Hunter Breakfast | Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Photo by @theagephoto: Early morning training session at Bells Beach for the Rip Curl pro. Pictures by @joe_armao @ripcurl_usa @ripcurl_aus.
Photo by @theagephoto: Early morning training session at Bells Beach for the Rip Curl pro. Pictures by @joe_armao @ripcurl_usa @ripcurl_aus.

Traffic: There is heavy traffic in the M1’s southbound lanes after an earlier crash at Jolls Bridge. The site is clear but congestion lingers. 

Weather: Possible shower in Newcastle, Nelson Bay (both 23 degrees), Raymond Terrace (24 degrees), Toronto and Wallsend (both 25 degrees). 

Trains: Good service on the Hunter and Newcastle lines.

Beachwatch: It’ll be partly cloudy with the slight chance of a shower but overall another pretty good day beachside. The wind will be light and variable before heading south to south-east with the swell from the south-east around 1 metre. Around town try the reef breaks at Nobbys, the Cowrie Hole, Newcastle, the Bar to Merewether stretch and Dudley. Down south try Hams, Catho and Frazer Park. At port Stephens try Samurai and One Mile. It’s still quite good in swimming with the water temperature 20 degrees.

Hunter headlines

AFTER years of playing hard-to-get, the Wests Group has emerged as the leading candidate to buy the Newcastle Knights – possibly before the end of this season. Read more.

Today’s iconic Civic Park fountain had a slow and painful birth, even being derided by one critic ages ago as looking like “the twisted wreckage of a huge burnt-out plane”. Read more.

IF Christine Geoffrey didn’t believe in miracles, she does now. Her’s came on Easter. In the Watagans National Park for a picnic with family and friends on Sunday, the get together turned to emergency when her beloved French bulldog Zeus went missing. Read more.

Fishermen have worked for three days to salvage a trawler found upside down and under water on the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace. Read more.

THE state’s peak environment watchdog has slammed a “potentially misleading” report by a major Australian building supplies group that includes a discrepancy of more than 300 in the number of daily truck movements from a controversial Hunter quarry upgrade. Read more.

Telina Webb and Paul McEwan’s battle with Port Stephens Council over a fence has cost the couple more than $100,000 in legal bills and the council an undisclosed sum, estimated in the tens of thousands. Read more.

ROSE Strong of the Sherralee goat stud at Cooranbong said her family was in a “state of shock” this week having scored its best ever result at a Sydney Royal Easter Show. Read more.

TOPICS In case you missed it, that venerable bastion of television journalism, A Current Affair, traveled up the M1 last week to square off with the city’s embattled Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, over her $40,000 credit card bill. Read more.

DAVID LOWE We can all relax now, can't we? Problem solved, feet up, take a little winter break, come back in a few months and everything will be much better. Run of the mill, really. Let's make it interesting – why don't we appoint a new coach in a month or two, give everyone else a head start in the recruitment stakes, just to make it a more even contest? Read more.

A DECISION on the future of 10 off-contract players at the Jets has been put on hold but negotiations with Central Coast striker Roy O’Donovan are continuing. Read more.

State of the nation

► Bendigo, VIC: It may have promised to be “environmentally and socially sustainable”, but the state’s planning tribunal has found a new music festival near Maldon is too isolated, lacks access roads and could be a bushfire risk.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal knocked back the WildThings Festival in a recent ruling – the latest hurdle for the micro-festival.

NATIONAL: A Liberal MP has called on Tony Abbott to quit Parliament, labelling the former prime minister a "wrecker" who is trashing his own legacy and sacrificing the national interest to wage "jihad" against Malcolm Turnbull.

Queensland MP Warren Entsch said Mr Abbott's "nonsense" was driving voters into the arms of minor parties and independents, and likened his actions to Kevin Rudd's relentless campaign of vengeance against Julia Gillard.

► Forresters Beach, NSW: On Easter Sunday, 2008, a detective repeatedly struck a plastic dummy doused in blood in an experiment part-way through the trial of a teenager, 16, charged with the shocking stabbing murder of a girl, 15, on the Central Coast.

In a judgment on Thursday, almost nine years to the day since the experiment, three judges of the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that while much of the detective’s evidence was misleading or incorrect, and almost certainly influenced the jury’s guilty verdict, the murderer’s appeal against his conviction “must be dismissed”.

► Newcastle, NSW: The elegant, once controversial, Civic Park fountain in Newcastle is taken for granted today. It’s a timeless, classic design. One passionate Sydney radio broadcaster has described it as “one of the finest pieces of public sculpture in Australia”.

Even after all these years it still appears modern. Not a bad achievement for something that was unveiled back in November 1966.

► Kangaroo Island, SA: Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s worth seeing our home through visitors’ eyes.

@animalparaid: Just to top off a pretty awesome day yesterday, a rainbow on sunset. Also if you can see that thing in the water, which I just missed capturing, it's a dolphin that just jumped out of the water. Click the photo for more.

@animalparaid: Just to top off a pretty awesome day yesterday, a rainbow on sunset. Also if you can see that thing in the water, which I just missed capturing, it's a dolphin that just jumped out of the water. Click the photo for more.

The sights, and the sheer unadulterated beauty that we call home, seen through the new eyes offers us a different perspective of what, perhaps, has become commonplace.

Eye on the weather

What does it look like in your neck of the woods today?

World news:

► Washington: Donald Trump has drawn his own red line on North Korea's dangerous weapons program - equating a threatened intercontinental missile test with a nuclear weapon that could hit the US, the President tweeted bluntly in January: "It won't happen."

And at the weekend, his aides gave definition to that categoric claim's terms and timeline - for now, at least, it stops short of a pre-emptive military strike, but Pyongyang's determination to press ahead with tests is a challenge that Trump will confront within months.

 Malaysia: The well-planned abduction by at least 15 masked men of a Protestant pastor and the disappearances of three other church-linked people in Malaysia have prompted fears of religious vigilantism in the Muslim-majority nation.

Security camera footage showed the daylight abduction of the 62 year-old pastor Raymond Koh in the leafy suburb of Kelana Jaya near the capital Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

Faces of Australia

WATCH THIS FACE: Cale Fletcher hopes to enjoy both dance and medicine long-term. “They’re not mutually exclusive.” Picture: Simone De Peak

WATCH THIS FACE: Cale Fletcher hopes to enjoy both dance and medicine long-term. “They’re not mutually exclusive.” Picture: Simone De Peak

CALE Fletcher thought he had closed the door on his passion for dance.

Mr Fletcher, 24, had spent more than 15 years relishing learning, teaching and competing in tap and jazz, yet had pushed it aside for two years to focus on his medicine degree.

But the night before the world-famous Moulin Rogue held its biennial auditions in Sydney last year, he felt something inside him ignite.

“I thought it would be a big regret if I didn’t give it one last attempt while I was still fit enough and flexible enough to make an impression,” he said. “I had a lot of doubts but went in with no expectations, which meant I had a clear head and could pick up the choreography quickly.”

Cale Fletcher

What’s trendy?

► TWITTER: Australia’s oldest and richest short distance running race, The Stawell Gift, took place on Easter Monday with elite athletic events and family entertainment. See highlights from the day in a series of images by Pat Scala.

► INSTAGRAM:

On this day …

1025 Bolesław Chrobry is crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

1506 The cornerstone of the current St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, is laid.

1775 Paul Revere and William Dawes ride from Charleston to Lexington warning the "regulars are coming!"

1783 Fighting ceases in the American Revolution, eight years to the day since it began.

1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire kills nearly 4,000 while destroying 75% of the city

1954 Colonel Gamal Abdal Nasser seizes power & becomes Prime Minister of Egypt