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    Your daily local news briefing // Monday 10 April 2017

    WEATHER
    Cairns: 27-32C max, 0-20% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 24-32C max, 30% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 18-31C max, 10% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 21-31C max, 30% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    ALLEGED ASSAULT AT AGED CARE FACILITY
    Police have charged charged a Cardwell man for allegedly assaulting two staff members at a local aged care facility yesterday.
    Police will allege at around 5.00pm an off duty employee has entered the facility and assaulted two staff members, women aged 63 and 49-years-old.
    The 63-year-old allegedly suffered bruises on her neck and behind her ear and the 49-year-old’s ear was injured.
    The man allegedly fled in a vehicle. Police allege they located a 55-year-old Cardwell man a short time later, who struggled and resisted arrest.
    He was subsequently taken into custody and charged with two counts of serious assault, one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm and obstruct police.

    NEW RESEARCH REVEALS EXTENT OF CORAL BLEACHING
    Scientists who conducted new aerial surveys along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef say severe coral bleaching has occured across huge tracts of the Reef for the second time in 12 months.
    The recent aerial surveys covered more than 8,000km of the Reef and scored nearly 800 individual coral reefs closely matching the aerial surveys completed in 2016.
    “The combined impact of this back-to-back bleaching stretches for 1,500km, leaving only the southern third unscathed,” says Prof. Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
    The scientists called for more action to cut carbon emissions, warning that the "window to do so is rapidly closing".

    FREE INFORMATION SESSION FOR YOUNG JOBSEEKERS AND EMPLOYERS
    Local jobseekers and employers are encouraged to attend today’s Youth Jobs Boot Camp.
    The free session will provide information on what’s available under the Government’s Youth Employment Package and the Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) programs.
    Jobseekers will learn about skills training and work experience and have the chance to network with local employers. Cairns’ new Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Tara Diversi will also talk about her role.
    In addition to meeting keen young jobseekers, the event will allow employers to find out about the financial incentives available for hosting an intern or placing a jobseeker.
    The event is being held at Cazaly’s today from 2pm.

    POLICE CALL ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN BENTLEY PARK MURDER INVESTIGATION
    Detectives investigating the death of Bentley Park woman China Crawford are calling on the public to assist with investigations.
    Police have urged anyone who might have seen a silver Hyundai Getz travelling through Far North Queensland last Monday evening or Tuesday morning to come forward.
    They have asked anyone who might have seen the 2003 model car driving or parked in the Cairns region, on the Tablelands, on the Gillies Range, or on the Kuranda Range to contact Crime Stoppers.
    Anyone with information should contact the Cairns Police Station on 4030 7000, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or contact PoliceLink on 131 444.

    LEG UP FOR LOCAL CASSOWARIES
    Cassowaries in need of care are set to receive a welcome boost in available facilities with the opening of a brand new rehabilitation facility at Lake Barrine.
    The Tablelands Cassowary Facility will help increase the number of recovered cassowaries that could be re-released into the wild, so they could continue their vital ecological role as seed dispersers for many native plants in the rainforest.
    The establishment of the centre, which comes a year after the opening of Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation near Mission Beach means wildlife officers now have the option of two fully-equipped facilities when deciding where to take a bird for rehabilitation.
    More than half a million dollars in the 2016-17 budget has been set aside for cassowary management.

    JOHNATHAN THURSTON INJURED, SEASON IN DOUBT
    Hopes for a fairytale finish to Johnathan Thurston’s career are in doubt following a calf injury suffered by the Cowboys halfback on Saturday night.
    Thurston limped off the field near the end of North Queensland’s match against Wests Tigers, which they lost 26-16.
    The co-captain is awaiting results of a scan to determine the severity of the injury.
    Thurston will almost certainly miss next Saturday’s match against the Dragons in Wollongong, and it remains unknown if he will able to represent Queensland in this year’s State of Origin.
    Thurston’s injury is another major setback for the Cowboys, who are already missing other key players, including key prop and co-captain Matt Scott and centre Justin O'Neill.