Newsroom PM update 22/8/12

THERE have been some twists and turns in the news gathering in the DEX newsroom this afternoon.

What started out as a pretty solid plan has turned out a whole lot better thanks to some help from our readers.

One sent us some great photos of whales close to the coast and Terry Deefholts is chasing the story of the Southern Right Whales (mother and calf pair) spotted off Brooms Head on Sunday.

The pair are continuing their coast-hugging journey south having been spotted in Coffs Harbour yesterday. Lawrence Orel from National Parks and Wildlife speaks about the rareness and peculiarities of a species that was all-but extinct in the 1800s.  

RP Data figures on real estate in the Clarence Valley show a significant drop to most suburbs of the valley with the only positive figures seen in Yamba units and Junction Hill houses. Iluka has seen a 20% decline in the past 12 months but analysts warn that these are based on small numbers and therefore easily skewed.

Emma Pritchard has split her day between two upcoming fantastic features, Crazy Day and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter 30 anniversary as well as news. 

She's getting a head start on the second section of the Crazy Day feature we are running in our weekend edition. DEX has asked local business owners to share the craziest things they have done with the community.

"So far I have read a few comments and they should make for interesting reading come Saturday," Emma said.

"I'm also finishing the Little Monsters Tea Party story for tomorrow.

Kate Matthews has also been busy today

"The highlight of my day so far was talking to a young man from Yamba who will soon be honored with a commendation of Bravery Award from Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce.
"But I can't tell you anymore about that one right now; you'll have to wait until Monday.
"Also enjoyed talking with Harwood Island Public School Principal Peggy Eather, following another successful mill mud bagging over the weekend. Mrs Eather said it was a great day with a record number of families taking part. The annual mill mud drive has been the school's main fundraiser for the past 20 years and this year the P&C plans to invest in new play equipment for the kids.
"Today I've also filed a story warning livestock owners to take extra precautions now the cattle tick is back in season, and another following up on the NPWS plans to restructure boundaries and jobs throughout NSW, and here in the Clarence."
New boy Lachlan Thompson went out to track down a report of some brochures dumped into a couple of local creeks. We should have given him a map. A 120km trek later and Lachie returned empty-handed. He should have turned left at McKittrick Park. Still, it's a valuable lesson.

It seems having a sharper corporate image is more important than looking after a good tenant. After five years the Clocktower Gallery in the Tourist Information Centre the Clarence River Tourist Association has decided to call time on the arts and crafts providers. Tim Howard has been talking to both sides to get their views.

The DEX's Swiss army knife journo Dominic Zietsch has turned his talents to the entertainment section Out There today.

There's plenty on offer around the Valley this weekend for people wanting to put their dancing shoes on and get out on the town.
Emerging surf acoustic artist Kym Campbell will be the next musician to grace the stage at the Great Northern Hotel's Bundy Room on Friday night, while the dance floor is expected to be full at the GDSC's, G-Nite Club for DJ Jewell's.

In a bit of a coup for the Valley, legendary female vocalist Toni Childs is set to perform a show at the South Grafton Ex Services Club in early September which is expected to quickly sell out.

Catch stories on these plus the regular movie reviews, gig guide and more in tomorrow's Out There section.

If you have any news for us, give us a call on 6643 0500.

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