Crunch time for Murray Bushrangers

THE Murray Bushrangers have made 13 changes to play the Western Jets in their TAC Cup clash at Norm Minns Oval on Sunday.
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With national commitments complete, coach Darren Ogier has an embarrassment of riches to choose from with Benalla’s Caleb Marchbank and Nick Mellington, Rennie’s Dan Howe and North Albury’s Isaac Muller heading the inclusions.

Ogier said crunch time had arrived with his team sitting outside the top- eight.

“Following some great performances over the last month, it is now an opportunity for our senior group to return and have an immediate impact,” Ogier said.

“A number of these boys have had exposure either through the national carnival or the VFL.

“It’s now time for these boys to make their mark on the TAC Cup season.

“While we have seen good signs over recent weeks, reality is we are ninth on the ladder and need to start winning games to earn the right to play finals.

“At this stage of the season our priority to reach the finals, with five games remaining it is important we play well this weekend against a very strong opponent.”

Congupna’s Luke Smith will make his debut after suffering several injury setbacks early in the season.

The match starts at noon.

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Katherine Fraser takes a step back from Murray Youth Ballet

LEFT: Libby Ellis is taking over as director of Murray Youth Ballet. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICKKATHERINE Fraser is moving on from Murray Youth Ballet 25 years after starting the group.
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Mrs Fraser and her mother, Rosemary Drewe, started the school in 1989.

While Mrs Drewe will stay on as a dance director, Mrs Fraser has moved to Western Australia with her husband, Mark.

“He’s a scientist and there’s no work for him in eastern Australia,” Mrs Fraser said.

“We moved to Western Australia a year ago, we thought it would be better to move the school on to a new owner in Albury to run.

“It’s bittersweet — I love the school but it’s too difficult to run from a distance.”

Mrs Fraser said she had great satisfaction teaching the danceform to two generations of students.

“We’ve got the babies of people who we taught when they were young learning ballet here,” she said.

“I’ll miss the students and all the wonderful people who have helped us along the way.”

Libby Ellis, who has had a long involvement with Murray Youth Ballet, is taking over as director.

“I started as a parent here about 14 years ago,” Mrs Ellis said.

“There’s a family atmosphere about the place and I’m just keen to build on that.”

Mrs Ellis wants to open the school to performing arts, musical theatre and drama to cater for more children, while maintaining the high standard of ballet.

The school has about 90 dancers, four of them boys.

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Speech boards help travellers get about easier

Tim O’Dea interacts with stroke victim Margaret Bashford with a new communication board, which was introduced in Border taxis and buses yesterday. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSONFOR 13 years it has been too frustrating for stroke survivor Margaret Bashford to catch public transport on the Border.
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But a new communication and transport project will encourage her and others with speech and hearing impediments to leave their homes.

Taxis and buses in Albury-Wodonga will have communication boards, so those who have trouble interacting can make their wants and needs clear.

People will be able to use the board to spell out words and indicate their destination using icons.

Ms Bashford said the technology was imperative for people with disabilities.

“It’s very frustrating,” she said.

“We just want to go outside and get a coffee.

“We want to interact with the community.”

Non-English speakers will also benefit from the communication boards.

The communication and transport project was launched by Albury Council, the Talking Pictures group, Gateway Health, Wodonga Council, Albury and Wodonga Taxis, Martin’s Albury, Dysons Bus Services and the National Disability Co-ordination Officer Program.

Albury Council’s community development project officer, Zena O’Grady, said the aim was to make people feel comfortable enough to leave their homes.

She said the community needed to be aware of the struggles some people faced.

“Often some people feel humiliated and embarrassed because people can’t understand them,” she said.

“It’s about their health and wellbeing and helping them to become independent.

“We want to make public transport accessible for everyone in the community.”

Albury Taxis general manager Tim O’Dea said the communication boards would also benefit drivers.

“It provides clearer communication between passengers with disabilities and drivers,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to a number of drivers and they all said it was a good idea.

“Obviously there have been occasions where there wasn’t that bridge of communication.”

Taxis and buses started using the communication boards yesterday.

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Border Mail comics and puzzles pages welcomes back Ginger

THERE’S a new way to unwind in The Border Mail from tomorrow.
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A new comics and puzzles page will feature six comic strips instead of five.

Hagar the Horrible, Garfield and Phantom all stay; they you’ll see a return of Aussie favourite Ginger Meggs and newcomers, WuMo and Zits.

WuMo celebrates life’s absurdity, with artwork and irreverent humour created by writer Mikael Wulff and illustrator Anders Morgenthaler. It has grown to become one of the biggest and most popular strips in Europe.

Zits is a comic strip written by cartoonist Jerry Scott and illustrated by Jim Borgman about the life of Jeremy Duncan, a high school boy balancing the demands of family life, social life, school and his plans for the future.

Saturday also sees the launch of a redesigned giant crossword page in the Pulse liftout, which will be complemented by a 60-question quiz, featuring questions at three levels — easy one-pointers, not so easy three-pointers and tough five-point questions.

Both our daily comics and puzzles page, and our weekly giant crossword page will feature “same day solutions”, meaning you won’t have to wait 24 hours for the answers to your sudoku, crossword or jumble puzzle.

The final solutions for today’s puzzles on page 41 appear in the classifieds section.

The daily five-question quiz move from our opinion pages to our comics and puzzles page.

We hope you enjoy our new comics line-up and new ways to test your mind and word skills.

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Ben Jeffery escapes serious injury

ALBURY Thunder fullback Ben Jeffery has escaped serious injury to his shoulder and is confident of only missing tomorrow’s Group 9 match against Junee at Laurie Daley Oval.
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Despite fearing the worst when he went down in the opening minutes against Wagga Kangaroos at Greenfield Park last weekend, Jeffery said yesterday the damage was minimal.

“It came out and went straight back in,” Jeffery said.

“I just stretched a few muscles.

“I’ll rest it for a week and will be right to go.

“I didn’t know what I had done.

“It was sore for a few days, but has settled down well.”

Jeffery, 28, has only missed one match, with a hamstring injury, since joining Albury Thunder in 2012 from Griffith and is among the present leaders in the Weissel Medal count.

The Thunder will start hot favourites against Junee tomorrow with the Diesels coming off a 54-6 drubbing from Southcity last weekend.

But Jeffery warned the Diesels would be no easybeats after pushing Gundagai a fortnight ago and said the premiership race was wide open with eight rounds remaining before the finals.

“The competition is a lot more even this year,” he said.

“It has evened right up.

“Young was a really good game for us all the way over there in the mud two weeks ago.

“If they put it together they are going to be dangerous.

“Southcity are always hard to beat as well.”

Jeffery’s unavailability this weekend will be offset by the return of powerful forward Andrew Cowhan, who withdrew last weekend due to illness.

In other matches, Cootamundra hosts Tumut, Kangaroos take on Tumbarumba, Wagga Brothers face a crunch match against Gundagai and Temora do battle with Southcity.

Young has the bye.

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