NZ at Noon: Apocalypse Now, Cigarette Robbers, Rotovegas or Ashvegas?

SPCA inspector Lesley Gibson, at the site where the dog died, demonstrating how short the lead should be on animals travelling on the back of vehicles. Photo / File
SPCA inspector Lesley Gibson, at the site where the dog died, demonstrating how short the lead should be on animals travelling on the back of vehicles. Photo / File

Stories making headlines across New Zealand at noon include a slanging match between towns about who called themselves "Vegas" first, napalm like bombs dropped in Otago and the perils of being a cigarette retailer these days.

Some citizens of Ashburton and Rotorua are locking horns and slagging each other off over whether Ashvegas got its nickname before Rotovegas. A quick office poll reckons it was Rotovegas but comment below if you can solve this great dilemma of our time.

Shades of Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now were evident on the Taieri yesterday as a helicopter dropped napalm-like bombs in the morning, as this video shows.

The frequency of robberies at cigarette outlets in Wanganui has increased since cigarette prices went up.

The owner of a dog dragged behind a ute for several kilometres was apparently unaware the animal had fallen off the vehicle.

It got ugly at Kaipara District Council's last meeting. Meanwhile Mana MP Hone Harawira says he would consider wearing a gang patch to Parliament.

A teacher at Pompallier Catholic College in Whangarei claims he has been suspended for supporting a student protest against the principal's stance on gay marriage.

A woman has been crushed by a cow at a Pongakawa farm.

Thomas-Lee Jordan Wallis's joyride in grandma's truck ended when the vehicle crashed at a roundabout, hit a 2.4-metre steel security fence and shunted into a Performance Lexus ISP.

Look what is lurking in Kaipara ponds.

As she walked to school, a 14-year-old Whakatane girl was grabbed by an unknown man.

This is what happens when you order a stun gun from overseas.

Central Hawke's Bay community leaders want constituents to forgive a fraudster who stole millions of dollars from more than 200 people over two decades.

One night in November last year, Johnathon Walter Middleton murdered his father.

A big live rat is starring in the latest stage show in Hamilton.

Buck is back telling blokes to stop being staunch.

Over in Brown's Bay if you want to plant a tree you have to pay $1000 to apply for permission.

Here's the first single from New Zealand's newest boy band.

No smoke alarms and no insurance have left a young Gisborne family devastated but lucky to be alive.

Gisborne people are very angry with the National Government "but we are not going to sit down and take that."

The World War I memorial in Wanganui has been declared a hazard and fenced off.

Eltham's police station is staying put for now. Meanwhile rural Taranaki is apparently the safest place to live in New Zealand.

Police found Gisborne Turanga Mahaki slumped over the wheel of his car with the lights on and the key in the ignition, and he was way over the legal alcohol limit.

Christopher Lee Rushbrook has denied damaging vehicles in the Solway train station carpark while on bail and apparently has an explanation for his wallet being found at the crime scene.

Mid Canterbury home owners have been warned to prepare for a major restructure in the insurance industry.

A tagger claiming he is a "menace to society" has left his mark on one of Dunedin's largest stores.

More than 50 sceptics are expected to sit around and doubt everything tomorrow.

1960's hit band Herman's Hermits haven't forgotten to include Oamaru in their New Zealand tour. Meanwhile people are expected in droves at this Saturday's Tattooed and Proud show at the Oamaru Club.

And Robert Frank Terry allegedly sent a few letters threatening to blow up Parliament.

Top trending topics on Twitter in NZ at Noon include: #ProjectRevolution, Paralympics, #MarriageEquality, New Zealand, Auckland, iPhone, 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, Can and Join Twitter.

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