Morning Rush: news, sport, weather, traffic and online buzz

8.45am Okay, so it's time for me to go. Enjoy your Monday (as much as possible anyway) and don't forget to come back tomorrow for more Morning Rush.

8.41am The ACCC is warning of a new phone scam related to the repeal of the carbon tax. Scammers ring and say you're owed a $7000 refund. Then they ask to confirm personal details before asking you to call someone else and give your banking details. "Scammers are now picking topical issues and building scams around them. We've identified this trend for some time," said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

8.33am A new production of The Importance of Being Earnest premieres at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday night. Read more about it in Emma Spillett's story.

8.25am So very true.

8.19am Ever wondered what Pixar film The Incredibles might look like if it was directed by Christopher Nolan of Dark Knight fame? Probably not, but anyway, it might look a bit like this.

8.10am Were you at the fun run and walk for Parkinson's over the weekend? You might want to check our gallery of photos to see if our photographer snapped a pic of you. 

8.07am According to a story in today's Sydney Morning Herald, the number of children at risk of serious harm who are not seen by a Department of Community Services caseworker has increased to a record 53,151 in NSW.

8am Self-confessed "old-fashioned" couple Damien and Venessa Ferri went back in time for their wedding at the weekend. Find out more in Michelle Webster's story

7.52am Despite losing bassplayer Jay Curley, who passed away last week, Wollongong band Tumbleweed will still be playing at the Small World festival in Sydney this month. Jay's brother Pat will be playing bass.

7.48am Sydney Morning Herald transport reporter Jacob Saulwick is at Strathfield station to see if the long queues at the ticket windows today feared by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian have happened. So far, the answer is no - and it seems to be the same story at most stations today.

7.43am More local sport news and the Gerringong Lions are still on track to make Group Seven League history after beating Kiama 34-16 in their semi-final clash on Saturday. No team who finished fourth or fifth has gone onto win the grand final. Kiama, writes journalist Tim Keeble, is hoping to become the first.

7.38am Well, this is amazing.

7.34am Find out more about the Opal card and whether it'll save you money here.

7.31am You think selfies are a new thing? Guess again.

7.23am Here's a list of the 14 paper tickets for public transport that, as of today, are no longer available. Keep in mind there there are still more than 20 other paper tickets available.

7.20am Albion Park Rail man Troy Ecclestone needs to raise $70,000 for a trip to Russia for stem cell therapy. He's raised $49,000 so far and now has 21 days to raise the remaining $21,000. To find out more, read Josh Butler's story. 

7.17am That's not too bad, cat.

7.15am Just to let you know, everything is still okay on the Illawarra's roads and rail-lines. 

7.13am Wow, who knew immortality was so easy to find? And so cheap too.

7.10am It was a huge weekend for Southern Stars and you can check out a big gallery of photos right here.

Southern Stars' #webelieve performance at the Win Entertainmen Centre. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Southern Stars' #webelieve performance at the Win Entertainmen Centre. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

7.06am Now this is how you coach a team of kids. The Cumberland Americans have just been knocked out of the Little League World Series and they're upset. But listen to what coach David Belisle tells them. Wow.

7.02am The winning photos in the Illawarra Mercury's 2015 calendar contest have been announced. There are some beauties there, including this shot of Cathedral Rocks by Justin Beverstock.

6.58am Popular comedian Dave Hughes is set to return to Wollongong on December 4 to perform his hit show Pointless at the WIN Entertainment Centre. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

6.55am Here's a very old shot of The Rolling Stones, long before they started gathering moss.

6.49am Seven-year old artist Aiden Campbell sells almost all his works in his very first exhibition, reports Michelle Webster.

Artist Aiden Campbell. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Artist Aiden Campbell. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

6.36am In local sport, Bulli ended a 26-year title drought when they won the Illawarra Premier League Trophy on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Albion Park. Sports reporter Mitch Cohen has more.

The 2014 Illawarra Premier League winners.

The 2014 Illawarra Premier League winners.

6.31am There’s some jaw-dropping sports news today - Zimbabwe have knocked over Australia by three wickets in their Tri-Series match overnight. It’s only the second time the No10 ranked minnows have beaten Australia - the other time was way back in 1983 at the World Cup.

6.26am In the US state of Rhode Island, an armoured truck overturned and spilled bags of money onto the road. At this stage police are unsure whether some of the money was swiped by sticky-fingered passersby. 

6.23am In world news, Hong Kong pro-democracy groups have vowed the city will enter an ‘‘era of civil disobedience’’ in protest over Beijing ruling out open elections.

6.19am Lightning strikes, not once, not twice but three times.

6.13am Now for a sampling of the news from today’s Sydney Morning Herald

* Cigarette taxes jump by 13.7 per cent today. If it’s fully passed onto smokers, it means each cigarette will cost almost a dollar. A packet of 40 will cost more than $30, and many 20-packs will go and push the price of some packets of 20 above $20.

* NAPLAN results indicate that one in five 14-year-olds are performing so poorly at writing that they need targeted intervention.

* Doctors say the residents are at risk of being exposed to unfiltered traffic pollution from the yet-to-be-constructed NorthConnex motorway.

6.07am Here’s what’s making news in today’s Mercury

* More than 500 people in Wollongong joined the March in August, a protest against the Abbott Government’s policies.

* A 14-year-old boy was randomly attacked on Sunday night as he left the cinemas at Westfield Warrawong.

* Former St George Illawarra Dragons centre Matt Cooper is set to appear in the latest series of TV’s Dancing With the Stars.

6.05am Let’s kick things off by seeing what’s happening on the roads, in the skies and on the rails.

TRAFFIC: All roads in the Illawarra are looking good.

WEATHER: Looking out of the office window here at the Mercury, it’s pretty dark. Hard to see what the weather’s like. But according to the Bureau of Meteorology, we can expect a fairly clear morning with clouds coming over in the afternoon. The temperature range is 12-21

TRAINS: There’s good service on the South Coast line. And remember, today is the day a number paper rail tickets are ‘‘retired’’, so you might not be able to buy your usual ticket. But you won’t be stuck on the platform without a ticket - there are a range of other tickets you’ll be able to buy.

6am Good morning people, I’m Glen Humphries and I’ll be your host for the next few hours of Morning Rush.


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