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    Your daily local news briefing // Friday 2 June 2017

    WEATHER FORECAST
    Cairns: 19-26C max, 60% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 22-26C max, 70% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 17-24C max, 60% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 18-24C max, 70% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    MAN CHARGED WITH BEHEADING CROCODILE

    An Innisfail man has been charged over the April decapitation of a 4.5m crocodile near Eubenangee Swamp.

    The 60-year-old man will face court next month for offences including taking a protected animal under the Nature Conservation Act, producing and possessing dangerous drugs (cannabis), and firearm offences.

    Police will allege the man killed the saltwater crocodile, which was found by a member of the public in a creek near the swamp, north of Innisfail, on April 21.

    It is believed the man removed the croc’s head to keep it as a trophy.

    The maximum penalty for unlawfully killing crocodiles in the wild is $27,425.

    CAIRNS GROUPS WIN BIG AT RECONCILIATION AWARDS

    Cairns organisations have swept last night’s Queensland Reconciliation Awards, bringing home three out of five major awards.

    Held at Tanks and hosted by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the awards recognise businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and partnerships taking positive steps towards reconciliation across Queensland.

    The Woodward family and CaPTA Group won the awards’ Business category for their work in increasing long-term Indigenous employment in the far north.

    Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and Ports North took out the Partnership category, while the Community award went to Cairns Hockey Association for their Aspire to be Deadly program.

    CAIRNS TOPS THE STATE IN MENTAL HEALTH UNIT ESCAPEES

    New figures have revealed that more patients escaped from the Cairns Hospital’s mental health unit last year than from anywhere else in the state.

    Queensland Health’s Director of Mental Health annual report has revealed that 133 mental patients escaped from the hospital in the last financial year.

    In comparison, 58 inpatients absconded from the Gold Coast, 49 from the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and 38 from Townsville.

    An independent review of Cairns’ mental health services earlier this year recommended building a new Cairns mental health facility with inpatient and community-based elements. If approved, it’s likely the project would take up to five years to complete.

    ROCK ON! WOLFMOTHER’S COMING TO TOWN!

    Wolfmother is making a surprise stopover in TNQ this weekend, and everyone’s invited!

    Following a last-minute decision to alter their Gypsy Caravan tour, the Aria-winning rockers will play at Kuranda Amphitheatre tomorrow. The show will be the group’s only all-ages event on the Australian tour.

    The stars behind the ‘Joker & the Thief’ mega-hit will be supported by local act Clam Sandwich.

    Tickets cost $45 and are available here.

    NEED WHEELS? SNAG YOURSELF A “SHITBOX”!

    Hundreds of cars – all valued under $1000 – are rolling into Cairns today following a week on the road from Adelaide as part of the 2017 Shitbox Rally.

    Drivers will auction off their “shitboxes” – many of which have actually had recent mechanical work done and have new tyres – at the Cairns Showgrounds on Saturday, with all funds raised going to the Cancer Council.

    Public viewing starts Saturday morning at 9am, with the auction kicking off at 10am. There is no reserve on any of the cars.

    The annual rally has raised more than $10 million for cancer research since it was founded in 2009. Find out more here.