Northland news briefs: December 26


Smash knocks out power


Residents of parts of Mangawhare in Dargaville were without power for almost five hours on Saturday after a car struck a power pole (pictured right). The accident, which happened about 6am, sent the pole and live wires across Logan St. It is understood the driver, the sole occupant, was injured and transferred to hospital.

Barn blaze inquiry


The Fire Service is investigating a blaze that destroyed a hay barn and workshop in Walu Lane at Matapouri yesterday.The Ngunguru Volunteer Fire Brigade was called out at 4.13am and although flames quickly devoured the building, firefighters stayed nearly two hours to make sure the fire would not spread. Whangarei police were also interested in the unexplained barn blaze.

Domestic injuries


Two people were hurt in what Whangarei police described as a domestic dispute in Ross St, Onerahi, at 11.20pm on Saturday. A fight between a 41-year-old man and a 16-year-old led to both being taken to Whangarei Hospital. The teenager was treated for suspected concussion and discharged while the 41-year-old was admitted with a serious eye injury that may need surgery.

Parade burnout arrest


A 54-year-old man who allegedly did a burnout in his car during the Waipu Christmas parade on Saturday then sped away from a police officer, who tried to stop him on foot, was later seen in the parade crowd and arrested. A test found he had 673 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400 mcg. The man was charged with breaching a Waipu liquor ban, driving with excess breath alcohol and failing to stop for police.

Car plates removed


Whangarei police caught two 17-year-old Auckland youths allegedly removing number plates from vehicles parked outside the Whangarei Aquatic Centre about noon on Monday. Two plates found in the youths' vehicle were returned to their owners and the teenagers were charged with theft.

Beaches deserted


Wet and windy weather kept people away from Whangarei district beaches on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with lifeguards at Mangawhai, Waipu Cove, Ruakaka and Whangarei Heads reporting near-deserted beaches and no rescue callouts.

Rest home callout


Dargaville firefighters got an easy start to Christmas duties when they were called to a Normanby St rest home to ferry a sick woman to hospital in an ambulance. Deputy chief fire officer Jeffrey Palmer said the firefighters had a "nice morning" meeting rest home residents.

- Northland Age

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