It was a chilly weekend for some local celebrities after taking the plunge for Motor Neurone Disease as part of the inaugural Big Freeze Newcastle. The event, which also included a Gala Ball at Wests New Lambton on Saturday night, raised $141,000 for MND. Take a look.
► More than 1100 people have died from influenza and pneumonia in the Hunter New England Health district in a decade, NSW government data shows.
Over the decade from 2005 to 2015, more than 30,000 cases were recorded in the Hunter New England area of people being hospitalised for influenza and pneumonia. Read on.
► Boats formed a parade of light on Lake Macquarie during the weekend’s Float Your Boat festival, and organisers are already confident it will become a calendar fixture. Photos here.
► Dairy aficionados turned out in force to enjoy the Cheese Lovers Festival at The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley on the weekend.
The second annual event celebrated everything cheese-related, with a cheesecake competition, workshops, a special lunch and dinner, live music and kids entertainment across Saturday and Sunday. Read on.
► A Singleton man is warning residents to be wary of the latest scam doing the rounds, this time involving the NBN network.
With most homes nearly ready for the roll-out, the town appears to be in the sights of conmen and women, according to Darren Langsford. Read on.
► A man has been charged after an unregistered pistol was allegedly located during a vehicle stop at Port Stephens.
Just after 2.30am on Saturday police were patrolling Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay, when they stopped the driver of a station wagon for a random breath test.
The driver returned a negative result and was then subjected to a search.Officers allegedly located a metal air pistol on the man, which was seized for forensic analysis. Read the full report.
► A man has been crushed by a car at Denman on Sunday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter media unit said the service was transporting a 30-year-old male, suffering internal injuries. More here.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy. Medium (50%) chance of showers about the Lower Hunter, slight (30%) chance elsewhere. Winds south to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h. Daytime maximum temperatures between 15 and 19.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
►Albury: Albury: NOBODY was injured when a car drove through the emergency fire doors at Albury’s Commercial Club on Sunday morning.
Inspector Ian Youman, of Albury police, said a 79-year-old Wodonga man had been attempting to correct his park in the club’s car park about 9.30am. Read on.
► Bathurst: A COMMUNITY survey of bird populations within the Bathurst region has confirmed fears that feral species are becoming increasingly dominant in the local area.
Ninety-five Bathurst volunteers took part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, sitting for 20 minutes at a time and using a phone app or website to record the birds they saw. More here.
► Canberra: About 20,000 cupcakes, three years of lessons and countless trips to Cowra later, Jerrabomberra teenager Jade Esler can enjoy the sweet taste of success after becoming Australia's youngest licensed recreational pilot.
The bright Merici College student completed the practical pilot's licence test on Saturday - her 16th birthday. More here.
► BALLARAT: SIX-year-old Archie Sims would love to turn corners and walk about school with his friends. He is gradually building up leg strength to walk upright and now has hope to get turning sooner. Disability advocate Scope will launch the first mobile specialised physiotherapy for rural children this week in Ballarat. More here.
► Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch has slammed the Victorian Supreme Court for threatening three Turnbull government ministers with contempt charges, saying the judiciary is not above criticism and he would have told the court to "go jump".Read on.
► Naked bodies adorned with offal and drenched in blood; a frenzied crowd tearing at the bloodied insides of a cow carcass with their bare hands. Sound like a fun weekend out? On Saturday Austrian "Aktionism" artist Hermann Nitsch and a team of performers staged a controversial "action" in Hobart as part of the annual Dark Mofo festival. Full report here.
National weather radar:
► Sumatra: Ardi Rizal is known around the world as "Indonesia's smoking baby". Shocking footage of the toddler precociously puffing on fags went viral on YouTube and became a symbol of the smoking crisis in a country described as a last Eden for tobacco manufacturers.
► London: "This is a tale of two cities."
An emotional British politician has invoked Charles Dickens while describing the injustices of this week's Grenfell Tower fire in London, imploring Britain to care for its poor.
Labour MP David Lammy, who spent his childhood playing in a housing estate in Tottenham, in northern London, says he is heartbroken. Read on.