The Daily Advertiser

January 2018 - December 2019 and September 2020 - Present

Baptism by fire. Those are the three words that I would use to describe my first full-time job in the field of journalism. My first two years in my dream role saw me build up the What's On round from scratch, take on the crime round, interview hundreds of people and write countless stories. It was incredible. 

It turns out I loved it so much I would return. I have recently returned to take on the role of the court reporter and features writer for The Daily Advertiser

Vinnies Return and Earn depot at Wagga witnesses 'bumper week'

Wagga has recycled more than 12 million containers, including hundreds of tonnes of cans and glass, in just six months. The latest data shows that Wagga City Council saw nearly 13 million containers recycled in the six months to June 2021. This included more than six million aluminum cans and about three million glass bottles. Jon D'Astoli, the manager of Vinnies' Return and Earn NSW, said last week was a "bumper week" for Wagga with more than 60,000 containers donated through the site. He said

'My second family': Lifetime membership moves Norma to tears of joy

From baking up a storm to lobbying politicians, one Riverina woman said the Country Women's Association has become like a second family. Norma Judd has been a member of the Wagga Evening Branch for more than 30 years and has been made a lifetime member as she prepares to move away to Victoria to be closer to family. She was not expecting the announcement, and it moved her to tears. "They took me by surprise, and I feel very honoured," Ms Judd said. "I joined the branch in 1984 after her neighbou

MLHD lists new exposure site, urges Riverina residents to get tested

Murrumbidgee Local Health District has revealed another exposure site in the region, and is urging residents to remain vigilant and get tested. The Boorowa Hotel, also known as the Top Pub, has been listed as a new venue of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Anyone who has visited there on September 11 from 10.30am to 12.30pm is now considered a casual contact and should immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. This location in Boorowa is not ass

Here is what the MyGov message about COVID-19 payments means

Riverina residents might still be eligible for COVID-19 support payments despite being out of lockdown. However, it is critical to inform the government of any status changes. Some Wagga residents received a message in their MyGov account about the financial support they had been eligible to access. "Earlier this week, we advised you that due to changes in declared hotspots, your last COVID-19 disaster payment would be paid on 12 September 2021," the message read. IN OTHER NEWS: "Following furth

Driver test cancellation leaves Riverina family in limbo

A Riverina family has been left frustrated after their son's driving test was cancelled with minimal explanation, despite stay-at-home orders being lifted. Charlie Murphy, 17, was booked in for his driving test to get his P-plates on October 14, the Tuesday after the lockdown ended. But, he got a call saying his test would be cancelled and he would not be able to rebook until a later date. His dad, Brendan Murphy, said it was disappointing as it means he would need to continue driving his son fr

It's a 'smashing time' as new business can finally open its doors

When the lockdown hit and forced a new business into shutting just one day after opening its doors, the Wagga Smash Shack owner let it out on some glass bottles and plates. But after breaking some items, the stress eased, and Nathaniel Raine decided to use the lockdown to take the feedback from his first customers and improve the experience. After restrictions eased on September 11, Mr Raine was able to open up the Smash Shack again to his relief. "It has been awesome," he said. "I have been a b

Riverina worker stole palliative patient's card for booze, tobacco

A Riverina woman has been permanently banned from working or volunteering in health services after stealing a palliative care patient's bank card and using it to buy beer and tobacco. The theft occurred while Robyn Joy Burgun, 54, was employed as an assistant in nursing (AIN) at Junee Hospital's residential aged-care facility. In May this year, Burgun was sentenced in Junee Local Court to a 12-month community corrections order after she pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial advantage

MLHD identifies KFC venue as COVID-19 exposure site

A Riverina fast-food place is the latest venue of concern after positive COVID-19 cases were identified in the region. Contact tracing has revealed KFC at Young as an additional location of concern, and customers who attended the location during the times listed is a casual contact. The Murrumbidgee Local Health District said that anyone who was there on September 10 between 4pm and 9.30pm and September 11 between 12pm and 3pm must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. The

Riverina firefighters enter burning home to search for person

Riverina firefighters had to take on a "dangerous risk" and search a burning house after reports that someone had re-entered the home. Fire and Rescue NSW crews were called to the property on Yambil Street, Griffith, at 7.30pm on Friday. Duty commander Matt Hunter said that when firefighters arrived, the back of the house was "well alight", and they were told someone may have gone back into the building. "Crews accepted a high-level risk and entered the house, exposing themselves to great danger

COVID patient transferred to Wagga Base, three cases under investigation

A COVID-19 patient has been transferred to Wagga Base Hospital as health authorities investigate three more cases in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District [MLHD]. The patient, a man aged in his 60s, presented to Young District Hospital and is now being treated in Wagga, the MLHD has confirmed. "The source of infection is currently under investigation as contact tracers identify anyone this person may have come in contact with during their infectious period," a statement released on Friday morni

Riverina police hand out close to 600 COVID-19 fines in four weeks

Riverina police have handed out hundreds of COVID-19 fines in four weeks as they continue to crack down on non-compliance with public health orders. While the region is out of lockdown, residents still need to follow the rules, including social distancing at restaurants and wearing masks while shopping. At the Murrumbidgee Local Health District's press conference on Friday, Riverina Police District Superintendent Bob Noble said officers continued to crack down on rule-breakers. He said it was a

Hilltops Council to go into snap seven-day lockdown

Stay-at-home orders will be introduced for the Hilltops Local Government Area, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District has confirmed. A spokesperson said it would be in place from 6pm today [Friday] for one week and would apply to anyone who has been in the LGA since 10 September. State member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, said the lockdown is a safeguard for the Hilltops communities after a case emerged overnight. "I appreciate that will come as a blow to many with school holidays upon us, and t

Friendship flourishes into books and blooms shop on Fitzmaurice Street

Two Wagga women have banded together to follow their dream of opening up a business on the main street. It was supposed to be the busy season for florist and flower farmer Sophie Kurylowicz, but the COVID lockdown cancelled more than 20 spring wedding bookings. So she decided to take the opportunity and create a new challenge for herself. Ms Kurylowicz has been running Little Triffids Flowers from her North Wagga backyard since 2014 but is now set to expand and open up in a new shopfront on Fitz

Tributes flow for Wagga nursing pioneer who saved countless lives

A Wagga woman has been remembered as a pioneer of nursing who saved countless lives through her work and education. Margaret Brain, known to most as Marg or Margie Dennis, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on Friday night at age 72. She met her husband to be, Rob Brain, after moving in one door down from him on Best Street. He said it was clear from the beginning that she would accomplish a lot in her career. "She got bogged out on a dirt road, and she was washing her car with

Outrage as empty home gets slugged with $13,000 bill

Terry Flanagan has slammed an electricity supplier for their "abysmal" customer service after a year of trying to sort out his inexplicably exorbitant bills. Mr Flanagan was left shocked after his electricity bills surged from $75 to a staggering $13,000 the following quarter, despite his property being unoccupied and the power turned off. He said the stress and anxiety was "the last thing he needed" as he battled a serious autoimmune disease that put him in an intensive care unit for more than

Wagga man jailed after assaulting women, throwing man on concrete

A Tolland man will spend more than two years behind bars after assaulting two women and throwing another man onto a concrete path as he tried to help them. The 28-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was due to face trial in Wagga District Court but pleaded guilty to three charges related to the incident. The charges included common assault, aggravated break and enter and commit a serious indictable offence, and recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm. On April 22, 2020, the m

Murders, manhunts, and mourning: Wagga's top cop bids farewell to city

Bushfires, pandemics and putting murderers behind bars are the high-profile moments that have made headlines during the Riverina's top cop's eight-year career at the helm. But it's the everyday work of his officers across 20 stations that has made Superintendent Bob Noble the proudest since taking up the position of Commander. He started in 2013 when it was just Wagga Local Area Command and remained in the role when it became the Riverina Police District in 2017, almost doubling in size. "I was

Charges laid after police helicopter tracked man to Wagga address

A man has been charged after police in a patrolling helicopter spotted the high-speed driver and then tracked him to his Wagga address. About 10pm on Saturday, PolAir were conducting patrols of Wagga when officers observed a green unregistered trail bike allegedly travelling at high speed. They tracked the 28-year-old rider to an address in Glenfield Park, where officers from Strike Force Puma Regional located the rider. He was subjected to roadside testing, which allegedly returned a positive i

Manhunt under way after robber armed with axe threatens employee

A manhunt is under way after a Wagga shop was robbed and an employee threatened with an axe first thing on Monday morning. About 6am at Kooringal Mall, a man entered a cigarette shop armed with a small axe, and after intimidating the worker, escaped with cash and cigarettes. Detective Chief Inspector Winston Woodward said the armed robber was wearing dark clothing and face coverings. "He ran off, down a rear lane, and we are now canvassing for CCTV and witnesses to come forward," he said. IN OTH

Two charged after police pursuit across Riverina ends in dam

Officers have arrested and charged a man and woman following a police pursuit that lasted more than two hours in the Riverina. About 9.30pm on Sunday, highway patrol officers were patrolling west along Red Hill Road, Tolland, when they observed a stolen grey Ford Territory travelling in the opposite direction. Officers attempted to stop the car and when the driver failed to do so, a pursuit was initiated which lasted for 30 minutes through various suburbs in Wagga and was terminated due to safet
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