Hawks told to go for the jugular

Wollongong coach Eric Cooks implored the Hawks to go for the jugular in tonight’s meeting with the Gold Coast Blaze at WIN Entertainment Centre.The fourth-placed Hawks (6-5) have won their past two games and are returning to the court for the first time since beating Cairns on the road on November 1.Gold Coast have struggled from the outset, losing 12 of 13 games, including Wednesday night’s 115-93 thrashing from the Sydney Spirit.Wollongong prevailed by two when they hosted the Blaze on October 24, but they almost blew it after allowing the visitors to overcome a 20-point deficit.While any win will ultimately suffice for the Hawks, Cooks is demanding no letdown from his side.”It’s important if we get them down that we keep them down, because they’ve got a lot of talented players and if you give them a sniff, like anybody in this league they’ll go on with it,” he said.”They definitely didn’t play their best basketball (on Wednesday) so they’ll be looking to salvage some pride, and knowing (Blaze coach) Brendan (Joyce), he’ll get them fired up.”Maybe he rested a few guys knowing he had another encounter, but it’s more about how we’re playing and how we prepare ourselves, and we have to expect a war as usual.”Tonight’s clash features several key match-ups, with former team-mates Kavossy Franklin and Shane Heal locking horns and Mat Campbell guarding long-time rival James Harvey.The Hawks believe they have an edge in the front court over the Blaze.”Our bigs are still somewhat underrated, but they’ve been doing an excellent job and playing very physical,” Cooks said.”They’ve been rebounding very well and we’ve moved up to second in the league in offensive rebounding. That’s got a lot to do with their work rate and shared responsibility, and if that continues it’ll go a long way towards winning.”Despite their long lay-off, the Hawks have trained hard and often over the past 13 days.Cooks was confident his team was “ready to go”.”Our defensive rotations have been really good, our focus has been exceptional and everybody’s buying into the system,” he said.”On offence we’re really sharing the ball. No-one’s putting up a lot more shots than anyone else. It’s about who’s got it going on the night and recognising who’s got the hot hand.”The Hawks are determined to boost their record to 7-5 before finishing the month with road games against Townsville and Adelaide.”It’s still early days, but we need to try and create some space between the top six and the bottom four,” Cooks said. “We’ve been pretty consistent at home and playing fairly well, and the crowds are steadily growing. The momentum is rolling, and there’s a good feeling among the group and the community. This place is our home and we plan on showing the pride and passion we preach about.”
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Marmonts building an advantage Replica track at Berkeley

Ryan (left) and Jay Marmont at their motocross practise area in Berkeley. Picture: KEN ROBERTSONThousands of screaming fans won’t be the only thing the Marmont brothers have of their side when they roll out onto WIN Stadium for round five of the Super X series.The Woonona-based stars will be armed with some inside knowledge of the demanding track layout – they’ve already ridden it.Jay, second to Chad Reed in the 450cc open series, and Ryan, second in the Pro Lites division, have built themselves a near replica of the course at their training compound near Berkeley. After receiving a track map earlier in the year, the boys went to work with a bobcat and excavator, recreating the triples, whoops and rhythm sections they will encounter on Saturday night. The brothers are expert operators of the land moving equipment – as are most supercross riders.They also get the benefit of free use of machinery, with father Peter running an earthmoving company. Ryan said with the new American-style tracks in this year’s series it was a huge edge to have a practice facility.”It’s a big thing and there’s not a lot of riders that are lucky enough to have that opportunity to have their own track – just every little edge you can have on top of your competitors, it helps,” Ryan said. “We tried to base the tracks around all of the rounds – we’ve tried to pick sections and tried to shape it the same as what we’re racing on.”The Super X features layouts by acclaimed American track builder Mark Barnett with bigger jumps and more challenging sections.”We’re so lucky to have awesome track builders that can build something really exciting and we’ve tried to duplicate as much as we can ourselves down here,” Ryan said.”My dad loves getting in here and pushing dirt around, and me and Jay jump in machines and we get a lot of help from Adam Blackwell and the guys from Cleary brothers – without the help of the people of Wollongong we wouldn’t be able to get it done.”
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Travellers to Asia warned
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over bacterial dysentery

[BB] Taiwan is warning travellers in South- East Asia – especially Thailand – to avoid eating raw, cold food that could cause bacterial dysentery. During the past month, Taiwan has reported 14 cases of bacterial dysentery – a severe form of diarrhoea – in tourists returning from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Nine cases were reported by travellers who had just returned from Thailand.

New Zealand cave to be

reopened for tours

Waitomo Glowworm Caves is reopening historic Ruakuri Cave for guided walking tours in November.

Ruakuri is the largest and most complex of the caves in New Zealand’s Waikato region.

Visitors will be able to experience sparkling glow-worms, meandering underground streams, hidden waterfalls and fossilised sea shells over 30 million years old.

Details: (from Australia 0011 64) 93754730.

GPS navigation system for

bikes unveiled in Germany

In what is being called a first in Europe, authorities in Germany have unveiled a GPS navigation system for bicycles.

Visitors to the Rhineland region of Germany will for the first time be able to create individual bike tours with the “Radroutenplaner NRW” (Bike Tour Planner North Rhine – Westphalia) and then download them from the Internet on to the global positioning systems.

They will have at their disposal 7000km of bike paths in the state of North Rhine – Westphalia, which straddles the Rhine and includes Cologne, Bonn and Dusseldorf.

Californian exhibition to

delight toy train lovers

One of the world’s most comprehensive collections of toy trains has gone on display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

The Thomas W. Sefton Gallery of Toy Trains is a million-dollar collection of more than 7000 pieces.

Details from www.


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Illawarra dairy farmers vote ‘sell’

Members of Dairy Farmers, the milk co-operative set up by Illawarra farmers 108 years ago, have voted overwhelmingly to support its takeover by Japanese company National Foods.Farmers will be paid $5.65 for each of their shares, more than $4 above their present nominal worth, as part of the $910 million transaction.Dairy Farmers chairman Ian Langdon said the National Foods proposal was supported by 96.3 per cent of active members, with almost 90 per cent of members taking part.A court hearing will take place on Tuesday to seek approval of the scheme.Jamberoo dairy farmer Mark Honey, who supported the takeover, said the deal could not have come at a better time given the economic landscape.”The best thing is there will be an influx of capital into the farms,” he said.As part of the deal, farmers will receive up to 3c a litre more for farm-gate milk until mid-2010.National Foods managing director Ashley Waugh said there were still some hurdles to clear. “But should we succeed in bringing National Foods and Dairy Farmers together, we will work with the management and employees of Dairy Farmers to ensure a smooth transition.”While there are no details yet, there will almost certainly be job losses as the two rationalise. Processing facilities will go while National Foods is in the process of selling the Ski yoghurt brand.”Bringing together two large organisations is not a task that can be rushed, and our initial focus will be on maintaining business as usual through December and the Christmas period,” Mr Waugh said.Dairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Company Ltd was formed on January 15, 1900, with 65 stakeholders. In 2004 the co-op was divided into a milk supply division – the Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative (DFMC) – and the processing division, the subject of this aquisition. That same year, Dairy Farmers began restructuring and rationalisation leading to job losses in Wollongong and Bomaderry.The supply side of the now split Dairy Farmers will continue to supply milk as a co-operative.Its chairman Ian Zandstra, a Shoalhaven farmer, said the deal “would give rise to a new era in Australian dairying”.”Attractive milk prices have been agreed until June 30, 2010, and after that date DFMC will negotiate ongoing milk prices with (the newly owned organisation), who have indicated an intention to pay … suppliers regionally competitive farm-gate milk prices.”About 30 farmers work for Dairy Farmers in the Illawarra.If court approval is granted, the takeover will be implemented on November 26, at which time Dairy Farmers members will be paid their entitlements.
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Lucky escape for boy as car slams into Keiraville cafe

A young boy had a lucky escape at Keiraville yesterday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELIA four-year-old boy had a miraculous escape from injury when a car landed on top of him outside a Keiraville cafe yesterday.The child and his 44-year-old mother, from Keiraville, were eating lunch at Zander’s Bakehouse on the corner of Gipps Rd and Grey St just after 1pm when the accident occurred.Police said a 74-year-old Mt Ousley woman was driving east along Gipps Rd when she tried to do a U-turn at the intersection.The woman hit the accelerator instead of the brake and lost control of the vehicle, police allege.The white hatchback drove through a pedestrian crossing before hitting the bakery nose-first, its rear elevated by an adjoining retaining wall and hedge.The boy was trapped in a small space under the car, but was able to crawl to safety. He suffered only cuts and grazes.Illawarra ambulance district manager Norm Rees said both the child and his mother were lucky to be alive.”If there had been no retaining wall, the car would have run off the road and killed them,” he said.Zander’s barista Gretel Cornell, 19, watched the accident through a window and thought the car would continue into the building and run her over.”I was screaming. I thought it was going to hit me,” she said.”I ran outside and saw the little boy. He was pretty freaked out. He had a couple of abrasions and was crying.”A shop attendant at an adjoining greengrocers feared the child and his mother had been killed.”I just screamed. I thought the little boy and his mother were gone because I knew they were sitting at the table,” she said.She was relieved to find the curly-headed youngster being comforted in his mother’s lap, both of them safe.Amid the glass, broken bricks and plant debris, the child’s chair sat intact, the table beside it completely crushed.Ms Cornell was counting her own blessings.At the time of impact, she had been making a sandwich in preparation for a lunch break at her usual location at an elevated bench at the shop window.The car crashed into the building, destroyed the bench and knocked the chairs flying.Shopkeepers along the strip said it was fortunate school was not out at Keiraville Public School, on the opposite side of the street.”There would have been kids everywhere,” Ms Cornell said.Zander’s owner Gloria Chiciak had only just bought and renovated the bakery before a grand reopening five weeks ago.She said the business would remain open while repairs were carried out.The four-year-old was taken to Wollongong Hospital for treatment. His mother was treated for shock. Both were in a stable condition last night.The driver of the car was uninjured.
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