UP and AT IT: Friday, August 1

Pic by @kearnsyart of Apsley Falls via @Instagram

Pic by @kearnsyart of Apsley Falls via @Instagram

9.00am: Thanks everyone for your company this morning. Keep in touch with all the local news throughout the day on The Leader's website, Facebook and Twitter feed. Have a great weekend.

8.50am: Quirindi-born Brooke Saunders will pull on the green and gold tonight in the women's rugby union world cup. Read her interview with The Leader's sportswriter Sam Newsam here.

8.35am: A close friend of slain Tamworth father-of-two Glen Turner has paid tribute to his great mate in a moving piece by The Leader's Breanna Chillingworth.

8.25am: For all those reality TV fans out there, former Gunnedah girl Katrina Burgoyne is certainly making an impression on the hit show The Bachelor.

8.20am: Preparations are underway for Gunnedah's hosting of the southern hemisphere's largest agricultural event. Click here for all the latest news on this year's AgQuip.

8.10am: New England MP and federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has called for the state government to repeal controversial native vegetation laws following the alleged murder of Glen Turner. See what the outspoken MP had to say here.

7.55am: August 1, as well as being Jeans for Genes Day and the end of Dry July, also marks the birthday of every horse in Australia. See how local pony Buttons prepared for the big day.

7.40am: Australia may have lost top-spot on the Commonwealth Games medal tally to arch-rival England, but we do appear to be winning the race to have the most athletes and officials sent home. Catch up with all the latest off-field drama here and here.

7.30am: Armidale environmental activist Pat Schultz says her $1800 fine for protesting coal seam gas activities in the Pilliga. She says the fact her fine exceeds that imposed on Santos for contaminating an aquifer is "ridiculous". Is she right?

7.20am: Are you donning denim today? Jeans for Genes Day, which raises much-needed money for research into birth defects and diseases, is upon us again. The children of Bullimbal got into the spirit of the fundraiser earlier this week.

7.05am: NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes has admitted he knew of the tensions over land clearing in Croppa Creek, where Tamworth compliance officer Glen Turner was shot and killed on Tuesday. Mr Stokes fronted a press conference in Tamworth yesterday.

6.55am: Good morning. It's August 1 - just 152 days until the end year! And, of course, it is Friday.

We'll be bringing you as much information as we can from the state's New England and North West over the next couple of hours.

We can always do with your help. If there's something happening in your part of the world - between Tamworth, Moree, Inverell, Armidale, Walcha, Guyra, Tenterfield, Glen Innes and Gunnedah - then feel free to share. Let us know on Twitter -  @fairfaxNSWNW

The North West Slopes and Plains forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology: A ridge of high pressure across northern New South Wales is weakening, while a series of cold fronts are moving across the Southern Ocean towards southeast Australia. This pattern is expected to generate gusty winds over southern and central parts of the state from Tuesday onwards, although the airstream is expected to be too dry for any widespread precipitation. A stronger cold front is forecast to bring a significant cold snap at the end of the week, after which conditions should gradually ease as the next high pressure system becomes established.

The Northern Tablelands forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology: A ridge of high pressure across northern New South Wales is weakening, while a series of cold fronts are moving across the Southern Ocean towards southeast Australia. This pattern is expected to generate gusty winds over southern and central parts of the state from Tuesday onwards, although the airstream is expected to be too dry for any widespread precipitation. A stronger cold front is forecast to bring a significant cold snap at the end of the week, after which conditions should gradually ease as the next high pressure system becomes established.

Check your weather here: Tamworth - Armidale - Moree - Inverell - Gunnedah - Guyra - Walcha - Tenterfield - Glen Innes

Anniversaries

1936 - Adolf Hitler opens 11th Olympic Games in Berlin

1941 - The first Jeep is produced

1981 – MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.

2008 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.

BIRTHDAYS: 1965 – Sam Mendes, English director and producer; 1963 - Fiona Stanley, 2003 Australian of the Year, epidemiologist

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