong’s facial injuries have been posted on his website www.jackostrong南京夜网.

“His left leg around his thigh is the worst part,” a worriedLyndon Strong said.

“He will pull through, no worries at all.”

He was flown into Wagga by helicopter and thenafter treatment at the base hospital was flown by plane to Sydney where he was admitted to the burns unit of St George Hospital.

A second man suffered a lower leg wound.

He is believed to be a good friend of Mr Jackson and was celebrating the new year with him.

X Games gold medallist and Nitro Circus star Jackson Strong has been injured in a fireworks explosion. WARNING: NEXT PICTURE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT

Jackson Strong posted this photo of his injuries on his website, jackostrong南京夜网

Ambulance media said he was a 20-year-old, but a spokeswoman for Murrumbidgee Local Health District said it was believed he was 28.

He is being treated in Wagga Base Hospital and is in a stable condition.

It is believed the incident happened on Mr Strong’s family property, where he regularly spends time and has filmed for a documentary,Headstrong.

In 2012, Strong became the first Australian to win back-to-back gold medals in the X Games Moto Best Trick category after creating history with the first-ever front-slip in competition and unveiling a body varial, The Jack.

Lockhart Shire Council did not have a fireworks display for New Year’s Eve.

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Baby Isaac the first of 2014

THE new year will be filled with hope and joy for Naomi and Jonathan Stucken who on Wednesdaywelcomed their first baby to the world.
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Baby Isaac, 12 days overdue when he was finally born at 1.35am on New Year’s Day, was also the first baby born at Orange Hospital in 2014.

He weighed 4.48 kilograms (9.8 pounds) and was 60 centimetres (23.6 inches) long.

“It’s been a bit of a marathon, but I’m just so happy he’s here,” Mrs Stucken said.

The first-time parents said they were a little nervous leading up to the birth, which was scheduled at Orange hospital instead of their home town in Cowra, due to a lack of an anesthetist over the festive period.

“When you know he’s so big I was quite nervous,” Mrs Stucken said.

“But I was very happy and relieved when he came out safely.

The name Isaac is an ancient translation meaning’he will laugh’, a fact the couple were aware of whentheychose the name based onone of their favourite bible stories.

Mrs Stucken said she had nothing but praise for the staff in Orange hospital’s maternity ward.

“I don’t think you’d have better service in Sydney, their standard of care is amazing,” Mrs Stucken said.

“Staff have been amazing and everyone we’ve spoken to is so helpful.”

[email protected]南京夜网.au

THE BEST NEW YEAR: Naomi and Jonathan Stucken with son Isaac, who was the first baby born at Orange Hospital in 2014. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER

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Vansittart Park hosts thousands at NYE party

HAILED A SUCCESS: Mount Gambier Community Events Management Inc (MGCEMI) chair Steve Toope was pleased with how the fourth annual New Year’s Eve community celebrations were received. Pictures: BRETT KENNEDY NEED FOR SPEED: Cooper Bobridge (8) got behind the wheel of the go-karts, one of many amusements for the hundreds of children on site.
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VISITORS GALORE: Mount Gambier’s New Year’s Eve community celebrations attracted many visitors, including Adelaide’s Kobi, 8, and Levi Swanson, 5, and Lily Cunningham, 3, who enjoyed building a block tower.

HEAVY HITTING: The Riot City Wrestling crew was once again a smash hit with the crowd, as many cheered on GD Grimm, who outmuscled his opponent.

BUBBLE TROUBLE: Cassidy Lynagh, 5, was extra bubbly Tuesday night at the Mount Gambier Community New Year’s Eve celebrations.

NO SEATING ROOM: Adelaide-based Circus Elements entertainer Scott Griffin got the crowd involved in his performance.

VANSITTART Park hosted thousands of revellers on New Years Eveas families and friends came together to usher in 2014 at the fourth annual Mount Gambier Community New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Residents flocked into the venue from the Wehl Street entrance, making their way to the centre of the oval where jumping castles, merry-go-rounds, musicians and wrestlers waited to entertain the festive crowds.

Mount Gambier Community Events Management Incorporated chair Steve Toope said he was happy with the community response.

“I think it all went pretty well, the weather gods were definitely smiling on us,” Mr Toope said.

“You only have to look out the window today (Wednesday) to realise we were lucky.

“At the end of the day we didn’t have any hassles or hitches.

“We aim to get about 3500-4500 people and at a rough guess I’d say we were around the mark.

“It was a similar size crowd to 2012.”

Mr Toope said he received positive feedback from residents throughout the night.

“The fireworks were obviously well-received and everyone seemed happy with the range of entertainment,” he said.

“From an organiser point of view, I’ve really got nothing to complain about.”

Mr Toope said the central Vansittart Park location once again proved to be a winner.

“The one thing I see on New Year’s Eve when I’m walking about the area is that from a family perspective, it’s a good venue to go to,” he said.

“The kids can go off and parents know they will be safe and you see all the extended family catching up with a rug on the grass.

“From my point of view, I look at it as one of those events that friends and families can really come together, sit down and have a chat to catch up.

“From a parent’s perspective, if the kids are being entertained, then that can mean the parents or grandparents are in for an easier night.”

With live music a strong feature of the night, Mr Toope said the committee’s gamble on securing the services of Adelaide band Platinum Plus paid off.

“I think they went down really well, they were a tight outfit,” he said.

“We sort of punted that they’d fit the demographic and that’s exactly what happened.

“It was very easy listening and family friendly, so they were a good fit.”

While a large portion of the crowd left after the early fireworks, Mr Toope said organisers were prepared for the exodus, with other people still entering the venue right up until the stroke of midnight.

“That’s how we’ve designed the night, because we understand a lot of people have younger families,” he said.

While the committee has barely had time to celebrate the beginning of 2014 with plenty of packing up done yesterday morning, the next installment is already on their minds.

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New Year’s Eve around the worldPhotos

A look at the fireworks and celebrations from around the world to welcome in 2014.
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UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

GERMANY: Fireworks explode next to the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg gate during New Year celebrations in Berlin. Photo: REUTERS

GREECE: Fireworks explode over the temple of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill during New Year’s Day celebrations in Athens. Photo: REUTERS

RIO: People watch fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations at the Pavao Pavaozinho slum in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: REUTERS

RIO: People watch fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations at the Pavao Pavaozinho slum in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: REUTERS

NORTH KOREA: Fireworks explode in the sky over Pyongyang as part of New Year celebrations in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency. Photo: REUTERS

RIO: People watch fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations at the Pavao Pavaozinho slum in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: REUTERS

POLAND: Fireworks explode next to the National Stadium during New Year celebrations in Warsaw. Photo: REUTERS

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

CHINA: New Year’s Eve 2014 on Badaling Great Wall.

NEW ZEALAND: Waterside celebrations in Auckland, in the first nation to enter 2014.

NEW ZEALAND: Waterside celebrations in Auckland, in the first nation to enter 2014.

NEW ZEALAND: Waterside celebrations in Auckland, in the first nation to enter 2014.

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

UK: Big Ben and the London Eye form the centrepiece of New Year’s celebrations. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

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Thieves targeting number plates

EIGHT number plates have been stolen from eight vehicles in west Orange in the past week leaving police concerned they’ll be re-attached to new vehicles and used to commit a range of crimes around the city and interstate.
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Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Scott Russell said police were concerned that so many plates had been stolen in such a small period of time.

“Stolen plates are often put on vehicles for service station drive offs, road toll fraud or more serious crimes,” he said.

“It makes no difference that they’ve only stolen one plate from each vehicle because they don’t have to match, they’re on either end of the car.”

Acting inspector Russell said nearly all of the thefts had occurred in the middle of the night in the Forbes Road and Prince Street areas.

He warned car owners to be vigilant about where they park their cars and report any suspicious behaviour in their area.

“We’d like anyone with any information about the thefts to contact police,” acting inspector Russell said.

He said police were also looking at the possibility of introducing irreversible number plate screws which will make it more difficult to remove number plates.

Thieves have stolen a large amount of number plates from vehicles in a very short amount of time

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