The Terang Country Music Festival. Pictured is Kristal Collins on stage. 120317AM73 Picture: ANGELA MILNETHERE was plenty of boot-scootin’ to be done when Terang welcomed top country and western musicians from across Australia on Saturday.
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The south-west town’s second annual Country Music Festival drew more than 1000 people for a day of grassroots entertainment at the racecourse. Event chairman Ray Worland was yesterday thrilled with the turnout, saying the efforts made to build an interstate reputation had paid off.

“It was a great success,” he said.

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“The numbers were well up on last year and the artists were fantastic.

“There were all different sorts of music.We haven’t had a complaint.”

The musical line-up included award-winning artists Briana Lee, Sandra Humphries, Tim Farren, Allan Webster and The Sherrahs.

Mr Worland said a highlight was the evening hoedown, which encouraged more than 40 caravans to be set up overnight at the racecourse.

“The bands jammed together and everyone was dancing,” he said. “The atmosphere was tremendous.”

Mr Worland said the festival was initiated to “stimulate” the Terang and district economy.

A survey was handed out to gauge audience views and inspire changes for next year’s festival.

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THE survival of three Wickliffe-Lake Bolac footballers after a car plunged into a creek, killing a mate, was a miracle, a county court judge has said.
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Judge Graeme Hicks made the comments in sentencing the car’s driver, Dean McInnes, to serve a minimum of 12 months in prison. McInnes, 26, had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and two charges of dangerous driving causing serious injury.

He was found not guilty by a Warrnambool County Court jury during February of culpable driving and two counts of negligent driving causing serious injury.

McInnes was driving at about 2.15am on July 2, 2010, when his car plunged into a creek and caused the death of a Magpies teammate David Breen.

The four young men had attended Thursday-night training then gone to the coach’s place to drink alcohol before deciding to go for a joyride drive in McInnes’ station wagon.

McInnes was doing burnouts and donuts and at 2.15am came to grief on the unsealed Back Bushy Creek Road, south of the Glenelg Highway near Glenthompson.

He lost control and clipped a bridge, his car plummeting three metres into the creek and landing on its roof.

McInnes and the two back seat passengers found a pocket of air but Mr Breen did not and drowned.

In 35 minutes of sentencing remarks last Friday, Judge Hicks said McInnes had early in the court proceedings indicated he would plead guilty to lesser charges.

He said it was clear McInnes was genuinely remorseful, shown by the defendant’s remarkably honest manner of his interview with police.

The judge said McInnes had no prior convictions, was still a relatively young person, had been seriously injured, had excellent prospects of rehabilitation and had been forgiven by other people and the families involved in the accident.

However, Judge Hicks said the offences were serious and there had to be denunciation of McInnes’ conduct, which involved drink-driving and erratic driving.

He said McInnes put his three friends in a terrifying situation.

The judge said the defendant’s drinking, the choice to go driving despite poor weather conditions and the erratic and aggressive fishtailing immediately before losing control, were all deliberate actions.

Judge Hicks said McInnes’ moral culpability had to be rated as relatively high.

He said McInnes’ survival and the survival of his two passengers — by virtue of the alarm being raised after a woman nearby heared the crashed car’s horn sounding — could only properly be called a miracle.

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Tyler Schafer, batting with a broken collarbone, is watched by his runner Lachlan Cumming. WHAT seemed like the longest boundary in the history of cricket snapped a 26-year premiership drought for Mortlake in a heart-stopping South West Cricket grand final yesterday.
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The Cats, chasing Noorat’s modest 118, resumed at 1-52 at Terang turf yesterday but soon collapsed to 9-91.

When opener Josh Barr, who batted through the innings, saw that his next batting partner was usual opener Tyler Schafer, he admitted he was worried.

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In the opening hour of play on Saturday, Schafer broke his collarbone while fielding and was told by doctors that he should not take to the pitch on day two.

But the teenager, who had teammate Lachlan Cumming as his runner, winced his way through 10 overs, courageously defending and knocking the odd single to get off strike.

His batting partner Barr was equally as smart, often refusing to take singles to ensure he continued to face the Noorat bowlers.

After steadily raising Mortlake’s total to 9-114, Barr managed a single to retain the strike for the next over, which proved history-making for the Cats.

Barr was able to glide a ball through gully, gradually dribbling its way to the boundary in front of the clubrooms where the main crowd was.

It was painfully slow, so much so that Cats supporters jumped to their feet, riding the ball to the boundary along with captain Todd Lamont.

The skipper had been sitting 20 metres away at the scoreboard, mostly with his head in his hands as he could barely watch the pressure-packed match.

But when Barr’s ball was making its way to the boundary, he sprinted across to watch it go over before embracing his teammates.

“I didn’t speak to anyone our whole batting innings, I was that nervous,” Lamont said.

“The pressure got to a few of us. I was pretty gutted when we were losing all those wickets.

“I never thought we were in the game until we clocked over to 110 and that’s when I thought that we only needed (nine) runs.”

Rival clubs had previously poked fun at Mortlake’s inability to perform when it counted but the club shook off its underachieving tag yesterday.

“It was just a huge release of pressure, especially after being as long as 26 years,” Lamont said.

“A few of the older fellas who played in the last flag came down to watch today, so it was good to win.

“The last four years we set ourselves to win a flag and now it’s finally happened.”

Opening bowlers Steve Staunton (3-48 off 27.3 overs) and Warren Attrill (4-35 off 24) did the damage for Noorat yesterday but Mortlake’s last scalp eluded the pacemen.

On the opening day, Cats duo Clinton Baker and Shane Slater both collected four-wicket hauls.

Barr’s unbeaten 60 deservedly earned him man-of-the-match honours.

“I just knew I had to bat as long as I could,” he said.

“At the end I felt a bit more free and felt like I could go for my shots more.

“Only having one wicket in hand probably helped a little bit.”

Barr said he was relieved that his side was finally able to triumph.

“It should give us a lot more belief for future years.”

Noorat captain Nick Kenna said his team did not make enough runs.

“To make 120, that’s not a real good score but even this morning, we still thought we were a chance,” he said.

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MEMBER for South West Coast Denis Napthine has called out city-centric politicians for weighing in on government issues without local knowledge.
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Shadow Public Transport Minister Fiona Richardson revealed last week a letter from V/Line CEO Rob Barnett to Labor MP Geoff Howard had admitted there were not enough carriages or trains to service demands to regional centres, including Warrnambool.

She said the letter had blown the lid off the government’s repeated claims that all was fixed in Victoria’s public transport system.

Dr Napthine responded, saying Ms Richardson was out of touch with regional Victoria, as Warrnambool’s rail issues stemmed from decisions made by the previous government.

Ms Richardson last week said the Coalition government had failed to invest in new carriages for rolling stock capacity.

“Commuter frustration on the Warrnambool, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour, and Gippsland lines is rife with daily service delays and cancellations,” Ms Richardson said.

“The Liberals’ failure to invest in new regional V/Line carriages means that whenever a train is put out of action due to an animal strike, V/Line doesn’t have the rolling stock capacity to replace it and commuters suffer.”

But Dr Napthine said the criticisms were “typical comments from a city-centric politician who didn’t get into country Victoria enough.”

“This shows how absolutely out of touch Fiona Richardson is with rail services in south-west Victoria.

“She should know we can’t put additional services on the Warrnambool line until we rebuild a rail passing loop between Colac and Geelong to replace the one removed by the former Labor government.

“They were in government for 11 years and if there’s a shortage of rail stock in V/Line, the people of Victoria should blame the previous government that clearly did not invest in V/Line rolling stock.

“Ms Richardson should get out of inner-suburban Northcote and see the needs for investment in regional rail that was left behind by 11 years of neglect under her government.”

Dr Napthine said the government planned to shortly rebuild the passing loop between Colac and Geelong before looking at additional services.

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Shotaor Miyano (left), Sarah Bone, Nana Matsumoto, Karley-Jane Brumley, Shunto, Takahashi, Laura Bell and Yoshi Ito are sharing their love of horses and equestrian competition during the exchange program.A CULTURAL exchange program between young south-west and Japanese horse riders celebrated its 10th anniversary at the weekend.
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Camperdown’s Barry Roycroft said there were four Japanese riders taking part in this year’s cultural exchange aged between 15 and 18 years.

He said the visitors had been billeted with local families which had young riders of a similar age.

The riders took part in events at the Heytesbury Pony Club late last week before a dinner at Glenormiston on Saturday and another ride at the Emu Creek Pony Club competition yesterday.

Mr Roycroft said the Japanese riders earned the right to come to Australia through success in their own competitions.

The cultural exchange started after he met Japanese riders at the Montreal Olympic Games.

The Japanese thought they would be better prepared to compete on the world stage if they had more of an understanding of English culture, Mr Roycroft said.

“They come over and live here for a week.

“It works very well and we also send young riders to Japan as well.

“Our cultural exchange to Japan is a bit different because our kids do more culturally-based things like going to the snow. Basically it’s all about kids getting together in different countries.”

Mr Roycroft said the standard of the Japanese riders was excellent.

“They are confident young riders. This year we have three boys and a girl visiting and everything is going pretty well,” he said.

Regular Japanese tour co-ordinator Yasuko Sato said she was on the first exchange 10 years ago and her young compatriots found many aspects of living in Australia different from their home.

“Everything is so big and vast. You can do things you can’t do at home. For example, just turning out your horses,” she said.

“It’s very nice. We keep our horses in stables just standing around. It’s very different here. The exchange is very worthwhile for the kids. Even though they are shy they communicate, which is saying a lot for Japanese kids,” she said.

Emu Creek club member Karly Brumley, of Kolora, said she had previously been on a trip to Japan which was less horse and equestrian orientated.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my trip over to Japan. There were three days’ horse riding and the rest was more about culture,” she said.

“We visited Disneyland, went snowboarding and shopping.”

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A PORTLAND teenager who was back committing burglaries just days after being released from a juvenile justice centre has been assessed as having an intellectual disability.
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Benjamin James Price, 18, of Otway Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court during January to two counts of theft and three charges each of burglary and causing criminal damage.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt then ordered the Department of Human Services to conduct a disability eligibility assessment before Price was sentenced, as previous assessments were not extensive.

Price was found to have a disability and a justice plan prepared to assist him living in the community.

Last week he was also assessed and found suitable for a community corrections order which Price will now have to complete, after he is released from a youth justice centre on April 13.

Mr Klestadt said Price knew what had to be done to stay of trouble.

“This is probably the last chance you have to avoid serving time in adult jail.

When you are released from the youth justice centre in about a month you will have to complete a community corrections order,” he said.

“If you muck that up — if you keep knocking off stuff — the court will not have much of an option.

“It won’t do you much good to be in jail but it will stop you stealing stuff,” he said.

On April 15 last year Price was sentenced to serve 14 months in youth detention after being involved in an offending spree in Portland. He was released on parole on October 10 after serving less than six months.

Between October 22-24 Price was involved in breaking into Portland’s Jean Jail and stealing shoes, hoodies and shorts valued about $800.

Price and his co-accused used a rock to break a window and then a stick to remove items from the store.

Overnight on November 6 Price and co-accused smashed a sliding glass door at a Portland college. They searched the school but stole nothing. The cost of repairs was $378. Overnight on November 22 Price was again part of a group which broke into the Portland Netball Association building through a faulty rear door lock. They set off two fire extinguishers and forced two internal doors, causing $339 damage.

On November 4 last year Price’s parole was cancelled, he was arrested by police on November 11 and his current sentence was to last until June 29 this year.

Price has also been ordered to pay almost $2000 compensation for damage caused and items stolen.

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Three-year-old Lachlan McLennan, from Glenfyne, looks right at home behind the wheel of a shiny red 1950 International Harvester McCormick Farmall tractor at the annual vintage rally at Cobden on the weekend.THE South Western District Restoration Group (SWDRG) Vintage Rally has come a long way in its 35 years.
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Crowds exceeding the SWDRG’s expectations celebrated the rally’s second year at its new site — the former Cobden racecourse —over the weekend.

Secretary Val Higgins said yesterday that while figures from the event were still being counted, profits, entrants and spectators were all expected to be up on previous years.

People travelled from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland to display and view old wares, stationary engines and vintage cars at the two-day community event.

“Many of them have been coming for years and years,” Mrs Higgins said.

She said the stationary engine running displays, a vintage tractor pull and the antique wares and collectables auction were popular attractions.

There was also live music and hay baling and binding demonstrations.

Mrs Higgins said money raised would go towards improving the rally, with enquiries made over the weekend about building more facilities for the group.

The SWDRG began when 19 engine enthusiasts joined forces in 1978 and began hosting annual shows at a private Bookaar property. It now has 130 members.

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Warrnambool Gold skipper Brian Lenehan helps his side to victory over clubmate Warrnambool Blue on Saturday. WARRNAMBOOL Gold will try to organise a practice at City Memorial during the week as it prepares for its Saturday pennant grand final showdown with nemesis City Red.
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Gold progressed to another season decider after defeating clubmate Warrnambool Blue 100-88 in Saturday’s preliminary final.

Gold skipper Brian “Blacky” Lenehan said his side was planning to practise at next Saturday’s grand final venue, City Memorial Bowls Club, during the week.

“Their greens are a lot quicker than ours, so it would be good to get up there,” he said.

Warrnambool Bowls Club hosted the division one and two preliminary finals on Saturday, with Warrnambool meeting in both grades.

Lenehan said the top grade was tight, which he expected.

“They had a very good year,” he said of Blue.

“They pushed all the top teams, so we knew we had to be at our best to get over the line.

“We scooted away towards the end and the other three rinks all caught up,” he said. “One of the rinks ended up getting up and the others just went down.”

Gold’s Kevin Boyd defeated Col Jensen 25-19, while Lenehan rolled Glen McNaughton 34-18.

Blue’s triumphant rinks were Robert Anderson and Neville Lynch, who defeated Neil Crisp (29-22) and Paul O’Donnell (22-19) respectively.

In division two, the result went as expected, with Warrnambool White rolling Red 94-52.

Lenehan said the matches took place without a break.

“We decided to play right through because the club put on a free barbecue because the two divisions were both playing each other at home,” he said.

“It was a good feeling around the place after the game.

“Everyone was congratulating the Golds on making the grand final and congratulating the Blues on such a great year.

“To have your second team pushing you that hard and to have players pushing for a game in the top team, it’s good for the club.” Warrnambool will be represented in every grand final next weekend following Saturday’s other preliminary finals.

In division three, Warrnambool Orange booked a grand final spot with a 94-46 win over Koroit White at Dennington, while in division four, Warrnambool Yellow edged out Koroit Green 47-44.

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A HIGH intensity start to the second half and an onsong Cameron Mitchell were crucial in helping the Warrnambool Seahawks to a convincing season-opening win.
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After holding a six-point lead against Melbourne University at the long change, coach Tim Gainey told his side the first five minutes of the third quarter would be vital. The Seahawks came out and took control of the match, piling on about 16 points in the opening five minutes to set up the 80-60 victory at Melbourne University on Saturday night.

“Defensively we caused a lot of turnovers and we got some easy baskets in transition,” Gainey said of the third quarter. “We were up in their faces and up in the lanes.

“We were also doubling down on their big man (Daniel Leslie).”

Mitchell grabbed 10 defensive rebounds and scored 39 points with an exceptional field goal percentage of 60 (15/25).

“He was running his lane pretty hard and got some easy baskets,” Gainey said.

“We knew that if he was in a position where he could score, we had to give him the ball.

“He converted on a lot of points.

“You have to keep going to the well until it dries up and it never really dried up.”

The coach also highlighted the form of Jake Spruhan, who finished with 16 points and shot at 50 per cent.

Gainey was naturally pleased that his side produced such a strong performance in the opening game of the season.

“We didn’t have any practice matches with our team,” he said.

“It was our first game of the season, so it was a big relief to get a win without playing against another team.”

He was also pleased that the Seahawks led at half-time, despite nine turnovers in the second quarter.

Warrnambool will play its first home game of the season next weekend, taking on Mildura at the Arc.

The Big V division one women’s defending champions, the Warrnambool Mermaids, will also clash with the Heat on Saturday night in their opening game of 2012.

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TEENAGE Warrnambool swimmer Isaac Jones leaves the Australian Swimming Championships today a rising star.
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The 16-year-old produced a two-second personal best in the heats of the 200-metre butterfly on Saturday, catapulting him into the semi-finals on Saturday night.

While swimming a second slower than his morning qualifying swim in the semi-final, it was still a second better than his previous best heading into the championships in Adelaide.

Jones was the 44th quickest entering the titles, which double as the Australian Olympic trials.

He finished eighth in his semi-final behind Queenslander Nick D’arcy, ranking him 16th in the country.

Warrnambool Swimming Club president Peter Logan yesterday hailed Jones’ performance.

“To make a semi-final is a pretty sizeable achievement and not one he thought he would achieve,” Logan said.

“It’s something pretty unique for someone from our club. If he wasn’t on the map before the championships, he is now.

“There wouldn’t be any other clubs outside metropolitan Melbourne to have a kid in a semi-final at the Australian Swimming Championships.”

Jones, who won bronze at last year’s national age championships in the 200m butterfly, is now ranked number one in the country for 16 year olds. He will get a chance to further underline that when he contests the age titles next month.

“He is swimming better than he has,” Logan said.

Warrnambool club members Melody Keath (50m butterfly), Josh Sobey (50m breastroke) and Jack Paulka (100m butterfly) will contest heats tomorrow in their events, while Michael Paulka lines up in the 50m backstroke heats on Wednesday.

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