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November, 2018

IVF brings dreams of a family life to reality

Josh and Jaclyn Muntz with their children Isabelle, 4, Victoria, 2, and newborn twins Grace and Elizabeth, two weeks. All four children have been conceived through the IVF program. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLAN Albury couple who endured seven failed IVF cycles over almost five years have this week brought home identical twins to meet their older siblings.
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Josh, a carpenter, and Jaclyn Muntz, a secretary with a law firm, feared they would never have children after spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatment.

“We thought for a while we weren’t going to have kids, but we never gave up hope,” Mr Muntz said.

Now they have four children aged four and under.

Isabelle, 4, Victoria, 2, Grace and Elizabeth, both two weeks old, were all conceived from the one batch of eggs taken from Mrs Muntz.

Mrs Muntz, now 32, was 22 when the couple started trying to conceive naturally.

They began treatment at Reproductive Medicine Albury in 2006 and moved to Perth for a year in 2008 to pursue a work opportunity.

During their time in Perth they continued treatment but were unsuccessful.

“When we came back to Albury the (eggs) were shipped across the Nullarbor,” Mr Muntz said.

“The girls are all from that one batch of fertilised embryos from Perth.

“They took 16 out in one batch, fertilised 13 and 12 survived.”

After seven failed IVF attempts over five years, Isabelle was born in 2010.

Mrs Muntz described her first daughter as a miracle but said they had wanted more children.

Two years later they tried their luck again with their remaining embryos and Victoria was born following the first cycle of treatment.

But they didn’t stop there and identical twins were born two weeks ago following a second cycle of treatment.

Mr Muntz said family and friends had asked them if they would consider adoption.

“We had never discussed it as we always wanted to have kids of our own,” he said.

Now with four healthy children conceived through IVF, the couple want to share their story and tell others to never give up hope.

Mr Muntz said if couples could not conceive naturally, there were other options.

“Just be careful because you may get more than you bargained for, like us,” he joked.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cav rues Wodonga bad luck as Pedro retires

WODONGA Gold Cup day is fast proving to be a nightmare for Albury trainer Brett Cavanough.
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Sadly for Cavanough, talented gelding Prince Pedro has run his last race after he was found to be bleeding from both nostrils for the second time after finishing sixth in yesterday’s cup.

Only 12 months ago the Cavanough-trained Scatcat failed to finish in the Wodonga feature when jockey Jake Duffy eased the galloper out of the race at the top of the home straight.

“I’ll just head back over the Border with my tail between my legs for the second year in a row,” Cavanough said.

“It’s disappointing because Jake (Duffy) said he felt he was a winning chance turning for home and then the bleeding attack must have happened.

“He was a talented galloper who went through the grades quickly and had his fair share of ability.

“But unfortunately he is a bleeder, which is just a statistic of racing.”

BRETT CAVANOUGH’This one’s for dad,’ emotional Brian Cox saysCox choked back tears after Minnie Downs handed him his first Wodonga Cup success without his father and long-time mentor, Ollie, by his side.

Public holiday a gold winner for Wodonga CupRacegoershave made the most of a new public holiday, with crowd numbers doubling at yesterday’s Wodonga Gold Cup.

Police arrest man over headbuttA man has been hospitalised after being headbutted in a fight at the Birallee Tavern. The man was believed to have come from the races.

Cav rues Wodonga bad luck as Pedro retiresWodonga Gold Cup day is fast proving to be a nightmare for Albury trainer Brett Cavanough.

“I’m a bit like the Albury Football Club. You lose two but you just go and find another two to replace them.”

Wilscott holds off challengeWilscottfinally delivered on his promise in landing the feature sprint on Wodonga Gold Cup Day for premier trainer Brian Cox.

“Hopefully the drought is well and truly over.”

Aalbers in exclusive companyVeteran horsewoman Liz Aalbers has been made a life member of the Wodonga Turf Club.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cod season to open Monday

ANGLERS in both NSW and Victoria will be able to target Murray cod when the season opens on Monday.
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It follows the annual three-month breeding closure for cod in the streams.

There is a change in size limit for the coming year in both Victorian and NSW, with a minimum of 55centimetres and maximum of 75centimetres.

“Recent changes now mean that while catch and release is allowed, it is a requirement to release all cod caught outside the slot limit with the least possible harm,” NSW Department of Primary Industries inland fisheries manager Cameron Westaway said yesterday.

“The new rules should increase the number of larger cod in the system, improving both the long term sustainability of this great recreational fishery as well as increasing the chance of catching that fish of a lifetime.”

DPI acting director fisheries compliance, Patrick Tully, said fisheries officers would continue to monitor inland waterways, particularly during the holiday season, to ensure anglers followed all recreational fishing rules.

“A daily bag limit of two cod per person per day and a total possession limit of four applies when fishing in any inland waters,” Mr Tully said.

But Victorian anglers also have new catch limits this season.

Fisheries Victoria executive director Ross McGowan said the new limits would improve the sustainability of the cod fishery.

Mr McGowan said the new “slot limit” of 55 to 75centimetres applied to all lakes and rivers throughout Victoria and had been mirrored in NSW waters, including the Murray River, for simplicity.

Mr McGowan said there were changes to the bag limit for cod.

“In rivers, the daily bag limit had been reduced from two to one,” he said.

“This excludes the Murray River, which is a NSW waterway for fisheries management.

“This enables Victorian anglers to take one smaller fish for the table, while ensuring all large breeders are returned to the water and contribute to future generations.

“In Victorian lakes, the daily bag limit of two cod remains unchanged because most lake fisheries are stocked populations where harvest by anglers poses no threat to sustainability.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Working together to fight spread

Property owner David Elder has worked hard to tackle blackberries in the district, with great success; Picture: Dylan RobinsonEVERY valley needs a catalyst to champion the battle against blackberries. In Bethanga, it’s been David Elder.
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A couple of years ago the grazier recognised that something really needed to be done in the district to combat a spreading blackberry problem.

He approached Mitta to Murray Blackberry Action Group president Jim de Hennin, who encouraged him to gather some neighbours together, rather than taking an ad hoc approach.

So Mr Elder put together his own expression of interest form, visited a stack of landholders and had about 12 of them sign up.

Mr de Hennin was impressed with the result and encouraged the action group to help Bethanga. There are now 20 properties involved, covering 378 hectares.

“There are a lot of small properties but with a common problem,” Mr de Hennin said.

Mr Elder, who farms about 222ha of his own and leased country, said he could see the blackberries were getting worse at Bethanga and that the landholders needed help.

The result is that the Bethanga Landcare group has come out of recess and there’s a whole new interest in working together on land management issues.

In the middle of this resurgence, Mr Elder had a serious four-wheel-bike accident in April 2013 when he suffered seven fractures and a brain injury.

He spent three months in hospital and rehabilitation in Melbourne, and a further six weeks of rehabilitation in Albury.

The accident has not deterred Mr Elder from running his beef cattle and clawing productive land back from the invasive blackberries.

Last week he had Paton Air put out 12 loads of chemical on his steep country, while he also puts in a big effort spot spraying.

Scans growing in popularity

Brad Scott says now is the time to organise your sheep preg-test scanning. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLBRAD Scott reckons sheep farmers who leave it to the last moment to organise pregnancy scans for their sheep are like Christmas shoppers who leave their gift buying to the last minute.
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And that’s because there’s a fair chance they are going to be disappointed.

“After all, you wouldn’t leave it to a day or two before the event to hire a shearing team,” said Mr Scott, the principal of Scott’s Scanning Service at Burrumbuttock.

“There’s a few of us who do scanning around the district but between now and August things get very busy.

“And you do not want to be scanning a ewe to see if she is carrying twins, after 100 days of her gestation period, using the ultrasound method we operate, because it is just too hard to be accurate.

“So the time to book in with anybody who is doing your pregnancy scanning for your flock is now.”

Although scanning for sheep has been available in this district for about 20 years and is growing in popularity, Mr Scott, who also runs a mixed farming operation at Burrumbuttock, estimated only about two thirds of farmers were using the system.

“There are two options available to farmers, ‘wet/dry’ and ‘twinning’ and they decide which best suits their needs,” he said.

“The first is the most simple and straight-forward operation as its purpose is to test whether a ewe is in lamb or empty.

“The other tells farmers whether the ewe is carrying twins or not, but involves a more detailed use of the equipment and longer scan of the screen we use.

“At the moment I would say that 70per cent of the work I do is wet/dry but I would expect in the future — possibly within about five years — the reverse will be true.

“The ones which carry twins are the ones you keep breeding from and in this way you gradually build up the fertility of the flocks.

“It can also be used to monitor the performance of your rams.”

Mr Scott operates from a mobile structure, sitting on a seat positioned low to the ground and operates the ultrasound instrument, which also involves the use of water on the part of the sheep being scanned, its belly, and interprets the image that projects onto a small screen in front of him.

Bungowannah farmer Michael Dunn said pregnancy scanning was very important to his operation because of its value as a management tool.

“It determines how I manage my sheep for the next six months,” he said.