From the newsroom PM 2/8/2012

4.10 PM


DOWN River today is reporter Kate Matthews who started the day catching up with the newly formed Yamba Girls AFL team.

Kate said they are already North Coast champions and looking toward the state title when they head to Sydney to compete in the Paul Kelly Cup later this month.

"Coach Ian Clifford reckons they have a good chance," Kate said.

"They are yet to be defeated.

"Adam Hourigan came along to Yamba Public School for the photo shoot. It was lots of fun and the girls were great in front of the camera. Adam got some great photos and even some video footage, which will be online tomorrow."

Back at the office Kate's interviewed the first female CEO at the Maclean Services Club, Sharon Shankland. She began her career with the club 15 years ago as a receptionist, before working her way through the ranks to the top.  Sharon said she's ready to move the club forward and ensure it remains financially sustainable into the future.

At 2pm, Mayor Richie Williamson announced the 2012 Clarence Valley Ambassador, sports star and Australia's number one ranked men's squash player Cameron Pilley from Yamba. Surrounded by friends and family, Cameron enjoyed the moment and was clearly very proud to receive the award. You can read his story in tomorrow's edition.

Our newest recruit Lachlan Thompson, who just started this week, has been receiving some training this morning but he couldn't wait to get finished up and back on the job.

The good news is he will be able to post his stories online after tomorrow.

He is working on a piece about a local Grafton artist and hoping to follow it up with story on the State Government's demand that teachers retrain.

Dominic Zietsch, who is known as the office's very own "Swiss army knife" due to his ability to turn his hand to almost anything in the newsroom (Ed's note: I better watch my back!) gave the following update:

"It's been an eclectic shift for me in the newsroom today.

"I've been speaking to local 16-year-old dancer Emily Sydenham who thrilled the judges at the Showcase Australian Dance Championships held in Lismore on the weekend. Emily's solo dance performances scored extremely well and she has now qualified for the Australian Dancer of the Year Competition to be held on the Gold Coast in January.

"In an interesting side note, Emily's dad Adam was doing some competing of his own over the weekend. He was part of the Australian team competing the Triathlon World Championships in Spain.

"National Homeless Persons Week begins on Monday so I've been learning about some of the events planned for the Valley. Both the council and the Maclean Leos Club have organized sleep-outs. These brave souls will be braving the current freezing temperatures to raise money and awareness for this important issue.

"Maclean Fire and Rescue are in need of some new blood and I've been speaking with Brigade Captain Darrell Shaw who has been telling me about some of the many positives that come with taking up this important role in the community."

Clarence Valley Council has found managing its swimming pools a hot issue since fire destroyed the amenities block at Grafton Pool in December, 2008 and Tim Howard is working on the story.

He said CVC's latest solution to the problem is to hire a consulting firm Strategic Leisure Group to find out what you want when you head to the pool for a dip. Read that story in tomorrow's DEX and don't forget to tell us what you think by emailing

As for me (Jenna Cairney), I've was down at Readings by the River earlier with some school children and Federal Member Janelle Saffin.

I read Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You'll Go and while I think they may have struggled with my accent, I'm sure they enjoyed it - at least I hope so.

I've been planning our election forums and will have an announcement on the Grafton leg in tomorrow's DEX as well as an interview with the latest candidate to throw her hat into the ring.

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