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29-YEAR-OLD MAN CHARGED OVER ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT

A man has faced court in Newcastle over sexual assault related charges, after he was extradited from Victoria earlier this week. The 29-year-old Saudi Arabian National was arrested in Richmond in Victoria on Tuesday following extensive inquiries, before being extradited to New South Wales on Wednesday. It’s alleged the man sexually assaulted a 24-year-old woman in Newcastle in May 2016. He was charged with five counts of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of attempt sexual intercourse without consent.

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ADAMSTOWN HEIGHTS HOME DAMAGED BY FIRE

A house in the Newcastle suburb of Adamstown Heights has been left severely damaged, after fire ripped through the property this afternoon. Fire crews were called to the scene on Terence St at around 3 o’clock, after reports the back of the home was well alight. No one was injured in the blaze, with crews able to extinguish the fire in around an hour. Vision: Leanne McArthur

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VOLUNTEERS BREAK BREAD BEFORE DOORKNOCKS

They’re about to pound the pavement in the annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock, but today the year-round work of Salvation Army volunteers was recognised as part of National Volunteers Week. Lorna Dooley says helping the Salvos always brings a smile to her face. “It always makes you feel good, walking out like you’ve achieved something for the day.” The organisation is hoping to raise around $200,000 in the Hunter this weekend. And if you’re interested in helping out, the Salvos say it’s not too late to volunteer. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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CHARGES LAID OVER SHOAL BAY ROBBERY

A 25-year-old man has been arrested, accused of stabbing a staff member during a robbery at Port Stephens last month. It’s understood the man entered a licensed premises on Shoal Bay Road, in the early afternoon of April 30, and allegedly attempted to steal a cash draw. A staff member tried to intervene, and it’s alleged the man stabbed him with a knife. Following inquiries a man was arrested at Silverwater yesterday, and charged with multiple offences including wound person with intent to resist/prevent arrest. He faced Raymond Terrace Local Court today, and was refused bail to reappear in July.

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GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN VISITS THE HUNTER

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has arrived in the Hunter, officially opening the University of Newcastle NeW Space campus, while announcing a $25 million upgrade to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at John Hunter Hospital. See how the day has so far unfolded. JUST IN: @GladysB says there’s “no need” for state-funded rate relief for struggling businesses on Hunter St impacted by #Newcastle light rail construction @nbnnews pic.twitter.com/jXcwIDUnV7 — Tahlia Sarv (@tahliasarv) May 25, 2018 Ribbon cutting of the state government’s $25 million upgrade to Neonatal Intensive Care at John Hunter Hospital. @ScotMacDonald1 @GladysB @nbnnews pic.twitter.com/cTsmk1aSrd — Lauren Kempe (@laurenkempe) May 25, 2018 Premier @GladysB arrives in #Newcastle at the @Uni_Newcastle ‘s NeW Space building @nbnnews pic.twitter.com/OwTyNaCSpR — Tahlia Sarv (@tahliasarv) May 25, 2018 At the official opening of the University of Newcastle’s #NewSpace. Newcastle MP @crakanthorp talks with …

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TIP TOP CONFIRMS IT WILL CLOSE NEWCASTLE BAKERY

Tip Top has confirmed it will close its Newcastle bakery. Production will stop at the Gateshead facility in early July. The organisation says the decision was made as “its core bread business is in decline”. 79 jobs will be affected, and the business says one-on-one discussions are already underway regarding redundancy packages and re-deployment opportunities.

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MORE THAN A THOUSAND VOLUNTEERS HELP WESTPAC RESCUE OPERATE

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has also extended its thanks to some dedicated volunteers. Newcastle’s Heather and Allen Davies have been with the organisation for more than five years. “We’ve never had to use it ourselves fortunately but we may one day,” volunteer Heather Davies says. “To be able to celebrate our volunteers really means the whole world to us because we really view them as unpaid staff,” Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones says. The Davies regularly donate their time to fundraisers and base visits.

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