Drinking causes illness, death

The paper from the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, Western Australia, also shows that 78 Tasmanians aged 14 to 17 were hospitalised for alcohol-attributed reasons in 1999-2000.
Nanjing Night Net

Almost half of the 501 nationally alcohol-attributed fatalities in the same age bracket were car drivers or passengers. Other alcohol-related fatalities were suicides, assaults and drownings.

In the 14 to 17 age group, Tasmania’s rate of 0.6 deaths in each 10,000 is the third highest in the nation, after the Northern Territory’s rate of 1.78 and WA’s 0.65, well above the national average of 0.48.

While the national figure dropped over the past decade, most states recorded more hospitalisations as a result of alcohol.

Tasmania Police Northern District Commander Scott Tilyard said he was not aware of any under-age people dying in the State’s North in recent times as a result of alcohol. But police were regularly faced with the problems associated with intoxicated young people, usually aged 15, 16 or 17 but sometimes as young as 11 and 12, Cdr Tilyard said.

“We do from time to time certainly have to deal with situations where young people have consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, often at private parties, and it is a matter of concern,” he said.

“As a policing service, we get called to a lot of incidents where young people put themselves and others at significant risk.”

Cdr Tilyard said that police were expecting a busy night tomorrow for New Year’s Eve, but many of the calls were complaints about noisy parties rather than under-age drinkers.

“We want people to have a happy New Year and a safe New Year’s period,” he said. “It would be great if people didn’t put themselves at risk and if they didn’t spoil it for other people.”

Police and Public Safety Minister David Llewellyn yesterday urged people not to get in the car with drink-drivers, and to keep the State’s holiday road toll at zero.

Mr Llewellyn said that of the 58 people killed on the State’s roads this year, 19 were passengers, and many fatal accidents had involved speed and alcohol.

“Getting into a car with a drink-driver could be the worst and last decision of your life,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

Shamrock racing time to prove his fitness

Shamrocks second-rower Dean Roberts is racing the clock to be fit for tonight’s crucial Illawarra Rugby Union deferred clash with University at Ziems Park.Roberts injured his knee in Saturday’s road win over Camden and has received intensive treatment over the past two days.On the plus side, second-rower James Tolhurst has just returned from an injury lay-off and will slot comfortably into the forward pack if Roberts is unavailable.”Dean is 50/50 at the moment,” Shamrocks coach Barry Jones said.”Hopefully he’s right to play, but James is an experienced first-grader and we don’t really lose anything if he comes into the side for Dean.”The Rocks have been the competition’s hottest side throughout the second round and last tasted defeat in a May 23 home loss to Engadine.They sputtered through the first six weeks of their 2009 campaign, but the win over Camden lifted them into the top five for the first time this season.In contrast, Uni were in contention for a top-three finish a month ago, only to lose their last five games and drop to sixth spot.”It’s probably fairly even in terms of which team is under the most pressure,” Jones said.”Uni are playing for their season, but it’s the same for us. It’s two desperate teams and we’re both looking for the points.”Uni wrap up their regular season with Saturday’s away game against fourth-placed Engadine, while the Rocks host wooden spooners Vikings in a match which coincides with the Woonona-based club’s 40th anniversary celebrations.”The Vikings game is a big game, but we know we need to beat University before we even think about Saturday,” Jones said.Tonight’s match was initially scheduled for July 18 at University Oval but was postponed due to wet weather.”None of the boys are familiar with Ziems Park but it’s probably the same for Uni,” Jones said. “We’ll get there early to have a look at the ground and get used to the lights, but we won’t be changing our game plan just because we’re playing at night.” Uni are coming off a 42-22 home loss to premiers Shoalhaven.
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

SPORT BRIEFS

England stems tide
Nanjing Night Net

after early breaks

DURBAN – Graham Thorpe and Andrew Flintoff stemmed a South African surge as England held on to a slight advantage on the fourth day of the second Test at Kingsmead. England was 4-366 at lunch, a lead of 173.

South Africa’s bowlers struck three early blows before Thorpe and Flintoff put on an unbeaten 52 for the fifth wicket.

After England dominated the third day, South Africa bowled with renewed purpose.

Opener Andrew Strauss added only four runs before he was caught on 136, four more than his opening partner Marcus Trescothick.

Prizemoney donated

to tsunami victims

MELBOURNE – The Australian cricket team will donate its $17,000 prizemoney from the Boxing Day Test to help charities involved in the tsunami tragedy.

Cricket Australia also expects to announce fund-raising initiatives in the next few days.

There was talk of an MCG charity match today between Australia and Pakistan after their Test finished one day early, but it could not be organised in time.

“It’s a tragedy that puts everything into perspective as far as cricket goes,” Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said. “We understand that and it’s very sad for all the people who have suffered and are still suffering.”

Continued Sri Lankan

tour `callous, cruel’

WELLINGTON – Sri Lanka Cricket has been labelled “callous and cruel” for continuing its tour of New Zealand in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami in Asia.

Respected Sri Lankan-based English journalist Charlie Austin yesterday wrote a scathing column on the Cricinfo Web site urging the SLC to reconsider its decision.

“To ask Sri Lanka’s cricketers to stay is callous and cruel,” Austin wrote.

“The SLC must stop prevaricating and reach a swift agreement to cancel. The International Cricket Council, which has not even been properly consulted, will surely be supportive. This is not the time for cricket.”

Hurt Harris still hopes

to play in World Cup

CHRISTCHURCH – Chris Harris will be laid up for the next five or six months but New Zealand’s most capped one-day cricket international has not surrendered his dream of playing in the 2007 World Cup.

If anything, the shoulder injury he suffered in Sydney earlier this month has hardened his resolve to be in the New Zealand team for the next World Cup in the West Indies.

“The next World Cup is still definitely an aim,” Harris said yesterday. “I’m very keen to continue with the goals I had before the injury.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

SYDNEY-HOBART RACE DRAMA

The Skandia’s crew makes its way towards the police rescue craft Van Diemen.(1/5)”
Nanjing Night Net

Just after 2am, Skandia skipper Grant Wharington knew the game was up.

With a canting keel jammed to starboard, 50-knot squalls and 7m swells off Tasmania’s North- East tip leaving his yacht’s 98-foot frame listing dangerously and out of the Sydney- to-Hobart, there was nowhere to go but home.

But how to get there?

Wharington tried to guide his 16-strong crew to safety under motor but they were eventually forced to leave the ship in inflatable rafts.

They were eventually picked up by police launch Van Diemen about 9am, seven hours after issuing the mayday call, and took a six- hour ride to Flinders Island and safety.

“It is a terrible blow to all of us to have to pull out of the race,” Wharington said.

“We have sustained some irreparable damage to the keel and for safety reasons are unable to continue.”

While technically not abandoned, by late yesterday the yacht had become an obstacle for the smaller yachts in the race, drifting about 60 miles from Eddystone Point. It had capsized and its keel had snapped off.

It was unclear whether the damage was related to a collision with a 300kg sunfish while powering into Bass Strait early on Monday.

A tug will try to recover it early today.

Fellow super maxi Konica Minolta lasted six hours longer than Skandia before skipper Stewart Thwaites officially retired the yacht about 8am, two hours after it was hit by a massive wave.

Gavin Brady, an America’s Cup sailor and Konica Minolta’s principal helmsman, said the boat felt like it was facing the sky with most of the keel out of the water as it launched off “a 10m wave with no back”.

“Unfortunately when the boat gets 30 feet in the air, weighing 28 tonnes there’s no such thing as a soft landing,” he said after reaching Hobart by bus.

The crew tried to continue for an hour after the hit, but feared that a creased cabin top between the mast and canting keel could risk further damage.

They retired into Binalong Bay, on the East Coast, under their own steam.

Thwaites said that while he felt he had an unbeatable lead, he was not as disappointed as last year when he trailed Skandia over the line by 14 minutes after an epic duel over the race’s 628 nautical miles.

“It is not as though we made any bad tactical decisions,” he said.

He was likely to return.

“Every year I say it’s my last time. Yes, I will probably be back.”

THE CASUALTIES SYDNEY TO HOBART

¤KONICA MINOLTA

6am – huge wave damages keel seven nautical miles off Binalong Bay, on Tasmania’s East Coast. 8am – skipper Stewart Thwaites officially retires yacht.

Now moored in Binalong Bay.

¤SKANDIA

2am – skipper Grant Wharington sends out radio distress call after keel malfunction.

9am – crew picked up from life rafts by a police launch about 60 miles east north-east of Eddystone Point near Tasmania’s north-east tip.

Yacht still drifting at sea but not technically abandoned.

¤RAGAMUFFIN

Dismasted by south- westerlies of up to 50 knots off Flinders Island.

¤OVERALL RACE: 54 yachts retired.

MELBOURNE TO HOBART

¤AFFRAYED KNOT

1030am – dismasted 45 nautical miles south of Phillip Island.

¤Five yachts left in the race, with Tevake leading Quetzalcoatl and Yoko.

All expected to seek shelter overnight at either Three Hummock Island or King Island.

MELBOURNE TO LAUNCESTON

¤Race reduced to three boats, with Spirit Silver Edition leading Apollonius and Amaya.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

Dragons in the clear after Canberra saga

St George Illawarra players have escaped penalty after Saturday’s wild night against Canberra.Lock Jeremy Smith was not charged by the NRL match review committee yesterday for an attempted high shot on Raiders centre Jarrod Croker.Smith came in late to tackle Croker during the 72nd minute incident which prompted another flare-up during Canberra’s surprise 24-12 win. Full coverage of The St George Illawarra DragonsTRY HARD BLOG: Broncos will test the Dragons However, it was deemed the contact was not heavy or high enough to warrant a charge.Prop Justin Poore and Dean Young also avoided any punishment after being involved in separate fights.A flurry of punches erupted between Poore and Canberra lock Josh Miller after the Dragons prop had pushed his opponent to the ground while the Raiders attacked the tryline on the other side of the ruck.The Dragons were penalised for Poore’s actions, with Raiders five-eighth Terry Campese slotting the first of two late penalty goals to seal victory.Earlier, Campese was involved in a fight with Young, which saw the Dragons second-rower sin-binned.Campese was sin-binned in the 32nd minute for repeated infringements and dissent, while Smith was handed an early shower for the late attempted shot on Croker.Tensions threatened to boil over for much of the game after the incident involving Young and Campese in the 21st minute.Two plays later, after the Dragons had been awarded an obstruction penalty but Young handed 10 minutes in the dressing shed, former Raiders prop Michael Weyman was knocked out in a sickening head clash with Miller.Weyman has been cleared of serious injury and is expected to play against Brisbane at WIN Stadium on Friday.Suspended centre Beau Scott and second-rower Matt Prior, as well as injured Matt Cooper and Jason Nightingale are expected to be named in the Dragons squad today.Poore played on Saturday after successfully having a dangerous throw charge on Penrith’s Shane Elford downgraded at the judiciary last week.
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

Wollongong’s pet hate: canines and commuters

Phil Rath with two-year-old Murphy, a Kerry blue terrier, at the bus stop. Picture: ANDY ZAKELIA campaign to allow pet dogs on public transport has been given the thumbs down by more than two-thirds of voters in an online Mercury poll.Since Saturday, more than 225 people have voted on whether pet dogs should be allowed on public transport – including trains, buses, planes and taxis.The figures are stacking up against dog lovers, with 69 per cent of voters rejecting the idea. Just 31 per cent of voters agreed. Campaign to allow pet dogs on public transport Dogs NSW spokesman and veterinarian Dr Peter Higgins, who is proposing a review of restrictions on allowing animals on public transport, was not surprised by the poll results.”I think support for the idea is something that will build over time. I would have only expected about one-third to be in support,” he said.The results also reflect the number of Illawarra residents who own a dog, with Wollongong City Council estimating that about 37 per cent of households have at least one.But even dog owners have reservations about the idea.Figtree dog owner and dog obedience instructor Heather Kennedy knows dogs are allowed on trains in her homeland of England with few problems, but was not sure it would work here.”It would be incredibly difficult to police it and there are too many irresponsible dog owners out there to allow it to happen,” Ms Kennedy said.”How do you know who is a responsible dog owner? There are only a small percentage of dog owners who go to training.”Ms Kennedy said other members of the Illawarra Dog Training Club also had concerns about the idea.Dr Higgins said it was still early days and there were a lot of questions yet to be answered.”This has been running in London for at least 20 years,” he said.”There it’s up to the bus driver, the dog doesn’t get a seat and the owner pays an extra fare for the dog. This is a debate and we want to get thoughts out there.”
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

SPORT BRIEFS

Fastnet Rock to take on Europe SYDNEY – Preparations are well underway for Fastnet Rock to follow in the hoofprints of Choisir and take on Europe’s best sprinters during the English summer.
Nanjing Night Net

Trainer Paul Perry broke new ground when he took Choisir to the Northern Hemisphere in mid- 2003 where the colt won two races at Royal Ascot including the Group One Jubilee Stakes before running second in the July Cup.

Choisir was subsequently bought by Coolmore Stud for a reported $25 million. A syndicate of Coolmore personnel now races Fastnet Rock who is also trained by Perry.

He will kick off his campaign in the Lightning Stakes on February 5, the race that gave Choisir his first Group One victory.

“He’s already been vaccinated with a view to taking him overseas,” Perry said.

“The owners are very keen to go, but, of course, it will depend on how he comes up.”

Jockeys bounce back from fall BRISBANE – Three riders injured in a shocking fall in Monday’s Vo Rogue Plate at Doomben are expected to be riding again next week.

The injuries suffered by jockeys Jason Taylor (Admiral Spy), Brad Rawiller (Hit The Road) and apprentice Ben Hull (Jimidean) were not as serious as initially feared.

“Jason will have a week off but he will back riding again at the Silk Stocking meeting at the Gold Coast on Wednesday week,” Taylor’s wife Alana said.

“Nothing is broken but he does have some lower back pain, possibly some muscle damage.”

Rawiller will return to Melbourne to receive physio treatment on a corked thigh.

“I’ve got rides at Flemington on Saturday and hopefully I can be right by then,” Rawiller said.

Hull is expected to resume riding at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Stewards are yet to announce a date for the resumption of the inquiry into the fall.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more

Wollongong mother, daughters out on the street

Rachel Minette (centre) with her daughters Emilie, 15 (left), and Hollie, 18, in the flat they have to vacate. Picture: KIRK GILMOURHousing NSW will force a Wollongong mother and her daughters on to the street today to provide accommodation for elderly people.Rachel Minette was packing up the Smith St flat yesterday afternoon and said she had no idea where she and her two teenage daughters would go after they were forced out.”My daughters are the only family I have,” she said. “We need a home.”The Housing NSW unit was leased to Ms Minette about a year ago when she was living at a women’s refuge.It was leased through Wollongong Housing Trust and Ms Minette said she had always paid the rent.After her three-month lease expired, Ms Minette continued to lease the flat on a monthly basis before receiving a termination notice in June.Since then, she has been looking for private rental housing and trying to secure a place in NSW Housing accommodation.”I don’t even get a chance in the private sector,” she said.”Only once has one real estate agent rung my references and I’ve applied for over a dozen houses.”Ms Minette said she had been on the department’s emergency housing list for the past year.”I just think ‘here I am going full circle and I’ll probably be back at the refuge again’,” she said.”At the moment I’m thinking we’re going to be all right if we can hang in there and stay together.”A department spokesman said Ms Minette’s flat had been earmarked for a seniors complex.”The leases to a number of community housing providers at this complex were always on the basis of a fixed term while work was undertaken to the units and that fixed-term lease has now expired,” he said.”There is a big need for accessible accommodation for disabled and senior people living in Wollongong.”(Ms Minette) has an appointment with Housing NSW tomorrow to assess her needs.”The spokesman said 43,134 people were waiting for public housing in NSW. “The length of time a person waits depends on their individual circumstances,” he said.”The wait time depends on the location they need to live. “The size of property which a family needs will also affect the wait time – a family needing a large house may need to wait until a four-bedroom property comes free. “In addition to that, people with more urgent needs may get priority above other people.”
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Read more