District hit hard as Telstra goes down CASTERTON families, emergency services and businesses went in to meltdown late last week when the south-west’s telephone and internet services were cut following a fire at the Warrnambool telephone exchange early Thursday morning. More than 60,000 people were affected as chaos hit the south-west business and residential sectors because of the complete breakdown of all telephone-related services were cut. Only those people with non-Telstra mobile telephones or satellite internet services were spared the pain. Most Casterton businesses reported that their customers were unable to use their EFTPOS machines on Thursday and some banks experienced problems as well. The local FoodWorks supermarket had problems with their machines as well. However, some relief was insight by the late Friday and the weekend when some EFTPOS machines started to function again. The two local bank ATMs were kept busy for the last two days of the business week as customers sought cash to complete their weekend shopping requirements. The Casterton Kindergarten shopping spree organisers were concerned that shoppers would not be able to access their credit cards during the shopping spree on Friday night, but most shoppers were able to use their cards at most venues. A senior Telstra manager said on Thursday that it could be a few days before a solution was found. However, Casterton still faced a blackout at the weekend and the only telephone calls that could be made to areas outside of the town boundary were by non-Telstra mobile services or satellite internet users. Many residents were stunned to discover they no longer had access to the internet or outside telephone lines. One disgruntled resident, who did not wish to be named, told the News that he was concerned about the lack of communications in the district, especially those people who [...]
WANDO Vale all-rounder Lionel Balzan capped off a game he will remember for a long time when he scored an outstanding 157 against Merino at the weekend, which followed his excellent 6-32, including a hat-trick, on the first day of the match. Overall, it was an eventful weekend for the Casterton and District Cricket Association as both Casterton and Pigeon Ponds picked up big bonus points in the senior competition with impressive outright victories over Dergholm and Edenhope respectively. Wando Vale also had a massive first innings victory over Merino by 241 runs, but chose not to chase outright points. In the juniors, Edenhope’s Gavin Smith took a hat-trick against Merino. Merino v Wando Vale Wando Vale resumed at 1-66 chasing Merino’s first innings total of 109. Lionel Balzan and Troy O’Connell extended their unbroken second wicket partnership from 34 to 168 with a powerful display of batting on a comparatively slow Merino Recreation Reserve. When the score was 200, O’Connell was caught by Matt Kurzman from the bowling of Matt Koutroubas for 88 and a 100 runs later, Balzan was the third wicket to fall when Matt Kurzman was able to get through his defences and shatter his stumps for 157. Kyle Carlin (19) was the only other Wando Vale batsman to reach double figures in the team total of 350. Kurzman was the outstanding performer with the ball for Merino with 4-60 from his 14 overs. Merino batted again and reached 1-74 with Josh Searle on 41no and Nathan Clarke 30no. Wando Vale won by 241 runs on the first innings and scored 26 points to Merino’s nine. Dergholm v Casterton Casterton resumed at 1-46 with an overall lead of 87 runs over Dergholm. The big decision for Casterton’s Joe McArlein was when to declare the innings closed [...]
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