Everything you need to know about NSW local council elections

More than five million NSW residents will head to the polling booths tomorrow for the state's local government elections.
The local council elections have been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pre-poll voting has already opened for residents as part of the government's COVID-safe plans to carry out the election.
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Here is what you need to know about the upcoming election.
What is the local council election date?The polling booths will open tomorrow (Saturday, December 4) however pre-polling opened on November 22.
Who are the candidates?People in all 124 council areas are voting for their preferred councillors this weekend.
You may have already seen signs in your area for these candidates.
You can find out the candidates on the NSW Electoral Commission website.
How can I vote in the local council elections?NSW residents can head into local polling booths tomorrow and cast their vote in person, howeve..

Horse and carriage operators could be banned in Melbourne CBD

A horse and carriage operator has hit out at a Victorian Government proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages in Melbourne's CBD.
Under the proposal, carriages would be banned from public roads in the CBD within the Flinders Street, Spring Street, La Trobe Street and Spencer Street boundaries.
However, operators would still be permitted to drive the carriages outside these areas within the City of Melbourne, with pre-booked passengers.
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Dean Crichton from Unique Carriage Hire told 9News he did not think the proposed ban was “fair”.
“We only heard about this last night that the State Government and Melbourne City Council were going to make it illegal to ride a horse-drawn carriage in the CBD,” he said.
“We are pretty upset about the whole thing and surprised — bearing in mind we will be the only country in the world to have something like this happen and there are horse-drawn vehicles all throughout the world that opera..

Detectives to investigate after woman dies in police custody

A woman has died in police custody after she was found unresponsive at a police station in Melbourne's east yesterday.
The 40-year-old woman from Ringwood was taken into custody at Knox police station on December 2 and was awaiting a remand hearing.
She was found unresponsive when police custody officers conducted routine checks just before 8pm.
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Officers called an ambulance and commenced CPR.
She was taken to hospital and later died.
Victoria Police in a statement said homicide squad detectives would investigate the death, with oversight from the Professional Standards Command as per standard protocol when a person dies in custody.

Severe weather warning for NSW bringing strong winds and hail

A severe weather warning is in place for parts of New South Wales that could see strong winds and hail.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said damaging winds and large hail could hit the Blue Mountains, Hunter region and Illawarra this afternoon.
“A trough moving north along the coast is leading to thunderstorm development on the ranges inland from the coast,” the BoM said in a statement.
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https://twitter.com/BOM_NSW/status/1466614449977049088The BoM warned severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Penrith, Branxton and Bargo at about 3.45pm.
The storms are expected to affect Springwood, Richmond and Windsor by 4.15pm and Colo, Maroota and Wisemans Ferry by 4.45pm.
Locations that may be affected include Gosford, Cessnock, Maitland, Penrith, Bowral and Katoomba.
Severe thunderstorms could also hit Sydney late this afternoon.
The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has urged people to prepare for the storm by moving cars ..

Van’s window smashed with hammer at Melbourne plaza

The window of an Armaguard van has been smashed with a hammer in what is believed to be a road rage incident in Melbourne's inner north-west.
Police have reportedly swarmed Newmarket Plaza on Racecourse Road in Flemington following the incident about 1pm.
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Vision shows the van's glass window smashed in, with officers investigating at the car park.
Witnesses told 9News the van's guards were forced to draw their weapons.
The offender remains on the run and police have appealed for anyone with footage or information to come forward.
More to come.

What the weather will be like on Christmas Day

Christmas takes a whole lot of organising, what with the presents, the decorations and the get-togethers.
But the one thing that can't be organised is the weather.
So it's good to know ahead of time whether your barbecue is going to get washed out, or if the sun will be so scorching that your Christmas pudding lights itself on fire.
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Of course, the further we are from a particular date, the less accurate the weather forecast will be.
As we get closer to December 25, this article will be updated with the most recent forecasts.
But as it stands today, here is what the weather will be like on Christmas Day around the country.
SydneyAccuWeather is forecasting a rainy Christmas Day in Sydney. A passing shower in the morning will be followed by a rainy afternoon.
Temperatures will be a mild 20-24C degrees, but throughout the day it will be cloudy and humid.
MelbourneAccuWeather forecasts a hot Christmas Day in Melbourne,..

US man jailed for putting razor blades in pizza dough

A man accused of putting razor blades and screws in pizza dough at supermarkets in the US states of Maine and New Hampshire was sentenced yesterday to four years and nine months in federal prison.
The sentencing of Nicholas Mitchell, 39, of Dover, New Hampshire, followed an agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty in June to one of two counts of tampering with a consumer product.
He also must pay nearly $322,000 (US$230,000) in restitution to Hannaford Supermarkets.
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The hearing proceeded even though Mitchell was recovering from a recent bout of COVID-19 contracted in jail.
Although no one was injured, the crime was dangerous and spread fear in the community, the judge said.
Mitchell tearfully apologised for his actions and said he did it to get back at the pizza dough company that fired him, not to hurt anybody.
Surveillance video from last year showed him handling pizza dough and loitering around ..

‘Act now’: Emergency warning issued over Queensland floods

Nursing homes and hospitals in the Queensland town of Goondiwindi have been forced to evacuate, with 10,000 locals on standby to leave the flooded city.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have issued an emergency alert, as flood levels and the Macintyre River are predicted to reach record-breaking highs.
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Goondiwindi Regional Council has urged residents to act now and familiarise themselves with emergency flood plans.
“Watch and act, and make sure you're prepared, and this community is prepared if we need to come together that's just a normal thing we do,” Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg said.
“We have emergency people that do this, medical people involved, health professionals involved and they do this as a part of their living.
“It's now consultation with families, the residents in our nursing home facility to determine those that want to voluntarily evacuate. Those that are still able..

Leopard mauls student after wandering into school classroom

An Indian student was mauled by a leopard after it strayed into a school in the country's north.
Authorities in the state of Uttar Pradesh said the animal entered the Chaudhary Nihal Singh Inter College in Aligarh about 30 minutes before morning assembly on Wednesday.
The injured student told local media he saw the leopard when he tried to enter a classroom.
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“As I entered the classroom, I saw there was a leopard. The moment I turned away, the animal attacked and bit me on the arm and back,” Lakhiraj told NDTV.
He was rushed to hospital where he later recovered from his injuries, local officials said.
School authorities were able to lock the animal inside an empty classroom while students were sent home.
Footage showed the leopard roaming the classroom, navigating rows of tables and chairs.
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Government forestry workers and animal welfare volunteers were ca..

First-ever COVID-19 death recorded in Northern Territory

The Nothern Territory has recorded its first death of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Authorities reported this morning that a woman in her 70s has died with the virus.
The woman is from the Binjari community, just outside Katherine.
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https://twitter.com/amy_sinclair9/status/1466576530998382595She was unvaccinated.
“This is the first death associated with COVID-19 in the Northern Territory and relates to the current outbreak of which there are 60 cases,” the NT Government said in a statement.
The territory recorded one new COVID-19 case yesterday.
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More to come.