Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.
Traffic: Timber on the M1 at Somersby is causing a hazard for southbound motorists.
Weather: Shower or two in Newcastle, Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay, Wallsend and Toronto (all 19 degrees). Morning fog and possible showers in Maitland 19; cloudy in Cessnock, Singleton (both 19 degrees), Muswellbrook and Scone (both 18 degrees). Showers on the coast across the weekend, with possible showers inland.
Beachwatch: Clean waves for the early morning surf with light offshore before change come through. The combination of two swells is hanging about with East to South at 1 to 1.5m.Light winds from N/W tending S/W to South. The low tide to suit most beaches with the peaky breaks off Newcastle Beach,Cliff and Dixon popular.Flatrock and Bar Reef to come on with the incoming tide.Burwood,Redhead,Hams and Catho to the south.Birubi and Samurai up at Port Stephens. With Merewether Bathes closed,try big pool at Bar Beach or Nobbys in the flagged area.Water temp is 18C.
THE future of Save Our Rail in Hunter public transport debate has been dealt a critical blow, with the High Court rejecting the group’s bid to appeal a ruling in favour of the NSW government. Read more.
Any good will between Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes seems to have evaporated after the two traded barbs on the future of the city’s light rail project on Thursday. Read more.
PHOTOS Talented Hunter and Central Coast students will shine this weekend at the region's 25th annual performing arts extravaganza, Star Struck. Read more. Don’t miss your eight-page souvenir Star Struck lift-out in Friday’s Newcastle Herald
A RESEARCH team from the University of Newcastle will pocket $1.75 million and potentially solve the global water shortage if the chemical engineers can figure out the best way to extract water from the air. Read more.
Lakeside Leisure Centre has topped a statewide safety audit of 100 public gyms and pools. Read more.
PARTS of Hunter Street will be closed to motorists until at least the end of 2018 as the state government ramps up work on the Newcastle Light Rail project. Read more.
An upcoming Blue Heeler Film Festival workshop is sure to bust all myths about movie magic being reserved for those with fancy cameras and microphones. Read more.
The site of the former Hunter Expressway precast yard will be brought back to life thanks to Sydney motorway WestConnex, with 50 new jobs to be created through the project. Read more.
A man has allegedly been caught in possession of items that connected him to a string of thefts from vehicles around the Hunter. Read more.
TWO Upper Hunter chefs have had their cooking skills recognised in Australia’s longest running culinary competition. Read more.
The Mariners have blamed Central Coast Council for a row over toilets which has scuppered the club’s plans to join the W-League. Read more.
JOIN Tony Butterfield and Josh Callinan for a quick set of the week's big rugby league issues. Read more.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
► NSW: Former Newcastle Knights star Alex McKinnon shares his thoughts in an emotional Foxtel interview, three years after the tackle that changed his life.
► QUEENSLAND: It is said that five servings of vegetables a day are needed to maintain a healthy diet. Well now you can get your daily dose of carrots in your evening’s stiff drink...read on.
►VICTORIA: Wangaratta’s mayor is keen for his council to buy the block which hosted the Kelly Gang’s infamous Glenrowan siege in 1880. The Siege Street land that once housed Ann Jones’ Glenrowan Inn, but has been empty of buildings since 1976, is up for sale for the first time since 1952.
►The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, joined the worldwide lampooning of US President Donald Trump, roasting him over fake polls and having "a Russian guy" as a helper...full story here.
► New South Wales and Victoria will be hit the hardest by the 1,400 job cull flagged by Telstra, a move unions describe as an "ambush" on workers. The telco giant has announced it will sack around 1,400 employees within the next six months.
►A push by Labor and the crossbench to set up a banking commission of inquiry has fallen just short, after a tied vote in the lower house helped the Turnbull government stymie the move...read on.
National weather radar:
► Hollywood: star Rebel Wilson has won her high-profile court battle against the publisher of Woman's Day, Bauer Media. An all-female six-person jury deliberated for two days over their verdict.
►London: Muslim residents of London's Grenfell Tower, who were awake during the night because they were observing Ramadan, helped save lives after a deadly fire tore through the block witnesses said.
► Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew would turn in his grave if he knew about the feud that has broken out publicly in his family, two years after his death...read on.
FACES OF AUSTRALIA: Mark Doherty
It was a weekend patrol on Newcastle’s beautiful Bar Beach, and just like every other until the moment it wasn’t.
Veteran lifesaver Mark Doherty, in his fourth decade patrolling the city beach, had kept his eyes on the surf throughout the day, even after the late afternoon southerly change blew most of the summer crowd off the beach.
The flags came down, and he headed upstairs into the club to rest his eyes and watch the sun droop over the horizon.
It was roughly 5.30pm when a few people noticed two children snared in the beach’s gutter, bobbing 200 metres and headed away from the shore.