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Hodge and McDonald blast the Renegades to victory

Brad HodgeMELBOURNE – Brad Hodge and skipper Andrew McDonald guided Melbourne Renegades to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sydney Sixers at Etihad Stadium last night.
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The result means both teams have two wins and two losses from their opening four games in the Big Bash League.

Chasing the Sixers’ total of 6-161, the Renegades made 2-164 from 17.4 overs.

The home side had struggled to 2-65 after 10 overs in its run chase.

However, Hodge (72 not out from 51 balls) and McDonald (60 not out from 37 deliveries) started to take some risks and these paid off as they shared an unbeaten 124-run partnership for the third wicket.

Man-of-the-match McDonald hit seven sixes and no fours while Hodge blasted five fours and three sixes in a crowd-pleasing performance.

“Once we had a really good foundation, we could go for broke,” McDonald said of the hitting spree.

McDonald hit leg-spinner Steve Smith for three sixes in the 16th over to leave the Renegades in a comfortable position in the final four overs.

Sixers pace bowler Josh Hazlewood took 1-19 off two overs before leaving the field for treatment on a foot problem.

Moises Henriques had top-scored for the Sixers with 41 off 30 deliveries.

A crowd of only 10,818 attended the game, which began with the temperature hovering around 38 degrees.

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

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Jets’ horror road run continues

– Picture by Ryan OslandTHE Newcastle Jets’ horror run on the road continued tonight after they lost 2-0 to arch-rivals the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.
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Leading into the second F3 derby of the season the Jets had not secured three points away from Ausgrid Stadium since beating the now-defunct North Queensland Fury in Townsville in January.

The match lacked the spite of previous derbies, but produced a free-flowing and attractive opening 20 minutes.

Striker Labinot Haliti had a goal disallowed in the third minute for offside and that was as close the Jets came to troubling the score attendant.

In the 25th minute the Novocastrians’ hopes of breaking the drought away from home slumped when Mariners midfielder Rostyn Griffiths headed home a Michael McGlinchey corner at the near post.

Backed by a home crowd of 10,643, teen sensations Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini then pulled the strings for the Mariners to create a goal for Matt Simon 14 minutes after the break.

The Jets were unable to mount a comeback in the second half and failed to produce any major goal-scoring opportunities as the home side continued to dominate.

Newcastle-born Mariners striker Daniel McBreen replaced Amini in the 78th minute and nearly scored twice in extra time, only to be denied by Jets goalkeeper Matt Nash and then the crossbar.

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More shocks shake Christchurch

WELLINGTON – Aftershocks continuing to rattle Christchurch are showing no signs of letting up, with a quake measuring 4.8 hitting just before seven last night.
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Numerous quakes shook the city yesterday, including one measuring 5.5 about 4am.

Power was cut to 10,000 homes in the east of the city for a few hours, before it was restored by mid-morning.

Quakes measuring greater than 3 and 4 on the Richter scale continued throughout the day.

There does not appear to be any new significant damage or liquefaction.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said residents were concerned about the aftershocks and he is calling for an urgent briefing with GNS Science seismologists.

“Today I have fielded a lot of questions on seismic issues. Everywhere I go that’s what people are talking about,” Mr Parker said.

“I think it’s important that we hear from the scientists themselves on what’s happening and what’s the likelihood of further events.”

His plan for a forum for the city’s elected members, local MPs and the media is to take place on Friday afternoon.

Mr Parker said council facilities were being checked.

“It’s not a great start to a new year, but everyone is working hard to ensure we have a resilient and safe city in the future,” he said.

The city is still recovering from a magnitude 6.3 quake that killed 182 people on February 22 last year, following a 7.1 earthquake on September 4, 2010.

Christchurch was rocked by two quakes, measuring 6.0 and 5.8, two days before Christmas Day.

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

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Heat is on but Hodge keeps his cool

WITH temperatures in the high 20s, more than 180 participants took to the surf, the road and their bikes as they competed in the annual Bridport Triathlon.
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Launceston Triathlon Club president Paul Ranson said it was a successful event with not only more participants than last year but also a large crowd of spectators watching and urging competitors on in the three disciplines.

“We were really pleased with the participation in this year’s event and hope to continue building on that,” Mr Ranson said.

Kicking off at 8am was the Olympic Race with 60 competitors and featuring a 1500-metre swim 40-kilometre bike ride and 10-kilometre run.

James Hodge, of Launceston, took out the men’s event comfortably making it a back-to-back win for the up-and-coming triathlon star.

Paul McKenzie, of Launceston, came in second followed by Hayden Armstrong, of Hobart, in third.

The women’s event was won by Holly Claridge, of Launceston, from Amy Hinds, of Beauty Point, and Melissa Clark, of Launceston.

The sprint race saw more than 100 competitors tackle a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike ride and 5-kilometre run.

In the men’s race it was a close win for Jonathon Butler, of Launceston, who narrowly beat the North-West’s Fraser Lyon and David Cripps, of Launceston.

In the women’s sprint, Launceston’s Kate Pedley beat home Sarah Fitzgerald and Jenny Gillard, both of Hobart.

The Trystars race for children aged 7-12 included a 100-metre swim and a 1-kilometre run.

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

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Future bright for retired racing greyhound Biggles

Dijana Jokovic-Wroe with her children Deni and George, sharing their lounge with Biggles. Picture by Simone De PeakLIFE was not always so easy for Biggles, the former racing greyhound now living in some comfort in Hamilton South.
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He had a track career as Hidden Meaning, but that came to an end.

For many animals like Biggles, trained to be fast and to win, the future can be uncertain.

Biggles is part of the Greenhounds program that retrains retired greyhounds so they can become loved pets.

The Jokovic-Wroe family initially agreed to foster Biggles, but from the start he seemed destined to stay.

Dijana Jokovic-Wroe said a family of five, with a cat and a whippet dog, could pose problems for a former racer like Biggles, but his nature was sweet.

‘‘I knew he was exactly right,’’ Mrs Jokovic-Wroe said.

‘‘He is calm and gentle.

‘‘I have seen footage of him racing and it is fascinating to see the life he had before.’’

The Greenhound program helps to give the ex-racers the behavioral and social skills they need to live with people and to be exempt from wearing a muzzle in public places once they pass a series of assessments.

Mrs Jokovic-Wroe said Biggles made the transition from track to their couch with apparent ease.

‘‘There’s not a lot of barking and he’s low-maintenance,’’ she said.

Biggles gets a 15-minute walk on a leash a day.

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Man killed, woman injured in Doyalson crash

A man has been killed and a woman injured in a single-vehicle crash at Doyalson this morning.
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About 1.45am a southbound Holden Calais ran off the Pacific Highway at Doyalson and hit a tree.

The 20-year-old male driver died at the scene and a 19-year-old female passenger was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital.

The woman’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police from Tuggerah Lakes Local Area Command are investigating the incident.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or the circumstances leading up to it is urged to contact Tuggerah Lakes Local Area Command or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Big dough for Jackman show

NEW YORK – Hugh Jackman has left a lot of broken hearts – and records – on Broadway.
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The hunky actor’s one-man show, Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, ended its 10-week run at the weekend at the Broadhurst Theatre having earned $US2,057,354 ($2.04 million) in its final week.

That’s the highest ever weekly gross recorded by the Shubert Organisation, which owns the Broadhurst and 16 other Broadway theatres.

The previous record at the Broadhurst was held by the Al Pacino-led The Merchant of Venice, which took in $US1,175,750 earlier this year.

Backed by an 18-piece orchestra and six leggy dancers, Jackman belted out about two dozen musical theatre songs.

It was his third time on Broadway, following The Boy From Oz in 2003 and the play A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig in 2009.

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

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Think you have trouble?

PROPOSED changes to rail freight operations in Sydney and Gosford have thrown the issue of the Adamstown gates into focus (“Gatecrashed” Herald 8/12). As annoying as they are, spare a thought for the 134,421 residents of Flagstaff, Arizona, and visitors and tourists to the nearby Grand Canyon.
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The Flagstaff train station is on the main freight route between the east, Chicago and Los Angeles. It fronts Highway 89A (also publicised as historic Route 66) and two busy streets at either end of the station lead across the lines into the main shopping centre, known as Historic Flagstaff. The crossings are controlled by traffic lights. Between 80 and 100 freight trains a day pass over those crossings – all stretching over both crossings at the one time – mostly about 15 minutes apart.

I was in Flagstaff in October and twice saw one train pass, immediately after another going in the opposite direction. The trains are not short. On one I counted 123 freight cars.

A road overpass or tunnel would be impossible, as the streets in the CBD are fairly narrow and buildings are right up to the footpaths alongside the highway. The one solace they have is that the freight trains roar through at top speed, compared to the gentle pace of the ones going through Adamstown.

Russell Jones, Warners Bay

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Hewitt hopeful of getting year off on the right foot

Lleyton HewittPERTH – It’s very early days, but Lleyton Hewitt is cautiously optimistic that his troublesome left foot will hold up to the rigours of professional tennis this year.
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In his first competitive match since reinjuring his foot in September, Hewitt pushed Spain’s Fernando Verdasco all the way on Sunday before losing 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Australia went on to lose the tie 2-1 with Hewitt and Jarmila Gadjosova blowing a match point in the deciding mixed doubles.

But the tough loss was offset by the news that Hewitt’s battered foot held up as he eyes another Australian Open campaign later in the month.

The veteran moved freely and showed no outward discomfort against Verdasco, who, at No. 24 in the world, is ranked 162 places higher than his Australian opponent.

Although Hewitt admits that his foot still caused some pain, the former world No. 1 said it wasn’t enough to keep him off the court.

“You have to try to block out the pain as much as possible and concentrate on what you need to do on the court, tactics and game plan and everything else that’s going on out there,” Hewitt said.

His foot will be put to the test again when he faces off against France’s Richard Gasquet today.

World No. 33 Jarmila Gajdosova, who defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues in three sets on Sunday, will aim to upset France’s world No. 9 Marion Bartoli in the women’s singles today.

Meanwhile, world No. 7 Tomas Berdych hopes to improve on his grand slam performances in 2012 as he attempts to keep pace with the world’s top-eight tennis players.

Berdych, whose career highlight was reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2010, failed to fire in last year’s grand slams, with a quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open the best he could manage.

A first-round exit at the French Open, a round-of-16 defeat at Wimbledon and a round-of-32 flop at the US Open followed, although Berdych still ended the year with a top-10 ranking after solid performances in other ATP events.

Berdych, who combined with Petra Kvitova to lead the Czech Republic to a 2-1 Hopman Cup victory over Bulgaria yesterday, wants to have more of an impact in the grand slams.

“The expectations are pretty much similar to last year,” Berdych said.

“I want to end up again in the world tour finals in London, which means that I (need to) end up the year in the top eight.

“That’s what I would say (is) the bottom line.”

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

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UNSUNG HERO: Veteran giver still on the job

PASSION: Alli Hammett recently won a Community Service Award.ALLI Hammett has been volunteering since the ripe age of eight, yet 40 years later she is still giving back to the community.
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Ms Hammett, 48, came to Australia with her Welsh parents at the age of three and settled in ‘‘a one-horse town’’ near Campbelltown, Sydney.

‘‘I used to help mum at a disability service for children,’’ she said. ‘‘It was a very rich childhood and it helped me with my communication skills. I guess I was lucky to find my passion at an early age.’’

Ms Hammett moved to Newcastle in 1981 to study for an arts degree at the University of Newcastle and also completed a Bachelor of Teaching. During her studies she continued her voluntary work, about 10 to 20 hours every week.

‘‘If you’re happy in both it doesn’t feel like work,’’ she said.

In 1994 Ms Hammett ‘‘fell into community education’’ and began work as one of the first road-safety officers in NSW.

‘‘There was very little work done in road education before that,’’ she said. ‘‘We did a lot of work on fatigue and seatbelt use.’’

In 2000 Ms Hammett had a stroke and despite the serious predicament she found herself in, she said it was ‘‘the best thing that ever happened to me’’.

She was completely paralysed down her right side and imaging on her scans suggested she would never walk again.

‘‘I thought ‘that’s a pile of bullshit’, I wasn’t ready to accept that,’’ she said. ‘‘I fought tooth and nail to get back to work. It was a really big shock but our brains are built to function and I wasn’t going to give up.’’

Her recovery has astounded stroke specialists and Ms Hammett continues to work on committees to assist in changing how stroke and heart patients are treated in emergency wards.

After her recovery, Ms Hammett returned to work and even took up a position as CEO for an organisation.

She said she didn’t let her goals lower even after her health scare.

Not long after Ms Hammett returned to her roots and worked in Wales with disadvantaged youths.

There she became involved in the Village SOS program, which awards grants to rural villages in the UK to revive their community through new business ventures.

She became the village champion for a Scottish village named West Wemyss and helped its residents make business and financial plans. The village was one of six winners of a grant worth more than $500,000.

Ms Hammett returned to Newcastle to retire but she still does community work and is chairperson at Octapod, which runs community events in the Hunter including the This is Not Art festival.

She presented at the TEDxNewy conference last month on the topic ‘‘Let’s Make Stroke Sexy’’.

Ms Hammett received recognition for her 40 years of work in the community when she was presented with a NSW Community Service Award by Newcastle MP Tim Owen two weeks ago.

‘‘It’s the first award I have ever received for my work and the only one I want,’’ she said. ‘‘I don’t do this for awards, I do it because I love it.’’

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