Highlands Rise and Shine | Monday, February 13, 2017

That’s all for today. Don’t forget to join us again tomorrow from 7.00AM.

​Some times you just have to help yourself.

The Bowral Blacks are headed for an exciting season in 2017, with players back on the field for pre-season training. 

The first senior training session was held on January 19 and coach Gene Fairbanks said the team is headed toward a big year. 

Take a look at our gallery of photos taken at sporting events around the Highlands this weekend. 

Big dreams: Tas Engel is laying the foundations for a successful future while he studies his HSC as a TAFE NSW student. Photo: suppliedSouthern Highlands resident and TAFE NSW student Tas Engel’s determination is as amazing as his career ambitions.

Tas dreams of becoming a builder – but not the kind you might imagine.

It won’t be long days in the sun or on top of multi-storey buildings for this youngster. More here.

► Plenty of pats and cuddles were given at a pet dating event in Mittagong.

Five cats are currently available for adoption from Petbarn Mittagong through the RSPCA.

► A Highlands student will pursue a future in nursing thanks to a local scholarship.

Anna Isbester received the Bowral and District Hospital Centenary Scholarship on February 10.

Two Bundanoon productions have been chosen to light up a Sydney stage.

Geoff McCubbin’s Broadband Blues and Robyn Karakasch’s The Black Out were both selected for Marrickville’s Short and Sweet Festival.

Broadband Blues features actors David Humphery, Fran Bosly-Craft, Mark SMith and Anton Baggerman. The Black Out stars Sue Bidwell, Jock Bidwell, Fran Bosley-Craft and Thomas-Andrew Baxter. More here.

Love was in the air at an outdoor screening of a rom-com in Bowral.

Rotaract Southern Highlands members hosted a special Valentine’s Day screening of Notting Hill in Glebe Park.

TRAFFIC:  All Southern Highlands roads are open and clear.

TRAINS: Commuters can expect a good service on the Southern Highlands today. 

WEATHER: A sunny day with light winds becoming E 15 to 20 km/h in the late afternoon then becoming light in the evening and a daytime maximum temperature of 26 can be expected in the Highlands today.

Here's a look at what the local weather is doing right now:

7.00AM:  Good morning and welcome to the Southern Highlands Rise and Shine. Over the next few hours we will be bringing you as much information as possible from across the Southern Highlands and nationally.

Weather, road conditions, breaking news, we will have it all - and we'd love to have your help! If there's anything happening in your part of the world, drop us a line! Email jackie.meyers@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

State of the nation

Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered. 

Cassilis, NSW: The NSW Rural Fire Service said in the days leading up to the weekend that we were staring at unprecedented weather and catastrophic fire conditions. They were strong words, and ones that weren’t used lightly.  In hindsight, they were 100 per cent correct. More here.

Echuca, Victoria:  A father of two has been killed and four others injured in the Southern 80 water-ski race on the Murray River. The annual river race in Echuca-Moama was suspended on Sunday after multiple injuries. More here.

Orange, NSW: Car yard owner John Grum has told how he ran for safety after spotting flames at the back fence of his William Street business on Saturday. More here.

Ballarat, Vic: Two people from Wendouree have been charged on summons with 40 counts of alleged animal cruelty by RSPCA Victoria. The charges follow an investigation by the RSPCA’s Special Investigations Unit and the City of Ballarat into an alleged dog breeding establishment. More here.

► Wagga Wagga, NSW: Residents in a quiet cul-de-sac in Ashmont were shocked to see their street the target of vandalism at the weekend. More here.

Queensland:Gun owners lobby group, the Shooters Union, is anticipating the issue of firearm classifications will be a key debate when state parliament resumes this week. More here.

► Esperance, Western Australia: Police have located the body of one of the 68-year-old Gibson man and believe another man has lost his life in Esperance after flood waters swept their vehicles off roads in the region. More here.

► Port Lincoln, South Australia: A woman suffered burns to her arms and legs when the car she was in was set on fire in Port Lincoln on Saturday night. More here.

National news

► An unlikely coalition of electricity suppliers, business groups and environmentalists is calling on politicians on all sides to ditch their "partisan antics" and work together to create a reliable, affordable and clean energy system. More here.

► The NSW government has agreed to erect a permanent plaque dedicated to the memory of TJ Hickey, whose 2004 death sparked the Redfern riots, with the family now prepared to compromise on a form of words. More here.

► A new push for a full-scale probe into the Australian banking sector is set to test the resolve of key Nationals agitators and the Labor opposition – both have campaigned hard against poor bank behaviour, and promised to back a royal commission if given a chance. More here.

National weather radar

International news

► FRANCE: Last weekend Emmanuel Macron strolled through a crowd, shaking hands, patting shoulders and kissing cheeks, on his way to a stage at the centre of a Lyon stadium. The 39-year-old looked more like a Hollywood president than a potential French one. The whole event felt like an Aaron Sorkin fantasy. Read more here.

► BANGKOK: Cambodia's opposition leader has resigned to save his party from forced dissolution after threats from the country's strongman Hun Sen. Sam Rainsy, who has been living in Paris, said the surprise decision was "for the sake" of his Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), which faces crucial commune elections in June. More here.

 WASHINGTON: Funny thing, reality. Donald Trump promised to be a hairy-chested president, who would shirt front all who stood in his way – but just as the courts have brought to heel on the legality of his migration crackdown, foreign policy experts have him turning somersaults on China, Iran and Israel. More here.

JAKARTA: Australia and Indonesia will conduct a joint dive of the World War II shipwreck HMAS Perth off the coast of Java next month amid fears the vessel, which is believed to hold the remains of 40 to 60 men, is being destroyed by illegal salvagers. More here.

On this day

1880 – Thomas Edison observes the Edison effect.

1914 – Copyright: In New York City the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

1978 – Hilton bombing: a bomb explodes in a refuse truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two refuse collectors and a policeman.

1990 – German reunification: An agreement is reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.

1991 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided "smart bombs" destroy the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad. Allied forces said the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed.

2001 – An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter magnitude scale hits El Salvador, killing at least 400.

2008 – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

The faces of Australia: Megan McLoughlin

Often the course one’s life takes is not what we imagined for ourselves. 

Yet more often than not it is those who endure the most who are the ones that inspire the rest of us.  

And sometimes it is a second chance that makes us believe. 

The woman behind 'Herd of Hope', Megan McLoughlin, knows first-hand what it means to be given a second chance at life, for she herself is an double transplant recipient. 

Read more here.