Three-year-old William Tyrell went missing in 2014. Photo: Max Mason HubersThe clock starts ticking the moment a missing person is reported to police.
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Andrew Bourke

The battle is not only the physical aspect of searching, it’s the emotional fight to keep hope alive.

Officers immediately create a profile; when the person was last seen, appearance, state of mind, medical needs, any drug or trauma issues, plus phone, social media, and money-access activity. The officer becomes the information and support lifeline for family, plus help if media is called in to spread the word for help.

This week, a joint operation between Griffth and Wagga police found a 37 year-old Wagga man safe and well in Narrandera, after he went missing for 27 hours. A process of elimination saw key places searched first.

Other cases, however, remain unsolved. Andrew Bourke hasn’t been seen for six years. He disappeared in July 2011 after drinking with another person and allegedly driving his vehicle into the Tumut River. Did he drown? Was it an accident, or was he murdered?

And while attention is always on supporting loved ones, police, too, become affected.

Cases such as three-year-old William Tyrrell who was snatched outside his grandmother’s house three years ago. He was last seen wearing a Spider-Man suit.

“There wouldn’t be a police officer (working on these cases) who doesn’t go home and say, ‘Oh my God I’m going to give my kids a cuddle tonight’,” Wagga police chief Bob Noble said.

“Police become very emotionally invested in finding these people, and it’s a sense of pride that we solve the case.”

Every year in 38,000 people are reported missing, and while most are located fairly quickly, 1600 people are placed on the missing persons list.

What is changing is the use of more sophisticated technology. The question is, will technology advance to such a level that every missing could be found?

“Biometrics, facial recognition and CCTV are going through leaps and bounds and as scary as it might be, there will be a roll out of technology with that application,” Superintendent Noble said.

“But there will always be people that want to disappear, and you should ever underestimate the resourcefulness, and deviousness, even, of a person that wants to disappear.”

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CODE HOPPER: Hamilton breakaway Rowan Kelly takes on the Maitland defence in the Hawks 29-27 win at Marcellin Park in round 13. Picture: Marina Neil
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ROWAN Kelly admits getting cleaned outwas a“shock to the system”.

Kelly hadspent the past 15 years in the Newcastle Rugby League competition at Central and Wyong. His body–and reactions–were attuned to playing the 13-man code.

“In league, a clean out isbeing tackled without the ball,” Kelly said.“Then I realised, I can clean them out as well.”

It was Kelly’sline in the sand moment.

“Ilearned not to compare rugby to rugby league,” he said.“They are completely different games.”

Kelly will line up for his fifth straight first-grade game when the Hawks take on a desperate Lake Macquarie at Walters Park on Saturday.

The breakaway is“stillgettingmy head around a lot of things” butis relishing the challenge of a new code.

“That aspect I have enjoyed: trying to learn a different game,” he said.“I’m nearly 35 and to learn something new is quite difficult. The last time I played rugby was at high school.It is evenharder at Hamilton because they are the best club in the competition. It is highly competitive in all grades. I’m pushing in scrums, learning lineouts.Each week I learn something different.”

Hamilton coach Scott Coleman has been impressed with Kelly’s transition and the way he has bought in to the culture.

“Hehas a really good football brain andreads space well,” Coleman said.“He is very skilful for a big man, canpass the ball at the line and has a good off load.The more physical it is,the more he likes it. Playing has opened his eyes to how much is involved at the breakdown. Another good pre-season and I think he will master that.”

Kelly hadbeen a regular at Hamilton games, watching Francis Xavier College workmate Paul Dan.

“Paul andI are close mates and I wanted to have a crack at rugby,” he said.“I nearly joined the Hawks in 2013 when Wyong moved to the NSW Cup but an opportunity came up at my junior rugby league club, Central.

The code hop was nearly over before it started.

“I played a trial against Uni and didn’t enjoy it,” he said.“I had high expectations of myself and it didn’t go to plan.I wentup the coast with Joel Penny, who was my assistant coach at Central.He said to me‘why are you worried, treat it like another game’.

“My attitude changed from that point.I have tried to not take myself too serious and enjoy everything about it. I haven’t missed a bus trip yet. Each week I look forward to playing. By the end of my last two years as captain-coach at Central, I knew my time was up.”

As for another season with the Hawks: “I bought a new pair of footy boots on Monday which set me back a little bit. I better get some use out of them.”

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Doctors have criticised state and federal governments over their new drug policy blueprint, accusing them of putting too much emphasis on methamphetamine and not enough on a much more damaging and deadly substance: alcohol.
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The n Medical Association says the recently released National Drug Strategy – which sets out the official approach to preventing and minimising drug harm over the next 10 years – focuses too much on the so-called “ice epidemic”.

Ahead of the Wednesday release of a new AMA position paper on substance abuse and behavioural addictions, Michael Gannon, the president of the doctors’ association, has described the government strategy as “disappointing”.

Photos: Supplied (left) and Arsineh Houspia.

“[It] again lists methamphetamine as the highest priority substance for , despite the strategy noting that only 1.4 per cent of ns over the age of 14 had ever tried the drug,” Dr Gannon said.

“The strategy also notes that alcohol is associated with 5000 deaths and more than 150,000 hospitalisations each year – yet the strategy puts it as a lower priority than ice.

“The government must focus on those dependencies and addictions that cause the greatest harm, including alcohol, regardless of whether some substances are more socially acceptable than others,” Dr Gannon said.

Dr Gannon is also critical that the updated strategy did not come with any new funding commitments from state or federal governments.

The AMA’s new position statement says substance abuse is widespread across , and dependence and addiction often lead to death or disability in patients – yet support and treatment services are “severely under-resourced”. It calls for a “major change in funding priorities from policing and prosecution of substance users to interventions that avoid or reduce use, promote resilience, and reduce societal harms”.

It supports responses that address underlying causes and exacerbating factors such as social isolation, exclusion, poverty, discrimination, criminalisation and poor education.

It says substance dependence and behavioural addictions are chronic brain diseases and people affected by them should be treated like any other patient with a serious illness.

Dr Gannon says the costs of untreated dependence and addictions – estimated at $36 billion a year – are “staggering”.

People affected are more likely to have physical and mental health concerns, and their finances, careers, education, and personal relationships can all suffer. Left unaddressed, the broader community effects include reduced employment and productivity, increased healthcare costs, reliance on social welfare, increased criminal activity and higher rates of incarceration.Research this weekfound the number of methamphetamine-related deaths had doubled in between 2009 and 2015.

The analysis found 1649 deaths linked to ice, with overdose only accounting for 43 per cent. The study published in the journal Addiction found another 40 per cent of deaths linked to ice, speed and other stimulant drugs were from so-called “natural disease” – most notably heart disease and stroke – or uncharacteristically violent methods of suicide.

DRUG USE IN AUSTRALIAAbout 8 million ns have used an illicit substanceNearly 3 million have used one in the past 12 months16 per cent of people reported consuming 11 or more standard alcoholic drinks on a single occasionAbout 2 per cent of people reported having used methamphetamines in the past yearAbout 4.7 per cent of people reported having misused a prescription drug in the past 12 monthsAt least 115,000 ns who were seriously harmed by gambling and another 280,000 were at significant risk

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TRY: South Newcastle’s Lachlan Walmsley. Picture: Jonathan CarrollLakes’ Luke Huth and Souths’ Lachlan Walmsley are two Newcastleplayers squarely in the sights ofthe Knights according to Troy Pezet.
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The club’s elite pathways recruitment manager said former Knights juniors Huth and Walmsley have recently been called up to train with the NRL under-20 squad to prepare for nextpre-season.

This weekend marks the second “futures round” for Newcastle Rugby League in 2017 with man-of-the-match recipients from alleight district under-19 teams invited to trial with the Knights under 20s in October.

“It’s just about creating a genuine pathway for all the local kids to get through and play for the Knights,” Pezet said.

“It’s a good initiative from the Newcastle Rugby League to further that involvement by having thisfutures round.”

The four age group matches will kick-off before first grade at 1:45pm.

Futures Round #2 @[email protected]@newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/6YBe3rYuvU

— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) August 2, 2017

* PART of Wednesday’s “future round” promotion was Lakes under-19 fullback Aaron McGrady, the nephew of former Canterbury Bulldogs player and 1991 Rothmans Medal winnerEwan McGrady.

Aaron moved to Belmont from Moree aged seven.

* DUBBO CYM’S halfback Alex Bonham racked up an incredible personal tally of 64 on the weekend with eight tries and 16 goals but respected rugby league statistician David Middleton reckons it sits behind an effort of 61 closer to home when points were less weighted.

“Score of 64 likely a record but achievement of Alf Fairhall for North Newcastle in 1940: 11 tries, 14 goals arguably more impressive,” Middleton posted on Twitter.

ROUND 14 FIXTURES: Cessnock v Western Suburbs, Maitland v Macquarie (Saturday); Lakes v South Newcastle, Central Newcastle v Kurri Kurri (Sunday).

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A man has been charged after he allegedly broke into an elderly woman’s home in Morpeth and stole two mobile phones right in front of her.
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Police claim the man went into the rear yard of the Morpeth Road home about 7am Friday, June 30 and looked through a glass sliding door where he saw the woman in the kitchen.

It is alleged he walked in to the house and stole two mobile phones from a kitchen bench before he fled the home.

The woman told police she witnessed the whole incident take place.

After the man left the woman cried out for help. Her husband, who was in a front bedroom, heard his wife’s plea and yelledout to the man.

The man then approached the bedroom window where it is alleged hepunched throughfly screen in an attempt to strike theman.

The elderly man was not harmed, but the fly screen was damaged.

The couple told police the man ran from the area.

Maitland Policewere called out to the scene and canvassed the area. They sourcedCCTV footage which helpedidentify the man.

Investigations led police to a home in Korbell Street, Tenambit on Wednesday morning where they arrested the man.

Police said he was apprehended while tryingto escape out the back door of the home.

The man was taken to Maitland Police Station and charged with aggravated break, enter and steal, malicious damage, assault and trespassing.

The two stolen mobile phones were recovered.Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector George Radmore said the phones will be returned to the woman.

Police claim ammunition, handcuffs and other items including tools and jewelry, which were suspected to bestolen, were all found at the home.

Inspector Radmore said information from the public helped lead to the man’s arrest. He thanked those who contacted police with information.

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Andrew Denton has been diagnosed with advanced heart disease and will have multiple bypass surgery. Photo: Edwina PicklesTV personalityAndrew Denton has been diagnosed with advanced heart disease and will be required to undergo multiple bypass surgery shortly.
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The diagnosis forces Mr Denton, 57,to withdraw from the campaign to legalise euthanasia to which he has been devoting his energy in recent years.

The Go Gentle director – who set up that organisation specifically to achieve law reform around the country – may be absent at a critical juncture: as Premier Daniel Andrews’ bill for assisted dying is introduced and thrashed out in the Victorian Parliament.

Go Gentle ‘s media director Gina McCollsaid Denton is “quite young and so the prognosis is extremely good”.

“It’s very successful surgery,” she said. “He needs to have it quickly but after that he’s expected to recover reasonably quickly and we’re expecting him to join the campaign again in early September, some time like that.

“We’re still in daily contact. He’s still extremely funny and his humour is extremely black.”

ButDenton’sabsence from the campaign as the euthanasia debate heats up this monthhasbeen described by some proponents as a “disaster”.

“It’s terrible for Andrew, and a disaster for the broader campaign,” one supporter of the bill said.

However, Go Gentle played down concerns, saying Denton’s work towards voluntary assisted dying would continue under its campaign manager Paul Price, a former senior adviser in the Baillieu Liberal government.

“The Go Gentle campaign continues in full force,” Mr Price told Fairfax Media.

“In the next weeks and months we will be marshalling the support of the more than 75 per cent of Victorians who want voluntary assisted dying to become law.”

Andrew Denton with his father Kit, who died slowly and painfully in 1997.

Denton set up Go Gentle last year – almost two decades after watching his father Kit die a slow and painful death from heart failure – in a bid to convince politicians to give terminally ill people the right to a physician-assisted death in strictly defined circumstances.

In that time, he has become one of the leading public faces of the “yes” campaign, appearing at community forums, across the airwaves, and alongside Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy to talk to delegates at Labor’s state council.

But the debate is likely to intensify even further in coming weeks, when the bill on assisted dying is introduced in the lower house, paving the way for the most heated policy fight the Premier faces ahead of next year’s election.

In a sign that the battlelines have well and truly been drawn, leaders of the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Greek Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox churches placed an open letter in theHerald Sunon Monday saying that assisted suicide represented the “abandonment” of the terminally ill and sent a “confusing message” about the value of life.

Right to Life has also stepped up its opposition, sending out leaflets in nine marginal electorates – which looked as though they came from the sitting MP in each seat –suggesting Mr Andrews was attempting to sanction suicide to “save healthcare dollars”.

– with AAP

If you are troubled by this report, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide:Lifeline 131 114 beyondblue 1300 224 636

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Knights keeping the faith FUTURE: Danny Levi gives out a high five to a young Newcastle Knights fan at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday following a morale-boosting 21-14 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons. Picture: AAP Image
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TweetFacebookThat moment has arrived and it feels like those darker days are now behind us.

Much of that credit lies with the Knights coaching staff of 2017 –headed by Nathan Brown and supported by the likes of Michael Potter, Kurt Wrigley and Simon Woolford.

They have asked us, the players, and supporters alike to believe in the process going forward and after much patience and heartache we’re starting to reap the rewards.

There’s also a genuine sense from camp that our best football lies ahead of us –in the remaining five rounds, next year and beyond.

With the foundationsthat have been built this season and last, combined with the quality recruits en route to McDonald Jones Stadium in 2018, do we dare to dream about finals football?

Obviouslythe best we can hope for over the next month or so is avoiding that dreaded piece of sporting culinary, but the future is filled with both hope and belief.

In the meantime, and most importantly this weekend, we must back it up and triumph twice in a row.

I’m not sure the last time the Knights havedone that, but we’re up for the challenge.

Filled with confidence but aware of our errors, especially last month when expected to win against the Wests Tigers.

Our attitude must be spot on to overcome the always-unpredictable butever-dangerous Warriors, who managed to run us down in New Zealand in round one.

Bring on Saturday afternoon already!

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The Turnbull government has vehemently denied that police were rushed into arresting four alleged plane bomb plotters by a British threat to issue a public travel warning about .
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As police held thesuspects for a third day, more details of the alleged network emerged with confirmation two menare related to a hardened foreign fighter in Syria and reports that another has a brother believed to be a senior Islamic State figure.

Police raided five properties and arrested four men on Saturday and have claimed they planned to put a homemade bomb on a plane, though as of Tuesday night no charges had been laid.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was helping n policewith the investigation.

“The Etihad Airways aviation security team is assisting the n Federal Police with its investigation and the matter is ongoing,” the airline said.

Police officers at the scene of a raid in Surry Hills, Sydney. Photo: AAP

“Etihad is complying fully with the enhanced security measures at airports in and monitoring the situation closely.”

Security sources said the suspects allegedly planned to use a meat grinder that would either explode or disperse a deadly gas. The plot was uncovered after intelligence was provided by United States and British authorities.

The ABC has reported the British government wanted to issue a public security alert about n travel, forcing n police to launch their disruption operation earlier than they would have liked for evidence-gathering purposes.

But an n government spokesman said that “any suggestion that n authorities took action to disrupt the terror plot because of pressure from international partners is absolutely wrong”.

“Authorities took action when they determined necessary and not under threat or pressure from any third parties. Public safety was the top priority,” he said.

The spokesman said information-sharing among partners in the “five eyes” network – , the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand – was always vital combating terrorism and that ns should be reassured by this.

Two of the men arrested, Khaled Merhi and his son Abdul Merhi are understood to be related to Ahmed Merhi, who has been with the so-called Islamic State group in Syria since 2014 and was once regarded as an active recruiter but has gone quiet in the past year.

Huge queues at Sydney Airport after screening measures were escalated. Photo: AAP

Deakin University terrorism expert Greg Barton said of Ahmed Merhi that “you get the sense he’s a bit of a thug and not too bright so if you were managing him you’d see him as a liability”.

He said this was one possible reason he’d been inactive in the past year – that he had been told to stay quiet by the Islamic State hierarchy.

The ABC reported that another of the other men arrested, Khaled Khayat, has a brother who is a senior Islamic State figure in Syria.

While the involvement of allied intelligence agencies make clear there was significant overseas involvement,it remains unclear exactly what role either Ahmed Merhi or the Khayat brother played in the planning and direction of the alleged plot.

Professor Barton said that the four men had links to known jihadists but were reportedly not being closely watched prior to last week “raises the question that we haven’t had the resources to take care of that very large outer circle of people who have an association but not any criminal record”.

“It’s just not practicable,” he said. “This isa reminder of the number of people they’re dealing with in that circle.”

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Supercars winner trophy unveiled | photos VICTORY LAP: Josh Bruce and his winning design, which he says took about two days and went through several iterations. Main picture: Jonathan Carroll
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Justin Martin

Mitchell Griffin

Melody McEvoy

Warren Leadbeatter

Wendy Seddon

Stella Kerr

Keerin Woodman

David Goldthorpe

David Goldthorpe

David Goldthorpe

EMILY

Warren Leadbeatter

Stephen Meek

Gerard Maybury

Scott Henry

Xanthe Robinson

Luke Newton

Amanda Playford

Luke De Bono

Claudia Prebble

Jan Lay

Josh Bruce

Matthew Allan

Mike Eggleston

Jenni Jones

Michael Wallace

Taleisha Montagner

Taleisha Montagner

Magdalene Prebble

Mitch Berrigan

Mitch Berrigan

Ian Hedley – Hedweld Group of Companies

Steve Higginbottom

TweetFacebookWATCHING someone else hoist his award in victory will be a singular pleasure for Josh Bruce this November.

The Mayfield freelancer, 36, has won a design competition for the Newcastle 500 trophy, officially locking him in as the designer for the annual trophy for the next five years.The designer’s elegant curve came out on top of a group of designers aged between12 and72.

Its simplicity hides several nods to Newcastle’s history and geography.

Made from blue glassin tribute to the harbour, that section is backed with a steel rail spine toincorporate the city’s industrial heritage.

Its gentle bend mimics the curve of Nobbys headland.

Mr Bruce, who works mostly in video production,said it was “fantastic” to win the title.

“It basically just kind of designed itself,” he said.

The entrants spanned awide age range, with the top three selections including14-year-old Magdalane Prebble andJan Lay, 72.

All judges chose Mr Bruce’s design somewhere in their top three.

Supercars chief executive James Warburton said the passion and enthusiasm from Novocastrians was clear in the calibre of entries.

“Josh’s integration of the harbour and the coastline with industry, shipping, surfing and the kerbing of the race track itself was spectacular, he said. “We will ensure we do Josh and all of Newcastle proud this November.”

Judge and six-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup said it was difficult to sift through the entries.

“It will be a real honour for one of us, hopefully me, to raise his trophy at the end of the year.”

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HELPING HAND: Veronica Bokodi receives a hair cut from Pandora’s Hair Witchery hairdresser Danielle Gillies. Picture: Jonathan CarrollON one hand, having more than 1000 people walk through the doors at Hunter Homeless Connect Day was“heart-warming” to see.
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On the other, it was“distressing” that so many had turned up, organisers say.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” co-ordinator Michelle Faithfull said.

“It’s heart-warming that so many are reaching out for help, but it’s distressing that so many people need help.”

Hunter Homeless Connect Day lent a helping hand to the region’s homeless, vulnerableand poor on Tuesday by linking them togovernment and non-government services.

By bringing the services under the one roof, it is hoped the easy access encourages a greater sense of community and leads to better social outcomes.

For the first time, the event was held at Broadmeadow Basketball Stadium.

The event, which is in its ninth year,had outgrown its previous location at Broadmeadow PCYC.

The theme of this year’s event was “Fresh Eyes”, which Ms Faithfull said was aimed at shaping the community’s attitudes towards homelessness.

Danielle Gillies and Veronica Bokodi at Hunter Homeless Connect Day on Tuesday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“Homelessness is an issue that is getting worse,” she said.

“So the ‘Fresh Eyes’is about getting the community looking at the issue and seeing how they could help, as opposed to ignoring it.”

According to the n Bureau of Statistics, there are about 1500 people in the Hunter Region experiencing homelessness.

Organisers say about 900 people attended last year’s Hunter Homeless Connect Day.

A survey conducted by TAFE students also showed a 25 per cent jump in the number of women attending the event over the past two years.

Among the services available werefree health checks, eye tests, immunisations, podiatry services, diabetes screening and risk assessments for Alzheimer’s disease. Bedding, clothing and toiletry packs were also donated by Hunter residents.

Ms Faithfull said the support shown by the Hunter community had been invaluable.

Veronica Bokodi was all smiles when she was getting her hair cut by hairdresserDanielle Gillies.

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