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GRETLEY MINERS REMEMBERED

There was a special tribute in state parliament today to the four coal miners killed in the Gretley disaster, 20 years ago. In November 1996, Edward Batterham, Mark Kaiser, John Hunter and Damon Murray drowned when a torrent of water burst into the underground workings at the colliery west of Newcastle. Today, Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery remembered the men during a notice of motion in parliament, noting that the incident led to a shake-up of mine safety throughout the state.

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MEDICINAL CANNABIS TRIALS FOR THE HUNTER AND MID NORTH COAST

Almost two years since former premier Mike Baird announced Newcastle would host a trial of medicinal cannabis for cancer patients, it’s finally about to happen. Newcastle’s Calvary Mater will join other hospitals in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Wollongong to trial vapourised cannabis in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. 30 people who’ve failed to respond to standard treatments will be chosen for the trial. It’s the expansion of a program that’s been underway at Orange for the past six months.

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NEWCASTLE CREW PREPARES FOR SYDNEY TO HOBART

A classic timber yacht from Newcastle is taking part in this year’s Sydney to Hobart, and it has a classic crew to match. The boat, the owner and the race itself are all in their 70s. The crew consists of part owners Dick Lees and his son-in-law Andrew Carr, Ernie Thirkell, Craig Sanders, Robin Hillery and Louise Costello.

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