League’s best offer a hand to Jets

Jets players Jack Maher and Matt Renshaw got the chance to train with O and M stars Adam Prior and Brayden O’Hara. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
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STARS of the Ovens and Murray Interleague squad are the latest footballers to throw their support behind the Wodonga Jets.

Only weeks after training at Collingwood’s Melbourne base, the all abilities football team found themselves at Martin Park last week at the same time as the interleague squad.

Coach Matt Deegan said some of the stars of the Ovens and Murray competition were only too happy to help out.

“Brayden O’Hara and Adam Prior were keen to get involved and not only worked on their football ability but at the same time provided a thrill for the Jets,” he said.

“In association with Volunteer Friends Wodonga and the Wodonga Bulldogs Football Club, over the past five years the Jets have gone from playing one game a year to participating in four home and away games, three round-robin carnivals and of course, culminating in what the players see as the pinnacle, their half-time game at the O and M grand final.”

The Jets’ next game will be after the Wodonga Bulldogs v Wangaratta Magpies OandM clash on June 6.

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Melba makes name return

ABOVE: The original Wodonga Shire Hall.LEFT: The former Melba Theatre.Pictures:WODONGAHISTORICALSOCIETY Dame Nellie Melba biographer Ann Blainey says the name Melba Square could be a great choice for Wodonga’s new city square. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
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COULD a dark horse be making a last-minute dash across the finish line in the race to name Wodonga’s urban square?

Well, perhaps not so much dark horse as divine diva — a Border Mail poll suggests Melba Square is leading the people’s choice as a name for the new public space at the corner of High Street and Elgin Boulevard.

The unofficial online poll showed 51per cent of people chose Melba Square, 35per cent Junction Square, 6per cent Drover’s Rest, and 4per cent each for Aurora and Harmony squares.

The Melba square name is not in fact direct reference to opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, but to the theatre named for her that once stood opposite the square, where the Woolworths supermarket now stands.

Either way, historian Ann Blainey reckons it’s an excellent choice, and one the dame would approve.

Mrs Blainey — wife of historian Geoffrey Blainey — was on the Border yesterday for a talk about Melba, coinciding with the singer’s birthday.

As a Melba biographer, Mrs Blainey said she’d found Melba actually had several links to the area, with several performances on the Border in the early 1900s.

Her father owned Bethanga Park for many years, meaning as a child she would have spent time here, although her formative years were spent in Melbourne.

“She was the first person to sing at the Albury Mechanics Institute … and at that concert for those who couldn’t get seats she made sure they opened all the doors so everyone could hear,” she said.

Wodonga Council had previously stated its preference for a name reflecting the precinct’s railway heritage, but Mrs Blainey thinks the Melba name can almost encompass that too.

Melba did after all travel regularly on the line from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and, upon her death in 1931, a procession was held at Albury station as her coffin was moved from one platform to the other for the journey from Sydney to Melbourne.

Wodonga Historical Society members have agreed the Melba name could be perfect, but pointed out one key factor: the council has stipulated it does not want to name the square after a person, living or dead, in order to ensure it is inclusive.

Society member Uta Wiltshire said that the name wouldn’t, however, necessarily be commemorating a person, but a place.

“To have Melba square would be fine, as long as in 20 years time people do remember there was a theatre of that name was once stood by that site,” she said.

The Melba Theatre was in use for 60 years which was of significance to Wodonga.

The council is taking feedback on the five names until May 28.

A report will go to next month council’s meeting, where councillors will choose a name to put forward to the Registrar of Geographic Names.

The council has stressed it will consider the public response.

People can go to makewodongayours南京夜网419论坛 to vote, or leave a dot on polls posted at the council offices and other venues including The Cube, Library, community centres and the Visitor Information Centre.

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4000 nappies to help mums in need

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare manager Peter Matthews, The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards and volunteer Penny Collis boxed nappies donated to help mums in need. Picture: KYLIE ESLERMORE than 4000 nappies have been packed for mums in need.
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The Nappy Collective group has been collecting the baby essential for the past two weeks to donate to families who can’t afford them.

It was the second time a nappy drive has been held on the Border, the first was in October and only 500 nappies were donated.

A volunteer with The Nappy Collective group in Albury, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she could see the benefits of the nappy donations after once being in need herself after escaping domestic violence.

“I was left with nothing and it’s the first thing you notice,” she said.

Nappies were collected at drop off points at the Lavington library and the Albury Library Museum, set up by Halve Waste, and the Wodonga library and Target.

The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards said she was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“I’m thrilled with the response and hopefully it’s enough to meet the demand so we don’t have to get any from Melbourne,” she said.

“A woman who was 33 weeks pregnant with twins was even keen to help.”

Ms Richards said nappies were not always affordable and she often heard of them going to waste due to babies growing out of them.

They boxed the nappies according to size at Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare and manager Peter Matthews said often people were asking for those types of products.

“People who need emergency food have an income that’s under stress,” he said.

“They won’t just go to people with a low income but also those with sick children or other issues.”

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When will they give an answer?

POLITICALLY, I am right wing and naturally accept that Leigh Sales and Emma Alberici are biased to the left.
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Like them, I am fed up with politicians avoiding fair questions.

I have heard Bill Shorten asked the question as to how he is going to pay for his promises three times in a row and getting the same nonsense reply such as “I am coming to that but let me first say that Tony Abbott can’t be trusted”.

How can Sales and Alberici ever get straight answers without interrupting the vacuous diversive answers being given?

If their attitudes are regarded as rude, let me tell you that there are thousands out here who would have been a damn sight ruder if the answers to our questions were similarly treated as though they had never been asked.

Why must we citizens have to put up with fools trumpeting obvious political drivel when the questions we want answered are ignored?

To protect the ability of Sales and Alberici to do their jobs on our behalf, why can’t the rule be that if a question is not reasonably answered after one prompt, the interview is terminated?

— D.A. CORBETT,

Essendon

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Tired body calls time on a stellar career

Josh Fluss will be able to spend more time with his sons Aiden, 5, and Christian, 17 months, after he retires on Saturday. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICKJOSH Fluss will hang up the goalkeeping gloves after Saturday’s clash with Melbourne City at La Trobe.
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The Melrose 300-gamer made the switch to newly-created NPL1 team Murray United at the start of the season but has struggled with injuries.

Fluss is already part of the goalkeeping coaching staff and will now take a more permanent role in match day operations.

The 30-year-old said a combination of family, work and injuries had driven his decision.

“We have another child on the way, I’m working for myself and really struggling to come up week after week,” he said.

“It’s not one chronic injury just a sequence of niggles and on Saturday night I lost all power in my right knee — I just can’t do it any more.

“I don’t think it will sink in until the weekend arrives.

“I see my future in helping to develop some of the young guys we have coming through the keeping ranks.

“I want to take a more active role in that area and on game day.

“We have some great kids and they are the future of Murray United.”

His playing legacy as well as AWFA includes stints at the Victorian Institute of Sport, Australian Institute of Sport and Melbourne Knights in the Premier League.

Murray United senior coach Mick Richards talked Fluss into playing until the home game against Melbourne City after he initially planned to pull the pin three weeks ago.

“He has been a great keeper at AWFA level and really stepped up to help us out and play at this level,” he said.

“But in recent weeks he has been under siege and his body just can’t take it any more.

“He will now take a more active role in further developing our goalkeeping stocks with Ben Russell and Nathan Brown.

“Most of the Melbourne sides have four and five on the coaching staff but we are forced to shuffle it around — we share the responsibilities for the under-20s and seniors.”

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End of an era as Brad Jones retires Tallulah

Fabian Coulthard’s original V8 Supercar has been retired and will be replaced with a new version for the next round in Darwin.DESPITE two podiums in the past two V8 Supercar rounds, including a second at Winton Raceway on Sunday, Brad Jones Racing has decided to retire Fabian Coulthard’s Freightliner car.
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Tallulah, named after the Cool Runnings movie, will remain in BJR’s Albury garage as the team’s most successful V8 Supercar.

The car gave Coulthard his first V8 Supercars Championship race win at Symmons Plains in 2013 and first pole in Pukekohe that year.

“It’s a pretty proud moment for me to be able to retire this car with a lot of great achievements,” he said.

“Seven pole positions, eight race wins, 25 podiums and two lap records at Winton and Bathurst — the lap record at Mount Panorama being one of the highlights.”

Work started on the new chassis in April, with the gaps between the Tasmanian — Perth and Winton — Darwin rounds used to focus on the project.

It is the fifth Car Of The Future chassis built in the East Albury workshop.

Coulthard will debut the new Freightliner Racing chassis when the V8 Supercar Championship heads to Darwin for the next round of the series in about a month’s time.

“Any time you get to roll out a brand new car is a good day,” he said.

“It is a cool experience for my team to be building this new car.

“Obviously we want to achieve even more than what we did with Tallulah, my team are really excited to make this happen.

“As for the name of this new car, stay tuned!”

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Tiger Hyde waits on tribunal

ALBURY co-coach Chris Hyde is in danger of missing next week’s blockbuster showdown against Lavington after being charged by the Ovens and Murray match review panel.
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Hyde was reported for charging Wodonga’s Jackson Russell during the opening quarter of Saturday’s clash at Martin Park.

Wodonga asked for the case to be heard by the tribunal after he was charged, and he will face the panel tonight.

Hyde has never been previously reported since joining the Ovens and Murray league for the 2009 season.

With the interleague bye this weekend, any suspension will result in Hyde missing the most anticipated clash so far this season between the Tigers and the Panthers, who sit first and second on the ladder.

Albury is yet to lose a game while Lavington suffered its only loss of the season against Myrtleford in round 3.

The defending premier can ill-afford to lose their inspirational co-coach, with Angus Graham (knee), Setanta o’hAilpin (suspended), Aisake o’hAilpin (suspended), Luke Daly, John Mitchell, Jay Koehler and Joel O’Connell all missing.

Aisake o’hAilpin has already served one match of a two-match suspension after being found guilty of rough conduct against Wodonga Raiders.

Albury have appealed the decision.

The case will be heard by AFL Victoria Country at Visy Park tonight.

Aisake o’hAilpin will be represented by high-profile player advocate Iain Findlay.

The Tigers will regain Setanta, who has served a one-match suspension.

The Panthers will welcome back classy midfielder Luke Garland, who also missed playing last week through suspension.

Veteran utility Jamarl O’Sullivan is also expected to be fit to face his former team after missing the past fortnight with injury.

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Wodonga West school waiting on timeframe

Christian Walsh, 11, shadow education minister Nick Wakeling and Rylee Butters, 11, at Wodonga West. Picture: KYLIE ESLERA WODONGA principal is demanding a timeframe from the Victorian government for the construction of two new buildings.
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Money was set aside last year to rebuild outdated structures at Wodonga West Primary School.

Now, principal Jocelyn Owen wants to know when the money will be put to use.

The call comes following a meeting between Mrs Owen, shadow education minister Nick Wakeling and Benambra MP Bill Tilley yesterday, who were urging the Andrews government to “get moving” on the project.

The Coalition set aside $3.8million 12 months ago plus an additional $650,000 to replace the buildings from the 1950s.

Mrs Owen met Mr Andrews when he visited the school as opposition leader in 2013.

Now, Mrs Owen is waiting to hear from Mr Andrews as to when the funding will come through.

The school has been lobbying for new buildings since 2007 and according to Mr Wakeling work may not commence until late this year.

“It appears the rebuild is going to take three years to complete, it’s completely unacceptable,” Mr Wakeling said.

“The money is sitting there in the budget and we call on Premier Andrews to ensure the funding that was allocated is delivered, so work can start on the site and we can see these kids educated in 21st century facilities.”

Mr Tilley invited the shadow minister to the Border where they met with principals including from Corryong College, Wodonga Middle Years Huon Campus and paid a visit to Melrose Primary School.

He labelled the government’s failure to deliver the project as “incredible hypocrisy” and questioned Education Minister, James Melino’s ability to “manage” the portfolio.

“Daniel Andrews stood on this school site two years ago and said ‘get on with it’.

“Our philosophy was to prioritise schools, no matter what seat they fell in, the priority was determined by an audit by the Department of Education,” Mr Tilley said.

In response to yesterday’s meeting, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said a detailed design was proceeding and construction would take place later this year.

However they were not able to put a timeframe on it.

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Police target truck safety

Senior Constable Jamie Mooney completes a computer check on a B-double. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYNTRUCK drivers are in the sights of police on both sides of the border as part of a nationwide road blitz.
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Police in Albury and Wodonga are inspecting drivers and their vehicles as part of Operation Austrans, which started on Monday.

The operation comes as police reveal the number of truck crashes resulting in serious injuries has almost doubled in the Wangaratta region, with nine serious crashes this year compared with five for the same period last year.

Albury police began inspecting trucks heading north on the Hume Highway at Holbrook yesterday and will spend 72 hours at the site.

Albury Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Nick Fahy said the operation was about safety.

“We will target major factors that contribute to heavy vehicle road trauma,” he said.

“That includes excessive speed, driver fatigue, alcohol and drug impaired driving and seatbelt offences.

“The message is that drivers need to comply with all the road regulations and take their designated breaks.”

Log books, speed limit tampering and overweight vehicles will also be looked at by officers, who will target major roads and local streets.

“We will be conducting stationary and mobile checks on vehicles and heavy vehicles during the operation,” Acting Sgt Fahy said.

“The operation is designed to detect and deter inappropriate road user behaviour within the heavy vehicle industry.

“Most heavy vehicle drivers are compliant.

“All available police will be utilised for Austrans, not just members of the Highway Patrol.

“There are substantial fines and charges that people can face.”

North East divisional traffic adviser Sen-Sgt Darren Wittingslow said Victorian officers would set up road blocks on six occasions during the blitz, which will include random drug tests.

“We’ve had nine heavy vehicle collisions that have resulted in serious injuries this year,” he said.

“Not all have been the heavy vehicle driver’s fault; we have had two or three where cars have inexplicably pulled out in front of trucks.

“We want the public to be mindful of trucks given that they can’t stop quickly and need extra room.

“If you do have a collision there is quite a big chance you will be injured.”

Truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in Australia.

The operation runs until June 13.

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Man could impersonate cops with lights

POLICE were concerned a man from the NSW town of Bargo may have been impersonating a police officer with special lights fitted to his Ford Falcon XR6 car, a court heard yesterday.
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Jack Everitt Fullerton was sleeping in his car near the entrance to the Albury Airport about 4.10am on April 3 when general duties police checked on him.

They told Fullerton it was unsafe to sleep there and suggested a nearby 24-hour truck stop instead.

He drove off, but police did a registration check and found numerous entries on police intelligence suggesting the car may be fitted with flashing lights.

Other information said the vehicle may be used to impersonate police with other road users being pulled over.

Police stopped Fullerton on the Hume freeway in Albury about 30 minutes later.

He admitted the car was fitted with flashing fog and rear tail reverse lights.

The officers got Fullerton to activate the lights and filmed the vehicle with them working.

The lights were blue in colour and the headlights and indicators also flashed.

Officers believed there was no doubt the public could easily assume Fullerton’s car was an unmarked police veh- icle.

NSW police have used Ford Falcon XR6 turbo cars for some time as both marked and unmarked cars in their highway patrol fleet.

When checking the car, police noticed a number of unroadworthy items and put a defect notice on Fullerton’s car.

They also found he had two NSW driver’s licences with one in the name of Rodriguez Bohemanu.

It was found in the glove box and a check with Roads and Maritime Services showed the licence does not exist.

Fullerton, 24, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to charges of driving a car with an unlawful police insignia and unlawfully possessing an item which resembles an Australian driver’s licence.

He told magistrate Tony Murray the fake licence was obtained as a joke in Thailand two years ago when holidaying.

“I had no intention of using it,” he said.

Mr Murray said when imposing fines totalling $900 that it was an unusual matter.

He said understandably officers were worried because Fullerton’s vehicle may have been considered an unmarked police car.

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Sadness, anger, goodbyes at mill

Kimberly-Clark Australia Albury mill manager Graham Rodda says it has been a tough week as the plant officially closed its doors yesterday. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLKIMBERLY-Clark Australia’s Albury mill has officially closed its doors following its last production day yesterday.
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Twenty-six staff said their goodbyes as the nonwoven fabrics mill shut up shop, another victim of the region’s declining manufacturing industry.

Forty-four people have lost their jobs in the closure, although a number will remain until the end of July to pack up the factory and prepare it for sale.

Expressions of interest for the Drome Street site opened at the weekend, through LJ Colquhoun Dixon.

Mill manager Graham Rodda said staff had been supportive of each other in what had been a tough period.

“We’re a close-knit team, a family — and I don’t use that description lightly,” he said.

“There’s been sadness, a little anger, but on the whole they’ve got on with the job.

“The whole team has been fantastic ever since the closure was announced (in October), they’ve stayed focused and worked hard.”

A farewell celebration for staff and their families was held at the Commercial Club last Friday, after the last production machine was shut off, to “give the staff some closure as they move on to the next chapter”, Mr Rodda said.

“It’s never an easy process but we’ve kept the channels of communication open throughout and I hope the staff feel they’ve been treated with dignity and respect,” he said.

Staff at the plant had worked there for an average 17 years each; one employee finished up after starting with the company in 1987.

Mr Rodda said the Albury plant had been in a unique situation, under pressure as a small manufacturing site to keep its place in the market.

“It’s like the local corner store having to compete with the major supermarket chains,” he said.

He said about half the staff had found alternative work options.

Although the region’s manufacturing industry had struggled in recent times, Mr Rodda is holding out hope ano-ther local manufacturer could swoop in to buy the site.

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Parking woes fixed at hospital

Carparks have been created for tradespeople working on the cancer centre. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
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TRADIES working on the $65 million Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre have had a temporary carparking compound created for them.

The area fronting Borella Road has eased the concerns of local residents and businesses which were forced to compete with workers on the cancer centre for parking spots.

Albury Council has fenced off part of the road reserve in front of the cancer centre construction site.

Tradies were previously taking up all-day parking areas in the service road in front of the Borella Road shopping strip.

They were also occupying parking allotted for Albury Wodonga Health staff members in Keene Street.

Providing parking for workers was part of the original development application for the cancer centre project and head contractor Hansen Yuncken will remediate the newly created area when completed.

Mayor Kevin Mack said council had responded to concerns about parking raised by businesses and residents around the hospital.

“As someone who lives in that area there are certainly now a lot more available spaces in that service road at peak times,” he said.

“It has taken some pressure off in that respect, but also the staff parking areas.

“There are up to 50 vehicles in that area on any given day.”

Cr Mack said the council undertook traffic surveys before agreeing to create the compound.

“Initially we didn’t think it was that bad,” he said.

“But the people who live around there and have businesses in and around there said it was.

More than 100 tradies are working on the cancer centre most days with the project not expected to be completed until next year.

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Kinross case is set back

A FORMER employee of the Kinross Hotel at Thurgoona who has pleaded not guilty to the theft of more than $10,000 will have a two-day court hearing in September.
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Mathew Paul Coombes, 27, of Whitton Avenue, Thurgoona, has been charged with stealing property as a clerk or servant and dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

The case had previously been listed for a two-day hearing on July 6 and 7 with 26 prosecution witnesses to be called.

But police prosecutor Sgt Rowan Harris made an application in Albury Local Court yesterday to vacate the date in July.

“It is a circumstantial matter and one that has some complication about it,” Sgt Harris said.

Magistrate Tony Murray set the hearing down for September 2 and 3.

It is alleged Coombes stole $10,566.45 in assorted currency from hotel owner Nic Conway.

The case had been initially investigated by police as an armed robbery at the hotel.

Barrister Alan Blackman represents Coombes and has indicated most of the witnesses would centre around Coombes’ alleged motive.

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