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Halo slippage and hullabaloo

MY perfect-mother halo slipped, then fell right off last week, so I popped it in the tea towel drawer for a couple of days and wore my faded ‘I survived last week of term’ T-shirt instead.
Nanjing Night Net

After throwing a couple of evening rehearsals, a late night and a big concert day into the mix with my three little girls – who were already end-of-term frazzled – there was bound to be some yelling involved. Not by them, of course, but by their energy-sapped mother.

When the cold sore developed on my lip I should have realised I was exhausted.

Somehow the ‘end of my tether’ just kept sneaking up on me and then, bang, I’d suddenly be launching into the delivery of a lengthy lecture about quarrelling, with lots of talk about everyone taking a deep breath and, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!’

The tired signs were glaringly obvious in the girls too; a 10-year-old in tears over a difficult maths problem, an eight-year-old muttering backchat under her breath and a six-year-old too bushed to eat breakfast.

I kept thinking I was doing well, and then a simple request to shop for toys after school led to a rapid retort about the ridiculous nature of the suggestion, and a lot of advice on amending attitudes including ‘Most children in the world would be grateful for the opportunity to...’ etcetera, etcetera.

I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, even if you haven’t recently delivered it yourself.

My outbursts were uncomfortable and pointless. Even I wasn’t convinced about what I was saying because of the way I said it. It was my temper talking.

If you haven’t found yourself speaking very firmly to your children some time recently, it’s only because you’re relatively new to the game or such an old hand that you’ve no need any more.

Best intentions sometimes struggle against the pressures of raising a family.

It’s not as if the uproar involves insults or jibes; I am always imparting important information about values, expectations and behaviours – just in an extremely unappetising way.

The important thing to remember is, we are all trying not to raise our voices. In life it is so easy to do exactly what you don’t want to do, but there is hope.

I’m focusing on everything that is good this week and planning to give my halo a polish up so I can reapply it for these school holidays.

Wish me luck.

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Homelessness is our issue

IMAGINE finding yourself homeless.
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It is a hard situation to picture, but for too many Wimmera people it is a reality.

Wimmera Uniting Care saw 140 clients seeking housing in May alone.

Those are 140 people who might be couch-surfing, sleeping in tents or in cars – trying to make do.

These people might have families, debts, health issues.

There are a range of reasons they could be homeless and despite the stereotypes, they are not necessarily people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Any one of us could become homeless.

It is as simple as losing your job and being unable to pay rent.

Wimmera people in crisis are being forced to wait up to four months for emergency housing.

This is too long.

Wimmera Uniting Care chief executive says on the front page of today’s Mail-Times that more money and more housing are both urgently needed.

We should hear their plea and help.

Wimmera Uniting Care’s Target 365 Horsham homeless campaign needs our support.

The project aims to provide short-term accommodation for people in crisis.

Support the campaign and donate what you can towards it.

After all, it is not only helping fellow Wimmera people.

One day, it could be helping yourself.

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Warrack Eagles snap Demons’ hot streak

WARRACK Eagles have breathed life into the Wimmera Football League premiership race.
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The Eagles' shock 17-point win against Horsham on Saturday ended the Demons' 35-game winning streak, which stretched back to round 10, 2010 and was the longest current streak in country Victoria leagues.

Coincidentally, Warrack Eagles were the last team to defeat Horsham, which is striving for its 10th straight flag.

A dominant seven-goal-to-one third term set up the Eagles' confidence-boosting win.

Click on the image below for photos from the game.





Warrack Eagles coach Steve Schultz said the result was due to hard work and would strengthen the side's resolve, having lost its four games against the Demons in 2011.

"It is pretty important actually," he said.

"We all had belief but you can't have 100 per cent belief until you knock them off.

"The most pleasing thing is knowing we can be competitive with them."

Schultz said the Eagles were proud of their efforts but quickly switched their attention to their round 11 match with third-placed Dimboola.

He said the Eagles' celebration was subdued and the players knew it would be a challenge to back up after an emotional win.

"It's always a bit of a trap but I was really pleased with how the guys reacted after the game," he said.

"They knew they had a job to do at the start of the game."

Horsham coach Stuart Farr said it was only a matter of time before the Demons' winning streak ended.

He said the players were disappointed after the game but were in good spirits at their recovery session yesterday morning.

"You can't win forever. It's ridiculous to think you can continually win and go undefeated," he said.

"There is no panic stations."

Farr paid credit to Warrack Eagles, saying they were deserving winners.

"They were harder at it and more disciplined and accountable," he said.

"We had our fair share of chances and more of the ball but they were more effective going forward.

"We had 80 per cent of the play in the final quarter but their back line stood up all day and we weren't able to penetrate.

"Full credit goes to them they played for the full four quarters and deserved the result."

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Constitution overhaul on cricket agenda

HORSHAM Cricket Association wants to update its constitution ahead of the 2012-13 season.
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Association president Michael McGough said a special general meeting to pass a resolution to confirm into law the the proposed constitution was scheduled for August 1.

Two delegates from each club are expected to attend.

A draft copy of the updated constitution has been circulated to clubs and the board is awaiting feedback.

Mr McGough said there were a number of reasons the board felt the constitution needed to be updated, including to address the current constitution being a mixture of constitution, policies, by-laws and playing rules, to address the many administrative issues created by the current mix of delegate versus board based systems, to enable the effective use of MyCricket and electronic banking, and to determine how the association and the board is run and with what authorities.

Mr McGough said the proposed constitution did not include the association by-laws and playing rules.

Rather, these are to be managed separately by the elected board of management rather than as any part of the constitution.

"It will make it easier to do things because at the moment if we want to changes things we have to wait until an AGM or special meeting," Mr McGough said. "It means we can do things at anytime of the year rather than waiting for one day."

Mr McGough said the association hadn't identified any by-laws or rules which needed to be updated at this stage.

The special general meeting is on Wednesday, August 1 at Grains Innovation Park, Horsham, at 7.30pm.

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By admin, ago
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Another loss for Hornets

HORSHAM Hornets co-coach Damien Kilpatrick believes his side is still well placed to win the Big V division two title despite recording its fifth loss of the season on Saturday night.
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The Wimmera Roadways Hornets lost to Keysborough Cougars, 69-66 after scores were level at half time.

"We are training every Saturday afternoon and every Sunday," he said.

"We are stepping it up. We are here to win."

Kilpatrick said the Hornets remained in third spot with the Cougars hot on their heels.

"It brings them equal with us on points and we have them on percentage," he said.

"They have have tough games to go and for us three of the next four games we play are teams in the bottom half of the ladder.

"But that doesn't mean anything. Mornington knocked off Melton on Saturday night.

"They have beaten two big teams in two weeks."

Kilpatrick said while the loss in front of a home crowd was disappointing, there were positives.

Tim Brook shot 17 points and reeled in nine rebounds against his former side and Corey Collier continued his blistering season, dropping 17 points and collecting 15 rebounds.

Cam Bruce had four steals and Tim Pickert, 13 points, and James Southerland, 12, also dropped double figures.

"It's not as if we didn't play well we had four players score double figures again and share the workload," Kilpatrick said.

"We are not having any luck. We only shot 30 per cent from the field.

"We had a good look at it but couldn't execute shots."

Kilpatrick said the tightness of the game meant the Hornets only used six players.

He said it wasn't an ideal scenario.

"We had 11 or 12 suit up but we only ran six," he said.

"They were a quick team and we were behind all game so we couldn't run the bench."

Horsham hosts Mornington on Saturday night.

Tip off is at 7.30pm.

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By admin, ago
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The Eagles have landed

The Wimmera Football League has heated up with the Eagles beating the Demons.WARRACK Eagles co-coach Steve Schultz believes commitment was the catalyst for his side's season-defining win against Horsham on Saturday.
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The Eagles ended the Demons' 35-game winning streak, running out 17-point winners at Anzac Park, Warracknabeal.

Click on the image below for photos from the game.





Dominant performances from Peter Weir and Ben Harrison were highlights of the result, which put the Eagles equal first on the ladder with the Demons on percentage.

Warrack Eagles had a 12-point lead at quarter time but found themselves four in arrears at half time.

They made their mark in the third term, piling on seven goals to one to be 33 points up.

It proved a match-winning lead.

Schultz praised his side for its commitment, saying they limited their lapses.

"The guys rocked up with the right attitude and put plenty of pressure on for the whole game," he said.

"We spoke at half time about the wet weather coming and spoke about changing our game style as soon as the rain came.

"We had the breeze in the third term and had a jump on them before the rain came."

Schultz lauded Weir for his performance at centre half back.

The regular forward played on dominant Demon duo Jordyn Burke and Damien Skurrie.

Schultz said Weir's defensive spoiling and ability to read the play were catalysts in the Eagles' win.

"His closing speed was really good and he read the play really well and took countless marks," he said.

"He was rock solid. We knew he could play there.

"He played there in a practice match against Ballarat and was dominant that day too.

"We knew in the back of our minds he could do a job there.

Schultz said Ben Harrison's performance in the ruck also allowed the Eagles to tip the clearances in their favour.

"He ran the majority of the day through the ruck and you've got to have pretty good endurance to do that," he said.

"He's an undersized ruckman and really set us up and won plenty of taps."

Horsham coach Stuart Farr said said the Demons would respond strongly.

"We have to be harder at the footy, which is normally our strong point, and we'll address that and make sure it never happens again," he said.

In other games, Dimboola 162 annihilated RSL Diggers 23, Horsham Saints 121 held their own against Stawell 59 and Minyip-Murtoa 78 managed a win over Ararat 58.

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

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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.
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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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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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Garden gnome row ends in jail

A DISPUTE over a broken garden gnome has led to a Pimpinio man spending time in jail.
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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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Stuart Walker receives top achievement award

OUTSTANDING: Farrall's Automotive Electrical Services second year apprentice Stuart Walker of Warracknabeal has won an outstanding apprentice award. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWARRACKNABEAL apprentice Stuart Walker has received a Certificate III Outstanding Achievement award for first year automotive electrical technology.
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Mr Walker, 23, said he was now in his second year of an automotive electrical apprenticeship at Farrall's Auto Electrical Services.

But he has almost finished the fourth year of self-paced coursework through Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE at Docklands.

"I'm from a farm just out of Dimboola and I had a fair background in a lot of things we do before I started my apprenticeship," Mr Walker said.

"My job involves basically anything electrical with vehicles and machinery

"I relocated to Warracknabeal for the job and I enjoy the flexibility of working here.

"I get along really well with my employers Andrew and Danielle Barbetti and am the only employee at the business.

"I am really thankful for having such good employers and have no intention of leaving the Wimmera any time soon."

Mr Barbetti said Mr Walker had whizzed through his school work.

"It's good to see a young bloke willing to stick with a job these days," Mr Barbetti said.

"I've had a few young blokes through and Stu actually wants to learn and stay with the job."

Mr Walker said he was completing his apprenticeship under the auspices of WorkCo.

He said he travelled to Docklands for one week eight times a year to attend trade school.

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