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PETRATOS CLEARED TO PLAY AGAINST PHOENIX

It’s just one hour before the Jets’ finals hopes are well and truly put on the line and in a huge boost, Dimi Petratos has been cleared to play. He struggled to train this week due to back soreness, but will take the field against Wellington full of confidence, after last week’s man of the match performance. The starting team is unchanged from the big win over the Wanderers.

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SWIMMER MISSING NORTH OF COFFS HARBOUR

A large-scale search is underway this evening for a missing swimmer at Woolgoolga Beach, north of Coffs Harbour. Emergency services responded just after 3.30pm to reports that a young male and female were in difficulty in the surf. The female was brought to shore and received first aid treatment, she’s believed to be in a satisfactory condition but a male in his 20s remains unaccounted for. The pair was reportedly swimming 500 metres north of the patrolled area and became caught in a strong rip.

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MAN KILLED IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT ON MID NORTH COAST

A man has died after a car crash on the Mid North Coast today. Emergency services were called to Rogan Bridge Road, north of Grafton just before midday, following reports a Toyota had left the road and hit a pole. The male driver was the only person inside the vehicle, and died at the scene. Officers from the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Police District are investigating the crash. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

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ELDERLY WOMAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY A CAR AT PORT STEPHENS

An elderly woman has died, after being hit by a car at Port Stephens this morning. Emergency services were called to a home on Guyang Street, Corlette at around 9:45, following reports the woman had been reversed over in a driveway. Despite attempts to resuscitate her, she died at the scene. The male driver was uninjured and is speaking to police – a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

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MAN CHARGED WITH ALLEGED ASSAULT OF FEMALE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

A former teacher has been charged with assaulting four students, at a Coffs Harbour high school. Detectives began investigating after comlaints made by the students – all girls aged between 12 and 14. The 60-year-old man, who worked at the Joyce Street school until last year, was yesterday charged with five counts of common assault, and two of aggravated indecent assault. He was granted conditional bail, and will face Coffs Harbour Local Court in April.

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POLICE APPEAL FOR HELP TO LOCATE UTE INVOLVED IN SUSPECTED MURDER

Police are appealing for public assistance to help find a ute believed to be linked with the suspected murder of New England man, Darren Royce Willis. Mr Willis was last seen leaving a hotel on Maitland Street, Bingara on the evening of Friday 10 December 2010. Investigations have identified a 1980 model XD Ford Falcon ute that may contain significant forensic evidence. Police wish to speak to two men who purchased the ute in Bingara in 2011. Images of the ute have now been released (below). It is believed the ute is not registered, and may be located interstate, possibly in Queensland. New England Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Ann Joy, is urging anyone with information about the vehicle to come forward. “We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has information about this yellow utility in …

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GAV’S WEATHER: MORE OF THE SAME ON THE WAY

Extensive cloud across northern Queensland with a monsoon trough and a low continues to generate widespread rain and storms. However the system is now easing. Cloud is extending over southern parts of the nation in the south east and south west as another trough causes showers over the south east. Tomorrow the monsoon trough and tropical low will continue to generate storms over the north-eastern tropics. A low pressure trough in the south east will cause more showers and storms. More hot, dry weather is on the way inland as the coastal communities benefit from the cooler onshore winds drawing more humid conditions. Increased chance of isolated showers for north eastern New South Wales and south east Queensland.

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CENTRAL COAST TEEN DIES IN UTE CRASH

A teenager has died after his Holden ute crashed at Chittaway Bay late last night. Police believe speed was a factor, when the 19-year-old’s vehicle collided with a tree, shortly before 11.30. It’s understood the ute skidded for around 100-metres. “Not far from his own residential location. He was deceased on scene. Police, rescue, and ambulance staff did attend however they were unable to do anything for him,” said Chief Insp. Col Lott, Tuggerah Lakes Police District. It’s the second death on Central Coast roads so far this year.

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CHARGES LAID OVER POLICE PURSUIT IN ADAMSTOWN

Four people have been arrested after a police chase in Newcastle overnight. Just after midnight officers attempted to pull over a vehicle that was driving erratically in Adamstown, but the driver allegedly failed to pull over. Police initiated a pursuit through the residential streets of Adamstown which lasted around three minutes before the offending vehicle stopped on Westwood Avenue. Three male passengers fled the vehicle while the female driver was arrested at the scene. The Police Dog Squad helped locate one of the alleged offenders hiding in the nearby Fernleigh Track. Another was found a short distance away in dense bushland. While the third male was found by patrolling police. All were taken to Newcastle Police Station. The 27-year-old female driver was charged with police pursuit and driving whilst suspended. She was given conditional bail to reappear at Newcastle Local …

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MAN INJURED IN WORKPLACE ACCIDENT AT GOSFORD

A 32-year-old construction worker has been rushed to hospital, after a workplace accident on the Central Coast this afternoon. It’s understood the man was working on the eighth floor of a building site at Gosford, when he fell onto a piece of steel reinforcing on a lower level. CareFlight’s rapid response helicopter was tasked to the scene at around 3 o’clock, with a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic sedating the man so he could be cut free. He was taken to Gosford Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

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