Weather: Morning showers in Newcastle and Wallsend (19 degrees), a morning shower or two at Toronto (22 degrees), with similar conditions in Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace (both 20 degrees). Sunny across the region on Saturday and Sunday.
Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.
Trains: Good service on the Newcastle line. Buses replace trains on the Hunter line between Scone and Maitland until 7.30am.
Beachwatch: A few showers will still be lingering but the beach weather will be a big improvement on yesterday. The wind will be south to south-east with the swell from the south around 1.5 to 2 metres but is likely to fade away quickly. Wave conditions will be a bit sloppy with a few close-outs. The southern ends will be the better performers. Around town try Nobbys, Flatrock, Dixon park, Merewether, Burwood and Dudley. To the south try Blacksmiths, Caves and Catho and at port Stephens try Fingal and One Mile. Once again there’ll be a few rips and some heavy edges with many of the open beaches flying the red flag so stick to the ocean baths for a swim. The water temperature is 17 degrees.
JACKSON “JJ” Butchard was two when he begged his dad Tyson to buy him some ducks and chickens. In the past five years, Jackson has saved $50,000 via his pet hobby – he also breeds a few cattle - and reinvested some of it to buy equipment to build more pens for his feathered brood. Read more.
The new Hunter Regional Plan, to be released by Planning Minister Rob Stokes on Friday, wipes all mention of the controversial tag given to the region when the draft document was released last year. Read more.
In what was hailed a “historic” decision on Thursday, Newcastle Council agreed to begin a rezoning process that would see buildings, parks and even affordable housing on the land that once carried the city’s heavy rail tracks. Read more.
THE Baird government will tap developers to help fund infrastructure projects in the Hunter under a plan to grow the region by a third in the next 20 years. Read more.
THEY are the hardened veterans willing to help their home-town club in its hour of greatest need. Unfortunately for Dane Tilse and Joel Edwards, their interest in re-joining the Newcastle Knights appears unlikely to be reciprocated. Read more.
A SHARK cull, a ban on plastic bags, and changes to local garbage bin services were among the topics debated by local high school students at a mock Central Coast Council meeting. Read more.
The stunning blue waters of Port Stephens turn it on for the cameras more times than not. Sadly, for MasterChef winner Andy Allen, Thursday wasn’t one those days. And he desperately wanted it to be. Read more.
WHAT’S striking about the start of this Hunter snake season, for Geoff de Looze, is the suburban blandness of where the snakes are appearing. Read more.
A Blackbutt woman who swindled almost $70,000 from the public purse in a Medicare scam that lasted more than two years may avoid a full time jail sentence.
Yarloop residents have raised concerns over toxic waste left lying around in the wake of the WA government's co-ordinated clean up of their devastated community.
It seems even mother ducks have the chore of getting new school shoes for the kids each year.
Attorney-General George Brandis has attempted to hose down claims he is seeking to "shackle" the government's chief legal adviser as he faces a growing backlash over his move to stop colleagues seeking advice without his approval.
Proposed loosening of NSW's land-clearing controls could leave more than a third of the state's woodlands exposed to bulldozers including prime koala habitat, a report commissioned by WWF-Australia has found.
Tony Abbott has defended Donald Trump and taken a swipe at Hillary Clinton, saying the Republican nominee's positions are "reasonable enough" and his supporters are "not deplorables" but voters simply seeking change in America.
National weather radar
The British government will inevitably grant citizenship to European "rapists and murderers" while kicking out "hardworking, upstanding people" in the Brexit shakeout, a respected migration expert has warned.
Hong Kong's newly-elected breed of pro-democracy legislators have used the legislature's opening session to stage symbolic protests, unfurling banners and distorting parliamentary oaths in open defiance of Beijing.
Donald Trump had shown himself to be a "fascist threat" who posed the gravest risk to the United States since that country's Civil War, a top-ranking US Democrat warned in Sydney on Thursday.
On this day | October 14
1322 | Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.
1884 | The American inventor, George Eastman, receives a U.S. Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.
1926 | The children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, is first published.
1979 | The first Gay Rights March on Washington, D.C., the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, demands "an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people", and draws approximately 100,000 people.
1984 | "Baby Fae" receives a heart transplant from a baboon.
The faces of Australia: Bill Sweetenham
In October 2011, Mount Isa was humbled by the return of one of itrs most famous sporting identities – Bill Sweetenham, former swimming head coach for Australia, Britain, Spain and now Argentina. Over a weekend Bill ran a world-class swim clinic covering all four strokes, starts and turns, with information sessions. Every athlete walked away with a wealth of knowledge, honoured they had learnt from the best, who was one of their own.