Good morning Ballarat and happy Thursday, we've got all the news headlines you need right here.
Teen, 16, pimped out for sex in Ballarat
A father of two who was in a relationship with a troubled 16-year-old girl and pimped her out for sex in Ballarat has been jailed. Read more.
Filming Doctor Blake gets reel exciting
Lydiard Street was transformed into a 1950s alternative reality on Wednesday, with the return of The Doctor Blake Mysteries cast and crew. Read more.
Union vows to continue industrial action with McCain
Around 150 workers gathered out the front of McCain’s Wendouree site on Wednesday afternoon as industrial action stretches into a third week. Read more.
Arrests double to curb car theft
Police are making more arrests to drive down the rising number of cars being stolen and burnt out in the city. Read more.
$970 million earmarked for regional Victorian transport
A $970 million windfall from the sale of the Port of Melbourne presents an opportunity to develop and strengthen transport between Ballarat and Melbourne. Read more.
We received 2.6mm of rain overnight and can expect a top of 12 degrees today with minimal showers.
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
► WAGGA: A designer drug that has been linked to cannibalism, wide-eyed rage and superhuman strength has been unleashed onto Wagga’s streets. Read the full report.
► WOLLONGONG: A man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after he was shot in the face in Wollongong's north. More here.
► LOGAN: An impromptu protest seemed to capture the growing community angst about how Tiahleigh Palmer, the 12-year-old schoolgirl whose decomposing body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River in November last year, may have ended up dead at the very hands of the people meant to protect her. Read on.
► LAUNCESTON: Passenger numbers through Launceston Airport have increased by more than four per cent during the past financial year, to reach 1.33 million. It’s expected the airport will continue to drive economic growth and opportunity across northern Tasmania. Read on.
► GUILDFORD: New South Wales Police have asked for public assistance after a man in a wheelchair was allegedly robbed just outside a Sydney train station after agreeing to let a stranger use his phone. More here.
► WIMMERA: Emergency services downgraded the major flood warning upstream of Horsham on Wednesday evening to moderate and downstream areas should follow.
As of 6pm most remaining flood warnings on the Wimmera River were changed to moderate. Read on.
► SYDNEY: A Year 7 student has been hospitalised following a muck-up day incident on Sydney's northern beaches.
Police are hunting for a group of Year 12 boys who allegedly chased and attacked students from St Luke's Catholic College, Dee Why, as they got off a school bus on Tuesday afternoon. Read on.
► GRIFFITH: A paramedic has spoken out about bullying and harassment within the ranks of the NSW Ambulance service.
With trauma already part of a paramedic’s job description, the man said a volatile work environment made the horrors they saw on the job even harder to bear. Read on.
► Tiahleigh Palmer's 19-year-old foster brother told a cousin he'd had sex with the 12-year-old and was worried she was pregnant, a court has heard.
In successfully keeping Trent Jordan Thorburn behind bars, prosecutors argued he had deliberately misled and lied to police throughout the 11-month investigation into the alleged murder of the Logan schoolgirl. More here.
► It is a custom-made warship without guns, pimped out with bigger engines and a long-distance fuel tank.
Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd have a brand new, $12 million custom-built ship they boast will for the first time match the speed and endurance of Japan's whaling fleet. Read on.
► A fitness college empire that has been heavily promoted by Steve "Commando" Willis has once again come under fire for its lack of facilities, poor training and a "scholarship" scheme that encourages students into up to $18,000 worth of debt. Read on.
► The University of Sydney has dropped four places in the world's most prestigious university rankings list, the latest report from Times Higher Education has revealed. More here.
National weather radar
FINLAND: The largest review yet of bike helmet use by 64,000 injured cyclists worldwide has found helmets reduce the chances of a serious head injury by nearly 70 per cent. Read on.
USA: That's the conclusion of a new documentary The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, just aired on Channel Nine, which presents evidence the 1996 killing of the little girl and child beauty pageant star began with an angry sibling and ended with an elaborate cover-up by her wealthy parents. Read on.
MANILA: Firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed out with fresh obscenities at foreign critics of his deadly anti-drugs campaign, while issuing a veiled threat to potential coup plotters saying "we're watching you". Read on.
On this day
1692: Last people hanged for witchcraft (8) in the US, 20 hanged overall during Salem witch trials
1792: French First Republic formed by the National Convention, stripping French King of his powers
1980: Iraq invades Iran in an attempt to control the Shatt al-Arab waterway
2011: CERN scientists announce their discovery of neutrinos breaking the speed of light
Facts supplied: onthisday.com
The faces of Australia: David MacPhail
Not many people can claim to have had their finger on the nuclear button but Warrnambool man David MacPhail came close.
Mr MacPhail, now a Warrnambool policeman, was in that unenviable position when he served as a British army gunner in a nuclear missile battery in West Germany in the 1970s during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies. Read his story.