Storm hope Bellamy return locks Smith in

The Storm say Cameron Smith’s future should be sorted once Craig Bellamy returns to work.Melbourne Storm boss Dave Donaghy is counting on the return of coach Craig Bellamy to resolve a contract stalemate with Cameron Smith following reports the skipper is demanding a two-year deal.
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Bellamy and long-time football manager Frank Ponissi are due back at work next week after a post-season fact-finding mission in the UK and Europe.

Initially seeking a one-year deal which would see him surge pass the 400-game mark, it’s reported Smith is now seeking a two year contract.

Donaghy said the 35-year-old wasn’t holding the Storm to ransom with the extension but added the NRL club wouldn’t be walked over.

“It’s not a case as if Cam’s walked in and said ‘I want two years or I’m walking out’,” Donaghy told SEN Breakfast radio.

“It’s also not a case that we’ve said, ‘Here’s two years and would you like a foot rub as well’.

“For us it’s about ensuring the decisions we make into the future are in the best interests of the football club and collectively we all understand that.”

Donaghy said the club would consider the longer deal if it “worked for everyone”.

He said the club needed to balance the value of their ageing great and the financial worth of young stars.

“There’s many factors that go into decision making around signing a player, whether it’s a one-year, two-year, three-year deal, you’ve got to weigh up our list balance and salary cap,” Donaghy said.

“The reality is you pay players on what they’re delivering into the future, not what they’ve delivered.

“If everything is stacked up and it was a deal which worked for everyone and physically, mentally, Cameron was in a position that he was absolutely confident to continue at the age of 37, we would certainly give it strong consideration.”

Smith isn’t due back at training until early January, while as well Bellamy and Ponissi, Donaghy has also been overseas.

Signing a three-year deal in July to remain head coach for a remarkable 19 years, Bellamy will no doubt have the final say on his roster.

“It’s been challenging just by matter of circumstance and logistics,” Donaghy said.

“Craig and Frank are in the air flying back in from Europe so it’s been challenging finding a time for everyone to sit down and talk the future through but that will happen sooner rather than later.”

Donaghy admitted the Storm were still to complete a deal with star five-eighth Cameron Munster but insisted the outcome of the Smith contract wasn’t related.

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‘Hazardous’ air as dust storm hits Sydney

A thick line of dust that has smothered much of NSW and Sydney has caused air quality to reach a ‘hazardous’ level with another wave of dust set to come.
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Strong winds from a low pressure system have whipped up masses of dirt across the drought-stricken state, which headed towards the coast on Thursday.

The storm stretched more than 500km from the Victorian border, through Canberra and up towards Queensland.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Simon Louis says more dust is expected to be pushed to the coast late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

He said the dust should not be underestimated despite its grey, hazy appearance with the majority coming from lake beds in South .

“Even though it may not have looked quite so red and spectacular (as 2009) the air quality has dropped significantly,” Mr Louis told reporters in Sydney.

Environmental health director Richard Broome said people should stay inside as much as possible due to the air quality between Sydney and the Hunter reaching a ‘hazardous’ level.

“It’s important for the rest of the day people should be cautious,” he told reporters in Sydney.

He said dust particles can get very deep into people’s lungs and cause heart and lung conditions, asthma and emphysema to worsen.

NSW Ambulance Assistant Commissioner Tony Gately said there had been a “significant peak” in call outs with 90 people needing assistance due to asthma or breathing difficulties on Thursday morning.

Extra paramedics and call takers have been put on to meet the demand with up to eight calls coming in every hour.

“Anyone prone to respiratory distress needs to be absolutely vigilant,” Mr Gately said in a statement.

“This warning cannot be underestimated, conditions like asthma can be deadly and to take risks in the current conditions would be very ill advised.”

NSW Health has urged children, older people and those with respiratory conditions to take extra care.

The gusty winds which brought the dust have also affected flights at Sydney Airport with up 40 departing flights cancelled and delays across all airlines.

The Sydney Airport tweeted on Thursday afternoon both international and domestic flights have been effected as they are forced to operate on a single runway due to the weather.

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Homes of the HunterBeach sets scene for luxurious stylePhotos

Homes of the Hunter | Catherine Hill Bay | Photos Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth
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Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

TweetFacebookDoctor Who – bigger on the inside than the outside.

You wouldn’t realise the two-storey, five-bedroom, three-bathroom house is as spacious and magical as it is until you walk inside.

“They pulled out the ceilings and walls (making) that big open living area,” Suzie says. “We spend a hell of a lot of time there, and it sort of flows in and out onto the deck; it’s just stunning.”

They have a portable air-con but they hardly ever use it because the sun and the sea breeze keeps everything at the perfect temperature most days.

“It’s a big social home; you can sit 18 people around the table, and it’s got its own area downstairs. We’ve got the beach and the community,” she says.

The spotted gum hardwood floors are Tung oiled and a prominent part of the house. The builder picked the trees up at a plantation in Rockhampton after a cyclone; they were all blown over and knocked around. Baxter’s brother used them to build the floors, decking and structural posts.

While the renovations were happening, Baxter was in New York, and he’d come back and check it out from time to time.

“Kirk’s brother made it into a beautiful home; we’ve just maintained it and put our fluff in there,” Suzie says.

Their “fluff” is quite intriguing, particularly the artwork. They have a large collection from the many facets of their life.

“(We have) lots of art from travel; it’s a creative space,” Suzie says. “My husband has a thing for bulls; he’s a Taurus, so he’s got a connection with it.”

They have artwork from a friend in Spain, an artist named Alvaro Sotomayer. He paints a lot of bulls, and he’s also an activist fighting and protesting the Running of the Bulls and the suffering of animals.

The roomy ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom has a summer feel of fun and fresh with blue tiles and lots of space.

The downstairs bathroom has a luxurious tub, and it opens into a private courtyard; she calls it the “Bali area”.

Of course, it’s just a two-minute walk to the beach.

It’s certainly idyllic for a holiday, so it makes sense that the pair rent the place out from time to time.

When they aren’t renting it out, they love to visit. She says Catherine Hill Bay is a delightful community. When she and Bernard moved in 15 years ago they made three documentaries about the area. They interviewed a lot of the older miners in the town who have since passed away.

It appears that the film folks from Sydney have truly set up the perfect scene for themselves in ‘Catho’.

Have a home that could feature in Weekender?We’d love to see it.Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Qld strawberry accused granted bail

A Queensland woman accused of sparking a national food safety panic by inserting needles into strawberries allegedly mentioned the idea of doing so two years earlier.
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My Ut Trinh, 50, has been granted bail after being charged with food contamination offences earlier this month. Police allege they identified her DNA on a needle found in a strawberry punnet in Victoria.

Prosecutors allege the former strawberry farm supervisor was seeking revenge over a workplace grievance when she contaminated the fruit.

She allegedly told a co-worker: “If I hate anyone, I would put the needle in the strawberry and make them go bankrupt”, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

The co-worker claimed she made the comments “one or two years ago”.

Trinh’s lawyer Nick Dore argued the evidence was circumstantial and statements against her were “littered with hearsay and innuendo”.

“There is no motive. There has been no suggestion why this would occur,” Mr Dore said.

“That’s the strength of the case – a conversation that maybe occurred maybe one or two years ago.

“They say it’s to create financial harm. In the statement by the complainant … there’s no threat, ‘I’m going to do this’. There’s not, ‘if you don’t pay me X, I will do Y’.

“Where’s the disagreement? He (the complainant) in fact says there’s no disagreement.”

Trinh was working at Berrylicious in her hometown of Caboolture, north of Brisbane, between September 2 and 5 when she allegedly inserted needles into the fruit.

She was charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss.

DNA found on one of the needles was “100 billion times likely” to be Trinh’s, police prosecutor Cheryl Tesch told the court.

Growers like Trinh’s boss suffered financial losses of about $160 million, according the prosecution, as they were forced to destroy crops.

“It’s alleged the offences committed by the defendant had serious economic consequences … not just for the complainant farmer in this case … but for the n economy as a whole,” Ms Tesch said.

The first needle was discovered on September 9 when a man bit into a contaminated strawberry he bought at a supermarket.

Trinh almost immediately became a person of interest to police, the court had previously heard.

As more needles were discovered around the country – with many believed to have been planted by copycats – strawberries were stripped from shelves.

Police have said 230 needle contamination incidents were ultimately reported nationwide, affecting 68 strawberry brands.

Trinh will relinquish her passport and has been barred from speaking to former farm worker colleagues as part of her bail conditions.

She faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

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Newcastle’s light rail trips up R2-D2

Artificial Intelligence: R2-D2 after tripping over the light rail tracks in Newcastle. Tram lines are great for people usinglight rail, but not so much for droids.
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This recent photo shows the risks involved. R2-D2 came a cropper and was unable to get back up. Poor robot.

Cyclists will no doubt feel empathy, given one or two of their kind have had stackson the light rail track.

Topics hears adroid action group is gathering signatures for a petition to take to the city council.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp and cycling advocates recently raised concerns about the lack of a dedicated cycleway on Hunter Street. But what about a dedicated droid-way? Droids are a minority group who clearly need help. We know we can count on Tim to take the concerns of droids to Parliament.

We also read in the Herald on Thursday that Supercars will be given special treatment. The tram tracks will be covered up at Watt Street to prevent damage to racecars. This is clearly a case of droid discrimination.

Glen Fredericks, of Empire Coffee Co at Honeysuckle, is R2-D2’s owner and guardian. We reckon he’d be the most likely candidate to form a droid action group.

The droids will no doubt be accused of wanting the revitalisation of Newcastle to fail. But they’ve got Luke Skywalker, Yoda and The Force on their side. So they should be well equipped, as they seek fairness and justice in Newcastle and the wider galaxy.

Imagine if droid and cycling advocates joined forces. They could get some real change happening.

Like many people, we’re disappointed that there’s no dedicated cycling lane on Hunter Street. Our sense of disappointment now extends to the droid community.

Speaking of minority groups who need attention, we should spare a thought for cafes and other businesses in Newcastle outside the zone thatGlen has dubbed “Supercars City”.

With the big event on again this weekend, Glen’sbeen asked whether it’s worth coming to hiscafe or othersin Newcastle.

“Please do,” he said, adding that Hunter Street,Honeysuckle Drive and surrounding streetswill be quietif it’s anything like last year’s event.Hunter Street, he said, may as well havehad“tumbleweeds going down it”.

Last year, the thousands of spectators stayed insideSupercars City, spending little in eateries outside the event zone,Glen said.He has no beefwith this.

“The great thing is, people going to Supercars use public transport.If you’re thinking of coming into the Empire or any cafe or restaurant around here, come on in. There was stacks of parking last year. The streets were fairly clear.”

“Come to a cafe, get yourself brekky and enjoy the rest of Newcastle while everybody is packed into Supercars Citydoing their own thing.”

The TimeLordCultThe cult phenomenon that is Doctor Who will land in Wallsend on Saturday.

Whovians from far and wide will descend on the town’s Heroes and More store.

The time-traveling doctor has long held the fascination of discipleswho like nothing better than losing themselves in mysterious, fictional, parallel universes. Most fans would surely admit that thetime-travel theme is what most grips them about the long-running series. If you can find thetime, you might want to attend the event. It’llinclude specially ordered stock, trivia competitionsand prizes for best dressed. It runs from10am to2pm.

First EditionWhile we’re on the fantasy theme, we hear Cooks Hill Books has in its possession ann first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in 1997. The book was thefirst in theHarry Potterseries and JK Rowling’sdebut novel. It can be yours for $150.

Shopper RageCharlestown Square has a bag library.

“If you forget your re-usable bag, borrow one on us. If you have too many bags, leave them at the bag library for your fellow shoppers,” the shopping centre said on its Facebook page.

It added that the bag library was located on the ground floor atthe supermarket entrance.

Quite a few people were chuffed with this, saying in the commentsection that it was a cute idea. Some said it was helpful as they often forget their bags.

Funny thing is, though, you can get plastic bags at supermarkets for 15 cents. What’seven funnier is that there’sa lot of shopper rage in society about having to fork out 15 cents.Guess Charlestown Square is doing its bit to dampen this rage. With Christmas coming, that has to be a good thing.

Jodie Whittaker stars as Doctor Who.

A Harry Potter first edition.

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