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Bluey winner returns in judging role

THE overall winner of the Blue Heeler Film Festival is given the sought-after Bluey.
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Last year’s recipient was Caitlin Bray, for her short film titled Two Young.

“It was a shock at first ‘cause I wasn’t expecting it,” she said of being named the overall winner of the festival for 2014.

She first entered the competition in its inaugural year in 2013.

Miss Bray said it was such an enjoyable experience that she wanted to enter it again.

“It was a really nice atmosphere,” she said.

The young film-maker has returned to the film festival this year as a judge.

“It was a different experience,” she said.

“I was thinking this is how they marked me last year.”

Miss Bray is encouraging people to enter the competition in 2016.

“Nothing is wrong in film, really,” she said.

The 19-year-old is planning on doing more film work in the future, and is studying film courses at university.

RETURN STINT: The recipient of last year’s Bluey Caitlin Bray was a judge for the 2015 Blue Heeler Film Festival.

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Rain worth its weight in gold!

The heavy falls of rain this week throughout the Parkes district are worth their weight in gold – absolutely! The heavy falls of rain this week throughout the Parkes district are worth their weight in gold – absolutely!
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This is the opinion of local agronomist, Peter Yelland of PY Agronomy who said the rain could not have been timed better.

“It’s not often we get a significant rain event at this time of the year,” he said.

“In fact, it is quite rare.”

Mr Yelland said the rain was widespread, with between 30 and 60 millimetres recorded throughout the Parkes shire.

“Tullamore may have received more, and Condobolin a minimum of 25mms.

“It was incredibily well timed and will not only be beneficial for cropping, it will provide feed and water for livestock producers and will have an immediate impact on the livestock markets but more importantly it will provide farmers with a big boost in confidence.

“We’ve been through a tough year to date, with rainfall well below average, and six to eight weeks without any rain at all.

“For cropping and livestock, this is perfect.

“Very little grazing crops have been sown, so this will mean sowing in the next week or so.”

Mr Yelland said had the rain not fallen, some farmers may have changed their cropping programs.

“It wasn’t at a critical stage, but it was worrying.

“Canola area for example may have been significantly reduced if this rain hadn’t fallen.

“Now farmers can follow through with their cropping programs as planned.

“Sub-soil moisture is always vital, so this will help build that up and allow sowing to commence right on time, which is most critical to cropping enterprises.

“It was worth its weight in gold – absolutely!”

Mr Yelland also was delighted for the farming community further north.

“More importantly, and it is not in our area, but up north around Coonamble and Moree, they were really suffering tough times and this was fantastic for them, however it looks like the north west may have missed out as they enter their third year without significant rainfall.”

– – – –

Parkes Mayor Ken Keith was also rejoicing at the arrival of important rain.

He said the rain had come at an opportune time.

“We had 64mms over the Easter weekend and its been a delightful break in the weather,” he said.

“We’d only had 5mms in the preceding two months.

“So it’s actually set up a nice autumn and the opportunity to sow some winter feed.

Councillor Keith said the rains came just as he was preparing for the worst.

“We were basically in drought mode,” he said.

“Many of the dams on our property were dry and we were lot feeding the sheep rather than letting them denude the countryside. So yes it was getting very tight.

“From a water perspective, we were really gearing ourselves for another drought.”

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Emily’s All Stars shine bright

EMILY Manning’s love of dancing began at five years of age.
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And, although she has about 12 years’ experience, it all started when a friend asked her to go to dance class with her.

The dancer took a few years’ break from the pastime for work, but she has recently taken up the challenge of building her own studio.

About four years ago she opened a studio, but this year saw a fresh start for the centre with a name change and relocation.

Platinum Dance Centre opened at its new home in Market Lane, Muswellbrook, with five teachers including Miss Manning.

Change can bring excitement, but on top of all the success of the studio, Miss Manning decided to start a class.

Platinum All Stars began in February, and is a class for children living with disability.

“I just wanted to give opportunity for all the kids to be able to dance,” she said of the new class.

And, she has found that being a part of Platinum All Stars means the world to the eight or nine students involved.

“They’re loving it,” she said.

“I love seeing them come in every week with the biggest smiles on their faces.

“They tell me about their week – they’ve become a part of the family.”

Miss Manning also hopes to give opportunities to Upper Hunter students to learn from the best in the country.

This includes bringing professionals from places including Melbourne and Cairns to host workshops.

“I’m trying to make everything available for us little country people,” she said.

It has been a whirlwind few years for the local businesswoman.

Her initial expectation of 120 enrolments has been exceeded, and with 260 students and counting, the studio looks as though it is on the rise.

“It’s been bigger and better than I ever expected,” she said.

Miss Manning loves seeing all the students excel.

She has people as young as two at her studio, right through to those in their 40s, learning skills from jazz and hip hop, to classical ballet and contemporary.

he said dancing not only gives people a chance to build their confidence, but also meet new people, and she loves seeing the look on students’ faces when they accomplish a new feat.

There are classes at Platinum Dance Centre from Monday to Friday.

For more information on Platinum All Stars, or other classes, contact Emily on 0434 674 157.

LOVE OF DANCING: Emily Manning.

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Police find cannabis plant in Muswellbrook paddock

HUNTER Valley Local Area Command officers have discovered a cannabis plant worth an estimated $5000 in a paddock on Muswellbrook’s Thomas Mitchell Drive.
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The plant was found over the Easter long weekend, presenting officers with their first discovery of cannabis in four months.

Several other plants were also sighted on the outskirts of Muswellbrook, with police seizing a quantity for their investigations.

Hunter Valley crime manager, Detective Inspector Timothy Seymour, said police would continue to “detect, remove and prosecute any person cultivating cannabis”.

Apart from the discoveries, Detective Inspector Seymour said it had been a relatively quiet long weekend for local officers.

“We did contribute to Operation Tortoise with RBT and traffic enforcement [and] we were thankful that the HVLAC was fatality free for the Easter period,” he said.

However, police have urged drivers to pay more attention on NSW roads after four people were killed over Easter.

Almost 244,000 breath tests were conducted as part of Operation Tortoise, resulting in 298 drink driving charges.

There were also nearly 5000 speeding fines issued and 222 positive results from Random Drug Tests.

Anyone with information on illegal activities are urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

DISCOVERY: Hunter Valley Local Area Command officers found a cannabis plant in Muswellbrook on the long weekend.

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Knock knock, Salvation’s here

Majors Christine and Graham Longbottom from the Salvation Army at Bowral are gearing up for this year’s Doorknock Appeal. Photo by Bodhi Todd
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LEND a hand and knock on a neighbour’s door this May.

The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to participate in this year’s Red Shield Doorknock Appeal.

This year will be the 50th year of the appeal, which aims to raise $9.5 million through this year’s door knocking efforts.

The Salvation Army provides around 100,000 meals for hungry people, 2000 beds for homeless people, helps 3000 elderly people with aged care services, provides refuge to 500 victims of abuse and distributes up to 8000 food vouchers.

The humanitarian services offered by the Salvos are designed to help put lives back together.

Salvation Army majors Christine and Graham Longbottom have been involved with the Southern Highlands branch of the Salvos for more than five years.

“It’s great to be involved with the fiftieth year of the Red Shield collection,” Mr Longbotom said.

“The Salvation Army has a long association with the military and service for this country, there were chaplains that served in the wars and as it’s also the 100th year of Anzacs it’s a really important year for us.”

Local schools are welcome to get involved in the Doorknock efforts, as Frensham and Moss Vale High School do each year.

“It’s great having the schools on board as we’re able to cover a much greater area,” Mrs Longbottom said.

“Frensham do a lot of Mittagong and Moss Vale High School covers a lot of their local area.”

“We’d love to have more schools on board.”

Mr Longbottom said volunteer door knockers were crucial to make the appeal a success.

“We really need door knockers or people who are able to spend some time taking donations over May 30 and 31,” he said.

“Anyone who will have a couple of hours free that weekend on either Saturday or Sunday can door knock, even if it’s just in their own area,” Mrs Longbottom said.

“People can select a street or a block they’d like to do and take responsibility of that particular area.”

Young people are welcome to become involved in the event, although it is recommended they do so with a family or school group.

“We are always grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of the community here as without it we wouldn’t be able to help people in need,” Mr Longbottom said.

Schools who would like to participate can get more information at salvos.org419论坛/redshield

To donate call 4861 3912, visit the Salvation Army website or make a donation at any Westpac branch.

To join the Red Shield Doorknock Appeal in the Southern Highlands, call the Bowral Salvation Army office on 4861 3912.

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Firefighters head to Vanuatu

Liverpool Fire Station’s Ross Webster and Robert Duncombe were part of a team, formed as part of the Australian Government’s humanitarian response in Vanuatu. Photo by Simon BennettTWO Liverpool firefighters have returned home after spending 10 days helping people affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.
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Liverpool Fire Station’s Robert Duncombe and Ross Webster, who lives in Moss Vale, were part of a 56-member team, led by Fire and Rescue NSW.

The Australian Urban Search and Rescue Task Force mission was formed as part of the Australian Government’s humanitarian response in Vanuatu.

Mr Duncombe said it was “very” satisfying to be able to help the people of Vanuatu.

The Task Force carried out 50 rapid damage assessments on health, education and government buildings as well as vital infrastructure.

“We were completely self sufficient when were were there and had our own base of operations, with communications, logistics, hygiene and sleeping tents,” Mr Duncombe said.

He said the teams’ work included doing repairs to the Port Vila Hospital and maternity centre, and local schools.

“We spent three days at the hospital repairing the roofs above where the patients stay and in the children’s ward,” he said.

“We also worked in the community and repaired damage that was done at the schools.

“The people did get a little overwhelmed by the way we went in there and fixed the classrooms for all of the kids.””

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said he was proud of the work done by the task force members.

“The team has gone above and beyond in helping the people of Vanuatu get back on their feet,” he said. ‘

‘We can be sure that the help they provided will be welcomed by those who have suffered great loss as a result of this devastating cyclone.”

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

Police briefs April 10

Buy a ticket
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POLICE detected a woman attempting to travel on the train without a ticket on Tuesday, April 7 when police were conducting a number of patrols at railway stations.

A local 22-year-old female was spoken to by police about not paying a fare to travel on the train. She received a notice for travel, or attempt to travel, without a ticket.

Everyone is reminded that police will continue to conduct spot patrols and checks at railway stations. Anyone without a valid ticket will be issued with an infringement notice.

Easter crash

THE driver of a Ford Falcon ute with Victorian registration suffered a broken nose and other facial fractures after a crash on the Hume Highway.

At about 5.20pm on Monday, April 6, the Ford was travelling north on the Mittagong Bypass, Hume Highway at Mittagong.

At the time there was heavy Easter long weekend traffic travelling north, which had come to a near standstill. The driver of the Ford realised traffic had stopped and he was travelling too fast.

He braked, but the brakes locked up and the vehicle went into a skid for about 15 metres before crashing heavily into the rear of a Subaru Liberty.

The impact forced the Subaru into the guard rail before it hit the rear of a third vehicle, a silver Toyota Camry.

The driver of the Ford suffered a broken nose and other facial fractures. He was treated by ambulance at the scene. A passenger in that vehicle was treated for shock.

No other injuries were reported.

The Ford ute was a write off and the Subaru was towed from the scene with front and rear damage.

There was minor damage to the rear of the Toyota.

All drivers were breath tested with negative results.

The driver of the Ford was issued with an infringement notice.

Police remind drivers that they must exercise additional caution when travelling on freeways or highways with heavy traffic as accidents which occur while travelling at higher speeds often end in tragedy.

Positive breath test

A P2 driver will face Moss Vale Local Court after he returned a positive breath test in Mittagong.

At about 12.45pm on Monday, April 6, police were performing stationary breath testing on the Old Hume Highway, Mittagong.

It was at this time police observed a small blue vehicle pull over to the side of the road just before the breath testing site.

The vehicle was observed for a few minutes before police approached the driver and requested he supply a sample.

The P2 licenced driver undertook a breath test which returned a positive reading.

He was subsequently arrested and conveyed to Bowral Police Station for the purpose of a breath analysis.

The driver returned a reading of 0.028, a special range reading for a provisional licence holder.

The driver was issued a court attendance notice to attend Moss Vale Local Court.

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Heywood, Kissick off to Morphettville

WAGGA trainer Chris Heywood and jockey John Kissick will head all the way to Adelaide on Saturday with in-form pair High Opinion and Dantains Spirit.
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Heywood is eyeing off some feature races in Adelaide with promising staying three-year-old High Opinion and will test him out in Saturday’s listed $80,000 Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m).

“There’s the Derby in about four weeks and a group three over 2000 in the middle,” Heywood said.

“He needs to step up to the plate.

“He needs to run well in this race if we wanted to go that way.”

High Opinion has two wins and five placings to his name from eight starts.

He ran third in the Country Championship heat at Wagga, then was an impressive last start winner over a mile at the Albury carnival.

Heywood expects him to run well.

“I’d expect him to run well obviously, we’re not going there for nothing,” he said.

“I think he’s above average so we’ll put him in the deep end and find out.”

DantainsSpirit will contest the $40,000 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m).

Both horses have drawn barrier one.

With a 10-hour truck trip ahead, Heywood said Dantains Spirit is more than just a travelling companion.

“It’s a good race for her and it’s just as easy to send one as it is two,” he said.

“I nominated her for the Town Plate Prelude but I think this is an easier option.

“She’s the second top weight in a $40,000 race, where she was down the list in Prelude, which is $25,000.”

Heywood’s son Nick, a top apprentice, was down to ride both horses but was not allowed given he has not ridden at metropolitan level.

Heywood took Steel Wool to Adelaide last year and finished fourth in a listed race.

ROAD TRIP: Wagga trainer Chris Heywood with High Opinion and Dantains Spirit ahead of the trip to Adelaide. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

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

Electrical, mechanical apprentices over the moon

RECRUIT Chloe Harris is over the moon.
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The electrical trainee is one of eight new apprentices who’ll be launching their careers in the mining industry at Coal & Allied’s Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth mines.

James Shiner, Chloe Harris, Brett Crebert, Corey Taggart and, front, Brad Kirkwood, Maddi Clark and Caitlin Folpp.

The novices are employed through training provider SKILLED andcomplete four-year electrical ormechanical apprenticeships with the open cut coal mines.

“I was so excited when I heard I had an apprenticeship with Coal & Allied and to get one now, especially when the mining industry has slowed, is such a great opportunity,” Miss Harris said.

“I think I told everybody I knew.

“When I was looking for jobs, I’d heard Coal & Allied’s apprenticeship wasreally good because you get a broad range of experience from working at both Mount Thorley Warkworth and Hunter Valley Operations and you meet a huge number of people who you can learn from.

“This opportunity has motivated me to put in 110 per cent to get my Certificate 3 in Electrotechnology and do everything I can to further my career.”

Mount Thorley Warkworth general manager operations Mark Rodgers said Coal & Allied was pleased to welcome the eight locals to the company.

“With the support of our group training partner SKILLED, the new apprentices will receive training and hands onexperience in a safe and supportiveenvironment for their chosen trades,” he said.

“The program provides apprentices with a great start in the mining industry and it allows Coal & Allied to tap into a pool of talented workers, consequently building capacity in the Hunter Valley.

“Our apprenticeship program isjust one of the ways Coal & Allied iscommitted to providing employment opportunities for young people in the region.”

Apprentices complete a six-month study period at the Hunter Institute Muswellbrook Mining Industry Skills Centre where they also learn valuable life skills such as driving, safetyawareness and financial management.

The new recruits will join 29 other apprentices already undertakingtraining at Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth.

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Purple power at the ready

PREPARED: New Phantoms captain Bill Bevan during a match last year. The Phantoms are hoping for a big 2015 season on the field. THE Phantoms are eagerly putting final touches on their game plan for this weekend’s first round of the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.
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It is one of the most anticipated seasons to date for the Phantoms, who have enjoyed a successful off-season, picking up a number of recruits and a new co-coach.

The first grade side has also already had on-field success, winning a number of pre-season matches.

Co-coach Liam Ward said players were keen to take the field.

“Everyone is pretty excited,” he said.

“We started pre-season in the second week of January and we’ve been going hard ever since.

“The boys have been working hard on their fitness and their skills.

“I think their fitness at the moment is up their with any other clubs that we’ve already seen this year during pre-season.

“As a group we are raring to go this weekend.”

The Phantoms will hit the road for their first round match against Ag College.

Ward said his side was prepared to take them on.

“Usually early in the year Ag College and very strong, especially on their home turf,” he said.

“We know they are usually a big team that has quality across the field.

“I think this year we will be able to match them.

“We’ve got quality right across the park.

“Our first grade side has been selected to match it with Ag College.

“I’m confident we can get the job done.”

The match will be the first SIRU game for co-coach Seru Rogo, who joined the Phantoms after leading the Griffith Blacks to a premiership last year.

Ward said the Phantoms had everything in place for what he hopes will be a successful year.

“There’s a lot of positivity amongst the group and also just around the club,” he said.

“Everyone is looking forward to getting onto the field.

“The boys want to put into play what we’ve been working so hard on.

“I think Seru said to them the other night at training ‘you’ve done all of the hard work and now it’s time to reap the benefits’.

“Hopefully that’s what we are able to do this weekend and get our year off to a good start.

“I’m confident in the side we have,”

This year the Phantoms also have a new captain in the form of Bill Bevan.

“We’re confident ‘Bevo’ will do a great job,” Ward said.

“He’s been around the club for a long time.

“We’ve got plenty of faith in him.

“He’s already proven to be a good leader and the boys respect him.”

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