Year in review – June 2015

An investment capital firm calls for BlueScope to shut down the last remaining blast furnace at Port Kembla.

An investment capital firm calls for BlueScope to shut down the last remaining blast furnace at Port Kembla.

STRANGER danger: Wollongong’s northern suburbs are on high alert after a child was approached by a man in a van and told to get in. It is the fifth incident in just over a month.

It's the end of an era as Figtree's iconic Saad's Convenience Store changes hands when owner Fred Saad sells up.

It's the end of an era as Figtree's iconic Saad's Convenience Store changes hands when owner Fred Saad sells up.

Hawks fly: After a troubling few months, the Illawarra Hawks live to play another day after creditors voted in favour of a deal that would take them out of voluntary administration.

Coal woes: Wollongong Coal is suspended from trade on the Australian Securities Exchange for breaching its reporting obligations.

Chopper crash: In its report on a Bulli Tops helicopter crash that happened four years ago, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau called on international aviation regulators to follow Australia’s lead in toughening up rules to prevent similar tragedies.

Refugee attack: Three teenagers are charged with bashing a newly-arrived Syrian refugee at the Wollongong Youth Centre.

Wild winds: A kayaker was swept 13 kilometres out to sea off Wollongong when unexpected wind gusts topping 100km/h hit the region.

Gay marriage: Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis draws fire for her opposition to same-sex marriage, which she believed reflected the views of the electorate. She later carries out a survey to assess the electorate’s views but declined to change her mind when the majority of survey respondents supported same sex marriage.

Nice home: It is revealed former federal treasurer Joe Hockey’s wife, Melissa Babbage has a Stanwell Park property  - bought for $782,500 in 2002 - in her property portfolio.

Dangerous dad: An Ambarvale man is jailed for five months over a wild drive where he reached speeds of 220km/h through the Illawarra with two small children in the back seat.

Shut the steelworks: Investment firm Sandon Capital call for BlueScope to shutdown the last remaining blast furnace at Port Kembla. Such a move would effectively be the end of the Port Kembla steelworks.

End of an era: Saads Convenience Store, which has been part of the Figtree community since the early 1970s, changes ownership after Fred Saad decides to sell.

Marry me: Liam Cooper proposes to Amy Smith in an elaborate event at Shellharbour Cinemas that involves six months of planning.

Brothel battle: The owners of legal brothels in Wollongong claim unlicenced providers are using private homes to sell sexual services.

Mining woes: Peabody Energy announces job cuts at the Helensburgh Metropolitan mine.

Disrespectful: Vandals deface the Coledale memorial to marathon champion Kerryn McCann.

Check out Saturday’s Mercury to see what happened in the Illawarra in July 2015.

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