Let's take a walk back in time together.
As the paper of record for generations of Maitland residents there are no doubt plenty of yellowing newspaper cuttings in drawers across the Hunter.
Carefully kept clippings in a photo album or amongst grandma's cherished keepsakes of the time you or a loved one was featured in the newspaper.
We've delved into the archives of the Maitland Mercury to reproduce some of those beaming faces from the print pages.
Today we are looking at the paper from September 11, 2008 which was a Thursday.
Here's some of the top stories from that edition.
Sixty years of Maitland Nursery School
Sixty years ago, a Maitland blacksmith decided to give something back to the children of the city.
So Harry Smyth donated the land where Maitland Nursery School now sits.
"He said if it (the land) is ever not used for the pre-school to give it to council for children's activities," nursery director Megan Filis said.
The school will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Sunday.
Two of Mr Smyth's descendants now attend the school. Isaac Younger, whose paternal grandmother was the niece of Mr Smyth, and Michael Eyre, whose maternal grandmother was related to Mr Smyth, attend Maitland Nursery School.
The anniversary of Maitland Nursery School starts at 10am on Sunday. The nursery invites past students, teachers and anyone from the community to come along to the school on Sunday for the celebrations.
Deep pothole dips into driver's pocket
It was a monster pothole that John Zanardi just could not avoid.
But it left him with a repair bill he expects will top $1800 - and he wants Maitland City Council to pay.
Mr Zanardi was driving his Holden Commodore on Alexandra Avenue, Rutherford, about 2pm on Sunday when it hit a pothole he described as being a metre wide and about 30cm deep.
He was only metres from his home.
"We couldn't avoid it," he said. "There was a car parked on the side of the road and we had nowhere else to go."
His family were passengers at the time, and all heard a loud bang as the car plunged into the pothole and lurched out again.
The impact smashed the suspension in the front of the car and snapped a strut mount, pushing it through the bonnet.
The car was left undriveable and, in addition to the repair bill, Mr Zanardi has to pay for a hire car to get to work at Heatherbrae each day. He said he had contacted the council many times about the condition of Alexandra Avenue after the construction of the Woolworths supermarket but no repairs were made.
The pothole was filled on Monday. An angry Mr Zanardi wants to the council to take further action and pay for the damage to his car.
"It's the council's responsibility," he said.
"We have rung numerous times about the state of the road and it's not only us, other people around here have complained as well.
"But nothing was done." Maitland City Council wrote to Mr Zanardi yesterday, denying any negligence. The letter obtained by the Mercury admitted budget constraints meant the council could not maintain a road network free from defects and that once the council was aware of the pothole on Alexandra Avenue, emergency repairs were carried out immediately. "Whilst the damage to your vehicle is unfortunate it has not resulted from any negligence on the council's part and therefore the council is unable to be of assistance with the reimbursement of your costs," the letter said.
The council declined to comment yesterday
City mall needs decisive action to draw crowds - opinion
A near constant stream of complaint comes in to the Mercury's newsroom.
Much of it lately has been about the violence and crime in the Heritage Mall, and it originates from businesspeople who are paying the price. That price is in insurance premiums, in repair costs, in employees' wages and in their own lost time as they make good after the damage and loss. And there is the cost of lost business; on the day, as would-be customers shy away from the mess and clean-up, and because the mall is getting a reputation for its violence.
Traders report to the Mercury that they believe that reputation is driving business away and, equally importantly, driving away investment in retail and service businesses that will bring the shoppers, diners and visitors. That is worrying. The mall needs all the investment it can get to stay competitive with the growing retail complexes at both ends of the city.
Today, on page 3, Maitland Central News Agency owner Rodney Porter says a quote he has had for video surveillance of his business puts the cost at between $20 and $30 a week.
Paralympics for local teacher
East Maitland Public School teacher Christie Dawes is optimistic despite receiving a rude welcoming to the Beijing Paralympics.
The 28-year-old wheelchair athlete was told upon arriving at her fourth Paralympics that she would not be eligible to compete in the women's marathon event because Beijing organisers had changed qualifying rules.
Dawes recorded a B level qualifying time for the event, which was slower than usual due to a pelvic injury.
But in a Paralympic first, Beijing organisers announced they would not be accepting either late applications or B level qualifying times.
"I came to Beijing expecting to compete in my full program, so that was very disappointing," Dawes told the Maitland Mercury yesterday.
"I only got a B level time because I had an injured pelvis at the time. And they have always accepted them.
"They also used to send around a piece of paper asking if people would like to enter the marathon late. There are about 30 girls in the same boat as me, it's really disappointing."
Dawes' marathon shock came ahead of her involvement in Monday's horror crash in the women's 5000m. Dawes said she escaped the ordeal with minimal injuries compared to her fellow competitors, adding that she felt for the members of the Canadian team who were asked to hand back their medals as processes got underway to organise a re-run.
"I aggravated a sternum injury and jarred my neck, shoulder and my hip. I was pretty lucky, " she said,
"Some of the other girls sustained a broken nose and bruised kidneys, I actually haven't been able to see them yet.
"But I really feel for those girls who went through the medal ceremony and were asked to give their medals back.
"Whoever let that ceremony go ahead should get the sack.
"We are a pretty small and tight bunch because there aren't very many of us. "It was devastating to see the look on the girls faces when they were told they had to hand them back."
The issue has been taken outside the Paralympic village with the Canadian team taking their appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, which will decide whether Friday's 9am re-run will go ahead. But Dawes is still looking forward to completing the rest of her program. She will race in the 800m, the 1500m and the 4x100m relay on September 14, 15 and 16 respectively. "I still have the other three to go and if I have the 5000m again, that means I really haven't started yet," she said.
"We have a few young girls in the relay team who are at their first Paralympics so they are really excited.
"We should be in with a good chance if we get our changes right."
Dawes, who made her Paralympic debut in Atlanta in 1996 at the age of 16, will return to her casual teaching role at East Maitland Public School after her Beijing campaign.
She said she receives as much support as she could hope for from the primary school.
"They are great there when I need a day or two off here or there," she said. "I really am on a great wicket there."
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