Here’s your headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, road reports and more.
8.30am: That's a wrap for this morning. Remember to check in on your local paper's website for breaking news throughout the day.
8.27am: In Merimbula on Saturday? Ready to party? The Swamp Stompers are kicking off the New Year with a brand new EP, to be launched at Merimbula. Find out more.
8.17AM: Save the date.
Vino lovers and wine connoisseurs’ have been invited to clink glass for the Milton Show Society’s annual South Coast Wine Show public tasting event on Friday, January 20. Find out more.
8.13am quirky alert: Get to Tathra on Sunday!
Nimble piglets will visit Tathra on Sunday for the town’s popular pig races.
It is a day of family fun where you can buy a pig for a race and the winner receives half the pool. Read all about it.
8.04am: One minute. That's all it takes to cheat death when a guardian angel like John Molnar drops from the sky.
Dressed in a helmet, wetsuit and yellow fins, Molnar steps off the landing skids of a helicopter hovering 15 metres above Cape Banks on the northern headland of Botany Bay to demonstrate a lifesaving mission. Find out more.
7.59am: Sign me up!
7.49am: Eden Wharf was alive with action and interest on Thursday with visits from both The World and tall ship, Tenacious. Take a tour.
7.40am: Police are seeking help with this one.
A man has been hospitalised after an aggravated break and enter at Nowra on Wednesday, January 4. Full story.
7.35am: NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers against using inflatable air loungers in water following reports of near drownings. Find out more.
Partly cloudy. Areas of fog early this morning. Medium (60%) chance of showers during the morning and early afternoon. Light winds becoming E 15 to 20 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the evening. Daytime maximum temperatures in the mid to high 20s.
For those hitting the road this morning we’ve got a clear run so far. Good news for train commuters, there are no delays on the South Coast line.
Need a national news snapshot first thing? Well, we have you covered.
►LITHGOW, NSW: Sixty-eight people, 50 of them children, were on two buses when they crashed near Lithgow on Thursday afternoon. Read more
►LAKE MACQUARIE, NSW: Its door was open and it had been sitting on the shoulder of a Lake Macquarie dirt track for a while when a pair of metal collectors decided to take a closer look. Read more
►RIVERINA: Renowned actor Tiriel Mora, who played lawyer Dennis Denuto in The Castle, has breathed a heavy sigh of relief after a Junee local saved the film’s house from demolition this week. Read more
►LORNE, VIC: Falls Festival patrons injured and traumatised in a stampede could have grounds for compensation. Warrnambool’s Maddens Lawyers has spoken with festival patrons affected by the December 30 incident, which saw 19 people hospitalised and more than 60 people treated by paramedics. Read more
►LEETON, NSW: Police have released more detail following Tuesday’s horrific double fatal truck accident near Whitton. Read more
►WAGGA, NSW: Vandals have ravaged a Wagga car yard and dealt more than $100,000 damage during a New Year’s Day “demolition derby”. Read more
►ALBURY-WODONGA: A murderer jailed for at least 16 years over a drunken double stabbing in Wodonga is continuing to fight his conviction. Read more
►MANDURAH, WA: One year after the small town of Yarloop was gutted by fire life goes on. Read more
►GOOLGOWI, NSW: A four-year-old boy has had a brush with death after he was found at the bottom of a community pool on Wednesday afternoon. Read more
►BALLARAT, VIC: Two boys aged 10 and 11 have been arrested and interviewed by police after fires at Sebastopol on Thursday. Read more
►ILLAWARRA, NSW: A man accused of pointing a loaded gun at a Shoalhaven shop owner and pulling the trigger remains behind bars after facing court on Thursday. Read more
► ARARAT, VIC: Disco diva Kylie Minogue is sending her treasured costumes, memorabilia and films to Ararat. Minogue’s Kylie on Stage exhibition is set to arrive in town mid-next year to mark the opening of the $6 million Ararat arts precinct redevelopment. Read more
►WANGARATTA, NSW: A two-year-old boy is expected to make a full recover after he dragged unconscious and not breathing from a pool in Wangaratta on Thursday. Emergency services say CPR at the scene saved the boy’s life. Read more
►MT ISA, QLD: The Mt Isa community is outraged at the disposal of a dead dog, which was discovered on the banks of Mica Creek near two piles of rubbish including a pile of wood chips. Read more
►Linda Burney, Labor's human services spokeswoman, has written to the Australian National Audit Office requesting they investigate Centrelink's controversial $4.5 billion debt clawback project amid ongoing accusations that it is unfairly targeting people and miscalculating bills. Read more
►The federal consumer watchdog is urging motorists to shop around and grab the cheapest petrol they see, with prices expected to jump in coming days. Read more
►Consumer protection authorities are warning Australians not to use air loungers in water after two people nearly died while floating on them in backyard pools on Christmas Day. Read more
►Almost nine out of 10 international students studying in Sydney would recommend the city to their friends as a place to live and study, despite persistent complaints about the high cost of public transport and accommodation, according to the first major research done on the experiences of international students in Australia. Read more
►PHILIPPINES: A top Philippine militant who pledged allegiance to Islamic State has been killed in the group's latest setback in its attempts to sow terror across south-east Asia. Read more
►INDONESIA: Indonesia's hardline military chief Gatot Nurmantyo has little love for Australia. Hints of the lead-up to Indonesia's dramatic decision to suspend military ties with Australia can be found in General Gatot's public lectures over the past two months, posted on YouTube. Read more
►Evidence the earth experienced a slowdown in global warming over the past couple of decades has been further eroded with a new US study confirming climate change continues unabated. Read more
1412: Tradition suggests that Christian martyr Joan of Arc was born.
1912: Australia’s first aircraft crash occurs.
1925: Hollywood legend and humanitarian, Paul Newman, is born.
1955: English comedian Rowan Atkinson is born.
Like many men of his generation, Richard Hall came close to death during the Second World War.
However, he slowly fought back, recovering from extensive burns after a phosphorus landmine exploded on top of him the Papua New Guinean jungle in 1944.
On Wednesday, the Wollongong great-grandfather celebrated a centenary, turning 100 with friends, family and RSL members by his side.
“I’m feeling good about this,” the sprightly centenarian said at his party at Figtree’s Hillside residence on Wednesday afternoon.
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