A rouge group clamping cars and demanding fine payments, out of control teenagers on skateboards and the Ratana trial in Napier are among the most read stories online on the APN regional web sites on Wednesday.
The Northern Advocate most read story says an unauthorised group calling itself Ngati Kura Inc is clamping cars at a popular Northland bay and charging $200 to release the vehicles. A school is among the victims with the landowners and council saying the clampers do not have permission to fine or clamp. In other news it says the cause of a fire that destroyed a Paihia home last month may never be known.
The Bay of Plenty Times most read story says teenagers unable to control the latest fad in skateboards are smashing shop windows in the city's downtown. The editorial says to drag your topless 8-year-old daughter along to a naked bike ride protesting oil dependency, with the catch-phrase "ride bare for clean air", is "extraordinary." And it says a Mount Maunganui man and his girlfriend are lucky to be alive after their Mini Cooper went off a gravel road and plummeted down an 18m bank.
The Rotorua Daily Post most read story says work to remove the railway bridge and replace it with a flat road is scheduled to begin on Monday but the project has not gained universal appeal, some businesses angry they will lose money and customers. Its lead story says an elderly woman has been killed after a head-on collision near Whakatane. The Daily Post understands four people were also injured in the crash. An online poll asks "Is China a key market?"
The most read story on Hamilton News Live says Waikato SPCA is no longer able to take in stray cats. It says the birth of a baby rhinoceros at Hamilton Zoo has staff so ecstatic they nicknamed her "Happy".
The Hawke's Bay Today most read story says urgent action is being taken to improve the road surface on Te Aute Hill after a second truck jack-knifed and crashed while descending the slope on SH2 in a month. It says a jury in the High Court in Napier was today expected to retire to decide whether a man who killed his girlfriend's five-year-old daughter also raped the child.
The Wanganui Chronicle most read story says a former Wanganui man has gone on trial at the High Court in Napier accused of sexually violating a 5-year-old girl whose death he has already admitted causing. In other news it says Wanganui residents who have to use the St John Ambulance service are set to face increased fees.
The Wairarapa Times Age most read story says the Gladstone motorcycle crash victim Malcolm Foster, 59, of Tawa was a 'nice guy.' His son visited the scene yesterday where his father died. It says a proposal to install a $6 million median barrier on State Highway 2 between Carterton and Masterton has drawn criticism from a motorcycle safety consultant.
The Star Canterbury most popular story says Lincoln has been hit with a spate of daytime burglaries, with one every day last week. It says the tramper who had a miracle escape from a fall in a remote part of Canterbury has spoken for the first time about his freakish ordeal.
The Oamaru Mail's most popular story is headlined "Where is the Borton Cup?" It says last year's Borton Cup celebrations should've been a night to remember for Union cricket captain Thomas Shields, but instead it became a party he'd rather forget. The cup was stolen and hasn't been seen since.