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TOW TRUCK CONVOY TO HONOUR MATE

On Monday, Woodville tow truck driver Malcolm Prince died after the road compactor he was unloading fell on him at East Seaham. Today, his colleagues from the tow truck industry formed a convoy on the way to his funeral. The 51-year-old who was also a SES volunteer, was described as a top bloke, who was always helping others. Around 30 trucks followed the casket from Cessnock to Beresfield as a mark of respect.

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BREAST CANCER RESEARCH

Up to 75-per-cent of breast cancers could be prevented in post-menopausal women, if two new medical trials are successful. The studies involve using a new drug called Aromatase, which stops the body from producing estrogen.

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RAAF MUSCLE RAISES MONEY

No the RAAF hasn’t changed its uniform and no it’s not trying to save fuel on the tarmac. Instead this is fundraising Air Force style. Personnel at RAAF base Williamtown spent the day muscling an FA-18 hornet over a 100 metre course. “C’mon in out in out C’mon” 14 teams took part in the tug of war.The hardest part was to get the 17 tonne fighter jet moving. But with a little momentum and the military’s can do attitude, most teams were able to pull the aircraft over the line in around a minute. Not everyone could go the distance, but when its a good cause, stopping is not an option. “yeah they just went straight over me.” The day raised $6,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at Newcastle’s John Hunter Children’s Hospital. “One of the guys at our work …

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VANDAL ATTACKS

Police are investigating two separate vandal attacks in the Lower Hunter. Maitland High School was robbed and its classrooms ransacked overnight, while $6,000 worth of damage was caused to a villa in Kurri.

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RIO RAMPING UP

Rio Tinto will ramp up production at its Hunter Valley coal mines, to double output by 2015. Management has outlined future growth for the company’s operations, including plans to capitalise on demand from China and India for thermal coal. Included in the outlook, are plans to extract eight million tonnes a year at the Mount Pleasant mine near Muswellbrook, by 2015. The feasibility study is complete and 90 per cent of the land purchased. Meanwhile a pre-feasibility study for the expansion of Hunter Valley Operations northwest of Singleton will be completed by the end of this year. Rio says infrastructure bottlenecks at the Port of Newcastle are holding up 10-million tonnes of coal a year, but that’s expected to ease.

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CHILD PORNOGRAPHY: POLICEMAN CHARGED

A Lake Macquarie Police Officer has been charged with possessing child pornography and suspended from duty. The 36-year-old senior constable was arrested by officers from the Professional Standards Command on Thursday. He’s charged with committing an act of indecency and possessing child pornography and is due to appear in the Newcastle Local Court in early September.

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A Hunter Valley man has been sentenced to three years jail over a car crash at Floraville, at Lake Macquarie in May last year that killed 18-year-old Brendan Knight. Judge Hosking in the Sydney District Court today ordered Bryant Simons from Belmont North serve a minimum 12 months gaol, and disqualified the 20-year-old from holding a drivers licence for one year. Mr Knight died when a car being driven by Simons, who was a learner driver, ran off Floraville Road and hit a tree, late at night.

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TRUCK DRIVER NAMED

Police have released the name of the 50-year-old truck driver, killed near Bulahdelah yesterday. He was Phillip John Midson from Erina on the Central Coast. The Police Crash Investigation Unit says it will take a number of weeks to determine the cause of the accident on the Pacific Highway yesterday morning.

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TRUCK DRIVER DEATH

The Pacific Highway has claimed another life, with a 51-year-old truck driver from the Central Coast killed south of Bulahdelah. The semi-trailer was carrying a heavy load of concrete to be used in upgrading the highway at Johns River near Taree. But about an hour before reaching its destination, the truck ran off the wet road and rolled.

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TRANSPORT TROUBLES

It mightn’t be until next year that residents living in Newcastle’s western suburbs have an expanded public transport service. Currently only one bus route operates in the area, for the 10,000 people that live there.

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