That’s all for today. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to join us again tomorrow from 7.00AM.
Oh dear someone has guilt all over their face...
►The Southern Highlands will be visited by some of the NRL’s best players.
Players from the West Tigers will host a Come and Try clinic on February 21 at Community Oval in Moss Vale.
The clinic will be hosted in conjunction with NRL Game Development and will be held from 4pm to 5pm.
►Will Clarke has started his own business, home-grown in the Highlands.
Will has been recycling old cricket bats - and the result of his hard work is amazing.
Artists from across the country have painted bats that Will sourced and recycled himself.
►More than $4 million in funding is available to conserve our heritage.
Applications are currently being accepted for local heritage funding options.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said these grants were designed to help communities rejuvenate and conserve their local heritage.
► While no one has witnessed their 150th birthday (yet), a Bowral school has planned a year of celebration for its milestone.
Bowral Public School its sesquicentenary – in other words, it’s 150th anniversary.
Recognition of this achievement kicked off on February 16 with the return of an alumni.
►It is becoming evident that the budget repair task is essentially beyond the current Parliament.
Expect the budget deficit to continue to drift, debt to continue to mount, and our credit rating to be downgraded.
All this will become clearer with the May budget, due on May 9. Find out more in Hewson’s Views.
►Meet with Wollondilly member Jai Rowell at four locations in the Highlands.
The state member, whose electorate includes Yerrinbool, Hill Top, Colo Vale, Mittagong and Bowral, will be in the area on February 18. More here.
►American audiences will receive a taste of the Australian university experience – and a Bundanoon woman helped make it happen.
Donna Andrews is one of the people behind Sticky Pictures, the production company making the comedy Ronny Chieng: International Student a reality. More here.
TRAFFIC: All Southern Highlands roads are open and clear.
TRAINS: Commuters can expect a good service on the Southern Highlands today.
WEATHER: A partly cloudy day with a medium (60%) chance of showers and thunderstorms in the north, slight (30%) chance elsewhere, thunderstorms possibly severe in the north, winds W/NW 15 to 20 km/h becoming NW 20 to 30 km/h in the middle of the day then turning N/NE 15 to 20 km/h in the evening and a daytime maximum temperature of 27 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
►YASS: Three people have died in a well on a property near Yass. It is understood a woman had fallen into the well on the property and two men had attempted to rescue her.
►CANBERRA: Telstra could lose billions in revenue if the government decides to scrap the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation. he TUSO was legislated in the 1990s to ensure every Australian had equitable access to a standard telephone service, including pay phones. To fulfill this obligation each year the government pays Telstra a whopping $253m to supply fixed line telephones and $44m for public payphones.
►WOLLONGONG: Hundreds of people have rallied behind a Helensburgh couple who have been fighting for the past three weeks to stop their dogs being put down due to a Wollongong City Council order.
Ian and Robyn Wilson say their time is running out, with a stay on the dogs’ scheduled deaths due to expire at midday today.
►BENDIGO: Cycling identity Rik William McCaig has pleaded guilty to paying secret commissions to a former Ballarat City Council officer.
McCaig, who was charged with one count of corruptly giving former Ballarat City Council officer Lukas Peter Carey $8000 as a reward for allocating contracts to him, appeared before the Ballarat Magistrates' Court for committal mention on Thursday.
►CHINCHILLA: landholders are calling for the Federal Government to intervene and stop a waste salt landfill site approved beside river systems and priority agricultural land.
►A Beechworth couple want to take the celebration of social diversity a step further with stickers for businesses to display in shopfronts showing their support.
It comes after more than 700 residents attended a walk through town in December in an event Indigo Council Mayor Jenny O’Connor described as “uniting” the community. Read more
►A Coalition senator has accused his own government of caving to "populist pressure" with its crackdown on parliamentary perks and blamed "shock jocks and dishonest journalists" for stoking unfair criticism of politicians.
►Declining rates of home ownership aren't necessarily a bad thing, according to the Reserve Bank.
Addressing a conference of housing researchers in Melbourne, the Bank's head of economics, Luci Ellis, said participation in the housing market "need not be about owning your own home".
►A One Nation candidate receiving Liberal preferences in the West Australian election once advocated killing Indonesian journalists, and attacked "poofters", Muslims and black people on his now-deactivated Twitter account.
National weather radar
►KUALA LUMPUR: A second woman has been arrested over the assassination in Kuala Lumpur of the playboy half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.
Police said the woman was in the possession of an Indonesian passport naming her as Siti Aishah born in Serang on February 11, 1992. She was arrested at 2am Thursday.
►BEIJING: As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the Chinese government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.
On this day
1568 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace
1865 Columbia, South Carolina burns down during American Civil War
1876 Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine
1969 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel
1972 British Parliament votes to join European Common Market
2004 US singer Doris Troy died. She had been a session singer with Dionne Warwick, sang on Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.
The faces of Australia: Meg Murray
Eight years ago, award-winning sand sculptor Meg Murray, experienced the greatest loss a mother could.
Tragedy struck when her teenage son, Jello, died in a motorcycle crash.
“I lost my son five days before Christmas and my world came crashing down,” she said. “He was 19 and beautiful...sometimes people may never come back from something like that.”
Devastated by grief, she found it was her transient art form that helped her deal with his death. Read on