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North West News

OVERFLOWING WITH WHEAT

Australia’s wheat storage has hit the 15-million tonne mark, according to figures released by the Bureau of Statistics. Western Australia makes up the bulk of grain with 6.1-million tonnes. In January, 1.3-million was exported while 449,000 tonnes was used domestically. Meanwhile, the New South Wales Farmers Association has voiced concerns about the difficulty growers are having getting their grain to port. Grains Committee chairman, Richard Clark, says they’re being forced to warehouse it first, before it is transported by road or rail. The lobby group will be calling on Wheat Exports Australia to investigate the reports as well as port operating procedures.

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GLEN INNES FIRES UP

Speed, skills and teamwork will be put to the test in Glen Innes this weekend, in the first round of the New South Wales Regional Firefighter Championships. More than 100 volunteers will compete in 13 fire and rescue events. It follows the state championships which were held in Tamworth last October. Glen Innes was the best-placed of the New England teams back then, finishing sixth. The brigade will field three teams this weekend, going up against sides from the north, south and central coasts, as well as the Hunter. (*****)

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CHILDREN INJURED IN CAR CRASH

Two children are in a Sydney hospital after a crash northwest of Coonabarabran. The children were travelling in a ute with their 35-year-old father late yesterday, when it ran off the Baradine Road and rolled before hitting some trees. A 12-year-old boy managed to climb from the wrecked dual cab and flag down a passing motorist. A four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were airlifted to Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital suffering leg, face and chest injuries. The driver was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he is in a stable condition with serious back injuries.

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HALL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

There’s no word yet on if the state government will fund a new hall and gymnasium at Gunnedah High School. The Member for Tamworth, Peter Draper, is behind the push, which has the council’s support. The facility would be built at the front of the school premises, and cater for 600 students as well as the wider community. Gunnedah mayor, Adam Marshall, says there is a huge opportunity for all members of the community to receive benefits from the building to utilise it fro concerts, gatherings, meetings and large entertainment events. The mayor says the current hall dates back to the 1960s.

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ARMIDALE TEENAGER CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

An Armidale teenager has been charged with a string of assaults, at an Armidale high school early last month. Police allege the 13-year-old boy assaulted four other students and a teacher. He’s been charged with eight counts of assault and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The boy has been granted bail and is due to reappear in court in Armidale, on March the 19th.

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NOWENDOC DEATH

A 47-year-old Maitland man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car on Thunderbolts Way at Nowendoc. The rider was thrown from his machine and died at the scene yesterday afternoon. The car’s driver, a 35-year-old Tamworth man and three passengers escaped injury. Police have interviewed the driver and no charges have been laid.

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HEAD ON COLLISION

Two Tamworth detectives were injured in a head on crash on the New England Highway. On Friday afternoon a Mitsubishi Magna, collided with the officer’s unmarked four wheel drive, three kilometres south of Rocky Gulley Road at Bendemeer. The Magna burst into flames and the 17-year-old Tamworth driver was trapped in the car. He was taken to Tamworth Hospital suffering severe cuts to the face and leg and is in a stable condition A 42-year-old Detective Inspector was airlifted to Armidale Hospital with leg fractures and head injuries. He is also in a stable condition. The 36-year-old Detective Sergeant who was driving the car suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

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CRIME SURVEY

Member for Tamworth, Peter Draper has launched a crime survey- and is hoping the findings will help pressure the State Government into providing more police officers for North West communities.

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