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    Your daily local news briefing // Friday 16 June 2017

    WEATHER FORECAST
    Cairns: 19-27C max, 20% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 22-25C max, 20% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 17-26C max, 5% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 19-25C max, 20% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    ALLEGED KIDNAPPER SCHEDULED FOR COURT THIS MORNING

    The 24-year-old Port Douglas man accused of kidnapping and trying to murder Port Douglas woman Jessica Hamill is scheduled to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court this morning.

    Daniel Rooney failed to appear in court yesterday, citing memory issues relating to the charges.

    Mr Rooney has been charged with 11 offences, including enter dwelling with intent, assault occasioning bodily harm, strangulation, deprivation of liberty, fail to stop motor vehicle, contravention of a domestic violence order and breach bail condition.

    Ms Hamill was allegedly taken by Mr Rooney from her Port Douglas home at 2am Wednesday, sparking a region-wide manhunt.

    AIRPORT NUMBERS SOAR IN MAY

    International passenger numbers at Cairns Airport rose by 9.5 per cent last month, with Hong Kong Airlines recording a whopping 164 per cent rise (total 3,800 passengers) on their numbers from May 2016.

    A total of 46,410 international passengers passed through the airport in May, compared with 42,380 in 2016.

    Domestic growth also continued, with passengers on the main routes of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney jumping 18 per cent. Regional flying on airlines including Air North, Alliance, Qantas Link, Regional Express (Rex) and Skytrans increased nine per cent.

    Overall, passenger numbers rose by 3.6 per cent, going from 373,570 in 2016 to 387,100 in May 2017.

    May is traditionally a quiet month for the airport.

    PREMIER PALASZCZUK TO GOVERN FROM CAIRNS

    Cairns as Queensland capital? Sort of.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will be here next month (July 10-15) to govern the state, holding a full cabinet meeting in TNQ.

    Ministers will also be in the region to connect with their various portfolios, giving community members the chance to raise issues with them directly.

    To request a meeting with a minister, head here for details and booking information.

    The visit is part of the government’s Governing from the Regions policy.

    NEW CROSSING FOR CLIFTON BEACH

    A signalised pedestrian crossing will be installed at Clifton Beach following urgent requests from the community after a fatal crash at the site in March.

    Just over $2 million will be fast-tracked to install the crossing at the intersection of Captain Cook Hwy and Clifton Rd.

    Bus stops will also be moved as part of the project, aimed at ensuring children can safely cross the road.

    The construction start date will be announced following community consultation.