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Time and drinks flow on city history tour

CONSUMING THE PAST: Historians and pub crawl guides Julie McIntyre and Kate Ariotti at the FogHorn Brewhouse. Picture: Simone De Peak REMEMBER when packs of young people lurched from one hotel to the next on marathon pub crawls from NewcastleWest to the East End?
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Tonight a group will be reliving the past in the city. Only they won’t be befuddled youths but some of the brightest minds from around the country, and from overseas.

Newcastle is hosting the 2017 Australian Historical Association conference, with about 340 historians in town this week. As part of the event, two Newcastlehistorians, Julie McIntyre and Kate Ariotti, are leadinga “Booze and Stories Walking Tour”for visitors who are up for it.

“We thought we’d put together a fun and introductory event, and it introduces people to our special stories,” Dr McIntyresaid.

But this wasn’t about dropping into watering holes and downingdrinks, explained Dr McIntyre.

Each stop would holdhistorical significance in some way. The history crawl would beginat The Edwards, a bar and restaurant co-owned by former Silverchair bass player Chris Joannou and a gleamingexample of “post-industrial” Newcastle.

Dr McIntyre said the tour would pass the KFC fast food restaurant on Hunter Street, because buried under the building were important Indigenous artefacts.

Then, the historian-guide outlined, it was on to the Star Hotel, “for the 1970s, and the city’s incredibly vibrant music scene”, the Coal and Cedar bar (“that refers to the early colonial history and speaks to the original extractive economy here”) and the FogHorn Brewhouse.

“Drinking was part of the masculine working culture,” said Dr McIntyre. “This was a coal town,a steel town, and it was a beer town as well.”

The return of small breweries is like history repeating, according to FogHorn’s head brewer and co-owner, Shawn Sherlock. Newcastle used to have two large breweries close to the city, he said.

As a former student and tutor in history at the University of Newcastle, Mr Sherlock is looking forward to welcoming the visitors and giving them a taste of something different.

“I’m just hopeful that I can steer them away from red wine to experience good beerfor once,” he said.

More than highlight the past, Kate Ariotti believedthe history crawl wouldtell an interesting story about what Newcastle hadbecome.

“We really want to showcase a different side of Newcastle, the new Newcastle, with craft beer, good food, and fresh produce,” said Dr Ariotti. “We want to blend the local history with the built history, and with the shift that has taken place in Newcastle.”

“We’ll try to emulate the pub crawls of the past,” said Dr McIntyre. “Butwith dignity, may I add.”

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Newcastle to host Australia-Brazil blockbuster

ON THE BALL: Newcastle midfielder Emily van Egmond dribbles clear of Brazilian captain Marta in the Matildas’ heart-breaking loss at the 2016 Rio Olympics. THEMatildas will play Brazil in an international women’s blockbuster at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday,September 19.
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Brazil, led by five-time women’s player of the year Marta, are ranked eighth in the world, one placebelow Australia.

Newcastle to host Australia-Brazil blockbuster TweetFacebook Olympic heartache: Matildas v BrazilPictures: Getty ImagesNewcastle Lord MayorNuatali Nelmesand Minister for SportsStuart Ayres will on Wednesday confirm the match, which is part of a two-game series between the countries.

Home-grown midfielder and Matildas vice-captain Emily van Egmond, who helped steerVfL Wolfsburg to the German Bundesliga league and cup double in May,will join the politicians for the announcement.

Prior to the Newcastle showdown, the Matildas will take on Brazil in Californian on August 3 in the last of three games at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. They also meet world No.6 Japan and the host nation.

Australiasuffered a heart-breaking loss 7-6 on penalties to the host nation at the Rio Olympics in August 2016.

Van Egmond and fellow Newcastle Jet Chloe Logarzo converted their spot kicks before Brazilian keeper Barbara denied Alanna Kennedy to propel the home side into the semi-finals.

Brazil eventually went down 2-0 to Canada in the bronze medal match.

Van Egmond and Newcastle-born left back Gemma Simon were in the Matildas squad which lost to Denmark 4-1 on penalties in the play-off for third place in the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March.

For van Egmond, Simon and Logarzo, who has recovered from a knee injury, the Brazil match will be a rare chance to play in front of family and friends.

Australia has an extensive history against Brazil at major women’s tournaments.

They also lost to the South Americans on penalties in the quarter-final at the 2007 World Cup.

Four years later they suffered a 1-0 defeat in the group stage in 2011.

TheMatildas reversed the result in the round of 16 at the 2015 World Cup.

It has been 17 years since the Matildas played the Pacific Cup in Newcastle at Breakers Stadium andHunter Regional Athletics Centrein the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics.

Newcastle defenderand Matildas legend Cheryl Salisbury led that side against the US, China, Japan, Canada and New Zealand.

Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbullannounced last month that Australia would bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Football Federation Australia is awaiting the final criteria for hosting rights before seeking expressions of interest from state governments.

However the governing body has indicated that Newcastle’s proven track record would put it in the picture as a potential venue.

Newcastle hosted two 2015 AsianCupgroup games, Australia’s semi-final against the UAEandthe third-place play-off.

More recently McDonald Jones Stadium was the venue for the 2016 Anzac rugby league Test between Australiaand New Zealand and the 2017 All Stars match.

FIFA is expected to announce the winning country in early 2019.

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Murder charges over Wyong shooting

Murder charges over Wyong shooting ARRESTED: Heavily armed police put a woman in handcuffs in Wyee in one of three arrests made on Tuesday, a day after Jesse Thompson was killed.
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GUNNED DOWN: Police sources confirmed details from an acquantaince of Jesse Thompson who said the teen was well known in Wyong for dealing ice.

CRIME SCENE: Police at Wyong on Monday after the shooting that claimed Mr Thompson’s life. Another man escaped with a graze to his hand. Picture: Dan Irwin

Police on scene at Wyong on Monday. Picture: Dan Irwin

Police on scene at Wyong on Monday. Picture: Dan Irwin

Police on scene at Wyong on Monday. Picture: Dan Irwin

Police on scene at Wyong on Monday. Picture: Dan Irwin

TweetFacebookTHREE people will face court on Wednesday after policesurrounded a car on Tuesday afternoon, making several arrests over the death ofWyong father-of-twoJesse Thompson.

Mr Thompson, 19, wasshot in the chest during a car chase through the streets ofWyongon Monday afternoon following an alleged dispute over supply of the drug ice.

Police said on Tuesday morning that they were closing in on the occupants of the white ute whochased, and shot at, thesilver Toyota 4WD carrying Mr Thompson and three others.

Just after 1.30pm, heavily armed police rammed a small silver Nissan after a short pursuit on Wyee Road in Wyee, in the Lake Macquarie area.

A 24-year-old man was arrested and a 17-year-old girl was arrested nearby.

A third person, a 48-year-old man, was arrested during a car stop on George Booth Drive, Sea Hampton at 10.50am. His car was seized for forensic examination.

All three are family members, Acting Superintendent Dave Waddell said.

The older man has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder. He was refused bail to face Toronto Local Court on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old man will face Wyong Local Court charged with murder, two counts of wound person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, shoot with intent to murder and fire firearm in or near public place after he was refused bail.

The 17-year-old will face a children’s court.

John Skewes, from Wyee Computer Services, described the dramatic arrest, in which the 24-year-old man was shot.

He said he saw one black police car overtake the small silver car, forcing it to smash into the police car. A black police 4WD then rammed it from behind.

“All of a sudden all these policein black suits and helmets and guns jumped out and one of them fired throughthe back of the car and we believe shot the driver but didn’t kill him,” he said.

“A young female, probably in her late teens to early 20s, was in the car aswell. She jumped out and tried to run away but the police jumped onto her and got her on the ground and cuffed her.

“It was exactly what yousee on the TV with the SWAT team.”

Another witnesses posted online:”Just drove past federal police with big f—off guns and seen a body on the ground with blood not moving.”

Blood could be seen on the road beside the smashed Nissan. Mr Waddell said the man was Tasered but would not say if shots were fired.

Earlier on Tuesday, Fairfax Media reportedthat Mr Thompsonwas a known ice dealerwho clashed with rivals over supply in the Wyong area.

Police believe the silver 4WD and the white ute first met on the corner of Byron Street and Panonia Road in Wyong on Monday and an altercation ensued.

Mr Thompson’s car then sped off as the men in the ute opened fire from behind. His car stopped about 600 metres away on Warner Ave to flag down a passing ambulance.

A witness, Lloyd Kelly, said he saw four men “hanging out of the 4WD screaming” before they dragged Mr Thompson’s body out of the car on Warner Avenue.

Police sources have confirmed details supplied to Fairfax Media by an acquaintance of Mr Thompson, who said the teen was well known in Wyong for dealing ice.

The acquaintance, who asked for his name to be withheld for his safety, said he would often watch Mr Thompson going in and out of houses on Casey Drive in North Wyong, buying and selling ice.

Late last year, as the acquaintance was sitting at a bus stop outside Cutler Centre shops, opposite Casey Drive, he saw police stop and searchMr Thompson.

“The cops took his backpack off him and put him in the police car,” he said.

Mr Thompson’s sister-in-law strongly denied he was involved with drugs, saying he was “a devoting [sic] father who would never risk loosing his kids out of stupidity, a loving partner who doted on my sister”.

Mr Thompson had two daughters with his partner of five years. On his Facebook profile, he said he worked at Red Rooster.

The scene of Monday’s shooting on Warner Avenue, Wyong. Photo: Facebook/Adam Woods

Police have interviewed a 28-year-old man who was in the car with Mr Thompson and sustained a grazed hand in the shooting.

John Skewes, from Wyee Computer Services, said he saw one black police car overtake the small silver car, forcing it to smash into the police car. A black police 4WD then rammed it from behind.

“All of a sudden all these policein black suits and helmets and guns jumped,” he said.

“A young female, probably in her late teens to early 20s, was in the car aswell. She jumped out and tried to run away but the police jumped onto her and got her on the ground and cuffed her.

“It was exactly what yousee on the TV with the SWAT team.”

Acting Superintendent Dave Waddell confirmed the trio were related and said police expected to charge them in relation to Mr Thompson’s death.

Investigations are ongoing.

Police told Fairfax Media on Tuesday morning that they were closing in on the occupants of the white ute reportedly involved in Monday’s shooting.

Police believe the silver 4WD and the white ute first met on the corner of Byron Street and Panonia Road in Wyong on Monday and an altercation ensued.

Mr Thompson’s car then sped off as the men in the ute opened fire from behind. His car stopped about 600 metres away on Warner Ave to flag down a passing ambulance.

A witness, Lloyd Kelly, said he saw four men “hanging out of the 4WD screaming” before they dragged Mr Thompson’s body out of the car on Warner Avenue.

Police have interviewed a 28-year-old man who was in the car with Mr Thompson and sustained a grazed hand.

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Job boost for Williamtown RAAF base

Advanced equipment: A E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft lands at RAAF Base Williamtown during Exercise Dawn Strike. Picture: CPL Nicci FreemanThe Federal Government will announce a $582.5 million project today expected to create 45 jobs across the Williamtown and Amberley RAAF bases.
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Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will visit Williamtown to announce upgrades to the E-7A Wedgetail’s airborne early warning and control capabilities.

The Wedgetail has been used extensively in the Middle East, in the military effort against Islamic State.

It’s considered one of the most advanced pieces of equipment in the RAAF.

“The upgrades to the Wedgetail – which will keep it at its world-leading capabilities – will include upgrading the advanced combat identification sensors, tactical data links and the communication and encryption sensors,” Mr Pyne said.

Meanwhile, the Williamtown base is another step closer to being ready for the arrival of the long-awaited F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

While he’s in the Hunter on Wednesday, Mr Pyne willofficially unveil theOff Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC) –which he described as the “nerve centre” for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Soaring: A No. 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail aircraft flies through the clouds during training. Picture: CPL Shannon McCarthy

“It is used to support mission planning, manage air and ground crew training, manage day-to-day maintenance activities and to provide logistical support to the aircraft and associated systems,” hesaid.

The $16 million project provided 350 jobs during construction.

Work to upgrade the Williamtown base is on schedule ahead of the Joint Strike Fighter’s arrival next year.

Projects such as runway extensions, improvements to electrical, sewage, fire and storm water infrastructure, as well as construction of an F-35A squadron headquarters, training and maintenance facilities are expected to be complete by 2021.

KC-30A MRTT and E-7A Wedgetail conduct Air to Air refuelling testing in the airspace near RAAF Williamtown. Picture: FLTLT Drew Abbott

“The overall investment in Williamtown is providingsignificant returns to the local community with more than $215 million of contracts going to local businesses to date,” Mr Pyne said.

“It demonstrates what happens when the government invests in high end military equipment. It requires upgrading bases and material across the country, which then flows into investment in jobs in local industry.”

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Sessions digs deep to keep rolling at Jaffas

FLYING: Mitch Oxborrow and Michael Sessions with the Charity Shield at Westpac Rescue Helicopter base, Broadmeadow. Picture: Simone De PeakMICHAEL Sessions jokes that the Lambton Jaffas can’t get rid of him.
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And he’s certainly glad to have stuck around.

One of only four surviving members of the Jaffas’ 2014 major premiership squad, the central defender is in his sixth season with the club, who sit atop theNorthern NSW National Premier League after 16 rounds.

The influx of former Socceroos Joel and Ryan Griffiths and quality NPL talent such as Michael Kantarovski, Ridge Mapu andNathan Morris this year has continued a makeover of the Jaffas squad started last year under football director Chris Sneddon and newcoach James Pascoe.

As well as propelling Jaffas to the ladder lead and premiership favouritism, the changes have increased the depth and competition for places at the club.

“They can’t get rid of me at the Jaffas, they try their best but they can’t get rid of me,” Sessions laughed.“I’m still there. I’m one of only a few that’sleft but that’s also the good thing with Pascoe and Sneddo there. They attract quality players to the club.”

He believed the club’s improved depth was their biggest change since the 2014 grand final win over Weston, and it would hold them in good stead for the business end of the season. They sit two points ahead of Edgeworth, who have a game in hand.

“You’ve got to pull your weight to keep your spot,” Sessions said.“Coming into the end of the season, everyone is going to be fighting harder to stay in the team. Everyone wants to play in finals.

“We’re always training hard, we’re always pushing each other at training. People aren’t guaranteed spots in our side and everyone knows that. That includes everyone. If the Griffiths boys are not playing well, they’re not going to start, that’s how Jimmy has spoken about it from the start of the season.”

Jaffas face another crunch game on Sunday when theytake on in-form Broadmeadow at Magic Park. The matchdoubles as the third edition of the Elders Charity Shield match between the clubs. Magic claimed the shield last year and Jaffas won it in 2015.

Broadmeadow, inspired by the addition of former Jets and Glory player Mitch Oxborrow, have won their past four games to sit just a point outside the top four.

Sessions will be trying to stop Oxborrow in what shapes as a key match for both sides on Sunday.

“He’s still got dreams of making it back to a high level, and the way he’s been playing, the Jets would be stupid for not giving him a crack,” he said of Oxborrow.

“Magic had a bit of a slow start to the year, but bringing someone like him in, along with the guys they’ve already got, a strong backline and guys like Virgili and Bradbery up front, they will be tough.”

The clubs raised $5000 for the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter last year and they hope to repeat the effort on Sunday.

Magic president Steve Foteff said his club had raised about $50,000 for the service.

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