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WESTPAC RESCUE HELICOPTER VETERAN RETIRES

When it comes to passion and dedication to a job, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than Graham Nickisson. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter aircrew officer has seen the best and worst of events, in some 38 years flying emergency missions across northern New South Wales. Now, he’s retiring from the frontline… but he won’t be lost to the service entirely.

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GAV’S WEATHER: INLAND RAIN ON THE WAY

Inland New South Wales there is a system that should deliver valuable rain tomorrow. Eastern Australia has plenty of cloud over it while the western half of the country is sunny and dry. Onshore winds will continue causing more showers for most coastal areas. Tomorrow should also see more rain fall across western New South Wales. That system will reach the western slopes of the Great Divide on Wednesday producing some okay follow up rain in the coming days. A warm day is on the way with inland storms developing while the showers continue along the northern New South Wales and South East Queensland coasts.

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ARMED ROBBERY AT SANDGATE

A bottle shop has been held up in Shortland by two people with a gun overnight. Police say a motorbike pulled up at the Sandgate Road shop just after 6pm, and a man walked into the store, while his accomplice stayed with the bike. The man removed a shortened double-barrelled shotgun from his backpack and threatened a female employee, demanding money from the register. The 55-year-old woman complied with the demands and handed over a sum of cash. It’s believed the robber jumped on the back of the bike ridden by the accomplice and fled the scene. Police say the armed man was wearing a black helmet, black jacket and blue jeans with a black backpack. The other was wearing a multi-coloured Motocross style helmet and blue rimmed goggles with grey track pants and a grey hoodie. Police are looking …

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TRUCK CRASH NEAR LISMORE

Emergency services are on the scene of a serious accident involving two trucks near Lismore in the state’s north. Multiple ambulances as well as the region’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter were called to the scene on Bangalow Road at Bexhill at around 8:45 this morning. It’s understood one of the trucks had jackknifed and caught fire. The second truck crashed into bushland. Initial reports suggest one of the drivers has suffered serious facial burns. He’s been taken to Lismore Base Hospital, and is expected to flown to Brisbane. It’s unclear at this stage what the trucks were carrying. Bangalow Road is closed in both directions. More to come.

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CALLINAN LANDS WILDCARD FOR PORTUGAL EVENT

Ryan Callinan will face Owen Wright in the opening round of the world tour event in Portugal, which starts tomorrow. As expected, the Merewether surfer earned a wildcard after his incredible performance in France, where he finished second to fellow Aussie, Julian Wilson. 26-year-old Callinan is now almost assured of returning to the tour full-time next year. (VISION ONLY)

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GAV’S WEATHER: WET WEATHER TO CONTINUE

A small but intense system continues to hammer the Gold Coast and north east New South Wales, while a separate front should bring valuable rain to the North West during the middle of the week. A number of severe weather warnings remain in place, with the strong onshore winds and large dangerous seas set to continue. Conditions along the coast will remain cool, cloudy and wet as onshore winds continue. An approaching system will reach the western slopes on Wednesday, with good follow up rain for the inland expected in coming days. Around the Mid North Coast and Newcastle region, patchy showers will continue from the south.

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COUPLE THREATENED IN SWANSEA HOME INVASION

There was a terrifying home invasion at Lake Macquarie overnight, in which a couple was threatened with a firearm. Three men forced their way into the home on Tomlin Place at Swansea just after midnight. They made off with cash, jewellery and a wallet in what’s believed to be a white Volkswagen Jetta. No one was injured, with police now hoping to track down the three men. One of the men is described as being of Caucasian appearance, around 185cm tall and with a thin build.

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ATM STOLEN FROM NORTH COAST LICENSED PREMISES

Police are searching for two men, after an ATM was stolen from a licensed premises at Wooli east of Grafton. It’s understood the pair loaded the machine into a white ute on Riverside Drive at around 6 o’clock on Sunday morning, only to be disturbed by a staff member arriving at work. The ATM was later found burned on Condole Forest Road. One of the men is described as being of a medium build, around 180cm tall, and was wearing a dark hooded-jacket. The car is believed to be an older model white ute, with a lowered tail gate, and no registration plates. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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MAN CHARGED WITH INTENT TO MURDER ON THE CENTRAL COAST

A 33-year-old man is due to face court on the Central Coast, charged with intent to murder after a man was stabbed on Sunday. The North Gosford man was arrested at a service station on the M1 at around 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and taken to Wyong Police Station where he was charged. It’s alleged the man stabbed a 33-year-old at a a construction site at Colongra near Lake Munmorah, at around 2.40 yesterday afternoon. The injured man was taken to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition, suffering stab wounds to his neck and chest. Police believe the men know each other.

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