MORNING RUSH: news, sport, weather, traffic and online buzz

8.56am That's it for Morning Rush for the week. Have a lovely weekend and join us again on Monday for another edition.

8.52am To put you in a good mood for the day ahead, here's a cute animal pic to finish off Morning Rush with.

8.48am Check out this pic of the Corrimal Hotel circa the late '80s

8.44am A Wollongong surgeon has branded Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District management "heartless and soulless" for refusing to waive hospital fees for an elderly Filipino man forced to undergo cancer surgery.

8.40am Sometimes, only sometimes, getting up before the crack of dawn is worth it.

8.36am SPORT Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod isn't one to make rushed judgments, but it didn't take him long to be sold on new Hawks owner James Spenceley.

8.32am Don't forget the Foragers Market is on at Bulli this Sunday.

8.28am Bombarded, the latest exhibition from Wollongong City Gallery's artist in residence Jasmi Carter exhibition, opens at 6pm tonight.

8.24am It's National Pina Colada day in the States. I see no reason it can't be adopted here.

8.20am Former PM Gough Whitlam turns 98 day.

8.16am MOVIE NEWS Animal welfare group Humane Research Australia has thrown its support behind the latest Planet of the Apes movie, claiming the movie serves as a reminder of “the indiscriminate experimental procedures that we subject our closest relatives to – even in Australia”. SMH

Here's the trailer.

8.12am Concept plans for the long talked about $360 million Shaolin Temple proposal for the Shoalhaven have been lodged with the Planning Assessment Commission.

8.08am TRAFFIC ALERT If you’re heading to the Wollongong CBD today, don’t forget Keira Street is closed between Market Street and Crown Street for the next few months. Pedestrians can still get through.

8.04am LOCAL NEWS While Sydney rental prices have recently skyrocketed, the Illawarra rental market has remained stable, new figures show.  

The median asking rent for houses in the Shellharbour area was $400 per week in the three months to June 2014, the same price as the previous quarter, Australian Property Monitors' (APM) Rental Price Series Quarterly Report revealed.

In the Wollongong local government area, the median weekly asking rent for houses was $420, 

It's 8am. Roads around the Illawarra are looking good, but there might be some delay to trains due to trackwork at Sutherland. It's just over 12 degrees in Wollongong, headed for a top of 17.

7.56am On this day in 1889, Tijuana, Mexico is founded; in 1893 the first cultured pearl is obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto and in 1914 Babe Ruth made his debut in Major League Baseball.

7.52am  I think these would do nicely for breakfast. The strawberries mean it counts as a serve of fruit, right?

7.48am The Dapto Anxiety Support Group will meet at today at 10am at the Dapto Ribbonwood Community Centre. The group meets regularly on the second Friday of each month to provide support for people with panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

7.44am It’s cow appreciation day, to make us realise how important the bovines are to the food chain. Born and bred in Jamberoo, I can definitely relate to this one

7.40am LOCAL NEWS The pilot who flew the plane raided at Illawarra Regional Airport from the United States to the Philippines has moved to distance himself from a police investigation into the aircraft.

7.36am Seinfeld emojis are coming, perfect for adding flair to pointless texts

7.32am Now this is a bad day at the office. A valet at a five-star hotel in New Dehli caused $335,000 worth of damage to a Lamborghini Gallardo after crashing it into a concrete wall. A few words spring to mind. SMH

7.28am LOCAL NEWS UOW's faculty of engineering and information sciences has received a $1.2 million grant to help create the world's best high-speed rail testing facility. Although any future route probably wouldn't travel through Wollongong, an Australian high-speed rail network would be completed in the "long term". Dominic Geiger has the story. 

7.24am CELEB GOSS The Emmy nominations are out. Unsurprisingly, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, True Detective House of Cards and Mad Men are up for awards. But critically-acclaimed showed and fan faves such as The Good Wife, The Walking Dead and Homeland are nowhere to be seen.

7.20am WORLD NEWS Indonesian PM contender Prabowo Subianto insists he is ahead in the count of votes, despite other counts showing Joko Widodo is in the lead. SMH

7.16am July 11 is World Population Day, to raise awareness of population issues such as hunger, disease, warfare and human rights.

7.12am In the mood for a smooth weekend? Blues band Dr Don's Double Dose is on at the Central Hotel at Shellharbour from 7.30pm. Listen while you snuggle next to the fire and enjoy some good pub grub. 

7.08am LOCAL NEWS Time to put that fear of needles aside - there are dangerously low levels of O-type blood across the state at the moment as regular donors are hit with winter colds.

7.04am TIARA ALERT Princes William and Harry posed for a selfie at Buckingham Palace.

It's 7am. The major roads are looking good, there are some delays on the trains due to trackwork at Sutherland and right now in Wollongong it's 12 degrees.

6.56am LOCAL NEWS Police are hunting for a man who violently assaulted a Figtree taxi driver in Wollongong on Wednesday night. The offender is described as Caucasian, with a solid build, and was wearing a grey shirt with a small dark emblem on the left upper chest, blue jeans and a cap.

6.52am WORLD CUP Luis Suarez has lost his appeal against being banned from all soccer for four months for biting Italy’s defender Giorgio Chiellini. SMH

6.48am The Le Tour de France Diggies Wine Dinner is on next Thursday.

6.44am Catch up this week’s Illawarra music news with reporter Josh Butler.

6.40am Let’s say a big happy birthday to Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora, rapper Lil Kim, fashion designer Georgio Armani and author E.B White.

6.36am A Midsummer Night's Dream opens at the Phoenix Theatre tonight. Tickets are $20 for adults. Head to www.phoenixtheatre.net.au to book.

6.32am WORLD NEWS Indonesia’s new PM is Joko Widodo, elected with about 52 per cent of the vote, according to six reliable quick count analyses of polling booth data. SMH

6.28am The Packing Room Prize has gone to Tim Storrier for his portrait of Barry Humphries’ character Sir Les Paterson.

Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Photo: GETTY IMAGES

6.24am LOCAL NEWS Wollongong City Council will subsidise the lease of a city art gallery by $87,000 over the next five years if councillors endorse a staff recommendation at next week's meeting. Kate McIlwain has the story.

6.20am A fundraising website has been set up to grant African refugee Tumezghi Tesfay his wish to join other refugees and migrants on a trip to Canberra to learn about Australian culture.

Mr Tesfay was violently bashed at five days after arriving in the country.

To donate, click http://www.mycause.com.au/page/77731

6.16am STRANGE BUT TRUE A meteor, or maybe some space junk, apparently lit up the sky on Thursday night, with reports  flooding in from Victoria and New South Wales. Social media went off with pics and videos of the bright light. SMH 

6.12am SPORT Premiership coach Wayne Bennett is in line to make a stunning return to St George Illawarra next season after announcing he will leave Newcastle at the end of the year. 

6.08am Let’s take a look at the national headlines, courtesy of the SMH

*Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged voters not to "stereotype" him, dismissed "shouting from the sidelines" in the new Senate and promised to keep his government's explicit election promises - including the repeal of the carbon tax - as a day of political chaos unfolded in Canberra.

*Clive Palmer has stormed out of an interview on flagship ABC television current affairs program 7.30, bringing the segment to an abrupt end. The leader of the fledging balance of power party bristled when the subject moved to his company's business affairs and claims of misuse of Chinese funds.

*The Environment Protection Authority's management of contaminated sites in NSW has been criticised as inadequate, inconsistent and lacking transparency in decision making.

6.05am Here’s some of the top stories in today’s Mercury

*A Wollongong surgeon has branded Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District management "heartless and soulless" for refusing to waive hospital fees for an elderly Filipino man forced to undergo cancer surgery. 

*Wollongong residents owe their cash-strapped council a hefty $7.5 million in overdue rates, according to information provided to the Mercury. 

*The mother of bashing victim Simon Cramp says her family faces ‘‘overwhelming sadness’’ at a jury decision clearing her son’s attacker of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. 

*Wollongong Coal has taken its threats to close its Russell Vale mine to the federal government, telling Canberra that 200 people will be retrenched if it does not get fast-tracked permission to continue longwall mining. 

6.02am Let’s take a look at the roads and the skies

TRAFFIC Looking good on the road this morning, just watch for roadworks at Gerringong and Mount Ousley.

TRAINS Trains on the South Coast Line may be delayed due to trackwork at Sutherland. On the Southern Highlands line, buses will replace the 7.06am Moss Vale to Campbelltown service.

WEATHER Another fairly chilly day today, with top temps of about 17 degrees expected in Wollongong. It will be mostly sunny

6am  It's Friday! Welcome to the TGIF edition of Morning Rush.

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