Bears unveil Pigeon hero

It was time for a new challenge, I guess … It was pretty difficult to leave Yarra, considering the period we’ve had over the past six or seven years but I guess everything has an end date.
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JEREMY O’BRIEN

JEREMY O’Brien’s glittering Ovens and Murray career is over, with the Yarrawonga star to coach Tungamah next year.

The classy ballwinner admitted he found it difficult to leave J.C. Lowe Oval after being unveiled as the Bears’ new coach yesterday.

O’Brien, 32, notched up his 200th OandM senior game this year after playing the first 76 at Wangaratta Rovers.

“It was time for a new challenge, I guess,” he said.

“Coaching is something I’ve aspired to do for the last few years.

“It was pretty difficult to leave Yarra, considering the period we’ve had over the past six or seven years, but I guess everything has an end date.

“I’ll always cherish those two flags.”

The two-time premiership star replaces Nick Doyle at the Bears’ helm, with Doyle expected to remain as a player.

O’Brien, who played in the Pigeons’ shattering seven-point loss to Albury in the OandM decider, said he was looking forward to taking charge of the Picola heavyweight.

Tungamah was unbeaten this year and lost just once last season before as it captured back-to-back flags for the second time in September.

“I knew a few of the boys out there and it’s obviously close to home,” O’Brien said.

“The timing was right more than anything and I was keen to keep playing footy.

“The club is going for three in a row for the first time, which is exciting, and hopefully we can retain most of our players.”

O’Brien, who has been linked to several coaching jobs in recent years, revealed he was keen to take his coaching career as far as possible.

“This is a great opportunity and I plan on staying for a while, but hopefully I can keep progressing through the ranks,” he said.

“As I said, coaching is something that has interested me for a while and I’ve spoken to clubs for the last few years and maybe I can move onto a higher level at some point.

“But I’m just worried about Tungamah for now.”

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Sell to help reduce our carbon footprint

Jarmila Peric with some of the items she has listed on the Garage Sale Trail but the dogs are not for sale. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLREUSE and reduce waste is the message of one Wodonga resident taking part in this month’s national Garage Sale Trail.
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Jarmila Peric provided a peek inside her garage ahead of the October 25 event.

Among items for sale at her West Wodonga house will be five bikes, five beds, two vinyl lounge chairs, a piano, an outdoor setting and an exercise bike.

“Some of these items have been sitting in the garage for some time,” Mrs Peric said.

“It’s time to give them a new home, somewhere they can be used for their intended purpose or even a new purpose.”

The event encourages individuals, households, schools, community groups and businesses to get involved as they resell, reuse and recycle items to reduce landfill waste.

Individuals can host the sale at their home or groups can organise a location.

“The concept is great,” Mrs Peric said.

“It raises awareness about what is already out there.

“It’s all part of that environmental move to recycle rather than throw out.”

The event is now in its fourth year.

Organisers are expecting up to 10,000 garage sales, with more than 1.5million items for sale across the country.

Registration is free at garagesaletrail南京夜网.au.

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‘Forty a bridge too far’

Tracey Fraser, acting chief executive of The Personnel Group, is pleased with the decision to remain at 20 job applications a month for the unemployed. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
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A BORDER employment agency has welcomed a decision to abandon a plan to force job seekers to apply for at least 40 jobs a month.

The government’s proposal to double the job application target for Newstart Allowance recipients was widely criticised as punitive for job seekers.

Instead, the requirement of 20 applications will remain.

The Personnel Group said the increased burden placed on jobseekers by 40 applications a month “far outweighs any benefit”.

“Jobseeker frustration in having to get double the amount of knock-backs from employers, when they are lodging applications will lower self esteem and confidence,” acting chief executive Tracey Fraser said.

The extra applications, she said, could have resulted in employers becoming frustrated with the potential disruption to their workplaces.

“In some towns, even five applications per unemployed person is too high for the jobs available,” she said.

When the initial 40-application plan was announced in late July, Farrer MP Sussan Ley said some leeway might be needed for rural residents who simply could not put in for so many jobs.

Ms Ley said she was pleased to see that individual employment regions or circumstances were being considered.

“The advice from employment service providers and others is that 20 jobs per month is achievable for most job seekers, but we should still allow some flexibility for specific requirements or individual situations,” she said.

Ms Ley said that was “simple commonsense”.

“Keep in mind, this is over $5billion in funding, so we want a program doing the job its intended to do and this is getting more people into work,” she said.

“The jobless rate is too high and much too high in the under 25 age group we’re not going to turn that around by sitting on our hands.”

Ms Fraser said The Personnel Group established regional employer reference groups last year, allowing it to get first- hand information from employers on the state of the local labour market.

A recent report from the perspective of employers drew an “extremely negative” response to the 40 job applications a month plan.

“At one meeting an employer quoted the statistic that if every jobseeker commenced doing this today each employer in his small town would begin receiving an average of 15 additional resumes per week,” Ms Fraser said.

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No shortcut on truck safety

A BARNAWARTHA truck driver has spoken out against a petition calling for B-doubles to stop using the Barnawartha-Chiltern Road.
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Bill Hancock yesterday said drivers were already going “out of their way” to minimise any danger and noise their trucks caused residents.

A petition with 125 signatures — and another 40 names collected by another resident — was tabled at Indigo Shire’s September 23 meeting.

Resident Jonathan Riley launched the petition which has raised safety concerns about trucks passing houses and a primary school and using a residential street as a short- cut to the Hume Freeway.

Mr Riley is also concerned about there being no pedestrian walkway at the Frying Pan Creek Bridge which was often used by trucks.

Indigo Shire’s Cr Don Chambers last week said the council would consider the petition.

Mr Hancock, who has driven B-doubles for the 11 years he has lived in the town, said drivers took safety precautions.

“We minimise movements by parking on the side of the freeway on the Barnawartha overpass,” he said.

And because driver change-overs were done on the Barnawartha overpass, there was no B-double trucks driving regularly through town, meaning there was no danger to any residents.

Mr Hancock said the truck drivers were only trying to do their job.

“The B-doubles only use the Barnawartha-Chiltern Road to access the truck owner’s property at weekends,” he said.

Mr Hancock also said the concerns about Frying Pan Creek Bridge were unfounded.

“In all my 11 years of crossing that bridge, either in a B-double or car, I have never seen a pedestrian on it,” he said.

“If someone was on the bridge, a driver would wait for them to go across — it’s commonsense.

“We really are no danger to anyone.”

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Sport causes to benefit from T20 bonanza

Charity Big Bash captains Sam Harris (2AY), Kane Arendarcikas (Insight Clinic), Trent Ball (Tradelink) and Matt Armstrong (Linde Forklifts) are gearing up for the Twenty20 competition. Picture: DAVID THORPETWO causes close to the Border sporting community’s heart will benefit from Cricket Albury- Wodonga’s revamped Charity Big Bash.
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The Twenty20 tournament, in its third year, kicks off on November 14.

Money raised during this summer’s tournament will go to the new Albury-Wodonga Reg-ional Cancer Centre in memory of former CAW star Braedon Hensel, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, and the James McQuillan Future Fund for the injured Albury footballer.

Tradelink Hurricanes are back to defend their title, with inaugural winner Insight Clinic Privates also returning.

But two new teams are out to mark their mark, with the 2AY Aces and Linde Forklift Reds joining the competition.

CAW star and Hurricanes captain Trent Ball expected things to go up another gear this year.

“They are obviously high profile causes, which will hopefully mean even more people get involved,” he said.

“It keeps getting bigger each year.

“First and foremost, it’s for two good causes, which is the main thing.

“But it also gets people who don’t normally come to the cricket involved, which can only be a good thing. It’s pretty exciting.”

The annual player auction will be held at the Commercial Club on Nov-ember 1, with the competition’s naming rights also to be drawn.

Games will be at Lavington Oval on November 14, November 27, December 5 and January 9.

The previous two Charity Big Bash seasons raised more than $70,000 for local charities.

While he’s yet to pick his team, Ball was bullish about Tradelink’s chances of going back-to-back.

“We’ll win it again, don’t worry about that,” he said.

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Mandy fined over attack

Mandy Martyn enters court, being interviewed by Channel 7 journalist Cameron Baud. At one stage, Martyn tripped over Baud’s feet and tumbled to the ground.THE woman branded the killer of Myrtleford toddler Daniel Thomas has faced court over a vicious verbal attack on a 10-year-old girl.
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Benalla Magistrates Court heard yesterday how Mandy Martyn lashed out in the Thoona Primary School yard, calling the girl “a f—ing c— of a kid” for bullying her daughter.

The March 19 incident, witnessed by other children and several adults, has left the once “bubbly” girl withdrawn and sucking her thumb, the court was told.

Martyn, 47, pleaded guilty to one charge of behaving in an offensive manner in a public place, and was convicted and fined $1200.

Her day started on the wrong foot, as she tripped over a reporter on her way in and fell to the ground.

It is understood she threatened to make a complaint to police about the fall, but a Benalla sergeant could not confirm this yesterday afternoon.

It was the most recent in a series of court appearances Martyn has made since a coroner earlier this year named her as inflicting the injuries that led to three-year-old Daniel’s death in October 2003; but no charges have been laid.

Magistrate John O’Callaghan was told Martyn arrived at the school at 4.45pm to collect her daughter, who told her another child had bullied her.

The after-school activities supervisor said Martyn charged into the schoolyard “screeching”: “I’m f—ing sick of you kids bullying my daughter, you f—ing ferals”.

Martyn stormed up to the 10-year-old girl and said: “No, you don’t bully my daughter, you’re not the boss of her you feral c—.”

The child said she was scared Martyn would hit her; she said she continued yelling at her but she could not remember what else was said.

The child’s mother, who was in court yesterday, was inside for a school council meeting and also saw Martyn arrive; she went outside when she saw Martyn pointing at her daughter.

She told police she heard Martyn say: “I’ll bully you like you bullied my child. Your family don’t belong in this school, you are ferals.”

A third adult said she heard Martyn tell the child, “You’re a f—ing c— of a kid, you need a f—ing smack in the ear”.

This woman yelled for Martyn to “stop being a bully” to which she replied: “You’re the only bully here.”

The school’s principal intervened at this point.

Martyn’s solicitor Greg Duncan told the court an acquired brain injury meant his client did not have “the normal faculties that people have to deal with situations of conflict”.

Martyn also pleaded guilty to a separate charge for verbally assaulting a woman outside Thoona General Store on May 15; she was convicted and fined $500.

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Demons sign country football legend to coach

LOCKHART has lured Riverina coaching legend Shane Lenon back to the club as non-playing coach.
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Lenon returns to the Demons after previously coaching the club from 1997 to 2000, and has one of the most enviable coaching records in country football.

The master coach has landed seven flags from 11 grand final appearances.

He replaces co-coaches Josh Wooden and James Richards who are undecided on their playing futures.

Lenon has coached Collingullie-Ashmont- Kapooka for the past seven seasons, leading the Demons to three consecutive flags in 2008-10 in the Farrer league.

CAK then crossed to the Riverina league and has made the grand final for the past three years including a historic first flag in the Riverina league this season.

“Coaching is in the blood and I do love it,” Lenon said.

“I’ve always loved footy since I was a kid and footy has probably helped keep me on the straight and narrow throughout my life.

“Besides my family, the things I cherish most are mostly football related with all the memories and friendships.

“I would say the majority of things that are positive in my life are all because of football.

“I feel fortunate to stay involved in football and non-playing coaches are a growing trend, where five or six years ago playing coaches were all the rage.”

Lenon also coached CAK to the flag in 2002 before crossing to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, where he added another two flags in his three-year tenure.

The Myrtleford and North Albury best and fairest winner led Lockhart to the finals in all four years in his previous stint at the Demons.

The Demons suffered a heartbreaking one-point loss against Osborne in the 1999 decider after going through the season undefeated.

Lenon had been in hot demand from a host of Riverina, Farrer and Hume league clubs since stepping down at CAK’s presentation night last month where he was awarded life membership.

“Returning to the Hume league and Lockhart after 15 years where I launched my coaching career was a motivating factor in my decision,” he said.

“My wife was also fairly keen on the idea after making some good friends when we were previously there.

“I was also after a different challenge and Lockhart hasn’t played finals since 2009.

“It sounds like the majority of the playing group are keen to stick around and if we can add a couple of quality of recruits, making finals next year is a realistic goal.”

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Travel trends are a key to better health

Brendan Pearson says finding out how people travel to work can make us healthier. Picture: TARA GOONANDRIVE, cycle or walk — how does Albury like to get moving?
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A new Murrumbidgee Local Health District project is asking that question and the results could have far-reaching consequences for the city for a long time.

Health promotion co-ordinator Brendan Pearson has chosen the city to research what the most popular modes of travel to work are in regional people, and why.

He has spoken with staff at several Albury businesses for one of the first such studies to focus exclusively on a regional area — most studies, Mr Pearson said, had foc-used only on big cities.

According to the 2011 Census, 77.1per cent of Albury’s residents travelled to work by car, as driver or passenger.

Just 3.5per cent walked, 1.2per cent cycled and 0.8per cent used public transport.

Mr Pearson said his research had so far tossed up a variety of reasons for these figures, such as a lack of infrastructure in workplaces.

“If there’s not enough showers available or there isn’t somewhere to secure your bike, people aren’t going to cycle,” he said.

“Then there’s personal reasons, such as whether people feel they have got enough time to walk or cycle.

“The presence of plenty of car parks near a workplace also sends a message that you drive to work.”

A city’s wider infrastructure also influenced people’s choices, such as whether there were bike paths, pedestrian crossings or street lighting to make an area safer.

Once his study is complete, it will be available to Albury Council and other regional councils to help guide their planning.

It could also direct health initiatives, with the nation’s rising levels of obesity and physical inactivity a concern.

“From a health perspective, if we get more people to be more active in their day-to-day lives, they’re going to be healthier,” he said.

“In terms of sustainability, we can’t keep having bigger, wider roads for more cars — we’ll get to a point where we don’t have the space.

“Metropolitan areas are already starting to run out and, even in regional areas, it will be a problem.

“This will show councils and workplaces what can be done if you encourage it.”

The research project is supported by the Health Education and Training Institute rural research and capacity building program.

Anyone interested in participating in the study can contact Brendan Pearson on 0408 610 277 or visit the Facebook page facebook南京夜网/worktravel-albury.

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Ballarat plumbers ‘tackled’ tool thief

Charged: Police with the man two plumbers apprehended by citizen’s arrest.THE number of home burglaries in Ballarat has fallen slightly, but police are urging residents to stay vigilant and watch out for each other’s property.
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It’s a message that Ballarat plumbers Lachy Mahar and Scott Jacobs have already heeded.

The pair were working at Clarendon College recently when they noticed two suspicious middle-aged men inspecting Mr Jacobs’ utility.

Later they heard glass breaking just after 3pm at a nearby property on Ajax Street and went to inspect.

“We saw him running with a leaf blower, a whipper snipper and a couple of other things,” Mr Mahar said.

“We cornered him and tackled him.”

The man was held under citizen’s arrest until police arrived soon after.

But Mr Mahar only stayed briefly before returning to work.

“I had to get some stuff done so I went off back to work,” Mr Mahar said.

A 32-year-old Seymour man was arrested on Ajax Street and charged with burglary, theft and possession of methelamphetamine.

He has been remanded to appear in court on October14.

A second man, believed to have left the scene in a vehicle, has not been located at this stage. He is believed to have fled the scene in a gold Magna station wagon with black wheels.

A statewide analysis of burglary incidents per postcode revealed that in the past year, Ballarat had 20 burglaries per 1000 dwellings.

Ballarat had a moderate level of burglaries compared to metropolitan suburbs Ardeer and Hoppers Crossing which had twice as many incidents.

And according to the most recent Victoria Police crime statistics on the per 100,000 people dataset, a slight drop in the number of residential burglaries has been recorded.

Ballarat Acting Senior Sergeant Nathan Gardiner said public awareness of locking up and securing properties had contributed to the decline.

“There is a range of reason why offenders commit burglaries. Drugs are often a contributing reason to the offending,” Acting Senior Sergeant Gardiner said.

“The public must maintain vigilance around properties and neighbours’ properties.”

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Jaxon’s dream comes true

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KNICKS FAN: The Athlete’s Foot Ballarat owner Paul Tudorovic and Jaxon Cooper, 10. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

A DREAM has come true for a Ballarat boy currently fighting for his life.

Doctors have given Jaxon Cooper, 10, the green light to fly.

He and his family will take off to America later this month, where they will watch his favourite NBA team, the New York Knicks, play in the flesh.

Jaxon will also meet Carmelo Anthony, the NBA player he has idolised for most of his life.

The Courier shared Jaxon’s story earlier this year after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem tumour in February, following vision problems.

Jaxon has since lost the use of his left arm and strength in his legs, having undergone gruelling chemotherapy and radiation in a bid to halt the tumour’s growth.

His dad, Rob Cooper, said on Tuesday there wasn’t much that could stop his little fighter.

“He, as you can imagine, is just so stoked,” Mr Cooper said. “I don’t think the people of Ballarat understand what this means to him.

“We’re all very excited and actually can’t believe it’s all happening.”

The Athlete’s Foot Ballarat owners Paul and Andrea Tudorovic heard of “Jaxon’s Journey” via Facebook and decided to help out in August.

Mr Tudorovic, a former Ballarat Miners coach, used a New York basketball contact to organise a signed singlet and game tickets.

But the family faced an anxious wait while doctors decided if Jaxon was safe to fly.

Mr Cooper said he wanted to thank the people of Ballarat who had donated, essentially making his son’s wish come true.

A fund-raising event, which Jaxon named “Stuff You Cancer”, was held on October 4, while Ballarat residents have been donating through other methods.

To make a donation to Jaxon’s Journey, go to ANZ Bank, BSB 013 533 and account 535 804 945.

His Facebook page can be found at www.facebook南京夜网/pages/Jaxons-journey/365014586970179

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