Hunter roads: All Hunter roads are clear this morning.
Hunter trains: There is a good service on the Central Coast and Newcastle line. There are trackworks which could cause delays on the Hunter line.
Monday 21 November 4.00am to Friday 25 November 7.30am - Buses replace trains between Scone and Maitland, and some trains between Telarah and Maitland.
Tuesday 22 November 7.30pm to Wednesday 23 November 4.30am - From 7.30pm until 4.30am, buses replace trains between Scone and Hamilton, and also between Telarah, Maitland and Hamilton then continue to Newcastle.
Hunter weather: Mostly sunny day with light winds in Newcastle (22 degrees), a sunny day with light winds in Raymond Terrace (21 degrees), sunny day with light winds in Maitland (25 degrees) and a sunny day with light winds in Scone (26 degrees).
Hunter beachwatch: Strong wind warning for the huntercoastal water after an overnight Southerly change.Low pressure system to form in the Tasman which will generater a increase in South swell at one and a half to two and a half meters.Winds fresh from the S/W to S/E easing by the afternoon. Wave conditions to be choppy on a rising swell.Protected southern corners of Blacksmiths and Stockton may offer some smaller cleaner breaks.Merewether and Nobbys to handle the afternoons larger waves for the experienced surfers. Strong sweeps to develop to the north and stay off the rocks on the higher tides. Best for a swim will be the ocean bathes as most beaches to have dangerous surf signs up.Water temp 20C.
► THE Hunter Street Mall has a new owner. Nine years after developer GPT first unveiled its ambitious plan to redevelop the inner city, a new buyer with a new vision has been found. More here.
► CULT high-street fashion brand Topshop has arrived in the Hunter – but not as a stand alone store. Myer at Charlestown Square will open a Topshop Topman concession on November 24 within its department store. More here.
► Water use has fallen dramatically in the Hunter Region to below levels recorded during the Great Depression. Hunter Water statistics show water use hit a high of 244,600 litres a year per person in 1980. More here.
► ABOUT 40 or 50 cases of child sexual abuse in the Newcastle Anglican church have been settled through its redress scheme, diocesan business manager John Cleary has told the Royal Commission. More here.
► A PROBATIONARY Rural Fire Service member deliberately lit fires at Lochinvar, Keinbah, Bishops Bridge and Sawyers Gully and made numerous hoax calls to emergency services because he was bored and wanted to be called out to battle the blazes. More here.
► AN ugly scene erupted outside a Mount Hutton childcare centre on Wednesday as a crew of road workers and contractors clashed verbally with parents, including one who was reportedly called a “b...h”. More here.
► A WEEK ago it seemed NRL officials had struck out in their bid to sell the Newcastle Knights. Now an exciting new alternative has emerged – a syndicate of businessmen from Newcastle and the Hunter who hope to underpin the deal with large-scale involvement of the Novocastrian community. More here.
► Schools are usually serious places. They’re not ordinarily prone to spontaneous bouts of fun. But Callaghan College Wallsend Campus smashed apart the status quo on Wednesday, with a silent disco and a jokefest. More here.
► The ongoing delay to council mergers is “like being in the twilight zone”, a Hunter mayor says. Councils earmarked for a possible merger will have to wait until at least March, 2018, for an election if pending legal action between some councils and the state government is not resolved by the end of November. More here.
► The boys and girls of Maitland will again be blessed with lollies from local firefighters thanks to a hefty donation from Bunnings. Bunnings Maitland donated 90 kilograms worth of sugary sweets to Maitland Fire and Rescue for their annual lolly run. More here.
► STATE funding is available to help raise the floor levels of flood-prone homes around Lake Macquarie. Lake Macquarie City Council has received a floodplain management grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage. More here.
► A miniature pony with a huge personality will make his public event debut at Wyee this Friday. Tiny Timmie will be one of the major drawcards at the Wyee Roundup, a large-scale fete organised by Wyee Public School’s P&C. More here.
► TOMAGO firm Custom Chemicals will pay $360,000 for environmentally hazardous liquids found in a pond at their rear of its premises. More here.
State of the Nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.
► ORANGE, NSW: Food shortages have led to a crisis in baby bats needing to be rescued in the Central West after their mothers have died from starvation. Wildlife workers said bats were fleeing their homes in Sydney and the coast to fly west in a desperate search for food after storms, deforestation and changing weather has led to less flowering eucalypts and fruit trees this year. More here.
► BENDIGO, VIC: AN undercover operation has led to the arrest of a former police officer living in Castlemaine accused of selling fraudulent police, airport and maritime identification to criminals on the darknet. More here.
► ALBURY-WODONGA: ELLA McMahon is one of the few tweens told to break stuff. She can smash up a table-full of tiles with a hammer in just a couple of minutes. The Howlong schoolgirl, 9, learnt to make mosaics in art therapy at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where she spent most of 2016 undergoing treatment for cancer. More here.
► ILLAWARRA, NSW: The man accused of murdering missing schoolgirl Quanne Diec has led detectives through bushland in Bulli Tops in the search for her remains. Vinzent Tarantino, 49, was charged by police on Sunday, almost two decades after Quanne, 12, was plucked off a Granville street. More here.
► SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW: The brainchild of a former Highlander, Krabooz hermit crabs, is set to take over the world. Anthony Torr, who grew up in the Highlands, is the creator of The Krabooz brand which makes pet ownership fun and engaging for children. More here.
► SUTHERLAND SHIRE, NSW: The director of clinical services at St George Hospital, Dr Martin Mackertich, says he has been suspended from his position. Dr Mackertich said a memo sent by administrators to hospital staff, stating he was “on leave" was wrong. More here.
► HUNTER, NSW: THE defrocked former Anglican dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, has stared down his accusers from the witness box for a second day, denying any sexual improprieties of his own, and claiming next to no knowledge of anyone else’s. More here.
► TAMWORTH, NSW: A 13-year-old girl found by police driving a car on a main road won’t face charges because of her young age. Highway patrol officers were patrolling Tingha Rd at Gilgai about 11am when they spotted a silver Holden Commodore travelling west in a 100km per hour zone. More here.
► LAUNCESTON, TAS: Four-month-old identical twins Dyson and Lucas will each undergo surgery after they head to Hobart with their parents on Thursday. Lucas was born with a cleft lip which will be repaired. Little Dyson’s condition is more severe, as he has a cleft lip and palate and will need multiple follow-up surgeries. More here.
► JIMBOOMBA, QLD: Community action group GetUp has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Federal government to take urgent action on Climate Change and end Australia’s reliance on coal. More here.
► BUSSELTON, WA: Volunteer firefighters from the Busselton and Margaret River region, Catterick and Northcliffe were sent to the Lower South West and Great Southern to help emergency service workers during a bushfire last week. More here.
► MANDURAH, WA: The state’s construction union has slammed working conditions at the Mandurah Forum redevelopment amid shock claims the site is a “catastrophe” waiting to happen. More here.
► 13-year-old Tailem Bend girl Tyla Jones’s face will appear in homes across the county as she was asked to model in a Target catalogue, due to be released today. Tyla was born with cerebral palsy and diagnosed at age two. More here.
► PORT LINCOLN, SA: LUKE Davidson of Port Lincoln Hotel is the region’s highest fundraiser for this year’s UGLY Bartender of the Year competition. Mr Davidson raised more than $11,000, closely followed by Ebonie Gardener at the Boston Hotel who raised more than $7000. Ryan Voight at the Boston Hotel raised more than $1000. More here.
► A man who stabbed his friend to death, wrapped his body in a doona, and stuffed it into a car boot has been found guilty of murder. Zhen Fang, 38, had admitted to killing Ting Huang in 2014, but the jury had to determine whether he was suffering from a substantial impairment of mind at the time to reduce his culpability from murder to manslaughter. More here.
► Australian fast bowler Jackson Bird is back for his first appearance in the baggy green in nine months after being recalled for the third Test against South Africa. More here.
► It is the stuff of nightmares for most people. You open your letterbox and a large spider rears aggressively on its hind legs as hundreds upon hundreds of its babies swarm in a seething mass of fangs, bulging black eyes and long, hairy limbs. More here.
National weather radar
► An Australian teenager, thought to be a school leaver in Bali, could face up to 12 years in jail after he was allegedly caught with a small packet of white powder by security guards at a Kuta nightclub. More here.
► J.K. Rowling has tantalised fans with hints on Twitter that her new film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, could end with the infamous battle between Albus Dumbledore and dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald. More here.
On this day
1642 – Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)
1940 - Nazis closed off the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next three years the population dropped from 350,000 to 70,000 due to starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps.
1950 - The musical "Guys and Dolls" opened.
1969 - Apollo 12 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean bringing an end to the second manned mission to the moon.
1991 - Freddie Mercury of Queen died of AIDS complications at the age of 45.
Early member of the Beatles Pete Best and actor Katherine Heigl celebrate birthdays today.
Faces of Australia: David Kennedy
IT IS one o’clock on a Thursday afternoon and David Kennedy is doing what he has done each week for 30 years.
He is putting his headphones on, checking that the CDs are loaded and starting his two-hour classical music radio show on community radio station Phoenix FM.
This month David is celebrating 30th anniversary.
He often chooses a theme for his shows, recently it was Halloween.