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National Nine News -

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ROOM HER HUSBAND OCCUPIED ROOM HER HUSBAND OCCUPIED AFTER two young children The frantic struggle to save at Canley Heights. after a family tragedy I've gone in there and the mother on the bed. and seen the little kids at the Corruption Commission The web of sex, money and deceit

becomes even more tangled. Relatives speak for the first time of a family about the shocking deaths on the Central Coast. when a road collapsed this year's Easter Show bags. And the toughest judges road test Oooh, aah, yeah!

Good evening. desperate but unsuccessful efforts A neighbour told today of her to revive two young children at Canley Heights. after a terrible family tragedy by their father. The youngsters were found

The mother is under guard

in hospital self-inflicted wounds to her wrists. after what is thought to be arrived home from work last night The 31-year-old father and 3-year-old daughter dead and found his 5-year-old son in the main bedroom. unconscious and covered in blood. His wife was next to them, He ran from the house, screaming, My wife, help!" "Help me! Get an ambulance! I've gone in there

and the mother on the bed. and I've seen the little kids The two little kids were blue. Trained in first aid, at the back of the home, Wendy, who lives in a granny flat managed to revive the mother. just a little murmur. All I just got was a murmur, but couldn't make out what it was. She tried to say something,

She then started CPR on the girl tried to resuscitate the boy. while another neighbour I tried to save the boy, Mouth to mouth, but he didn't make it, you know.

near the bed The neighbours saw a knife next to the bodies. and empty pill packets was led to a police car The distraught father the crime scene. as officers cordoned off and were overcome with grief. Other relatives arrived Both parents remain in hospital for extreme stress. where they're being treated The mother, who's under police guard, knife wounds to her wrists. is also being treated for alleged that she is well enough, When medical experts advise she'll be spoken to by police. Detectives today searched the home for forensic testing. and took the family car away the couple's marriage was in trouble. They're looking into claims National Nine News. Shaun Fewings, at the ICAC hearing There was more revealing evidence involving Wollongong Council. into the sex and bribery allegations of the scandal took the stand The developer at the centre affairs has confessed to having numerous with town planner Beth Morgan. while being involved has had a lot on his plate Developer Frank Vellar in the last few years, complex on this site in Wollongong. trying to build a $100 million he was maintaining a marriage At the same time, with town planner Beth Morgan and an affair who was assessing the development. In the ICAC, it got grubby

a list of names when Vellar was shown with any of the women on it. and asked if he was also sleeping feeling well and asked for a break. Vellar suddenly claimed he wasn't was having affairs with two of them. He composed himself and admitted he to attend an early morning meeting Vellar found time in his busy day with other developers. at a local kebab shop the 'Table of Knowledge'. It was known as with her 6-month-old baby. Also there, Beth Morgan That was how their affair started. The plans for Vellar's development

for height and floor space, exceeded standards but she still approved it. cash payments of $1,000 and $2,000. During the process he gave her They were gifts, Vellar said. and three handbags. A camera, holidays he wasn't trying to influence her. Vellar said He said she was destitute his affection. and he was trying to show breaking, said he was victim. Late today, Vellar, his voice had asked for bribes Several councillors posing as ICAC investigators and two con men if he didn't pay up. had threatened his family Mark Burrows, National Nine News. asked to please explain Ports Minister Joe Tripodi is being a top job in his department, how a close mate landed by the ICAC. despite being under investigation

a Wollongong Council officer. The mate, Joe Scimone, used to be from his State Government position, He's now been stood down how he got there in the first place. but the question is - Joe Scimone leaving the ICAC. after being stood down this morning. He'd just met his lawyers in his $200,000 job at NSW Maritime Mr Scimone had been for just four weeks. No, he's not here. Has he left the building? He's entitled He's already left the building.

to a presumption of innocence is appropriate. but that he be stood down

of Ports Minister Joe Tripodi, A long-time ALP mate the senior public service job Mr Scimone was given

in the department. of managing property what involvement Mr Tripodi had The question is

within the department. in his appointment the recruitment procedure reviewed. The Premier wants that this was a recruitment process The minister has informed me from him, as is appropriate. undertaken at arm's length Questions are also being asked about considered for the role how Mr Scimone could have been in the first place. Wollongong Council job under a cloud Last year he left his was made against him. after a harassment claim they weren't aware Both Mr Tripodi and NSW Maritime say Wollongong Council officials the ICAC was investigating

when Mr Scimone was hired. the earliest I became aware of it This is all news to me and

the Internet a couple of days ago. was when it was reported on

to give evidence at the inquiry. Mr Scimone is expected Simon Bouda, National Nine News. The inquest into the Somersby tragedy has been adjourned until June, after more evidence it was caused by council negligence. Relatives of the five victims who died when their car was washed away, have spoken exclusively about the painful evidence they've heard. For the families of Adam Holt and Roslyn Bragg, memories of what happened here simply don't fade. We always thought she was a strong girl and might have been holding onto a tree or something. The Braggs have sold their business. At home, they are surrounded by photos. Some days I can't...I come in and I can't look. And other days I stand there and talk to them. But at least at the inquest there was an opportunity to thank a rescuer who came so close to saving Adam Holt. He looked into our son's eyes - and he told us how brave he was. The families are angered by the series of emails, reports and inspections dating back to 1984 that warned the drainage pipes under that section of the highway

were corroding.

Everyone is upset. We're all struggling to come to terms with this. For the families, it has been three emotional days here

but they fear the worst is yet to come. When the inquiry restarts in June, the lawyers for the RTA and Gosford Council are expected to blame the driver, Adam Holt, for not stopping in time. Every day it's the first thing I think of - that tragedy -

and it's the last thing I think of at night. Denham Hitchcock, National Nine News. The beleaguered Royal North Shore Hospital been dealt another major blow. The general manager has resigned just months after warning the hospital was suffering from unstable management. Mary Bonner is the eighth general manager to leave Royal North Shore in 11 years. Instability she highlighted at the recent inquiry into the hospital's failings. It is difficult for all staff, when there is a turnover, bringing the new person up to speed. Now somebody else will have to take on one of the toughest jobs in public health. These are tough jobs and finding people is always difficult. I understand that morale is now rock-bottom, the staff feel totally demoralised, With Royal North Shore becoming the focal point for the problems of the battling NSW hospital system, the CEO of the Northern Area Health service has admitted the pressure has taken a toll on Mary Bonner. Yeah, it has been a difficult two years for her but health is like that.

Mary has done a terrific job here at North Shore and is very highly regarded by the clinicians. And, on the bungled Bathurst Base Hospital, the Health Minister says it seems the $10 million project was doomed from the start. There maybe questions marks over the plans that were delivered for tender by the Government architect. A senior planner has been removed from his position

and although the Government is also withholding the builder's final payment,

construction company John Holland says it can hardly be blamed. They worked according to the plans approved by the Government. Adam Walters, National Nine News. Hospitals and paramedics are trialling a revolutionary hands-free device that automatically performs CPR. It's a new approach which could help save the lives of people who have a heart attack. It is being hailed as a big advance in cardiac arrest treatment. This hands-free CPR device is being trialled by Victorian rural paramedics

who pulled a heart attack victim from the brink of death. Saved my life. I reckon it's a beauty, yeah. Thank God for the machine, because if we hadn't of had it, Dennis wouldn't be here. The battery-operated device squeezes the heart and lungs and is a way of keeping a patient alive until a defibrillator is found.

For paramedics, it avoids the problem of fatigue and frees them up to administer medication. I think this device is far superior, it gives very consistent chest compressions. Looking at statistical results, there's about a doubling of survival to hospital admission, possibly a tripling. But emergency medicine experts say it is too early to embrace the technology, because the results of existing studies are mixed. They say more research is needed before the device becomes part of standard treatment. And the benefits must be seen to outweigh the hefty cost - $20,000 each. The cost is always a thorny issue in hospitals. The trial has been very positive, so far, and we're looking to maybe extending the trial even further. Garbriella Rogers, National Nine News. It was time to say goodbye to Smoky Dawson today with a private funeral service at Chatswood.

We're all going to miss him - he was wonderful, and I knew him for 55 years. The funeral was attended by close family and friends. A public memorial will be held in the coming weeks. In the news ahead - we check what's on offer in this year's Easter Show bags. Cuba looks to its future without its great survivor - Fidel Castro. And Barack Obama continues his surge towards the White House. It is time to write a new chapter in American history.

A new $92 million court complex has been officially opened in Parramatta. Described as Australia's most secure court building, it houses shatter-proof glass and 500 security cameras. Next Monday the court will have its first big test with the trial of nine Sydney men charged with conspiring to make explosives in preparation for a terrorist attack. After almost 50 years of total power, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has retired because of failing health. But the 81-year-old will still have a voice in Cuban affairs and it will take his death to bring any true change on his Communist island. Cubans learned the news from the state-run paper and its website. After 49 years and 49 days in power, Castro wrote he was retiring because of failing health. He was exiting on his own terms, successfully defying nine US Presidents. He reputedly survived 634 assassination attempts, including a bizarre effort using an exploding cigar. For Cuban exiles, this is not the change they were hoping for. Happy that Fidel Castro is stepping aside but we'd rather see him drop dead.

For now, the Americans will maintain their half-century trade embargo, but they claim that Castro's exit will begin the demise of communism in Cuba. Eventually this transition will lead to free and fair elections - and I mean free and I mean fair, Castro suffered a bad fall in 2004. Two years later, he handed power to his 76-year-old brother, Raul, after undergoing stomach surgery.

There were no more of his huge and famous public rallies, only video as he took visitors at his medical clinic. Raul Castro is almost certain to take over as the next president, but with another hardline Communist in charge, analysts warn Cuba's immediate future is unlikely to look much different from its past.

In the US, Christine Spiteri, National Nine News. Pakistan looks to be heading for a new democratic government with the two major opposition parties scoring strong results against a poor third for the party supporting military leader General Musharraf. The Pakistan People's Party of murdered Benazir Bhutto and the group led by another former prime minister are now discussing a National Unity coalition. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has beaten Hillary Clinton again,

winning today's primary in Wisconsin. When the result came through, Obama was in Texas, where another primary in two weeks time will be a major test for the Democrat rivals. All across the country, people are standing up and saying, "It is time to turn the page. "It is time to write a new chapter in American history." In a swipe at Obama's speech-making, Clinton says America needs a candidate who relies on work not just words, but his rousing rallies have now helped him beat her - nine primaries in a row. A US Navy warship is preparing to take a missile shot at a crippled spy satellite, tomorrow afternoon. They hope to blow it up as it passes 210 kilometres above the western Pacific Ocean, to prevent it crashing to Earth with a full tank of toxic rocket fuel.

If they miss, they'll take a 2nd shot, but it's a pricey exercise with each missile worth $10 million.

The Royal Easter Show is 29 days away but the kids from Westmead Children's Hospital

and the Far West Children's home at Manly didn't have to wait. Today, they became this year's official showbag testers. With a single word... Go! ..the plunder was under way.

But what began as a dash was quickly stalled... Oh, bad. very big decisions. Oh, ah! Today 300 showbags were raided. Wow! Every item was road-tested. Feels comfortable. As days go, it doesn't get much better. Probably the best day. They were able to pick two bags each. This one's for John's little brother. 'Cause I love him so much. The toughest part about the day is choosing which bag to take home. And Robert, I think you've picked the best one - the World's Biggest Showbag. What's in here? Lollies. For the really adventurous lolly tasters, there's the Rip Snorter Extreme Gross Bag with a new sweet called Booger Balls. It doesn't sound good to me. The kids love it. The $25 Hoff Bag could be a hit or a big miss.

It's all here, mate. The Hoff, David Hasselhoff, rises. There's a link to all the showbags at our website. I think this will be enough. The biggest challenge was getting the booty home. Dale Paget, National Nine News. Ken with sport is next - and the world's first cricket auction is taking place right now? All in the name of Indian Twenty20 cricket.

Also, Matt Henjak's bad hair day evolves into a bad career day. Falling flat on your face horsing around. And - there is a deadset lunatic on the track. There's no place in the world like Sydney, and no show like 'Billy Elliot the Musical'. Book your hotel and show package from just: Call:

Right now some of Australia's and the world's finest cricketers

are going under the hammer for franchises in the new Indian Twenty20 Premier League. We can show you some of the big buys: Yet to know their figures and joining me now - Australian bowlers Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken.

I've got to ask you, bread, what do

you expect to get? I've no idea.

I'm not waiting by the fund at once

is all over it will be nice to know.

The way I'm organic he's he's a bit

of fun. I've always enjoyed playing Twenty20 cricket.

Twenty20 cricket. It will be

insisting busy what happens. Make

then, at what price the you

expecting? The disquiet

entertaining at the moment, we keep

getting little update. It could

just see the interest there is

there and hopefully we will get the

opportunity to get over them play

some cricket and the extra bonus is

a nice that will pay packet.

a nice that will pay packet. What

do you think you're worth? I don't

know. We will wait and see. It will

be exciting, the chance to play in

the same team as such and Tendulkar

or, zealot is pretty exciting stuff. Matt Henjak may be forced into a career in rugby league following the recommendation from the Western Force

that his $400,000 contract be terminated. NRL boss David Gallop says Henjak wouldn't be excluded from the code provided he can prove he is working on his personal problems. It was a meek Matt Henjak who emerged from Force headquarters in the early hours of this morning, aware his career in Australian rugby was over. Bitterly disappointed

in the decision found by Rugby WA tonight.

It's something that I've got to go home and think about. The ARU is reading transcripts of the 8-hour meeting before he is officially sacked. Force chairman Geoff Stooke provided a neat summary. The committee was satisfied that he savagely punched Haig Sare when Haig was sitting down, vulnerable and unable to defend himself. Sare was banned for eight weeks, fined $5,000, and was still sporting a shiner

when he talked to National Nine News today. Despite the beating, he had kind words for Henjak. Matt's a fantastic player. He's going to be sorely missed by the team, for sure. Henjak's manager, Greg Keenan, said he has fielded a number of calls from interested parties today. The Raiders see Henjak as a possible starter in 2009, especially if they lose their star halfback Todd Carney to the Panthers, as expected.

At the Tigers, Anthony Field - the Blue Wiggle -

was mixing with players from his favourite team. He's keen to swap jobs with Benji Marshall. Field says he's going to adopt Marshall's famous side-step as part of the Wiggles' routine. I'll give him the Wiggle fingers, which will work in a game - while he's waiting for the ball, he does this. Danny Weidler, National Nine News. Sporting events and bucks parties -

it's a mix which can deliver moments like this. At a Moruya meeting, the fast finishing field was joined by a horseless jockey wearing just a jock who fell over the line to finish third last by a short half-head. COMMENTATOR: And there's a deadset lunatic on the track. The race was declared null and void.

The offender - just void.

There's nothing else to say, is there? After the break - the CommSec finance report, then Jaynie with the weather details, Coming up on WIN News... A teenage boy charged over a brutal rape, remanded in custody, Local public housing tenants claim they're "living in fear", And the Capitals name their best for '08.

Details next.

But come on - this may have been cute when we were five...

BOTH: But we're individuals. You really want to save money, Mum? Take advantage of this offer on your car insurance from AAMI.

SONG: # Lucky you're with AAMI. #

To finance - and there are fresh interest rate fears tonight with a rise in world oil prices and continued growth in wages here in Australia.

Mark, we are finally feeling the summer heat. 29 in the west, 26 in the city which is right on average and our sunniest day so far this month.

Not so sunny in the south, with the change that made many places 24 degrees cooler than yesterday. Strong southerly winds behind it and showers of up to 20mm in western Victoria. And we are starting to get some patchy rain in southern NSW. And Category-1 Cyclone Nicholas is weakening - he crossed the coast this morning and continues to track south. The low off the Queensland coast has created some big waves for some experienced surfers. But many beaches are closed with erosion and dangerous conditions.

That low is heading our way and should create waves to over 5m for northern NSW. And we are keeping an eye on the developing low over the top end

which could potentially form into a cyclone. Darwin has had over 300mm in the last three days. Squally, monsoonal showers there tomorrow. Early showers in Melbourne - 25. Sydney will be a little cloudy with light to moderate south-west to south-east winds.

Surfers - petty rough out there - 6 foot waves expected to develop. Best conditions should be Friday morning at most beaches. Tomorrow, 26-28 degrees across the Sydney basin, 23 for the mountains.

Hot on Friday - 30 to 34 degrees. Dry westerly winds increasing ahead of a change due in close to midnight. Cooling down for the weekend, especially Sunday. But looking rain free for the weekend, Mark.

That's National Nine News for this Wednesday, 20 February. I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia Tonight ... Police charge a seventeen year old over a brutal rape in Chisholm,

A Canberra man sparks outrage after a dive at the Moruya races, And organisers of the Balloon Fiesta refuse to give up. A seventeen-year-old Chisholm boy faced court today, charged over the brutal attack and rape of a Canberra grandmother.

The teenager was arrested, and charged by police last night.