Dec 20

Emergencies increase

TRAGEDY: LGH accident and emergency nurse unit manager Scott Rigby meets the rescue chopper with those injured in a car accident. Picture: Neil Richardson
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For most people, New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration, but for the staff at Launceston General Hospital’s emergency department, it can be highly unpredictable.

Accident and emergency nurse unit manager Scott Rigby has seen some tragediesin his time, and believes the number of incidents has increased year-on-year.

“We’re a little bit heightened, simply because we’ve seen an increase in presentations over this festive period,” Mr Rigby said.

“Compared to last year, we’ve probably seen about seven to eight per cent increase in the amount of people coming through the door.”

Mr Rigby said an increased population, higher prevalence of drugs, and warm weather presented a recipe for disaster.

He said each year was unpredictable, though the staff were well equipped to handle violent situations.

“One of the messages that we have, and we’ll repeat this year, is we’re actually here to help, it’s an increased stress time for that patient, but abuse towardthe staff is not tolerated,” he said.

Mr Rigby said support staff, open access to police, and security were there to assist in cases of violence against emergency staff.

Director of emergency Lucy Reed said alcohol remained the leading cause of admission to the emergency department, and often resulted in minor injuries.

“Often it’s not until New Year’s Day, when they wake up, but certainly overnight we can have some increased presentations,” Ms Reed said.

Mr Rigby said the trend of increased emergency department admissions appeared to be national.

Data from theAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare showed 1 per cent of hospitalisations across the countrywere drug-related, of those, 55 per cent were alcohol related.

Ambulance Tasmania regional manager Craig Westlake said additional resources would be placed aroundHobart, Burnie and Launceston.

“We want our paramedics to be safe, we’re seeing increasingly right across Australia that there are violence and assaults against paramedics…and we can’t help your mates if we’re saving ourselves,” Mr Westlake said.

“We certainly see a small increase in our workload (on New Year’s Eve), but it’s certainly not the biggest night of the year, generally it’s more confined to other events like Grand Final Day.”

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Dec 20

Amazon’s latest idea is a flying warehouse that will deliver your stuff by drone

The flying warehouse system as described in Amazon’s patent filings. Photo: Amazon/US Patent and Trademark Office The sky’s the limit for Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. Photo: NYT
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The company made its first delivery by drone earlier this month. Photo: Amazon

Amazon is exploring the use of giant airships to serve as mobile, flying warehouses that could help the online retail giant deliver more of its goods by drone.

You might already be familiar with Amazon’s drone delivery service, which recently received a demo in the United Kingdom for the first time. But the idea for a fleet of large airships, disclosed in filings to the US Patent and Trademark Office, expand on those ambitions dramatically.

Imagine you’re at a baseball game and wanted to buy a meal or a jersey without ever leaving your seat. The system Amazon describes would allow you to place an order and receive the item within minutes. From its so-called “airborne fulfillment centers” hovering near the stadium, Amazon would dispatch a drone with your purchase. The drone would float or glide most of the way, then turn on its propellers and navigate itself to you directly.

While Amazon’s existing goal with drone delivery is to get you your stuff within 30 minutes, airships could potentially reduce that time even further. Unlike Amazon’s land-based warehouses, which by definition can’t move around, airborne fulfillment centres could respond to surges in demand even before they occur, according to the patent filing.

Large gatherings of people for a specific event, such as a concert or a sports game, are one example Amazon highlights as a clear-use case. But Amazon also appears to believe that using airships could reduce the costs of drone delivery in general.

In looking to airships, Amazon draws upon a long technological tradition dating back to the 19th century, when some of the world’s first self-propelled dirigibles were created. (Amazon’s patent was awarded in April, but news of the idea only spread recently after an analyst at CBInsights stumbled upon the filings.)

Sending drones out from a ground-based facility requires substantial energy, the filing says, because the drone must have its propellers spinning constantly to stay aloft. What’s more, having to make a return trip to the warehouse with no payload onboard could be a wasteful expense. By contrast, Amazon believes it could be more efficient to deploy drones from airships that remain at high altitudes ; the drones could float or glide most of the way down to earth by way of gravity, rather than using their own power.

The airships would have to be resupplied periodically, of course. Amazon envisions still more airships – smaller ones – that could shuttle more drones, products and other things needed to keep the airships functioning up to the larger carrier.

The patent was filed in late 2014 and there’s no word on when such a system might debut; an Amazon spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Some patents never even lead to actual products. But companies such as Facebook and Google have floated the use of airships and drones to beam internet connectivity down to earth, so it was likely only a matter of time before Amazon began thinking about how to apply the same technology to its business.

The Washington Post

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Dec 20

Listed law firm Shine Corporate loses CEO Courtney Petersen after only 5 months

Shine Corporate boss Courtney Petersen has resigned. Clean water campaigner Erin Brockovich is still an ambassador for Shine, according to the law firms website.
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Shine Corporate, the listed law firm tied to celebrity US legal eagle Erin Brockovich, has lost its chief executive officer Courtney Petersen after only five months at the helm.

Ms Petersen will be replaced by the person she replaced in August, company co-founder Simon Morrison. Shine’s other co-founder Stephen Roche will also return as a consultant, the company said in a statement to the ASX on Friday.

The resignation of Ms Petersen comes less than two weeks after the law firm issued a profit warning for 2017 and flagged further impairments within its business.

Ms Petersen was appointed CEO in August as part of a management restructure that saw co-founder Simon Morrison step back from the role.

Her departure continues a management shakeup at the law firm, coming shortly after chief legal officer Jim Holding left the company after only three months in the role. Mr Holding joined the company in August from DLA Piper and has returned to the firm as co-managing partner.

Meanwhile in November, Shine’s chief financial officer Daniel Wilkie took extended leave for health reasons. Ravin Raj is acting finance chief.

Chairman Tony Bellas thanked Ms Petersen for her contribution to Shine.

“Courtney joined Shine in April 2015 and the board recognises her valuable achievements during that time,” Mr Bellas said.

“The board is pleased to see the return of the founders to the company to lead it through the next phase of its growth,” Mr Bellas said.

Ms Petersen was appointed in tumultuous times for the company, which like its rival, listed law firm Slater & Gordon, has been forced to revise how it accounts for the revenue from partly completed law cases. Profit warnings

Similarly to Slater & Gordon, Shine — which also runs class actions — is facing a potential class action following a swinging profit downgrade in January 2016, which has triggered a slump in its share price this year.

On December 19, Shine Corporate issued another profit warning citing “challenging conditions” in its energy and resources legal practice area.

“The company will be reviewing the asset carrying value of its energy and resources practices at the half year ending December 31, 2016,” Ms Petersen said at the time.

“Whilst this review is yet to be finalised, the company expects an impairment of up to $5 million may be required,” Ms Petersen added.

As a result of the poor performance in its energy and resources practice area, Shine said its pre-tax earnings would come in at between $36 million and $40 million for the year to June. No earlier guidance had been given.

In 2016, Shine slashed an initial profit forecast of $52 million to $56 million, saying earnings would come in at between $24 million and $28 million amid concerns about how the company was booking revenue for partly completed legal cases. It ended up reporting a $25 million operating profit, down 43 per cent from the year before.

Shine’s shares were trading at 75¢ on Friday — well below their March 2015 high of $3.36 and down 62 per cent for the year. Its shares were trading at $2 ahead of its suspension in January and plummeted to 53.5¢ when the suspension was lifted.

Ms Brockovich, a lawyer who ran a successful class action over water contamination in the US and was made internationally famous in 2000 through the eponymous film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts, formed a relationship with Shine in 2007 and remains an ambassador for the group, according to the law firm’s website.

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Dec 20

Barrier a help in Plate dream

Our Marscapony was bought to be a MIA Breeders Plate horse and can fulfill that promise on Sunday.
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The Armstrong family purchased the filly as a yearling with the hope of taking out Leeton’s feature race.

PLATE CHANCE: Our Marscapony completes some of her final preparations with Coolamon trainer Liam Armstrong ahead of the Group Three MIA Breeders Plate at Leeton on Sunday. Picture: Laura Hardwick

She nowgets her chance after coming up with barrier two.

Trainer Liam Armstrong believes she will put in a better performance from an ideal barrier draw.

“She will be fully fit after last week’s run and I think I’ve got the best draw in the race,” Armstrong said.

“I’d rather been drawn there than where Ray Walker is (with Our Mach Jack in barrier two).”

The filly has been the perfect distraction for the entire familyas patriarch Garry undergoes treatment for cancer.

To take out the $40,000 feature would be a massive boost.

“We bought her specifically just for this race and it would be a good race to win,”Armstrong said.

“It is worth a lot of money and it is the biggest race in the region.”

After a comfortable win on debut at Kilmore earlier in the month, Our Marscapony failed to live up to expectations in Monday’s heat.

Sitting without cover for most of the race, she faded late to finish fifth, 15.6 metres off Miss Sangrial.

However her trainerbelieves she will take plenty of benefit from the effort.

While given a harder run than expected, Armstrong wasn’t too disappointed in her effort.

“It was probably harder than I wanted it to be as she hadn’t had a run in two weeks coming off Kilmore,” he said.

“She probably didn’t need that hard of a run, but she’s pulled up good from it.

“We will just have to see what happens.”

Armstrong failed to get his licence upgraded in order to race in the Group Three classic so Grant Forrest will take the reins.

The Coolamon trainer has another goal in the race, to be the first filly home and pocket the extra$1000 up for grabs for doing so.

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Dec 20

Get techy at Tura Library

An interactive Tech Expo will be part of the school holiday program on offer at Tura Marrang and Bermagui libraries in January and will give local kids the chance to try out 3D Printing, Robotics, Coding, Drones and Electronic Music Making.
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Programs and Partnerships Officer, Scott Baker said that digital media and technology skills equip kids for the future workforce.

“It’s the perfect way to introduce kids to what’s possible; what they can build and achieve with different sorts of technology, at the same time having fun experimenting,” he said.

“We’re keen to run more in-depth workshops in the future where people can really explore some of this new technology a lot more, so the Tech Expo will give library staff a chance to gauge interest,” said Mr Baker.

A Marshmallow Challenge Workshop hosted by Simone Huigen will introduce kids to the thrill of project management and teamwork. Simone is one of the region’s most skilled IT project managers and developed the Buzz What’s On app.

The Pilot a Drone Workshop will give people the chance to fly one of the library’s small but highly capable drones.

Coding Camp will run at Bermagui library and is a fun introduction to the world of coding led by Carsten Eckelmann, founder of 2pi Software.

In addition, try-out stations of 3D Printing, Robotics and Electronic Music Making will happen throughout the day from 10.30am-3.30pm.

The Tech Expo will be at Tura Marrang library on Wednesday 11 January and at Bermagui library on Monday 16 January.

The Tech Expo and workshops are free. Bookings are required for the Marshmallow Challenge, Pilot a Drone and Coding Camp workshops and places are limited with age restrictions.

For more information, session times and to book online go to梧桐夜网begavalleyshirelibrary.eventbrite南京夜网419论坛or phone Tura Marrang library on 6499 2340 or Bermagui library on 6499 2411.

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Nov 20

Parvovirus spike calls for warning

IMMEDIATE ACTION: Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery veterinarian Paul McMahon advised residents to seek help if their pets are acting strange, looking unwell and vomiting. Photo: SuppliedA spike in the amount of dogs admitted to the Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery with parvovirus hasveterinarianPaul McMahon cautioning pet owners.
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In the last week, 11 canines have been put down at the clinic due to contracting the deadlydisease.

Parvovirus is a life-threatening illness –living in the environment on soil and animal feces for up to a year – which could prove fatal if left untreated.

“You need to vaccinate your dog; that’s the message, clear and simple,” Mr McMahon said.

“It is particularly crucial for puppies to get vaccinated and receive their booster shots, as they’re still growing and developing.

“Their immune systems aren’t as strong; but, that doesn’t mean older dogs can’t get it too.”

Mr McMahon said mature age dogs are susceptible to contracting the disease if vaccinations are skipped or missed.

“If you can see your dog is vomiting, reluctant to eat and is not being their usual happy self, seek veterinary help immediately,” he said.

“It’s not worth the risk to wait to see if they’re okay.”

The life-threatening illness attacksthe gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems of dogs.

In young animals, if infected, parvovirus can also damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems.

“We’ve had about 25 dogs admitted to our Jimboomba clinic in December, of which 11 have died in the last week,” Mr McMahon said.

“This time of year always tends to have a high number of parvovirus cases, and it’s because the disease lives in the environment and families are moving about with their pets on holidays.”

To reducethe risk of your dogcontracting the disease, make sureyour pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date andlimit the amount of time your pet has with un-vaccinated cats and dogs.

For more information on how to prevent parvovirus, contact your nearest veterinary clinic.

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Nov 20

Nhill-Jeparit bridge work welcomed

VICROADS hasannounced the Nhill-Jeparit Road bridge will receive a $900,000 upgrade.
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Works will start on January 30 and finish in June.

Hindmarsh Shire Mayor Debra Nelson welcomed the investment.

“It’s great to see projects happening and assets being upgraded in Hindmarsh,” she said.

“It’s always good to do before it’s needed, to keep things in good repair.”

Cr Nelson said the investment would ensure the bridge was usable into the future.

“Trucks and farm vehicles are getting bigger every day and the improvements make sure the bridge can cope into the future,” she said.

“A lot has changed since the bridge was originally built I’m sure.”

Cr Nelson said the bridge was an important road for the agricultural industry but also for tourism.

She said while construction detours might have an impact on industry, the timing was beneficial as harvest would be mostly complete by the time works started.

VicRoads regional director Ewen Nevett said the work would strengthen the bridge deck and upgrade safety barriers.

“Strengthening works allow the bridge to operate without the need for a load limit for heavy vehicles in the future, allowing local freight to be transported efficiently to domestic and international markets” he said.

MrNevett said land closures and traffic signs would be in place to ensure the safety of road users and workers.He said a 3.2-metre vehicle width restriction would apply during construction, with wide vehicles recommended to use the Western Highway and Dimboola-Rainbow Road.

“Drivers need to be alert and remember the changed traffic conditions when travelling in the area,” he said.

MrNevett said an average of 410 vehicles used the bridge each day.

He said it was on the mainroute between Nhill and Jeparit and was the only western entrance to the town.

Mr Nevett said it formedpart of one of two primary routes between the town and the Western Highway and supportedindustry.

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Nov 20

The Mail’s most read of 2016 – number 7: Robber reeling at jail time

Kimberley Louise Reale was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for violently kicking a teenager for her purse in the Bunbury CBD. Photo: Facebook
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Related content:

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July 19, 2016: A woman who brutally kicked a teenager in the head to steal herpurse has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.

Kimberley Louise Reale, 21, frontedBunbury DistrictCourt on July 18after spending 92 days in custody where she pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery.

An enraged Reale yelled out“dog” as she exited the courtroom and proceeded to bash the walls of her holdingcell after her sentence was handed down.

State prosecutor Mark Hunter told the courton the night ofThursday, March 31, the defendant attacked18-year-old Caroline Reimers from behind, outside The Commercial Clubon Wittenoom Street.

Mr Hunter saidRealeyanked her victim to the ground by her hair and kicked her in the back of her head before demanding her purse.

After the purse was handed over, the defendantdealt two more kicks to the victimbefore scampering off.

The purse contained $180 and personal cards.

Police later intercepted Reale in the BunburyCBD where she was found to be in possession of the purse, albeit $130 shortand was later charged.

Mr Hunter told the court Reale’s continued kicking of the victim after the purse was handed over was concerning and the significant violence displayedcalled forimmediate imprisonment.

Reale’s defence lawyer Natasha Earlinsonasked Judge Michael Bowden to consider a term of suspended imprisonment as her client was young, had made an early plea of guilty, was remorseful and had anger management issues.

Judge Bowden said a significant sentence had to be imposed toact as a deterrent and toreflectthe seriousnessof the incident.

“Sentencing is not just about you,” Judge Bowden said to Reale.

“Your behavior was inappropriate and unjustified.

“People are entitled to walk the street and feel safe.”

Judge Bowden also orderedReale to pay $130 in restitution.

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Nov 20

Top 10 Maitland stories of 2016

Top 10 Maitland stories of 2016 TV: Home and Away cast. Picture: Facebook
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CRIME SCENE: A critical incident has been launched following the death in custody at Maitland police station. Picture: Perry Duffin.

Wallis Creek crash. Picture: Perry Duffin

Search for missing Metford teen Zac Barnes at Thornton. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

BERESFIELD: Emergency services remain at the scene where one person has reportedly died. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

RESCUER: Marc Grayson came to the aid of a woman being bashed and robbed. Pictures: Perry Duffin.

Slideapalooza preview at Calais Estate, 19/12/16. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Police and SES continue the search for missing horse trainer Bindi Cheers, in bushland at Beresfield. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

KILLED: Liam Reeves, 21, was struck by a train while walking along tracks between East Maitland and Victoria Street stations. Picture: Mark Reeves.

TweetFacebookMaitland Mercurywas there for every moment.

These are the most popular online stories of 2016, from number 10 to number 1.

10) 21 year-old man loses his life when struck by a train at East Maitland.”Liam was a great bloke, he was the most loyal person I’ve ever met,” devastated big brother Mark Reeves said on Sunday.

9. Snake goes shopping in Maitland mall.Staff member Gail Oldis was up in the front window area of the store when the snake came in…. “The clothes didn’t suit him so he left,” Ms Oldis said.

8. Missing woman survives three days in the bush, eluding search parties.It is understood she had all the hallmarks of surviving in the bush since Sunday –she was dazed, confused andhad dirt under her fingernails.

7. Slideapalooza festival coming to the HunterAVIP preview was held at Pokolbin’sCalais Estate on Monday, with the world’s biggest inflatablewaterslide (measuring 400 metres)put to the test.

6. Police launch search for man who attacked a woman in deserted Maitland car parkThe man saw the two alleged offenders as they attempted to flee towards Elgin Street. He gave chase and using his martial arts skills managed to grab one of the attackers and restrain him until police arrived.

5. Fatal truck and car accident at BeresfieldThe crash happened at Beresfield about 8.45am. AMitsubishi rigid truck, a Hilux utility, a Holden Captiva and a Rav4 were involved in the fatal collision.

4. Zac Barnes: Mother of missing teen pleads for information as police and SES search area at Thornton“We need him to know that if he is thinking he might be in trouble, that there is absolutely nothing he could have done that would cause us not to want to help and support him.”

3. Fatal crash ended with car submerged in Wallis Creek at East MaitlandInitial investigations suggest a Ford Falcon, was travelling west on the highway when it left the roadway, crashed through a fence and landed in Wallis Creek.

2. Critical incident investigation launched after woman found dead in Maitland police station cellWithin five hours of being taken to Maitland police station, she wasdead, found by police officersin acell fitted withclosed circuit television cameras.

1. Home and Away filming at Maitland GaolYou could be an extra on the set ofHome and Away. The Channel 7television soap will be in the Hunter next week to film at Maitland Gaol.

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Nov 20

Young women’s scholarship open

Bega Valley Shire Council is calling on young local women to apply for the 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD) Young Women’s Scholarship.
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IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is ‘Be Bold for Change- advance and unleash the limitless potential that women have.’

The $500 IWD Scholarship will be awarded to five local woman aged between 18 and 25.

Anne Cleverley, Council’s Community Development Co-ordinator said there had been an increase in the funds available and in the number of scholarships.

“The five recipients can come from a range of endeavour’s including arts and culture, environment, business, and health,” Ms Cleverly said.

Scholarships will be awarded for individual and community initiatives that aim to create a better, more inclusive, gender equal world.

People of diversity are encouraged to apply including Aboriginal people, those of diverse gender and sexuality, people living with disabilities, and people experiencing financial hardship.

Last year, scholarship recipient Jenny Walker, 23yrs, used the $500 to support her lifelong dream of becoming a paramedic for the Bega community.

“As a person with a minor learning disability, Jenny has faced some trials along the way and aspires to complete a Certificate IV qualification, while inspiring other young women along the way,” Ms Cleverly said.

Applications for the scholarship close at midnight on 27 January 2017. More information can be found on Council’swebsite.

The selected applicants will be asked to attend a presentation at the International Women’s Day event which will be held at Spiral Gallery in Bega in early March.

For more information about the Young Women’s Scholarship pleasecontact Sarah Davis|Place Based Officer | Bega Valley Shire Council T: 02 6499 2192|M: 0438 483 209|E:[email protected]论坛

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