Fireworks blamed

Fireworks are believed to have sparked two roadside fires at Unahi, near the Rangaunu Harbour 15km north of Kaitaia on Tuesday afternoon. The larger of the blazes was about 30m long. Both were extinguished about 5.50pm by volunteers from the Kaitaia Fire Brigade.

Pooch pamperer wins

A Whangārei woman has proven she has some of the best pooch pimping skills in the country. Rebekah Thompson, of the Grooming Lounge's Dog Stylist, has taken out the top award in her level at the national grooming competition. Thompson was the only Northlander and competed with canine Lacey, a miniature poodle. The win comes after Thompson showed her skills at the Central Grooming Championship in August by taking out three awards and one for the overall best newcomer.

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Fire hits takeaway

Paihia firefighters responding to a blaze at a takeaway shop at the corner of Marsden Rd and Davis Cres early yesterday managed to save the business from serious damage. The cause of the fire, which started about 12.30am in the kitchen area, was not immediately clear. The shop is expected to close briefly while smoke damage is cleaned up.

Diver workshops

Two free training seminars for divers interested in diving shipwrecks, sunken aircraft or underwater cultural heritage will take place on November 24 and 30. The citizen science project Gathering Information via Recreational and Technical (GIRT) Scientific Divers is hosting two workshops led by maritime archaeologist and conservator Andrew Viduka. He will be joined by Heritage New Zealand staff Bill Edwards (Northland), and Greg Walter and Antony Phillips (Auckland). GIRT Scientific Divers is a public archaeology programme aiming to promote better understanding of the motivation of divers and the factors that preserve — or damage — the condition of shipwrecks and other underwater cultural heritage. The seminars take place at Kerikeri (Room 7, NorthTec campus, November 24, 9am and 3pm) and Auckland (Maritime Museum, Hobson Wharf, November 30, 9am and 3pm). Go to girtsd.org/register to register.