Terrifying: Kiama MP Gareth Ward talks about being the victim of an extortion attempt while staying at a New York hotel. After ordering a massage, Mr Ward says two men came to the door and threatened to say he raped them if the politician didn’t pay $1000. He took them down to an ATM in the lobby but then ran to the front desk and told staff to call police.
For sale: Gateway City Church decides to put The Regent Theatre up for sale, after buying it for $3.5 million in 2005.
Rail congestion: A proposal from Transport for NSW could see freight trains - some in peak hours - carrying 9000 tonnes of rock a day to Port Kembla on the South Coast line.
Out of space: There is no more room on the South Coast line for passenger trains, according to Transport for NSW.
Poor kids: Up to 200 children are living in hotel or motel rooms across NSW due to a critical shortage of appropriate accommodation, according to the Public Service Association.
Elton Gong: Concerns are raised about the ability of the city’s public transport to cope with the expected influx of people headed to the Elton John concert at WIN Stadium. High among concerns is the fact the free Gong Shuttle will run to a standard Sunday timetable, meaning it will end before the concert finishes. A last-minute intervention changes this.
Looking for love: Jasmine from Albion Park is the latest Illawarra person to appear on a reality TV show, this time it’s First Dates.
It’s time: NSW Labor MPs criticise the government’s inaction when it comes to supplying the growing West Dapto area with a new school.
Driver assault: Police are investigating an incident where a 59-year-old bus driver was allegedly assaulted with a beer bottle while behind the wheel.
Election results: Labor dominates both the Wollongong and Shellharbour council elections. Labor’s Marianne Saliba is returned as mayor of Shellharbour, while Gordon Bradbery survives a close contest with Labor’s David Brown.
Hero: Shaun Oliver, a Victorian father-of-three, drowns while trying to save a stranger’s four children at Wollongong’s City Beach. Three of the children were saved by other rescuers, but Mr Oliver was swept out to sea while trying to rescue a 12-year-old boy. Parents of the children later return to the beach to hold a vigil in honour of Mr Oliver.
Housing collapse: A 63-year-old man suffers fractures to his skull, pelvis and ribs after falling four metres on a Lake Heights construction site.
Making time: A government study suggests the Albion Park Rail Bypass will reduce northbound peak travel times by 11 minutes and southbound by 10 minutes.
Unhappy: Residents are concerned about plans to significantly increase development surrounding the Shell Cove boat harbour.
Mosque bashing: Mangerton man Bailey King is found guilty of viciously bashing a taxi driver who came to the aid of three Muslim university students. His partner in crime, David Piper, struck a deal to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
So sorry: Robert Trajcevski apologises in court for stealing a Camp Quality donation tin from a Wollongong business. He was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Dapto drama: It is revealed that Dapto residents may not have southbound access to the Albion Park Rail Bypass because Roads and Maritime Services say traffic modelling suggest the interchange at the northern end is not needed until a later date.
It’s real: Horsley plumber Michael Van Nimwegen, who appeared on the reality TV series Seven Year Switch, is in court to face charges of driving an unregistered and uninsured car without a valid licence. The charges were found proven but the magistrate only fined him $50.
Elton John show: More than 20,000 people squeeze into WIN Stadium for Sir Elton John’s concert.
Club shut: Corrimal Leagues Club closes without warning; the site will be demolished to make way for an apartment complex.
Revenge porn: Horsley man Jarrad Pavric is one of the first people in NSW to be charged under government’s new revenge porn laws. Pavric is alleged to have befriended a 14-year-old girl on Snapchat and convinced her to send some revealing images before sending them onto her cousin.
Flu spike: Wollongong Hospital has to open more wards over winter to cope with a massive increase in the number of flu cases - a 12 per cent increase on the same time last year.
Full up: A severe lack of spaces in a number of graveyards in the Illawarra has led to some spots being offered on Gumtree for upwards of $35,000.
Sex charges: The parents of a 15-year-old girl report her 19-year-old boyfriend to police after they find sexually explicit photos of the young couple on a mobile phone belonging to the girl’s mother. The parents had previously told the 19-year-old to stay away from their daughter.
Drug deals: A Warilla woman faces court charged with 106 drug supply charges. Police allegedly uncover more than 28,000 SMS messages and phone calls relating to drug deals.