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Melbourne Express, Thursday, September 26, 2019

And that’s a wrap from us – for today, and the weekend. Express will be sleeping in tomorrow 😉

There are some minor delays and cancellations on the Cranbourne, Flemington, Pakenham and Showgrounds trains. Check the Metro Trains site for details.

We’ll have the latest news and analysis about Victoria’s crime stats for you at theage.com.au later this morning, along with all the latest on this weekend’s grand final clash between the Tigers and the Giants.

And if you’re heading into the city for the grand final parade tomorrow, here’s a list of road closures.

We’ll leave you with this opinion piece from Sam Duncan: Still whinging about the grand final holiday? Grab a footy instead.

Have a lovely weekend. And go Tigers 😉

Planning your long weekend? Here’s how it’s looking, weather-wise.

Following a great clue from our morning homepage editor this morning, we had a brilliant response to this morning’s Target word.

Super quick work from Homer J and Susan Munday on Twitter, and Corey H and Barry Wiggs via email. And shout out to Adam Drummond for making me laugh, although I don’t think I’ll be embedding his tweet here!

Yesterday’s nine-letter word was UNPAINTED. 

Police have just released a statement about tomorrow’s Listen Out music festival at Catani Gardens in St Kilda.

They are planning to be “highly visible” at the festival after 30 people were arrested at last year’s event for drug offences.

Acting Inspector Ron Klajnblat said police would again be running a Passive Alert Detection (PAD) dog operation at the festival.

“We know that most people attend the festival to enjoy the music and have a good time,” he said.

“However, there are still a small number of people who choose to partake in dangerous and illegal behaviour.

“We want to remind everyone that police will not tolerate any behaviour that spoils the festival for the majority of attendees.”

Acting Inspector Klajnblat urged festival-goers to “keep an eye on their mates” and to stay safe.

Transit police and PSOs will also be travelling on trams and trains to and from the venue.

And don’t forget to plan your journey carefully over the weekend.  Buses will replace trains between Flagstaff and Sunshine from September 28 to October 11, while Metro Tunnel works take place.

Passengers are advised to allow an extra hour for their journeys.

Check the details here.

Just a reminder about today’s tram strike. It’s worth planning ahead if you need to get somewhere between 10am and 2pm today.

Melbourne’s tram network will shut down as the public transport union takes further strike action for a pay rise.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has been at loggerheads with Yarra Trams over the union’s demand for a 6 per cent annual pay rise over three years. Yarra Trams is offering a 3 per cent annual rise over four years.

Read more here.

Planning your public holiday Friday? If you’re heading into the city for the Grand Final parade, it’s worth getting in early.

The four-day footy festival, which kicked off yesterday, is on at Yarra Park outside the MCG and is where the parade will finish. Birds of Tokyo will also take to the stage for the Grand Final Eve concert.

If you’re around the city today, you can take the kids to the player signing sessions between 11am and 2pm.

Check out all the details here.

A semi-trailer has been involved in a bad crash on the Pakenham Bypass this morning.

It’s causing delays into the city, avoid the area if you can.

Will you be donning the yellow and black this weekend? The excitement is building in Melbourne (and in our newsroom!). Here’s the latest from our sports department:

Jack Ross.

Jack Ross.Credit:AAP

Jack Ross could become the second teenage Tiger in three years to play in a grand final before his 10th game, as Richmond weigh up whether to include the first-year player to replace injured Jack Graham against the Giants on Saturday.

And in more Grand Final news:

  • Stephen Coniglio has left Greater Western Sydney supporters and his teammates with a spine-tingling prediction after ruling himself out of Saturday’s AFL grand final.

  • Greater Western Sydney’s forward line asks so many questions of oppositions with difficult match-ups given their size and mobility. They have a good blend, with three talls – Jeremy Cameron, Jeremy Finlayson and Harry Himmelberg – who are all athletic. They also present so many challenges because Toby Greene, Daniel Lloyd and little Brent Daniels are all flexible with where they can play. They pressure on and hit the scoreboard.

  • Twelve months ago before the preliminary final David Astbury was sick and Dustin Martin had a corkie. Astbury did not train. No one noticed. Martin did train and everyone watched his every move. Astbury ended up in hospital on a drip the night before the game. No one knew.

Recapping our top story:

A policeman has been hit by a suspected stolen car and two police cars rammed in a dramatic chase near Geelong this morning.

The drama started when police approached an allegedly stolen Hyundai that was stopped on Yaraan Street in Bell Park about 1am. They arrested a female, but the male driver drove off and struck a police officer and the teenage girl.

The car then hit a divisional van and sped off. Police pursued the car to Ballarat Road, when it rammed another police car before it was stopped and the driver arrested.

The 19-year-old man and the teenage girl are in custody and receiving medical treatment.

The Leading Senior Constable is also in hospital with injuries to his legs.

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