GALLERY: Year in Review - May

May 1: Emmaville cottage may or may not be Banjo Paterson's birthplace, and that's exactly what motivated ABC TV producer Max Mackinnon to film the cottage's relocation. Crews started filming preparations to relocate the cottage for a one-hour TV program following the progress of it's restoration.

May 2: Figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research says Orange homes are more likely to be broken into between midnight and 6am on a Sunday. Residents responded to being victims of break-ins by installing alarms and security cameras. 

May 6: While numbers were down at the May Day's rally, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 200 people who marched from Cook Park to Robertson Park, loudly protesting state government funding cuts. Protesters expressed a range of concerns from poor patient-to-nurse ratios to the dangers of amateur hunting in national parks. 

May 7: A night out ends badly after 29-year-old Katrina Catanzariti attempted to calm down a middle-aged aggressor that was becoming physically violent after verbally abusing two of her friends. Cameron Foley and Shaun Downey were subjected to a tirade of homophobic abuse before Ms Catanzariti intervened, when she was flung across the room, landing on a table. Paramedics treated her at the scene before transporting her to hospital where she was admitted with a number of injuries, including a broken nose, a deep laceration to her head and a cracked skull. 

May 9: The Occidental Hotel announced it will close it's doors at midnight for at least two months in a bid to regain public faith. Of the other late-night traders, Royal Hotel licensee Tony McClure said he would not participate in a similar trial, and Hotel Orange licensee John Fabar said he would not comment on the issue. 

May 10: The amount of water the Macquarie River pipeline could deliver is a point of discussion, with critics saying the condition of approval, recommended by the NSW Planning Department, will result in less water for Orange. The delay in turning the pumps on until the flows are higher puts the viability of the water security solution into question. 

May 11: Orange councillor Chris Gryllis has questioned how much people care about parking problems after in the city after just one community member attended a public forum hosted by the council to take feedback about future car parking. 

May 14: Governor-general Quentin Bryce paid tribute to the generosity of spirit put in practice by Orange's volunteers when she visited the central west to mark National Volunteer Week. 

May 15: A graphic photo of a dead sheep beside a pig-hunting dog, posted on Facebook led to swift action by police and a 22-year-old man charged with animal cruelty offences. The posting of the photograph on the social media site drew an instant response from the public with a barrage of comments condemning the man's actions. 

May 16: About 30 Orange Linen Service workers walked off the job to protest NSW Health's plans to cut 25 jobs and streamline the laundering service. Earlier in the year a spokesperson for HealthShare NSW confirmed its plans to service Prince of Wales from its laundries at Parramatta and Newcastle in an effort to save on transport costs. 

May 20: Local business owners and the Orange Ratepayers Association join forces in a bid to improve traffic conditions at the intersection of Warrendine and Anson streets. Speeding motorists, obscured road signs and school children darting across the road were some of the concerning problems in the area. The addition of speed humps, a lowered speed limit, or a roundabout at the intersection were suggested as solutions while the idea of blocking of the end of Warrendine street was not as widely supported. 

May 21:Central Western Daily reporter Nicole Kuter was targeted by a bike-riding bag snatcher after catching up with friends for a drink. Another woman also fell victim to the same thief the following evening. 

May 24: Over $27, 800 was banked in western NSW all to help people undergoing treatment for cancer. There were more than 30 Australia's Biggest Morning Teas in Orange alone to help support the Cancer Council

May 25: Staff at the Orange Regional Conservatorium have enlisted the help of nearby residents to help fight a wave of vandalism that's hit the school. Vandals threw objects that hit cars in the car park, resulting in broken windows, as well as using paintball guns. Around 45 residents in Summer, Hill, Byng and Clinton Streets received letters from the conservatorium asking for them to keep an eye out for the vandals and trespassers. Police investigated the problem and increased their patrols in the area. 

May 27: Orange residents were being sent mixed messages about the 10 palliative care beds at Orange hospital with Western NSW Local Health District, the Orange branch of the Nurses Association and member for Orange Andrew Gee at loggerheads. 

May 30: Police praised the actions of a nine-year-old boy who screamed loudly and ran to a nearby house after a man tried to lure him into his vehicle on Northstoke Way. The boy was waiting alone at his bus stop when he was approached, but after he screamed, the man fled the scene.


1. Police arrest man following sheep death

2. Search for missing duo

3. Bashed for standing up for a friend

4. Hunters shoot at property owner

5. POLL: No justification for pig hunting

6. Facebook butcher: online boasting leads to animal cruelty charges

7. Josie found safe and well

8. Newcrest exploration licence quashed

9. Dying shame: Orange hospital to shift palliative care patients to Molong

10. Party's over by midnight at the Oxo



IN May The Occidental Hotel announced it would be closing at midnight for a two-month trial to "regain public faith".

It has been seven months and there's still no word on whether the pub will again become a late night trading venue.

The licensee at the time, Don Sholte, said at the time the decision to close had nothing to do with an story on the pub which I had compiled in February after spending a night reporting on what goes on after dark. 

Unfortunately,that night ended with an assault, where two young men were capsicum sprayed by police who had been across the road dealing with a young man who was vomiting in the gutter. 

The Central Western Daily ran articles almost weekly about alcohol-related violence statistics in Orange. 

In the meantime the Occidental Hotel has come under new management, but still ended up on the NSW most violent pubs list. 

Yet the decision to close had "nothing to do with assaults" and nothing to do with public pressure, Mr Sholte said. 

That night out reporting at The Oxo certainly highlighted for me just how quickly a night out can go horribly wrong.

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