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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TRAVEL BRIEFS

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.

californiastaterailroadmuseum南京夜网.

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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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Wolves at the door of football club

Matt Horsley carries the NSL trophy after the Wolves’ grand final victory in 2001. The future of the club is now in doubt .Wollongong FC could fold if the club fails to clear $240,000 in debts, it was revealed yesterday. CEO Jock Morlando and football committee chairman Craig Osborne declared the club’s future was at stake if the club’s owners failed to pay money owed to the Australian Taxation Office, senior coaching staff and Illawarra creditors. The stunning announcement came just over two months after Wollongong FC won the NSW Premier League grand final. Although debt is not unusual in Wollongong FC history, the present economic climate means the club’s future is at risk.”If the debt is not cleared by the owners, the future is clearly grim,” Mr Osborne said.He said the club had three options: clear the debt and continue as Wollongong FC with the same owners, colours and logo; wind up the club and allow the region’s NSW Premier League licence to lapse; or seek new ownership to run a Wollongong-based club with a new name, logo and colours.The Mercury understands Wollongong FC may try to clear its existing debts and become a community operated club under a new governing board and structure. Such a move would be the “most significant milestone and decision made in the history of this club”, Mr Morlando said.Mr Morlando said he had been assured by Wollongong FC’s owners that the $37,000 NSW Premier League entry fee due to Football NSW by December 2 would be paid, thus ensuring an Illawarra-based team would be playing next season.”We are being advised by the club’s benefactors that clearing of the debt is being attended to,” Mr Morlando said. “The debts have accumulated over a three-year period whilst the Wolves have continued to be without a permanent home.”Mr Morlando conceded Wollongong FC would not be playing at Lysaghts Oval in 2009 and that delays in the ground’s construction and the subsequent effects, such as limited gate takings, zero money from canteen sales and stunted corporate sponsorship and signage, had contributed to the club’s plight. NSW Premier’s Department grants worth $2.5 million to relocate Wollongong FC and Wollongong Olympic from Brandon Park to Lysaghts Oval have been referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. “We have been told that the ground will be ready for March next year,” Mr Morlando said.He confirmed the club was in “urgent and complex” discussions with stakeholders and governing bodies to ensure the region’s NSW Premier League status. Any new plan would need approval from the owners of Wollongong FC, Football NSW, Football South Coast and Wollongong City Council.
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$10m loss may force Frat Club to shut down

Fairy Meadow’s troubled Fraternity Club has reported a $10 million loss for the last financial year and is struggling to pay back a $2.5 million loan at an interest rate of 82 per cent.The situation is so dire it is uncertain whether the club will survive another year, according to the 2007-08 annual report.”If the club is unable to achieve an operating cash trading surplus before interest costs, the receiver and manager may close the club,” the report said.The $10 million net loss came about in part after an independent assessor found the club sat on flood-prone land, decreasing its value from $13.1 million to $5 million.The situation was made worse by a punishing $2.5 million loan with an 82 per cent interest rate from lender Fast Fix Loans.The loan originally had a 60 per cent rate, but the club couldn’t afford to pay and defaulted on the loan, which sent the interest rate soaring to 82 per cent.The club originally sought the $2.5 million loan to pay off another lender, Ilbene Pty Ltd, a consortium of Italian businessmen who rescued the club from financial ruin in January 2007.Ilbene’s loan came on the condition that the club’s directors had financial management experience.But some directors baulked at the condition and sought the new loan from Fast Fix.The new loan, however, has cost the club $860,000 in interest costs, $105,000 in borrowing costs and $319,000 in legal fees, in the five months to June 30.The club’s position has also been hit by the introduction of smoking bans, an $884,000 drop in poker machine revenue and the general economic downturn.Almost three months ago the club was placed into administration for the second time in two years.Administrator Robert Brennan said yesterday he was trying to turn finances around.”We are endeavouring to keep the club operating and to find a solution to the club’s financial position,” he said. The club has been undermined by factional infighting resulting in 15 board resignations since June 2007.President Mario Tuccia said the board should not be blamed for the poor finances of the club.”It worked out this way because we couldn’t sell the land,” he said. “It is unacceptable … but most clubs are facing the same thing.”Elections will be held for a new board on Tuesday, November 25.The clubs was originally set up by a handful of migrants in 1952 and today has more than 10,000 members.
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New vision for Gorge unveiled

NEW OUTLOOK: Drawings from the consultant’s report show proposed developments at the eastern entry to Cataract Gorge- the first significant change to the Gorge since the 1930s.(1/3)The new entrance area, above the existing car park off Basin Rd, is designed to offer a `wow’ experience to visitors with a view up the Gorge beyond Alexandra Bridge.
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An “inclinator” – a travelling platform for 10 visitors – is included in the plan to assist people with disabilities in getting into the Gorge.

The kiosk will be rejuvenated as the Basin Cafe and include visitor orientation, retailing and food and drink.

“The proposal has been designed to have minimal impact on the Gorge (indeed it makes good an area and facilities that are poorly cared for), whilst providing maximum effect as a dynamic experience for visitors,” the consultant’s report said.

“The shape and form of the proposed elements draw on the Gorge for inspiration.

“Development of the concept in this location means visitors will have the `wow’ experience within moments of leaving their cars and with relative ease.”

The walkway to the main entry point will include interpretive information.

A site map and self-guided walk brochures for different experiences or themes are also proposed.

Cataract Gorge Reserve Advisory Committee chairman Graeme Beams said the redevelopment was designed to have minimal impact on the environment and retain existing features, but enhance the visitor experience.

Ald. Beams said the cost was estimated at $2.3 million and would be the first major refurbishment since the 1930s.

He said the Federal Government had contributed $850,000, which was much appreciated.

Council parks and recreation manager Andrew Smith said this consultation process was the culmination of years of work, but much community input had already been sought.

It is expected the council will ratify the final design in November and the project will be opened in October next year.

¤HAVE YOUR SAY: Write a letter to the editor at PO Box 99, Launceston 7250, or e-mail [email protected]南京夜网.au

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Pizza boy ready to deliver at WIN

Flinders-based Super X rider Aden de Jager on Shellharbour Beach. Picture: GREG TOTMANLining up against cashed-up supercross superstars like Chad Reed and Jay Marmont will be Domino’s delivery driver Aden de Jager.De Jager, who lives at Flinders, is mixing it up with the heavyweights of the Super X Series, despite operating on a budget dwarfed by the big factory teams.De Jager relies on his income from delivery driving to cover the costs of competing in the Super X series, while a team like Reed’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki or Marmont’s CDR Rockstar spends around $1 million a season.The 20-year-old de Jager finished eighth in round four at Parramatta last Saturday and this weekend’s event at WIN Stadium is a priceless chance to show his wares for next season. “I’m a delivery driver at Domino’s Pizza, which means I get to ride and train during the day and work at night. I would do anything to keep my sport alive,” de Jager said.Indeed. While the likes of Reed, Marmont and defending Australian champion Daniel Reardon have an army of handlers to maintain their bikes, de Jager has relied on his dad Mark and local businessmen to help maintain his machine.”Dad has been doing it for me … He has been working on bikes since I started riding, so he knows what he’s doing.”I don’t have the world’s biggest crew – Craig Wickham from C&D Wickham Mechanical Repairs has worked so many hours on my bike.”Being a privateer, I tend to be a bit hard on the bike and don’t spend enough time working on it.”Privateers might get a free bike, but they have to work during the week.”When you have factory backing, you can fly everywhere for nothing and have staff working on your bike.”De Jager’s Fiat Yamaha Young Guns team will be wound up after the Super X series, meaning he will launch an ambitious plan to form his own team next year.”Aden de Jager Racing sounds cool, but I would like to get a naming rights sponsor,” De Jager said.”I want to show people I can stick it to the pros. There’s no reason I can’t compete with those guys.”When I do beat them, it shows that I want it a lot more.”De Jager compressed his T5 vertebrae in a fall at Geelong in round three, but bounced back at Parramatta Stadium to finish eighth in a helter-skelter elimination format.
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Hirsute Hawks help out

Wollongong Hawks coach Eric Cooks (left) , assistant coach Kevin Brooks, Anthony Petrie, Glen Saville and Lindsay Tait show their hair style for Beardvember – a pledge to avoid shaving and raise awareness of prostate cancer and depression. Picture: DAVE TEASEThe Wollongong Hawks are doing their best wolf man impressions this month.Yesterday the Hawks unveiled their “Beardvember” campaign – a month-long pledge to avoid shaving in a bid to throw the spotlight on prostate cancer and depression.”Men need to talk about things like prostate cancer and depression, we need to know it’s okay to talk about any serious health issues,” assistant coach Kevin Brooks said.”When you look at breast cancer and what women have done to raise awareness on breast cancer, they’ve done an outstanding job, and without taking any focus away from that, we need to add a bit more awareness about prostate cancer and depression.”Prostate cancer is a little bit more prevalent in African-American men, which is why it’s so close to home for me.”Our percentages of prostate cancer are a little higher than white men or Asian men or anyone else. We need to get behind it because we need to get that awareness up and get it out there more.”Brooks believes the majority of men still keep health problems to themselves rather than seek medical advice.”Men don’t like to go to doctors in the first place, and most of them certainly don’t want to have someone poking around those areas,” he said.”That makes it even tougher for us to talk about things like that and actually go and get the help we need. We don’t have the same social support women have. Men apparently suffer more from divorce, simply because women have more avenues to talk about things and they’re more in touch with their emotions than men. We’re more reserved, we don’t like talking about stuff which isn’t manly.” As for the Hawks’ beard-growing contest, Glen Saville is a whisker or two ahead of Lindsay Tait and Anthony ‘Peach’ Petrie.”Sav’s got a good one going, Peach’s is coming along, mine’s growing out a bit, and Dusty (Rychart) only has a little peach fuzz going on,” Brooks said.The Hawks are also right behind the fight against breast cancer, with the club hosting a pink-themed night for tomorrow’s home clash with the Gold Coast Blaze.National Breast Cancer Foundation representatives will be selling pink merchandise and holding a raffle.
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