The Hunter’s balmy Autumn weather is set to change with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a dive in temperatures and a 90 per cent chance of rain by Friday afternoon.
A minimum of seven degrees and a maximum of 13 degrees are forecast for Friday.
Saturday has a higher chance of rain with the chance of a thunderstorm in the Upper Hunter and overnight temperatures falling to around 10 degrees. The region’s rain is tipped to ease on Sunday but temperatures will still remain in the lower range. Read on.
SURF: Surf conditions may be more powerful than they appear and are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing and swimming.
TRAFFIC: Early morning truck breakdown on Charlestown Road at Kotara. Clear across the rest of the region.
► Firefighting demonstrations, station tours and safety presentations will be on offer at the Fire and Rescue NSW open day this Saturday.
“Keep looking when cooking” is the theme of this year’s open day, which will run from 10am to 2pm at most FRNSW stations. Check out the full list here.
► The grieving families of two teenage girls killed in a crash on a horror stretch of the New England Highway in 2015 came to court on Thursday in search of justice. Justice for Tori Earl, 18, and Kendall Burke, 19. The words were emblazoned on their shirts and in the forefront of their minds. But the two families say they left “disappointed” after the driver responsible for causing the horrific crash that killed the teenagers avoided a jail term.
► Three dead rabbits were discovered and seized as part of an animal welfare raid at a Cessnock greyhound training area on Thursday.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the RSPCA have commenced a joint investigation to determine if any criminal offences had been committed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act or any offences have been committed under the GRNSW Greyhound Racing Rules. The property owner has also been given an interim suspension on his registration as a greyhound participant. Read on.
► Relieved tears flowed at the foothills of the Barringtons after an elderly couple and their daughter, who were reported missing in the wilderness overnight, were reunited with family.
Henryk and Elaine Pinkowski, both aged in their 70s, set out with their 44 year-old daughter Angela from Cardiff on Wednesday morning bound for Upper Allyn, north west of Dungog. More here.
► On Tuesday morning, during their 2017/18 budget breakfast, Muswellbrook Shire Council reported it had exchanged contracts to buy Muswellbrook Marketplace for $34.25 million.
Naturally, business owners were curious where this would lead them in the future, but positivity seemed to be the overriding theme.
And, a few suggestions were thrown around for the centre’s future including a Kmart, a shoe shop and a sport store. Read on.
► A man who brutally stabbed his ex-wife's new boyfriend to death in the victim's own home has been sentenced to more than 23 years jail.
Newcastle Supreme Court Justice Peter Hamill also declared on Thursday that Gregory John Thompson would spend at least 17 years and seven months behind bars before he is eligible for parole. Read on.
► Former Hunter priest Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child sex crimes of another priest, has launched his third attempt to stop the case against him from proceeding. Read the full report.
State of the nation
► PEECHELBA, VIC: A farm worker has been sentenced to nine years in jail after a failed plan to inflict a deadly Romeo and Juliet-style ending to a relationship. Thai national Charan Hannarong, 40, was sentenced on Thursday for the attempted murder of his girlfriend, and will serve at least six years before he is eligible for parole and deported back to his home country.
► QUEENSLAND: The federal government has approved the use of Commonwealth funds for an industry led research and development levy. Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the government was committed to supporting the thoroughbred breeding industry.
► ARMIDALE, NSW: A man has been extradited from Queensland and sentenced to two years jail for two alcohol-fuelled attacks two years ago. Brendan Cutmore will spend at least 12 months behind bars after bashing a pregnant woman and a man in separate incidents in April and June 2015. The 27-year-old limped into the dock of Armidale Local Court on Wednesday in shorts after he was extradited by police from the Armidale Target Action Group on Tuesday.
► STAWELL, VIC: On August 4 last year, the lives of Stawell sisters Liz Harrington and Kelly Curran were “normal”, but that quickly changed when their mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer the next day. “It was just like walking over a dark, dark line,” Ms Harrington said. “We thought our mother was fine and it was in really trying circumstances that we found out her diagnosis.”
► ORANGE, NSW: Fly-in, fly-out medical specialists should be subject to the same safeguards as locally-based doctors, a review into the under-dosing of chemotherapy to patients in Orange has found. The NSW Upper House committee into the under-dosing of cancer patients treated by Dr John Grygiel in the Western NSW Local Health District, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and at Macquarie University Hospital, delivered its findings on Thursday.
► BENDIGO, VIC: The City of Greater Bendigo has spent close to $100,000 of ratepayer money removing graffiti around the city over the past three years. And the financial impost of this vandalism has nearly doubled for the city over the past year – up from $22,000 in 2015/16 to $39,000 in the current financial year.
► ILLOWA, VIC: Illowa Poll Hereford breeder Clinton Baulch has had good luck come in threes with a rare birth of triplet calves at his property. Mr Baulch, who established Jaclinton Poll Herefords in 2008, said all of the triplet calves were bulls, which he understood was about a one in 400,000 chance.
► Differences in body clocks that determine whether people perform better in the morning or evening can affect how well they work together in a team. Research from the University of Sydney shows that emergency workers and surgical teams perform best when individual members peak at the same time of the day. Surgical teams, emergency service workers, orchestras and executives in long board meetings would benefit from having people with similar biological clocks.
► One of the largest tax fraud syndicates in the country's history unravelled in spectacular fashion above the clothing boutiques and trendy cafes of Double Bay on Wednesday. With his morning coffee in hand, property developer Boris Markovsky opened the door to his eastern suburbs office to more than a dozen Australian Federal Police wearing plain clothes and leather gloves.
► Australians are working less, even as more of us get jobs. The latest labour force figures show an extra 97,400 Australians found work in March and April – 60,000 in March and 37,400 in April. Over the two months taken together, the majority of the new jobs were full time – 62,400 versus 35,000 part time. Yet the number of hours worked per month fell by 1.1 million. The change appears to have been caused by both full-time and part-time workers putting in fewer hours rather than a substitution of full-time for part-time jobs.
► It used to be much simpler – couples would buy a house and then start a family. But now, we are starting families and then looking for somewhere to rent. In a generation, the number of Victorian families renting has more than doubled. More than 200,000 Victorian families are renting now, according to an analysis of bonds and census data between 1996 and 2016 by the Tenants Union of Victoria.
National weather radar
► Australian nurse and surrogacy broker Tammy Davis-Charles shook her head in dismay on Thursday when a court postponed a verdict at her trial in the Cambodian capital. Ms Davis-Charles was sent back to one of the country's harshest overcrowded prisons. Police alleged the 49-year-old mother of six from Melbourne, falsified documents, including birth certificates, to smooth passage of surrogacy paperwork through Cambodia's murky legal system and the Australian embassy in Cambodia.
► Many in Washington are running too fast, too hard to get to Watergate. But as the White House hunkers, seemingly in the hope that the worst week of the Trump presidency will simply blow over, Republicans in Congress have reached a crossroads. Even before former FBI director Robert Mueller was named special counsel to head the probe into any links between Trump and Russia, the feeling in Washington had seemingly changed.
► The former governor of Bali's Kerobokan jail has said Schapelle Corby has served her three years of parole in Bali well and deserves her freedom. Corby, 39, who was convicted in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Bali in a boogie board bag, is just days away from being deported back to Australia on May 27. Former prison governor Gusti Ngurah Wiratna told Fairfax Media that Corby should use the lessons she had learned in Bali to live the rest of her life.
On this day
May 19, 1536: Days after their marriage was annulled, King Henry VIII has his second wife Anne Boleyn beheaded for adultury, treason and incest. Henry had had Anne investigated for high treason in April 1536. Despite the heavy charges against her, modern historians view them as unconvincing. Henry needed a way to end his marriage with Anne to be able to marry Jane Seymour - the woman he believed would finally produce him a son.
Faces of Australia: Enis Wallis
A RESIDENT at the Meercroft Aged Care facility in Devonport was all smiles as she celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family on Wednesday.
Enis Wallis was up for the celebration, still with a spring in her step, after 100 years of life.
When it came to the question of how she managed to live as long as she had, Ms Wallis was unsure how to respond.
“Why I have lived this long I have no idea,” she said.
Ms Wallis led a healthy and active life, in her younger years she enjoyed playing hockey and tennis. Read more.