Man killed in bobcat accident near Moree

A REPORT will be prepared for the coroner after a man was crushed to death by a bobcat near Moree.
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The accident happened yesterday just after 8.30am.

WorkCover last night said the accident occurred at Brundle Park, a property off the Newell Highway, about 35km north of Moree, when tragedy struck.

They said the 69-year-old man was fatally injured while operating a bobcat to carry out earthworks on the property.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said paramedics were called, but the man was deceased when paramedics arrived at the scene.

WorkCover NSW is investigating the accident.

A report will be prepared for the coroner after a man was crushed to death by a bobcat near Moree.

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Howe a shining light for Demons

VERY few Melbourne players have done enough to earn their pay this season, but Dodges Ferry’s Jeremy Howe is an exception.
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The high-flier is one of the few players that generate any sort of excitement for the hapless Demons, playing a variety of roles over the first 10 rounds.

Against Hawthorn on Sunday, Howe started on the wing opposed to Stephen Hill, and collected 18 touches and kicked 1.0.

The 22-year-old is averaging 16 touches and seven marks a game this season, and has kicked 16.8.

He is eighth at Melbourne for disposals, first for marks, sixth for effective disposals, first for contested marks and second for marks inside 50.

Fellow Tasmanian and Demons vice-captain Colin Garland has also tried valiantly this season, and the Wynyard defender put in an excellent performance on Jarryd Roughead.

The Hawks forward kicked 3.1 in the rout, while Garland finished with 17 touches and six marks.

Hawthorn’s Grant Birchall, of Devonport, put in his best performance since the early part of the year, collecting 25 disposals at an amazing 100 per cent efficiency rate running off Jack Fitzpatrick.

At the SCG on Saturday, Launceston big-man Thomas Bellchambers was again strong in Essendon’s ruck, but apart from an important third-quarter goal had no impact around the ground.

Glenorchy’s Ryan Harwood impressed in his second appearance of the year for Brisbane.

Playing on Pies forwards Jamie Elliott, Andrew Krakouer and Ben Kennedy, the defender finished with 19 touches and six marks.

While his team suffered a great loss, Launceston’s Tim Mohr had a personal win as Greater Western Sydney went down to Carlton.

Mohr kept Jarrad Waite to 3.2 and collected 13 touches himself.

Surprisingly starting in Carlton’s defence, Lauderdale’s Mitch Robinson collected 29 touches with a lot of his disposal coming when the game was dead and buried.

Hobart’s George Burbury again showed promise as Geelong downed Gold Coast, kicking 1.1 from 13 touches, three marks and four tackles.

Meanwhile, Aaron Hall, also of Hobart, and Burnie’s Luke Russell provided great run and dash for the Suns.

Hall had 15 touches and took three marks, while Russell was outstanding with 1.0 from 20 disposals in his best game of the year.

West Moonah’s Liam Jones managed just 1.0 and one mark from 12 touches opposed to Alipate Carlile in the Bulldogs’ win over Port Adelaide.

Evandale’s Nathan Grima played on Rhys Stanley in North Melbourne’s big win over St Kilda, collecting 20 touches and 10 marks, while Stanley kicked 2.2.

Glenorchy’s Jimmy Webster was the Saints sub, coming on in the second half and finishing with nine touches and his first goal in the big time.

After a first quarter of frustration and not a touch of the footy, Clarence’s Jack Riewoldt moved up the ground to great effect with 2.0 from 11 touches and three marks in Richmond’s win over West Coast.

Beauty Point’s Sam Lonergan came off the bench in the third quarter and finished with nine touches.

Demons player Jeremy Howe, of Dodges Ferry. Picture: GETTY IMAGES.

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Golden Square clubmates selected in Victoria Country training squads 

GOLDEN Square is the only Bendigo Football Netball League club to have players selected for the AFL Victoria Country training squads.
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Travis Baird and Clayton Anderson made the Vic. 1 squad following the BFNL’s 23-point loss in Ballarat.

Square skipper Simon Rosa was originally selected, but pulled out because of other commitments.

Peter Knights will coach Vic. 1 against the Victorian Amateur Football Association’s seniors on Sunday, July 7 at the Junction Oval.

The Hawthorn champion said the 37-player squad was picked solely on performances in this year’s country championships.

“It certainly hasn’t been selected on past performances, on reputation, it’s been selected on form,” said Knights, now in his sixth year in charge.

“Obviously the two Bendigo league boys had strong performances against Ballarat, even though Ballarat were the stronger team.

“It’s fair to say we know Travis very well, he’s been part of the Vic team on numerous occasions with me.

“It’s (Clayton’s) first time with me. I look forward to meeting Clayton – that’s exciting.”

Coach of Bendigo’s inter-league team, Jeff Brennan said having three players selected was “pretty good” representation and credited Golden Square’s football program.

“It’s certainly a tick for Golden Square and the players they get in the system there,” he said.

“The other great thing about Square is they support inter-league wholeheartedly.”

Golden Square also has the BFNL’s only two representatives – Hamish Morcom and Jack Daley – in the Damian Sexton-coached under-19s.

The under-19s play the VAFA’s 19s in the curtain-raiser at the Junction Oval on July 7.

The Vic. 2 minor leagues team will face a VAFA’s lower grades-combined team at Harry Trott Oval in Albert Park.

Heathcote DFL’s Ryan Semmel (Huntly) and Hayden Wright (White Hills) are in the Vic. 2 squad, coached by John Cossar.

Wedderburn ruckman Brett Strange is the sole North Central FL representative.

Carisbrook forward Matthew Bilton and Harcourt midfielder Matthew Giri, from the Maryborough-Castlemaine DFL, also made the 41-player squad.

Final teams will be picked after training sessions in Melbourne.

Ex-South Bendigo player Leigh Burke is one of five Ballarat players in the major league Vic 1 squad.

Ballarat had the second-most inter-league players selected, behind Goulburn Valley with nine.

No. 1-ranked country championships league Geelong had four players receive the call-up.

Five BFNL players were picked for last year’s Vic 1 squad after the win over Gippsland at the QEO.

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Top Sydney DJ one of two missing men

THE second fisherman missing off the NSW Central Coast has been identified as Sydney DJ Richard Choi.
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Two days of searching have failed to find any trace of 44-year-old father of two Damion Diamond and Mr Choi, who is also know as DJ Akira.

The men left the Norah Head boat ramp on Sunday morning in a 4.6-metre runabout.

They were intending to go fishing at Bird Island, four nautical miles to the north-east, despite warnings from locals of bad weather and deteriorating sea conditions.

Mr Diamond from The Entrance, and Mr Choi, 37, sent an emergency text message on Sunday night saying they were out of fuel and needed help.

The search was suspended on Monday evening and resumed at first light on Tuesday.

Mr Choi is renowned in Sydney’s dance music scene, having DJ’d at major events and parties for almost 20 years.

Three Water Police vessels, the police helicopter and police on jet skis were searching on Tuesday, a police spokesman said.

AAP

DAMION DIAMOND

Most golden staph in Armidale hospital

ARMIDALE hospital has the highest rate of golden staph infection in the region.
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Five cases of golden staph bloodstream infection caught while receiving medical care were reported in 2011-12 over a period of 27,711 patient bed days – a rate of 1.8 cases per 10,000 patient bed days.

A report released by the National Health Performance Authority yesterday shows this is higher than the average rate of similar public hospitals around the country, which sits at 0.71 cases per 10,000 days.

The national benchmark is no more than two cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

Tamworth hospital reported eight cases in 81,020 patient bed days at a rate of 0.99 cases per 10,000 days, with the average rate of its peer group 0.9 cases per 10,000 days.

Tamworth was classed in the report as a major hospital with a smaller proportion of patients vulnerable to infection, while Armidale was a medium hospital with a higher proportion of at-risk patients.

The report, which looked at 352 public hospitals around the country, found those with more vulnerable patients experienced higher rates of infection, as do bigger hospitals.

People who contract golden staph infections can become very ill and have longer stays in hospital, and 20 to 35 per cent die from this or a related cause.

Performance Authority chief executive officer Dr Diane Watson said while the number of infections was small compared to the number of patients that pass through public hospitals each year, golden staph was a serious infection and each case was considered potentially preventable.

Inverell, Moree, Gunnedah, Glen Innes, Narrabri, Walcha, Warialda, Barraba and Bingara hospitals and multipurpose services reported no cases in the 2011-12 period.

Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital recorded 55 cases in 2011-12, giving it the fourth-highest rate of infection among major hospitals in Australia.

Armidale hospital has the highest rate of golden staph infection in the region.

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Ballard to miss big season game

Football
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DANE Ballard has been ruled out of Yoogali Soccer Club’s massive top-of-the-table clash with Hanwood FC on Friday night due to suspension.

In a massive setback for YSC, the Scottish striker will miss his side’s biggest game this season after accruing three yellow cards over the first seven rounds of the local competition, automatically triggering a one-game ban.

Ballard leads the GDFA goalscorers list with 17 goals, eight clear of his nearest rivals.

He helped himself to 11 goals against a nine-man Northbridge FC side in YSC’s 17-0 State Cup win on Sunday, also bringing his tally in the statewide knockout competition to that same number – 17.

“It’s a big blow for us, no doubt, but over the course of the year these things happen,” YSC coach Sante Donadel said.

“You’re going to have players who can’t play because of yellow cards or injuries or whatever. Obviously we’d rather he was able to play.

“I think Hanwood are more disappointed than what I am because they were keen to play us at full strength, but we can’t change the rules.

“We’ve got to deal with it the best way we can.”

Donadel said he received confirmation from the Griffith District Football Association late last week that Ballard was to serve a suspension in round 8 of the competition.

While he was allowed to play in the State Cup, he was banned from playing the reserve grade fixture against Hanwood FC later on Sunday afternoon, which finished 2-1 in YSC’s favour.

Ryan Spencer and Luke Condon – the two players Donadel named as the “frontrunners” to slip into Ballard’s position at the point of attack – both played in the reserves game.

“Those two are probably the frontrunners for that spot at the moment,” Donadel said.

“It just depends on this week and who’s good (at training). We’ll have a decent bench so we can always swap things around on the day.

“It’s fortunate that we’re starting to get a few guys back from injury, which helps. I’m lucky I’ve got a few options.”

Dane Ballard

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Multisport athletes limbering up for challenge

THE picturesque surrounds of Trevallyn Reserve will again throb to the beat of physical exercise on July 7 with the second annual Icebreaker Challenge multisport event.
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Organisers said they were delighted to welcome back the cream of Australia’s multisport athletes including inaugural winner Jarad Kohlar, but stressed they were just as keen to see as many Tasmanian keep-fitters as possible.

The 9-kilometre paddle across Lake Trevallyn, 18km mountain bike ride around the new tracks in Trevallyn Reserve and 8.5km trail run have been tailored to appeal to both elite individuals and casual competitors, who have the option of entering in teams.

“We’d like to think the course is still achievable for weekend multisport athletes,” race director Mark Padgett said.

“These distances are more achievable than other events, which are really geared towards the elite competitors.”

About 300 competitors took part in last year’s inaugural event, including 50 individual entrants, and with $8000 worth of prizes on offer, a similar field is expected this year.

Launceston mum Jenny Purtell embodies the event’s target competitor with the 44-year-old aiming to race alongside her husband with her two sons serving as support crew.

“I just wanted to set myself a goal to get fit,” she said.

“I love riding and paddling and thought the distances were achievable, so thought I’d give it a go.

“I even bought a new kayak because I wanted to be back before dusk or they might have closed the gates on me.”

All legs of the event start and finish on the shores of Lake Trevallyn making the event spectator friendly, with the lead racers expected to take about 2 hours and 20 minutes to finish.

Padgett said being part of a national series for the first time should also give the event added exposure.

2013 Icebreaker Challenge competitors Jenny Purtell and Julie Sladden, of Launceston, tune up for the big event. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER.

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Full-time Fev? Hawkins pitches for permanency

BACCHUS Marsh coach Doug Hawkins has not ruled out trying to lure Brendan Fevola to the club on a full-time basis next year.
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Fevola played a one-off match for the Cobras on Saturday, luring more than 2500 people to Maddingley Park and almost single-handedly steering Bacchus Marsh to what would have been the most unlikely of wins over Sunbury.

Booting four goals (more than half of the Cobras’ score), the former Carlton and Brisbane Lions superstar provided a massive boost for Bacchus Marsh, both financially and on the field.

Two late goals to Sunbury’s Xavier Linton ruined the fairytale finish for the Marsh, but Fevola’s impact was unquestionable.

The aftermath of the Fevola experiment is still very much in its infancy, but all signs indicate having Fevola at Maddingley Park for the day was an outstanding success.

Hawkins told The Courier he would love to have the 32-year-old at the club again next year, possibly on a full-time basis.

Although a number of issues would still need to be addressed to get Fevola back to Bacchus Marsh, Hawkins said it would be huge for the club.

“I’dlove to get him back, there’s no doubt about it,” Hawkins said.

“At the end of the day he is an AFLgreat. If he’s the worst AFL player going around these days, then I’m off theplanet.”

Speaking after the match, Fevola said hewas keeping his options open next year.

“I’ll have to have a chat with Dougy andsee what happens,” Fevola said.

“He’s a great fella and he’s doing agreat job down here with all the young kids and hopefully they can have a goodrest of the year and the next couple of years they’re going to be really good.”

Fevola is currently playing home gamesfor Yarrawonga in the Ovens and Murray Football League, having booted 34 goalsin just six games this year.

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Bacchus Marsh coach Doug Hawkins gets a laugh out of Brendan Fevola on Saturday.

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IMac bounces back to form in big way for Braves 

Last September, the Bendigo Bank Braves announced the “IMac” was back.
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But the man himself, Ivan McFarlin, likes to think he’s not quite back – to his best, anyway – just yet.

Yesterday, he was announced the South East Australia Basketball League player of the week with a combined 52 points and 19 rebounds for round 11.

But the big American believes he can improve – and that’s a scary proposition for the Braves’ opponents.

“I’m steadily improving each week, I just want to continue and play hard,” McFarlin said.

“I think the first couple of weeks I was trying to get the team involved more, now coach (Ben) Harvey has been telling me he wants me to score first, rather than pass.

“If I didn’t win (the award) this week, I’m pretty happy with the 11-game winning streak – you can’t be too mad at that.”

By McFarlin’s lofty standards, it was an up-and-down start to his third season in Bendigo.

There were some outstanding statlines, like a 36 point, 26 rebound return against Canberra.

But he also had three games of 10 points or less in the opening seven rounds.

Now, after some old-fashioned hard work, the 2011 east conference player of the year is closing in on top form.

“I’ve really been working hard, I really want to win the grand final this year,” he said.

“The past couple of years we played (2010 and 2011) I’ve always got to the grand final and never won.

“So I’m taking that initiative to make myself better at practice.

“I was maybe like three or four kilos over (weight when he arrived) and I’ve got many people to thank for losing that.

“Pete Natoli from Punches in Bunches has really helped me out on my core with boxing and it took out a couple of kilos.

“I’ve been going to the YMCA in Eaglehawk, that’s helped me a lot.

“My team-mates just really pushed me hard to get better each week and I’ve shed the weight.

“I can see I’ve been a little bit quicker and I’m getting results.”

The Braves couldn’t have asked for McFarlin to find consistency at a better time.

Fellow import Jazz Ferguson’s scoring has dropped in recent weeks as he’s been double-teamed.

But the “IMac” has lifted.

In his past five games, McFarlin has averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds.

“I’m starting to work more on my shot and my ball-handling so I can be a more damaging player in the league,” he said.

After a difficult season with its imports last year, it’s been all about THE team for the Braves this season.

This year’s imports were picked for their ability, but also their desire to win and willingness to play with a team-first attitude. So far, it’s worked, as the Braves sit second on the east conference ladder with a 12-3 record.

McFarlin believes this year’s team is better than the two conference-winning sides and he hopes to play a big part in proving that.

“I just think now everybody knows their role and what they’re supposed to do on court. Hopefully, when it gets to that point again in finals, I’ll be ready.”

STARS: Bendigo Braves team-mates Ivan McFarlin and Jazz Ferguson have played roles in the club’s 11-game winning run. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

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Knights help launch Red Nose Day 

BOND: Kristy Brown with Harvey, 9 months, and Knights’ Robbie Rochow. Picture: Jonathan CarrollIT was the first time Kristy Brown and Knights back-rower Robbie Rochow had met, but the pair already shared a sad understanding: both of their families have grieved the loss of a baby.
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Mrs Brown and other bereaved parents joined forces with the Newcastle Knights on Tuesdayto launch Sids and Kids’ Red Nose Day, to be held on June 28.

The organisation is fund-raising throughout June to support those affected by the death of a baby or child during pregnancy, birth, infancy or childhood.

Mrs Brown, of Beresfield, said her GP recommended she visit the Sids and Kids office at Hamilton South after she and husband, Elijah, lost their baby in 2010.

‘‘It would be the best thing I’ve ever done,’’ she said.

‘‘As soon as I walked in that door, I was welcomed as part of the family.

‘‘The support they provided 24/7, their love, their compassion, their cuddles – you’re never judged and no question is too silly.’’

Sids and Kids services include a drop-in centre, 24/7 support, one-on-one counselling, memorial services twice a year and a support group.

The Browns sadly lost another two babies in utero before Mrs Brown gave birth to son Harvey, now nine months old.

‘‘The depression and anxiety may have got the better of me and taken over my thoughts to not keep going and made me think I was not meant to be a mum,’’ she said.

‘‘Their help has made me a stronger person – they gave me the confidence to bounce back and try again.’’

Newcastle Knights player Robbie Rochow had also seen first-hand the work of the organisation.

‘‘My mum lost her first born and my brother James at 10weeks, he died of cot death and stopped breathing in his sleep,’’ he said.

‘‘Although it happened before I was born, it has greatly impacted my life – it’s always been part of my mum’s life and I used to help her sell red noses at shopping centres.’’

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