William Tyrell: Homicide detectives raid properties searching for evidence

Homicide police have raided properties on the state’s mid-north coast in the search for missing toddler William Tyrell, with detectives now almost certain the three-year-old was abducted.
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Missing: William Tyrell

It is understood computer equipment and a single mattress was seized from a unit in Laurieton, south of Port Macquarie, searched as part of the ongoing investigation into the little boy’s disappearance four months ago.

The items are expected to undergo urgent forensic examination as police continue their inquiries.

Police sources have told Fairfax Media it is most likely the three-year-old was abducted.

“We don’t think he has just wandered off somewhere,” a senior officer said.

William vanished without a trace from his grandmother’s Kendall home, just south of Port Macquarie on September 12.

He was wearing a Spiderman suit and playing in backyard with his sister when he disappeared, as their mother made a cup of tea.

On Tuesday, detectives from Sydney travelled to the neighbouring suburb town of Laurieton to search a unit above a set of shops.

Up to a dozen detectives and forensic officers spent several hours searching the unit on the corner of Bold andSeymour Street.

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A local employee who works in a shop beneath the units said the police spent most the day searching the premises.

“They’ve been here all day from what we could tell – just forensic people here all day,” the man, who did not wished to be named, said. “They left this afternoon and took a whole lot of things with them.The detectives have been in and out all day, up and down the stairs.”

The man said he believed a man and woman lived in a unit above the set of shops but said he had never seen anyone in the office space where police had focused their investigations.

“They were looking through the office.”

It is understood a number of people were interviewed on Tuesday as part of the ongoing investigation into the toddler’s disappearance.

“Today police are searching a number or premises and speaking with numerous people as the search for William Tyrell continues,” a NSW Police spokesman said.

Fairfaxmedia understands homicide detectives, along with local police from the Mid-North Coast have searched a number of properties in recent months.

A 10-kilometre search of the area surrounding the house failed to find any trace of William.

The search lasted weeks and involved the NSW Police, Rural Fire Service, the State Emergency Service and more than 200 locals.

Investigators have searched every corner of the 21 houses in the bushland estate where William was last seen.

Commander of the Mid-North Coast region Superintendent Paul Fehon has recently said police were will looking at a number of scenarios.

Superintendent Fehon said that, if the little boy had some form of misadventure in nearby bushland, police would have found something by now.

“We are completely open to any possibility, including human intervention,” he said in an interview with Fairfax Media.”If that has occurred, somebody knows something.”

He saidpolice have sifted through hundreds of pieces of information that poured into Crime Stoppers, but still have no solid lead.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Deli next in line for re-vamp

Customer first: The Wauchope SUPA IGA delicatessen will soon be improved with new local product and salad bar
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THE Hastings Co-op Wauchope SUPA IGA delicatessen is the next department in line for improvements as part of the supermarket’s recent changes.

A salad bar, the local chicken range and the introduction of a new locally produced smoked ham and bacon product from Comboyne will just be some of the new improvements, according to deli manager Joy McKenzie.

“The customers are very important to us and we appreciate that times are changing,” said Joy.

“People want quality meats, reasonable prices and a new and changing product range.

“We want our customers to know we have taken their feedback on board and will be incorporating a larger range of local products into our meat section, a new range of chicken products and the new look salad bar”.

“The Wauchope deli is also planning to expand into ready-made meals to suit the changing meal requirements for some people, and we will certainly continue to provide our famous seafood, antipasto, sandwich and or cheese platters, as well as all of our great traditional customer service” said Joy.

These changes follow the recent introduction of the price matching program through all Co-op IGA Supermarkets that has seen prices matched with competitors on hundreds of everyday items.

According to Hastings Co-op Wauchope SUPA IGA manager, Darren Partridge, the changes are nearing completion.

“Price matching and the new store layout has been a challenge to put in place, but now we are nearly done it looks fantastic and it really provides a better range of display in products and it is better suited for everyone to shop at ease,” said Darren.

“To the customers, thank you for your patience while we made these important store changes and please if you have any questions just ask for me personally, I am only too happy to help.”

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Roadworksunder way

PORT Macquarie-Hastings Council has begun its 2014-15 Asphalt Rejuvenation program which includes treating all local asphalt roads in Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills and Lakewood.
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This will complement the bitumen reseals taking place in these areas and forms part of the council’s annual reseal program.

These treatment works should extend the expected life of these asphalt roads and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

The works began on January 19 and are expected to be completed by Saturday, February 7, subject to favourable weather conditions.

Local signage and traffic control will be in place – minor delays may be experienced.

Council’s contractor will notify adjoining properties of works in their street 48 hours prior to the commencement of works.

These works form part of the council’s 2014-15 Delivery Program, which is committed to improving and maintaining the region’s significant road networks.

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Rainfall, lower Australian dollar bring smiles to most farmers

STRONG DEMAND: The state’s farmers have welcomed good pasture growth and strong demand for their cattle.Green grass and a lower Australian dollar should bring a few smiles to the faces of most farmers across our region.
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The only ones to be a bit concerned about the continuing rainfall and high humidity would be the Hunter’s grape growers, who know only all too well that a wet finish to the summer does always result in top quality wines.

So far so good for the vignerons provided the rain stays away at vintage, which gets into full swing at the end of this month.

Hay producers are also probably looking for a break in the weather to get a few cuts in the shed before autumn.

Otherwise everyone is smiling as the first few weeks of the New Year have seen a substantial lift in cattle prices throughout the country and enough rainfall to boost summer pastures.

Last year the Eastern Young Cattle Indictaor (ECYI) averaged 314c/cwt, the lowest it had been since 2003.

So 2013 was a year beef producers would rather forget. Now with the EYCI sitting at 415c/cwt, things are on the up.

At saleyards earlier in the month yearling steers were averaging 244c/kg and demand was strong.

In the export categories demand was also strong due in part to the weakening Australian dollar and continued high demand for our protein.

Given the severe drought in the major cattle producing areas of the country during 2013-14 the national cattle herd, according to Meat Livestock Australia (MLA), is expected to fall this year to a two-decade low of 26.1million head.

What has really set the summer up for local beef and dairy producers has been a wonderful December with rainfall of more than 80mm recorded in the Hunter and Mid North Coast.

Some areas like Singleton received 169mm in December, breaking a long-term rainfall average for the month.

And the rain has continued into 2015 with most areas having recorded worthwhile falls.

Just as importantly for cattle price, rainfall has been recorded in the drought-affected areas of northern Australia.

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