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August, 2019

Mental health on the agenda

HIVE OF ACTIVITY: St Helens District High School students at Thursday’s mental health event at Break O’Day Community Stadium. Picture: Supplied St Helens got into the spirit of Mental Health Week on Thursday with a community event at Break O’Day Community Stadium.
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East Coast health organisations and service providers were on hand to discuss mental health withSt Helens District High School students throughout the morning and early afternoon,before community members arrived in the afternoon for a barbecue.

Students werealso keptbusy with a promise wall, where they wrote mental health pledges to themselves.

St Helens Neighbourhood House manager Trish O’Duffy said while the day incorporated entertainment including giant games and live music,there was aserious message behind the event.

“We all have times in our lives that we’re anxious or depressed so it’s important to be aware of what strategies you can put in place to prevent that and where you go to get help,” Ms O’Duffy said.

Wellways (formerly MI Fellowship) senior program worker David Wilkes,one of many health professionals to attend the event,said it was important to encourage people to be proactive about mental health.

“We’re about social participation and encouraging people to participate in their communities and connect with something that’s meaningful for them, whether it’s study or work or a personal interest,” Mr Wilkes said.

“Some of the kids said to me today they’re getting the message about talking to other people and not keeping things to themselves, which is a critical message to get across to young people.”

Students also received a visit from Break O’Day Council general manager John Brown, whowas only too pleased to help spread the message of mental health awareness.

“Events like this are really important no matter where they are because they’re building awareness of mental health and where assistance can be obtained,” Mr Brown said.

“Events like this are very much acknowledging that there is a need within any community and this is just one method of addressing the situation that does exist within communities.

“It’s great to see a number of local organisations like the school being part of it and the range of community organisations coming together to work on an event like this one, it’s great.”

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

Police charge driver after high-speed pursuit

Drunk and drug-affected drivers caused havoc on Wagga roads at the weekend, with police saying one man led officers on a high-speed chase and another narrowly avoideda life-threatening head-on crash.
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At 11.10pm on Friday, a 34-year-old Mount Austin man – who blew close to three times the legal blood alcohol limit – careered out of control on a residential street into the path of an oncoming car.

Acting Inspector Darren Brand from Wagga Local Area Command said he was amazed nobody was killed or seriously injured in the incident.

Police said the man lost control of his Nissan Navara on Stanley Street, Kooringal, crossed over to the wrong side of the road, mounted a kerb, hit a tree on the nature strip and then slid for 50 metres.

The driver of an oncoming car had to violently swerve to avoid “severe impact”.

The ute was towed, the driver’s licence was suspended on the spot and he will face Wagga court in November.

Acting Inspector Ryan Sheaf said the risk of serious injury was “extreme” and condemned the driver for putting others’ lives at risk by driving drunk.

At 11.45pm on Saturday, a 26-year-old Glenfield Park man gave highway patrol the slip on dirt roads outside of Junee, after he pretended to stop for a random breath test.

The fleeing driver reportedly clocked 120km/h on unsealed roads, throwing up plumes of dust, which he used to his advantage to temporarily escape.

Highway patrol officers ended the pursuit and headed to the address where the car was registered, arriving just moments before the Glenfield Park man arrived home.

While the driver had not been drinking, he tested positive to drug tests on the roadside and back at the Wagga police station.

He had already been disqualified from driving until March 2017.

He has been charged with failing to stop and driving while disqualified and will face court in November.

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

Extreme weather plans could pay dividends

Tasmaniahas copped the extremes this year when it comes to weather.
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A long dry period early in the year had the state wondering if its hydro electricity system would grind to a halt. From May, Tasmania has received its fair share of a record wet period for the country.

Floods arrived in June, claiming lives and damaging homes and businesses.

The expense from both the wet and the dry has been significant.

The state governmentsaid it would provide $8.7 million for the replacement of high priority, critical road and bridge infrastructure damaged by flooding.

During the drought period before the El Nino broke down, it brought incostly generators to supplement Tasmania’s hydro power.

The downpour has complicated life for farmers in recent months while the fires earlier this year similarly brought major challenges for producers.

The fingerprints of the wild weather can be found in many unexpected places.

Last week Tasmania received the alarming news that a 35-metre sinkhole threatened to open up at the Beaconsfield mine yard and destroy the iconic skyshaft, after a ground subsidence caused by the big wet.

It’s believed $1.2 million is needed to address the problem with the best option: A concrete plug to prevent any further movement.

This unexpected cost is likely to be carriedat least in part by the federal government. It’s another surpriseexpense brought on by the year’s tumultuous weather.

Looking back, future historians will see this year as a particularly trying one for the state. Hopefully it becomes the exception and not the norm.

Tasmania has seen its normal order of weather and climate upturned, bringing chaos at times to its way of life.

However it’s a credit to the state the way its communities united in response to flooding earlier this year.

How governments decide to deal with other problems, such as the Beaconsfield subsidence, remains to be seen.

Given the unpredictable nature of this year’s events, it may pay for governments and councils throughout the state to consider all the infrastructure that could be vulnerable to extreme weather events.

That way, it can plan responses to potential problems better, and head off any disasters with some preventative action.

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

Lees takes titles as a clown cops a hit

KICKING: Shaun Read takes a wild ride during Saturday night’s rodeo at the Orange showgrounds. Photos: JUDE KEOGH
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CROWDED HOUSE: Organisers were delighted with the response of Orange people to the rodeo which attracted 4300 people for a night of thrills and spills.

Ben Lees claimed the glory in a night of action before a big crowd at the Orange Rodeo on Saturday night.

Lees, 36, of Singleton,won the All-round Cowboy title as well as being the Australian bareback rider and East Coast saddlebronc champions.

HOLDING ON: Troy Burtenshaw clings to the back of a bucking bull.

President of the East Coast championships, Al Wilson said: “He’s a top gun in the rodeo industry. He’s won many East Coast championships and Australian national championships.”

Other winners included Josh Barnett in the open bull ride, Brendon Crawley in the novice bull ride andBianca Hurdle in the ladies barrel racing. There was a three-way tie in the steer riding with Clayton Miners, Jack Barnes and Brett Lewis-Jackson sharing the spoils.

Wilson said the biggest hit of the night was taken by bullfighting protection clown Matt Darmody who was hit by a bull in the last round and broke his arm.

“Most people wouldn’t have known it had happened as it was in the last round. He just got hit by a bull and broke his arm. He finished the event before going to hospital.”

Wilson said Darmody had already needed both kneesreconstructed and surgery to his shoulder after other hits during his career.

“He specialises in saving cowboys from charging bulls. It’s the world’s most dangerous job and bull-fighting is the world’s most dangerous sport,” he said.

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

Title beckoning for Eagles in Tamworth

Flying Eagle: Angus Roberts and the NSW Country Eagles are headed back to Tamworth after securing hosting rights for the final with a 50-24 win over the Melbourne Rising on Saturday. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
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Tamworth will host the National Rugby Championship decider after the NSW Country Eagles defeated the Melbourne Rising 50-24 in Saturday’s semi-final in Newcastle.

The final will be held at Scully Park on Saturday night and will be the Eagles’ second in three seasons.

They’ll play the Perth Spirit, who in Sunday’s second semi-final, defeated the Sydney Rays 42-24.

It will be the second game the Eagles have played in Tamworth this season after they tackled the Rising at Tamworth Rugby Park back in the third round of the competition.

Eagles general managerPeter Playford said there were a few factors that contributed to Tamworth being awarded the final.

Among them was the reception they received the Rising game.

“The whole town was very accommodating,” he said.

“Tamworth has really embraced the Eagles.”

It will be their third game in Tamworth in the three years of the competition and Playford’s vision is to host at least a game in Tamworth annually.

With Fox Sports broadcasting the gameand, the only week turnaround, they also needed a venue ready and with the facilities to hostsuch a big game.

“The last two grand finals have been at Ballymore,” Playford said.

“We always said if we made the grand final we’d take it to the bush.”

Things were looking shaky for the Eagles early on Saturday with the Rising jumping up to a 16-nil lead inside the first 10 minutes.

“Then we put on six unanswered tries,” Playford said.

After scoring his first try of this years NRC the previous week,Eagles skipper, and Tamworth boy, Paddy Ryan had a memorable hand in one of those, producing an offload straight out of the top drawer to set Sam Figg up for his second try.

Backing up in support of half-back Jake Gordon, after he swooped on a loose ball from a Rising lineout, Ryan flicked a pass -one-handed –across his body.

The try put the Eagles ahead 28-16 at half-time and they were never headed from there.

“I’m very happy, but you don’t want to get ahead of yourself,” Ryan said after the win.

“Clichés in rugby come out for a reason, and that’s because a lot of them ring very true. If we start getting ahead ourselves, then we will fall at the last hurdle.”

The final program for Saturday is still being finalised but Playford is looking to bring in big screens so spectators can watch the Aussie womens test against the Kiwis and the third Bledisloe.

Tickets are available through West Tamworth Leagues Club at $10 for general admission and $20 for a seat in the stand.

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