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DANGER TIME FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS

With winter now here, seasonal lurgies are beginning to bite – and for people with asthma, it’s danger time. The disease affects around 10 per cent of Australians, but treatment options are limited… and aren’t effective for up to half those patients. Tonight, as our series continues for medical research week, we look at an important discovery that it’s hoped will lead to better therapies.

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DRIVER DIES AFTER THREE VEHICLE CRASH

A 34-year-old man has died following a three vehicle crash at Tamworth yesterday afternoon. Emergency services were called to Manilla Road at about 5.30 after a northbound Ford Falcon, towing a trailer, collided with a northbound Mazda utility. The Mazda then collided with a southbound Subaru. The driver of the Ford died at the scene. The other two drivers were taken to Tamworth Base Hospital with minor injuries.

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STROKE DRUG’S LAZARUS RESPONSE

A medical trial which has produced amazing results for stroke patients in Newcastle, is set to be rolled out across Australia and around the world. The stroke team at John Hunter Hospital has pioneered the use of a drug which can trigger what it calls a Lazarus response in patients – where they rise from their sickbeds in hours. This story is part of a special series on medical research written by NBN’s Natasha Beyersdorf.

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BISHOP:ABUSE VICTIMS RAN POOR SECOND TO CHURCH’S REPUTATION

The head of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, Bishop Bill Wright has said the needs of victims of paedophile priests ran a very poor second to protecting the church’s reputation for decades. The Bishop today responded to Commissioner Margaret Cunneen’s report into cover ups within the diocese, released last Friday. He said the church was “profoundly sorry” and that it was a “bitter experience” to read the Commissioner’s report. Bishop Wright says the church is analysing the report for any additional lessons it can learn to improve its practices in protecting children and in working with those who were harmed in the past. Click on the below video to see part of the Bishop’s statement.

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MAN CHARGED AFTER BOY GOES MISSING IN GRAFTON

The father of a boy, who went missing after being collected from a Grafton child care centre yesterday, has been charged in relation to an earlier domestic dispute. A search began after the four-year-old was picked up the child care centre yesterday afternoon. The boy was found when police stopped a Toyota Hilux on Bent Street South Grafton about 7.30 this morning. A 29-year-old man was charged with two counts of sexual assault, breaching an apprehended violence order and indecent assault. It’s alleged the sexual assault occurred after the domestic dispute.

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HUNTER RATEPAYERS SLUGGED

Maitland City Council has had a special rate variation approved that will see rates rise by 7.25 per cent a year for the next seven years. In 2014/15 average residential rates in Maitland will increase by $71. Under rate pegging, the average rate rise across New South Wales will be $20. Singleton (7.3 per cent) and Cessnock (9.55 per cent) were also granted special rate variations. Maitland City Council’s General Manager David Evans says the rise will allow the organisation to financially sustain service delivery to a growing community. ‘Residents can expect to see more spent on recreational cycleways, roads and footpaths, sporting facilities, public amenities and access to the Hunter River over the next few years,’ said Mr Evans. Mayor Peter Blackmore has conceded it was a tough decision to hit ratepayers, but the best decision for the future. …

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