Arrest

Man accused of six-day crime spree on the Gold Coast arrested in NSW

A MAN who allegedly set out on a six-day crime spree armed with a tyre iron and robbed a list of business on the Gold Coast has been arrested south of the state border.

Police confirmed the 25-year-old was arrested at Terranora, near Tweed Heads, on Thursday.

He and two other men are accused of targeting a general store at Tallai, storming a Palm Beach liquor store and holding up staff at takeaway businesses in Tugun and Burleigh Heads between September 13 and September 18.

Police said staff were threatened by a man armed with a tyre iron in each instance and the offenders fled each scene with a stash of cash.

The 25-year-old has been remanded in custody on bail-related offences. It is expected he will be extradited to the Gold Coast at a later date.

Police said he will be charged in relation to two of the robberies at Tallai and Palm Beach.

Investigators are seeking help from the public to locate the other two men and the car they are believed to be travelling in, a 2012 Toyota Camry with NSW registration CJ56YC.

The first man is described as Aboriginal in appearance, aged in his early 20s, around 165cm tall with dark hair and a rat’s tail.

The second is described as Caucasian in appearance, aged between 20 and 30-years-old, around 180cm tall with short dark hair.

Police are also advising local businesses to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Anyone who may have information in relation to the whereabouts of the men or the car is urged to contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Fierce fire rips through two-storey office building on the Gold Coast

UPDATE 9:20 AM |

Investigators have returned to an abandoned two-storey building in Miami, after it went up in flames yesterday, forcing the evacuation of nearby businesses.

One senior officer and the fire investigations unit arrived at the Hillcrest Parade building this morning.

The exact cause of the fire remains unknown, but Queensland Fire Services said they’re looking into all possibilities.

Queensland Police will also investigate the incident and have classified the building as a crime scene.

EARLIER 3:30 PM | FIREFIGHTERS have contained a fire which ripped through a vacant office building at Miami.

The blaze broke out in the two-storey building on the corner of Paradise Avenue and Hillcrest Parade around 1.30pm.

It quickly consumed the commercial space and threatened to spread to Storage King, situated next door.

It took half a dozen fire crews around two hours to bring the blaze under control.

Despite their efforts, however, the fire still managed to cause substantial damage to the building.

Firefighters remain on the scene and are dampening down hot spots.

Investigations are now underway to determine the cause of the blaze.

EARLIER 2:30 PM |  FIREFIGHTERS are battling a fire which has consumed a two-storey building at Miami.

Half a dozen crews are at the scene, fighting the blaze which has engulfed the vacant commercial building on the corner of Paradise Avenue and Hillcrest Parade.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said crews were first called to the scene around 1.30pm.

At 3pm, scores of firefighters were still working to bring the blaze under control and protect nearby properties.

The ferocious fire is burning in a building located next door to Storage King.

It is producing large amounts of smoke which has blanketed parts of the industrial area.

Firies are warning residents in the area to close their windows and doors.

Those suffering from respiratory conditions are being urged to keep their medications close by.

Motorists are being advised to proceed through the area with caution and drive to suit conditions.

If residents are concerned their property is under threat, they are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

It is not yet known what caused the fire.

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Emergency

New mum in induced coma, unaware she’s given birth after getting the flu

A new mother is unaware she has given birth after becoming struck down with Influenza A while pregnant and placed into an induced coma.

Sarah Hawthorn, from Cobram in Victoria, was rushed to hospital with the flu on August 28, where her baby boy was delivered six weeks early.

The new-mum has been fighting for her life ever since.

“During the later stages of Sarah’s pregnancy she caught the flu,” Sarah’s family and friends said on a gofundme page set up for the 33-year-old and her family.

“As a result her gorgeous boy arrived earlier than planned and following his birth Sarah was, and remains, in a critical condition in an induced coma.”

“Funds raised will be used to meet the financial needs of Sarah and her family at this time such as travel, accommodation, living and ongoing medical expenses.”

More than $13,000 of a $20,000 goal had already been raised in just one day.

If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Heat

Australia records its hottest winter on record

Australia has officially recorded its hottest winter on record, according to a new report released by the Climate Council.

The “Hot & Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter,” report shows the nation experienced its warmest winter ever, while more than 260 heat and low rainfall records were also broken throughout the season.

Climate Councillor and ecologist, Professor Lesley Hughes said Australia’s hottest winter in history was related to worsening climate change.

“Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,” Ms Hughes said.

“We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels.

“The current situation in which the government continues to not only delay real action to reduce emissions, but is actively supporting further development of coal-fired power is simply nonsensical.”

The report by Climate Council also found the country recorded the second driest June ever.

Crystal Meth

New study reveals alarming increase in Gold Coasters seeking treatment for ice

Alarming new data released by The Salvation Army has revealed a concerning increase in the number of people seeking help for ice use on the Gold Coast.

According to the study, the number of people needing help for amphetamine addiction on the Coast has more than doubled in the last five years, going from 16.7%  to 34.2%.

Operations Manager of The Salvation Army’s Drug and Alcohol Services Gerard Byrne says more and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of addiction and says the Salvos are struggling to keep up with the great need in the community.

“More and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of use,” Mr Byrne said.

“The Salvation Army is struggling to keep up with the great need in our community. People can be waiting from anytime between two to six weeks before they get the assistance they need.”

Mr Byrne says the problem will only get worse without further investment from state and federal governments to increase availability of treatment options.

He says mainstream drug and alcohol services cannot keep pace with demand and waiting lists are increasing daily.

“Ice is now readily available in towns and cities across Australia, which has caused an increase in usage. Its relatively cheap cost in comparison to other illicit substances has also fuelled demand,” Mr Byrne says.

“Governments need to place more resources into existing drug and alcohol services, which are bearing the burden of increased pressure on already stretched resources. This has created a situation that is tearing communities apart.”

If you or someone you know needs help with issues surrounding drugs, alcohol or gambling, The Salvation Army can help. For more information, visit salvos.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).