Up and At It | Friday, March 17, 2017

9am:

And that’s it from us today folks.

Join us from 7am on Monday for your latest news.

8.45am:

Former Tamworth TAFE director Paul Callaghan was back in the region this week, after being named in a new lead role for the Northern Region Aboriginal Alliance.

8.30am:

TAMWORTH: Tamworth Regional Gallery will welcome 23 new artworks into its collection including pieces by Kate Campbell-Pope, Hanna Kay, Jean Isherwood, Anita Larkin, Margarita Sampson and Pro Hart. Read more here.

8.15am:

ARMIDALE: Armidale Blues revamped their annual rugby union knockout and have scheduled a sevens showdown for this year’s event. Sixteen men’s teams and six women’s teams will run out for the competition on at Moran Oval on Saturday. 

8am:

ARMIDALE: A FORMER council worker who had a cache of guns exposed during a police raid will spend up to five years behind bars. Lance Victor Tracy won’t be eligible for release for at least two-and-a-half years after he was jailed for long list of weapons and drugs offences.

7.45am:

TAMWORTH:  ONE million stars to end violence will be proudly displayed at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and at least 500 of those will be from Tamworth.

7.30am

TAMWORTH: The Tamworth region is in the grips of a casual teacher shortage in the public school system with reports that the problem is even worse further out west.

7.15am:

EMMAVILLE:  Glen Innes Severn Council will consider an application for a “trial mine” near Emmaville. Aus Tin Mining is eyeing off a large tin deposit on Schroders Rd

7AM: 

Good Morning and Welcome to St Patrick’s Day! – We’ll be with you for the next two hours with the latest news. But while you wait, here’s a bit of St Pat’s fun!

St Patrick’s Day

Leprechaun hats, ginger beards and pints of Guinness will be the staples as people take to the streets to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. 

To keep with the theme, we’ve whipped together a quiz that will test your Irish knowledge. 

State of the nation

Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered. 

South Australia Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. Picture: Getty Images

South Australia Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. Picture: Getty Images

SA: Relations between the Commonwealth and South Australia have turned toxic after an angry row between the the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and the state's Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, played out on live television.

In bizarre scenes, the two figures stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they exchanged claims of hypocrisy, panic, and abject failure in the increasingly fraught energy policy debate. Read more

WA: Horrified parents at a religious school south of Perth are threatening to pull their children out after learning a convicted child sex offender and an accused child rapist were among the students. 

The two boys, aged 17 and 12, are accused of separate child rapes - with teachers, students and parents unaware of their alleged offences until the details began to spread on social media on Tuesday. Read more

►VIC: The Great Moscow Circus has cancelled its Ballarat tour, just days after the show visited Bendigo.

Ticket holders were left in limbo after performers were told at the last minute that last night’s opening show would not go ahead at the Ballarat showgrounds.

The show had been in Bendigo from March 2 to March 12 and was due to run for five days in Ballarat.

The Great Moscow Circus said “very soft ticket sales” were the reason for cancelling its tour in Ballarat in a Facebook post on the Ballarat event page. Read more

TAS: Respected economist Saul Eslake believes three key issues are impacting Tasmania’s economic health: education, jobs, and healthcare, with education leading.

Without strong improvement in all three areas, Mr Eslake says Tasmania won’t see the kind of growth needed to bring its economic welfare up to the national standard. Read more

A screenshot from the post. Picture: Facebook

A screenshot from the post. Picture: Facebook

NSW: A Riverina councillor has landed himself in hot water after he likened a young disabled boy to a “drunken Japanese tourist” in an embarrassing social media gaffe.

Bland Shire Councillor Murray Thomas has faced severe community backlash after his comments, with some community members calling for his immediate resignation. Read more

RESCUE: A man was rescued from the top of his truck this afternoon, after he was trapped in flood waters for more than 14 hours. Picture: supplied

RESCUE: A man was rescued from the top of his truck this afternoon, after he was trapped in flood waters for more than 14 hours. Picture: supplied

►QLD: A truck driver has been winched to safety by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue this afternoon after being trapped on the top of his truck in flood waters for more than 14 hours.

The Korean man, aged in his 40s, tried to drive his removalist truck through flood waters south of Miles at about 11pm last night, when his vehicle became trapped. Read on

V8 Supercars

V8 Supercars

NEWCASTLE: A Proposal to redraw the Supercars track has been rejected by race organisers, who say Newcastle council’s request is too late in the piece and unlikely to ever happen.

Supercars Australia was forced to defend the track on Wednesday, after Labor councillors backflipped on the agreed route the night before, deciding the council would reverse its support for the politically sensitive East End track and push for the race to run along Shortland Esplanade. Read more

National news

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Getty Images

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Getty Images

►The federal government will increase its stake in the Snowy Hydro if NSW and Victoria refuse to help finance Malcolm Turnbull's ambitious expansion plan.

The Prime Minister says his government is prepared to go it alone and put up equity to fund the "game changing" $2 billion development, increasing the Commonwealth's current approximate shareholding of $800 million, or 13 per cent of the asset. Read more

►Confidence in the housing market has collapsed, with the number of Australians describing property as the wisest place to put their savings falling to its lowest level in more than 40 years.

The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has been asking about the wisest place to store savings since it began its consumer confidence survey in 1974. Read more

National weather radar

What’s coming you way …

International news

 A general view inside street artist Banksy's newly opened Walled Off Hotel in the Israeli occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem. Picture: Getty Images

A general view inside street artist Banksy's newly opened Walled Off Hotel in the Israeli occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem. Picture: Getty Images

►JERUSALEM: Progressive, left-leaning Westerners travel to Palestine to identify with the struggle and get an authentic "occupation experience". British artist Banksy's new "Walled Off Hotel" offering a view of the West Bank barrier wall in Bethlehem is the latest example of this trend.

Although these two tourism streams appeal to entirely disparate markets, they both rely on the idea of a static, mythical Palestine, not a living place inhabited by real human beings. Read more

Rupert Murdoch. Picture: Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch. Picture: Getty Images

►LONDON: Rupert Murdoch's $18.7 billion bid to takeover Sky News in the UK has been referred to the media regulator, with the Tory government citing concerns about "broadcasting standards" and "media plurality."

Ofcom, Britain's media regulator, will spend the next forty working days investigating whether the media mogul is a "fit and proper" person to acquire total ownership of Sky and if the takeover will further shrink Britain's news media offerings, with a report due on May 16. Read more

On this day

The faces of Australia: Ella Ebery

BOLD: The speed limit is the only thing slowing down St Arnaud's Ella Ebery who is believed to be Victoria's oldest citizen with a drivers license. Picture: Peter Pickering

BOLD: The speed limit is the only thing slowing down St Arnaud's Ella Ebery who is believed to be Victoria's oldest citizen with a drivers license. Picture: Peter Pickering

Believed to be Victoria’s oldest citizen with an active driver’s licence, 101-year-old Ella Ebery has defied the limits of age. 

“When you get to my age, you have to try to be active in a small country town. If you cannot drive, you’re housebound,” the St Arnaud resident said.

“Being housebound is the biggest imposition anyone could put on me.”

She sat her licence renewal test three weeks ago and passed.

 Read more

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