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Natasha Beyersdorf

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ANOTHER STEP FORWARD FOR VERVE APARTMENTS

Moves to create Newcastle’s tallest building have taken another step forward, with the appointment of a builder. BLOC has been signed to build the $130-million Verve apartments on King Street. “This is certainly the highest building in Newcastle – it’s a nicely designed building and we just love the look of it,” said Andrew Redwin from BLOC. It’ll house 197 apartments and developers say they’re attracting strong prices. “The big apartments up the top have sold up to nearly 2 million dollars – one bedders selling between 450 and 550,” said Warwick Miller from Miller Property Corporation. Construction will begin within months, and be complete in two years. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UNVEILS A POTENTIAL POWER BREAKTHROUGH

Of all the pressures squeezing household budgets, soaring energy prices continue to cause concern – described as a growing crisis in Australia. But imagine having access to electricity that’s quick to create, cheap and sustainable. It’s closer than you think – the University of Newcastle has just unveiled its first demonstration site for printed solar power, in what could be a game-changer.

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ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION NETWORK LAUCHED

It’s an issue that’s sadly on the increase as our population ages, and now elder abuse is in the spotlight in ethnic communities. Today, organisations and community groups came together to launch the Hunter’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Elder Abuse Prevention Network. Abuse can take different forms from physical to emotional and financial. Anyone who needs help can call the Elder Abuse Helpline.

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TWO DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS BELIEVED TO BE OMCG RELATED

Police are investigating a drive-by-shooting at Metford, with a number of shots fired at a house on Conder Crescent from a moving car. Initial investigations suggest the incident was bikie-related. Meanwhile, Newcastle Police have put gangs on notice, making several arrests after two weekend assaults and shots being fired at a Nomads clubhouse. The Islington building was fired upon on Saturday night by an unknown person. There were around 10 people inside at the time, but no reports of injuries. When police attended, they arrested three Nomads members over two assaults – one on a rival Finks member at a Kotara gym, and the other at a hotel in Honeysuckle.

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FROM BRISBANE TO SYDNEY – WALKING FOR MELANOMA RESEARCH

A cancer campaigner has passed through the Hunter region, as he nears the end of an epic fundraising walk. Jay Allen is a stage three melanoma survivor, and made sure he was liberal with the sunscreen as we caught up with him in yesterday’s sunshine at Gateshead. After an overnight stay at Lake Macquarie, Jay resumed his walk this morning – part of a journey from Brisbane that’s so far taken him some 900 kilometres. He’ll finish in Sydney on Sunday, hoping to have raised $250,000 for melanoma research.

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MUSWELLBROOK HIGH POISED TO TAKE ON THE ROBOTICS WORLD

A group of tech-savvy students from the Upper Hunter is on the verge of realising a dream, winning a wildcard to compete in the world robotics championships in the United States. But they face an added challenge, raising $60,000 in just three weeks, to get there. To help the Carbon Crusaders get to America, call Muswellbrook High School on 02 6543 1033, or check out their facebook page.

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