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Louise Rennie

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Louise Rennie is a reporter for NBN News Port Macquarie. She studied journalism at Curtin University in Perth and worked in radio in Sydney for two years, before joining NBN in 2015.

DOLPHINS CRUSHED BY BEARS

In State League Basketball, Coffs Harbour had a narrow win over Norths Bears in last night’s home game, before Port Macquarie went down to the Sydney team this afternoon. It was a close game from the start, with the Bears just two points in front after the first quarter. Josh Minihan top scored for the Dolphins with 14 points, while Jake Wallis scored 13. The loss, dealing another blow to Port Macquarie’s finals hopes.

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PORT LOSES DIRECT FLIGHTS TO MELBOURNE

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council says it remains committed to securing a direct flight route to Melbourne, following JetGo’s decision to pull out. After just six months the airline has announced it will suspend the service, because it’s no longer viable. Customers who’ve booked flights after July 16 will be given a full refund. Council says it’s disappointed by JetGo’s decision, and believes there is still sufficient demand for direct Port Macquarie to Melbourne flights.

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COUNCIL STAFF MAKE FATALITY-FREE PLEDGE

Staff at Kempsey Shire Council today did their bit for road safety, signing a pledge on a giant inflatable car to take care on the road. It comes on the eve of Fatality Free Friday, an initiative aimed at generating awareness, to reduce the death toll. “They’re committing to abide by the speed limits, to think about the other people on the road, to drive to conditions – living in a regional area, cars are critical, you have to drive, so it’s really taking care that we look after everyone on the road” Council’s Community Safety Officer Marilyn Breen said.

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CINEMA PLANS MOVE FORWARD

Plans for a $6 million cinema in Kempsey are expected to move forward at tonight’s extraordinary council meeting. The four-theatre complex will be built as a third floor extension of Kempsey Central. Council will decide on a recommendation to enter into a public private partnership with Majestic Cinemas and shopping centre owner, Gowing Brothers. “The only way that we can make something like this work is to work with commercial partners who have got experience in not only running shopping centres, but also running cinemas, because it would be very difficult for someone like council to successfully run a cinema,” General Manager David Rawlings said. Council estimates more than 40 per-cent of CBD retail is being lost to other towns, due to the absence of a cinema. It’s hoped the theatre will be up and running by Christmas next year.

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SQUATTERS SUSPECTED IN DERELICT BUILDING FIRE

It’s believed squatters are to blame for a fire, which broke out inside a derelict building in Port Macquarie’s CBD this afternoon. Emergency services were called to reports of smoke coming out of the vacant Food For Less store. Firefighters forced their way inside, to find a smouldering mattress on the bottom floor. “We’re currently ventilating, we haven’t been able to find any occupants within this building, so crews have done very well to knock this fire out quickly,” Port Macquarie Fire & Rescue Station Officer Gavin Muller said.

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PINSON UP FOR ANOTHER CRACK

A third candidate has joined the race to become the Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor. Wauchope businesswoman Peta Pinson, confirming she’ll contest the July 29 by-election, after failing to topple Peter Besseling last year. She joins councillors Rob Turner and Sharon Griffiths in the running for the top job.

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STRONG ENTRIES FOR MALIBU CLASSIC

Crescent Head’s iconic point break is expected to turn on perfect conditions this week for the annual Malibu Classic. Starting Thursday, the three day contest has attracted 270 surfers from along the east coast. It features 14 longboard divisions, from juniors to over 70s. Competition gets underway at seven each morning.

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