MUDDY WATERS: Newcastle City Council says it will not disclose whether it has fined Souths or Wests for damage to sports fields this month. Picture: Simone De PeakNewcastle City Council will introduce an “assessment form” to help sports clubs decide whether to play on wetfields after damage to Townson and Harker ovals 10 days ago.
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Both grounds remained closed for repairs on Tuesday, and the council will decide later in the week whether they reopen this weekend.

Souths played five games at Townson Oval on June 18, including oneafter first grade had slogged through a downpour that left parts of the fieldunder water.

Wests played at Harker Oval on the same day.

Both fields have cricket pitches in the middle, and both are boggy and cut up.

The damage at Townson Oval forcedco-tenants Merewether Carlton to move their Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union derby against Wanderers to No.2 Sportsground last weekend.

The council has the option of charging sporting clubs for repairs if damage is deemed excessive, but the council told the Newcastle Herald on Tuesday that any such penalties would be confidential.

“Long-term damage to grounds will remain a matter between council and the licence holders,” a council spokesman said.

The controversy has encouraged the council to give clubs more guidance to “better manage” grounds.

“We have introduced a wet-weather assessment form to simplify the decision to close sportsgrounds on rainy days,” the spokesman said.

“The form helps determine the impact of wet weather on grass by looking at water present on the turf surface, cricket wicket and whether the ground is soft and pliable.It will assist both licensed users and council’s park services staff.

“Council will coordinate onsite workshops to provide clubs and associations with the skills to complete the new Wet Weather Sportsground Assessment Form during the next spell of wet weather.”

Council staff rolled the outfields at Townson Oval and Harker Oval on Tuesday. The spokesmansaid Harker “appears to be in better condition than it was last week”.

Merewether Carlton are due to play at Townson Oval on Saturday and Souths host Cessnock on Sunday. Wests host Kurri Kurri at Harker on Saturday.

CHANGE: Greens forced to give up home game

PHOTOS: Townson Oval the day after

MUDBATH: Western Suburbs v Maitland at Harker Oval

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ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Model Jasmine Farlow, at her home in Seaham, took out the Miss Continents title in 2016. She is eyeing the Ms title this year. Picture: Ellie-Marie WattsJasmine Farlow had no idea where pageantry would take her when she first entered one in 2012.
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“I started off by doing bikini competitions, which is a completely different thing,” Ms Farlow said.

“It seemed like the same girls were getting to nationals constantly so I figured I’d give pageantry a go.”

Now five years, countless pageants and a couple of national titles later the Seaham beauty cannot believe how many opportunities it has provided her.

Ms Farlow, crowned Miss Continentsin 2016,has been toEurope and Asia, made countless friends from around the globe, become a lot more confident and realised her love for sewing can be more than a hobby.

“I did Face of the Globe in 2013 and represented at Disneyland in Paris,” she said.

“That was pretty incredible.

“I walked away with the People’s Choice Award.

“With all the viewing, live stream and TV, people across the world voted for me.

“That was a pretty exciting little thing.

“I’ve won a national title in every single year since 2012.

“I’ve been very lucky. Well, it’s been a lot of hard work but also luck.”

Jasmine Farlow working on one of her costumes. This one is Aladdin inspired. Ms Farlow creates national costumes through her business JF Designs.

After one pageant where Ms Farlow bought a limited edition bikini for $300 and another contestant was wearing the same one, she turned her hand to sewing her costumes.

Her business, which is largely creating national costumes (much like the extravagant pieces show on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk), has expanded.

She creates national costumes for other pageant contestants, plus provides some mentoring.

Now, Ms Farlowis back on the pageant path, returning to the Continents ‘system’ this year with the aim to win the Ms section.

In the Miss section last year, Ms Farlow took out the national title and represented in Las Vegas.

She placed in the top 10 at the international pageant.

Jasmine Farlow at her home in Seaham. She is a national finalist in the Ms Continents.

Currently, she is a national finalist in Ms Continents.

“This one is more about the girl and about what she’s like on the inside, what kind of person she is, about how she gets out in the community,” Ms Farlow said about the Continents pageant.

“It’s a very friendly system. A lot of other systems will be based on looks.

“This one is more about camaraderie, friendship and just getting out [in the community].”

The national final will be held in Sydney in November.

“My aim is to take out the n titleof the systems one by one (Miss, Ms, Mrs) while representing Newcastle,” Ms Farlow said.

Some of Jasmine Farlow’s recent win ‘spoils’ – a trophy, crowns and sashes.

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Chris Hemsworth and the yellow sign from Newcastle | PHOTOS It’s A Sign: Lucy Littleton with a cheeky-looking Chris Hemsworth.
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The Empire Coffee Co sign that Chris Hemsworth touched.

TweetFacebookBig BickiesChris Hemsworth doesn’tcome cheap. He already has a net worth of $70 million, but he’s not stopping there.

Comic Con’s website said an autograph with Chris at the convention was $200and a photo $210.

Glen confirmed that pricehad to be paid, despite Chris loving the yellow sign.

The New York Post reported recently thatHemsworth canearn almost $350,000 in a weekend at a convention.

Even actors with small roles in comic book TV shows and movies can make $5000 or $10,000 in a day.

Robert Downey Jr, of Iron Man fame, has apparentlydemanded$1.5 million for aconvention appearance. So far, no one’s taken him up on the offer.

An autograph from Ralph “Karate Kid”Macchio costs $40.

Before she died, aphoto with Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher was$90. Another Star Wars legend, Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill, charges $200 for a photo.

AHollywood Reporter story said most conventions charge an entry fee, collect $5 for every autograph and $10 per photo, with a photographer taking another $10.

“The stars,who receive luxury travel and accommodation,pocket the rest.”

Back in the day, actors who appearedatconventions wereconsidered washed up and desperate for cash.

But now it’s accepted as “paid marketing”. And the pay is always cash. Stars have been known to leave conventions with bags of cash and tight security, of course.

Stars in the acting and sporting worlds also work with autograph dealers. The stars can earn big dollars (up to $250,000 if they’re a big name) to sign a few hundred items that will be sold on eBay or at events.

Reviving a Lost ArtThe humble sewing machine haskinda gone out of fashion.

David Whitson and Melanie McKinnon at The Commons Clothing Repair Cafe.

We actually know a bloke who collects old sewing machines. We have no idea why he does this, but he seems to like it.

Most of us remember our mums using sewing machines to fix clothes and sometimes make stuff. This is a lot less common in theage of convenience and cheap clothing from China and other places where labour is dirt cheap.

Some peoplearen’t happy with this situation. This includesthose who created The Commons Clothing Repair Cafe at Hamilton. They want to revive the lost art of sewing.

“In this era of cheap, disposable clothing, we’ve lost some basic sewing skills,” said Jessica Miller, who’s part of the cafe crew.

“Many people don’t feel confident enough to attempt to fix their own clothes. Theyfigure it’s easier to just buy a new garment.”

Jessica reckons we’re discarding too much clothing, which she says is no good for the planet.

At the repair cafe,an experienced sewing tutor will teach people how to do simple repairs, “so they can save their favourite clothes from an inglorious end”.

This means things likehemming pants and skirts, fixing holes, patching, repairing split seams or small tears, replacing buttons, zips and press studs andtaking in or letting out simple seams.

The event will be held, with sewing machines at the ready,at The Commons community hub in Beaumont Street, Hamilton on Saturday, July 8 from 1pm to4pm.

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The ‘sophomore slump’ may have claimed its share of budding popstars, but Lorde has officially sidestepped the second album curse spectacularly.The ‘sophomore slump’ may have claimed its share of budding popstars, but Lorde has officially sidestepped the second album curse spectacularly.
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Melodrama, Lorde’s new album, has gifted the NZ singer her first No.1 album in the US and Canada, and her second No.11 album in New Zealand and , after 2013’s breakthroughPure Heroine.

The album toppled Katy Perry’sWitnessoff the top of the US’s Billboard chart, and slayed Ed Sheeran’s overachievingDivideboth in and her home country.

The singer, real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor, took to Twitter to post an epic note in which she thanked her fans for the album’s success.

“Royalswas, to quote David Chase, ‘a moonshot, a dreadnought’,” she wrote, borrowing a lineThe Sopranoscreator once used to describe the series’ contentious closing episode.

“There were no such guarantees withMelodrama– that’s why this means so much.”

“When I was a kid, I thought big records had to be made a certain way – to be sterile and calculated in craft, that something had to be sacrificed.

“I have had the divine thrill of disproving that firsthand, twice over,” she wrote.

The album, led by the infectious singleGreen Light, has been met with universal critical acclaim, with Fairfax music critic Bernard Zuel describing its introspective-yet-ambitious tones as “a particularly 2017 album, in the best possible way”.

The singer, 20, had previously spoken out on her fears about leaving her teenage years behind and the trusted perspective that had made her a sage voice to a generation of young listeners.

“All my life I’ve been obsessed with adolescence, drunk on it,” she wrote in a lengthy Facebook post last November, where she publicly worried if her creative well had run dry. She laterdescribedMelodrama’s lyrics as the “best I’ve written in my life”.

Lorde will be touring the album with a series of outdoor shows across five n cities in November, including two gigs at the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

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Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright has responded to Census data that shows a rise in the number of people claiming no religious affiliation in the Hunter.The Catholic church’s “history of failure to protect children” in the Hunter has exacerbated the trend ofpeople not identifying with a religion, Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright says.
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The comment came after Census data released on Tuesday showed 33.2 per cent of people in the federal electorate of Newcastle claimed no religious affiliation–a jump of 10.3 per cent from the 2011 Census.

In the Hunteroutside Newcastle, 24.1 per cent of peoplesaid they did not identify as belonging to a religion –up 7.3 per cent from the previous national survey.

The Anglican and Catholicchurcheseach took ahit in the results.

The Anglican church sawa 5.9 per cent drop in the Newcastle federal electorate between 2011 and 2016 –leaving it at 16.6 per cent –and a 4.9 per cent decrease in the rest of the Hunter Region (26.5 per cent).

The number of people who identified as Catholic in the 2016 Census dropped by 3.5 per cent to 22.2 per cent in the Newcastle electorate, while the remainder of the Hunter recorded a drop of 1.7 per cent –to 23.4 per cent.

Bishop Wright said the Census results reflected a trend that had been apparent“for some time”.

“There’s no simple explanation for that trend, though obviously it is exacerbated by the disillusionment many people have felt over the church’s history of failure to protect children who were in their care,” he said.

“That’s certainly the case in our region.”

Anglican Diocese of Newcastle Bishop Administrator Dr Peter Stuart said the declining level of religious affiliation was not surprising “given the change of religious and spiritual practice in over the last 50 years”.

“The various Christian traditions have much in common and 51 per centof the population indicates some form of affiliation with the Christian faith,” hesaid.

“Given this strong level of affiliation, the community can be confident that Anglican leaders will continue to contribute to important issues facing our region and beyond.”

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