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Man charged over alleged hit-run death of former school principal - The Age
A 35-year-old from Geelong allegedly fled the scene after respected educator Deborah Locco died in Beach Road, Beaumaris.
He will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Ms Locco lost her husband, Frank, in 2017 and left behind three children, one of whom followed in their mother's footsteps as a schoolteacher. The educator had a long and successful career. She was a mathematics teacher, acting principal at Chandler Secondary College, principal at South Oakleigh Secondary College and held senior managerial roles in the Victorian Education Department including as acting regional director of the south-eastern region. She was awarded an Australian Council for Educational Leaders fellowship last year. The Education Department expressed the sadness they said was being felt across the Victorian education system. "Deb was a much-loved and admired colleague ... known to thousands of Victorian educators through her career," a department spokesman said. "She had a clear sense of purpose and deep strength of character, nowhere more evident than in the dignity and fortitude with which she faced the tragic death of her husband." Helen Koziaris, principal at South Oakleigh Secondary College, said the school community was grieving at the loss of "not only a professional colleague but a friend to all who shaped and drove educational change and supported staff, students and parents in their day-to-day lives". Beach Road has a renowned cycling trail stretching 17 kilometres of the bayside foreshore, with dedicated bike lanes. Nine News reported the woman was wearing reflective gear, had lights on and was cycling in the bike lane. On Sunday, police said there had been 92 deaths on Victorian roads so far this year compared to 124 at the same time in 2019.
Teachers win hearts and minds as returning students show appreciation - The Age
Staff at Chatham Primary stepped over chalk scrawled love hearts and rainbows on their way through the school gates on Monday.
Teachers have been working from home since March, but returned to the school for a pupil-free day ahead of the return to class of grades prep, one and two on Tuesday. They celebrated the return with a Greek feast at lunchtime. [Teachers] have done an exceptional job in pretty tough times Christopher Cotching, principal Chatham Primary principal Christopher Cotching said he had never seen school staff on a learning curve as steep as the one his had been on while teaching remotely during the pandemic lockdown. Having started the remote learning period by putting together hard-copy learning packs for parents, teachers had graduated to holding WebEx sessions and producing instructional video clips for students and parents on digital learning tool Seesaw. Its just been phenomenal, particularly when they have had limited serious IT training and limited IT support provided by the department, so theyve done an exceptional job in pretty tough times, Mr Cotching said. Many had also worked 10- to 12-hour days. Ive been a principal for 26 years and I can tell you this is the zenith in terms of peoples response to difficulties and a capacity to push through and make it happen, Mr Cotching said. "The can-do attitude of my staff; theyre just absolutely adorable." The school has eschewed the Department of Education and Trainings recommendation to stagger drop-off times, and has instead allocated one of its three entry gates to each year level. Teachers are expecting plenty of tears and separation anxiety from returning children and even parents after more than two months away. Mr Cotching said he was also prepared for the likelihood that many will have fallen behind in their learning. Much of the final five weeks of term two will be an exercise in catching up. Of course they will have [lost learning], but then they will have gained in other things we didnt anticipate as well, he said. What the challenge will be between now and the end of the term will be to forensically assess exactly where these children are, particularly in relation to literacy and numeracy. Adam Carey is Education Editor. He joined The Age in 2007 and has previously covered state politics, transport, general news, the arts and food.
'Looked like a plane was getting shot down': Burning object spotted in Victorian skies - The Age
A large piece of space junk entered and burned up in Victoria's skies this evening, prompting calls to emergency services over fears of a plane crash.
Space junk, believed to be the remnants of a rocket used to launch a Russian satellite into orbit, entered and burned up in Victoria's skies this evening, prompting calls to emergency services over fears of a plane crash. The Astronomical Society of Victoria said the object appeared to be the third stage of the rocket used to launch a Russian satellite scheduled for 5.30pm AEST. Its re-entry could be seen over western-central Victoria and Tasmania. "What gives it away as being a space junk [rather than a meteor or comet] is that its come in at a very shallow angle, so that means it world have been a very low Earth orbit and just re-entered the atmosphere and started burning because of friction," said Perry Vlahos, vice president of the society. Mr Vlahos said, by contrast, meteors are only visible for three seconds at most and comets move so slowly they are usually not noticeable.
Rape charge rider got partner to stalk alleged victim, court papers say - The Age
Girlfriend of equestrian competitor charged with rape of fellow rider screenshotted alleged victim's Instagram account and shared travel plans, court documents reveal.
Mr Buczak, who is facing 12 new charges, was on bail for the alleged rape when much of the alleged harassment took place but police have not moved to revoke his bail. The fresh charges include allegations he encouraged Ms McDonough to trace the online activity of his alleged victim and send him the woman's travel plans between February and December 2019. Callum Buczak.Credit:Instagram Police also allege he searched for and photographed the victim's graduation schedule to cause the woman self-harm. He's also charged with encouraging others to send the woman offensive and harassing messages throughout 2019. Documents released to The Age reveal Mr Buczak is charged with assisting his girlfriend to provide false statements to two magistrates courts to pervert the course of justice, lying under affirmation at court, knowingly omitting information when questioned by a magistrate and falsely declaring that demands were made for equestrian retailer Horseland to withdraw their sponsorship of him. The couple didn't appear in court for Friday's matter but arrived hours later for administrative reasons. During the brief hearing, Mr Buczak's barrister Damian Sheales said "some of these charges are frankly absurd". Both Mr Buczak and Ms McDonough are on bail. A 24-year-old Belgrave woman and a 24-year-old Clyde man have also both been charged with stalking and other offences against the same victim, allegedly committed between March and April 2019. The pair are set to face Dandenong Magistrates Court on August 3. While the alleged rape did not happen at an official equestrian event, Equestrian Australia have suspended Mr Buczak's membership. The 28-year-old continues to run a popular equestrian eventing business. Mr Buczak and Ms McDonough are set to return to court on July 31 for a committal mention. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636. Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.
'RIP Jake': 24-year-old killed in hit-run remembered as loving friend - The Age
Jake Smith was killed in a hit-run on Wednesday night involving people police believe were known to him.
"I hope you and your brother Tyson look after each other up there," she said. "RIP Jake" Another friend, Paigen Danskin, said "I can't believe this, I will never forget you and our memories." "The good die young but a beautiful soul like yours will never be forgotten." Emergency services responded but Mr Smith died at the scene. Police said the man driving the ute, who had two passengers with him, failed to stop at the scene and drove further down the road before pulling over. The driver and one male passenger were arrested shortly after. They are assisting police with inquiries. The second passenger remains on the run. Charges have not yet been laid. Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, Mr Patton said the homicide squad had joined the investigation due to allegations including the belief that those involved were known to each other. The exact circumstances of the crash are yet to be determined and the investigation remains ongoing.
Court shown video of police shooting brother after decapitation threat - The Age
Footage played in the County Court showed Joel Clavell running towards police armed with a hatchet before being shot during a stand-off near the NSW border.
"You're in an outback area. This is not how you're going to be a martyr mate," one officer told him in body-worn footage released by the County Court of Victoria on Thursday. "Your brother's already down. Joshua Clavell, left, and his teenage brother Joel were shot by police at the Victoria-NSW border in June.Credit:Nine News "We don't want to shoot." The men, who were Muslim converts, had been at the Barnawartha North camp for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Joel Clavell's lawyer Mel Walker said. Joshua Clavell, 31, was wanted on a warrant for breaching a community correction order. Police spotted the brothers in a car at a nearby Barnawartha North service station and followed it. Counter-terror officers were involved in the stand-off, but there was no evidence it was motivated by religious ideology. "It doesn't need to be extremist in a terrorism sense for me to be concerned about retribution to police ... animosity towards police," Judge Martine Marich said of the younger brother. Joel Clavell distrusted police after his father, Rodney Clavell, shot himself during a 12-hour siege at an Adelaide brothel in 2014. The now-20-year-old admitted this contributed to the campground confrontation. He has pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting an emergency worker on duty and three of making threats to kill. The scene in Barnawartha North.Credit:Mark Jesser/Border Mail "But for him being with his brother ... he wouldn't have come across police in this context," his lawyer Mel Walker said. He hit his head hard when Joshua Clavell rammed the police car, and later said he didn't remember saying he wanted to be a martyr or threatening to behead officers. "But for the tourniquet being put on his leg, he was dead," Ms Walker said. She asked he be sentenced to time already served in custody and then placed on a community correction order. Judge Marich said the seriousness of his crimes weighed against this. Joshua Clavell has admitted to exposing an emergency worker to risk by driving and assaulting an emergency worker on duty. He told police he didn't know they had been looking for him that day. He said he rammed the unmarked car because he didn't know it was a police vehicle, and didn't realise the plain clothes member pointing the gun at him was a police officer. He will undergo a psychiatric assessment before the brothers return to court on June 15. AAP
15-year-old charged with murder following brutal western suburbs brawl - The Age
A teenager has been charged with murder following the death of a 17-year-old in a fight involving fence posts and sticks in St Albans last December.
A teenager has been charged with murder following the death of a 17-year-old in Melbourne's western suburbs in December last year. Aguer Akech died after a 20-person brawl in St Albans, at and around the Keilor Plains railway station, in the early hours of December 22. The gang-busting Echo Taskforce charged a 15-year Tarneit boy in relation to the incident on Wednesday afternoon. He will face the Children's Court at a later date. Teenagers and young men were armed with sticks and fence posts before the fatal stabbing, CCTV footage showed. Police believe the conflict began after a Holden Commodore was taken from an all-day soccer event at Green Gully Soccer Club on Saturday, December 21.
'This could annihilate them': producers under threat amid China export tension - The Age
With wine, seafood and dairy exports next in China’s firing line, one Victorian seafood producer says ‘we’re hapless witnesses, watching a train crash in slow motion’.
Mr Micallef established his winery in 2007 and was hoping China would be a key plank in expansion plans after Australia last year overtook France as the No. 1 wine exporter to China. Mr Micallef said that while he supported Australias push for an inquiry into COVID-19, his business was already suffering due to the pandemic. This week a shipment to China was heat-affected and declared void after being held in customs for several weeks. When we started exporting to China in 2017 it was like moving from high school to university, there was a lot to learn, Mr Micallef said. We organised warehousing in Shanghai, we set up business partners. If it were to get pulled away it would be hugely disappointing. I suppose when the governments get involved, what can we do? Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas, whose government rarely wavers on its commitment to China and Chinese trade, last week said the federal governments vilification of China would be dangerous, damaging and irresponsible. Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke.Credit:Jane Murray Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said he was deeply concerned by the Australia-China tensions and called for cool heads and calm negotiations from both countries. We have farmers who are cacking their dacks at the moment on what this will mean for them, said Mr Jochinke, who owns a farm that produces barley and oatmeal near Horsham. What is an inconvenience for the government is really, really felt by the few. Farmers are the ones directly affected, this could annihilate them and their communities. Mr Jochinke said the current tensions felt more threatening because of the global uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Ive seen situations like this before, but theres so much volatility worldwide. What station we finish at is anyones guess at the moment, which is the scary part. On Tuesday, shares in A2 Milk Co, which relies on China for 40 per cent of its sales, dropped almost 4 per cent on prospects of more trade disruptions, before recovering slightly on Wednesday. Markus Nolle, president of the Victorian Rock Lobster Association representing lobster farmers, said about 90 per cent of lobster exports from Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania go to China. Were hapless witnesses, watching a train crash in slow motion, he said. We are very exposed to China but were powerless. Inevitably when we lose export markets, its purely political. Mr Nolle said that as for many industries, the pandemic had illustrated the perils of lobster fishing's over-reliance on one market. We as an industry need to get real about the fact you cant rely on one country, he said. Alexander Cameron, co-owner of independent dairy farm Meredith Dairy, west of Melbourne, said he no longer sold to China after previous issues with licensing. This situation is a concern in that a good opportunity is ruled out. We get a lot of inquiries from China; we know we would probably sell many millions in China if we could, he said. China is always difficult to work with and we all want good, honest, open societies, but I think megaphone diplomacy never works. With Bloomberg
Construction worker at Brighton private school and healthcare workers test positive - The Age
There were eight new cases recorded in Victoria on Tuesday, including a construction worker at St Leonard's College and two healthcare workers in regional Victoria.
St Leonard's College in Brighton.Credit:St Leonard's The ADCO Construction worker was believed to be asymptomatic. He was tested last Tuesday and received his positive result a week later. He probably had close contact with two fellow workers, the company's chief executive said. St Leonard's principal Stuart Davis said in a letter to parents the Health Department, ADCO and the confirmed case were confident staff or students were not at risk. "There has been no close contact with the positive case. Therefore there is no public health risk linked to staff and students," he said. Meanwhile, two healthcare workers at Kyabram District Health Service also tested positive as part of the service's regular testing. Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Annaliese van Diemen said on Wednesday neither of the employees worked while they were infectious. A small number of staff had been told to self-isolate but no patients or residents were deemed close contacts, she said. Health authorities revealed the COVIDSafe app had been used for the first time in Victoria after an infected person who had the app was identified on Monday, allowing health officials to track down a close contact of the infected person. Dr van Diemen also confirmed health authorities were probing whether there was a link between the outbreaks at Cedar Meats and a McDonald's cluster that has closed a number of outlets in Melbourne's north. "At this time we don't have an epidemiological link between McDonald's and Cedar Meats," she said. "That has been investigated extensively we are still waiting on genomics to see if there is a genomics link." The investigation is ongoing. The total number of confirmed cases so far in Victoria is now 1580, with one case reclassified as a duplicate since Tuesday. One additional case has emerged from Cedar Meats and two cases previously under investigation were attributed to the cluster. The Brooklyn meatworks reopened this week with about 20 staff. There were no new cases in aged care homes across the state overnight after four facilities went into lockdown and two elderly residents in separate nursing homes tested positive to the virus this week. Dr Van Diemen said all testing had been completed at the Villa Maria facility in Bundoora after a resident was sent to hospital with a high temperature over the weekend and returned an inconclusive test result. Two residents who showed signs of the virus at separate MiCare aged units in Kilsyth in Melbourne's east also returned negative results. The Lynden Aged Care Facility in Camberwell, Villa Maria, HammondCare nursing home in Caulfield and MiCare aged units will remain in lockdown for two weeks as a safety precaution. There have been no new coronavirus deaths in Victoria for three weeks, with the death toll standing at 18. There are 93 active cases in Victoria. Only one case of community transmission, who had no known link to another infected person, was recorded. About 9000 tests were completed on Tuesday, taking the total number to 367,000. "Today's increase in cases illustrates once again that while we have been flattening the curve, our battle against COVID-19 is far from over," Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said. "Restrictions around some activities have now been eased in Victoria in recognition of the current low rate of community transmission of this virus. Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletter Get our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day's crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald's newsletter here and The Age'shere. "While encouraging, we need to remain vigilant. We must maintain physical distancing, practise hygiene and self-isolation when ill. These are commonsense actions to ensure we dont create a second wave of this serious disease, as we have seen in other countries once they have eased their stringent regulations." Paul is a reporter for The Age. Melissa Cunningham is The Age's health reporter.
Truck driver who killed police officer knew his brakes weren't working - The Age
Court hears Samandeep Singh knew his truck brakes were faulty, but drove on anyway before smashing into First Constable D'Arne De Leo's motorbike.
The 14-tonne Isuzu truck, owned by Ermes Transport, had a record of shoddy maintenance by an unqualified mechanic, but Singh initially denied knowing about any problems. The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death on the eve of his third trial attempt in March. Constable De Leo's devastated partner faced Singh in the County Court on Wednesday, after more than three years of fighting for justice. "I'm merely surviving," Krisztina Toth said. "How do you let go of your partner who died under such horrific circumstances at such a young age?" Constable De Leo's weeping father said he didn't want revenge or hate Singh. "D'Arne had more good in her than I have," Patrick De Leo said. "She would want this man to become a better person." Her mother, Jan, died from cancer before Singh admitted to his crime. In a letter before her death, Mrs De Leo said her daughter loved her job as a police officer and joined the force to help people. Singh came to Australia in 2009 and worked as a chef before getting his truck driver's licence with a one-day course. He also completed a day-long training course. Judge Michael Tinney said Singh shouldn't have been behind the wheel and labelled the truck an accident waiting to happen. "He's driving a truck that has deficient brakes and he learns about that and he keeps driving," the judge said, adding Singh was the architect of his own demise. He had been using exhaust brakes to slow down on his way to deliveries and sounded his truck horn in warning before the crash. Singh has acute post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, traits of a personality disorder and has repeatedly attempted self harm. He also has tattoos all over his body, including of Constable De Leo's police number, to mark his sorrow and distress. Singh's barrister, Stephanie Wallace, asked the man be spared jail and placed on a community correction order or court-secured treatment order. Judge Tinney said the driver was looking at a prison term and the request for a community-based punishment was fanciful. Singh is on a bridging visa and could be deported upon his release from custody but wants to go back to India anyway. He is due to be sentenced next Tuesday. If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636. AAP