Morning Shot: @petersedlacik/Instagram
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Weather: Showers in Newcastle (27 degrees), Toronto and Wallsend (both 30 degrees). Possible storm at Nelson Bay (28 degrees) and Raymond Terrace (30 degrees).

Beachwatch:It looks like being another mixed bag as far as the weather goes with a bit of everything thown in but at least the waves are slowly improving. The wind will be north to north-east with the swell from the east around 1 to 1.3 metres. Wave conditions at most open beaches will be sloppy with the northern corners the picks. Around town try Newcastle, BarBeachand Redhead. Down south try North Catho and Soldiers. At Port Stephens try Samurai and Birubi. There’ll still be a few tricky edges and sweeps to the south so only swim in the flagged areas. The water temperature is 20 degrees.

Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.

Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.

Hunter headlinesA man accused of stabbing three people in a random attack at a gym on Sydney’s northern beaches on Monday night is then believed to have carried out two Hunter armed robberies at service stations just hours later, police say. Read more.

FRIENDS of missing University of Newcastle student Mohsin Awan say they still hold out hope their friend is found alive and well. Read more.

COULD the resurgence of ink on young people’s skinbelinked, in someway, tosocial media?It’samusingof Baroness Susan Greenfield, the renowned neuroscientist, author andmember of Britain’s House of Lords who toured theHunter Medical Research Institute on Monday. Read more.

A Rotary conference with up to 400 delegates will descend on Nelson Bay in 2018, worth at least$300,000to the Port Stephens economy. Read more.

A milestone in the Hunter’s military history is marked on Wednesday, with a lunch commemorating the centenary of the City of Newcastle RSL sub-branch. Read more.

PROPOSALS for two mobile phone towers in Morisset have stalled as Telstra and Optus consider a request from Lake Macquarie City Council to explore operatingfrom a single shared tower. Read more.

Sincelosing more than 35 kilograms after weight loss surgery in December, Paul Yorkcan now bend down to put on his socks and tie his shoelaces,and he no longer sees “that look”when people realise they are sitting next to him on a plane. But the big things have been rewarding too. Read more.

KNIGHTS fullback Brendan Elliot is set to play against Penrith on Friday, despite the concussion furore that is likely to cost his club $100,000. Read more.

ROBERT DILLON:IRRESPECTIVE of whether or not Knights fullback Brendan Elliot should have left the field on Saturday for a concussionassessment, it defies belief that the player responsible for his injury, South Sydney centre Hymel Hunt, was allowed to play out the game. Read more.

BROADMEADOW Magic have alleged intimidating behaviour from an Edgeworth official towards one of their players as part of a complaint to Northern NSW Football over their round-one match at Jack McLaughlan Oval. Read more.

National newsNeed anational newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.

►MANDURAH:Some of Mandurah’sdrivers didn’t have the luck of the Irishon their side on St Patrick’s night, after police pulled over 12 driversover the limit. Read more

► WAGGA:Baby Koby Wiles might have won his fight for life, but his mother Rosie Pollard remains furious at his misdiagnosis and is gunning for a Wagga doctor’s suspension. Read more

►BENDIGO:Some people would not be caught dead in a graveyard on their wedding day.But it’s a choice couples will be able to make once renovations to a 140-year-old chapel inside Bendigo cemetery are finished. Read more

►NEWCASTLE:Friendsof missing University of Newcastle student Mohsin Awan say they still hold out hope their friend is found alive and well.The 23-year-old Pakistani national was washed out to sea by large surf at Nobbys Beach on Sunday night. Read more

► REDLANDS:Family members of Michael Eather, who disappeared while whitewater rafting in Guatemala, havevisited the area where the electrician was last seen. Read more

►KING VALLEY:The NBN was supposed to be the 21st century technology set to change accessibility to the internet, but North East residents and businesses have been left with disappointment. Read more

►LAVINGTON: A girl,12, was left with a broken collarbone after being struck by a car while with her father and sister. Read more

►KATHERINE:Sexual assaults in Katherine have risen by athird in the past year. Read more

► BALLARAT: A Burrumbeet grandfather has questioned the ethics of duck hunting season, particularly in a popular family camping area where ducks are a key aesthetic feature. Read more

National news►A number of Regional Express Saab 340 planes have been grounded following a freak incident last week.An investigation is underway after the a propeller sheared off a plane, carrying 16 passengers and three crew mid-flight on Friday. Read more

►A push to weaken Australia’s race hate laws has ignited tensions inside the government despite the changes having little chance of passing Parliament. Read more

►The troubled Australian Bureau of Statistics is to axe another 80 to 100 of its public servants, staff were told on Monday. Read more

►The brother of slain standover figure Wally Ahmad has been arrested as he stepped off a flight from the Middle East in relation to one of Sydney’s unsolved gangland killings. Read more

National weather radarWhat’s coming your way …

International news►LONDON: Britain has set its date with destiny confirming its two years of negotiations to exit the European Union will begin from next Wednesday 29 March. Read more

►BALI:Byron Bay woman Sara Connor has decided not to appeal the four-year sentence handed down to her by a court in Bali over death of police officer Wayan Sudarsa. Read more

►BEIJING:Pressure on China’s leaders to cut pollution from coal is likely to intensify – potentially hurting Australia’s exports – with new research showing Beijing’s air quality will get worse with climate change. Read more

On This Day1685:The great German composer and organist, Johann Sebastian Bach, is born.

1895: South Australia’s Suffrage Act is proclaimed after being passed by Queen Victoria.

1947:Two men die in the first documented case of death by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

1980:The USA announces its intention to boycott the Moscow Olympics due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

2233: Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise will be born.

The faces of Australia: The Evans brothersHAPPY DAYS: She Will Reign part-owners John Robertson and Matt and Nick Evans at the Australia Hotel on Sunday. Picture: Simone De Peak

Cessnock brothers Nick and Matt Evans like to think their late father, Mark, “pulled a few strings for us” when they bought a five per cent share with mate John Robertson in She Will Reign.

That $2500 stake in the $20,000 filly gave them a piece of Golden Slipper glory on Saturday at Rosehill and a share of the horse’s $2,555,150 in prizemoney.

Read more

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Police outside the Brookvale gym after three people were stabbed. Photo: TNVA man accused of stabbing three people in a random attack at a gym on Sydney’s northern beaches on Monday night is then believed to have carried out two armed robberies at service stations just hours later, police say.
Nanjing Night Net

Police are now hunting for the “agitated and aggressive” man, described as having a full beard and aged in his mid to late 20s, who allegedly attacked the men in the gym at Brookvale before driving to Newcastle in a stolen vehicle and robbing the service stations.

Members of the public who see the man or the stolen black BMW he was driving have been advised not to approach him, but to call triple zero immediately.

Police saythe man’s alleged rampage began in Brookvale just after 8pm on Monday, when heentered the Plus Fitness gym on Pittwater Roadwhere four men were working out with a trainer.

Witnesses said the offenderappeared to be extremely agitated, before he approached one of the men who was working out and punched him.

He then pulled out a knife and attacked three other men, stabbing one in the neck and two others in the arms. Their trainer was not injured.

The injured men ran outside and called police, and their alleged attacker escaped in a stolenblack BMW, with NSW registration plates DKK 39Q.

The stabbing victims were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital. One of the menneededemergency surgery, while the other two were in a stable condition. None of their injuries are life-threatening, a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

Police said at 9.45pm on Monday, less than two hours after the stabbing, a black BMW pulled into a service station on Maitland Road in Sandgate, in Newcastle’s north,and the driver started filling up thevehicle with fuel.

A 38-year-old employee at the service stationthought the driver was acting suspiciously, and started to approach him.

The man then allegedly followed the woman back into the service station, threatened her and startedsmashing the cash register. The woman told police the man pulled out a knife and stole money from the cash register, before driving away.

About 15 minutes later, the same man is believed to have walked into another service station on Maitland Road and placed two chocolates on the counter.

Asthe 24-year-old employee opened the cash register, the man jumped onto the counter, pulled out a knife and demanded the employee hand over cash. The employee did so, before the offender ran from the station and got back into his vehicle.

Police who were responding to the report of the first armed robbery saw the stolen BMW and started chasing it, but the vehicle got away.

The descriptions of the offender and vehicle from both the Brookvale stabbing and the service station robberies were the same.

Police described him as being Caucasian, about 168 centimetres tall, aged in his mid to late 20s with a full beard. He was wearing black shorts and a light coloured T-shirt at the time.

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Goannas and Bulldogs resume Shield rivalry COALFIELDS RIVALRY: Sam Apthorpe from the Cessnock Goannas, and Jonah Lisiua from the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs have been part of the Charity Shield since they were in under-6 and under-8s. Picture: Krystal Sellars
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Sam Apthorpe from the Cessnock Goannas, and Jonah Lisiua from the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs.

Ryan Walker continually put the Goannas on the back foot with his kicking. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Kurri Kurri’s Mitch Cullen attracts three Cessnock defenders. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Brock Gilmour scored a try in a powerful game for the Bulldogs. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Cessnock’s Sam Apthorpe and Kurri’s Mitch Cullen. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Cessnock’s Cal Orchard takes on the Bulldogs defence. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

A bid crowd was in full force for the annual Charity Shield. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

The Bulldogs faithful in front of the John Sattler Stand. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

The crowd gets involved as the Bulldogs mount an attack on the Goannas line. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

Goannas and Bulldogs sides from the under-6s through to first grade played off for the 2016 Charity Shield. Picture: Krystal Sellars.

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A man accused of stabbing three people in a random attack at a gym on Sydney’s northern beaches on Monday night is then believed to have carried out two armed robberies at service stations just hours later, police say.
Nanjing Night Net

Police are now hunting for the “agitated and aggressive” man, described as having a full beard and aged in his mid to late 20s, who allegedly attacked the men in the gym at Brookvale before driving to Newcastle in a stolen vehicle and robbing the service stations.

Members of the public who see the man or the stolen black BMW he was driving have been advised not to approach him, but to call triple zero immediately.

Police say the man’s alleged rampage began in Brookvale just after 8pm on Monday, when he entered the Vision gym on Pittwater Road where four men were working out with a trainer.

Witnesses said the offender appeared to be extremely agitated, before he approached one of the men who was working out and punched him.

He then pulled out a knife and attacked three other men, stabbing one in the neck and two others in the arms. Their trainer was not injured.

The injured men ran outside and called police, and their alleged attacker escaped in a stolen black BMW, with NSW registration plates DKK 39Q.

The stabbing victims were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital. One of the men needed emergency surgery, while the other two were in a stable condition. None of their injuries are life-threatening, a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

Police said at 9.45pm on Monday, less than two hours after the stabbing, a black BMW pulled into a service station on Maitland Road in Sandgate, in Newcastle’s north, and the driver started filling up the vehicle with fuel.

A 38-year-old employee at the service station thought the driver was acting suspiciously, and started to approach him.

The man then allegedly followed the woman back into the service station, threatened her and started smashing the cash register. The woman told police the man pulled out a knife and stole money from the cash register, before driving away.

About 15 minutes later, the same man is believed to have walked into another service station on Maitland Road and placed two chocolates on the counter.

As the 24-year-old employee opened the cash register, the man jumped onto the counter, pulled out a knife and demanded the employee hand over cash. The employee did so, before the offender ran from the station and got back into his vehicle.

Police who were responding to the report of the first armed robbery saw the stolen BMW and started chasing it, but the vehicle got away.

The descriptions of the offender and vehicle from both the Brookvale stabbing and the service station robberies were the same.

Police described him as being Caucasian, about 168 centimetres tall, aged in his mid to late 20s with a full beard. He was wearing black shorts and a light coloured T-shirt at the time. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_235′); /*\n”,color:”green”, title:”Stabbing”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-32.86465, lon:151.70622, text:”

Info about the point*/

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Less than a fortnight after North Sydney Council was rebuked by the Berejiklian government for its petty rivalries, councillors walked out on the mayor as she called for a “line in the sand” to be drawn following a report into the council’s dysfunction.
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North Sydney mayor Jilly Gibson began addressing the chamber on the findings of a public inquiry into the council, when four councillors left their seats and exited the room, leaving Monday night’s meeting temporarily without a quorum.

“It would be good after this if we can put this matter to bed, draw a line in the sand and move on,” Cr Gibson began.

But her colleagues – councillors Melissa Clare, MaryAnn Beregi, Jeff Morris and Zoe Baker – left the chamber as she outlined her views on the “exhausting and harrowing” inquiry process, which she said had “vindicated” her.

“The relentless actions of my protagonists has gone way beyond politics. It’s gone against civility and on many occasions I felt dehumanised,” she said.

The mayor’s speech related to a “performance improvement order” issued by local government minister Gabrielle Upton, which required the council to adopt a suite of recommendations from the inquiry to improve “orderly conduct” among councillors.

Cr Clare, who is also deputy mayor, defended her decision to walk out on the proceedings, labelling the mayor’s speech “lies” and an “exercise in rank hypocrisy.”

“It is disingenuous to say you want to draw a line in the sand and then proceed to maliciously denigrate your elected colleagues from the chair.”

Councillors Beregi, Morris, and Baker each said they supported Cr Clare’s comments when contacted by the Herald.

The episode was indicative of the kind of dysfunction laid bare in the 170-page report by Commissioner Thomas Howard, SC, following the public inquiry last year.

In the report, tabled earlier this month, Commissioner Howard found that the relationship between the majority block of councillors and the mayor was steeped in “personal antipathy”, and marked by an “absence or paucity of any civil discourse outside of council meetings”.

The dysfunction stemmed from the fact that Cr Gibson, who was popularly elected in 2012, had “at no stage enjoyed the support or confidence of a majority group of seven councillors,” the report found.

A review of council meetings spanning December 2013- July 2016 revealed a disorderly and, at times toxic, council meeting culture, characterised by claims and counterclaims of code-of-conduct violations and protocol breaches.

The inquiry also examined the breakdown in relations between the mayor and the former general manager Warrick Winn, which remained “intractable” until Mr Winn resigned in April 2016.

Their acrimonious relationship was also a factor in the council’s decision to strip the mayor of her access to a council vehicle in August 2014, after her car was found with a flat tyre and left parked near a bottleshop over a weekend.

The procedure followed Mr Winn and the councillors was found to be “seriously flawed and unfair”, and “significantly impeded” her capacity to carry out mayoral functions.

On Monday night the council voted to immediately restore Cr Gibson access to a council car.

Commissioner Howard decided against recommending the council be suspended, largely because it had “met its most fundamental performance measures”, including being in a sound financial position.

But his findings prompted a swift reprimand Minister Upton earlier this month.

“Petty rivalries, unruly and childish behaviour in council meetings and shoddy practices must be banished from our Councils forever,” she said.

Cr Gibson announced last week she would contest the North Shore by-election as an independent.

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