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Morisset Park boy returning home after stint in Bali jail

The 14-year-old with his father at Ngurah Rai airport. Picture by Hansel NashyoA Morisset Park boy who had been in custody in Bali for two months is due to fly home to Australia this evening.
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The 14-year-old was caught with about $25 worth of marijuana on October 4.

He was released this morning.

Bonnells Bay resident and friend Jake Horadam said he was looking forward to the teen’s return.

‘‘I’ve only just found out he’s coming home [already, but] we’re pretty happy he’s coming home,’’ Horadam said.

‘‘We’ll have something [to celebrate] in a couple of weeks.’’

The Lake Macquarie schoolboy was happy to be returning home, however he had to go through a stop at Kerobokan Prison before being taken to an immigration facility ahead of his departure.

Last week, he was sentenced to two months in prison after being convicted on one count of drug use.

Time already served made him eligible for release today.

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Race’s youngest crew backs up teenage star

Jessica Watson is sprayed with champagne by a crew member after completing the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race yesterday. Picture: LORETTA JOHNSTONTeenage skipper Jessica Watson and her crew were enthusiastically welcomed to Hobart after finishing Australia’s most prestigious yacht race yesterday afternoon.
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Hundreds of people clapped and cheered as Ella Bache – with the youngest crew in the race’s history – approached Constitution Dock.

Watson, 18, and her crew members all aged between 19 and 21, finished second in the Sydney 38 One Design division and, at the time, 30th on handicap with yachts still arriving. At 16, the Young Australian of the Year sailed solo around the world.

After being dunked in the Derwent by members of her crew, she reflected on the differences between solo sailing and being part of a team.

“Each had its moments – I wouldn’t be drenched and covered in who knows what right now by myself,” she said.

“But to be able to share it with these guys has been really quite amazing.”

Ella Bache completed the race in four days, two hours, 12 minutes and 58 seconds.

“The crew were absolutely awesome. All credit goes to them,” Watson said. “I just held on for the ride.”

Watson said she was not thinking about what the future may hold in terms of sailing, saying she wanted to celebrate the new year in Hobart. But this is unlikely to be her last attempt at the race.

“I probably should mull it over a bit more but it’s definitely something I’d love to be doing again,” she said.

Watson was one of a number of high-profile entrants in this year’s race, which also included Today Show presenter Karl Stefanovic who was part of line honours winner Investec Loyal’s crew. Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim was also a crew member on Tasmanian yacht Whistler which finished close behind Ella Bache.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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READER’S CHOICE: Cool video of the day

The popular Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO has been turned into a Study Hard Anthem in today’s video of the day.
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This clip has been suggested by Belinda Luxton on the Newcastle Herald’s Facebook page.

She said it would have been even better while the HSC was on, but we think it’s still worth checking out.

Thanks Belinda!

Watch this space

Each day we’ll have a new video to provide you with a little light entertainment and we want your help to find them.

Do you have a favourite video you would like to share with us?

Tell us on Facebook or @newcastleherald on Twitter.

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Transport woes hit Tasmania Cup

VICTORIAN pacer Our Chain Of Command won’t get the chance to defend his title in tomorrow’s Tasmania Cup after being scratched yesterday.
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Lara trainer Dean Braun told harness racing stewards he was forced to scratch Our Chain Of Command after struggling with transport to get him to Hobart.

Braun was also forced to scratch top mare Valiant Sue from the George Johnson Stakes because of the same reason.

Both horses were to have been driven by premier Victorian reinsman Chris Alford.

Four interstate horses remain in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup headed by the Glenn Douglas trained pair Heza Trick and Jukebox Music.

The scratching of Valiant Sue has made the job even easier for Australia’s top mare Make Mine Cullen in the George Johnson.

Make Mine Cullen won consecutive races at Melton before she ran fifth to Mr Feelgood in the Cranbourne Cup on December 10.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Obituary: Legacy of a loveable larrikin

OPTIMIST: Malcolm Woolford with daughter Kathryn O’Connor at a family wedding in 2009.MALCOLM WOOLFORD
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Born: May 10, 1917

Died: November 21, 2011

Funeral: St Philip’s Catholic Church, Kotara South, November 26, 2011

MAL Woolford was a talented jeweller and watchmaker, a loving father and husband, and a loyal friend.

But he will always be remembered as an eternal optimist, right up until his final days.

Mal, well-known and well-liked by colleagues and friends, lost his battle with prostate cancer on November 21. He was 94.

Anyone who knew the Kotara South great-grandfather will recall some of his favourite sayings such as ‘‘Never seen the world so bright,’’ ‘‘I’m on top of the world’’ and ‘‘I wouldn’t be dead for quids’’.

It was this larrikin attitude and his glass- half-full outlook that made him an endearing part of the community and a man honoured by his peers for his passion for horse racing and rugby league.

Mal was the eldest of four children, born to Robert and Clara Woolford in Western Australia on May 10, 1917. The family moved around during his childhood before finally resting in Newcastle.

Mal followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather when he went into the family business as a watchmaker and jeweller.

But his path into the career he would hold for 47 years wasn’t always set in stone.

At the age of 16, Mal decided he wouldn’t mind becoming a priest.

His father took him to meet Monsignor Peters who advised him to come back in a few years if he still felt the same way.

His daughter, Kathryn O’Connor, said luckily for his future wife, Mal had a change of heart.

Mal met Joan in his late teens and the pair married on Caulfield Cup day in 1939, an appropriate day considering Mal’s love for horse racing. The couple moved to Islington and welcomed their first five children: Diana, Patricia, Robyn, Kenneth and Kathryn.

Around the time of their nuptials, Mal took over his father’s watch repair business in Hunter Street, Newcastle.

Mal was best known for his work on watches and jewellery in Newcastle and later at Jesmond Shopping Centre.

The family business grew to be one of the most popular of its kind in the Hunter and it wasn’t until 1986 that Mal finally retired.

By then the family had moved to New Lambton Heights where they had three more children: Mary-Louise, Joanne and Mark.

They raised the children in New Lambton Heights until they retired to Kotara South.

Mal was an active participant in several organisations including the Newcastle Jockey Club and Western Suburbs Leagues Club.

He was on the committee at the NJC for many years and became a life member.

His family said he treated Wests Leagues Club as his second home. ‘‘If you were looking for Dad on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday you’d find him there enjoying a beer, having a bet and socialising. He was a well-known and well-loved man around the club,’’ Kathryn said.

Newcastle Rugby League rewarded his services to the game by naming the club championship trophy in his honour.

Mal famously won the 1961 Newcastle Gold Cup with horse Rock Mal at the odds of 33-1.

Later in life he helped introduce the Jungle Juice Cup to Cessnock races.

In 2002, Joan passed away and Mal asked his sister to move in with him. The pair, who rarely saw each other after Margaret married and settled in Queensland at a young age, spent the next nine years together. In his later years, Mal loved nothing better than having his family come to visit. He was always keen to share his stories and memories with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Before the death of his brother Len, Mal and another brother, Harry, would meet weekly.

Mal’s 90th birthday was a special occasion, with a huge number of friends, family and well-wishers in attendance.

Mal is survived by seven children, 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank his sister Margaret, the community nurses and palliative care team who looked after him as well as his physician Dr Milton Sales, who provided care, devotion and companionship.

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Solar panel theft dismay

Two solar panels were stolen from the roof of the weather station at Low Head.Two solar panels stolen from the Low Head weather station will affect fire weather forecasts and coastal warnings for the region unless found or replaced, says the Bureau of Meteorology.
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The 1-square-metre panels were taken with a voltage regulator between Wednesday afternoon and yesterday morning.

Brendan McMahon, of the Bureau of Meteorology, said the actual cost of replacing the equipment was unknown and predictably expensive.

“There is also the intangible cost of information, especially at this time of the year with fire weather forecasting and coastal weather forecasts,” he said.

“The information it normally provides is used for weather forecasts, day-to-day warnings, and information gathered is used throughout Australia and the world, so it’s a significant weather station.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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UNSUNG HERO: His gift is to keep on giving

JOY: Richard Nichols says Riding for the Disabled has changed his life.VOLUNTEERING is often something many people don’t think of getting into but Richard Nichols demonstrates that once you start it’s hard to stop.
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Mr Nichols said he started volunteering at Riding for the Disabled when he found himself with time on his hands after self-retirement.

The Medowie resident started about three years ago and has never looked back.

‘‘I probably work five days a week there, sometimes 38 hours,’’ he said.

‘‘It becomes infectious.’’

Mr Nichols chose Riding for the Disabled because he thought it was a ‘‘great cause’’.

He started out helping in the stables, feeding the horses and grooming while helping out every Monday with lessons.

He is now employed as the main maintenance worker at the site and secretary Carol Brown said Mr Nichols was a cherished volunteer.

‘‘He’s only been with us a few years but he’s certainly made his presence felt at the centre,’’ she said.

‘‘He has great knowledge on how to do things and looks after a lot of the maintenance.

‘‘He’s a multi-skilled worker and he’s invaluable to us.’’

Mr Nichols’s wife Jenny also volunteers at the centre and is organising the development of a sensory garden.

The garden will incorporate different activities for children to engage in while riding on their horse.

Different parts of the garden will have different themes and use the four senses of touch, smell, sight and hearing to engage with the children.

Mr Nichols said it would give the children ‘‘something a bit different’’ to enjoy.

‘‘It’s a really great place to work, lovely atmosphere, and it has great job satisfaction,’’ he said.

‘‘To see the children enjoying it is very rewarding.

‘‘When you see some of them on a horse for the first time they have smiles from ear to ear.’’

Mr Nichols’s handyman qualities stem from his time as a boilermaker at BHP.

Since his retirement, the 59-year-old has dedicated much of his time to helping Riding for the Disabled.

Among other things, he has done carpentry, metal fixing, mowing, fencing and has even cleaned up after the horses.

‘‘It sucks you in, it’s such a good cause,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll be there for a long time yet.

‘‘We’re always looking for more people to come in and help with the maintenance side of things, though.’’

Riding for the Disabled is a charity group that receives no state or federal funding.

It garners most of its running costs through fund-raising.

Mr Nichols said he would welcome anyone who wanted to help out and asked interested people to contact him on 49829177.

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Tender awarded for Bogey Hole work

TIMETABLE: The post and chain fence will be retained in the $360,000 Bogey Hole works program, due for completion in March. – Picture by Ryan Osland SAFE ACCESS: The plans for the Bogey Hole. – Artwork by EJE Architecture
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ACCESS to Newcastle’s Bogey Hole should be restored by March, with the state government awarding a $360,000 tender for the safety works.

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said the successful tenderer was Sydney company Wardrope and Carroll Engineering.

The work involves the installation of a new stairway, seven-metre-long pool access platform and safety netting at the coastal rock pool, which is popular with swimmers and tourists.

Ms Hodgkinson said materials would fit in with the site’s natural features.

‘‘The work will also reinstate the historic post and chain fence surrounding the pool and include signage and other safety features,’’ she said.

The Bogey Hole, carved out of rock in about 1820, is on the state heritage register. There had been fears it would close due to safety concerns.

The NSW Heritage Council has granted approval for the works.

The money will come from the Public Reserves Management Fund, which is overseen by the Crown Lands branch of Primary Industries.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen said the awarding of the tender was a ‘‘small but important step in the revitalisation of Newcastle’s coastline’’.

He reminded people to obey safety warning signs at the Bogey Hole.

The work is expected to be completed by March.

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Merewether tops Hunter in clean beach awards

PRISTINE STRETCH: Sally Burns of Hamilton enjoys the Hunter’s cleanest beach, Merewether Beach, during her lunch break yesterday. – Picture by Natalie GronoMEREWETHER Beach has been named the Hunter’s cleanest stretch of sand in the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beaches Awards.
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The 2011 honours were announced yesterday at Nobbys lighthouse by Keep Australia Beautiful NSW, local government and community representative Peter McLean.

Mr McLean said Merewether won due to its lack of litter and infrastructure, including the new Merewether Surfhouse.

‘‘It’s important to have good looking beaches … there’s more to beaches than litter management,’’ he said.

‘‘There also needs to be infrastructure, community involvement, environmental protection and management.’’

Now in its 10th year, the awards recognise the communities, councils, volunteers and surf life saving clubs who protect the state’s coastline.

The NSW coast is divided into nine geographic regions for the annual awards.

The overall winners advance to the state finals later this month and then to a national level of competition.

“The Hunter region is rich with beautiful coastline attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, ’’Mr McLean said.

‘‘Being so close to a major city, keeping the beaches healthy and minimising the negative impact of human activity requires strategy, commitment and involvement from all areas of the community.’’

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Family, fun and fruit combine for perfect summer day

Sierra Smith, 1, of Trevallyn, picks strawberries at Hillwood Berry Farm. Picture: WILL SWANAFTER a busy Christmas the Smith family took time to get back to basics yesterday, gathering their own food at Hillwood Berry Farm.
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Colin Smith, of Trevallyn, was at the Tamar Valley farm picking strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, blackberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants with his wife and three daughters.

Mr Smith said they visited Hillwood every summer, picking fruit to make into jam.

”It gets the kids outside and they get to enjoy nature and see how different berries grow, what a real farm looks like and they also enjoy the rural lifestyle,” he said.

”They see the food from when it is growing to when they eat it and that’s a good process for them to see.”

Owner Stacey File said the farm had been popular during summer, with many returning to meet the newest additions.

”We now have two pet pigs named Truffles and Stubbies that everyone can go out and feed and play with, we have two new pet sheep, a variety of ducks and of course we have got a picnic area by the dam,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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