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There’s now a $250,000 reward for information on the 1994 disappearance of former Port Stephens model Revelle Balmain. New technology has uncovered fresh evidence from the crime scene in the Sydney suburb of Kingsford and from her belongings. A coronial inquest found that the 22-year-old was murdered but her body has never been found. Revelle was supposed to catch a train in Sydney to visit her parents in Newcastle on the morning of November 6, 1994. Her last known contact was a phone call to a friend on the evening of November 5, 1994.

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Dialysis patients who are forced to sit for long periods during treatment are benefiting from a donation designed to make life a little easier. The Lions Club has stepped in where the state government wouldn’t, to provide the comfort of new chairs. These patients spend up to six hours a day, three days a week connected to a machine simply to stay alive. Their kidneys don’t work, and so Dialysis is needed to purify the blood. Spending all that time sitting down can be very uncomfortable, especially for the elderly, prompting the Lions Club to donate 10 motorised chairs at a cost of $50,000, to replace the old manually operated ones. Hunter New England Health Spokesperson Kelly Adams says “the chairs are fully automated so the patients can now adjust their back rests and leg rests, instead of waiting for …

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A Newcastle-based heavy engineering firm is defying global financial jitters by expanding its operations overseas. Bradken is trying to raise more than $100-million to take full ownership of a large American foundry group. The Newcastle based Bradken empire is becoming so global that it’s no surprise to find CEO Brian Hodges picking up a copy of the China Daily instead of the Newcastle paper.

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The 1am curfew and 3am closing time have been abolished for nine Newcastle pubs. A full bench of the licensing court has extended the venues’ trading hours by 30 minutes, after licensees made a deal with police.

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Paramedics put a man’s hand on ice after it was almost completely severed in an accident at a Gloucester timber mill. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service says the 41 year old’s hand was hanging by a flap of skin after it was caught in a machine saw. During the flight to Sydney’s Royal North Shore hospital, the helicopter stopped in Newcastle to pick up bags of ice, which were used to preserve the hand. Efforts are underway to re-attach it using delicate micro surgery.

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Australia’s biggest coal miners have made an offer to the state government to privately fund a $2.5-billion expansion of the Port of Newcastle. Meanwhile former premier, Nick Greiner, has handed his report to the Ports Minister detailing a new model for coal companies to gain access to the Newcastle Harbour loaders.

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