GALLERY: Year in Review - August

August 2: A heritige building in Hill Street was suggested as a location for a "wine cafe" to sell wines from Orange, Cowra and Canowindra. A proposal was put forward to Orange City Council to convert the Fabulous Fringing craft shop. 

August 3: The federal and NSW governments were considering a $41 million grant to white goods company Electrolux in a dramatic widening of the co-investment strategy used to keep car makers operating in Australia. The company was weighing up competing cases for investment in refrigeration factories in Orange and Rayong, Thailand. The Orange plant was set to close in 2015 if it fails to attract a $45 million dollar investment, thus threatening the region's economy.

August 5: Orange smokers weren't put off smoking, despite a looming $5 increase in the cost of a packet of cigarettes over the next four years. The Rudd government announced it would increase the tobacco excise by 12.5 per cent every year for the next four years to raise an extra $5.3 billion in revenue. 

August 7: A drastic overhaul to traffic conditions in Sale Street to make way for the Summer Centre entrance came at the cost of on-street parking, and owners of businesses in the street feared it was driving customers away. Owners said they were kept out of the loop about the decision to change parking conditions to make space for a pedestrian refuge crossing and turning lane. 

August 8: Orange paramedics were shocked at the lack of respect shown by vandals who spray painted an ambulance, leaving the vehicle out of service for several days. The vandals used black paint to spray their name or "tag"on the rear door and driver's side of the on-call ambulance while it was parked outside a residential address in Orange. 

August 9: An early morning driver had a lucky escape while driving on Pinnacle Road after a falling tree branch pierced his Volkswagen's windscreen. Emergency services attended the scene, and while the car needed to be towed away, the driver was unhurt.

August 10: With only one month until the federal election, the Greens announced a candidate for Calare. David Mallard, a former CHarles Sturt University psychology lecturer in Bathurst and parliamentary advisor who had lived in Orange for the past 5 years said he was pre-selected several weeks before announcing his candidacy. 

August 12: Drivers were being reminded it's an offence not to stop their vehicle when directed by police despite an incident when an 18-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a driver who may have been impersonating a police officer. The incident happened when the woman was driving home on Botanic Way when a man used a blue and red flashing light on his vehicle to make her pull over. 

August 13: The eastern entry to Orange was feared to become a ghost town if the relocation of Bunnings to the Northern distributor prompted a mass exodus of other retailers form the Orange Grove Homemaker Centre. The hardware giant lodged an application with the council in July for a $16.5 million store near the Leeds Parade/NDR roundabout- twice as big as the existing store.

August 15: According to deputy mayor Jeff Whitton and Cr Glenn Taylor, the answer to the city's road woes could be the return of a hot mix asphalt plant. It was said it would cost around $10 million and take at least 24 months to reopen the former Racecourse Road plant, which was closed down and decontaminated in the late 1980s when it caught fire. 

August 17: A new Facebook page dedicated to catching locals who think they can park incorrectly and sneak away had even seasoned drivers worried. "Orange's Bad Drivers" encourages those who witness parking atrocities to take a photo and post it on the page for all to see. 

August 19: What started as a niggle in her hand turned out to be an extremely rare autoimmune disease for Orange woman Barb Hepworth. Only six people in Australia have antisynthetase, and 70 per cent of those diagnosed die within the first 5 years.

August 20: Sydney-based production company Southern Star short-listed Orange and Molong as possible locations to host it's upcoming reality series "When Love Comes To Town". The show was to match eligible men aged between 25 and 39 years old with women from metropolitan areas who are willing to relocate in order to find a love match. 

August 21: Orange was set to have an operational Macquarie pipeline by April 2015, but the federal government's approval came with 13 conditions related to the preservation of the superb parrot and maintaining protection of endangered fish species such as trout and cod. Meanwhile opponents of the pipeline vow to continue the fight against the project and look for legal avenues for appeal.

August 24: A marksman with a high-calibre pistol was getting after-hours practice by breaking into the Orange and District Pistol Club's shooting range and taking pot shots at the club's equipment. The shooter, who was regularly entering the Stage Coach Road grounds by climbing a high fence, was not only trespassing, but using the facility without ensuring adequate safety measures were in place. 

August 29: Opposition Leader Tony Abbot announced a relocation allowance of $6000 for long-term unemployed job seekers who move to a regional area to take up work. At the same time the NSW government announced it was extending its regional relocation scheme to offer renters money to leave their homes in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong and buy property in an Evocity like Orange. 

August 30: An 80-year-old woman was airlifted to Westmead Hospital with serious injuries following a two-car accident on the corner of Lords Place and Frankiln Road. The woman was a front-seat passenger in a car being driven by her husband, in his late 80s, who was taken to Orange hospital. The driver of the second vehicle was also taken to Orange hospital for treatment of minor injuries.


1. My first and last thought: Sharon Beuzeville searches for answers after son's suicide

2. Attempted sexual assault prompts police warning

3. Council rejects McDonald's

4. Bunnings move will leave behind a ghost town

5. Citizen's arrest of two young thieves

6. 2013 People's Choice Blowes Clothing Cup Team of the Year

7. 2013 People's Choice Group 10 Team of the Year

8. When it comes to dating in Orange there's no love lost

9. Severe weather warning issued

10. Nick's tools gone in just ten minutes



SUICIDE. It's a topic that many people shy away from and an action that some condemn.

For me it is a topic that has stuck with me since I first began writing stories about it in mid 2013.

The first person I spoke to was a brave woman who lost her own father to suicide just six weeks after she got married.

She said she can only now talk about her father's death seven years after it happened.

While it might sound shocking to say you wish your father had instead died of cancer or been killed in an accident, for this woman she said at least then she wouldn't have been left with so many unanswered questions.

I also spoke to a brave mother just a month after she lost her 20-year-old son to suicide.

She invited me into her home to share her, and her family's, story of their shock and heartbreak.

"It's swept under the carpet," she told me of the community's reaction to suicide.

"Everyone talks about the car accidents, we need to talk about this."

I also spoke to a woman who was pregnant with her second child and was still grieving over her brother she lost to suicide six years earlier.

She said it is times like being pregnant she longs to have her brother back in her life.

All of these people, along with others left bereaved who spoke to me and health professionals, told me of the "need" for people to talk about suicide prevention.

They spoke of the shock, the unanswered questions, how they didn't see the signs and the biggest question for all of them seemed to be "why?".

Many of these stories were written in the lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

To these people who shared their stories with me - thank you.

Your stories have stuck with me and they pop into my head regularly.

I am grateful I haven't personally had to go through the grief that you have had to and I hope that with time your pain begins to ease a little.

It was through meeting all of you that I am reminded what a privilege it is for me as a journalist that you are willing to share such a personal story.

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