Rup’s roaring after Laharum defeat

RUPANYUP stamped itself as a legitimate contender with an impressive 76-point demolition of third-placed Laharum at Rupanyup Recreation Reserve.
Nanjing Night Net

The Panthers dominated the match, keeping their opponents goalless until the third quarter.

Rupanyup coach Glenn Wyatt said his side was intent on a good start.

"We played an attacking style and were hard at the ball and tackled well," he said.

"We were winning the ball in the midfield and our defensive pressure was great, we were rebounding well from half back."

The Mountain Men were left shell-shocked as they suffered their second loss of the season.

Laharum coach Marcus Demaria described his side as 'very ordinary'.

"I don't think we could have played any worse," he said.

"They just dominated us all over the ground right from the start and didn't allow us to play our free flowing game.

"They played really well."

Nathan Sachse, playing in the ruck, was best for Rupanyup and Drew Tyler was influential, kicking four goals.

Wyatt said the win demonstrated how far his side had come from a seven-point loss to Laharum in round three.

"The confidence among the group is up and we're gelling a lot better," he said.

"Our rotations off the bench are working better too."

A bruised knee to Tim Tyler was the only injury concern for the Panthers.

The result sees Rupanyup now sit just two points behind Laharum on the ladder.

"It keeps us in with a reach of a double chance come finals," Wyatt said.

Demaria said his side knew it now had a fight to stay in the top three.

In other games, Swifts 110 continued their winning form against Taylors Lake 88, Kalkee 124 charged home against Noradjuha-Quantong 25, Edenhope-Apsley 112 demolished Natimuk 34, and Pimpinio 79 defeated Harrow-Balmoral 60.

For full scores, see today's Mail-Times.

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Sword and siege: Man threatens to kill police and neighbours

A HORSHAM man who brandished a samurai sword at police and threatened to kill his neighbours is due to be released from jail by Christmas.
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Darren Kirk, 51, pleaded guilty in Horsham Magistrate's Court on Wednesday to two counts of criminal damage, five counts of having made threats to kill and one count each of reckless conduct endangering serious injury, having assaulted police and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Magistrate Ian von Einem sentenced Kirk on Friday to 15 months' jail and ordered him to forfeit his swords and pay restitution for a window he damaged.

Kirk will serve seven months, less 56 days already served, and will be on parole for eight months.

Mr von Einem also sentenced Kirk to two months' jail for having breached a community corrections order and community-based order, to be served concurrently with his 15-month sentence.

Kirk has prior convictions in New South Wales and had been jailed for assaulting police and burglaries.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Matthew Haughton told the court on Wednesday that Kirk had had a dispute with his neighbours since January.

Kirk's verbal attacks escalated and he argued with his neighbours on May 3, when he swore and told them he was sick of them.

He smashed a window of his neighbour's house, causing $485 damage.

Kirk then had a samurai sword with a 50-centimetre long blade and told his neighbours he would kill them on May 4 about 1am.

He then used his sword on the frame of the window he had smashed earlier and swore, threatening to kill his neighbours by chopping them up.

Police arrived and Kirk jumped a fence.

He pointed the tip of his sword towards police. The tip was about 30 centimetres away from them.

Kirk called the police an obscene name and threatened to kill them.

A siege ensued, with Kirk refusing to leave his house.

He consumed drugs and alcohol and was later under police guard in Wimmera Base Hospital.

Police found a second samurai sword in Kirk's house.

Kirk also denied smashing a window on May 1 and further denied he threatened to kill his neighbours on May 2.

Victoria Legal Aid solicitor Jacqui Parker said on Wednesday that her client's past history was not extensive for his age and he had long-term substance abuse issues.

She said Kirk's world 'collapsed' when he lost his job about seven years ago and he offended in order to go to jail, so he would have somewhere to sleep.

Mr von Einem said Kirk had breached a previous community-based order for burglary and theft.

"You must pay for what has occurred," Mr von Einem said on Friday. "The court has given you opportunities in the past.

"But you are not beyond hope."

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Man dead near Ararat

POLICE are investigating the death of a man, 57, after a single vehicle crash at Dunicull Creek near Ararat yesterday morning.
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A Holden four-wheel drive was travelling east on Logan Road when it ran off the left of the road and ended up on its side.

The man, from the Ararat area, died at the scene.

Stawell's Leading Senior Constable Ben Van Maanen said the man was the sole occupant of the car.

He said the crash occurred sometime between 4am and 8am yesterday.

A passerby discovered the crash about 8am.

Sen Const Van Maanen said the gravel road was wet.

He said police were investigating what caused the crash.

People with any information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers南京夜网.au.

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State Government asked to chip in for tourism hub

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council will ask the State Government to help pay for Halls Gap Community and Tourism Hub.
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The council applied for a $1.9-million Federal Government grant twice in the past two years for stage two of the project, without success.

The $3-million hub has been in the council's plans since the 1970s and includes indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, entertainment areas, tourism services and improved public toilets.

The council's latest meeting agreed to re-examine and re-scope the project.

Cr Kevin Erwin said council would explore breaking the project into more stages to increase the chances of receiving funding.

"Breaking the project into more stages isn't the ideal route we want to take, because it would mean the project would take longer," he said. "But restaging could help the hub receive State Government funding."

Northern Grampians chief executive Justine Linley said re-staging the project could lead to cost escalations.

Cr Erwin said Halls Gap badly needed better tourism facilities.

"We're really disappointed the Federal Government knocked us back," he said.

"The Grampians receives about 1.5 million visitors a year with many coming through Halls Gap.

"If anyone wants to complain about the line for the portable public toilets in Halls Gap they can ring Julia Gillard."

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Housing crisis in the Wimmera

WIMMERA people in crisis are being forced to wait up to four months for emergency housing.
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Wimmera Uniting Care has spent $59,000 from a Housing Establishment Fund in the past eight months to ease the housing crisis.

But chief executive Wendy Middleton said more money and more housing were urgently needed.

Ms Middleton said clients came from all walks of life, with many forced to couch surf until more permanent accommodation could be found.

The organisation saw 140 clients seeking housing in May.

"Client entry point contact at Horsham and Stawell consisted of 325 contacts via telephone calls, interview appointments and drop-ins," she said.

"Forty-one per cent of clients were aged between 26 and 55, 23 per cent were aged 16 to 25 and 53 per cent of clients were male."

Ms Middleton said 20 clients in the Horsham area were awaiting transitional or crisis accommodation, but there was an anticipated three to four month wait.

"There are also 21 clients awaiting housing support, which seeks to determine the circumstances of a person's homelessness and develop strategies to get them into suitable long term accommodation," she said. "But clients awaiting this support should expect to wait four to eight weeks for a service to be available."

Ms Middleton said there was a community perception that homelessness affected people from low socio-economic backgrounds. But she said this was not the case and many Wimmera people were struggling.

"People become homeless for a whole range of reasons alcohol, drug or gambling issues, mental illness or family violence," she said.

"But homelessness can also occur because of general hardship.

"Families are finding it really difficult to make ends meet and it could be that they can't afford to pay their rent, are given a notice to vacate and have nowhere else to go."

Ms Middleton said there were a lot of older people and families couch surfing and staying with friends and relatives because they did not have a home.

“There is a perception that it is people from low income families who become homeless, but there are lots of middle class families affected,” she said.

Ms Middleton said the $59,000 assisted clients with rent in advance, paying bonds, rental arrears, removals and storage and crisis accommodation.

“We have also spent an additional $6502 of Target 365 Horsham homeless campaign funds assisting 20 clients with crisis and emergency accommodation,” she said.

Horsham business and community groups donated the Target 365 money to provide shelter.

For more, see Opinion.

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Flooded farmers lobby PM

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council will send a delegation to Canberra to convince Prime Minister Julia Gillard to reverse her decision denying flood-affected farmers assistance grants worth up to $25,000.
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Last week Ms Gillard rejected a flood relief application for farmers in the Joel Joel area north of Stawell, whose properties were flooded in December 2011

The flood destroyed livestock worth $264,000 and farm fencing to the value of $2.8 million and cost some farmers more than $100,000.

The flood was declared eligible for disaster relief in January, but just seven farmers received about $1000 each as part of Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

After five months of community lobbying, the State Government approved an application for the $25,000 grants, subject to approval by the Prime Minister.

Northern Grampians councillors decided at a meeting on Thursday to form a delegation to meet state and federal politicians on behalf of flood-affected farmers and business owners in the area.

Cr Kevin Erwin said council members expressed their 'extreme disappointment' with the Prime Minister's decision.

"It doesn't matter if it was one person or a thousand, these people deserve help," he said.

Cr Erwin said it would be tough convincing the Prime Minister to reverse the decision.

"We also want to lobby state and federal MPs to make the requirements for disaster relief funding more clear cut and less ambiguous," he said.

He said Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, who handled the grant along with the Prime Minister, lacked compassion.

"If a metre of rain swept through her electorate, which is about the same size as Joel Joel, it would be a different story," he said.

Cr Erwin said the delegation would include council representatives and flood-affected farmers.

"We will work on organising a meeting as soon as the Federal Parliament's winter recess is finished," he said.

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Garden gnome row ends in jail

A DISPUTE over a broken garden gnome has led to a Pimpinio man spending time in jail.
Nanjing Night Net

Pimpinio man Frederick John Wallace, 50, assaulted a man and threatened to kill five others at Dimboola in February 2010.

A jury found Wallace guilty of one count of aggravated burglary, one count of having intentionally caused injury and five counts of threats to kill.

Horsham County Court heard that on February 1, 2010, Wallace called Christopher 'Tiger' Dempsey, making several threats against him and his neighbour Stewart Lucas over their involvement in damaging garden gnomes belonging to Dempsey's neighbour.

Wallace allegedly gave Dempsey a day to find out who broke the gnomes.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 8.30pm Wallace left Dimboola Hotel in a taxi headed to Dempsey's George Street property.

He entered the property demanding to talk to Dempsey. He entered the house and asked Dempsey's partner Alison Castleman where he was. When she responded saying he was not at home, he grabbed her by the throat before threatening Castleman and bystanders Samantha Lee and Trinity O'Neill.

"You messed with the wrong family... you're all dead," he told them.

The court heard Wallace then travelled to a Faith Street property demanding to talk to Phillip Lee. After an altercation with Lee's partner Debbie Pearse, Wallace became aggressive, shouting "Open the gate before I smash it down.''

Having heard the argument, Lucas arrived at the property to support Pearse. Wallace then tried to punch Lucas, calling him a dog and a 'wanna-be bikie' several times.

After a struggle, Wallace told Lucas he would 'show him what it meant to be a biker' punching him two or three times before slamming his head against a car. He then elbowed Lucas in the back, aggravating a previous back injury.

Wallace then told Lucas 'that's what a real biker does' and that the Hells Angels were going to kill him. He then dragged Lucas toward the road, telling Lucas he could kill him now or wait for the Hells Angels.

He then tried to urinate on Lucas but was unsuccessful, before slapping him in the face seven times.

Dempsey arrived shortly after and Wallace made threats to kill Dempsey and Jacob Dempsey.

"You're all dead," he told them.

In sentencing, Judge Paul Lacava took into account Wallace's prior convictions for assault, noting he had two suspended sentences imposed on him at the time of the attack.

Wallace's lawyer argued that Wallace had alcohol abuse issues following a marriage break-up, saying it was not to excuse his behaviour, but to rather put it in context.

Judge Lacava rejected Wallace's claim that he acted in self defence, labelling him a serious violent offender.

"You have shown no evidence of remorse," he said.

"Some of your evidence is an insult to the jury's intelligence and they have done what I instructed which was to put it to one side."

The judge took into account Wallace's health issues, including depression, heart problems, diabetes and post traumatic stress from working with injured Vietnam veterans.

The judge rejected the prosecution's request for four to five years' imprisonment with a non-parole period of two to three years, saying Wallace could benefit from time out of prison on parole.

He was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 15 months.

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Horsham College to stage Beauty and the Beast

RISE UP: About 80 Horsham College students are involved in this year's school musical Beauty and the Beast, to be performed in August. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERHORSHAM College students are busy rehearsing for the musical Beauty and the Beast.
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Three performances will be at Horsham Theatre at 8pm on August 2, 3 and 4.

About 80 students are involved in the production.

Director Larissa Riddell said the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast was an ideal fit for a school musical.

She said students from year seven to year 12 were involved.

"It's an extra curricular activity for students,'' she said.

"We had auditions in the second week of term one and have been having rehearsals since that time.''

There was an all-day rehearsal on Wednesday where students were able to join together all facets of practice, including vocal training, dances and acting.

"The script is great and pretty accessible to all levels,'' Ms Riddell said.

She said tickets cost $18 for adults and $12 for students and concession and were available from the college administration office.

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‘Leniency’ on assault – man hit wife, avoids jail

A HORSHAM man who hit his wife while she was holding their young child has avoided jail.
Nanjing Night Net

Peter Oxley, 41, pleaded guilty in Horsham Magistrate's Court on Wednesday to unlawful assault, contravention of an intervention order, unlicensed driving and two counts of drink-driving.

Oxley had had a blood-alcohol reading almost five times the legal limit.

Magistrate Ian von Einem sentenced Oxley to a six-month community corrections order on Friday, with conviction, after warning him he could have gone to jail.

Oxley must do unpaid community work and undergo treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol and anger management issues.

Mr von Einem also disqualified Oxley from obtaining a driver's licence for four years.

He said the order could have been for 12 months, but for the fact Oxley wanted to move to New Zealand to help his wife with their children.

"I took a lenient view; the community corrections order was an alternative to jail," Mr von Einem said.

"Do not treat the order as something you can manipulate.

"Assaults on women are serious."

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Matthew Haughton told the court on Wednesday that Oxley's licence had been cancelled in March 2002 and it had not been restored.

Police officers found Oxley in the driver's seat of a car with keys in the ignition, in Latus Drive, Horsham, on March 9 this year.

Oxley's eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred and there was a puddle of urine on the floor outside his car, as well as urine stains on the groin area of his pants.

He told police he had had vodka.

Police found Oxley had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.234.

Oxley returned home on March 10 this year after he had consumed a large amount of alcohol.

He verbally abused and pushed his wife, who was holding their 18-month-old son, then he punched her, causing her pain.

Oxley admitted the assault breached his intervention order and told police his father had died in January.

He said he 'just snapped' and said he wanted his wife to get out of his room.

Victoria Legal Aid solicitor Rita Sparham said her client's drink-driving occurred the night before the assault and he was still very intoxicated.

She said Oxley was estranged from his wife but had been living with her to care for their children.

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Beaut Blokes weekend changes lives

FATE: Emma Wood and John Tischler met at the Beaut Blokes weekend last year.EMMA Wood of Donald went to Harrow's Beaut Blokes weekend last year for fun and it changed her future.
Nanjing Night Net

Ms Wood, 31, met Bringalbert South farmer John Tischler 10 minutes into the weekend festivities for single men and women and now, a year later, they're planning a life together.

Ms Wood is urging people to sign up for this year's Beaut Blokes on August 10 to 12.

"Beaut Blokes changed my life,'' she said. "When I got home from that weekend John and I spoke on the phone for about five hours straight and we talked for hours and hours every night for a few weeks.

"My first phone bill was massive so we changed our phone plans pretty quickly!''

Single men and women, aged from their 30s to their 50s, will converge on Harrow for the Beaut Blokes 'In their Prime' event, which includes a meet-and-greet function on Friday night, a black-tie gala ball on Saturday night, farm visits and a taste of country footy.

Harrow resident Ange Newton kick-started the concept in 2003, bringing together single men and women in a safe, fun environment while showcasing the best of country life.

The Beaut Blokes program is designed to improve the quality of life and social capacity for single men of all ages living in Australia's rural, and often isolated, communities.

The concept, which has attracted city girls to country life, has spread interstate.

Event committee member Sara McDonnell said the Beaut Blokes weekends had triggered relationships, weddings and babies since its inception almost a decade ago.

"It's also worked hard to address problems including loneliness, improve rural men's health, help retain single men and women in rural areas and attract newcomers to a country life,'' she said.

"Many of the women attending Beaut Blokes weekends are billeted with local families. That's proved a wonderful way to give our guests, many of them city girls, a fantastic and welcoming country experience.''

Ms Wood and Mr Tischler, 31, believe the Beaut Blokes concept is great for rural communities.

She will move to Bringalbert South once her studies are finished early next year.

Ms Wood said her new partner was a true gentleman and that knowing him had made her a better person.

Mr Tischler said he was happy to have found a woman he described as wonderful and caring.

He urged people to embrace the event, saying it was all about fun and friendship.

"It's not like 'matchmaker南京夜网', it's just a good social event to catch up with friends and meet new people,'' he said.

"I'm fortunate I still farm with my father but there are times when I'm at my own place and don't see anyone for two days. Farming can be fairly isolating when you do work on your own so this sort of event is great, especially when it's at your back door.''

Organisers said the event cost $260 and included accommodation, meals, activities and transport. People could visit www.beautblokes南京夜网.au for more information.

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