Weather: Possible shower in Newcastle (21 degrees), Nelson Bay (22 degrees), Raymond Terrace (22 degrees), Wallsend (24 degrees), Toronto (24 degrees), Cessnock (22 degrees), Maitland (24 degrees) and Singleton (23 degrees). Partly cloudy in Scone (24 degrees) and Muswellbrook (25 degrees).
Traffic: Heavy traffic on the M1 after a truck caught fire shortly after 5am. Northbound traffic is queued four kilometres from the area, where two lanes are closed. Drivers are warned to expect significant delays and to consider taking the Pacific Highway.
Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.
Beachwatch: It’ ll be a bit cloudy with the slight chance of a shower so just an average day beachside. The wind may have a bit of west in it early but it’ll quickly head to the south-east and then the North-east in the afternoon. The swell will be from the south around half to one metre with one or two bigger sets. Wave conditions will be a touch uneven. Around town try the Cowrie Hole, The Cliff, Dixon Park, Merewether and Dudley. Down south try Hams, Catho and Frazer Park. At port Stephens try One Mile. The northern corners will be the picks for an afternoon paddle. All beaches are quite good for a swim but stick to the flagged areas. The water temperature is 17 degrees.
Iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor is returning to Australia for the first time in seven years and will perform at the Hunter Valley’s Hope Estate in February, 2017. Read more.
Just two months ago, Kevin Coady stood defiantly atop the worn steps of the dilapidated former Newcastle post office and told its owners that he, and the rest of the homeless who were using it as shelter, were not going anywhere. Sadly, Mr Coady was found dead atop those same steps on October 12. Read more.
Dungog Festival’s highly anticipated film program has been released, with several classic films on the bill. Read more.
A SPATE of incidents in the Upper Hunter over the past week has highlighted the importance of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) – and the need to keep it in the air. Read more.
Over 100 people attended the Singleton branch of the Country Womens Association 90th anniversary luncheon. Read more.
The biennial reunion of former workers from Pelton-Ellalong Colliery will be held at Bellbird Workers Club on Saturday, November 12. Read more.
It was 10s all round for Thornton Australia’s Next Top Model contestant Aleyna FitzGerald on this week’s episode. Read more.
EMPLOYEES at AGL Macquarie’s Liddell and Bayswater power stations have voted to support a new three-year Enterprise Agreement for 2017 to 2019. Read more.
A PEEK back at last year’s Bottoms Up Festival ahead of this weekend’s event. Read more.
The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) will make the final decision on the southern longwall modifications application for the Wambo underground coal mine after a public meeting in Singleton in November. Read more.
A look at the best shots of recent summer storm seasons. Read more.
TWO men accused of murdering Wickham identity Robbie Parry picked the small-time cannabis dealer for a "drug rip" home invasion because he was an "easy target" who was deaf in one ear and kept the front door open, court documents state. Read more.
Morisset police station, the state’s first major modular constructed one, has been formally opened. Read more.
ORGANISERS behind the the first-ever Surfarama at Birubi Beach have hailed the event a success. Read more.
The reuse centre at Cessnock dump will cease operation in December. Read more.
LABINOT HALITI never doubted that he’d be back. Not once. Read more.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
► ROSEWHITE: Breanna Johnson had a simple assignment at school. Research a part of the brain and present it to the class. She asked her nurse mother Margot for help, and the 15-year-old chose to focus on the temporal lobe. That was in April this year. Days later her healthy 51-year old father Steven, from Rosewhite near Myrtleford, would be diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in the temporal lobe after going to hospital following a car accident. More here.
► RIVERINA: Farmers and gun-owners have backed calls to legalise a cheap, rapid-fire shotgun. The Abbott government banned the seven-shot Adler A110 in 2015, amid concerns it could be modified to fire 11 rounds without reloading. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday extended the ban until states and territories hash out how to classify the contentious firearm and what sort of permit a gun-owner would require. More here.
► BELLBIRD: It was a homemade “firearm” which he hoped would be enough to scare a poor Coalfields service station attendant to hand over some cash. It wasn’t and it didn’t. More here.
► HEATHCOTE: The former coach of a central Victorian club in shock after as its star forward fights for his life following a suspected ‘flakka’ overdose has said illicit drugs have “become the norm” in Australian rule football – from the AFL to local football leagues. More here.
► HARVEY: One of three farmers dropped by Brownes Dairy at the end of last month has been forced to tip his grade one milk out because no one wants it. More here.
► ST MARYS: A couple who have cared for their son for 30 years are pleading for accelerated access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. More here.
► MACKSVILLE: When she was a baby Kymberlee Blair was fighting for her life, her small body wracked with the fevers and pain of double pneumonia and swine flu. More here.
► WODONGA: When 16-year-old Alexia Brown requested Hamish and Andy attend her year 10 formal, she didn’t expect to get a “yes” back. But on air Monday afternoon, the radio personalities announced Catholic College Wodonga would be the first stop in their band’s tour. More here.
► PORT MACQUARIE: There is a common belief among those who work in healthcare or emergency sectors that a full moon can create a hectic night for employees. More here.
► Australia is missing out on key events aimed at improving gender diversity due to the lack of policy initiatives designed to get women into public and private sector leadership positions, says the chief executive of Business Events Sydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith. More here.
► The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spent an estimated $215,000 or more sending nearly two dozen senior bureaucrats from Canberra to Paris to attend an inhouse talkfest about ways to save money. More here.
► More than one in four Australian workers feel financially stressed and find it difficult to make ends meet, a national study has found. More here.
► The RSL NSW has nearly $350 million in cash and liquid assets held across hundreds of sub-branches, much of which critics say is not being properly used to help needy veterans. More here.
National weather radar
► LONDON: The British government is counting on Australia's taste for British beer and cider to boost its Brexit trade plan – and is planning an ad blitz to whet our appetites. More here.
► BANGKOK: Thai authorities say they have uncovered a plot to explode bombs in Bangkok where millions of Thais are mourning the death last week of long-reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej. More here.
► GERMANY: Four police officers have been injured, one critically, after they were shot at during a raid on a home in southern Germany. More here.
On this day
The faces of Australia: Simone O’Brien
At the start of the year Horsham’s Simone O’Brien set herself a pretty typical goal – to tackle the Melbourne marathon. But O’Brien is not your typical woman.
Four years ago she was violently attacked, and now dedicates her time to starting a public conversation about domestic violence. Read more here.