UP and AT IT: Tuesday, December 9

9am: That's all folks!

That's a wrap on this morning's top news stories. Be sure to tune in tomorrow from 7am for more of the region's top ranking news stories.

In the meantime, grab a morning-joe and and kick back with the tune to keep your Tuesday terrific.

Moree Primary School students took to the stage on Friday evening to put on a show 12 months in the making.

Moree Primary School students took to the stage on Friday evening to put on a show 12 months in the making.

8.50am: Lola Shearer named volunteer of the year

Lola Shearer

Lola Shearer

THE annual Volunteer of the Year Awards were hosted at the Max, in Moree, on Sunday afternoon.

Lola said she was very surprised to hear the news, and didn’t do community work for recognition.

8.45am: Next generation of RFS cadets

Manilla and Aberdeen students have celebrated after completing a NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) secondary schools cadet course.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT ON FIRE: Manilla Central School Rural Fire Service cadets graduate with NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Steve Yorke in Sydney. Photo: NSW RFS

COMMUNITY SPIRIT ON FIRE: Manilla Central School Rural Fire Service cadets graduate with NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Steve Yorke in Sydney. Photo: NSW RFS

8.40am: Window smashed in pub fight

A fight between two groups has resulted in a smashed window at a local Tamworth establishment.

8.30am: The naughty habit we're all guilty of

Sydney Morning Herald: Australians will be blocked from accessing popular overseas websites hosting pirated movies and TV shows but would escape punishment for downloading illicit content under copyright law proposals being presented to federal cabinet on Tuesday.

8.25am: International business comes to Tamworth

8.20am: Santos has Moree farmers on edge

The company’s investment pitch which placed MoreeShire among seven prospective gas reserves in North West NSW has ignited fears in the agricultural community that prime farmland could be mined for coal seam gas.

The Gillan family at Pallamallawa: Becky, Meg, David and Mandy.

The Gillan family at Pallamallawa: Becky, Meg, David and Mandy.

· Also in Moree, local school girls had the opportunity to take inspiration from some of Australia's top female athletes last week in a series of workshops targeted at addressing the significant drop off of high school girls playing sport.

8.10am: Keeping trendy

· UK royals Kate and Will have stolen the limelight again, with a flood of pics and tweets from their US visit making a splash on social media. #RoyalVisitUSA is currently the No. 5 trending hashtag.

· Ever seen a artists at war? These illustrators have fused expression and competition in live 90 minute bouts.

7.50am: Art and culture two sides of the same coin

“It was kind of like community art and cultural development at its best ...” -- Beyond Empathy executive director Kim McConville. Photographs by Wendy Kimpton, Beyond Empathy.

“It was kind of like community art and cultural development at its best ...” -- Beyond Empathy executive director Kim McConville. Photographs by Wendy Kimpton, Beyond Empathy.

Moree: “I don’t even see them as two separate things. Art and culture are one and the same and culture drives art and art drives culture,” Beyond Empathy's Kim McConville said. 

“And certainly what the Festival of the Brolga program did by providing numerous art opportunities for kids, they could explore culture from a whole range of different dimensions.” 

7.45am: Magical Toybox

7.40am: Local conditions

Guyra experienced a warmer than normal November, while Tamworth residents captured these images of recent thunderstorms.

7.30am: Everyone's getting into the festive spirit

Glen Innes residents, schools and businesses have pulled out all the stops for this year's Red Cross Christmas Tree competition.

In Inverell, there's a touch of Vegas extravagance about this year's Christmas decorations.

7.20am: Tamworth vs Inverell

The Tamworth Thunderbolts training squad took on Inverell's Finest in what was the first friendly representative basketball game held locally for some time.

7.15am: Torbay ICAC hearing delayed

An ICAC investigation into the former Member for Northern Tablelands, Richard Torbay, has been delayed because of other ICAC inquiries.

An ICAC investigation into the former Member for Northern Tablelands, Richard Torbay, has been delayed because of other ICAC inquiries.

A planned public hearing by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) into the former Member for Northern Tablelands, Richard Torbay, has been delayed because of other ICAC inquiries.

7.10am: CCTV as crime deterrent

Glen Innes Severn Council is reminding residents about its CCTV cameras set up in the area to record anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

7am: Weather update

Top of the morning early rises, kicking starting Tuesday with an update on local conditions and parts of NSW could be seeing more showers this morning.

NORTHERN TABLELANDS

Partly cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers, most likely during the morning and afternoon. The chance of a thunderstorm. Light winds becoming north to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the morning then becoming light in the middle of the day. Daytime maximum temperatures 26 to 31.

NORTH WEST SLOPES AND PLAINS

Partly cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers on the northern slopes, medium (50%) chance elsewhere. The chance of a thunderstorm. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 20 km/h. Daytime maximum temperatures 31 to 37.

MID NORTH COAST

Partly cloudy. High (70%) chance of showers inland, medium (40%) chance elsewhere. The chance of a thunderstorm during this afternoon and evening. Light winds becoming south to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the morning. Daytime maximum temperatures 26 to 31. 

RFS Fire Danger Warnings are set at Low-Moderate for the Far North Coast, New England and Northern Slopes, with a High danger rating for the North West.

TODAY: 

► BENDIGO:  Victoria Police believe there are people who know what happened to murdered Bendigo mother Vicki Jacobs and have urged people with information to contact them. Read more

Murdered Bendigo mother Vicki Jacobs

Murdered Bendigo mother Vicki Jacobs

► BATHURST:  Resurfacing work on the famous Mount Panorama circuit went like clockwork on the weekend. The circuit famously broke up in a couple of places during this year’s Bathurst 1000, causing the event to temporarily come to a halt for almost an hour. Read more 

► BALLARAT:   Ballarat Wildlife Park's wombat joey is just starting to leave its mother's pouch.  The wombat joey is estimated to have been born seven to eight months ago, but only fully emerged from its pouch for the first time last week.  Read more

► QUEENSLAND: The tiny outback Queensland town of Bedorie has been swallowed by a dust storm, with incredible photos of the event going viral.  Read more

NEWCASTLE: A Melbourne man, 27, was in hospital in a serious condition with suspected spinal injuries after his dive into the surf at Newcastle beach went wrong on Monday.  Read more

► LAUNCESTON: Detectives expect to arrest more people as part of Operation Courier, which aims to smash the importation of ice into Tasmania. It follows a number of high-profile drug busts in Launceston where significant amounts of cash and ice were seized. 

► Australians will be blocked from accessing popular overseas websites hosting pirated movies and TV shows but would escape punishment for downloading illicit content under copyright law proposals being presented to federal cabinet on Tuesday. Read more

► An increased risk of bushfires is being cited by the electricity industry as it starts its campaign against cuts recommended for  power prices in NSW.  The industry is challenging a key component of the Australian Energy Regulator's decision amid warnings the power companies may be forced to slice spending on trimming  undergrowth near power lines. Read more 

► Victoria's ombudsman has launched a major inquiry into the bungling of sex abuse allegations involving Yooralla amid new allegations the disability services provider may have also engaged in financial misconduct. The new allegations are being separately probed by the Victorian government and Yooralla and involve claims that senior managers exaggerated the severity of their clients' disabilities in order to extract more taxpayer funding. Read more 

►The treaty to sell uranium to India will face tough scrutiny after the former chief atomic watchdog warned the deal lacked safeguards to ensure Australia did not inadvertently fuel India's nuclear bombs. Read more

► A massive fire at an apartment complex has shut down parts of two major freeways in downtown Los Angeles. The LA Times has reported that the fire broke out in an apartment complex that was under construction. Read more

► An executive jet crashed into a neighbourhood near a Maryland airport on Monday, killing at least three people aboard the aircraft and setting several houses on fire, a fire department spokesman said. Australia is the worst-performing developed nation when it comes to climate-change action, with the Abbott government's scrapping of the carbon price cementing its lowly ranking, a survey by European non-government organisations shows.

Australia ranked 57 out of 58 nations reviewed by the survey, which has been done each year since 2005 by Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch. Only Saudi Arabia fared worse.  Read more

► An executive jet crashed into a neighbourhood near a Maryland airport on Monday, killing at least three people aboard the aircraft and setting several houses on fire, a fire department spokesman said.  Read more 

MANDURAH: Throughout all his volunteer work, Ray Pember has never asked for any recognition.

On Friday, December 5 he was named the 2014 Peel Volunteer of the Year on International Volunteer Day.

The 89-year-old is still going strong and helps out at Coolibah Total Caring.

Mr Pember was given his award by his son and City of Mandurah councillor Don Pember.

He said he had volunteered for a wide range of organisations over the years and started 64 years ago at Carey Park in Bunbury.

“You don’t do it to be recognised, you do it because you like doing it,” he said.

He was one of six people nominated for the Volunteer of the Year award presented at a breakfast at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing club in front of about 100.

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