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FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR MERRIWA

A 34-year-old man has died in a single-vehicle accident in the Hunter Valley. The Ford Falcon was located on the side of Cullingral Road near Merriwa, around 1:30 on Saturday morning. Police are appealing for anyone who saw the vehicle prior to the incident to come forward.

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TWO DRIVERS CAUGHT 75KM/H OVER SPEED LIMIT

Two drivers had their licenses suspended after being caught travelling more than 75km/h over the speed limit in the Hunter Valley. Around 10pm on Friday night, Police stopped two vehicles travelling in Queen Street, Singleton. The first, a Ford Falcon, was detected travelling at 144km/h in a 60km/h zone. The 24-year-old driver returned a positive roadside breath test and was taken to Singleton Police Station where it’s alleged he returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.059. A 23-year-old driver also had his license suspended after the Holden Commodore he was driving was detected at 140km/h.

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FIREARMS STOLEN FROM HUNTER PROPERTY

Guns and ammunition have been stolen from a property near Paterson, in the Hunter region. The Martins Creek Road property was the target of a break-in on Friday morning before thieves escaped with the firearms including a .222 calibre rifle. Anyone with information is urged to contact local police.

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WRITERS FESTIVAL EXPANDS TO CESSNOCK

The Newcastle Writers Festival will expand to the Hunter Valley for the first time. Several childrens authors will journey to Cessnock this year, sharing their stories with hundreds of school students. More than 130 writers feature in the schedule for the April event, and around two-thirds of the program will be free-of-charge. “We’re really committed to that, that enables people from all walks of life to come along and not have to put their hand in their pocket.” The state government has contributed $70,000 towards the festival. Tickets are now on sale. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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CHARGES LAID OVER ALLEGED PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF COUNTERFEIT MONEY

Two people have been charged over the alleged production and distribution of counterfeit money. Police arrested two people and searched a hotel room in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Gateshead. The 20 year-old man and 24 year-old woman were allegedly producing counterfeit $50 notes and using them at several businesses within Port Stephens-Hunter, Newcastle City and Lake Macquarie. A search of the room allegedly discovered equipment used for the making of the counterfeit currencies. The pair were bailed to appear at Belmont Local Court next month.

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