Man charged after dragging horse behind car

9.26AM: A MAN has been charged after allegedly tying a horse to the back of his car and driving along a road at Lockhart.

Police allege the horse fell while the man was driving and later died.

The incident occurred last Thursday on Urana Boree Creek Road about 10pm.

At 3pm the following day, the man allegedly returned to the property to remove a second horse.

He walked the horse behind the vehicle for several kilometres before tying it to a tree and driving away.

Wagga police received reports of an injured horse,arrived at the scene at 10pmand the horse was later euthanised.

The Lockhart man was arrested Saturday evening and taken to Wagga station.

He was issued a field court attendance notice on two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two charges of failing to alleviate pain.

He is due to appear in court September 10.

Police urge anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page

Information will be treated in confidence.

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

Barrington dusted with third snow of 2014: photos

Barrington dusted with third snow of 2014: photos Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

Selwyn Cox captured these photos of snow-covered Barrington Tops on Saturday.

TweetFacebookBarrington Tops was again dusted in white on Saturday after its third snow fall of the season.

National Parks NSW said the area from Cobark Park to west of Polblue was covered in one to two inches of snow.

Roads remain open but 4WD vehicles are recommended on the snow-covered roads.

The temperature hit minus one at Merriwa on Sunday but Weatherwatch said cloud coverage had kept minimum temperatures a couple of degrees above average.

Mild conditions are expected to continue throughout the week with maximum temperatures in the high teens and minimums hovering at around 10 degrees in the Newcastle area and five degrees in the Valley.




Keep an eye on your kids

How does a 14-year-old find themselves behind the wheel of a car?

That was the question police faced after they attended a minor accident in Young two weeks ago, only to find the driver was a child.

And just last week police caught a P-plater in Wagga allegedly travelling at 173 kilometres per hour, with four passengers aged from 15 to 18 in the car.

These incidents led Senior Constable Mick Wood of the Cootmundra LAC to urge parents to take more responsibility for their children’s whereabouts.

“As parents we should always know where our kids are and who they are with, we know this is not always possible but again we need to instill in our kids some common sense and explain the dangers of this sort of practice,” he said.

“As police, when these incidents end in disaster, we are the ones who have to come knocking on the door and explain that your son or daughter is no longer with us, this is just as hard for police to say as it is for parents to hear, this is not something we want to have to do.

“…it is time we took more responsibility and interest in where our kids are, who they are with and what they are doing.”

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

Young hosts RFS forum

Some of the 25 group captains from around the western region, including five from the South West Slopes Zone, who attended the 2014 Region West Group Captains Forum in Young. Young played host to the 2014 Region West Group Captains Forum recently which saw a visit from the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

The annual forum was held at the Hilltops Retreat Motor Inn on Wombat Road on Friday, July 11, attracting RFS group captains from the western region that stretches from Mudgee to Broken Hill.

The region encompasses 29 local government areas.

Up to 25 group captains were able to attend this year’s event, including five from the South West Slopes Zone.

For six hours speakers covered issues such as codes of conduct and ethics, litigation and legal aspects such as the new clearing vegetation entitlements.

NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Bruce McDonald also spoke about fire tankers, infrastructure and communications while Steve Yorke spoke about aviation matters.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons, who loves getting out to regional areas and meeting the volunteers, arrived at the forum at around 4pm.

He spoke about budgets, challenges for firefighters, fire season predictions and government support, as well as touching a little on the new vegetation legislation.

Paul Smith from the Region West office in Lovell Street said these forums are held to keep group captains more informed and for them to pass the information onto their brigade members.

“It’s also about clearing up any misunderstandings,” he said.

“[This year is] Young’s turn. We aim to hold the forums in a central location so travel is not too far for everyone.”

The Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) sponsored the event, which Mr Smith said showed their willingness to support volunteers.

“We enjoy supporting volunteers by sponsoring this group captain forum as we see it as a valuable way to pass on information from the grass roots to the higher levels of the RFS,” Chris Powell from RFSA said.

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

Looking for justice

Shannon Cross was just doing his job when he was set upon by three men and brutally attacked.

It was New Year’s Eve, at 12.30am, outside the Commercial Hotel when Shannon, who was working as a bouncer, denied entry to three men.

Annoyed, the men bashed Shannon, landing him in hospital.

It would be months before he was fully recovered.

But the men who attacked Shannon are still free, with the investigation into the incident lacking clear evidence and witnesses.

Shannon’s wife Jae was at the hotel that night and was by Shannon’s side immediately after the attack.

She’s frustrated at the lack of people who have come forward to provide statements to the police, despite the amount of people who were in the area.

Nearly eight months on from the assault, Jae said there is no shortage of whispers about who was responsible, but few people willing to come forward to hold them accountable.

“I walked out after it all happened and somebody has told me that the guy across the road was a guy that attacked Shannon, but at this stage no one has come forward to act as a witness,” she said.

“We’re constantly hearing rumours around town, that they’ve been boasting. If everyone’s chatting about it at lunch, then why can’t they do the right thing and give a statement?”

Compounding the difficulties in finding the suspects, there is no CCTV footage available.

With medical bills of around $5000, the emotional trauma caused to the couple’s children and the knowledge that no one has been made accountable, the night still hangs over the family’s head.

“Shannon couldn’t get out of the house for three months…who are these guys to do that to my husband?” she said.

“How do you try to explain to a three-year-old what’s happened to dad? …the world shouldn’t be so cruel to those kids.”

Jae wants those responsible to realise the implications of their actions.

“I’m just disgusted more than anything, it’s so lucky…they could have killed him, if it was anyone smaller, and somebody untrained it could have been so much worse,” she said.

“You’ve got to be considerate of otherpeople’s lives, it can take away your livelihood, it’s not just the one moment, it’s reflected in everything you do – work, home, your kids. It interrupts everything.

“It doesn’t make them a hero, it makes them a coward.”

She knows there are people in town who have information that could help them, and more than anything wants justice to prevail.

With all the public concern and media coverage around one punch attacks and alcohol-fuelled violence, she can’t believe people involved in a group attack, on a night at busy as New Year’s Eve, are yet to face repercussions.

“There’s no real urgency to find these people….seven months now and these guys are living their lives like nothing had ever happened,” she said.

“I urge anyone who saw anything at all, it might not mean anything to them but it might be the difference.

Young Police Inspector Ashley Holmes said although they have a few suspects in the matter, a lack of CCTV footage and witnesses meant no charges had been laid.

“People need to take responsibility for their own actions, if they can’t handle their alcohol they shouldn’t be out at all,” he said.

He encouraged anyone with information to contact Young Police on 6382 8199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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

Old hospital has out-lasted its time

Demolition of Old Gulgong hospital likely despite appealsPOLL: Should the old Gulgong hospital be demolished?In late 2013, following calls from some members of the community for the old Gulgong Hospital to be retained for community use instead of being demolished, the Western NSW Local Health District asked the town to come up with alternative uses for the building and how it would be funded.

In December, through an editorial, the Mudgee Guardian invited Gulgong residents to put forward their suggestions for uses for the building, even throwing in a few of our own to get them started. he response was zero.

The Save the Old Gulgong Hospital Committee has suggested the hospital could be used for a hydrotherapy pool, a gym business, or art gallery, but has not provided any suggestions as to who should pay to bring the disused building up to the standard required to accommodate these actitivites, or who should pay to maintain the building.

There have been some suggestion that Mid-Western Regional Council should buy it: Council has wisely steered clear of taking on the burden of a building that could cost an estimated $2 million to restore to a usable condition.

Others have suggested that it be “mothballed” until it is needed. But in the meantime the building will continue to deteriorate unless maintained.

Given the current strain on the health budget, should the NSW Health Service be spending money maintaining or restoring a disused building on the off-chance that it might be useful for an as- yet unknown purpose at some distant point in time?

Many will be sad to see the Gulgong Hospital go, but in this case, nostalgia for things of the past should not take precedent over economic reality and the needs of the modern community.

Gulgong’s energy would be better spent supporting and working to improve the services and businesses they have today, rather than fretting over a building which has outlasted its usefulness.

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

League fans #RiseForAlex

At the NRL Round 19 match between Knights and Titans – Alex McKinnon overcome by support in the #RiseForAlex round. By: Ashley Feder, Getty Images Sport.When Alex McKinnon suffered a spinal injury while playing for the Newcastle Knights, the league community held its breath.It was instantly clear that Alex had suffered a profound injury, and early reports verified the news was very grim.

The freakish injury was a career-enderthat had come awfully close to being a life-ender. There seemed little chance he’d have much movement let alone walk again.

Regardless of the early prognosis, nowthere seems to be hope. How much movement he will have is uncertain but Alex has begun the long, slow process of rehabilitating his damaged body, and the rugby league community has rallied behind him.

Not only Newcastle league fans, but fans of rival NRL clubs, regional league teams, league supporters from overseas and even players from rival codes have joined in support for the inspirational young man.

Over Saturday and Sunday, the NRL and other league competitions joined in the #RiseForAlex weekend. Here are some of the social media shows of support.

[View the story “ffxsouth/league-fans-riseforalex” on Storify]

No smooth Seven Mile Road for Meningie

A petition with more than 300 signatures, asking for Seven Mile Road, near Meningie, to be sealed for tourism, safety and environmental benefits, has been dismissed by the council.A petition with more than 300 signatures, asking for Seven Mile Road, near Meningie, to be sealed for tourism, safety and environmental benefits, has been dismissed by the council.

Coorong District Council infrastructure and assets director David Mosel said there were no plans to bituminise the road in the near future.

“I guess in consideration of our current asset management plan, there’s no plan Seven Mile Road will be sealed anytime soon,” he said.

Helen Anderson, who organised the petition, said the response was disheartening.

“I am very disappointed with council’s decision, but not surprised,” she said.

“Meningie residents, including those who have worked and are working in council, have wanted this road bituminised for a very long time, and we are talking of a period of approximately 30 years.”

While the council confirmed Seven Mile Road would not be bituminised in the near future, more than two kilometres of the scenic drive will be resheeted as part of the council’s Road Asset Management Plan 2012-22.

“If they place gravel on the road like they did on the corner not long ago it made it more dangerous, even driving my SUV extremely slowly I was still skidding because of the gravel, dirt is better than gravel but bitumen would definitely be the safer option,” Mrs Anderson said.

“Why spend over $70K on resurfacing when it would probably cost a little more to bitumise at least the first three kilometres to provide a safe road at least to the Noonameena settlement residents?”

The council will spend about $1 million resheeting nearly 30 kilometres on 12 unsealed roads across the region this year.

Following a review of priority roads, a physical assessment was undertaken taking into consideration previous resident feedback, existing alignments, pavement depth, material quality and physical condition of the road.

Kuchel, Narrung Stud, Richardson, Heron, Bunbury, Yarrindale, Stirling Well, Yumali, Jaeschke, Beehive and Venning roads were selected as priority roads and will all be resheeted this financial year.

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

Developer tries to force Woollahra Council’s hand before corruption review completed

A property developer is trying to force Woollahra Council to decide a development application over prized Crown land in Paddington before the state government completes a review into potential corruption involving a lease over the site.

Developer CSKS Holdings, owned by Bellevue Hill businessman Christian Sanchez, is seeking an order in the Land and Environment Court that the council determine its contentious application to build a child care centre on the Paddington Bowling Club site within a fortnight of the order.

Residents are concerned that the proposal, if approved, would pave the way for high-rise development on the multi-million-dollar site which is set aside for public open space but is approved for community facilities.

The council has delayed making a decision about the proposal while a law firm undertakes a government-commissioned review of the circumstances in which a 50-year commercial lease of the Crown land was given to the club and then transferred to CSKS Holdings. It pays rent of $52,000 a year.

“What the developer is trying to do is force the council to make a decision before the review into any potential corruption or malpractice is completed,” Greens MP and planning spokesman David Shoebridge said.

“Local councils have only limited resources and so these kind of heavy-handed legal tactics from a developer can force them to set aside the public interest simply because of the cost of defending a good decision.

“I can only hope council stays the course and demands answers to the questions raised by this review before it considers this very controversial development application.”

The review is examining whether the Department of Lands and the lands minister or his delegate complied with the law and relevant policies or “engaged in any corrupt behaviour” in relation to decisions to change a perpetual lease over the site to a commercial lease, to consent to transfer the lease from the club to CSKS Holdings and to consent to the development application being lodged.

The review was announced in early April but detailed terms of reference were not released until May.

Former Labor minister Tony Kelly, who has been found corrupt by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, was lands minister at the time some of the decisions were made but others were made after the 2011 election when Labor was swept from power.

In mid-2006, while Mr Kelly was minister, the Department of Lands announced a surprise proposal to sell the land to the bowling club without a public tender. Included in the deal was a parcel of the adjacent Trumper Park.

CSKS Holdings, then called Paddington Bowling and Sporting Club, had taken out an option to buy the land from the club.

“This position is clearly at odds with ICAC’s 1997 guidelines with respect to the purchase or disposal of assets by direct negotiation,” the council’s community and environment committee wrote at the time.

Andrew Petrie, who was then the Liberal mayor of Woollahra and is now a councillor, said the council “found out right at the last moment” about the proposed sale even though it manages the park.

Mr Petrie said “the whole thing was shrouded in secrecy” and “it was only because we rushed in to see the minister’s chief of staff at the time…and kicked up such a ruckus that they stopped doing it”.

Woollahra Council’s development control committee will consider a report on the development application on Monday night.

The terms of reference of the government’s review are wide enough to encompass conduct by the Coalition government, which signed off on the transfer of the lease to CSKS Holdings.

A spokesman for Lands Minister Kevin Humphries said: “The review into the Paddington Bowling Club lease is continuing.The Minister is aware of the Land and Environment Court proceedings but has no further comment at this time.”

The government has not committed to release the report of the review when it is completed.

Neither Mr Kelly nor Mr Sanchez responded to requests for comment.

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

Body found in a Picnic Point reserve

A badly burnt body has been found dumped in a south-west Sydney park on Monday morning, triggering a homicide investigation. Bankstown police have called for help in identifying the burnt body and have urged the public to contact Crime Stoppers if they have been unable to contact friends, relatives or colleagues in the past 24 hours.

Council workers found the body on a roadway in Lambeth Reserve, off Henry Lawson Drive, in Bankstown just before 5.30am on Monday.

Due to the state of the body, police have only been able to ascertain that it is a male of adult age.

“The circumstances of finding the male’s body is clearly a suspicious circumstance,” said Superintendent Dave Eardley. The body was about 50 metres from the entrance gate which is locked overnight, suggesting that the body was carried over a fence before being dumped, Superintendent Eardley said. Neighbours reported hearing a loud explosion around 4.30am. Homicide detectives are combing the reserve for clues and police said a post-mortem would reveal more about the man’s identity.

“We are calling out to any members of the public, any person who has knowledge from 9pm last night to 5am this morning who may have seen any activity… a car stopping, anything they think is suspicious in any way, please don’t think it’s minor,” Superintendent Eardley said.

Henry Lawson Drive has been closed in both directions. Diversions are in place westbound into Picnic Point Road and eastbound into Elliot Street, a spokeswoman from the Transport Management Centre said.

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