Good morning Ballarat and happy Thursday, we've got all the news headlines you need right here.
A Ballarat man who shoved money down the throat of a former partner and bashed another will remain behind bars after he failed to have his minimum jail sentence reduced. Read more.
Public outcry surrounding Ballarat City Council’s handling of the controversial Harmony Roundabout has lead to councillors pushing ahead with a stringent new set of guidelines. Read more.
Masters Home Improvement stores across the country will close their doors by December 11 affecting almost 8000 staff, Woolworths announced on Wednesday. Read more.
The $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project to improve mobile phone services on regional train lines is behind schedule. Read more.
A controversial trip to Austria for two councillors and a senior council officer racked up a bill of more than $38,000, a report revealed. Read more.
Showers and a top of just 10 degrees.
Need a national news snapshot first thing? We've got you covered. But also check out what's happening around regional Australia …
► NOWRA, NSW: A South Coast prisoner on remand for attempted armed robbery allegedly escaped from Corrective Services custody on Monday by climbing out a bathroom window at Shoalhaven District Hospital.
Harold Brown, 35, was being treated for an undisclosed condition in hospital when he fled from the premises around 2pm.
The South Coast Register understands Brown was being treated in a ward area and was under the guard of Corrective Services staff when he asked to go to the toilet.
► BEGA, NSW: A Tathra stand-up paddle boarder had the ride of his life recently when a huge whale paid him a close visit.
Anthony Little is an avid SUP enthusiast, but even he was blown away by the close encounter with a southern right whale in the calm waters off Tathra Beach.
In a wonderful “fluke” he managed to film the interaction.
► LEETON, NSW: The brother of Stephanie Scott’s killer will be free on September 9 after receiving a fixed jail term of one year and three months for for being an accessory after the fact of murder.
Marcus Stanford, 25, was sentenced this at Leeton – where 26-year-old Miss Scott was raped and murdered by Vincent Stanford last year – by Acting Justice Robert Hulme.
► TAMWORTH, NSW: A fundraising drive to support a young Nemingha girl struck down by a serious brain infection has received an “unbelieveable response”, smashing its $20,000 goal in less than 24 hours.
Chloe Brown, 5, contracted the infection earlier this month and was flown to Sydney Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery, which she was given only a slim chance of surviving.
She beat those odds, but is now facing a long road to recovery.
► NEWCASTLE, NSW: A man accused of causing the death of his seven-year-old nephew in a crash at Williamtown was angry that they were running late to go quad-bike riding and was “driving recklessly, speeding and on the wrong side of the road” in the moments before the crash, court documents allege.
Robert Gawdat Shashati, 37, of Chipping Norton, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday where he was committed to stand trial on charges of dangerous driving occasioning death – drive under the influence, dangerous driving occasioning death – drive manner dangerous and aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death.
►PORT LINCOLN, SA: A man who is travelling around Australia to pay tribute to Australia’s fallen soldiers visited Port Lincoln on Wednesday to pay tribute to a former local.
Vietnam veteran Rob Eade, who is originally from Cessnock in New South Wales, is travelling to plant more than 600 flags at war memorials across Australia for soldiers who lost their lives in overseas conflicts including current operations.
Mr Eade visited Port Lincoln to place a flag at the war memorial in memory of Lt Anthony Austin Casadio, who was killed in action in the Vietnam War on August 21, 1968.
► DELORAINE, TAS: A Deloraine woman with multiple sclerosis says she goes without essential care and is forced to cancel appointments because her care provider cannot fill shifts.
Anita Griffith, 42, has lessened lung capacity, limited use of her right arm and relies on a walker and wheelchair for mobility.
Ms Griffith is due to receive a three-hour block of care each day, with an employee of Integrated Living Australia scheduled to arrive at her house at 11am to take her to appointments, prepare food and carry out household chores.
► Masters Home Improvement stores across the country will close their doors by December 11 affecting almost 8000 staff, Woolworths announced on Wednesday.
The exit from its home improvement division, which includes Masters and Home Timber and Hardware, will gain Woolworths $1.5 billion.
Masters employees jobs will either be found jobs within the group, or be paid full redundancy if suitable roles are unavailable, Woolworths said in a statement.
Woolworths has pledged to honour all customer gift cards, product warranties, returns, lay-bys and contracted home improvement projects.
►The ABC has come under fire for signing a sponsorship deal with Swisse Wellness that will help the vitamin giant promote its products throughout the Asia-Pacific.
The ABC this week announced Swisse, the Victorian government and Monash University as its three "foundation partners" for its international media service Australia Plus.
National weather radar
► 1944 – World War II: Paris is liberated by the Allies.
► 1967 – George Lincoln Rockwell is assassinated.
► 1989 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Neptune, the second to last planet in the Solar System at the time.
► 1991 – The Battle of Vukovar begins. An 87-day siege of a Croatian city by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), supported by various Serbian paramilitary forces, between August–November, during the Croatian War of Independence
► 2012 – Voyager 1 spacecraft enters interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.c
► MYANMAR: A powerful earthquake has killed at least three people and destroyed dozens of temples and stupas in the ancient city of Bagan in central Myanmar.
The 6.8 magnitude quake shook buildings across the Southeast Asian country, with tremors felt as far away as Thailand - where witnesses reported high rise towers swaying in Bangkok - Bangladesh and eastern India.
► Bali: The driver's licence and identity cards that Byron Bay woman Sara Connor allegedly took from the battered body of a Balinese police officer in order to "destroy the evidence" have been found on the side of a road in South Kuta.
Police have also found the charred remains of bloody clothes in bushes within a housing estate in Jimbaran.
Ms Connor, a Byron Bay businesswoman and mother of two young boys, and David Taylor, a DJ from Britain, have been declared suspects in the alleged murder of police officer Wayan Sudarsa on August 17.
BEING thrust in the spotlight is not Dave Sams’ idea of a good time.
So Mr Sams was not enthusiastic when friend Elizabeth Schiemer said she wanted to enter him into the BBC’s Outlook segment, which was looking for inspirational stories from around the world.
“I didn’t think it would go anywhere,” Mr Sams said.
“I did it. But it was more to inspire people to volunteer. It’s good to volunteer for things. We don’t do enough of it.”
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