Hunter roads: All Hunter roads are clear this morning.
Hunter trains: There is a good service on the Hunter line and there are delays on the Central Coast and Newcastle line. Passengers travelling towards the city on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line are advised to allow additional travel time due to urgent track equipment repairs at Wondabyne. Passengers should listen to announcements and check indicator boards.
Hunter weather: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers in Newcastle (26 degrees), a slight chance of morning showers in Raymond Terrace (26 degrees), cloudy day in Maitland with possible showers (30 degrees) and a partly cloudy day in Scone with possible showers (33 degrees).
Hunter beachwatch by Dave Anderson: Partly cloudy with no protection from the onshore winds for all beaches.Bigger morning tide with the approaching new moon. Swells SSE at 1 to 1.5m.Winds East tending moderate N/E by the afternoon. Average conditions as the direction not quite lining up on the local banks.Try Nobbys,Cowrie,Cliff and Merewether.Dudley,Blacksmiths and Caves to the south.Buribi up at Port Stephens. Starting to get some erosion in the southern corners and sweeps running north.Stay in the flagged areas and check your position.Water temp is 21C.
► From ceremonies to barbecues and lazy days on the beach – we sure know how to celebrate. More here.
► NEWCASTLE council has beefed up security at its Australia Day celebrations with bus barricades to ward off vehicle-style attacks. More here.
► AN Anglican bishop defrocked in 2015 over his treatment of child sex survivors, and for allowing Newcastle priest Allan Kitchingman to retain his title despite a child sex conviction, has had the defrocking overturned. More here.
► DANIELLA Chedzey mixed a tub of ochre and thought about her country. Inside her tent at Speers Point Park, where kids could sit and listen and slap thick ochre handprints on canvas, the Ngiyampaa, West Lake Aboriginal elder was preparing to give the Welcome to Country address. More here.
► AS she stood with 173 other new citizens in Newcastle City Hall pledging their commitment to Australia, Patricia Bridgman was already wearing her allegiance on her heart. More here.
► AN activist group has slammed the use of exotic animals in a circus that began at Broadmeadow on Thursday, but the show’s ringmaster says the group’s claims of animal torture were “outright lies.” More here.
► PHOTOS of Newcastle’s Anglican bishops and deans could be removed from Christchurch Cathedral after shocking evidence about church knowledge of child sex offenders in the Hunter region. More here.
► Less than six months after he had led the First Fleet into Sydney Harbour on January 26, 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip wrote back to England, declaring “this Country will hereafter be a most Valuable acquisition to Great Britain”. More here.
► FINNISH import Aleksandr Kokko faces an uncertain future with the Newcastle Jets after being dumped from the squad to face Melbourne City in Coffs Harbour on Friday night. More here.
► Beverley Steggles has been recognised for her tireless and wide-ranging volunteer work and named Maitland Citizen of the Year during the city’s official Australia Day celebrations. She was one of 16 nominees – none of whom had put their own hand up for the accolade. More here.
► A man has allegedly been caught with cash, Viagra and illicit drugs after he was stopped by police at Rutherford on Monday. More here.
► THE Anglers XI have made a promising start to their Australia Day pontoon cricket match against the Boat People XI at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto. More here.
► THE Village Project is having a fundamental impact on the lives of young women living in Raymond Terrace. More here.
► Thousands of thrillseekers are expected to flock to the Hunter Valley this week for the inaugural Slideapalooza festival. More here.
► Six Port residents and groups have been honoured with awards at this year's Australia Day celebrations across Port Stephens. More here.
► MUSWELLBROOK Shire residents joined the rest of the nation to celebrate Australia Day on Thursday. More here.
► Dungog Shire’s new Citizen of the Year Jennifer Lewis has thanked the community for making the town such a wonderful place to live and work. More here.
► THERE was rapturous applause for a highly-popular recipient of the 2017 Hunter McLoughlin and Upper Hunter Shire Citizen of the Year award on Thursday. More here.
► THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter transported a 14-year-old boy from Singleton to John Hunter Hospital on Thursday evening. More here.
► After the official ceremony it was time to enjoy all the activities, and entertainment, the Singleton Council had organised to celebrate our great nation, and our community. More here.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.
► NSW: Eden Hasson was catching the last of the light and the smooth waves at the northern end of Samurai Beach when he took off on a left-hander.
His dad, lifetime surfer and Nelson Bay real estate agent Chris Hasson, was standing on the rocks on the northern headland taking photographs of his grommet son and a few mates smashing off the lips.
But then the dark shadow caught Chris Hasson’s eye. Read more.
► NT: A couple chose a flooding Northern Territory river to tie the knot over the weekend, after first making sure any resident crocodiles were not among their guests.
The bride and groom, bridal party and their guests on Saturday splashed through the Little Roper River to celebrate the nuptials of two thrill-seeking teachers from Mataranka, birthplace of the Never Never.
”We always have a really good time at the river, so I thought it would be really nice to get married down there,” bride Telka Zotz- Wilson said. Read more.
► TAS: A nine-year-old boy and three others were taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital with injuries after a serious two vehicle crash on the Midland Highway at Oatlands.
The child was sustained chest injuries and was airlifted from the scene by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and transferred to the Royal Hobart Hospital.
Police said his condition was described as stable and his injuries were non-life threatening. Read more
► VIC: The final two Malmsbury correctional facility escapees have been arrested in Colac.
The two males, aged 16 and 17, were arrested following a short foot chase in the Stoddart Street park shortly after an alleged XR6 was found abandoned in Balnalgowan Avenue in Colac about 2.45pm.
Victoria Police have confirmed all of the escapees have now been arrested after the mass breakout of the youth detention centre near Castlemaine. Read more.
Australia Day around the nation. See more photos HERE
► Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called on Donald Trump to deepen rather than reduce US leadership in Asia in a speech that underscores Australian concern about the potential for the new President's isolationist leanings.
In a speech she was set to deliver in Los Angeles on Friday morning, Ms Bishop described the US as "the indispensible power throughout the Indo-Pacific" while also spruiking Australia's role, stressing that the heavy lifting would not be left to the US alone. Read more.
► A senior police constable's sacking was upheld after he mock "dry humped" a colleague while she was on the phone, talked about metal piercings on his penis and boasted of sexual conquests.
While working as a security guard at Parliament House in Sydney he would see females on CCTV screens and say words to the effect "I f----d her" or "I f----d her friend". Read more.
National weather radar
On this day
1880 – Thomas Edison receives the patent on the incandescent lamp.
1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with Operation Ranger.
1973 – The Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict's last recorded American combat casualty.
1996 – Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
2013 – 242 people die in a nightclub fire in the Brazilian city of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul.
►London: British prime minister Theresa May has promised to give parliament more details of her Brexit plans.
Her pledge was a tactical backdown in the face of a growing call from MPs for more transparency on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
It reversed a position she had held even until Wednesday morning, a day after Britain's highest court gave MPs a deciding say in triggering the Brexit process. Read more.
► Washington: We expected a blizzard of policy directives from the Trump White House. But even by the standards of the new US President, the Wednesday demand for a "major investigation" of voter fraud comes out of left field.
By sundown, one of Trump's daughters, his campaign chief and his would-be treasury secretary were shaping as chief suspects – all three of them having registered to vote in two states. Read more.
Faces of Australia: David Wren
A RIDE to raise awareness for a cruel illness has seen a cyclist ride from Ireland to Griffith.
David Wren has made a 24,000km trip to raise money for Spark of Life a dementia treatment that made a massive difference in his mother’s life.
During his journey which has taken him from his family’s home of Athboy in Ireland across the breadth of Europe and Asia and outback Australia, Mr Wren has raised $10,000 most of which has come since arriving back in Australia.
“The trip has effectively taken five years,” he said. Read more.