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MEMORIAL WALK ON SCHEDULE FOR ANZAC CENTENARY

Newcastle’s highly anticipated ANZAC Memorial Walk, between Strzlecki Lookout and Bar Beach, continues to take shape, with the first half of its bridge in place. Crews worked through the night, using a crane to carefully lift the stainless steel sections onto the clifftop. “Last night went off without a hitch, which was absolutely fantastic news and a credit to the guys that are involved with the design, the engineering and the construction.” Work to complete the remaining section will take place early next month, with the project on track to be finished for the Gallipoli centenary in April. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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MIKE BAIRD SURROUNDED BY PROTESTERS AT NEWCASTLE TAFE.

Premier Mike Baird ran a gauntlet of protest groups when he visited Newcastle’s Hamilton TAFE campus today. Attending the official opening of the Hunter Business Chamber’s office, the premier was met by a Unions NSW rally protesting the sell off of state assets and services. Other groups angry about the truncation of Newcastle’s heavy rail line also turned up. The premier stood by his plans for the Hunter “We believe in the Hunter, we believe in our plans, and we’re finally delivering the infrastructure that the community deserves”. The government expects to generate around $20-billion from leasing out around half of the state’s electricity distribution network, earmarking $6 billion for state infrastructure and $273 million for Hunter Road projects. Full story tonight at six.

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TINKLER OPEN TO JOINT OWNERSHIP OF JETS

Last year he said he “couldn’t wait to get them out the door”. Then they were quickly taken off the market. Now Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler appears open to the idea of having a joint venture owner. The middle ground option was revealed by new Jets CEO Mitch Murphy, who spoke to the media for the first time today. “He has an open mind to entertain a joint venture, a partner or a joint venture owner. I’ve got a mandate with him to explore those avenues and we’ve already started that process,” said Murphy. “There are some talks that are preliminary, there are some talks of bringing in a supporting investor into the club with Nathan.” “There are a variety of options, you could form a partnership with the EPL you could get a private investor consortium and again …

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COUPLE DETAINED ON STOLEN YACHT

A man has been charged after police intercepted a yacht they believe had been stolen from New Zealand. A triple zero call was made to police last night about a yacht being sailed off Avoca Beach. Marine Command Area Police boarded the yacht as it was being sailed into the Cowan Creek area. A 52 year-old-man and a 38-year-old woman were detained and the yacht was seized. The 52-year-old man has been charged with receiving stolen goods and will appear in court today. The woman was released pending more enquiries.

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NORTH COAST FATHER AND SON RESCUED

A father and son from Port Macquarie have been rescued in dramatic circumstances by the US Coastguard off the coast of Massachusetts. Reg McGlashan and his son Jason got into trouble in big seas about 250 kilometres south of Nantucket on Sunday. The US Coastguard says the pair reported the sails torn and the vessel without power. They were winched from the stricken yacht to a US Coastguard chopper. Mr McGlashen and his son are believed to have purchased the yacht on e-bay and were sailing it the 16,000 kilometres home to Port Macquarie. Jason is a member of the local sailing club.

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CLEAN UP BEGINS FOLLOWING TRAIN DERAILMENT

Cranes arrived on-site to begin the clean up at Kankool today, following yesterday’s coal train derailment. 19 wagons left the tracks in the accident near Willow Tree, with Australian Rail Track investigators yet to establish the cause. Initial inspections suggest the line will be closed until Friday, in the meantime passengers on XPLORER train services from Armidale and Moree will use replacement buses. (VISION ONLY)

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MAN DIES AFTER BEING PULLED FROM WATER

A 26 year-old man has died after being pulled unconscious from the water at Avoca Beach on the Central Coast. Police say the man had entered the water at 1pm, roughly 500-metres away from the patrolled area, and quickly became caught in a rip. Lifeguards spotted the man in distress, and brought him back to the beach, performing CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Gosford Hospital, but later died. (VISION ONLY)

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