Mariners suffer rare home loss as Victory hit heights

Ladder leaders Melbourne exacted revenge for two home losses to the CentralCoast with a classy 3-0 away win over the Mariners in Gosford lastnight.Two well-worked second-half goals from Carlos Hernandezand Matthew Kemp and an own goal from Mariners defender Nigel Boogaardensured Melbourne quickly regained top spot from Sydney, who brieflyhit the lead following their away win over Wellington earlier yesterday.Itwas the first home loss and biggest defeat of the season for theMariners, who had previously conceded only three goals at BluetongueStadium.Melbourne controlled most of the game apart from the last 15 minutes before half-time.TheVictory had the game’s most influential players in Socceroos strikerArchie Thompson and the midfield duo of Kemp and Hernandez.Kempwas involved in all three goals. Thompson released Kemp down the rightin the 57th minute and his cross was swept home by Hernandez from nearthe spot.Kemp was involved again in the 77th minute, when hisright-wing cross deflected off Boogaard and past Mariners goalkeeperDanny Vukovic.Victory coach Ernie Merrick ratedthe win Melbourne’s best away performance of the season, and was fullof praise for Thompson, Kemp, Langerak, and fellow defenders KevinMuscat and Adrian Leijer.However, Merrick was far from happy with some of the offside calls against his team.”We were keen to play an interpassing game and keep creating chances and get our fullbacks forward and we did it well,” he said.”Oncewe scored one, we knew they would have to open up. I was justdisappointed by the continual offside decisions that go against us,because we might have been able to get them opened up even earlier.””I’mjust disappointed that they just can’t get it right and that affectsour scoring opportunities, it affects one-on-ones with the goalkeeperand it denies the crowd the opportunity to see attacking football.”Meanwhile,Sydney FC thumped Canberra 3-0 to advance through to their first W-League grand final at Toyota Stadium.TheSydneysiders overcame the dismissal of defender Alesha Clifford toclaim home ground advantage for the championship decider next weekendagainst the winner of Central Coast and Brisbane.
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The party’s over: police target drunk revellers

”THAT taxi driver just told me to piss off.”The man pleading with police has probably been drinking all afternoon but at 3am, when he wants to go home, no one will take him.Taxi drivers sick of drunk revellers defacing their cabs are taking a stand, but leaving them stranded is one of many factors contributing to the scourge of alcohol-fuelled violence that has infected the state, and Sydney’s nightclub districts are at the heart of it.As part of Operation Unite, a trans-Tasman police blitz involving 14,000 officers that is targeting alcohol-related violence this weekend, The Sun-Herald spent a few hours on the beat with some of our most hardened cops.According to preliminary figures, the officers on duty in NSW were also the country’s busiest – 333 people were charged with 516 offences.In Victoria, police reported a spike in arrests but said fewer people were on the streets. In Western Australia, police made 142 arrests. In the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania, most arrests were for drunk and disorderly behaviour and no serious assaults were reported.Kings Cross bakery worker Emma Pham said the increased police presence was welcome. ”To see police around you feel good. There are always junkies around and they behave when the police are here.”Police in Kings Cross made their first arrest at 10.30pm, when office Christmas party revellers were still in full flight.Later in the evening, most of the arrests were the ”regulars” – mainly drug users – many of whom are known to police.Kings Cross commander Superintendent Tony Crandell said some police had already implemented strategies to curb violence, such as banning offenders from entertainment districts for 12 months. ”The assault rate has fallen, but nevertheless, the number of assaults is still unacceptable,” he said.”Kings Cross is more dangerous than other Sydney area even though others have had horrific crimes.”I tell officers they have won the lottery when stationed at this LAC [local area command].”Every skill that a police officer learns at the academy will be tested at Kings Cross.”Despite the number of arrests, Superintendent Crandell said the weekend was quieter than the last.motorists were breath-tested on NSW roads on Friday. A similar number were tested last night. Police detected 176 drivers with a blood-alcohol level that was over the legal limit.’I find it hard to believe that … this many people could act so irresponsibly.’Police Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennillipolice were on the beat across Australia and New Zealand for Operation Unite, which targeted alcohol-related violence. Officers in Sydney say December is typically the most violent month.’About 70 per cent of our time is taken up by alcohol-related violence.’Kings Cross police commander Superintendent Tony Crandellpeople were charged with 516 offences in NSW on Friday night, ranging from assault and robbery to weapons and drug offences.’Most people got the message that police would not tolerate alcohol-related violence.’Assistant Police Commissioner Frank Mennillipeople were charged with drug offences, including a pregnant woman known to police who is accused of selling drugs she concealed in a pot plant outside a backpackers hostel.’She used drugs through her first pregnancy as well but fortunately the baby was born healthy.’ Arresting officerlicensing breaches were detected, leading to the closure of three karaoke bars in the CBD. Police also detected 300 security breaches.’Just another five minutes, mate …Motorist parked illegally in Paddington.I know the owner of the club.’knives were confiscated from people later charged with weapons offences. Two teenagers were charged after allegedly trying to hold up a Granville hotel with a knife and a replica firearm.’You can tell those guys are going to get into a fight.’Pedestrian in Darlinghurst.officers manning one drink-driving checkpoint in central Auckland. In the first few hours of the operation, they had booked about 40 drivers for alleged drink-driving. One woman, who had a 15-year-old in the car, said she had learnt her lesson.’Sometimes this job really puts you off drinking.’ Auckland acting Sergeant Keith Barkerassault charges were laid in NSW on Friday night, including one against a 38-year-old Carlingford man accused of assaulting an officer at Ryde Police Station. The officer suffered a broken nose and neck injuries.’This is exactly the type of incident which has made police so determined to crack down on drunken violence.’ Police officerextra police officers were deployed in NSW, focusing on Sydney’s three hot zones: Oxford Street, Kings Cross and George Street in the city.’Congestion has something to do with it – a bump into someone on the street can turn into a fight.’ Police officerper cent of customers at Imad Alsmadi’s convenience store stayed away from Kings Cross, possibly due to the strong police and sniffer dog presence.’When police come with dogs, people leave the area because they can’t find drugs.’Imad Alsmadi
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Businessman’s fears over Centrelink saga

Dubbo businessman David Nugent feared he could be caught in the middle of a development stoush.The Dubbo lessee of the former Freedom furniture building has lashed out at a “noisy minority” who could stop a $9 million Centrelink development from going ahead and be the demise of his two Dubbo businesses.
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Dubbo businessman David Nugent feared he could be caught in the middle of a development stoush about the Wingewarra Street location, and the “unfair” refusal of Centrelink could bust his two businesses that provide jobs for Dubbo people.

Mr Nugent advocated for the proposed purpose-built building for the government agency, saying it would be good for the city, as objectors to the opposed Centrelink continued their campaign against the development application (DA).

Victorian-based developer The Stirloch Group this month resubmitted a DA to Dubbo City Council for the use of 64-70 Wingewarra Street as a Centrelink office.

Councillors against staff advice refused the first DA in February, citing the DA’s failure to adequately address “detrimental social impacts” on the adjoining church and school and other reasons.

Dubbo Public School parent representatives, Dubbo Uniting Church members and business people emphasised extreme traffic congestion if the development near them and a bus interchange went ahead.

With a decision due at this week’s council meeting and further criticisms submitted to the council, Mr Nugent yesterday spoke in favour of the DA and outlined a dull future for city investment if it did not.

Mr Nugent has a 10-year lease with well-known Dubbo family the Orbells for the Wingewarra Street site, until last year occupied by Freedom, of which wife Chris Nugent is the franchisee.

With a sale in the wings between the Orbells and the Stirloch Group last year, the Nugents signed a 10-year lease for a Hawthorn Street site and relocated Freedom, with the provision that the cost of the relocation would be reimbursed by the proceeds of the sale.

He judged the deal would result in benefits for Freedom, the clients and staff of Centrelink, the Orbell family and the city of Dubbo, he said.

“I was thinking I was doing a win-win-win (arrangement),” he said.

Community criticism disabused him that it would be straight forward, but he was frustrated and disbelieving the deal may be in jeopardy.

“I never thought there’d be a local issue with moving a government department 300 metres from one block to the next with better facilities,” he said.

Mr Nugent was facing the possible outcomes including subletting if the DA was refused again and the sale did not go ahead.

Mr and Mrs Nugent would still be liable for the rent of the Wingewarra Street site and would not be reimbursed the relocation costs if the sale did not go ahead. That would put pressure on the couple’s two businesses, Freedom and the Latex Bedding Company, which together employ 24 people, the majority of which are Dubbo jobs.

“It’s not just an outside developer who would walk away, if this is stopped I would potentially go broke,” he said.

He questioned how any developer would take on the site if Stirloch did not meet success after following Dubbo’s development process to the letter.

“Another developer would be reluctant to invest time and money (if) a noisy minority could influence enough (councillors),” he said.

Site owners Ken and Peter Orbell who had always been “thorough gentlemen” to Mr Nugent were now “very worried”.

“They either have to enforce the lease against me, which they don’t want to do or they are left with an empty building with more than $40,000 in rates, and one really good potential development on the site, which on an ad hoc basis could be knocked over,” Mr Nugent said.

“What do they do then?”

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Call for donors as Christmas blood supply drops

THE Red Cross Blood Service is calling for more volunteers to help boost seasonally depleted stocks of a vital blood ingredient.Because of the closure of donor centres on public holidays and registered donors going away on holiday over the Christmas period, staff are concerned about supplies of the precious cells, called platelets, which last only five days.â??We often do have challenges at Christmas,” said the service’s executive director, Pip Hetzel. “Platelets will always be the issue. Normally our red cell stocks are reasonably good. Any time there are lots of holidays it presents challenges.”It can take the donation of red blood cells from up to four people to make one collection of life-saving platelets. The proportion of donors in Australia who regularly give blood is 1 per cent less than in other developed nations, where about 3 per cent donate. Despite this there has been an increase of more than 130,000 donations this year â?? the year of the blood donor â?? to add to the 570,000 present donors.About 60 per cent of platelets go to patients with bone marrow problems such as leukaemia and who have had treatments such as chemotherapy.Drew Lawther, 10, of Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast, has benefited from platelet transfusions. More than 100 donors contributed to his treatment after he was diagnosed with leukaemia a day after his ninth birthday in November last year.His mother, Donna Lawther, said: “The treatment basically wiped out his bone marrow system so he was not producing any haemoglobin or any platelets. Without the platelets and the blood he wouldn’t be here today.”After a bone marrow transplant in August Drew is free of leukaemic cells. “He’s lucky that the technology, expertise and blood donors were there to give him that second chance,” Mrs Lawther said.Drew said his three brothers helped him through the recovery, and he is looking forward to starting year 5 and playing soccer next year.”I want to meet my friends . . . At home I’ve only got the dog,” he said. “I just hope I can encourage a lot of people to donate blood.”Only one in 30 Australians give blood, but one in three will need blood in their lifetime.The Blood Service expects demand to double in the next 10 years due to medical science developments and the ageing population.
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Frustrated clubs want some answers at historic meeting

IT’S the gathering described as ”one of the most significant meetings in the game’s recent history”.NRL club powerbrokers will meet at the Sheraton on the Park at 10am on January 18. If all goes to plan, they will be celebrating the formation of an independent commission – or at least getting close to nutting out the final details. There is likely to be some heated debate – and radical ideas – if the frustrating wait for a new governing body is no closer to becoming a reality.The Sun-Herald has obtained the invitation that Titans boss Michael Searle sent to all 16 clubs, urging them to be represented by their CEOs, coach, chairman and captain. However, there will be no sign of NRL officials, due to the their ”ethical conflict” in the process.”Clearly the push for an Independent Commission has been driven by the Committee planning and holding negotiations with News Limited and the ARL, which has been active for some two years come May 2010 and it is important that we ensure that procrastination [is] not veiled as ‘diligently perusing the cause for an independent commission’,” Searle wrote.”Naturally the Committee cannot overstate the importance of having a full compliment [sic] of Club Representatives at the meeting which may be one of the most significant meetings in the game’s recent history.”Searle yesterday denied that a breakaway competition – a potential last resort should the ARL and News Ltd not relinquish control of the game – was on the agenda.However, clubs will want answers as they become increasingly frustrated that the parties haven’t signed off on an agreement. There are also concerns about some of the names being touted as potential commissioners. Colin Love, who holds positions on the ARL, IRL and NSWRL, has been mooted as the commission chairman. Other names floated as potential powerbrokers include Roosters pair Mark Bouris and Nick Politis.”Everybody agrees that the game needs an independent commission and that it should be genuinely independent,” Cronulla chairman Damian Irvine said.”So there is some frustration and exasperation that some of the people mentioned or installed as favourites for the position are so aligned.”We certainly wouldn’t want anyone from the Sharks on the commission – as much as I wouldn’t want any other club or aligned person on there.”It needs to be truly independent.”There is a feeling that people are being given roles out there as a pay-off for letting this happen.”
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Brazilian grooves at the Grand

One of the best guitarists in the world will visit Wellington in May treating audiences to Latin and Brazilian style music.
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Lulo Reinhardt’s 2011 Australian tour starts at Wellington’s Grand Hotel in May.

Mr Reinhardt is the grand-nephew of the great Belgian Gypsy jazz king Django.

He will perform for two hours, backed by his four piece band, featuring Daniel Weltlinger – Violin, Sean Mackenzie – Piano, Thumb Piano, Berimbau and Harald Becher – Bass and Fernando Delgado – Drums.

Mr Reinhardt’s music explores a fusion of styles, including flamenco, Latin and Brazilian jazz and always with a nod to his Gypsy influences. Event organiser John Tognolini said Lulo’s name has achieved international acclaim.

“He’s one of the top 15 guitarists in the world, he’s like Keith Richards coming from a gypsy point of view,” Mr Tognolini said.

Mr Tognolini hopes to attract to Wellington three international gigs of Mr Reinhardt’s calibre each year. Tickets are $47.50 and can be purchased from the Grand Hotel on 6845 2487.

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Not guilty plea to charges of overshooting

A kangaroo shooter working in the Dubbo region has been charged with failing to comply with the restrictions of a commercial fauna harvesting licence.
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Kobie Evans, 30, of Gilgandra has pleaded not guilty to three charges laid by the Department of Environment Climate Change and Water.

A hearing will be held in Dubbo Local Court on June 10.

The department alleges Evans failed to submit return forms required under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

According to a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Department, the charges relate to kangaroo shooting undertaken on Dubbo district properties in May, June and August last year.

The Department of Environment Climate Change and Water is involved in administering the conversation-based commercial harvest of kangaroos.

The harvest is limited by a quota set each calendar year based on estimates of the kangaroo population.

Products derived from kangaroos include meat for human consumption and skins for leather products. Some skin and meat is used domestically, with the remainder exported to more than 55 countries.

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McCarthy puts all on alert to flirt with record

Sydney-trained pacer Flirt Alert is the new track record holder for the 2120m journey at Dubbo after a sizzling victory in the Furney’s Town And Country Pacing Cup on Saturday night.
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Trained and driven by Luke McCarthy and owned by his wife Belinda, Flirt Alert ($11.50) was in an awkward position four back on the pegs for most of the journey.

Helped by a hectic speed, Flirt Alert’s time of 2:34.6 (mile rate 1:57.4) broke the previous track record, shared by Intoxicated and Quick Approval, by more than one second.

Up front Newcastle visitor Ohoka Utah (Michael Formosa, $4.20) was setting a cracking pace after wrestling the lead from Northern Frontier (Paul Morphett, $5.00).

The race was set up for the backmarkers by early quarters of 30.9s and 28.4s which split the field up and allowed something to run on from the back of the field.

That horse was Flirt Alert, which saw daylight approaching the home turn, rounded up the leaders and went on to win by eight-and-a-quarter metres.

Ohoka Utah held on for second place with locally-trained Rebelle ($50.00) running on along the pegs for third.

The run of the second horse should be noted, as it set the tempo yet was kicking on in the straight and beat all bar the winner.

The disappointing run of the race came from $3.60 favourite Slick Bromac, which had a charmed run but didn’t go on with it after looming up.

After the race Belinda McCarthy said she was the only person that had faith in the nine-year-old gelding, which hadn’t won from its previous eight starts.

“They’ve been joking about him saying he was the horse letting the stable down,” she said.

“He didn’t let anyone down tonight. He did a really good job and I’m proud of him.

“He keeps on banking enough cheques to pay for himself so as long as he does that he will keep going.”

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Coral gives up link to maritime saga

THE legendary wreck of a British cargo ship that sank while sailing in convoy with Matthew Flinders 200 years ago has been discovered off the Australian coast.Maritime archaeologists have made the claim after last week discovering a ship’s cannon embedded in a reef in the Coral Sea off North Queensland.It is thought to belong to the Cato, which sank in the area after running aground in 1803 en route to India.Expedition leader Kieran Hosty, of the National Maritime Museum, said it was significant to Australia’s maritime history.”Very few colonial trading vessels have been found in Australian waters; this is just one of a handful,” he said.Five expeditions had visited the coral outcrop, known as Wreck Reef, in the past 45 years but failed to find where the Cato went down.For the first time, vital clues are expected to be unearthed near the small island of Porpoise Cay.The 450-tonne vessel and HMS Porpoise were wrecked after hitting an uncharted coral reef at midnight on August 17, 1803. The two were reported lost by a third ship.Three young sailors drowned, while the survivors, including Flinders, clambered on to Porpoise Cay. The shipwrecked sailors built a small open boat they named Hope from the timbers of the Porpoise.Nine days later Flinders and a crew of 13 sailed more than 1200 kilometres to Sydney.The stranded sailors, including Flinders’s brother, were picked up six weeks after the ordeal began.Kieran Hosty said conditions for the men would have been difficult.”The island is not even 100 metres long and less then 40 metres wide, so it must have been quite crammed for the 90 survivors,” he said.Although the discovery of the ship’s cannon has been a major find, Mr Hosty believes the final proof of identity will be made from the hinge of the ship’s rudder which was located nearby.”We didn’t want to damage the reef by lifting the heavily coral-encrusted cannon, so we were thrilled to retrieve the rudder’s hinge yesterday,” he said.”We may well find foundry marks and metal analysis would tell us even more about its origins. These investigations could give us the proof positive we need.”
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Men’s weighty effort earns great rewards

Terry Charleston and Malcolm White proudly holding the pants that could now hold two of them. Photo: Amy GriffithsTwo Dubbo men who have lost almost 40 kilos between them and dropped more than five shirt sizes say their drastic weight loss saved them from major health problems.
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Weighing 112 kg Malcolm White shed 25 kg- the weight of the average eight year old boy- in less than a year and now weighs 87 kg.

A rural property salesman for Landmark, Mr White who struggled to fit into size 117 trousers said just getting out of a chair was a “major” task.

“I was always out of breath and I could hardly walk anywhere without feeling exhausted,” Mr White said.

The 62 year old who has a new found “zest” for life now fits into size 92 trousers and has dropped three shirt sizes.

“I feel wonderful, I’m a new person, I’m lighter and happier,” said Mr White.

Wellington man Terry Charleston is another weight loss success story.

The retired teacher shed 14 kg in six months, dropped two shirt sizes, and recently competed in the Australian Running Festival in Canberra.

Mr Charleston, 63, who weighed 81 kg is now 67 kg and running in ten kilometre fun runs.

“I feel so much better all over, I have a new lease on life,” Mr Charleston said.

Both men have attributed their success to Weight Watchers a science based program that helps participants lose weight through a points based counting system.

Mentor and Dubbo Weight Watchers leader Kay Parker said the men’s stories are an example to other men who struggle to shift kilos.

“Men can feel apprehensive about joining a weight loss program that traditionally women dominate,” Mrs Parker said.

“I was so impressed with their commitment and motivation…in the 10 years I’ve worked with Weight Watchers these men would have to be one of the best success stories.”

Mrs Parker knows first hand what it’s like to struggle with weight.

Weighing 110 kg her “out of control” diet once consisted of no breakfast and loads of chocolate.

But it all changed when Mrs Parker suffered from a mini-stroke.

“After that I thought I’ve got to do something about this … I lost 36 kg in 18 months and I’m now 74.5 kg,” Mrs Parker said.

“Mr Cadbury was my best friend back then, I couldn’t walk past a shop without having to go in and buy a chocolate.

“My friend would buy me four cream buns every Tuesday because they were on special and by midnight I’d have eaten them all.”

Health problems can be turned around by eating and exercising properly, said Mr Charleston and Mr White.

“I had minor heart ailments six years ago and was told to lose weight but every kilo I lost I would put it back on,” Mr Charleston said.

“Weight Watchers and Kay helped me reach my goal and I feel better than ever.”

“A friend of mine and my daughter told me that if I didn’t get serious about losing weight I would have a heart attack … I can now do up my belt on my trouser by nine notches, “ Mr White said.

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