Here's the good news from around Gladstone this week
JUST in case you missed them, here are some of the positive stories that have featured in The Observer in the past week. The news isn't always bad!
Major milestone as Calliope Crossroads interchange opens
THE new interchange at the Calliope Crossroads opened to the public late on Thursday night, four months ahead of schedule.
Motorists can now use the interchange that improves the traffic situation at the intersection of the Bruce and Dawson Highways.
Last stacker gantry lifted into place at coal terminal
WIGGINS Island Coal Export Terminal is pushing ahead, with the project's final and largest stacker gantry lifted into place at the coal stockyard earlier this week.
The last of the 21 gantries, which together weigh almost 5000 tonnes and span about 950 metres, has been lifted into place.
Christmas period brings a boost for Gladstone retailers
GLADSTONE businesses are reporting strong results from this year's Christmas period, despite national consumer sentiment falling 4.8% in December.
Limestone Clothing's high Christmas sales have capped off a bumper year for owner Desley O'Grady, who moved the store to a larger site earlier this month.
Trainees finish course ready for career as LNG technicians
THE first intake of students has graduated from a Gladstone-based training program this week, marking the beginning of their journey as operations technicians for the Australia Pacific LNG project.
With more than half of the 20 trainees from Gladstone, the foundation program is a five-month intensive course covering the fundamentals of hydrocarbon principles and LNG processing.
Red and yellow army ready to keep holiday-makers safe
THE Gladstone region's red and yellow army of volunteers has once again been bolstered by a contingent of professional lifeguards to keep the coastline safe, with the school holidays drawing an increased number of beach-goers.
East Shores transforms city's waterfront landscape
IT may still look like a pile of dirt and concrete, but with most of the works happening underwater, the construction side of the first stage of East Shores is well on its way to completion.
While the long-awaited $45-million redevelopment project started in June, significant pile-driving was required to construct the boardwalk along Auckland Creek in preparation for the installation of the viewing platform.
Christmas lights winners put in big effort with displays
A DRIVE around the Gladstone region shows that some people have spent the greater part of this year preparing and designing their home's Christmas light show.
Almost 90 households took part in this year's Observer Christmas Lights Competition, which was sponsored by Yaralla Sports Club and Gladstone Regional Council.
Local pilot nails tricky landing as new Boeing 737 flies in
FLYING over Mount Larcom and descending to Gladstone Airport, Captain Brett Jensen was proud to land QantasLink's first 737 on home soil.
In a bid to fly thousands of Bechtel workers home in time for Christmas, the corporation has chartered several flights to Brisbane in the newest Boeing 737-800 model, complete with mood lighting and 300 hours of extra in-flight entertainment.
Salvation Army practices the spirit of Christmas giving
CHRISTMAS cheer was in full swing during the Gladstone Salvation Army Family Christmas, with arts and crafts, face-painting, carols, music and a hearty lunch on offer at the Salvation Army church in Gladstone.
With days of preparation behind them, the small team of volunteers and staffers were delighted with the turnout.
Gladstone churches all set for Christmas services
HUNDREDS of Christians will flock to church services across Gladstone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The holy season is also a family time, and plenty of children will be involved at Star of the Sea Catholic Church service as the parish presents a nativity play as part of the 6pm Christmas Eve mass.
Scholarship on the cards for top-grade student
A YEAR of persistence and hard work has paid dividends for Joshua Reilly, who achieved the prestigious grade of an OP1 during his final Year 12 exams.
Aspirations for Joshua's future include studying biomedical science at the Queensland University of Technology.
Santa gets up to some new tricks at skate park
THERE are myriad ways to celebrate Christmas - but you'd bet that few have thought of this one.
Adrenalin-loving skaters and riders gathered at the skate park behind the PCYC on Sunday for a Christmas get together with a twist - and a few flips and tail whips, too.
Trouble takes a holiday with all quiet in Gladstone
GLADSTONE police weren't celebrating too early, but were cautiously optimistic after a quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for officers on the beat.
As of Wednesday afternoon, not even a single, solitary drink-driver had been located on Gladstone streets overnight on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day baby the best gift of all for local family
LITTLE Janaya Hutchins will always remember her birthday because it's one of the most well-known day of the year.
The newborn came into the world in the early hours of Christmas Day at Gladstone Base Hospital.
Curtis Island DVD shows footage gathered over 14 years
NEARLY 15 years is a long time to document one place.
Johnny Mitchell reckons that Curtis Island is so diverse its beauty continues to surprise him, even after 14 years.
Friday heralded the release of his film, Wild Adventures: Curtis Island, and the response has been promising.
Families bring festive cheer to older residents in aged care
ALMOST 50 families have brought a little Christmas cheer to some of the city's elderly residents.
The older people, who live in an aged care home, don't often get many visitors and sometimes have no family close by.
A small idea to "adopt-a-grandparent" for Christmas has continued to grow until all 43 of the residents at Blue Care Edenvale Aged Care Facility had a visitor - or a whole family of visitors - drop in and see them on Christmas Eve.
Style-conscious not shy in strutting stuff at Calliope races
FASHIONS on the Field had a big turnout across all categories at Calliope Cup on Thursday, with hundreds of gorgeous frocks on show.
Limestone Clothing owner Desley O'Grady, looking stunning herself on the day, judged the outfits.
All the contenders paraded onstage, and impressed onlookers with a variety of beautiful colours and flowers.
Mango farmer still smiling despite a tough few years
IT'S been a tough few years for local farmer Dave Dingle, but the sight of a big ripe mango brings an instant smile to his face.
Dave grows mangoes on his farm west of Calliope, and for the past 10 years he's been bringing them to market - off the back of his truck by the side of the Dawson Hwy.
Demand over the Christmas and holiday season - and the sight of a lush tray of mangoes - keeps the business ticking over.