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HEALTH NETWORK WARNS AGAINST HANDLING BATS

We’re being warned not to touch or handle bats, with seven people in the Hunter region treated for bites and scratches already this year. Hunter New England Health says a recent spate of warm weather has affected the health of bats, prompting people to pick them up off the ground in an attempt to rescue them. The Health Authority warns a bat bite can lead to the deadly (LYE-SAH) Lyssavirus infection. (no audio)

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HUNTER WATER TO BUILD ‘MEDIUM-TERM’ STOCKTON SEAWALL SOLUTION

A temporary solution to part of Stockton’s erosion woes is underway, with Hunter Water building a large sand container seawall. The structure will have 17 sand containers placed along the face of the site. It’s expected to be 100-metres in length once complete. It’s designed to be a medium-term solution, while a long term strategy is developed by Newcastle Council and the State Government. Major storms in January last year revealed an old rubbish dump on land owned by Hunter Water. (VISION ONLY)

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FOUL PLAY RULED OUT IN WOMAN’S DEATH AT COOKS HILL

Police have ruled out foul play in the death of a woman at Cooks Hill on Sunday. The 48-year-old’s body was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs, outside a unit complex on Union Street at around 3.45 yesterday afternoon. Detectives spent much of the night investigating the circumstances surrounding her death – which is believed to be due to an accidental fall. YESTERDAY Police have set up a crime scene in the Newcastle suburb of Cooks Hill after a woman was found dead at the bottom of stairwell, at a unit complex. Officers are now investigating the cause of the 48-year-old’s death.

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URBAN FOOD AND WINE LUNCH A SUCCESS IN MEREWETHER

Food and wine lovers flocked to Merewether beach for a Sunday lunch, featuring some of the Hunter’s best flavours. Newcastle’s Inner City Winemakers and Urban Mess partnered together, creating french and catalonian style meals to match a range of urban wines. “We’re here to have a heap of fun and hopefully Newcastle catches on to that we’re expressing ourselves in this venue, and we hopefully start selling out these events more often.” – Tony Harrison, Urban Mess Chef. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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TEEN CHARGED AFTER LATE NIGHT ROBBERY AT EAST MAITLAND

A 14-year-old boy has been charged with aggravated robbery, after two teenagers were robbed and assaulted in the Hunter Valley. Police have been told a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old boy were walking across the footbridge at Victoria Street train station just before 10 o’clock on Saturday night, when they were approached by a group of young people. It’s alleged the group stole property from the pair, as well as assaulted the younger teen. A 14-year-old was later arrested and taken to Maitland Police Station where he was charged. He was granted conditional bail and will face East Maitland Children’s Court next Friday.

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BODY FOUND INSIDE BURNT OUT HUNTER HOME

The body of a man has been located inside a burnt out home in the Hunter region. Emergency services were called to an address on Thompson Street at East Maitland at around 2 o’clock on Saturday morning, following reports of a fire. Crews managed to extinguish the blaze inside the unit, however the body of a 53-year-old man was located inside. Initial investigations suggest the fire was not suspicious. Stephen Mount reports.

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