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MAN CHARGED OVER JULY SHOOTING IN NEWCASTLE

A man is now facing an additional charge over a shooting in Newcastle’s Darby Street. Back in July, police arrested a 42-year-old member of the Nomads bikie gang, after bullet holes were found in the exterior wall of an apartment block. He was charged with multiple firearms offences. Further investigations have now led to a charge of firing a weapon with the intent to cause grevious bodily harm. He’s due to face Newcastle Local Court next week. (FILE VISION ONLY)

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14-YEAR-OLD SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT LAKE MACQUARIE

An investigation is underway after a 14-year-old girl was dragged into bushland and sexually assaulted at Lake Macquarie. It’s understood the girl had got off a bus on the Pacific Highway at Windale at around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, walking into bushland adjacent to Yertala Close, where she was approached by a man armed with a knife. The man dragged the teenager into the bushland, sexually assaulting her, before running from the scene. Initial reports suggest the man made off in a silver vehicle. Specialist police are now combing the area, with a high-visibility operation underway in the area.

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MOTHER BREAKS DOWN AFTER INQUEST INTO TODDLER’S DEATH

The mother of a Sydney toddler, killed when a mid north coast war memorial collapsed, today broke down outside court. Tamica Harrower spoke following the end of a three-day coronial inquest into the death of three-year-old Indy Henderson. “Our priority is to get answers as to why a horrific event should have occured, taking such a young beautiful life – ensuring without a shadow of a doubt, that this never happens to another innocent child or family.” Earlier, the inquest heard from the stonemason who built the monument at Blackhead Bowling Club. The now 80-year-old is no longer working in the industry, having completed his last job around a month ago. The coroner is due to deliver her findings on December 17. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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JETS DEFENDER KOUTROUMBIS’ CANCER SCARE

There’s been a nasty scare for the Newcastle Jets on the eve of the new season, with defender Johnny Koutroumbis diagnosed with stage one thyroid cancer. The 20-year-old had surgery on Monday. “Fortunately it was slow growing and contained around the neck area. The only symptom Johnny had was a lump so that’s been removed now. The operation was very successful. I spoke to Johnny yesterday and he’s walking around, he’s fine, so he’s well on the road to recovery.” says Jets coach, Ernie Merrick. Koutroumbis will now undergo further treatment. “He’s holding up really well and he’s keen to get back again. I think he’ll be back playing this year. We won’t put a time line on it but I think he’ll be back playing this year and we’ll re-sign him.” (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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OZ HARVEST TEACHES VALUABLE SKILLS TO THOSE IN NEED

Meanwhile, spaghetti bolognese and banana muffins were the order of the day, at an Oz Harvest cooking class at the Matthew Talbot centre in Wickham. It’s part of a program teaching the homeless and disadvantaged how to make healthy meals. “The NEST program is a five week program that we run, it stands for nutrition, education, sustenance training or nice easy simple tips.” It will run for another three years thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Greater Charitable Foundation.

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