Brisbane Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Jr under fire for COVID-19 breach


Brisbane Broncos star Tevita Pangai Jr has come under fire for his “stupid” COVID-19 breach, which has fuelled the ongoing downfall of his struggling club.

The gun forward will be out of action for two weeks for his infraction, which came shortly after returning home from Sydney, where his team lost 28-10 to the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday evening.

The Courier-Mail reported Pangai was at a barber shop which has links to the Mongols bikie gang when police arrived to search the premises. Nothing illegal was uncovered, and there is no suggestion Pangai did anything wrong.

However, by being there, the 24-year-old was breaking the NRL’s strict biosecurity measures, which limit players to their homes unless travelling to and from games and training.

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As a result, Pangai is at risk of being kicked out of the club’s leadership group, which has already faced casualties this season — Origin star Darius Boyd reportedly quit the group after a rift with Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

Speaking on Big League Wrap, Fox Sports reporter James Hooper ripped into the Tongan for his blatant “stupidity”.

“You can’t put brains in statues, and the stupidity from Tevita beggars belief,” Hooper saidon Sunday evening.

“He wasn’t in need of a fresh fade, we all saw him on Friday night against South Sydney, he didn’t need a haircut.

“He had mates that were involved in the opening of that barber shop, and for whatever reason, he’s decided to breach the bubble.”

Pangai has reportedly been in talks with rival clubs about a potential move, including the Sydney Roosters and Canterbury Bulldogs.

Former Bulldogs star Michael Ennis conceded Pangai’s off-field controversies have added to the Broncos’ growing list of woes.

“It’s incredible selfishness,” Ennis said.

“Given where the Broncos are at at the moment, given everything we’ve just been through and that has transpired since Thursday, with Wayne Bennett then his coach. The fact Tevita has gone and done this is, seriously, he’s put so much at risk here.

“The fact he went and shopped himself around then put in a performance like they did on Friday night, it would have been alarm bells to have a quiet weekend. Get yourself home, get yourself ready to face the Raiders.

“He’s put more unnecessary spotlight on a club that’s been soaked in all this drama for a few months … it reeks of him not giving a rat’s arse about the club and where they’re at at the moment. That’s basically where it’s at.

“He’s made a decision for himself, and he’s let his teammates, let his club down, and more importantly put the game in jeopardy.”

South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett, St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan and Brisbane Broncos legend Allan Langer each breached the COVID-19 protocols this week.

Broncos chief executive Paul White has warned these ongoing breaches put the entire premiership in jeopardy.

“This type of behaviour is just unacceptable,” White said, as reported by The Courier-Mail.

“I am aware of the pain out in the community and how tough everyone is doing it — there will be no sympathy here, and nor should there be.

“The COVID protocols could not have been clearer or more strongly worded because we are at a critical juncture of the competition.

“The Apollo rules allow our game to keep running and we cannot compromise when it comes to sticking to them.

“We simply cannot afford to take our position for granted, and any reckless breach of the COVID rules will be dealt with by the club.”

Brisbane are currently sitting at 15th spot in the NRL ladder, having only won one game since the coronavirus lockdown.

The Broncos are also currently without their head coach — Seibold is in self-isolation after staying in Sydney on Friday night for personal reasons.

Channel 7 reporter Chris Garry revealed the 45-year-old had broken the NRL’s strict biosecurity measures to deal with a “family emergency”.

For their round 14 clash, Brisbane will take on the Raiders in Canberra on Saturday evening.



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Stagecoach Fire in California’s Kern County Captured From the Air



The Stagecoach wildfire was 27 percent contained and experienced scorched at minimum 7,000 acres in the Havilah spot of Kern County, California on Friday, August 7, authorities stated. Citizens in bordering communities evacuated their properties as about 817 men and women worked to regulate the blaze, the Kern County Hearth Office explained in an update. Aerial infrared footage showed the hearth scorching places. Credit rating: Kern County Fire Department by means of Storyful



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Goulburn’s rail hub receives burnt timber from fire grounds | Goulburn Post


news, local-news, Goulburn, Chicago Freightlines, International Primary Products, Peter Crawford, rail hub, timber transport

They may look burnt on the outside but inside, the quality is anything but poor. Burnt timber logs from fire grounds trucked into Goulburn’s rail hub are being hauled out to port and shipped to China as part of International Primary Products’ (IPP) operation. Crawford Freightlines is contracted to haul the product to Port Botany from the hub, off Braidwood Road. ALSO READ: Waste not, want not as re-use centre project steams ahead Director Peter Crawford said the facility was hauling two trains a week loaded with timber, some of which was from the Tumut area. “It’s not all of it that’s burnt; it’s just the bark and it’s still very good timber on the inside,” he said. The yard is also transporting green timber sourced from the region. IPP set up the Goulburn operation at the rail hub in 2016. Logs are trucked in and fumigated before being loaded on to Crawford’s trains. READ MORE: Southern Tablelands forestry industry prepares for boost Mr Crawford said volumes had dropped off in recent time. However it has recovered from earlier in the year when Chinese ports shut down for four weeks, rather than the traditional two over their New Year. Coronavirus restrictions also impacted. “We had freight and trains sitting at our yards not doing anything from the end of January to mid March. It was a nightmare period,” he said. The Post has sought comment from IPP. The rail hub, operated by Chicago Freight, was established in 2015. Crawford Freightlines is just one of the operators. READ MORE: Residents react to Rail Hub approval Mr Crawford said his company was also hauling scrap metal from Queanbeyan to port and one train each fortnight was carrying product from the Dargues gold mine at Braidwood to Port Kembla. “We’re looking to expand our business in the (Goulburn) region,” he said. “We are taking some freight to Young and imports to Canberra and it is starting to build. Once the momentum builds, it will grow quickly. We are certainly there for the long term.” ALSO READ: What on earth? Old Saint Clair reveals its building secrets The company has also extended its rail siding to over 300 metres, almost three times the original length to handle volumes. It also employs five people in Goulburn. Chicago Freight signalled in 2018 that it was looking for more land to expand its rail hub but options were limited. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe

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Crash, fire, false alarm are all in a day’s work


BY DAY, Justin Buhagiar is a maintenance manager and licenced electrician.

But during his downtime, he trades in his toolkit for a truck as one of the region’s auxiliary firefighters.

Unlike full-time fireys, auxiliary firefighters are casual, station-based firefighters who respond to emergencies.

They form an essential part of the service and with 16 already on the force, the Airlie Beach Fire and Rescue Station is calling for more residents to lend a helping hand.

Mr Buhagiar signed up to become an auxiliary firefighter in February last year and he has dived right into the deep end.

“It’s not like a normal job,” he said.

Luke Addis and Justin Buhagiar became auxiliary firefighters in early 2019.

“You could have a car crash, a bushfire, a building fire or even just an alarm for a building … you don’t really know what you’re going to a lot of the time.”

Mr Buhagiar was among the volunteers deployed to Canberra to assist with fighting bushfires that ravaged the country in late 2019 and early 2020.

He described it as a “real eye-opener” and an opportunity to help during someone’s darkest days.

The desire to help during a time of need is what drew fellow auxiliary firefighter Luke Addis to the service.

Mr Addis has also been involved in the Whitsunday branch for about a year but would have signed up sooner had he known about the camaraderie of the station.

“I will admit, I did see a sign up probably 12 months before I came down and for whatever reason, I don’t have a good one, I didn’t make it down here, but I wish I did,” he said.

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“I’ve met some really good people and it’s one of the main reasons that’s kept me hanging around.”

Training to become an auxiliary firey involves a week-long course that is then built upon over the following months.

Beyond the practical skills, Mr Addis said it provided him with the ability to give back to the community.

“We don’t really know what we’re walking into until we see it for ourselves,” he said.

“I like the idea of being able to help someone when they’re not having a good day.”

Expressions of interest or any questions about joining the Airlie Beach auxiliary firefighters can be sent to the station’s captain Brodyn Friend at brodyn.friend@qfes.qld.gov.au





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Sam Mayes under fire for vicious bump on Western Bulldogs star Josh Dunkley


Port Adelaide star Sam Mayes could find himself in hot water with the Match Review Officer after putting a vicious bump on Western Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley.

During Monday’s round 10 clash at Adelaide Oval, Dunkley had just disposed of the ball in the first quarter when Mayes barged in and knocked his unsuspecting opponent to the turf.

The 26-year-old’s shoulder clearly came in contact with Dunkley’s head, prompting Adelaide great Mark Ricciuto to describe it as “just a fraction high and definitely late”.

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“Played his best game for the club last week so hopefully he can get away with a fine,” Ricciuto said on Fox Footy.

AFL Live Scores: Round 10 match centres

Former Hawthorn captain Jason Dunstall assessed Mayes’ actions during quarter-time.

“I think it’s going to land him in a little bit of hot water,” Dunstall claimed on Fox Footy.

“The good news is Josh Dunkley has been able to get back up and continue on, but he’s clearly gotten rid of the ball. He’s taken another step or so, and he comes through with the bump.

“It’s a vigorous bump, and the point of the shoulder makes contact with the chin, so you leave yourself wide open.

“At best, if he’s lucky, he might get a fine, but he might also get a week. And he’s lucky Dunkley’s hard as nails and got straight back up.

“But there’s just no need to do something like that; it doesn’t help anyone.”

READ MORE: AFL journo breaks silence after sacking

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In response, North Melbourne legend David King called for the AFL to come down hard on future incidents, otherwise concussion cases will become a norm in the sport.

“The current sanction is not working as a deterrent. That’ll be a fine, and he’ll be right to play next week, and that action won’t be stamped out of our game,” King said.

“Concussion is a serious issue in the game, and if we’re going to take it seriously as an AFL body, we need to be suspending players.

“People will say, ‘Oh that’s unfair because the player gets up and plays on’, but we’ve got to start penalising the action, rather than the outcome.”

The Bulldogs narrowly led the contest 3.5 (23) to 3.2 (20) at halftime, while Port Adelaide veteran Robbie Gray kicked two goals in the first two quarters.



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Fire Department Rescues Person Clinging to Dam on Arkansas River in Tulsa



Firefighters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, carried out a dramatic rescue on August 1 of a person who was clinging to a low water dam on the Arkansas River, local media reported. Footage recorded by a bystander captures the rescue. Firefighters used a motorized boat to get close to the person, and after a number of attempts, managed to bring them to safety. Credit: Evan Walton via Storyful



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Cider gums under threat from fire, foraging and global warming, conservationists warn


In the coldest state of Australia, the most frost-tolerant eucalypt in the world is under threat.

Located in the Central Highlands, the Tasmanian cider gum has a rich history and is of cultural importance to the local Indigenous community.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s Andry Sculthorpe said there needed to be a focus on saving the much-loved gum.

“They carry with them an importance for our cultural heritage and with the living trees, the survival of those species is super important, but also there are the remains of the activities of Aboriginal people who tapped those trees,” he said.

Eve Lazarus is one of many concerned for the future of the trees.(ABC News: April McLennan)

Eve Lazarus from the Derwent Catchment Group described the gums as an icon for the central highlands.

“They produce this cider, this sweet sap that ferments naturally with the yeast in the air and we get this semi-alcoholic beverage which the Tasmanian Aboriginal people used to seek out as a resource when it was running in the warmer months,” she said.

“When you’re out and you’re walking around the trees and it’s hot and you get this amazing smell of fermentation like you’re at a cider bar, except you happen to be in the middle of the bush.”

Dead cider gum trees.
Even dead cider gum trees are striking in their form.(ABC News: April McLennan)

Graveyard of trees

The trees are in decline due to a combination of global warming, insects and animal attacks.

In fact, a graveyard of the gums lining a road in the Central Highlands has become a tourist attraction.

“Even in death, as they stretch out their pale limbs towards the sky, they cast a very eerie silhouette across the landscape that people are quite fond of,” Ms Lazarus said.

But now bushfires are posing a threat to the species, with the Great Pine Tier blaze that burned through the area in 2019 ravaging some of the gums.

Joe Quarmby at a cider gum tree plantation.
Joe Quarmby says after recent fires, many of the burnt cider gum trees unexpectedly dropped seeds.(ABC News: April McLennan)

The Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s Joe Quarmby said they were concerned the trees affected by fire would not recover.

“We came out after the fire and found that most of the large trees had not re-sprouted, so had potentially died and there wasn’t much sign of re-generation,” he said.

“That caused us to look at caging around the base of the trees to hopefully get some regeneration from the plants that were left and hopefully if there was some seed regeneration, that the cages would protect those seedlings.”

A cage in a cider gum plantation, used to protect new growth from feeding animals.
A cage in a cider gum plantation, used to protect new growth from feeding animals.(ABC News: April McLennan)

A TLC volunteer group installed 34 cages to protect the plants and found them to be effective, with minimal browsing inside the cages.

“The animals come back in after the fire, they’re very hungry and these guys are first on the menu,” Ms Lazarus said.

“They are like sugar to children for all of our browsing animals.

Bushfire plume from a Tasmanian fire near Federation Peak
The bushfires of 2019 destroyed large areas of forest and wilderness areas in Tasmania.(Supplied: Mark Holdsworth)

New life

The TLC discovered a mass “recruitment”, with new seedlings sprouting both inside and outside the cages.

“With cider gums they flower episodically, so maybe every five to 10 years you might see flowering,” Mr Quarmby said.

“And from that flowering, they only produce a small amount of gum nuts, so seed within the gum nuts.”

Close up of hand with cider gum nuts.
Joe Quarmby says a “huge opportunity” exists if the seedlings can be protected.(ABC News: April McLennan)

After the recent fires, many of the burnt cider gum trees unexpectedly dropped seeds.

Mr Quarmby believes the trees must have flowered last season or two seasons before, for such a large recruitment event to occur.

“I’ve never seen it and it’s something I don’t think has been recorded or observed for this species ever before, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence,” he said.

“It provides a huge opportunity for the conservation of the species if we can get in and protect the seedlings.”

Flames burn on the ground in the Tasmanian wilderness
Andry Sculthorpe says “cultural burn” methods could mitigate against wildfires and escaped burn-offs.(ABC News)

Fire future

A conservation area was established on the Central Plateau in 1978 and a few years later it became a World Heritage Area.

That has meant fewer burn-offs in the region, which some believe has increased the risk of bushfires taking off and spreading to farm land and reserves.

While the trees are now on the road to recovery, another big fire could lead to extinction.

“In a traditional way, a cultural burn would be a lot more sensitive and cooler burn in those landscapes, which would mitigate against wildfires and escaped burn-offs,” Mr Sculthorpe said.

“The loss of the cider gum would mean the loss of a cultural practice, it’d mean the loss of a species that is recorded within our history and losing that is a tragedy.”



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Canberra woman pleads guilty to attempted murder after setting fire to the house with her children inside



A Canberra mother has pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of her two children after setting the family home alight.

In July last year, firefighters rescued the woman and two primary school-aged children from the burning home in Canberra’s south.

They were all unconscious and required CPR before being taken to Sydney for specialist treatment.

Investigations revealed the fire had been deliberately lit and the mother, aged 47, was charged over the incident.

Earlier this year the ACT Supreme Court heard one of the children had asked for a glass of water as smoke engulfed their home.

The woman allegedly told them to “stay calm and lie on your bed”.

Documents tendered to the court also revealed how a neighbour told police he could hear the two children crying and screaming inside as the fire took hold.

In his account to police, he said he and his wife could see the curtains on fire and that the front window was completely red.

He said he called out and bashed on other windows of the house, because the doors and gates were all locked.

Police said an investigation found ignition points on a couch and a linen cupboard.

The woman, now 48, was due to face trial in August, but today pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the ACT Supreme Court.

She was remanded in custody and is expected to be sentenced in December.

Some of the case’s details have been suppressed to protect the children’s identities.



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Body found after Brampton firefighters put out fire, police say – Toronto


Peel Regional Police say a body was found after firefighters extinguished a fire in a residential area in Brampton on Friday.

Emergency crews were called to an outdoor fire at Blackcherry Lane and Sunny Meadow Boulevard, in the Bramalea Road and Sandalwood Parkway East area, at 3:01 a.m.

Police said Brampton Fire put out the fire and discovered the deceased.

The victim’s gender and age are unknown.

Police were on scene investigating.

More to come.

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