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Killer John Holschier to move from Wagga after his release

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MURDERERJohn Holschier will be moved from Wagga at the end of a prison term handed out on Friday for defying his extended supervision order.
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Holschier was jailed in 1991 for murdering his partner and grievously harming their 13-month-old child in the attack at Chatswood, and releasedin 2014.

Butthree months later the Supreme Court made a three-year high-risk violent offender extended supervision order that restricted Holschier’s freedom.

Holschier was put back behind bars on November 24 last year after being charged with three counts of failing to comply with the order.

Two of the allegations were dropped in Wagga Local Court on Friday after 49-year-old Holschier pleaded guilty to one of the offences –allowing the battery of his electronic monitoring bracelet to go flat.

According to agreed facts tendered to the court, Holschier became upset when a Community Corrections officer visited his central Wagga home on November 23 and said he was not going to charge the anklet.

Holschier made good on his threat, leading to police arresting him the next day after the battery went flat.

He has been in custody since.

Representing Holschier in court, Tumut solicitor Rod Kennedy said his client would be relocated after release from custody, and would abide by the supervision order.

“He needs to be monitored, he knows that,” Mr Kennedy said. “He tells me that is what he is going to do.”

Crown solicitor, Brett Thomson, in his submission to magistrate Erin Kennedy said Holschier’s rehabilitation would come only with his co-operation.

Ms Kennedy sentenced Holschier to a five-month fixedjail termbackdated to his arrest.

Ms Kennedy told Holschier the community wanted him to livepeacefully in the community.

“No-one wants you to re-offend,” Ms Kennedy said.

“I don’t want to re-offend either, your honour,” Holschier replied.

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Steers to 291c at Roma prime

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Roma prime yards 1195 with all of the usual buyers in operation.
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A total yarding of 1195 head of cattle were penned at Roma’s prime sale on February 9.

Steers over 550kg sold to 291c/kg and averaged 273c, while steers in the 400-550kg earned to 288c and averaged 269c.

Stephen and Narelle Ward, Wilga Park, Roma, sold Charolais steers to 289c for 560kg to return $1618.

AR Roberts, Tantatton, Wallumbilla, sold Blonde d’Aquitaine-cross steers to 284c for 625kg to return $1777.

Hartley Grazing, Coopermurra, Mitchell, sold Brahman steers to 281c for 694kg to return $1951. The Brahman heifers sold to 250c for 585kg to return $1464.

Stokes Partnership, Powrunna, St George, sold Charolais-cross steers to 275c for 523kg to return $1439. The Angus-cross heifers sold to 246c for 435kg to return $1070. The Charolais-cross cows sold to 224c for 432kg to return $1037.

GC & TE Nielsen, Mt Weribone, Surat, sold Santa-cross steers to 274c for 625kg to return $1715. Heifers over 450kg made to 255c, averaging 245c, while heifers in the 350-450kg topped at 271c and averaged 236c.

Arm & Dagger Cattle Co., Khyber, Augathella, sold Santa heifers to 245c/kg for 516kg to return $1264. The Santa cows sold to 223c/kg for 638kg to return $1426.

S&R White Family Trust, Mt Saltbush, Roma, sold Angus-cross heifers to 243c for 535kg to return $1301. The Charolais-cross cows sold to 239c for 672kg to return $1609. Cows over 500kg peaked at 241c, averaging 227c while cows in the 400-500kg class topped at 232c and averaged 213c. Cows 300-400kg sold to 213c, averaging 171c. Dalco Pastoral PtyLtd, Sugarloaf, Wallumbilla, sold Santa-cross cows to 241c for 638kg to return $1538.

Ridgelands Grazing Co, Ridgelands, Injune, sold Charolais-cross cows to 231c for 655kg to return $1514.

RC Business Pty. Ltd, Yingerbay, Roma, sold Brahman-cross cows to 231c for 526kg to return $1216.

Schwarz and Tighe, Millanbri, Roma, sold Brahman-cross cows to 229cfor 530kg to return $1214.

Bulls over 600kg earned to 260c and averaged 229c.

Dangarfield Cattle Co, Dangarfield, Taroom, sold Santa bulls to 260c for 700kg to return $1820.

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Young leaders impress the PM

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Britney Bierton and Mikayla Barnes with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, NowChem’s managing director John Lamont and Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis.YOU can see why local high school students Britney Bierton and Mikayla Barnes were given the chance to meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his visit to Nowra on Friday.
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The two 17-year-old Year 12 students want to help improve the lives of local people.

Hopefully Mr Turnbull, who inspected progressive local business NowChem and visited the Nowra Show during his trip, will listen and learn from these wise teenagers.

Britney Bierton, a Nowra Anglican College student, has an affinity with people struggling in life.

“Being the person I am, I am always looking out for the less fortunate people – the homeless and people caught up with the drug epidemic down here – I feel for those kinds of things,” Britney said.

Nowra High School captain Mikayla Barnesalso wants to make a difference improvingthe area and helping others.

“I did not get to mention youth unemployment to the Prime Minister but hopefully will during the next visit,” Mikayla said.

“I think the South Coast Youth Leadership Forum, which is run by John Lamont, definitely helped people get involved in areas like unemployment.”

She said the forum gave people the confidence to just go out and look for a job.

Mikayla recently sent a letter to the Prime Minister but Mr Turnbull has not yet replied.

In letter she asked the Prime Minister to help open up more jobs in the Shoalhaven.

Britney enjoyed meeting Mr Turnbull.

“I was amazing and I had no idea on who I would be meeting. I walked to NowChem and I saw Malcolm Turnbull just there,” she said while pointing to the spot where she met the PM.

“We just knew we would be seeing a senior minister and that was it.

“I got a call to come along.

“We shared a few words and he said congratulations on my traineeship. I definitely feel inspired now.”

Britney will be studying her school based traineeship at NowChem.

Britney attended theSouth Coast Youth Leadership Forum which was heavily supported by NowChem’s managing director John Lamont.

She hopes to learn from Mr Lamont.

“I have had the opportunity to attended his leadership forums and and now I get the chance to work beneath Mr Lamont – it’s an amazing experience,” she said.

Mikayla is eyeing off bigger leadership roles.

“I was a bit nervous about meeting the Prime Minister and I am not going to lie about it,” Mikayla said.

“I asked him how he got to where he is now because I am looking at going into that area

“I guess I have really been interested in politics from a young age and was brought up around it with my family sitting around the kitchen table telling me about the likes of John Howard when I was growing up.”

Mikayla said youth unemployment was one of the biggest issues facing the Shoalhaven.

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Lanes Creek heifer tops Big Country at $21,000

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Lanes Creek Krystal 1618, sold for $21,000 to Brian Harriman, Reedy Brook, Mt Garnet, pictured with stud groom Georgia Dale, and Lanes Creek’s Riley and Brayden Hughes.Heifers were in strongdemand at the Big Country Brahman Sale last week with cattle producers travelling from all parts of Queensland to attend.
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The annual stud sale was held at the Dalrymple Saleyards in Charters Towers selling 83 heifers of the 84 offered.

Vendors and agents alike werethrilled with the 99 per cent clearance rate, average of $6665and gross of $553,000.

Volume vendor,Brian Hughes, Lanes Creek Brahmans, Georgetown,sold 43 heifers for an average of $8500 and dominated the top price statistics.

The sold the top price heifer, Lanes Creek Krystal 1618, toBrian Harriman, Reedy Brook B Brahmans,Mount Garnet for $21,000.

Mr Harriman bought the one heifer from the entire two day sale, and said he was attracted to her bloodlines.

“I had previously seen the heifer at Brian’s and I really liked her, so when she was offered up here I had my eye on her,” he said.

“I may have got a bit carried away but it was worth it.”

Mr Harriman will add Krystal 1618 to his Brahman stud of 120 head for future artificial insemination.

The second top priced heifer was also sold by Lanes Creek Brahmans’. Lanes Creek Razzle 1713 sold to Peter Camm of Camm Cattle Co, Glenprairie, for $17,000.

Peter Camm also placed the highest bid for Lanes Creek Mia Manso 1694, the third top priced heifer for $15,000.

The highest volume buyer of the sale was Peter Camm who purchased 20 heifers averaging $7375. The second highest volume buyer was Roland and Sally Everingham, Oak Park Station, Einasleigh who purchased eight heifers averaging at $4000.

Also putting together a good line of females was Lawson, Camm, Cambil Brahmans, Proserpine,selling 12 heifers averaging $4875.

Selling agents:McCaffrey’s and Geaney’s.

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Prepare to evacuate issued for Northam

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The following alert has been issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
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Time of issue: 12:43 PM

Date of issue: 10 February 2017

People in Northam in the Shire of Northam in the Muluckine and Seabrook areas should PREPARE TO EVACUATE due to flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology advises rapid and powerful flooding is going to occur in the Avon River today.

People in this area should prepare to evacuate.

WHAT TO DO:DFES advises you to:

Know where you will go. This may be to family and friends away from the area or to your nearest temporary evacuation centre.

Tell other people of your plan and where will go.

Pack an emergency kit, including warm clothes, valuables, important papers, canned food and water in waterproof bags.

Make sure everyone in your family is wearing strong shoes and suitable clothing.

Disconnect power, water and gas supplies.

Raise furniture, clothing and valuables on to beds, tables and into your roof space if possible.

Secure loose objects and outdoor equipment.

Relocate chemicals and poisons safely.

Create sandbags by filling pillow cases with sand and be ready to place them in toilets and over drains to prevent sewerage backflow.

Move vehicles to higher, safer ground.

Make sure your neighbours have received this warning.

Prepare for flooding in parts of the Perth Metropolitan districts.

People in the Murray River and Swan River catchments should prepare for possible Minor flooding expected today and over the coming days. This includes people in and around Perth metropolitan area.

There is no immediate danger but you need to keep up to date in case the situation changes.

WHAT TO DO:DFES advises you to:

Prepare to relocate equipment and livestock early so they are not caught in floodwaters.

Prepare an emergency kit including enough canned food and water to last for four days, as well as clothing, important documents and medication.

Fill your vehicle’s fuel tank.

Watch for changes in water levels so you are ready if you need to evacuate

Never walk, swim or play in floodwaters, as they are dangerous.

Stay out of rivers, this includes no swimming or kayaking.

Do not park or camp adjacent to rivers.

IF DRIVING:Be careful at crossings and floodways as river levels may rise rapidly.

Obey road closure signs and do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Take care on gravel and unsealed roads as they may be slippery and muddy, and you could get bogged.

Carry extra food and water when travelling in case of long delays at crossings.

SAFER PLACE:The Department for Child Protection and Family Support has set up a temporary evacuation centre atNortham Recreation Centre, Henry St Oval in eastNortham

Be aware that only essential items can be taken into these centres. Alcohol and pets, except guide and assistance dogs, are prohibited.

Pets can be be registered at the evacuation centre and will be housed at a nearby location

ROAD CLOSURES:Roads have been closed including:

Shire of Northam:

All gravel roads in the Shire of Northam are closed (only open to local traffic)

Carter Road commodity Route (Northam end)

Katrine Road (near Vivesh Reserve)

Parker Road, Grass Valley

Wellington/Gairdner Street, Northam (Near PCYC)

Wellington Street, Northam (near Water Corporation Yard)

Turner Street, Northam

Wongamine Road, Irishtown

Southern Brook Road, near Jennapullin

Jennapullin Road, Clydesdale floodway

Trimmer Road, Spencers Brook

DeCastilla Road, Bakers Hill – approx 5km from Highway

Christmas Road, Grass Valley

Cunderdin/Quairading

Cunderdin-Quairading Road between Goldfields Road and Quairading

Please be aware some local governments have closed unsealed and gravel roads to heavy traffic

Now re-opened to traffic however there is still water over the road in some locations so please proceed with caution:

Spencers Brook Road, Clackline (Clackline end)

Spencers Brook/York Road (Spencers Brook end)

Road information may also be available by calling Main Roads WA on 138 138 or visiting梧桐夜网mainroads.wa.gov419论坛or by contacting your local shire.

FLOOD DETAILS:As at 10/02/2017 12:11:00 the Bureau of Meteorology advises a tropical low west of Carnarvon will move further west over the next few days.A rain band associated with this system lies over the south of the State and will move south during Friday before easing. For the 24 hours to 9 am Thursday, widespread rainfall totals of 20 mm to 40 mm have been recorded in the eastern parts of the Avon River catchment. For the 24 hours to 7 am Friday, widespread rainfall of 60 mm has been recorded in western parts of the Avon River catchment, with isolated heavier falls also recorded with the highest being 75 mm at Yangedine.As a result, significant river level rises and areas of flooding are expected to develop in the Avon River catchment during Friday into the weekend. The Mortlock River North at Frenches is currently peaking above the major flood level. .

Avon River to Beverley:

Major flooding may occur along the Avon River to Beverley.

The Avon River at Beverley Bridge is currently at 1.23 metres and steady. The Avon River at Beverley Bridge is likely to exceed the minor flood level (1.50

m) Friday afternoon. The river level may reach the major flood level (2.50 m) Saturday afternoon.

Avon River from Beverley to Northam:

Major flooding is likely along the Avon River from Beverley to Northam.

The Avon River at Balladong Street York is currently at 2.26 metres and rising.

The Avon River at Balladong Street York is likely to exceed the minor flood level (2.50 m) Friday afternoon. The river level is likely to reach the major flood level (4.00 m) overnight Friday into Saturday.

The Avon River at Northam Weir is currently at 0.64 metres and rising. The Avon River at Northam Weir is likely to exceed the minor flood level (1.50 m) late Saturday afternoon. The river level may reach the moderate flood level (1.80 m) Sunday morning.

Avon River from Northam to Toodyay:

Major flooding is likely along the Avon River from Northam to Toodyay.

The Avon River at Stirling Terrace Toodyay is currently at 2.61 metres and rising. The Avon River at Stirling Terrace Toodyay is likely to exceed the moderate flood level (3.50 m) late Friday evening. The river level is likely to reach the major flood level (4.00 m) Saturday afternoon.

Current river levels are available from Department of Water at梧桐夜网water.wa.gov419论坛

For the latest flood information visit梧桐夜网bom.gov419论坛/wa/floodor call 1300 659 213.

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:

DFES is monitoring the situation.

have received more than 16 calls for help since last 24 hours

Damage has been reported Goldfields Midlands.

Flooding

DFES is working closely with SES, WA Police and the Shire of Northam.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:For SES assistance call 132 500

In a life threatening situation call 000

For the latest flood information call 1300 659 213 or visit梧桐夜网bom.gov419论坛/wa/flood

KEEP UP TO DATE:Visitemergency.wa.gov419论坛, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa, or listen to news bulletins.

Updates will be provided when the situation changes.

END

Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications on 9225 5955.

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Southern Charolais sale grows

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In its 15thyear, theSouthern Charolais Breeders Group Sale has grown to include more studs and offer more animals.
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The event’s chairmanKen Manton, Clarinda Charolais, Hansonville, said the eight studs would be an outstanding quality lineup of 51 bulls and eight females on Wednesday March 1.

Peter Godbolt, Landmark stud stock Albury, NSW, called last year’s sale, which attracted buyers from throughout Victoria and interstate.

He said the catalogue included a large range of modern genetics, including some from overseas, and plenty of outcross proven bloodlines, which meantbuyers would have a great opportunity to purchase quality cattle to add value to their herd.

This year’s sale includes lots from six Victorian studs:Allednaw, Chenu,Clarinda, Karingal, Lawaluk and Waterford; and two NSW studs: Airlie and Challambi.

This year, 45 of the 51 bulls are polled, and Mr Manton said that increasing percentage reflected more clients wanted polled animals.

Most of the bulls will be 18 months to two years old.

Mr Manton said the breed was growing in popularity as people realised the benefits of Charolais’ rapid growth, extra weight, quality of meat and temperament –including in cross-breeding operations.

“Lot feeders love Charolais because of their consistency – they know the quality of meat and the growth,” he said.

By usingmore modern genetics, including through artificial insemination and embryo transfers, Charolais stud breeders have also improved the breed’s birth weight and calving ease.

Vendor Bec Keeley, son Mitchell Pickering, 7, buyer Peter Fogden, agent Nigel Rollbusch and vendor Colin Pickering with last year’s equal top-priced bull.

The sale will be held at the Yea saleyards for the second time.

Mr Manton said buyers reported liking the venue last year, and appreciated the ability to view the bulls and cows easily becausethey wereingood size yards.

The group of passionate Charolais breedersis hopefully the sale will be at least as successful as last year, when from six studs 27 of 31 bulls sold to $10,000 twice and averaged$4426; and 11 of 15 females sold to $3750, av $2627.

Mr Manton said they’d had many Gippsland buyers in previous years and last year people from South Australia and NSW also joined the buying gallery.

Nigel Spink, Challambi Charolais, Tooma NSW, said he was excited to be a vendor for the first time this year.

Mr Spink wants to raise the profile of the stud he started in 2011, focused on more polled genetics, low birth weights and cattle that can finish off grass or at an early age.

He started withembryos from the Glenlea and Palgrove cows, followed by purchases of heifers from Glenlea and Rangan Park. He has used artificial insemination to build quality bloodlinesinto the herd.

“People are becoming more aware of the gain from hybrid vigour –particularly using Charolais over British breeds,” Mr Spink said.

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Council considering 40km/h limit for CBD

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Traffic in downtown Bendigo could be limited to no more than 40km/h under a proposal being considered by the City of Greater Bendigo.
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The suggestion is a response to the high number of accidents involving pedestrians in the central business district, with pedestrians involved in a total of 28 crashes in the CBDarea during the past five years.

The city’s engineering and public space manager Brett Martini said the idea was in its early stages and council staff had not yet formed a view on whether it should proceed or canvassed the support of residents.

“If it turnsout that we think there’s some merit in it we would certainly go through a community consultation process, but at this stage we’re still working through whether we think speed zones and other treatments are practical and viable solutions,” he said.

“Wehave had some pedestrianaccidents within the CBD and so that’s one of the options that are available.”

The proposal was revealed in response to a petition from community members in Eaglehawk calling for the speed limit there to be reduced as part of a call for improvements to safety in Victoria Street.

The petition will be considered at next week’s regular council meeting, with city staff recommending councillors endorse actions to address the residents’ concerns, includingreinstallation and relocation of current speed signage andtrimming of vegetation.

Also on the agenda is a recommendation to adopt theStrathfieldsaye Town Centre Urban Design Framework and award the $2.5 millionstage onecontract for the Strathfieldsaye Community Hub.

Meanwhile the date of this year’s Bendigo Cup public holiday will be finalised following the vote, with city staff recommending Wednesday, November 1 as the most appropriate date, being the last Wednesday before the Melbourne Cup is run on November 7.

The cup has been held on the last Wednesday of October for the past seven years, but the recommendation states the later date of this year’s Melbourne Cupnecessitatesthe move.

Pending the endorsement of her peers at the meeting, councillor Andrea Metcalf will also join councillor James Williams as a second city representative to theEpsom Ascot Huntly Structural Flood Mitigation Advisory Group.

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Regal Stride streets his rivals yet again

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The start was always likely to decide the outcome of the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night and that’s the way it turned out.
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Short-priced favourite Tisu Toota, chasing his fifth win in a row,didn’t begin as quickly as usual and Regal Stride was able to zoom to the front.

From then on, the Ben Yole-trained gelding was always in control and he strolled home 12 metres clear of Cromac Jamie and Mighty Spark.

It was the second runaway win in the space of five days for the seven-year-old who also thrashed his rivals in the Claimer at Mowbray last Sunday.

“He’s flying–it wasjust how he won last week,” driver Mark Yole said.

“As soon asI got to the front I knew I was right.

“Tisu Toota has been lightning away lately but tonight my horse finally put it all together from a stand.

“Normally he begins safe but it can dependon how long they hold them.

“He likes to be on the move and, if hehas to stand for too long, he backs back a bit.”

Yole said he had been confident of winning even if Regal Stride didn’t lead.

“The way he went last weekI felt he probably could have nearly sat outside Tisu Toota and still won,” the driver said.

“Since Ben freshened him, he’s been a different horse. He’s fresh in the mind and loving racing again.”

Yole said that Regal Stride’s stablematePushkin, an all-the-way winnerfor driver Natalee Emery in the C1 Pace, was in much the same boat.

TOO GOOD: Regal Stride, driven by Mark Yole, scores a runaway win in the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

He was also followingup a big win at Mowbray five days earlier.

“Pushkin has found his right couple of races where he’s been able to lob on top,” Yole said.

“Before that, hehad a lot of bad draws and was off back marks in stands where hehad to do too much work.

“Being able to get on top, just changes their minds.”

Three claims were lodged for unplaced runner Jukebox Music and his new owner was to be decided by ballot.

Jukebox Music was well backed to win the race but got shuffled back in the run and had no luck.

THE THIRD HEATof the Allen Williams Memorial saw in-form Stowport trainer-driver Craig Hayes lead all the way on former King Islander Herbie Haze.

Another in-form trainer, Shelley Barnes, won the C4/C5 Pace with Moto Kenny who rated a smart 2:00.3 while John Castles trained a double courtesy of Dayraid and Spot Eight.

Dayraid was given a soft run behind the leader by Gareth Rattray and finished a shade too well for pacemakerDellas Command to score by a metre.

Spot Eight, also driven by Rattray, showed that he wasn’t just a front-runner when he came from the rear of the field to record his third win from his past four starts.

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Striding to easy win

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The start was always likely to decide the outcome of the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night and that’s the way it turned out.
Nanjing Night Net

Short-priced favourite Tisu Toota, chasing his fifth win in a row,didn’t begin as quickly as usual and Regal Stride was able to zoom to the front.

From then on, the Ben Yole-trained gelding was always in control and he strolled home 12 metres clear of Cromac Jamie and Mighty Spark.

It was the second runaway win in the space of five days for the seven-year-old who also thrashed his rivals in the Claimer at Mowbray last Sunday.

“He’s flying –it was just how he won last week,” driver Mark Yole said.

“As soon as I got to the front I knew I was right.

ALL ALONE: Regal Stride, driven by Mark Yole, spaced his rivals in the Claimer at Devonport on Friday night to record his second runaway win in five days. Picture: Greg Mansfield

“Tisu Toota has been lightning away lately but tonight my horse finally put it all together from a stand.

“Normally he begins safe but it can dependon how long they hold them.

“He likes to be on the move and, if he has to stand for too long, he backs back a bit.”

Yole said he had been confident of winning even if Regal Stride didn’t lead.

“The way he went last week I felt he probably could have nearly sat outside Tisu Toota and still won,” the driver said.

“Since Ben freshened him, he’s been a different horse. He’s fresh in the mind and loving racing again.”

Yole said that Regal Stride’s stablemate Pushkin, an all-the-way winnerfor driver Natalee Emery in the C1 Pace, was in much the same boat.

He was also followingup a big win at Mowbray five days earlier.

“Pushkin has found his right couple of races where he’s been able to lob on top,” Yole said.

“Before that, hehad a lot of bad draws and was off back marks in stands where hehad to do too much work.

“Being able to get on top, just changes their minds.”

The third heat of the Allen Williams Memorial saw in-form Stowport trainer-driver Craig Hayes lead all the way on former King Islander Herbie Haze.

Another in-form trainer, Shelley Barnes, won the C4/C5 Pace with Moto Kenny who rated a smart 2:00.3 while John Castles trained a double courtesy of Dayraid and Spot Eight.

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Resarch finds healthy vision lies in the great outdoors

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Outside benefits: Researchers have found that play time outside is beneficial for children’s health – including their eyesight.How often do your children play outside?
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I would not be surprised if you said it was not very often given the heat wave we are having and the well-known effects of too much sun.

However it is important that children have time outside each day.

There are lots of benefits of all kinds to be gained from spending time outside regularly.

Research shows that children who engage in outdoor play are healthier, and the opportunities for large body movements offered outside (running, jumping, playing on the trampoline etc) contribute to better body shape and body image, and help improve children’s sleep.

Outdoor play also offers opportunities for children to connect with nature and there is a lot of evidence now to show that connection with nature helps improve children’s health and wellbeing.

A recent study from the Queensland University of Technology introduced me to a new (to me) idea about the importance of outdoor play.

The studyshowed that twohours a day spent outside helps protect children’s eyes and helps prevent short-sightedness (myopia).

Myopia is the name for the condition where the lens in the eye does not focus the image onto the retina, rather it focuses the image in front of the retina. That means when looking at something in the distance, the image is blurry.

Children with myopia struggle to read what is written on the blackboard at school, and may not be able to read signs or recognise people when they are far enough away from them (I’ve spent my whole life worrying that people might think I am rude because I fail to recognise them when passing in the street!)

It has been predicted that within the next 30 years, nearly half of all the world’s population will have myopia.

Those of us who live in relatively affluent nations like Australia manage our myopia with glasses and/or contact lenses, although many parents struggle to cover the costs of providing these for their children, particularly when the glasses are lost or broken regularly.

However, there are many peoplein the world who do not have the financial resources to provide visual aids for their condition, and this can make a huge difference to children in school and in their lives outside of school.

The researchers from the Queensland University of Technology said their results showed that even for children who already have myopia, spending time outside every day can help slow the deterioration of their sight.

These QUT researchers are not alone in their conclusion – a large study from China has also indicated that increased myopia was associated with longer times spent indoors.

Clearly, we need to carefully create opportunities for children to play outside, juggling sun safe requirements with the need to expose children’s eyes not only to outdoor light but to the wide vistas the outdoor environment provides to stimulate our vision.

As long as our summer continues as it is, that juggle is going to be difficult but it is very important that we keep up our juggling act.

Margaret Sims is a Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England in Armidale.

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